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Modified enzyme brings value to lignin monomers
Modified enzyme brings value to lignin monomers
Modified enzyme brings value to lignin monomers
Date:29 November 2022

Biomass is an interesting source of carbon-based molecules. It is also underused because some 25 percent of all plant biomass is in the form of lignin, a biopolymer that, so far, can only be used as a solid fuel. A team of scientists, including ‘enzyme engineer’ Marco Fraaije from the University of Groningen, has now developed an enzyme that can put a lignin monomer to use in chemical synthesis.

Astronomers see infrared switch on in young universe
Date:16 November 2022

Analysis of the very first image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows that the MIRI instrument, developed in the Netherlands, works even better than thought. Researchers from the University of Groningen demonstrate that the infrared telescope shows details of galaxies from the time when the universe was only about 1 billion years old.

'Polluted' white dwarfs show that stars and planets grow together
Date:14 November 2022

Observations and simulations of 237 white dwarfs strengthen the evidence that planets and stars rapidly form together and become planetary systems. An international team of astronomers and planetary scientists, including Tim Lichtenberg of the University of Groningen's Kapteyn Institute, published their findings on Monday in Nature Astronomy.

The untapped potential of RNA structures
Date:09 November 2022

In an invited review for Nature Reviews Genetics, Danny Incarnato, a molecular geneticist from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), and his colleague Robert C. Spitale from the University of Irvine in California (USA) describe ways to develop the, as yet, largely untapped potential of RNA structures. Their paper was published on 8 November.

Light-driven molecular motors light up
Date:04 November 2022

Scientists at the University of Groningen have in combing two light-mediated functions in a single molecule, in two different ways. These two types of fluorescing light-driven rotary motors were described in Nature Communications (30 September) and Science Advances (4 November).

Quantum dots form ordered material
Date:31 October 2022

Quantum dots are clusters of some 1,000 atoms which act as one large ‘super-atom’. It is possible to accurately design the electronic properties of these dots just by changing their size. A team led by University of Groningen professor of Photophysics and Optoelectronics, Maria Antonietta Loi, has succeeded in making a highly conductive optoelectronic metamaterial through self-organization.

Science LinX newsletter November
Date:27 October 2022

Science LinX newsletter November

Hackathon to solve light pollution at Zernike Campus
Date:19 October 2022

Sixteen Bachelor’s students spent the weekend of 6-9 October investigating light pollution at the University of Groningen’s Zernike Campus and finding innovative solutions to this problem.

Machine learning models identify apps that will likely violate Google Play store guidelines
Date:13 October 2022

A considerable percentage of new apps in the Google App store are removed for violating the store’s guidelines. This is inconvenient for the users of these apps, who may lose their in-app data. Computer scientists from the University of Groningen have devised two machine learning models that can predict the chances of a new app being removed, both before and after uploading it to the app store.

We are back: Zpannend Zernike
Date:06 October 2022

On Sunday 4 October, it was finally time for a new edition of Zpannend Zernike. No less than 1325 children and adults visited the Bernoulliborg and the rest of Zernike for an introduction to the science of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Science LinX newsletter October
Date:29 September 2022

Science LinX newsletter Ocotober

Fighting bird flu with genetically engineered bacteria
Date:28 September 2022

Over the last few years, bird flu has become endemic in large parts of Europe. Students from the University of Groningen have come up with a novel way of protecting birds: by genetically engineering a bacterium that is naturally present in the lungs of poultry. The project is their entry for the annual iGEM competition.

‘We zien nu al een rif vol leven’
Date:27 September 2022

Sinds november 2021 liggen langs de Groningse Lauwersmeerdijk 48 kunstmatige riffen om de onderwaternatuur van de Waddenzee te versterken. Onderzoekers hebben de riffen langs de Lauwersmeerdijk voor het eerst naar boven gehaald, om te kijken wat er op en rond leeft.

