Two Maastricht studies in the race for the Klokhuis Science Prize: vote now!

Living brains in a laboratory and research on internet freedom –two of the ten nominees for the Klokhuis Science Prize this year are UM scientists. And you can also vote!

To see all the nominations (in Dutch) and cast your vote, see the Klokhuis website.

UM’s nominations:

  • Levende hersenen in het laboratorium (Living brains in the laboratory)
  • Internetvrijheid – wat is dat eigenlijk? (Internet safety – what is that actually?)

Internet freedom – what is that actually?

Mariëlle Wijermars conducts research on internet freedom. You might think that the internet is the same everywhere, but that isn’t the case: different laws apply in every country. Countries also have different ideas about what you can say online and what information you can search for. The Netherlands, for example, is trying to protect children against dangers online. Meanwhile, other countries want much stricter rules, and sometimes block social media, or even the entire internet – in Russia, for example, Instagram is blocked. Who actually decides what rules apply on the internet? And how can we ensure that our internet remains free?

Living brains in the lab

More and more people are questioning whether we should continue testing new medicines on animals. Scientists are therefore looking for new methods to avoid animal testing. It sounds like science fiction, but Govert Hoogland and his team have succeeded in keeping a small piece of brain alive in the laboratory. On a chip with 120 electrodes and a layer of brain cells they placed a small piece of brain tissue from a patient who had been operated on for epilepsy. The piece of brain carried on showing epileptic activity for another six days. This opens up new questions: do we need fewer laboratory animals for medical research? And could you repair a piece of faulty brain tissue like this and then put it back in the patient?

Klokhuis Science Prize

The Klokhuis Science Prize, run by the educational children’s TV programme Het Klokhuis, is awarded annually during the InScience film festival in Nijmegen. The aim is to introduce a young, broad audience to Dutch scientific research. All universities and university medical centres in the Netherlands can submit an entry. The programme will devote an episode to the winning research.

Also read

  • Four Maastricht research teams are starting their projects funded with money from the Open Competition of grant provider ZonMw. In addition, a Nijmegen research team has been awarded, which includes Harro van Lente, professor of Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University (UM).