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Life Sciences - Physics - 10.06.2024
Meike Bos investigated how lungs transport mucus by using physics
Applying physics to better understand complicated biological processes: that is what Meike Bos did during her PhD. She used computer models to investigate how ciliated cells in the airways move to ensure that mucus can be transported. Her research, culminating in a successful dissertation defense on 29 May, highlights the power of computational modeling in addressing complex biological phenomena.

Life Sciences - 30.05.2024
More wolves does not necessarily equal fewer foxes or badgers
The assumption that the numbers of smaller predators will decline when large predator populations rise, is not necessarily valid. For mammals in Europe, this relationship appears to exist only in specific cases. Utrecht biologists Thomas van Schaik, Marijke van Kuijk , and Liesbeth Sterck conclude this based on a literature review they conducted, which was recently published in the scientific journal Mammal Review.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.05.2024
30 million euros for research into climate change feedbacks
30 million euros for research into climate change feedbacks
Climate change can accelerate due to feedback mechanisms: complex phenomena caused by climate change that in turn can further drive climate change. An example is the extra CO2 emissions from thawing permafrost. Research into the influence of feedback mechanisms in the long term has been ongoing, and modern climate change research is obviously happening as well, but the connection between the two has so far been underemphasized.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.05.2024
Seaweed forests are an overlooked component of oceanic carbon storage
Seaweed forests are an overlooked component of oceanic carbon storage
A groundbreaking study by an international team of researchers has revealed seaweed forests to be significant contributors to oceanic carbon storage. Their research estimates that the world's seaweed forests transport 56 million tonnes of carbon (between 10 to 170 million tonnes) to deep ocean sinks each year.

Paleontology - 15.05.2024
Summers warm more than winters, fossil shells reveal
In a warmer climate, summers warm much faster than winters in northwestern Europe. That is the conclusion of research into fossil shells by an international team of earth scientists. With this knowledge we can better map the consequences of current global warming in the North Sea area. The researchers measured the chemical composition of fossil shells.

Health - Innovation - 07.05.2024
Research meets sightseeing: reviewing thousands of papers in Utrecht’s historical gems
More than 25 researchers from ten different European countries will join Utrecht's first Screenathon, taking place from May 14 to May 17 . At several beautiful, historical sites in Utrecht's city centre, the researchers together will screen more than 10,000 publications to get insights into research activities from all'over the world relevant to the IMPROVE project.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.05.2024
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have unique and complex autoantibody patterns
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have unique and complex autoantibody patterns
Research challenges therapeutic approaches and ideas about disease backgrounds Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) all'have a unique and diverse set of antibodies that are involved in the development of the disease. Researchers at Utrecht University unveiled the complexity of these antibodies using powerful lab tools capable of analysing our immune system at molecular levels.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Residual waste from mushroom cultivation removes pollutants from water
Water can be purified using mushroom substrate: the mixture of fungal filaments and horse manure that remains after harvesting mushrooms. The substrate effectively decreases concentrations of pesticides and drugs in contaminated water. Utrecht researchers Brigit van Brenk , Han Wösten , and colleagues demonstrate this in a paper in the scientific journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Environment - 25.04.2024
Good news for deltas: increase in sediment since 2000
When you build a dam on a river, less sediment can get to the sea, which makes deltas more susceptible to floods. This idea's been believed for a long time, however new research from Utrecht University shows that the amount of sediment in deltas has actually increased since 2000. This is good news for preserving deltas - like the Netherlands - from sea level rise.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.04.2024
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
Theoretical physicists at Utrecht University, together with experimental physicists at Sogang University in South Korea, have succeeded in building an artificial synapse. This synapse works with water and salt and provides the first evidence that a system using the same medium as our brains can process complex information.

Physics - Chemistry - 12.04.2024
The energy transition under the nanoscope: Gravitation funding for ANION
Bringing together chemists and physicists to thoroughly investigate how electrochemical processes work on the smallest scale. That is the goal of the new Advanced Nano-electrochemistry Institute of the Netherlands, or ANION for short. The consortium receives a Gravitation funding of 23.6 million euros for this purpose.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.04.2024
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified timber harvesting areas in Gabon and Congo boast a greater abundance of larger mammals, such as leopards, gorillas, and elephants, than non-FSC forests. Utrecht University researcher Joeri Zwerts and colleagues conclude this based on 1.3 million camera trap images gathered in fourteen commercially exploited forests.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 14.03.2024
Surprising insights about debris flows on Mars
Surprising insights about debris flows on Mars
The period that liquid water was present on the surface of Mars may have been shorter than previously thought. Channel landforms called gullies, previously thought to be formed exclusively by liquid water, can also be formed by the action of evaporating CO2 ice. That is the conclusion of a new study by Lonneke Roelofs, a planetary researcher at Utrecht University.

Life Sciences - 06.03.2024
Chimpanzees are able to learn from their conspecifics what they cannot innovate themselves
Chimpanzees are able to learn from their conspecifics what they cannot innovate themselves
Chimpanzees that are unable to figure out a complex puzzle on their own, are capable of learning the solution from other chimps that were trained to solve it. Utrecht University researcher Edwin van Leeuwen and international colleagues conclude this based on experiments conducted with groups of chimpanzees in Zambia.

Chemistry - Health - 05.03.2024
Chemists break barriers and open up super-resolution molecule mass analysis
Chemists break barriers and open up super-resolution molecule mass analysis
Research team measures individual giant molecules with record-breaking precision By modifying and boosting lab equipment, a team of chemists are able to measure individual molecules with unprecedented precision. This precision relates to being able to tell that one single sugar grain is missing from a full 1 kilogram bag of sugar.

Pharmacology - Health - 28.02.2024
Many new oncology drugs approved in the EU lack proof of added benefit
Many new oncology drugs approved in the EU lack proof of added benefit
Many cancer drugs recently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) lack clear proof of added benefit. This is particularly the case for drugs that are granted via special processes, intended to accelerate the approval of promising treatments. A research team from Utrecht University draws this conclusion today in the scientific journal The BMJ .

Environment - 15.02.2024
Tropical rainforests are losing their resilience worldwide
Tropical rainforests are losing their resilience worldwide
Tropical rainforests hold a wealth of biodiversity but are globally approaching a critical point. The drastic decline is happening faster than expected, concludes an international research team. The team includes biologist Hans ter Steege, affiliated with Utrecht University and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.02.2024
Potential collapse of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation strongly affects European climate
Potential collapse of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation strongly affects European climate
Researchers from Utrecht University have successfully simulated the collapse of the large-scale ocean circulation in the Atlantic Ocean using a complex climate model, revealing severe global climate repercussions with Europe bearing the brunt. They published their findings in the scientific journal Science Advances today.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.01.2024
Destabilising interactions in the climate system: How tipping elements interact
Beyond 2°C of global warming, the risk of one climate tipping element triggering other tipping elements in the Earth's climate system strongly increases. Furthermore, most of these interactions are destabilising. This is the result of a new study by an international team of scientists, led by Anna von der Heydt from Utrecht University and Nico Wunderling from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

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.
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