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News overview 2023

Astronomers spot giant stream of stars between galaxies
Published on:30 November 2023

An international team of researchers has discovered a giant and extremely faint stream of stars between galaxies.

Succesful sanderlings go for shrimp
Published on:24 November 2023

Against the trends for many shorebirds, sanderlings have been doing relatively well in the Wadden Sea for the past years. The key to that success lies in the timing of these little birds' main food: shrimp on the mudflats.

Materials scientist finds clue to treat deadly hereditary illness
Published on:23 November 2023

Materials scientist Patrick van der Wel contributed to measurements that helped discover the root cause of a deadly metabolic illness called Barth syndrome. This could be a step towards a cure.

Two ERC Consolidator grants for FSE scientists
Published on:23 November 2023

English text will follow shortly

UG celebrates 70th anniversary of Nobel prize Frits Zernike
Published on:09 November 2023

On November 4, 1953, Professor Frits Zernike received the Nobel Prize in Physics. Exactly 70 years later, the University of Groningen is celebrating its platinum anniversary with a symposium and a microscopy public day at seventy locations throughout the province.

ESA presents first razor-sharp Euclid images of the cosmos
Published on:07 November 2023

On 7 November, the first full-colour images of the cosmos taken by ESA’s space telescope Euclid were presented. The University of Groningen is responsible for part of the data processing.

15 years of building molecules to fight tuberculosis: towards accessible testing for low-income countries
Published on:02 November 2023

Adri Minnaard builds pieces of the tuberculosis bacteria. According to him, this is the route to a more effective vaccine and simpler, more robust diagnostics.

Saying bye to biofilm
Published on:31 October 2023

When medical implants are infected, a layer of harmful bacteria forms on the surface of the implant: a biofilm. A team of 14 passionate graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Groningen and Minerva Art Academy took part in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) to tackle this problem. From November 2nd to 5th they will travel to Paris to present their final project to a panel of experts in the field of synthetic biology. Their name? Bye-o-film.

New computing hardware needs a theoretical basis
Published on:17 October 2023

Worldwide, scientists search for novel materials to build computer microchips for brain-like computers. However, there are no theoretical guidelines for the creation of these computers, even though this is crucial, argues Herbert Jaeger, Professor of Computing in Cognitive Materials at the University of Groningen.

These paintings show the future of optoelectronics
Published on:10 October 2023

Scientists at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, have just reproduced two famous paintings at the micrometre scale.

How a mega-telescope will show us the evolution of the Universe
Published on:03 October 2023

Astronomers at the University of Groningen are involved in the design and deployment of the European Extremely Large Telescope, while huge parts for this mega-telescope are being built at a special facility in Dwingeloo.

Researchers create ‘lipidomic map’ of tuberculosis bacteria, offering insights into immunology
Published on:27 September 2023

An international team of scientists has developed a method to detect thousands of lipid molecules that are displayed to the human immune system. This information can be used for the development of vaccines or anti-microbial treatments.

We’re going to put a radio telescope on the back side of the Moon
Published on:25 September 2023

Léon Koopmans wants to put a telescope on the moon to peer into the Cosmic Dark Ages

Gearing up towards light-switchable drugs
Published on:20 September 2023

An international team of researchers have resolved the fundamentals of the molecular switching behaviour of a specific class of switchable molecules called azonium compounds. This paves the way towards actual application of these compounds in developing light-controlled drugs.

The missing link to make easy protein sequencing possible?
Published on:18 September 2023

Giovanni Maglia has developed a method to transport proteins through a nanopore

Rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals from failing
Published on:18 September 2023

UG researcher Prajal Pradhan aims to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals from failing

Migratory birds adapt by moving north
Published on:14 September 2023

In an article that was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on 14 September, Biologists from the University of Groningen show how European pied flycatchers can adapt to climate change.

RUG students participate in the European Rover Challenge.
Published on:12 September 2023

From September 15th to 17th, teams from all over the world will compete in the European Rover Challenge, an event taking place at the Kielce University of Technology campus in Poland. On a special Mars circuit, known as the Mars Yard, participants will have their own designed Mars rovers perform various tasks on-site or remotely, based on real NASA and ESA missions. This ninth edition marks the first time a Dutch team, Makercie, is participating.