European award for education project coordinated by Science LinX
Date:22 September 2022

Eleven partners from three countries (The Netherlands, Spain, and Cyprus) and the European Science Engagement Association have developed teaching modules on biodiversity, water management, and bird migration.

Giant magnon spin wave conductance in ultrathin insulators surprises researchers
Date:22 September 2022

When you make conducting wires thinner, their electrical resistance goes up. This is Ohm’s law, and it is generally right. An important exception is at very low temperatures, where the mobility of electrons increases when wires become so thin that they are effectively two-dimensional. Now, University of Groningen physicists, together with colleagues at Brest University have observed that something similar happens with the conductivity of magnons, spin waves that travel through magnetic insulators, much like a Mexican wave through a stadium.

New binding site to the cell membrane identified for Tubby protein
Date:07 September 2022

The molecular dynamics group headed by Siewert-Jan Marrink investigates the interactions of proteins and lipids (fats) in membranes by means of simulations. In collaboration with researchers from Germany, they identified a previously unknown lipid binding site in the barrel-shaped Tubby protein that could help to understand various diseases.

A fresh look at metals reveals a ‘strange’ similarity
Date:06 September 2022

The current taxonomy of metals appears to be too blurry and contains too many exceptions to be convincing. Scientists from the University of Groningen analysed more than 30 metals and show that a simple formula can provide a classification of metals in a more systematic manner.

The cities that lead China on carbon reduction
Date:30 August 2022

Thirty-eight Chinese cities have reduced their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) despite growing economies and populations for at least five years. A further 21 cities have cut CO2 emissions as their economies or populations have ‘declined’ over the same period - defined as passively emission declined cities. This is revealed by new research from the Universities of Birmingham (UK), Groningen (Netherlands), and Tsinghua University (China).

Climate change will affect wheat harvest, increase economic inequality
Date:30 August 2022

Wheat is a key source of nutrition for people across the globe. Rising temperatures may affect wheat harvests: the yield is likely to increase at high latitudes and decrease in low latitudes, meaning that prices for the grain are likely to change unevenly and increase in much of the Global South, enhancing existing inequalities. To assess the consequences, an international team which includes University of Groningen professor of Climate and Environmental Change Richard Bintanja has developed a new climate-wheat-economic ensemble modeling approach.

Watching molecules move inside bacterial cells
Date:12 August 2022

Cells with a nucleus contain compartments with the machinery to carry out specific tasks. Although bacterial cells have no such compartments, evidence suggests that even these cells are not homogeneous. Biochemists from the University of Groningen have now mapped diffusion rates inside a bacterial cell, which identified distinct regions.

Legacy of ancient Ice Ages shapes how seagrasses respond to environmental threats today
Date:01 August 2022

Deep evolution casts a longer shadow than previously thought, scientists report in a new paper published the week of Aug. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Smithsonian scientists and colleagues, including University of Groningen emeritus professor Jeanine Olsen, looked at eelgrass communities—the foundation of many coastal marine food webs along the north Atlantic and Pacific coasts—and discovered their ancient genetic history can play a stronger role than the present-day environment in determining their size, structure and who lives in them.

Answering big questions with a simple telescope
Date:21 July 2022

There is a lot that we do not know about the Universe. Some of the answers may hide in the glow that was emitted by neutral hydrogen atoms during the cosmic dawn. Daan Meerburg, a physicist at the University of Groningen, is working on the data analysis pipeline for a telescope that will be able to observe this extremely faint glow.

New molecular motor runs on chemical fuel
Date:18 July 2022

A team led by Ben Feringa, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen, and Depeng Zhao of Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, China) has created a unidirectional molecular motor that runs on chemical fuel, just like molecular motor complexes in our cells. The newly designed molecular motor was presented in the scientific journal Nature on 6 July and could eventually be used to perform mechanical functions.


