News

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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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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Astronomers find phosphine in Venus atmosphere. What's Next?

British and American researchers have detected phosphine in the acidic cloud cover of our neighboring planet Venus. Does this mean that there is life on Venus? The work of Dutch researchers affiliated with the Origins Center connects directly to this discovery in the Venus atmosphere.

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Life on other planets: closer than you think?

Are we alone in the universe? Or is there life on other planets as well? There are many television series, films and books about this, but scientists are also working to find answers. Astrobiologist Floris van der Tak investigates places with the greatest chance of life. But can we ever go there? (Dutch)

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Videos

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

Watch video

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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Webinars

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

Join
2 March 2021Online, 16.00h

Webinar: Betül Kaçar

In this talk, Betül will survey her group’s efforts in towards establishing a molecular paleobiology approach. She will further discuss how exploring the early evolution of ancient biomolecules, protein-cofactor interaction interfaces and metallosystems contribute to our understanding of origins and first life on Earth.

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13 April 2021Online, 16.00h

Webinar: Dieter Braun

How can we derive answers to the question of the origin of life? Instead of simply collecting facts, biological systems can now be directly tested by synthetically reconstructing them.

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11 May 2021Online, 16.00 hours

Webinar: Paola Caselli

Our Solar System was born from a dark and cold cloud made out of molecular gas and small dust particles. Thanks to powerful telescopes, we can now study in detail these clouds, their chemical ingredients and their evolution.

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Blogs

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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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...

Read more

Is all the DNA on Earth right-handed thanks to cosmic particles?

Science is bursting with wild ideas that are still unproven. But how convincing are they? Did cosmic particles give DNA a twist?

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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.

Read more

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.

universiteitvannederland.nl

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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Is there life on the moon? (Dutch)

Prof. dr. Bert Vermeersen, planetary scientist TU Delft

Watch video

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