Bioscience engineering

"The road to climate-friendly industry starts with research"

Het gebouw van Capture

How to use waste water, CO2 and plastics as a source of energy or a raw material? This is one of the key questions that keeps professor Korneel Rabaey occupied on a daily basis. A question to which he is now seeing an answer emerge, thanks to the new research platform CAPTURE, which he helped to conceive. The opening of a physical research centre will accelerate progress in this area considerably, which has been his goal for years.

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Ghent University goes all-in on circular water management with pilot project constructed wetland

Tom Ceriez knielt bij de helofytenfilter

Ghent University uses about 260.000 m³ water annually, of which 92% is high-quality tap water. This needs to change. Ghent University is going to instigate the necessary adjustments based on a new policy on circular water management – and a break-away from traditional techniques. This is why, since 12 May 2021, there’s a wastewater treatment facility at Site Heymans in Ghent, Belgium based on water plants and bacteria: a constructed wetland.

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striking

Will we soon have dogs sniffing us out en masse in the fight against coronavirus? It’s possible, as tracker dogs appear to be more accurate in detecting coronavirus than traditional tests. Moreover, it is faster and a lot cheaper. “The first results from our corona dogs are very good,” says Ghent University researcher Chris Callewaert. “They achieve an average accuracy of 95 per cent.”

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striking

If we want to continue enjoying our weekly portion of fish or shellfish in the future, it will be largely thanks to aquaculture. Just call it the fish farm of the future. Ghent University is one of the world’s top researchers on the sustainability and development of aquaculture. “It may sound pretentious, but the 5 million tons of prawns and scampi farmed worldwide all have something to do with Ghent University,” says professor-emeritus of aquaculture Patrick Sorgeloos.

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The great importance of small woods

Bosje

It turns out that large forests are not the only woodland to contribute to combatting climate change. In fact, small woods are important too, and far more than we once believed. Small areas of woodland actually take in proportionately more carbon than their larger relations. This means it is really important to take care of such areas, and plant more of them.

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Antibiotic resistance as a new pandemic? Can a virus save us?

Fagen

We live in the post-antibiotic era. At least that’s what the World Health Organization (WHO) says. And not without foundation — it suggests some ten million people will die annually from antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050 if we don’t act now. Furthermore, there are more cancers than now. And so it is a feverish search for alternatives. Ghent University researchers have already come up with a promising breakthrough.

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Two different views on biotechnology

Geert De Jaeger en Dirk Holemans

Modern biotechnology in agriculture is a much-discussed topic. Geert De Jaeger is both a professor at UGent and a plant biologist. Ghent University alumni Dirk Holemans is a coordinator of the social-economic thinktank Oikos and a former politician for Groen – the Flemish green party. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to the use of modern biotechnology in agriculture. This leads to a lively debate with the most important conclusion being that: they agree to disagree.

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New technology helps Ethiopian farmers

Marijke D'Haese en Pascal Boeckx

Elk kopje Fair Trade koffie dat aan de UGent gedronken wordt, komt de producent ten goede. Maar onderzoekers van de faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen gingen nog een stapje verder. Een hoogtechnologische methode om de kwaliteit van de bonen te achterhalen kan de koffieboeren op termijn een betere prijs garanderen.

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