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.
Visit Aletta Jacobs School of public health for their COVID-19 blogs
Students and wellbeing: the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (video)
21 March 2022 - Dr Bertus Jeronimus, developmental psychologist at the UG, researches the emotional and psychological wellbeing of young people and worries about this generation. Developing a personality is crucial at a young age, but it is hard to do so without having social activities. Many students suffered from loneliness and low spirits as a result of the lockdowns and the lack of social activities. According to Jeronimus, it is important to pay close attention to their wellbeing in the time to come.
Read more about student wellbeing and watch the video
Senior staff members are better able to cope with the pandemic than junior staff members
07 February 2022 - The amount of resilience that University staff members have demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic differs remarkably between categories, according to a study among University of Groningen staff by the faculties of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Economics and Business, and by the Health, Safety & Sustainability Office (AMD) of the UG. The research focused on the relationship between age, resilience, task requirements and resources, and self-regulation among 1,715 University staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021.
The general conclusion is that involuntarily working from home and teleworking during the pandemic had less negative effects on older than on younger staff. This was closely related to, on the one hand, a better work situation in terms of job security, facilities and equipment, and information channels and, on the other, better self-regulation when it comes to e.g. finding a good balance between work and private life or seeing the positive sides of a crisis.
The Delta Variant Mutations in the Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 Show Enhanced Electrostatic Interactions with the ACE2
December 2021 - University College Groningen's researcher Muhamed Amin has recently published an article on the Covid Delta variant mutations:
'The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the whole world due to its ability to spread faster than the native virus. Thus, we used computer simulations to study the possible reasons for that. We found that the mutations in the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein (the part of the virus that is used to connect to the cell of the host) are strengthening the binding forces between the virus and the human cell, which may explain the ability of the virus to spread faster than the previous strains.'
Read the article in Medicine in Drug Discovery
VR goggles reduce stress among ICU nurses
During the corona pandemic, the pressure on nurses was high.To do something about this, ICU nurses in the UMCG were offered the opportunity to use virtual reality relaxation (VRelax): an app that can be used independently with VR glasses.
Virtual swimming with dolphins or a walk in the woods: research shows that ICU nurses experience 40% less stress as a result.
Read the Dutch news article or the published article in Frontiers of Psychology
UMCG and UG take part in European project on accelerating vaccine development
1 September - A multidisciplinary team of researchers from 11 different countries are starting a project on speeding up the development of vaccines. Researchers from the University of Groningen (UG) and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) will study whether miniature lungs (‘mini-lungs’) can be deployed in a propagator to predict which vaccines work well against respiratory infections such as the flu.
Psycorona: what have we learned so far?
2 Augustus - In Spring 2020, the PsyCorona project was launched as part of a global community-driven effort to study psychological responses to COVID-19. The project involved an international collaboration of psychological scientists and members of the community, as we all experienced the pandemic and sought to understand our collective reactions to it. Volunteers completed the surveys, researchers analyzed the data, wrote reports, and submitted those reports for peer-review at scientific journals.
Although the work is ongoing, the researchers have already gained insights and published some results. You can read the details on the Results section of the PsyCorona website.
Rethinking Remdesivir for COVID-19: A Bayesian Reanalysis of Trial Findings
The use of remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 has been authorized for use in parts of the world, including the Netherlands and Europe. Early authorizations were largely based on results from two clinical trials; a third study was deemed inconclusive. We conducted a reanalysis of all available evidence using Bayesian statistics, allowing interpretation of the seemingly inconclusive results.
Overall, we conclude evidence for the efficacy of remdesivir against symptoms of COVID-19 is ambiguous at best: in different contexts such evidence would not be enough to judge efficacy.
Read the publication in PLOS ONE - Hoek, J. M., Field, S. M., de Vries, Y. A., Linde, M., Pittelkow, M., Muradchanian, J., & van Ravenzwaaij, D. (2020, July 30). Rethinking Remdesivir for COVID-19: A Bayesian Reanalysis of Trial Findings
Lifelines Corona study: little enthusiasm for holidays abroad
1 July - We are still cautious when it comes to planning holidays this summer. This was shown by the Lifelines Corona survey of almost 30,000 participants who were asked about their holiday plans at the end of May. Just over half (56%) said they would go on holiday this summer, but only 18% planned to go abroad.
France remains the most popular holiday destination among the Dutch (23%). Germany follows with 16%, Italy and Spain close the top three with both 11%. The choice of countries is somewhat remarkable as France and Spain were still code orange at the time of the survey and therefore had a negative travel advice and a quarantine obligation upon return home.
Corona crisis has lasting effects on news consumption
09 June - News and journalism offer something to hold on to in uncertain times. Initially, television news, newspapers and news sites broke record after record after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early 2020s. But are such new news habits permanent?
Although for most people the peak in news consumption was temporary, there are groups for whom journalism has become part of their system.
Influence of DNA on behaviour and well-being during corona crisis increasing
08 June - As the Dutch became more self-reliant during the corona crisis, the extent to which DNA influences our behaviour and well-being has increased. People who have different genetic predispositions cope with the corona crisis differently.
For example, people with an increased genetic predisposition to neuroticism more often experience fear of vaccinations, and genetic predisposition to depression has an effect on reported fatigue over the past year. Read more
New study shows: one in five people believe fake news about COVID-19
01 June - Does eating garlic protect you from the coronavirus? Can houseflies infect you with it? Does COVID-19 only affect the elderly?
Based on newly published research from Boudewijn de Bruin (RUG), Mark Alfano (Macquarie University (Sydney)) and Marco Meyer (University Harmburg), one in five adults accepts these and other medical myths linked to the pandemic. Read more
|Last modified:||22 April 2022 11.16 a.m.|