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News overview 2024

We are betting the bank on hydrogen. But are we ready for it?
Published on:21 May 2024

Green hydrogen holds many promises. But grey hydrogen from natural gas is still much cheaper, storage of hydrogen is not trivial and as an indirect greenhouse gas is not as clean as it might look.

Nieuwe steen voor graf Frits Zernike en zus Elisabeth
Published on:15 May 2024

Er is een nieuwe steen geplaatst op het graf van Nobelprijswinnaar Frits Zernike en zijn zus Elisabeth.

Trapping molecules
Published on:13 May 2024

In his laboratory, physicist Steven Hoekstra is building an experimental set-up made of two parts: one that produces barium fluoride molecules, and a second part that traps the molecules and brings them to an almost complete standstill so they can be investigated

University of Groningen chemists produce new-to-nature enzyme containing boron
Published on:08 May 2024

University of Groningen chemists created an enzyme with boronic acid at its reactive centre. This approach can produce more selective reactions with boron, and allows the use of directed evolution to improve its catalytic power. The new-to-nature enzyme was presented in the journal Nature on 8 May.

More efficient molecular motor widens potential applications
Published on:01 May 2024

Light-driven molecular motors were first developed nearly 25 years ago at the University of Groningen. However, making these motors do actual work proved to be a challenge. In a new paper, UoG scientists describe improvements that bring real-life applications closer.

Tactile sensors
Published on:29 April 2024

Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG researchers contribute to the solutions for big scientific and societal challenges.

Scientists discover the largest stellar black hole of the Milky Way
Published on:16 April 2024

A European team of astronomers has discovered the largest stellar black hole of the Milky Way.

Night vision with artificial atoms
Published on:15 April 2024

Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG researchers contribute to the solutions for big scientific and societal challenges.

Een avond vol lentekriebels en andere hormonen
Published on:27 March 2024

Hoe beïnvloeden feromonen, de zogenaamde ‘communicatiemoleculen’ tussen individuen, ons gedrag? Wat zijn lentekriebels? Deze en andere vragen kwamen op 21 maart aan bod in het Kenniscafé.

Cyclone helps patients
Published on:17 March 2024

Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG researchers contribute to the solutions for big scientific and societal challenges. 

A plant-based sensor
Published on:04 March 2024

Every two weeks, UG Makers puts the spotlight on a researcher who has created something tangible, ranging from homemade measuring equipment for academic research to small or larger products that can change our daily lives. That is how UG researchers contribute to the solutions for big scientific and societal challenges. This episoide: Qi Chen and her plant-based sensor.

Will it bend or will it break?
Published on:13 February 2024

Researchers at the UG are going to research the material properties of more sustainably produced steel.

Darting around with a tiny brain
Published on:12 February 2024

Elisabetta Chicca studied how instects navigate, which can come in handy when developing energy-effecient robots.

Aquaculture blessing in disguise for migratory waders fueling up in China
Published on:09 January 2024

On the mudflats along the Chinese coasts where shellfish are cultured, shorebirds like knots and bar-tailed godwits are doing relatively well. That is shown in the dissertation that biologist He-Bo Peng will defend at the University of Groningen on January 15th.

Building life without DNA
Published on:19 December 2023

Professor Sijbren Otto is working on a chemical system that shows signs of life, but that is made up of entirely different molecules than life as we know it.

How can new life arise?
Published on:12 December 2023

In 2010, UG Professor of Systems Chemistry Sijbren Otto accidentally discovered molecules that copy themselves. Since then, he has been working on artificial life in the lab.

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.

The science behind two ERC Consolidator grants for FSE
Published on:23 November 2023

Researchers Clemens Mayer and Danny Incarnato of the University of Groningen have been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Behind the scenes: how UG and Hanze UAS students are jointly developing a Mars rover
Posted on:29 April 2024

This year the students of the Makercie team are participating in the physical edition of the European Rover Challenge in Poland. Read more about the team and the collaboration between the RUG and Hanze UAS here.

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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.

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.

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.

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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