16 July 2020
Charting the way to minimal cells
Ironically, the closer we get to building a living cell, the less we are able to understand it. During the three-day virtual workshop “Reconstituting biology - charting the way to minimal cells”, cell-building researchers agreed this complexity is what makes cells so interesting.
19 June 2020
Spinoza Prize for Nynke Dekker
NWO has announced that TU Delft's Nynke Dekker has been awarded an NWO Spinoza Prize. The Spinoza and Stevin Prizes are the most prestigious awards in Dutch science. Besides Nynke Dekker, prizes were also awarded to prof. dr. ir. Jan van Hest (TUE), prof. dr. Pauline Kleingeld (RUG) and prof. dr. Sjaak Neefjes (LUMC/UL). Prof. dr. Linda Steg (RUG) en prof. dr. Ton Schumacher (AVL/LUMC/UL) have been awarded a Stevinprize. Each of the laureates will receive 2.5 million euros to spend on scientific research and related activities.
02 April 2020
The strength of collagen
Collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together. It can be found in our skin, bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, hair, nails - in short, in almost every tissue in our body. In some places, for example in the skin, collagen proteins form networks that are very elastic. But why these networks are so elastic has so far been unclear. Researchers from Delft University of Technology, AMOLF and Wageningen University & Research have now discovered that the number of 'intersections' plays an important role. Between three and four connections per intersection is ideal. In fact, more connections makes the collagen networks less elastic. The new insights can be used, among other things, to repair damaged or aged tissue, such as cartilage or skin, and to grow new skin tissue for burn victims.
04 March 2020
DNA in a cell can normally be compared to spaghetti on one’s plate: a large tangle of strands. To be able to divide DNA neatly between the two daughter cells during cell division, the cell organises this tangle into tightly packed chromosomes. A protein complex called condensin has been known to play a key role in this process, but biologists had no idea exactly how this worked. Until February 2018, when scientists from the Kavli Institute at Delft University of Technology, together with colleagues from EMBL Heidelberg, showed in real time how a condensin protein extrudes a loop in the DNA. Now, follow-up research by the same research groups shows that simple bundling up such loops is by no means the only way condensin packs up DNA. The researchers discovered an entirely new loop structure, which they call the 'Z loop'. They publish this new phenomenon in Nature on 4 March, where they show, for the first time, how condensins mutually interact to fold DNA into a zigzag structure.
16 January 2020
New software to better understand conversations between cells
One of the most fascinating and important properties of living cells is their capacity for self-organization. By talking to each other cells can, among other things, determine where they are in relation to each other and whether they need to turn certain genes on or off. Thus, large groups of cells are able to work together and organise into all kinds of tissues. Researchers at Delft University of Technology have now developed software that can predict and visualise conversations between cells on the basis of the molecules involved.
19 November 2019
Building a Mars base with bacteria
How do you make a base on Mars? Simple: you send some bacteria to the red planet and you let them mine iron.
11 September 2019
Cable bacteria: Living electrical wires with record conductivity
Bacteria that power themselves using electricity and are able to send electrical currents over long distances through highly conductive power lines. It almost sounds like the way we charge our TVs and refrigerators, and may seem hard to believe, but it is a recent discovery by a team of scientists from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and the University of Hasselt (Belgium). Centimeter-long bacteria from the seafloor contain a conductive fiber network that operates in comparable way to the copper wiring that we use to transport electricity. The highly conductive fibers enable a completely new interface between biology and electronics, providing a prospect for new materials and technology.
18 July 2019
Veni grant for four researchers of Applied Sciences
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Veni grant worth up to 250,000 euros to twelve highly promising young scientists from TU Delft, four of whom are from the Faculty of Applied Sciences. The grant provides the laureates with the opportunity to further elaborate their own ideas during a period of three years.
04 July 2019
Nynke Dekker elected as member of EMBO
04 July 2019
Teachers of the Year of AS announced
During the Science Day of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, on Thursday 27 June, Dean Lucas van Vliet announced the Teachers of the Year for 2019.