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Research Corona science news

Our scientists and the corona crisis

Researchers from the UG are sharing their knowledge and doing extensive research into COVID-19 and the corona crisis from many different angles. Here is a selection of articles about recent research.

First responses to the coronavirus pandemic are lessons for the second wave and the climate crisis

13 October - The sometimes powerful responses of citizens and governments at the start of the coronavirus pandemic could be a good starting point when it comes to battling global crises such as the environmental and climate crisis, and possibly the second wave of the coronavirus.
Thijs Bouman and Stevin Prize winner Linda Steg (both UG) and Thomas Dietz (Michigan State University) argued in their publication in Nature Sustainability that personal standards play an important role in displaying prosocial behaviour.
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Not enough savings ro ride out the pandemic

Dirk Bezemer

5 October 2020 - A lot of families and companies do not have enough savings to ride out the coronavirus pandemic. Economist Dirk Bezemer is a worried man. ‘Dramatic situations will develop when the government support packages are discontinued. If we don’t change our economy and financial system now, the multinationals will be protected while families on social assistance won’t.’
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Ethical framework for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine distribution

4 September 2020 - Philosopher Lisa Herzog was member of an international research team that wrote the article An Ethical Framework for Global Vaccine Allocation (Science, 3 September). The team has researched how a corona virus vaccine can be distributed around the world fairly and equitably. Everybody acknowledges the importance of an equitable distribution of a vaccine, and many recognize that ethics is a central factor in the decision-making around it. However, so far nobody has provided a systematic framework or recommendations.
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UG researchers will look at Covid-19 impact on hospital staff’s well-being

hospital staff

1 September 2020 - What is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the psychosocial and emotional well-being of hospital staff? Which factors contribute to this well-being? And what can a hospital do to make sure that their staff is more equipped to deal with this or another crisis? Faculty of Economics and Business researchers Dr Joost van de Brake, Dr Peter Essens, Maxim Laurijssen and Prof. Gerben van der Vegt will start a new research project in September to look at these questions.
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Substantial € 450,000 subsidy for UMCG research into role of overweight in COVID-19 cases

27 August 2020 - The Intensive Care Unit of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) has received a substantial subsidy of € 450,000 from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW). The funds will be used to research why COVID-19 patients in IC wards are often more overweight than both patients who are not admitted to the IC and IC patients with other illnesses. In addition, it will be investigated as to whether the serious inflammation, including inflammation of the lungs, that COVID-19 patients may develop can be treated with the drug Resveratrol.
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UG researchers help improve coordination around ICU bed utilization

PPE storage
PPE storage

24 August 2020 - The recent corona pandemic has shown us that we can quickly reach the maximum ICU bed capacity and that the supply of medical equipment can be largely disrupted. Faculty of Economics and Business researchers Taco van der Vaart, Paul Buijs and Gerdien Regts will look into the role that national and regional coordination can have to manage such scarcity.
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More often complications in kidney patients with corona

11 August 2020 - Kidney dialysis and kidney transplant patients infected with the coronavirus are more prone to serious complications and have a higher risk of death. This is part of the first results of research by UMCG, Radboudumc and Amsterdam UMC, led by Ron Gansevoort, professor of Nephrology (UMCG).
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Virus assembly has been filmed

Spanish and Dutch researchers discovered how the HIV/AIDS virus is formed

Virus assembly
Virus assembly

Scientists in Groningen and Madrid have managed to capture unique images of the first steps of virus assembly. By using a very fast scanning probe microscope, they were able to film how HIV proteins begin to form a virus. It appears that the virus forming process does not proceed in a very orderly manner.
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Northern Netherlands carefully anticipating second wave

What people miss the most
What people miss the most

20 July 2020 - Even though they miss their freedom, gezelligheid and spontaneous fun, the inhabitants of the Northern Netherlands are careful when making their holiday plans for this summer. Only 14% of the Northern Dutch are going on holiday abroad this summer, compared to 60% in other years. If the expected second wave hits the Northern Netherlands, 84% will support new lockdown measures.
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New Open Access review on Sars-CoV-2 in Chem

Scheme of SARS-CoV-2 and some of its molecular protein targets
Scheme of SARS-CoV-2 and some of its molecular protein targets

10 July 2020 - Professor Alexander Dömling (Drug Design, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy) and his PhD student Li Gao published an open access review in Chem (Cell Press).

In this article they give an overview of the current knowledge of the spread, disease course, and molecular biology of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, potential treatment developments in the context of recent outbreaks, drug repurposing, and development timelines are discussed.
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National research into the effects of corona in nursing homes

29 June 2020- Nursing homes should be given room to determine their own visitor regulations. These and other recommendations come from research carried out by the UMCG and Leiden UMC.
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Scientists identify potential drug target in the new coronavirus

Schematic representation of the SARS-CoV-2 genome
Schematic representation of the SARS-CoV-2 genome

22 June 2020 - UG scientists, together with colleagues from the IIMCB in Warsaw (Poland) and the Leiden UMC, have identified putative drug targets in the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that is causing the current pandemic. Their results, which still have to undergo peer review, show which portions of the genetic material would be promising drug targets.
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Ernst ziektebeloop COVID-19 deels erfelijk bepaald

19 June 2020 - Genetisch onderzoek wijst uit dat er plekken in het DNA zijn die mede bepalen hoe ziek iemand wordt van een coronavirusinfectie. Dat blijkt uit een groot internationaal onderzoek, waar ook het onderzoeksproject van het UMCG, de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en biobank Lifelines aan heeft bijgedragen. De resultaten van het onderzoek zijn vandaag gepubliceerd in het gerenommeerde wetenschappelijke tijdschrift New England Journal of Medicine.
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Preclinical tests on novel Covid-19 vaccines

Geert van den Bogaart
Geert van den Bogaart

The research group Molecular Immunology and Microbiology headed by Prof.dr. Geert van den Bogaart collaborates with the German company BaseClick to pre-clinically test new RNA-based coronavirus vaccines. For this, isolated immune cells from blood of healthy volunteers are studied to determine whether the vaccines correctly initiate the anti-viral immune response. This research specifically focuses on the activation of T-cells to recognize the Covid-19 virus.
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Leadership during the crisis: masculine or feminine leader?

Feminine or masculine?
Feminine or masculine?

08 June 2020 - Aan wat voor soort leiderschap heeft men ten tijden van de coronacrisis het meeste behoefte? Uit recent onderzoek van Expertisecentrum In the LEAD komt naar voren dat we het meest tevreden zijn met leiders die zowel masculiene als feminiene kenmerken heeft: androgyn leiderschap.
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Apps to trace COVID-19? Let’s get it right with lessons from humanitarian work

Contact tracing app
Contact tracing app

02 June 2020 - Contact-tracing apps can be helpful in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, data protection and privacy concerns arise. In their latest article Andrej Zwitter and Oskar Gstrein assess focus on data responsibility and on the dangers of data misuse such as through rushed implementation of digital contact tracing apps.
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Two months and 1 million more answers: the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Northerners

Insight from the Lifelines Corona Barometer

Logo Lifelines Corona research

02 June 2020 - While Northerners were frequently stressed at the beginning of April, they began to experience less worry and tension by the end of May. Now, they are sleeping better than they were at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and fewer people are afraid of losing their jobs.
The Lifelines Corona Research Project has surveyed 50,000 Northerners on their health and wellbeing every week since the coronavirus measures were put in place. Insight into this data can now be obtained via www.CoronaBarometer.nl
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Last modified:15 October 2020 12.12 p.m.
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