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News overview 2019

December

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November

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October

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September

Scientists construct energy production unit for a synthetic cell
When:18 September 2019

Scientists at the University of Groningen have constructed synthetic vesicles in which ATP, the main energy carrier in living cells, is produced. This metabolic network will eventually be used in the creation of synthetic cells.

All-electronic two-dimensional spin transistors
When:12 September 2019

Physicists from the University of Groningen constructed a two-dimensional spin transistor, in which spin currents were generated by an electric current through graphene.

At the edge of chaos, powerful new electronics could be created
When:03 September 2019

A phenomenon that is well known from chaos theory was observed in a material for the first time ever, by scientists from the University of Groningen. This ‘spatial chaos’ in a material was first predicted in 1985 and could be used in applications such as adaptable neuromorphic electronics.

Science LinX newsletter September 2019
When:03 September 2019

Science LinX newsletter for September 2019

August

Antacid helps tuberculosis bacteria to survive
When:19 August 2019

University of Groningen scientists, with an international team of colleagues, have now discovered a key mechanism in the tuberculosis bacteria which prevents the immune cells from killing them: the bacteria produce a unique type of antacid which gives the immune cells indigestion.

New Zealand’s biodiversity will take millions of years to recover
When:05 August 2019

The arrival of humans in New Zealand, some 700 years ago, triggered a wave of extinction among native bird species. Calculations by scientists from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Massey University in New Zealand show that it would take at least 50 million years of evolution to restore the biodiversity that has been lost.

July

Scientists in business
When:16 July 2019

On 24 June, Paul Zomer defended his PhD thesis at the University of Groningen. Zomer used the technological know-how that he acquired during his research at the company HQ Graphene, which he co-owns with Niko Tombros.

Science LinX newsletter July/August 2019
When:10 July 2019

Science LinX newsletter for July/August 2019

Small-volume, high-throughput organic synthesis
When:09 July 2019

University of Groningen Professor of Drug Design, Alexander Dömling, has devised a method to rapidly synthesize thousands of new molecules and evaluate their properties as potential drugs. In a paper published by Science Advances on 5 July, he shows that this method works well when applied to boronic acid chemistry, an important technique in synthetic organic chemistry.

June

New instrument will add to Gaia data
When:21 June 2019

Professor of Astronomy Amina Helmi investigates how the Milky Way got its present shape. The Gaia satellite mission, in which she plays an important role, has provided a cornucopia of data so far. Now, Helmi is involved in the building of a new instrument that will be mounted onto an Earth-based telescope and that will provide even more information.

Using waves to move droplets
When:14 June 2019

Self-cleaning surfaces and laboratories on a chip become even more efficient if we are able to control individual droplets. University of Groningen professor Patrick Onck, together with colleagues from Eindhoven University of Technology, have shown that this is possible by using a technique known as mechanowetting.

May

Turning organic waste into green gold
When:16 May 2019

Pyrolysis, heating in the absence of oxygen, is a technique to turn wood chips into valuable chemicals. University of Groningen Professor of Chemical Engineering Erik Heeres is involved in producing ‘green gold’ from organic waste.

A guide to 'Leading your Research Team in Science'
When:15 May 2019

So, you want to be a scientist? In that case, know that simply mastering your chosen subject is only the beginning. Fortunately, there is a series of books about these three topics, written by University of Groningen Dean of Talent Development Ritsert Jansen.

Novel molecular multi-step photoswitches caught in the act
When:08 May 2019

Scientists at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry at the University of Groningen, together with collaborators from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Twente and the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy in Italy, have been able to follow the entire sequence of structural transformations in a new class of molecular switches for the first time.

Modelling an inconvenient truth about carbon footprints
When:02 May 2019

In his latest paper, newly appointed Professor in Energy and Environmental Scienceis Klaus Hubacek describes how Chinese cities export their pollution to neighbouring regions. His work combines economics and environmental science into models that show the global consequences of regional policies.

