The Origins Center is an accessible, online news center. As a scientist, citizen, student or pupil in secondary education, you will quickly find information about Dutch research into the origin and evolution of life. In videos, blogs and news items.

Top Stories

More than 300 Dutch researchers are working every day to unravel the origins and evolution of life. You want to watch them closely? Discover what Dutch scientists are working on? Our top stories tell more.

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Determining the Earth-Moon system 2.46 billion years ago through Milankovitch cycles.

In perspective by Inge Loes ten Kate

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Oxygen brings stones to life

Oxygen is essential for life on Earth. Experiments by researchers now show that oxygen is also essential for melting rocks.

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Sijbren Otto receives James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry

Prof. Sijbren Otto of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry and member of the Steering Committee of the Origins Center Netherlands has been awarded the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry.

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It is busy on Mars

Three space probes arrived at Mars this month. The United Arab Emirates sent a weather satellite. China sent a satellite and a rover that will land in three months. And last week, Mars rover Perseverance landed at the surface. It will work on the delta of an ancient river stream. Dutch researchers are Dutch researchers are at the tips of their seats...

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Inside a cell, enzymes cannot go faster

Growth forms the heart of living cells. About 1,000 chemical reactions take place in a cell - this is what we also refer to as metabolism. Nutrients are converted into energy or building blocks for growth. Six research groups in Groningen have together received almost two million euros in funding from NWO for research into the limitations of growth. In the coming years, they will try to discover why exactly metabolism cannot go any faster.

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New rock samples collected from the moon

De Chinese maanmissie Chang’e-5 brengt komende week 2 kilogram van de jongste maangesteenten naar de aarde. “Er wordt reikhalzend uitgekeken naar deze nieuwe monsters omdat ze ons veel kunnen vertellen over de vorming van de aarde en de maan."

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In memoriam: Arecibo radio telescope 1963–2020

The Arecibo telescope is one of the most famous telescopes in the world. In the last few days, Arecibo's iconic radio telescope has completely collapsed. Earlier this year, the telescope was so badly damaged that it was decided to demolish it.

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Ask us anything!



The Netherlands is home to leading researchers. What they do in their projects to learn more about life and evolution? Sometimes that’s quite complex. Exactly why the Origins Center explains what scientists are actually researching in a series of educational videos. And: why.

To Youtube Channel

Was it by chance that people evolved?

Ken Kraaijeveld, research fellow, Origins Center

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Do we understand evolution well enough to predict it?

Meike Wortel, research fellow Origins Center

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How did we get so many complex species?

Renske Vroomans, research fellow Origins Center

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The Origins Center is organizing a series of webinars from October until June. In these online sessions, open to science and the public, we bring you up to date on the latest scientific discoveries and challenges.

Learn more about our webinar series


Scientists publish. In professional journals such as Science and Nature, but also within networks and in popular scientific media. The Origins Center encourages that. Because publishing advances scientific knowledge. Thanks to inspiring blogs, for instance.

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Oxygen brings stones to life

Oxygen is essential for life on Earth. Experiments by researchers now show that oxygen is also essential for melting rocks.

Read more

Hubble's big brother heading for space

After years of waiting, the time has come in mid-December: the James Webb Space Telescope will be launched. This infrared big brother of the Hubble Telescope is going to greatly increase our knowledge of many areas within astronomy.

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Book: Why your dog doesn't need to eat fruit

Tales from around the house about DNA. Using numerous examples, author Ken Kraaijeveld takes the reader into the wonderful world of DNA, from modifying agricultural crops to changing genes to cure diseases.

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The National Science Agenda

Decipher building blocks of existence

Fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and functioning of life offers us new insights about the detection and treatment of diseases, but also helps us to map the risks of a changing environment for humans, animals and nature. The National Science Agenda invests in knowledge development and aims to bridge the gap between science and society. The Origins Center makes an important contribution.

Read more about the National Science Agenda (Dutch)

Universiteit van Nederland

At the Universiteit van Nederland leading Dutch scientists give free, short internet presentations. Desktop full screen, tablet on your lap, mobile at hand? Watch some of the best lectures in the Netherlands.

The craziest planets

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Why there must be alien life near Jupiter? (Dutch)

Prof. dr. Bert Vermeersen, planetary scientist, TU Delft

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Did all life begin with a stone? (Dutch)

Dr. Inge Loes ten Kate, astrobiologist Utrecht University

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