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Tubby protein
New molecular motor runs on chemical fuel
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.

Science LinX newsletter September
Date:01 September 2022

Science LinX newsletter September

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.


Science LinX newsletter July/August
Date:30 June 2022

Science LinX newsletter July/August

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’.

Sensor imperfections are perfect for forensic camera analysis
Date:21 June 2022

In a project aimed at developing intelligent tools to fight child exploitation, University of Groningen computer scientists have developed a system to analyse the noise produced by individual cameras. This information can be used to link a video or an image to a particular camera.

Fecal transplant throws new light on inflammatory bowel disease
Date:03 June 2022

Inflammatory bowel disease is accompanied by a number of changes in the intestines, such as a change in epithelial permeability, a change in the composition of the microorganisms, and altered levels of antimicrobial substances that are secreted by cells lining the gut. Finding out whether changes are a cause or an effect of the inflammation is difficult. Sahar El Aidy, a microbiologist at the University of Groningen, together with colleagues from San Diego (US), have now teased out the causal chain leading to inflammation.

‘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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