The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has selected eighteen new members, one of which is from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) of the University of Groningen. It concerns Prof. Sijbren Otto, Professor of systems chemistry at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry. The KNAW has approximately 550 members. They are chosen based on scientific achievements of researchers. The new Academy members will be installed later this year.
Prof. Sijbren Otto is a pioneer in systems chemistry, a new discipline in chemistry that studies networks of interacting molecules and their properties. Otto is using this approach to study the chemical basis of life. He succeeded in building systems with ‘dead’ molecules made in the lab that can make copies of themselves, with the aim to undergo Darwinian evolution. Mutations occur during replication, subsequently followed by selection depending on the chemical environment. This gives certain mutants the ability to replicate faster and win the race for resources available. Otto and his group also show how self-replicating molecules can use chemical energy to produce and maintain more complex structures: a first step towards metabolism.
Scientists at SRON, VU and RUG have now developed a model that predicts whether there is a carbon cycle present on exoplanets, provided the mass, core size and amount of CO2 are known.
On 26 April, Bert Poolman (Avereest, 1959) was appointed Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. He is Professor of Biochemistry and programme director of the Groningen Centre for Synthetic Biology at the Faculty of Science and Engineering,...
On 26 April, Amina Helmi (Bahia Blanca, Argentina, 1970) was appointed Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. She is Professor of Dynamics, Structure and Formation of the Milky Way at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, which is part of the Faculty...
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