VU Amsterdam students win first prize for vaccination plan


Students of VU Amsterdam’s Master’s in Business Analytics have won first prize in a competition to work out the logistics of a national vaccination programme. The jury was impressed by the team’s submission, which was developed by a number of sub-teams including students from the universities of applied sciences of Arnhem, Nijmegen, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Much larger area in Africa subject to fires than previously thought


New satellite data show that the land area that burns annually in Africa is more than 2 million square kilometres larger than previously assumed. This discovery was made by a team of Spanish and Dutch researchers, including VU Amsterdam scientists Dave van Wees and Guido van der Werf.

Important new evidence confirms extinction of dinosaurs caused by meteorite impact


Core samples drilled in the Chicxulub meteorite impact crater have revealed an abnormal amount of iridium in a clay layer. The location of the iridium in the clay layer allows scientists to determine what happened in the days and years following the meteorite’s impact.

Scientists at VU Amsterdam launch spin-off Incircular


Incircular BV was founded by three (bio)chemists at VU Amsterdam who have developed a novel technology for stabilizing proteins: INCYPRO. In their recently launched spin-off, Saskia Neubacher, Sven Hennig and Tom Grossmann will use this technology to stabilize proteins for applications in drug development, diagnostic testing, and biocatalysis.

Coronavirus: Updates and FAQs


Last change on Thuesday 23 February: update on the extension of the lockdown and curfew until 15 March

Mathematician Bente Bakker awarded prize for best PhD thesis


The Dutch Platform for Mathematics (PWN) has awarded the Stieltjes Prize for the best PhD thesis in mathematics in the Netherlands to Bente Bakker.

Flooding events cause a significant increase in plastic pollution in rivers


Heavy flooding can result in whole villages and cities being inundated. These natural disasters also lead to huge amounts of waste being displaced. This has now been confirmed by research in which scientists combined datasets on plastic waste and flooding around the world.

Threatened snail species in top 5 of ‘Mollusc of 2021’


VU animal ecologist Joris Koene, together with Cuban colleagues, has studied a threatened snail species that inhabits eastern Cuba. Their work has ensured that this snail is one of five nominees in a worldwide competition for the title of ‘Mollusc of 2021’. If the snail emerges as the winner, its genome will be sequenced, allowing Koene and his colleagues to better understand the snail's reproduction and help the species survive.

Spreading focus for better imaging


Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) light in microscopy offers the advantage of obtaining a high-resolution image combined with spectral information about the object under study. However, because EUV microscopy uses diffraction instead of lenses, imaging with more than one wavelength is challenging. Researchers at ARCNL and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have found a work-around by designing a new class of diffractive optical elements for EUV light.

Children’s playgrounds a source of toxic microplastics


Children are exposed to potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals and microplastics from the industrial waste that is used in outdoor activity areas, including sports fields and riding stables. In addition to shredded car tyres used in artificial turf on fields, shredded carpets are now also getting a second life in places where children play sports. VU professor of Toxicology Majorie van Duursen explains the potential risks in a broadcast by the Plastic Soup Foundation.

Melting icebergs are key to sequence of an ice age, scientists find


New study unravels long-standing climate mystery and provides insight into how our planet may change in the future

Australian bushfires wake-up call for extreme effects climate change


The Australian Black Summer bushfires are a “wake up call” demonstrating the extreme effects of climate change. This is according to a group of experts on climate change and forest fires, including VU earth and climate scientist Tanya Lippmann, who’ve conducted a study examining the factors that caused the disaster.

Physicist Davide Iannuzzi awarded ERC PoC grant for project involving cervical cancer screening device


Davide Iannuzzi, a physicist at VU Amsterdam, has been awarded a Proof of Concept grant by the European Research Council (ERC), for the DIADELPH project. He plans to use this €150,000 research grant to explore ways of commercializing a new, non-invasive gynaecological device that can improve population screening for cervical cancer by excluding cancer before taking a biopsy.