Student turns maths lecture into music
Date:28 June 2022

Mathematics and music are to some extent related. So, when Aditya Ganesh, amateur musician and Master’s student of Computing Science at the University of Groningen, sat in a lecture on complex behaviour created by a simple formula, he saw the potential for a new music piece. It took him six months to convert a logistic map into a nearly eight minutes’ long composition called ‘Feigenbaum’s Orbit’.

‘We have wasted two crises’
Date:04 April 2022

On 4 April, the third working group report of the sixth IPCC assessment cycle was published. One of the Lead Authors for this part of the sixth IPCC climate report is Klaus Hubacek, Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen, at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen.

New flow battery stores power in simple organic compound
Date:16 March 2022

The intermittent supply of green electricity requires large-scale storage to keep our power grids stable. Since normal batteries do not scale very well, the idea of using flow batteries, which store electricity in a fluid is attractive. Scientists at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, have designed a flow battery electrolyte that is cheaper and is based on an organic compound, rather than a metal.

How to use the rocks beneath Groningen
Date:08 March 2022

Johannes Miocic, Assistant Professor of Geo Energy, is studying the rocks from the Groningen gas field. This should provide more information on what to expect – and how to make better use of those rocks.

Fighting poverty won’t jeopardize climate goals
Date:14 February 2022

If the UN Sustainable Development Goal to lift over one billion people out of poverty were to be reached in 2030, the impact on global carbon emissions would be minimal. That sounds good; however, the main reason for this is the huge inequality in the carbon footprint of rich and poor nations. This conclusion was drawn by scientists from the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), together with colleagues from China and the US.

Synthetic molecular motor performs real work
Date:21 December 2021

Researchers from University of Groningen with colleagues from the Freien Universität Berlin (Germany) show that a synthetic molecular machine can also perform work, by driving a chemical reaction.

How a committed minority can change society
Date:29 September 2021

How do social conventions change? Robotic engineers and marketing scientists from the University of Groningen joined forces to study this phenomenon, combining online experiments and statistical analysis into a mathematical model that shows how a committed minority can influence the majority to overturn long-standing practices.

Pandemic and forthcoming stimulus funds could bring climate targets in sight – or not
Date:22 December 2020

The lockdowns that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the recovery phase, emissions could rise to levels above those projected before the pandemic. It all depends on how the stimulus money that governments inject into their economies is spent.

Watch our graphene trilogy!
Date:07 November 2013

Science LinX presents three graphene videos.

Date:28 April 2020

Jouw huis eens van de chemische kant bekijken? Ga aan de slag met de Molecula moleculenspeurtocht! Kom erachter waar in huis je welke moleculen tegenkomt en hoe deze er in 3D uitzien.

Reinventing chemistry: no lab coat required
Date:12 October 2021

A series of brand-new chemistry laboratories has been created on the top floor of the Linnaeusborg building at the Zernike Campus. This is where two new tenure track scientists will activate reactions to create molecules using only light or electrons, and will use new building blocks to create ’next generation’ sustainable materials.

New research centre on the origins of life, the universe and everything
Date:12 April 2017

The Origins Centre will tackle questions submitted to the National Science Agenda about the origin of life on Earth and in the Universe. A number of scientists from the University of Groningen have a leading role in this Centre. Part 1 of a series: the background to the Origins Centre.

Ben Feringa awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Date:05 October 2016

Ben Feringa is awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Feringa’s motors in the news
Date:19 December 2017

Chemical & Engineering News (a publication of the American Chemical Society) recently published two articles on papers by Ben Feringa: one about a muscle that is flexed by molecular motors and the other about a new environmentally friendly process that makes useful building blocks for plastic and pills.

‘Ridiculously busy is the new normal here’
Date:03 October 2017

Secretary Tineke Kalter was the first UG staff member to hear that Ben Feringa had been awarded the Nobel Prize. The effects are still noticeable a year later. ‘We still receive dozens of requests every day.’

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