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News overview 2018


Science LinX newsletter February 2018
Posted on:31 October 2017

Science LinX newsletter for February 2018

New model brings spintronic transistor a step closer
Posted on:09 January 2018

University of Groningen PhD student Siddhartha Omar has analyzed the noise in spin transport. His findings, which were published in the journal Physical Reviews B, pave the way to improving spin transport. This is necessary for building a transistor based on the principle.

Slow 'hot electrons' could improve solar cell efficiency
Posted on:16 January 2018

Photons with energy higher than the 'band gap' of the semiconductor absorbing them give rise to what are known as hot electrons. The extra energy in respect to the band gap is lost very fast, as it is converted into heat so it does not contribute to the voltage. University of Groningen Professor of Photophysics and Optoelectronics Maria Antonietta Loi has now found a material in which these hot electrons retain their high energy levels for much longer. Her results were published on 16 January in Nature Communications.

New metal-semiconductor interface for brain-inspired computing
Posted on:22 January 2018

One of the big challenges in computer architecture is integrating storage, memory and processing in one unit. This would make computers faster and more energy efficient. University of Groningen physicist Tamalika Banerjee has taken a big step towards this goal. Her results were published on 22 January in Scientific Reports.

New method makes the most of biomass
Posted on:23 January 2018

In a sustainable society, we need to use renewable sources for the manufacture of carbon-based products rather than fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic biomass is available in abundance, but refining this into useful compounds is tricky. Now, University of Groningen chemists have developed a catalytic method that completely breaks down lignocellulose and converts the resulting molecules into a variety of useful building blocks.

Ben Feringa at the World Economic Forum: invest in the long term
Posted on:25 January 2018

During the World Economic Forum, the annual meeting of leaders in industry, science and politics, University of Groningen chemistry professor Ben Feringa was also given the floor. In a live-streamed interview, he stressed the importance of fundamental research.


Islands in yeast membrane revealed by extreme microscopy
Posted on:05 February 2018

University of Groningen microbiologists have visualized tiny islands in the cell membrane of baker’s yeast. These membrane compartments appear to store transport proteins before use. They made these observations with state-of-the-art super-resolution optical microscopy. The results were published in Nature Communication on 5 February.

Open Day attracts prospective international students to Groningen
Posted on:06 February 2018

On Friday 2 February 10,000 prospective students (some accompanied by their parents) came to Groningen to explore the city and find out more about the programme they are considering studying at the UG. Over 4,000 visited the science department in Antonius Deusinglaan, Bernoulliborg and the Energy Academy.

RE:charge in Hoogezand
Posted on:13 February 2018

A solar park is sustainable, but it can spoil your view if you live next door to one. Neighbours of the planned Midden Groningen solar park in Hoogezand were therefore invited to have their say on how to make the panels blend into the landscape. Science LinX also attended the meeting in De Gouden Zon restaurant on 6 February, with a popup version of its RE:charge exhibition.

LOFAR radio telescope shows how lightning grows
Posted on:16 February 2018

The Dutch LOFAR radio telescope, which fans out over a large part of Europe from the Northern Netherlands, can observe the creation of lightning flashes. These high-resolution observations may lead to better lightning protection. The results were published on 16 February in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Science LinX newsletter March 2018
Posted on:28 February 2018

Science LinX newsletter for March 2018


Practical spin wave transistor one step closer
Posted on:02 March 2018

University of Groningen physicists have managed to alter the flow of spin waves through a magnet, using only an electrical current. This is a huge step towards the spin transistor that is needed to construct spintronic devices. These promise to be much more energy efficient than conventional electronics. The results were published on 2 March in Physical Review Letters.

Chemistry rules at FameLab Groningen
Posted on:14 March 2018

On Thursday 8 March ten young scientists gathered at Groninger Forum for the regional heat of FameLab Netherlands, the annual international science communication competition organized by the British Council. The aim was to share their passion for science with the audience in a three-minute presentation.

'New life form' answers question about evolution of cells
Posted on:15 March 2018

Bacteria and Archaea must have evolved from the putative Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists from the University of Groningen and Wageningen University have created such a life form.

Shedding light on the mystery of the superconducting dome
Posted on:20 March 2018

University of Groningen physicists, and colleagues from Nijmegen and Hong Kong, have induced superconductivity in a monolayer of tungsten disulfide.  Their results show the typical 'dome-shaped' superconducting phase, and finally provide an explanation for this phenomenon.

Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life
Posted on:21 March 2018

Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests, but city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins. These findings from a study in five European cities led by University of Groningen biologists were published in Biology Letters on 21 March.