April

Darwin can help your doctor
When:30 April 2019

Taking an evolutionary view can inspire new ideas in clinical microbiology. That is why clinicians, bioinformaticians analysing pathogens and evolutionary biologists should all work together. These are the conclusions of a diverse group of scientists led by University of Groningen microbiologist Marjon de Vos, in a short review published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases on 29 April.

Secondary school pupils field test teaching module
When:25 April 2019

On 9 April, more than 40 pupils from the Leeuwarder Lyceum and the RSG De Lindenborg from the municipality of Leek visited a farmer to explore ‘sustainable landscapes’. In a masterclass, they got a first impression of the research project that they will be working on over the next eight weeks.

Fitting a right hand in a left-handed mitten
When:25 April 2019

University of Groningen scientists have now shown that a prokaryotic transport protein can transport both L- and D- versions of the amino acid aspartate with equal efficiency. The results were published in the journal eLife on 24 April.

Secondary school pupils experience the Hannover Messe
When:23 April 2019

The five groups of pupils nominated for the Jan Kommandeur prize for their final school projects were invited to the Hannover Messe Challenge on 1 and 2 April. This event is the largest technology and innovation fair in the world!

New compound allows bacterial communication to be controlled by light
When:15 April 2019

Scientists from the University of Groningen have succeeded in incorporating a light-controlled switch into a molecule used by bacteria for quorum sensing – a process by which bacteria communicate and subsequently control different cellular processes.

Meteorites and gut bacteria are the winners of FameLab 2019
When:04 April 2019

The University Museum was the venue of this year’s Groningen heat of the international science communication competition FameLab, which took place on 28 March.

High throughput method to produce and screen engineered antimicrobial lanthipeptides
When:02 April 2019

Molecular biologists from the University of Groningen and their colleagues in Switzerland and Germany have now developed a pipeline to create and screen large numbers of new lantibiotic peptides. A description of the method and the first results were published on 1 April in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

March

Finding your future job at the Beta Business Days
When:25 March 2019

The 32nd edition of the Beta Business Days took place on 11 and 12 March. Beta (science, engineering and technology) students entered the MartiniPlaza to immerse themselves into their future career possibilities.

Bridging the gap between society and science
When:22 March 2019

The 40th anniversary of the six UG ‘science shops’ was celebrated in style at the University Museum on Thursday 21 March. The Museum’s upstairs room was adorned with scientific posters presenting research carried out by the science shops.

Making solar cells can be like buttering bread
When:21 March 2019

Formamidinium lead iodide is a very good material for photovoltaic cells, but getting the correct and stable crystal structure is a challenge. Now, University of Groningen scientists, led by Professor of Photophysics and Optoelectronics Maria Antonietta Loi, think they have cracked it.

Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework
When:18 March 2019

Organic chemists at the University of Groningen have succeeded in integrating numerous unidirectional light-driven rotary motors into a metal-organic framework (a solid material with a 3D cage-like structure). Details of their discovery were published on 18 March, in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Subsidie voor onderzoek ziekte van Huntington
When:15 March 2019

Vorige week werd bekend dat adjunct hoogleraar Patrick van der Wel van de RUG een subsidie van 250.000 euro heeft ontvangen van het Campagneteam Huntington, een organisatie die via crowdfunding geld ophaalt voor wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar de ziekte van Huntington.

How a mitochondrial enzyme can trigger cell death
When:14 March 2019

Using solid-state NMR, University of Groningen Associate Professor Patrick van der Wel and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh have discovered how the enzyme cytochrome c induces programmed cell death.

Novel potent antimicrobial from thermophilic bacterium
When:12 March 2019

University of Groningen microbiologists and their colleagues from Lithuania have discovered a new glycocin, a small antimicrobial peptide with a sugar group attached, which is produced by a thermophilic bacterium and is stable at relatively high temperatures.