A self-powered sensor made from plants at the University Campus
Published on:12 September 2023

Macromolecular chemist Qi Chen from the University of Groningen used a problematic weed to build a tiny, self-powered sensor.

The first organic oscillator that makes catalysis swing
Published on:07 September 2023

Scientists at the University of Groningen have developed an oscillating system that contains a catalyst and exhibits periodic catalytic activity.

Responsible AI should be capable of logical reasoning
Published on:05 September 2023

Bart Verheij thinks that responsible AI should be capable of logical reasoning.

Mutation rates in whales are much higher than previously reported
Published on:31 August 2023

An international team of marine scientists, led by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the Center for Coastal Studies in the USA, has studied the DNA of family groups from four different whale species to estimate their mutation rates. Using the newly determined rates, the group found that the number of humpback whales in the North Atlantic before whaling was 86 percent lower than earlier studies suggested.

Evolving chemical system changes its environment
Published on:31 August 2023

A chemical system of synthetic replicators showing the first signs of Darwinian evolution: two different replicators compete for a common building block, and which one wins depends on the environment. As the replicators can also change their environment, ecological-evolutionary dynamics ensue. This finding shows that Darwinian principles extend beyond biology to synthetic systems.

Birds will tell the story of the Wadden area
Published on:24 July 2023

Nature in the Wadden area is under pressure, but what the consequences of climate change, tourism, environmental pollution or sea level rise are is still unclear. Using six bird species, researchers from the RUG, NIOZ, and the UVA want to find out what is going wrong and what protective measures work. Artists also play a role in this.

Tomato plants as the source of inspiration
Published on:20 July 2023

In the struggle to survive, plants have numerous tactics to ward off enemies. The wild tomato has a secret weapon as well: tiny hairs on its stem that act as a glue trap for flies and insects that wish to feast on the nutritious leaves. This weapon is a type of natural pesticide that proved to be the source of inspiration for Abinaya Arunachalam, a PhD student at the University of Groningen.

Picky green sea turtle has travelled to the same place to eat for generations
Published on:18 July 2023

For approximately 3,000 years, generations of green sea turtles have returned to the same seagrass meadows to eat. This highlights the importance of protecting seagrass meadows along the coasts of North Africa.

New target for antibiotics promises treatment for resistant superbugs
Published on:11 July 2023

Adéla Melcrová, biophysicist at the University of Groningen, and her colleagues discovered that the relatively new antibiotic AMC-109 affects the cell membrane of bacteria by disordering its organization. This differs from most other antibiotics and could open up new directions for future treatment and drug development.

What fruit flies can tell us about being social
Published on:05 July 2023

Professor of neurogenetics Jean-Christophe Billeter is convinced that all life is in essence social, even that of fruit flies

Creatieve ideeën over milieu en kringloop
Posted on:29 June 2023

Vier scholen van de Stichting Quadraten presenteerden donderdagochtend 29 juni van onderzoek door hun leerlingen over milieu en kringloop.

Wonderful and weird
Posted on:20 June 2023

Beatriz Noheda, Professor of Functional Nanomaterials at the University of Groningen, has studied the properties of hafnium oxide material and recently wrote a Perspective article for the journal Nature Materials on its properties for the journal Nature Materials for neuromorphic computing. ‘It is already used in devices, even though we do not understand all of the physics.’

Changing food choices to increase our chances of tackling global warming
Posted on:15 June 2023

Action to protect the planet against the impact of climate change will fall short unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the global food system, which now make up a third of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. These results are described in a paper by an international group of scientists led by the Universities of Groningen and Birmingham, which was published in Nature Food on 15 June.

MIRI instrument on JWST detects H-alpha emission during the Epoch of Reionization for the first time
Posted on:12 June 2023

MIRI instrument on JWST detects H-alpha emission during the Epoch of Reionization for the first time

Producing large, clean 2D materials made easy: just KISS
Posted on:01 June 2023

An international team of surface scientists has now developed a simple method to produce large and very clean 2D samples from a range of materials using three different substrates.

