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Chemistry - Environment - 22.01.2024
New sensor detects chemicals that impair thyroid gland
In a study conducted at the University of Twente, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Open University of Israel, researchers have developed a novel approach to address the environmental challenges posed by perchlorate salts, which have been identified as persistent pollutants with potential impacts on human health.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 17.01.2024
Costs of scaring grass-eating barnacle geese often outweigh the benefits
Costs of scaring grass-eating barnacle geese often outweigh the benefits
At the current population sizes, the practice of scaring geese off pastures in the province of Friesland probably ends up costing more than it saves. Utrecht University ecologist Monique de Jager and colleagues from Wageningen University and Research, the University of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) conclude this based on a model study , that was conducted as part of the Dutch contribution to European goose management.

Environment - 15.01.2024
As water becomes scarce, its quality often deteriorates
Drought and heatwaves result in severe economic losses. To reduce water scarcity, hydrologist  Michelle van Vliet  argues for a better understanding of the interplay between water use and water quality. Water scarcity is more than simply a physical lack of water. Water scarcity intensifies due to three main causes: reduced availability of water, increased water use, and deterioration of water quality which makes it unsuitable for certain applications or functions.

Environment - 11.01.2024
Biomaterials contribute substantially to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but are not yet climate neutral
Biomaterials contribute substantially to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but are not yet climate neutral
On average, bio-based products emit 45% less greenhouse gas emissions than the fossil materials they replace, according to research conducted by Radboud University, published in Nature Communications. At the same time, there is a large variation between individual bio-based products and more efforts are required to achieve climate neutrality.

Environment - 09.01.2024
Many devastating extremes in 2023 were amplified by global warming
2023 was an extraordinary year for climate: each month from June onward was warmer than the corresponding month in any previous year. In this last half year temperatures exceeded 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900), with some days even exceeding 2.0°C. Throughout the year, extreme weather hit nations around the world including heatwaves, droughts, floods and wildfires.

Environment - Chemistry - 09.01.2024
This is how Professor René Janssen paves the way to better solar cells
This is how Professor René Janssen paves the way to better solar cells
A professor at TU/e and colleagues have found a way to improve perovskite solar cells. An electric car, heat pump, or robotic lawn mower: the world is electrifying, and so more and more roofs are full of solar panels. The Netherlands is even among the European leaders when it comes to generating solar energy.

Environment - 08.01.2024
When water becomes scarce, its quality often deteriorates
When water becomes scarce, its quality often deteriorates
Droughts and heat waves cause great economic damage. To reduce water scarcity, hydrologist Michelle van Vliet advocates a better understanding of the interaction between water quality and water use. Water scarcity is more than just a physical lack of water. Growing water scarcity has three causes: decreasing water availability, increasing water use and deteriorating water quality, making it unsuitable for certain uses or functions.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.12.2023
Utrecht University's Earth Sciences for the First Time Ever in the Guinness Book of World Records
Utrecht University’s Earth Sciences for the First Time Ever in the Guinness Book of World Records
For the first time ever, research led by one of Utrecht University's earth scientists - Dr  Dan Palcu - has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. His fascinating research shows the immense proportions of the largest lake the Earth has ever seen: the Paratethys. Guinness World Records published a whole page about the 'Largest lake ever' on their website, as well as a highlight in the print edition.

Life Sciences - Environment - 07.12.2023
Methane emissions from canals underestimated
Researchers have so far underestimated methane emissions from canals in five major Dutch cities. That is the conclusion of microbiologist Koen Pelsma, who will defend his PhD thesis on this topic at Radboud University on 13 December. In calculations of methane emissions from water, far too little is known about emissions from urban waters such as canals, says researcher Koen Pelsma.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.12.2023
Largest ever study on tipping points presented at COP28
A major, international research report is released today at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai: the Global Tipping Points Report. The report shows that crucial tipping points in the Earth's climate system are getting closer. These tipping points occur when a small change triggers an irreversible transformation.

Environment - Campus - 29.11.2023
2.45 million for research into solving PFAS at Utrecht Science Park
2.45 million for research into solving PFAS at Utrecht Science Park
Utrecht University's PFAS Remediation Living Lab recently received funding of 2.45 million from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water to research a PFAS-contaminated field at Utrecht University and other locations. Worldwide, large tracts of land are contaminated with PFAS. Instead of the classic "dig and dump" method, the university wants to explore the possibilities of sustainable remediation.

