13 december 2023, ICI Bulletin

Scientific excellence and innovative training network in one
Targeted anti-cancer therapies are the future of cancer treatment. Immunotherapy is booming, and antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) are a fast growing class of therapeutics. These consist of a cytotoxic drug connected to an antibody that targets a tumor marker. Although much research is aimed at elements of ADCs such as the drug payload or constructing nanobodies, the international research program TACT is bringing all aspects of this research together, from fundamental chemistry to the initial stages of biological assessment. ICI-partner WUR is involved.
The EU-project TACT combines state-of-the-art research in antibody-drug conjugates with extensive training of new researchers. (Image: TACT)

13 december 2023, ICI Bulletin

Developing a toolkit to study the brain's immune system
Microglia play a crucial role in neuronal diseases such as MS or Alzheimer's. But there is a large gap in knowledge about the processes involving microglia and the development of these and other neurological disorders. Without understanding of the fundamentals, there is no chance of a cure. PhD student Viktor al-Naqib at NIN studies these fundamentals in cooperation with chemical immunologists in Leiden.

1 december 2023, Cross Country magazine

The tightest acro season ever
This year's acro competition scene was more exciting than ever. There was a change of competition rules for the better, a neck-and-neck battle between the two top pilots of the year: veteran Théo de Blic and upcoming star Luke de Weert and there was a good effort to make it all more accessible to the public. Here's an overview of the year through Luke's eyes.

This article was published in Cross Country magazine #246, December 2023.

1 december 2023, Cross Country magazine

Why size matters
Being a lightweight pilot in paragliding is a disadvantage. It's no myth that the smallest paragliders fly worse than larger ones. Some competitions such as the BGD Weightless even have a separate ranking for light pilots for this reason.
But recreational pilots struggle as well. Reader Angela Bonato ("considered lightweight by most wing manufacturers") emailed us: "I unfortunately only fly with much heavier guys and at almost every flight I have the feeling we flew in a very different air from what they say to me."
Lightweight competition- and ex-test pilot Joanna diGrigoli can fully relate. Among other wings, she flies an XS EN-B glider below mid-weight range. "I feel light against the wind. It has no bite." On a lightly loaded glider it can be harder to enter thermals, Joanna says. "But the main problem is into wind."

This article was published in Cross Country magazine #246, December 2023.

1 september 2023, Cross Country magazine

Review: Supair Step X
The ‘X’ in Step X stands for ‘cross’ which means at the crossroads between performance and light weight. With a weight of 4kg for the S, it is similar to other semi-lightweight wings such as the Advance Iota DLS. It replaces Supair’s Step 2 and Step Light. Supair’s designer Pierre-Yves Alloix says: “You do not need to choose between light and classic, this new Step is ‘all in one’: almost as light as the Step Light with similar durability of the Step.”

1 augustus 2023, Cross Country magazine

Chrigel Maurer Eight time Red Bull X-Alps winner 2023
Chrigel, congratulations! You said you didn't quite have the feeling before the race. What did you mean by this?
"Before the race, many things are unclear. This gives me the feeling of not being comfortable. It is always the same. The last experience is so far away, this feeling of insecurity starts to appear and I have to start to get into the next adventure to become comfortable and to focus on the race. And when it feels really good you can start pushing."

Bastienne Wentzel talked to Chrigel and some of the others who made it in, including Damien Lacaze, Maxime Pinot and the first woman to finish the race, Eli Egger. The final 10-page feature makes for essential reading for X-Alps race-watchers.
Cross Country Magazine #242, August 2023.

1 juni 2023, ICI Bulletin

A chemical approach to solving biological questions
UbiQ was founded in 2010 as a spin-off of the Ovaa-lab at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. The small company develops reagents for ubiquitin research and is involved occasionally in drug discovery projects, says co-founder Farid El Oualid. "Our mission is ultimately to help patients. With UbiQ, we aim to explore all possible drug targets using our technology, and to facilitate others to do their research by providing reagents."