Seedfund for visual storytelling in science
Posted on:31 May 2023

Sciene LinX image editor Leoni von Ristok has received a grant from the University of Groningen Seed Fund for Public Engagement program. She will use the grant to develop a photo exhibition which shows the consequence of energy poverty world wide.

Outreach prize for explanation of complex quantum phenomenon
Posted on:25 May 2023

Martine Schut, a PhD student at the University of Groningen, enjoys talking about her research at the intersection of mathematics and physics. She presents lectures in schools on Einstein’s relativity theory and this Friday (26 May) she received a price for a popular article that she wrote about an experiment that could prove that gravity is a quantum phenomenon.

Scientists find first evidence for new superconducting state in Ising superconductor
Posted on:24 May 2023

In a ground-breaking experiment, scientists from the University of Groningen have discovered the existence of a superconductive state that was first predicted in 2017. This discovery could have significant applications, particularly in the field of superconducting electronics.

Salt marshes protect the coast – but not where it is needed most
Posted on:10 May 2023

Scientists from the University of Groningen and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), in collaboration with the local water authority, have monitored wave run-up during storms over a three-year period. The results help the water authority to quantify the protective effect of salt marshes.

Hoe schoon is de lucht in gemeente Het Hogeland? Meet mee!
Posted on:25 April 2023

In het najaar van 2019 heeft de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) bijna 1000 fijnstofsensoren in Noord-Nederland uitgezet. Deze slimme kastjes, bij mensen thuis, meten de hoeveelheid fijnstof.

Outstanding performance of organic solar cell using tin oxide
Posted on:24 April 2023

Organic solar cells have a photoactive layer that is made from polymers and small molecules. The cells are very thin, can be flexible, and are easy to make. However, the efficiency of these cells is still much below that of conventional silicon-based ones. Applied physicists from the University of Groningen have now fabricated an organic solar cell with an efficiency of over 17 percent, which is in the top range for this type of material.

Students visit IMAGINARY
Posted on:07 April 2023

The temporary exhibition IMAGINARY, about the beauty of mathematics, can be seen in the Bernoulliborg and the Energy Academy during the month of April. On Tuesday, April 4, about one hundred VWO4 students from different secondary schools in the northern Netherlands visited the Zernike campus, where they received two guest lectures on Astronomy and Chemistry in the morning. After lunch, they actively participated in workshops in smaller groups and were given a tour of the interactive IMAGINARY exhibition by a student assistant.

Basic science shows how a single mutation causes ataxia
Posted on:03 April 2023

Researchers from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) have elucidated how a single mutation causes a neurological disease that causes transient loss of muscle control.

Modelling superfast processes in organic solar cell material
Posted on:15 March 2023

In organic solar cells, carbon-based polymers convert light into charges that are passed to an acceptor. Scientists from the University of Groningen have now calculated how this happens by combining molecular dynamics simulations with quantum calculations and have provided theoretical insights to interpret experimental data.

Stargazing in the Bernoulliborg
Posted on:14 March 2023

Saturday 25 February. The moon is shining brightly above the Bernoulliborg. On this clear evening, Orion and the small dipper are high in the sky. In light of the national stargazing days, the Blaauw Observatory is open to the public tonight. I am here in the Bernoulliborg, together with around 250 other curious people. The group is diverse: there are many families with young children but also younger and older couples who are interested in this stargazing event.

Aan de slag met hergebruik in vierde editie Next Education
Posted on:14 March 2023

De vierde editie van het project Next Education is van start. Dit jaar gaan de kinderen aan de slag met kringlopen: hoe kunnen kringlopen in hun eigen omgeving zoals op school, thuis en in buurt anders, beter of zelfs nieuw vormgegeven worden?

2023 Izatt-Christensen Award for Prof. Sijbren Otto
Posted on:08 March 2023

Sijbren Otto, professor of systems chemistry at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, has received the 2023 Izatt-Christensen Award for being a pioneer of supramolecular systems chemistry, taking supramolecular chemistry into completely new directions.

