Groningen, Netherlands
Groningen, Netherlands

The University of Groningen , located in the city of Groningen, was founded in 1614. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands as well as one of its largest. Since its inception more than 200,000 students have graduated. It is a member of the distinguished international Coimbra Group of European universities.In April 2013, according to the results of the International Student Barometer, the University of Groningen, for the third time in a row, has been voted the best University of the Netherlands. In 2014 the university celebrates its 400th anniversary and has planned various activities in and around the city of Groningen. For one month, from 15 May till 15 June, Groningen is immersed in a festive program RUG400 around the theme "For Infinity" .The University of Groningen has ten faculties, nine graduate schools, 27 research centres and institutes, and more than 175 degree programmes. Wikipedia.

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University of Groningen | Date: 2016-12-02

The invention relates to a method for providing analogs of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), in particular oligosaccharides containing terminal sialic acid. The method comprises the steps of: a) providing a source of non-digestible galactooligosaccharides (GOS) containing at least two terminally bonded -linked galactose residues; b) providing a sialic acid donor having (2-3)-sialylated O-glycans; c) contacting said GOS with said sialic acid donor in the presence of an enzyme having trans-sialidase activity in an enzyme reaction mixture; and d) isolating from said enzyme reaction mixture a fraction comprising at least 20 percent by weight of disialylated galactooligosaccharides (di-Sia-GOS) based on the dry matter.

Jonkers I.,University of Groningen | Lis J.T.,Cornell University
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Recent advances in sequencing techniques that measure nascent transcripts and that reveal the positioning of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) have shown that the pausing of Pol II in promoter-proximal regions and its release to initiate a phase of productive elongation are key steps in transcription regulation. Moreover, after the release of Pol II from the promoter-proximal region, elongation rates are highly dynamic throughout the transcription of a gene, and vary on a gene-by-gene basis. Interestingly, Pol II elongation rates affect co-transcriptional processes such as splicing, termination and genome stability. Increasing numbers of factors and regulatory mechanisms have been associated with the steps of transcription elongation by Pol II, revealing that elongation is a highly complex process. Elongation is thus now recognized as a key phase in the regulation of transcription by Pol II. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Identifying genes encoding bacteriocins and ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) can be a challenging task. Especially those peptides that do not have strong homology to previously identified peptides can easily be overlooked. Extensive use of BAGEL2 and user feedback has led us to develop BAGEL3. BAGEL3 features genome mining of prokaryotes, which is largely independent of open reading frame (ORF) predictions and has been extended to cover more (novel) classes of posttranslationally modified peptides. BAGEL3 uses an identification approach that combines direct mining for the gene and indirect mining via context genes. Especially for heavily modified peptides like lanthipeptides, sactipeptides, glycocins and others, this genetic context harbors valuable information that is used for mining purposes. The bacteriocin and context protein databases have been updated and it is now easy for users to submit novel bacteriocins or RiPPs. The output has been simplified to allow user-friendly analysis of the results, in particular for large (meta-genomic) datasets. The genetic context of identified candidate genes is fully annotated. As input, BAGEL3 uses FASTA DNA sequences or folders containing multiple FASTA formatted files. BAGEL3 is freely accessible at

Coenraads P.-J.,University of Groningen
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

A 33-year-old woman presents with redness of the hands and reports the intermittent occurrence of tiny vesicles, scaling, and fissuring, accompanied by itching on the palms, fingers, and dorsal sides of the hands. She has two young children and works as a nurse in a nearby hospital. She has a history of childhood eczema and a contact allergy to nickel. How should this case be managed? Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Otto S.,University of Groningen
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2012

Dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs) are molecular networks in which the network members exchange building blocks. The resulting product distribution is initially under thermodynamic control. Addition of a guest or template molecule tends to shift the equilibrium towards compounds that are receptors for the guest.This Account gives an overview of our work in this area. We have demonstrated the template-induced amplification of synthetic receptors, which has given rise to several high-affinity binders for cationic and anionic guests in highly competitive aqueous solution. The dynamic combinatorial approach allows for the identification of new receptors unlikely to be obtained through rational design. Receptor discovery is possible and more efficient in larger libraries. The dynamic combinatorial approach has the attractive characteristic of revealing interesting structures, such as catenanes, even when they are not specifically targeted. Using a transition-state analogue as a guest we can identify receptors with catalytic activity.Although DCLs were initially used with the reductionistic view of identifying new synthetic receptors or catalysts, it is becoming increasingly apparent that DCLs are also of interest in their own right. We performed detailed computational studies of the effect of templates on the product distributions of DCLs using DCLSim software. Template effects can be rationalized by considering the entire network: the system tends to maximize global host-guest binding energy. A data-fitting analysis of the response of the global position of the DCLs to the addition of the template using DCLFit software allowed us to disentangle individual host-guest binding constants. This powerful procedure eliminates the need for isolation and purification of the various individual receptors. Furthermore, local network binding events tend to propagate through the entire network and may be harnessed for transmitting and processing of information. We demonstrated this possibility in silico through a simple dynamic molecular network that can perform AND logic with input and output in the form of molecules.Not only are dynamic molecular networks responsive to externally added templates, but they also adjust to internal template effects, giving rise to self-replication. Recently we have started to explore scenarios where library members recognize copies of themselves, resulting in a self-assembly process that drives the synthesis of the very molecules that self-assemble. We have developed a system that shows unprecedented mechanosensitive self-replication behavior: depending on whether the solution is shaken, stirred or not agitated, we have obtained a hexameric replicator, a heptameric replicator or no replication, respectively. We rationalize this behavior through a mechanism in which replication is promoted by mechanically-induced fragmentation of self-assembled replicator fibers. These results represent a new mode of self-replication in which mechanical energy liberates replicators from a self-inhibited state. These systems may also be viewed as self-synthesizing, self-assembling materials. These materials can be captured photochemically, converting a free-flowing fiber solution into a hydrogel through photo-induced homolytic disulfide exchange. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

