News 2014

A sustainable approach for the world's fish supply

China’s booming aquaculture industry is increasingly dependent on fishmeal made from wild-caught fish, a practice that depletes wild fish stocks. A new study conducted by institutions including Leiden University and Stanford offers a more sustainable path. The study appeared in the journal Science on 9 January.


Extreme obesity calls for individualized medication

Doctors and pharmacists often do not take obesity into account when prescribing medication. For this, more insight into the influence of obesity on the distribution and elimination of drugs is of the utmost importance. This is emphasized by Catherijne Knibbe in the most recent issue of the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology


Hall of fame 2014

In 2014, staff and students of Leiden University received prizes and prestigious subsidies for their research, education and studies. We are proud to present you with this overview.


Excavating the gas chambers at Sobibor

Leiden archaeologist Ivar Schute recently discovered the foundations of the gas chambers at the Sobibor death camp.  'The Holocaust is pratically incomprehensible; this work makes it more tangible.' What did Schute learn from his study of archaeology? 


Leiden Classics: Bibliotheca Thysiana, a 17th century time machine

From once controversial scientific works and historical bibles, to personal shopping lists and clothing bills. The 17th-century Bibliotheca Thysiana and the archive of the collector Johannes Thysius exhibit both the intellectual and everyday life as it was three hundred years ago. Now a brand-new digital inventory has been developed, which will enable us to make new discoveries.


Leiden technology in rainbow artwork at Amsterdam CS

The Leiden astronomers Frans Snik and Michiel Rodenhuis developed the technology for the Rainbow Station artwork. Since 11 December, this large projected rainbow of light can be seen every day after sunset on the outside of the Central Station in Amsterdam. ‘We had to design light that would not blind the train drivers’.


First Leiden-Delft-Erasmus newsletter online

Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam are working together in a strategic alliance, with more than eight multidisciplinary centres that will be addressing complex issues facing society. The three universities' aim with this newsletter is to keep you up to date with news and developments.  


‘Don’t sing like a donkey’

Hendrik Vanden Abeele has used his experience as a musician to study various interpretations of the Gregorian chant. This musical style has been interpreted and performed in many different ways throughout its long history, which has caused some serious consternation and debate in the past. His defence is scheduled for 15 December.


The multicultural history of soya sauce

The soya sauce in our kitchen cabinets is not a recent acquisition. This sauce is an important element in a long history of exchange between Asia and Europe. This is what Anne Gerritsen claims in her inaugural lecture for the Kikkoman Chair on Friday 12 December.


Oldest ever engraving discovered on 500,000-year-old shell

Homo erectus on Java was already using shells of freshwater mussels as tools half a million years ago, and as a 'canvas' for an engraving. An international team of researchers, led by Leiden archaeologist José Joordens, published this discovery on 3 December in Nature. The discovery provides new insights into the evolution of human behaviour.


Leiden University investing in new online courses

In the coming years Leiden University’s Executive Board will be investing 1.4 million euros in the production of new online courses. In 2015 and 2016, a total of 15 new MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) and 10 new SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses) will be introduced.


Children of the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944 survived thanks to adapted genes

Children of the Famine of 1944, known in Dutch as the Hunger Winter, may have survived the adverse conditions in the womb thanks to adaptations to their DNA. However, these changes also made them more prone to health problems later in life. This is what LUMC researchers write in Nature Communications, together with colleagues from Columbia University and Harvard.