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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.
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.
Read more

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

VR-app 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

logo European Vaccine Initiative

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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

holiday beach

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.
Read more

Corona crisis has lasting effects on news consumption

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.
Read more

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

Fake news

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

Earlier news articles
19 May

UMCG participates in a worldwide study into the consequences of the pandemic for pregnancy care (Dutch)

17 May

New website for lonely people

26 April

Face masks reduce emotion-recognition accuracy and perceived closeness

15 April

One in ten young children did not play with friends during elementary school closure (Dutch)

25 March

Study with Lifelines data into the transmission of the coronavirus within households

18 March

UMCG to study potential coronavirus vaccine: volunteers sought

12 March

Will the Vaccination Passport be the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic?

12 March

More and more nursing home staff suffer from burnout symptoms (Dutch)

11 March

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 should postpone operations to reduce the risk of mortality

2 March

The new SARS-CoV-2 strain shows a stronger binding affinity to ACE2 due to N501Y mutant

22 February

New technique reveals switches in RNA

3 February

Mental health at lowest ebb since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

3 February

University Museum receives first Groningen vaccine ampoule and syringe

26 January

Study into the effect of COVID-19 vaccines in vulnerable groups

13 January

UG and Hanze University of Applied Sciences start pilot rapid testing centre with help from Noorderpoort students

December 2020 Lifelines Corona Research overview of 2020
8 December Dutch people think very differently about corona measures and vaccination
30 November One in five nursing home employees suffers from burn-out symptoms
November 2020 Why SARS-CoV-2 spreads much faster than SARS-CoV and why different populations respond differently to the virus (publication)
10 November NA structures of coronavirus reveal potential drug targets
20 October Corona booklet AJSPH - time capsule of the first wave
19 October COVID-19 once again proves the importance of ICU cafés
13 October First responses to the coronavirus pandemic are lessons for the second wave and the climate crisis
5 October Not enough savings ro ride out the pandemic
4 September Ethical framework for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine distribution
1 September UG researchers will look at Covid-19 impact on hospital staff’s well-being
27 August Substantial € 450,000 subsidy for UMCG research into role of overweight in COVID-19 cases
24 August UG researchers help improve coordination around ICU bed utilization
11 August More often complications in kidney patients with corona
August Virus assembly has been filmed
20 July Northern Netherlands carefully anticipating second wave
10 July New Open Access review on Sars-CoV-2 in Chem
29 June National research into the effects of corona in nursing homes
22 June Scientists identify potential drug target in the new coronavirus
19 June Ernst ziektebeloop COVID-19 deels erfelijk bepaald (dutch blog)
Mid June Preclinical tests on novel Covid-19 vaccines Program
08 June Leadership during the crisis: masculine or feminine leader?
02 June Apps to trace COVID-19? Let’s get it right with lessons from humanitarian work
02 June Two months and 1 million more answers: the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Northerners
20 May Martini Hospital and the UG are working together on innovative application for planning ‘1.5-metre care’ for outpatients
14 May Mortality from the corona pandemic
29 April Large study on happiness among Dutch children and young people
23 April Key nose cells identified as likely COVID-19 virus entry points
20 April Plea for a future-proof health system
16 April Using Location Data to control the Coronavirus Pandemic
15 April Connecting experts from around the world online
07 April The psychological impact of the coronavirus crisis
30 March Major research in the Northern Netherlands into risk factors for coronavirus
20 March UG and UMCG researchers investigate corona inhaler
16 March Coronavirus breaking the law?

Last modified:22 April 2022 11.16 a.m.
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