Environment - 15.11.2023
Clearing mangroves makes 'muddification' worse
Clearing mangroves makes ’muddification’ worse
Mangroves have been cut down in some parts of New Zealand, with the aim of reducing mud build-up and exposing the mud to currents and tides that can wash it out to sea. Widespread deforestation and farming was begun by European settlers in the late 19 Century in New Zealand, increasing the amount of sediment in rivers.

Chemistry - Environment - 15.11.2023
More efficient electrodes for CO2 recycling
More efficient electrodes for CO2 recycling
With the ever-increasing interest in renewable energy, scientists are continuously searching for new technologies to store energy. CO2 electrolysis is a promising way to store energy whilst recycling carbon dioxide. By applying electricity, CO2 and water react and produce more complex molecules. A study published in Nature Communications lead by Hugo van Montfort at TU Delft has presented a new design of electrodes that improves the efficiency of CO2 electrolysis.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 31.10.2023
Science and citizens collaborate to understand natural methane removal
How does Saharan dust remove the powerful greenhouse gas methane from the atmosphere above the Atlantic Ocean? Recently, Utrecht University and other institutes started a research project in collaboration with the shipping industry to answer this question. Once every month, boxes of flasks arrive on the sixth floor of the Buys Ballot building at Utrecht University.

Chemistry - Environment - 25.10.2023
How a small 'gap' brings green energy storage through electrolysis closer
How a small ’gap’ brings green energy storage through electrolysis closer
An article by TU/e researcher Thijs de Groot and his team on the usefulness of a small cathode gap in alkaline electrolyzers appeared in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy recently. Green hydrogen is a serious contender to become a renewable energy carrier. For example, we could use it to store solar and wind energy during peaks in order to utilize the energy when the sun is no longer shining and the wind is calm.

Health - Environment - 24.10.2023
Researchers have discovered a link between certain PFAS and an increased risk of thyroid cancer
An international team of researchers, led by Mount Sinai, has discovered a link between certain perand polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and an increased risk for thyroid cancer, according to a study published in eBioMedicine today. PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," are a large, complex group of synthetic chemicals that can migrate into the soil, water, and air.

Environment - 17.10.2023
Spatial patterns show tension between land conservation and livelihood needs
Spatial patterns show tension between land conservation and livelihood needs
There are clear spatial patterns showing where tensions may arise between land conservation and the subsistence needs of inhabitants. That is the conclusion of a new publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), authored by environmental scientist Camille Venier-Cambron. In order to meet global biodiversity targets, large areas of land around the world must be restored to nature.

Environment - Campus - 13.10.2023
Climate change adaptation actions too uncoordinated worldwide
A new comprehensive survey of more than 1,400 scientific studies has shed light on the challenges of climate change adaptation. The study reveals a critical issue: systematic networking of various actor groups has generally been insufficient. Notably, the main burden has been borne by individuals and households affected by the consequences of climate change.

Environment - Social Sciences - 06.10.2023
Amazon may hold over 10,000 hidden earthworks built by pre-Columbian societies
Amazon may hold over 10,000 hidden earthworks built by pre-Columbian societies
The Amazon rainforest may be home to thousands of hidden earthworks, made by pre-Columbian societies. This is revealed by a large international study investigating the distribution of these hidden structures. Biologist Hans ter Steege contributed to the research. "This discovery tells us that certain parts of the forest may not be as old as we initially thought." The dense Amazon Rainforest may hold far more traces of human civilization than previously believed.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.10.2023
Amazon may hold over 10,000 hidden earthworks made by past civilizations
Amazon may hold over 10,000 hidden earthworks made by past civilizations
The Amazon rainforest may be home to thousands of hidden earthworks, made by pre-Columbian civilizations. This is revealed by a large international study investigating the distribution of these hidden structures. Biologist Hans ter Steege contributed to the research. "This discovery tells us that certain parts of the forest may not be as old as we initially thought." The dense Amazon Rainforest may hold far more traces of human civilization than previously believed.