Ingenieursfeest in Groningen
Posted on:22 March 2018

Op 21 maart was het feest bij het Groningen Engineering Center (GEC). Het was namelijk de Dag van de Ingenieur, een jaarlijks evenement van het Koninklijk Instituut Van Ingenieurs (KIVI). De editie van 2018 vond plaats in het Energy Academy Building in Groningen met het GEC als gastheer. Ook Science LinX was erbij.

Science LinX newsletter April 2018
Posted on:29 March 2018

Science LinX newsletter for April 2018

Jan Kommandeurprijs 2018
Posted on:30 March 2018

De winnaars van de Jan Kommandeurpriijs 2018 zijn Sacha Brons en Wytze Walstra met het werkstuk ‘Growing Pavements’. De Jan Kommandeurpriijs is een wedstrijd voor het beste profielwerkstuk met een exact onderwerp.


Renske de Jonge new manager of Science LinX
Posted on:05 April 2018

Renske de Jonge is the new programme manager of Science LinX, the science centre of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Groningen). From April 2018, she takes over from Bart van de Laar, who founded Science LinX in 2008.

Creating a 2D platinum magnet
Posted on:05 April 2018

University of Groningen physicists have induced magnetism in platinum with an electric field created by a paramagnetic ionic liquid. As only the surface of the platinum is affected, this creates a switchable 2D ferromagnet. The study was published in Science Advances on 6 April.

Bèta battle: Praedinius wint opnieuw
Posted on:10 April 2018

Maandag 9 april streden 144 scholieren van twaalf middelbare scholen met elkaar in de finale van de Bèta Battle 2018. Scoren op de workshops en hoog vliegen met je waterraket, daar draaide het deze dag om.

Broken glass wins biologist prestigious grant
Posted on:10 April 2018

In May, molecular biologist Geert van den Bogaart will open his lab at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen. This newly appointed professor has just received a prestigious grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

European research project to build new generation of leg prostheses
Posted on:12 April 2018

Zeven onderzoeksinstituten hebben een grote Europese subsidie ontvangen om een nieuw type beenprothese te gaan maken. Robot-ingenieur Rafaella Carloni van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen leidt het project van 4,5 miljoen euro. De officiële start vindt dan ook plaats in Groningen, op 16 en 17 april.

New data release sparks astronomy revolution
Posted on:24 April 2018

The second data release of the European Gaia mission, which aims to make the largest, most precise three-dimensional map ever of our own and neighbouring satellite galaxies, will have an impact on astronomy across the board, from the Solar System to dark matter and cosmological models. That is the opinion of University of Groningen astronomy professor Amina Helmi, who was involved in the quality assessment for the release.

Internationaal goud voor winnaars Jan Kommandeurprijs!
Posted on:25 April 2018

Vijf middelbare scholieren gingen namens de RUG naar deInternational Conference for Young Scientistsin Belgrado om hun profielwerkstuk te presenteren. Ze sleepten daar twee gouden medailles in de wacht.

Op naar de Hannover Messe!
Posted on:25 April 2018

Zo’n zeshonderd scholieren, ook uit het Netwerk Noord scholierennetwerk, deden dit jaar mee aan de Hannover Messe Challenge, het ‘grootste schoolreisje ter wereld’. Na een voorbereidingsdag aan de Universiteit Twente vertrokken ze naar Hannover.

Science LinX newsletter May 2018
Posted on:26 April 2018

Science LinX newsletter for May 2018


Science LinX newsletter June 2018
Posted on:31 May 2018

Science LinX newsletter for June 2018

First superconducting transistor at practical voltage and temperature
Posted on:29 May 2018

A team of physicists from the University of Groningen led by Associate Professor Justin Ye has constructed a superconducting transistor that operates at a few K elvin. This type of transistor could be used in quantum logic circuits. The results were published on 28 May in the journal Advanced Materials.

Quantum effects observed in photosynthesis
Posted on:22 May 2018

Molecules that are involved in photosynthesis exhibit the same quantum effects as non-living matter, concludes an international team of scientists including University of Groningen theoretical physicist Thomas la Cour Jansen. The results were published in Nature Chemistry on 21 May.

Petra Rudolf next EPS President-elect
Posted on:09 May 2018

Petra Rudolf is the next President-elect of the European Physical Society (EPS). She will take up office as the President in April 2019. Representing all national physical societies in Europe (including Turkey and Israel), the EPS studies issues of concern to all European countries relating to physics research, science policy and education. Rudolf, professor in Experimental Solid State Physics at the University of Groningen, will be leading the EPS for two years.

