Wetenschap - 13 maart 1997

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • The Dutch ministeries of Economic Affairs, Education and Agriculture have put forward a joint budget of eleven million guilders a year to establish a Leading Technological Institute (LTI) in Food Science. The WAU is strongly involved in this new top institute, together with the DLO Institute for Agrotechnological Research (ATO-DLO), Unilever, Gist-Brocades, the Dutch Institute for Dairy Research (Nizo) and other industries. The institute will bridge the gap between fundamental research done at universities and strategic research carried out in the laboratories of the industrial companies. The LTI Food Science will create special facilities in Wageningen and Ede, which will concentrate on the relation between food and health, as well as examining food additives
  • A nice example of the latter is the PhD thesis of Marie-Louise Heijnen, who has been studying the effect of resistant starch on human health. Unilever, who sponsored the research project, was interested in using resistant starch as an additive, because experiments with rats showed that it lowered the cholesterol level, which is beneficial to health. However, food tests in Wageningen showed that its effect on humans is not positive: it has no effect on the cholesterol level but tends to produce more faeces and wind. Heijnen does not expect that the food companies will be adding this additive to their products
  • The degree course Physical Planning and Design has come up with a new five-year study programme in the past year. At the same time, the department of Physical Planning and Rural Development has been faced with severe personnel cuts. The strange result is a new programme with lots of special courses, less courses from other departments and a high budget deficit
  • Animal Science students may have already noticed it: Zodiac has taken extra precautions to ensure that its livestock does not become infected by the swine fever epidemic. Test station De Haar got two piglets in January from a pig farm in the province of Brabant, which later was infected by the swine fever. The two piglets were sent to the slaughterhouse once it was discovered, but may have contaminated the other three hundred university pigs. The chance is very low, says Professor Jos Noordhuizen, because the incubation period for the fever is four to thirty days, and between January and now no Zodiac pigs have contracted swine fever. But WAU is being extra careful. Blood tests carried out this week will confirm within a week whether there is any contamination
  • The WAU celebrated its 79th anniversary on 10th March. Toxicologist Professor Jan Koeman gave the main speech on recent developments in toxicological research, while the Rector, Professor Kees Karssen, reflected on the merger between WAU and DLO. The research prize was given to phytopathologist Dr Matthieu Joosten for his work on the molecular basis of plant-fungus relations. Programme director Kees Bos from the Biology degree course (Mr Biology according to Karssen) and alumnus Wim Hilbrands, who have together worked at improving the labour market conditions for graduates, received a silver medal

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