Complex oxides could power the computers of the future
Posted on:07 March 2023

Materials scientists from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, describe in two papers how complex oxides can be used to create very energy-efficient magneto-electric spin-orbit (MESO) devices and memristive devices with reduced dimensions.

Cells avoid multitasking
Posted on:28 February 2023

Textbooks will tell you that in dividing cells, production of new DNA peaks during the S-phase, while production of other macromolecules, such as proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides, continues at more or less the same level. Molecular biologists at the University of Groningen, led by professor Matthias Heinemann, have now discovered that this is not true.

Science LinX newsletter March 2023
Posted on:28 February 2023

Science LinX newsletter March 2023

Evolutionary history of detoxifying enzymes reconstructed
Posted on:27 February 2023

University of Groningen biochemists have succeeded in resurrecting the ancestral genes of five detoxifying enzyms which are present in all tetrapods to show how their divergence in function has occurred.

Intertidal areas are of worldwide importance to sharks and rays
Posted on:23 February 2023

Intertidal areas are of greater worldwide importance to sharks and rays than previously thought. Researchers from the University of Groningen and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) have discovered that intertidal areas—coastal areas with sand flats that fall dry at low tide—are important feeding grounds and hiding places for, for example, endangered species of shark and ray.

A visit to the Meet-o-theek in Forum Groningen
Posted on:21 February 2023

On the sixth floor of Forum Groningen, in a corner of the Smartlab, you can find the very first ‘meet-o-theek’ – a library for measuring instruments – of the Netherlands. The collection currently comprises 67 tools, such as wildlife cameras, air quality monitors, smart plugs, telescopes and various microscopes. This way, devices that are too expensive to purchase for some, are available to anybody that would like to use them.

The secrets of polydopamine coatings revealed
Posted on:16 February 2023

University of Groningen scientists have now shown through direct measurements what the versatile polydopamine coatings really look like.

Unnecessary burden of war
Posted on:16 February 2023

Governments could help millions of people and save a lot of money with targeted energy subsidies. Different kinds of households around the world suffer in various ways from the exorbitant energy prices and need different kinds of support, states Klaus Hubacek from the University of Groningen in a new study that was published {today} in Nature Energy.

Dutch organizations combine knowledge about controlling salinization in deltas in a new Institute
Posted on:08 February 2023

Dutch organizations combine knowledge about controlling salinization in deltas in a new Institute

The future of carbon is green
Posted on:02 February 2023

Our society must end its addiction to oil and gas. This means that we need a new source of hydrocarbons, the carbon compounds from which fuels and many fossil-based materials are made.

EU consumers 'export' environment damage
Posted on:26 January 2023

European Union consumers are 'exporting' negative environmental impacts to their Eastern European neighbours, whilst keeping the bulk of economic benefits linked to consuming goods and services, a new study reveals.

Flying on carbon dioxide
Posted on:19 January 2023

At the University of Groningen, Jingxiu Xie combines her knowledge of catalysis and chemical engineering to produce kerosene from carbon dioxide.

Laboratories are going green
Posted on:18 January 2023

Conducting your research in the most environmentally friendly way possible, one might think that this is a common method for scientists. However, this is not the case yet. Thomas Freese, coordinator of the LEAF project and member of Green Labs, is trying to bring about change.

One-pot reaction creates versatile building block for bioactive molecules
Posted on:13 January 2023

Chemists from the University of Groningen have found a simple way to produce previously inaccessible chiral Z-alkenes, molecules that offer a significant synthetic short-cut for the production of bioactive molecules. Instead of eight to ten synthetic steps to produce these molecules, the new reaction can be done in three steps.

Endangered mammals of Madagascar
Posted on:11 January 2023

A new study reveals that it would take 3 million years to recover the number of species that went extinct due to humans on Madagascar. However, if currently threatened species go extinct, recovering them would take more than 20 million years, much longer than what has previously been found on any other island.

Human-approved medication brings back 'lost' memories in mice
Posted on:09 January 2023

Students sometimes pull an all-nighter to prepare for an exam. However, research has shown that sleep deprivation is bad for your memory. Now, University of Groningen neuroscientist Robbert Havekes discovered that what you learn while being sleep deprived is not necessarily lost, it is just difficult to recall.

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