Student designs DIY finger exoskeleton
When:07 March 2019

University of Groningen Biomedical Engineering student Sander Hekkelman designed an ‘exoskeleton’ that can support a finger.

Two papers describe how a membrane protein can move both lipids and ions
When:07 March 2019

In a new study, published in two back-to-back papers in the journal eLife , Cristina Paulino, head of the cryo-EM unit at the Structural Biology department at the University of Groningen, reveals how a protein family can either transport ions, or both ions and lipids.

February

Science LinX newsletter March 2019
When:28 February 2019

Science LinX newsletter for March 2019

Better understanding of spin transfer to non-conducting magnets
When:27 February 2019

A new study by scientists from the Universities of Groningen and Manchester, which was published in Applied Physics Letters on 21 February 2019, shows how best to study this transfer from electonspins to a non-conductive magnet.

Telescopes to hunt for origin of gravitational waves assembled in Groningen
When:26 February 2019

At the SRON Groningen workshop, scientists and technicians have assembled three survey telescopes to look for the optical source of gravitational waves.

Secondary school pupils become citizen scientists
When:21 February 2019

In September 2017, Science LinX started an EU-funded project to involve secondary school pupils and their teachers from the Netherlands, Spain and Cyprus in research as real ‘citizen scientists’. Project leader Maaike de Heij explains what has been done so far.

Nanopores make portable mass spectrometer for peptides a reality
When:19 February 2019

University of Groningen scientists have developed nanopores that can be used to directly measure the mass of peptides. An article on this discovery was published on 19 February in Nature Communications.

Oproep: steun fonds voor wetenschapsmusea en science centers
When:19 February 2019

VSC, de sectororganisatie van wetenschapsmusea en science centers waar ook Science LinX bij aangesloten is, vraagt om het instellen van een speciaal fonds of een regeling voor het financieren van goede wetenschapscommunicatie.

How poppy flowers get those vibrant colours that entice insects
When:08 February 2019

University of Groningen scientists Casper van der Kooi and Doekele Stavenga used microscopy and mathematical models describing how light interacts with petals of poppies, to find out how the vibrant colours are created.

First transport measurements reveal intriguing properties of germanene
When:07 February 2019

Scientists led by Prof. Justin Ye of the University of Groningen have now managed to produce devices with stable germanene. The material is an insulator, and it becomes a semiconductor after moderate heating and a very good metallic conductor after stronger heating.

Ferroelectric polymers made more versatile
When:05 February 2019

The ferroelectric polymer PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) has interesting properties and could be used to store information or energy. University of Groningen scientists have created block copolymers from PVDF that leave its ferroelectricity intact, but allow them to tune its characteristics.

Theoretical model may help solve molecular mystery
When:05 February 2019

When it comes to realizing low-power electronic devices, spintronics look promising. However, to generate a suitable spin current, you need a relatively large magnet. An alternative method that uses a special type of molecule has been proposed, but the big question is: does it work? University of Groningen PhD student Xu Yang has constructed a theoretical model which describes how to put this new method to the test.

January

Science LinX newsletter February 2019
When:31 January 2019

Science LinX newsletter for February 2019

Green alternative to PET could be even greener
When:30 January 2019

An alternative to PET can be made from bio-based furan molecules, but to polymerize these furans you need toxic catalysts and high temperatures. Now, polymer chemists from the University of Groningen, led by Prof. Katja Loos, have described an enzyme-based polymerization method.

How gut bacteria affect the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
When:18 January 2019

In a study published on 18 January in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Groningen show that gut bacteria can metabolize levodopa into dopamine. As dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, this makes the medication less effective.

Complex molecules emerge without evolution or design
When:17 January 2019

A team of scientists led by University of Groningen Professor of Systems Chemistry, Sijbren Otto, have discovered a new class of complex folding molecules that emerge spontaneously from simple building blocks. The results were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on 16 January.

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