Holiday special: A Capella Science
Posted on:01 May 2018

It is the May Holiday, but not everyone is off to sunnier places. There are even people at work! For those who stayed home and work hard, Science LinX has something relaxing: A Capella Science, or science in a song.

Computer makes enzymes faster and better
Posted on:08 March 2018

University of Groningen biotechnologists used a computational method to redesign aspartase and convert it to a catalyst for asymmetric hydroamination reactions. This successful proof of principle study was published in Nature Chemical Biology on 21 May.


Scientists reveal structure of amino acid transporter involved in cancer
Posted on:06 June 2018

The human glutamine transporter ASCT2 is upregulated in several forms of cancer. It is also the docking platform for a wide range of pathogenic retroviruses. A team of University of Groningen scientists have used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the structure of the protein, which may generate leads for drug development.

New GAIA data reveals mergers in Milky Way
Posted on:12 June 2018

University of Groningen astronomers have discovered relics of merger events in the Milky Way halo. Five small groups of stars appear to represent mergers with smaller galaxies, while a big ‘blob’ comprising hundreds of stars appears to be the remnant of a large merger event.

Groningse meiden bieden techniekpact aan
Posted on:21 June 2018

De “Pretty Smart Power Girls” uit Noordhorn, die dit jaar de met steun van onder meer Science LinX en het Groningen Engineering Center naar de wereldfinale van de FIRST LEGO League in Detroit gingen, hebben maandag 18 juni het nieuwe ‘Nationaal Techniekpact’ aangeboden aan Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap.


Designer enzyme uses unnatural amino acid for catalysis
Posted on:28 June 2018

University of Groningen chemists have created a new enzyme with an unnatural amino acid as its active centre. Further modifications of the reactive site can create different enzymes for use in chemical synthesis. A description of the new enzyme was published in Nature Chemistry on 2 July.

‘Education in science and technology is important’
Posted on:10 July 2018

For the last seventeen years, University of Groningen astronomer Mariano Mendez has been working hard to give this same opportunity to over 1,500 astronomers from developing countries. On 15 July, he will receive the COSPAR Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts.

Energetic Energy Challenge Final
Posted on:11 July 2018

Pupils from primary and secondary schools have been busy since January devising and implementing ways to save energy at school. On Friday, 29 June, teams from 28 schools met at the North Netherlands Energy Challenge Final on the former Suikerunie site in Groningen.

New iGEM team to teach yeast cells to make bioplastic
Posted on:12 July 2018

The UG team that entered this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, in which student teams use synthetic biology to give organisms new properties, began working full time on its entry this week. In their lab in Linnaeusborg, they want to teach yeast cells to convert cellulose into styrene, a building block for plastic.

Science LinX newsletter July/August 2018
Posted on:12 July 2018

Science LinX newsletter for July/August 2018

Super telescope brings astronomers closer to understanding Dark Matter
Posted on:17 July 2018

Astronomers using a global network of radio telescopes have produced one of the sharpest astronomical images ever. The resulting image demonstrates that dark matter is distributed unevenly across a distant galaxy.

New project aims to produce green kerosene
Posted on:24 July 2018

An international consortium led by University of Groningen chemical engineer Erik Heeres has received EUR 4 million in funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research programme to develop a new, more efficient method for the production of liquid fuels from biomass. Within four years, the new process should be working in the lab.


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Green ink for 3D prints in filmed article
Posted on:13 September 2018

A collaborative project between the UG, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and two businesses has produced a ‘green’ ink for a special type of 3D printer. An academic article about this was published at the start of the year and the experiment has also now been filmed for the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

Graphene bilayer provides efficient transport and control of spins
Posted on:20 September 2018

University of Groningen physicists in collaboration with a theoretical physics group from Universität Regensburg have built an optimized bilayer graphene device which displays both long spin lifetimes and electrically controllable spin-lifetime anisotropy. It has the potential for practical applications such as spin-based logic devices.

Science LinX newsletter October 2018
Posted on:27 September 2018

Science LinX newsletter for October 2018


Defects promise quantum communication through standard optical fiber
Posted on:01 October 2018

An international team of scientists led by the University of Groningen's Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials has identified a way to create quantum bits that emit photons that describe their state at wavelengths close to those used by telecom providers.

Blackbirds have more white feathers in the city
Posted on:04 October 2018

In the first systematic study of leucism (the total or partial lack of black and brown pigments in feathers) in blackbirds, biologists from the University of Groningen show that it is more common in urban than in forest populations. They have a number of explanations for this phenomenon, some of which could have consequences for human city dwellers.