1 juni 2023, ICI Bulletin

An elegant technology to study immune cells
Thermal peptide exchange technology. The term sounds like a simple lab protocol. But at a closer look it's a perfect example of multidisciplinary, multi-group research where a fundamental background, a good idea and an interest in technology lead to new insights and relevant medical applications. What started as an idea from the labs of Sjaak Neefjes and Huib Ovaa has now grown into a user-friendly method for screening immune cell responses to any antigen, developed in a collaboration between multiple research groups. (Image: Jolien Luimstra)

Review Gin Evora
The “easy B” class is crowded nowadays. New pilots and those who wish to fly for fun and keep things super simple often look for easy intermediates. Launched at the start of this year the Gin Evora is the latest member of this class. It is designed to be “undemanding for relatively inexperienced pilots, yet at the same time offer more than enough performance for the category” say Gin. To see what it has to offer I flew the Evora for a week in the fresh spring thermals at hotspot Bassano del Grappa in northern Italy.

9 mei 2022, AMOLF

First study of CRISPR-Cas defense in individual cells shows remarkable variability
Specialists in single cell dynamics of research institute AMOLF together with CRISPR-Cas researchers of TU Delft were able to measure for the first time how quickly a single cell can build new memory and remove invading DNA using the CRISPR Cas system. Remarkably, they noted a large variability between individual cells in different populations. The results were published on April 25, 2022 in the open access scientific journal Molecular Systems Biology.

7 maart 2022, AMOLF

A magic top hat for protein folding
Following a single protein inside the cavity of a GroEL chaperone for the first time, researchers at AMOLF led by professor Sander Tans discovered how protein folding can be accelerated. Amino acid chains are pulled inside the open cavity of the chaperone, where they collapse on top of themselves and fold. The findings have implications for our understanding of cellular protein control and folding diseases. The research was published in Science Advances on March 4th.

Quiz - Beginner's Guide to Paragliding
How much do you know about paragliding? Bastienne Wentzel, Erwin Voogt and Cross Country developed a quiz to find out. There is a quiz for everyone: newbies, beginners and experienced pilots.

Find the quizzes at beginnersguidetoparagliding.com/quiz

The web engine behind the quiz (developed by Erwin Voogt) is fully functional examination software used in schools. Send us an email (info@bmedia.nl) to find out more.

Naked pilot: Robin Friess
"I always knew I wanted to fly. My parents are both hang glider and paraglider pilots. We lived in Frankfurt in Germany and all our holidays were flying holidays. I first flew when I was six but my mother did not really want me to fly. She told me if I wanted to fly I would have to make my own money, so I delivered newspapers until I had enough. At 13 years old I did my first course in Wildschönau in Austria."

Review: Swing Helios RS
All Swing paragliders are now equipped with a RAST partition, which causes parts of the glider to inflate or deflate slower or quicker depending on the situation. This gives for example remarkably easy launching behaviour and dampens the adverse effects of collapses. But such a complex internal structure would surely result in a heavier glider, right? Swing now proves that it doesn't have to be with the new lightweight hike&fly performance glider Helios RS.

12 december 2019, Cross Country magazine

Review: U-Turn Morpheus NG
A little over a decade ago, U-Turn launched the Morpheus, an acro glider which was developed together with Mike Küng. He wanted a dynamic glider capable of all manoeuvres but with a safety margin for performing shows. After many customers' requests, U-Turn now launches the Morpheus Next Generation based on this popular 'legend' as they call it. Just as the old Morpheus was a mild version of their professional acro wing G-Force, the Morpheus NG is the little brother of the very popular Blackout+ and Joker. It will replace the freestyler RedOut.

15 juli 2019, AMOLF

Molecular design for nanolithography: The difference is in the details
”For the first time, I feel I am doing research that has an impact. It is very rewarding. I am confident that we are developing materials that can be used in industry.” Sonia Castellanos, group leader of the EUV Photoresists group of ARCNL, unravels the working mechanisms of new classes of photoresists and developes new materials that will make future chips for phones and computers much smaller. Recently, she published results from this research in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C.