The number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that contributes to blood formation and the dynamics of their clonal contribution is a matter of ongoing discussion. Here, we use cellular barcoding combined with multiplex high-throughput sequencing to provide a quantitative and sensitive analysis of clonal behavior of hundreds of young and old HSCs. The majority of transplanted clones steadily contributes to hematopoiesis in the long-term, although clonal output in granulocytes, T cells, and B cells is substantially different. Contributions of individual clones to blood are dynamically changing; most of the clones either expand or decline with time. Finally, we demonstrate that the pool of old HSCs is composed of multiple small clones, whereas the young HSC pool is dominated by fewer, but larger, clones.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: LCE-05-2015 | Award Amount: 51.69M | Year: 2016

In order to unlock the full potential of Europes offshore resources, network infrastructure is urgently required, linking off-shore wind parks and on-shore grids in different countries. HVDC technology is envisaged but the deployment of meshed HVDC offshore grids is currently hindered by the high cost of converter technology, lack of experience with protection systems and fault clearance components and immature international regulations and financial instruments. PROMOTioN will overcome these barriers by development and demonstration of three key technologies, a regulatory and financial framework and an offshore grid deployment plan for 2020 and beyond. A first key technology is presented by Diode Rectifier offshore converter. This concept is ground breaking as it challenges the need for complex, bulky and expensive converters, reducing significantly investment and maintenance cost and increasing availability. A fully rated compact diode rectifier converter will be connected to an existing wind farm. The second key technology is an HVDC grid protection system which will be developed and demonstrated utilising multi-vendor methods within the full scale Multi-Terminal Test Environment. The multi-vendor approach will allow DC grid protection to become a plug-and-play solution. The third technology pathway will first time demonstrate performance of existing HVDC circuit breaker prototypes to provide confidence and demonstrate technology readiness of this crucial network component. The additional pathway will develop the international regulatory and financial framework, essential for funding, deployment and operation of meshed offshore HVDC grids. With 35 partners PROMOTioN is ambitious in its scope and advances crucial HVDC grid technologies from medium to high TRL. Consortium includes all major HVDC and wind turbine manufacturers, TSOs linked to the North Sea, offshore wind developers, leading academia and consulting companies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.51M | Year: 2017

RadioNet is a consortium of 28 institutions in Europe, Republic of Korea and South Africa, integrating at European level world-class infrastructures for research in radio astronomy. These include radio telescopes, telescope arrays, data archives and the globally operating European Network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (EVN). RadioNet is de facto widely regarded to represent the interests of radio astronomy in Europe. A comprehensive, innovative and ambitious suite of actions is proposed that fosters a sustainable research environment. Building on national investments and commitments to operate these facilities, this specific EC program leverages the capabilities on a European scale. The proposed actions include: - Merit-based trans-national access to the RadioNet facilities for European and for the first time also for third country users; and integrated and professional user support that fosters continued widening of the community of users. - Innovative R&D, substantially enhancing the RadioNet facilities and taking leaps forward towards harmonization, efficiency and quality of exploitation at lower overall cost; development and delivery of prototypes of specialized hardware, ready for production in SME industries. - Comprehensive networking measures for training, scientific exchange, industry cooperation, dissemination of scientific and technical results; and policy development to ensure long-term sustainability of excellence for European radio astronomy. RadioNet is relevant now, it enables cutting-edge science, top-level R&D and excellent training for its European facilities; with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) and the ESFRI-listed Square Kilometre Array (SKA) defined as global radio telescopes, RadioNet assures that European radio astronomy maintains its leading role into the era of these next-generation facilities by involving scientists and engineers in the scientific use and innovation of the outstanding European facilities.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-03-2016 | Award Amount: 7.48M | Year: 2017

Genetic tractability of bacterial cells allows generating synthetic microbial chassis platforms (SMCPs) with remarkable biotechnological applications but their functionality currently faces important off-genome limitations due to deficient protein-protein interactions, unfavorable protein stoichiometry or generation of toxic intermediates that ultimately compromise the industrial production processes. To solve this problem, Rafts4Biotech project will take advantage of our recent discovery, that bacteria are able to organize subcellular membrane compartments similar to the so-called lipid rafts of eukaryotic cells, to improve/protect specific cellular processes. Rafts4Biotech project will engineer bacterial cells to confine biotechnologically relevant reactions into bacterial lipid rafts to optimize their stoichiometry and protect cells from undesirable metabolic interferences. Hence, the Rafts4Biotech project will produce new generation reliable and robust SMCPs in which industrial production processes are confined in bacterial lipid rafts, released from their classical off-genome limitations and optimized for industrial production. Moreover, this concept can be applied to many prokaryotes, since lipid rafts happens to occur in many bacterial species. Based on this versatility, Raft4Biotech project will use two biotechnologically relevant biosystems, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, to engineer synthetic bacterial lipid rafts to optimize the performance of three challenging biochemical processes in the fields of pharmaceutical, cosmetics and feed industrial sectors. To achieve this, Rafts4Biotech consortium combines different expertise in synthetic biology, systems biology and mathematical modeling and it includes a number of SMEs that will actively work in this project and will translate this technology into market application. The technology developed by Rafts4Biotec will optimize multistep industrial processes and invigorate European research.

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