New method measures single molecules from nanoliter of blood in real time
Posted on:05 October 2018

University of Groningen scientists, led by Associate Professor of Chemical Biology Giovanni Maglia, have designed a nanopore system that is capable of measuring different metabolites simultaneously in a variety of biological fluids, all in a matter of seconds. The electrical output signal is easily integrated into electronic devices for home diagnostics. The results were published in Nature Communications.

Hands-on science and discovery at Zpannend Zernike
Posted on:09 October 2018

An array of venues opened their doors in the city centre on Saturday 6 October and at Zernike Campus on Sunday 7 October during the 'Zpanned Zernike' science fair.

Building artificial muscles from nano- to macroscale
Posted on:11 October 2018

Roboticist Raffaella Carloni wants to build artificial muscles that are inspired by nature, made from nanofibers that, once bundled together, form artificial myofibrils and fascicles. Carloni’s idea has become a European research project and has its kick-off meeting on 15 October at the University of Groningen.

Understanding the building blocks for an electronic brain
Posted on:18 October 2018

University of Groningen physicists have developed memristors, resistors with a memory, made from niobium-doped strontium titanate, which mimic how neurons work. Their results were published in the Journal of Applied Physics on 21 October.

Nanosized ferroelectrics become a reality
Posted on:18 October 2018

Using ferroelectricity instead of magnetism in computer memory saves energy. If ferroelectric bits were nanosized, this would also save space. University of Groningen (UG) physicists show how this could become a reality in a paper published in Nature Materials on 22 October.

Profielwerkstuk EHBO
Posted on:24 October 2018

Tijdens de Open Dag van de RUG op 9 november kun je op de Zernike Campus terecht met vragen over je profielwerkstuk in de profielwerkstuk-EHBO-truck.

Dark and clear Night of Nights
Posted on:30 October 2018

The Blaauw Observatory of the University of Groningen welcomed a record number of 420 visitors on October 27, for the annual Night of Nights.

Science LinX newsletter November 2018
Posted on:31 October 2018

Science LinX newsletter for November 2018


Science LinX newsletter December 2018
Posted on:31 October 2018

Science LinX newsletter for December 2018

Enthousiasme over moleculen
Posted on:08 November 2018

Recensie: wetenschapsjournalist Esther Thole heeft het boek ‘Makers van leven’ geschreven, over het bouwen van leven en op de biologie geïnspireerde materialen om uit te leggen hoe dat gaat.

Styrene Steve wins University of Groningen iGEM team a gold medal
Posted on:13 November 2018

An ambitious plan to create a yeast cell that will turn cellulose into styrene, the building block of polystyrene plastics, has brought success to the University of Groningen team participating in this year’s iGEM competition.

When not seeing is believing
Posted on:14 November 2018

A year ago, astronomers identified the first interstellar visitor to our solar system, ‘Oumuamua.Despite a whopping 33 hours of observation time, ‘Oumuamua proved too faint for the Spitzer space telescope to see. Nevertheless, this allowed the observation team to draw significant conclusions.

A closer look at the communication packages of cells
Posted on:23 November 2018

Wouter Roos, professor of Molecular Biophysics at the RUG, described as first with colleagues from Amsterdam and Utrecht the mechanical properties of these exosomes from red blood cells. The results have been published in de scientific journal Nature Communications on 23 February.

Microbes ‘MacGyver’ membrane transport
Posted on:26 November 2018

Scientists from the University of Groningen, together with colleagues from Germany and Spain, have described a system that combines a pore and a transporter to import potassium ions into cells against an extreme concentration gradient. The results were published in Nature Communications on 26 November.

How antibiotics help spread resistance
Posted on:27 November 2018

Microbiologists from the University of Groningen (UG) and the University of Lausanne describe a new mechanism by which Streptococcus pneumoniae can become competent, and why biofilms may be important in this process. Their results were published in Cell Reports on November 27.


Rewriting the past
Posted on:13 December 2018

Global spikes in carbon concentration which occur sporadically may help us pinpoint historic events to a single year. Unfortunately, the cause of the spikes may also create chaos for our civilization.

Super-flat silicon device enables new far-infrared spectrometer
Posted on:18 December 2018

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research has designed a device which is able to filter just one wavelength of far-infrared light from a light beam and can be used in astronomical observations. Bachelor’s student Carolien Feenstra first built a prototype and then the real instrument, which was tested in Canada in late November.

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