News of the week: 28 May to 04 June

What's happening at the university? Afraid you missed anything? Here is your weekly update from 29 May to 04 June.

RUG buys Public Library

thumb-openbare bibliotheekThe RUG is taking over the 95,000 square meter property of the Groningen Public Library on the Oude Boteringestraat. The library will move to the Forum on the Grote Markt in 2017. The building will have to be extensively renovated before the University can move in.

But it won’t be taken over by the UB: instead, the law faculty will move from the Harmonie Complex into the property in 2017. Staff will have new offices on the Oude Boteringestraat, but the front office will also move into the new property.

Poppema: loan system won’t lose students

thumb-leenstelselStudy grants for Dutch students will end next year and be replaced by a loan system. Student organisations fear that studying will be more expensive, but President Poppema doesn’t expect many students to choose not to study because of the change.

‘If someone is smart enough to study at university, then he or she is smart enough to do the math and see that studying is a good investment’, Poppema says.

Real Werewolves

thumb-weerwolfJan Dirk Blom, a psychiatry lecturer, was intrigued by a former patient who thought that he was a werewolf. Blom wondered how common this was and discovered that only 56 cases of people who believe they change into an animal have been reported since 1850. He thought there must be more: he’s already had five patient cases himself.

‘They sniff, bark, and pant – they really think they’re an animal’, he says, but there’s no specific treatment for the condition. Patients are treated for schizophrenia, but it’s really something else. Blom is researching what parts of the brain are involved in the condition and aims to develop a more tailor-made treatment.

World Travellers for Science

thumb-rubicons-breedEvery year, talented researchers go abroad with a Rubicon grant from NWO. The grant is up to 63,000 Euros and can be used to do research at foreign institutions for two years. The 2013 winners are working in America, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Biologist Aniek Ivens is researching the relationship between lice and ants in New York and bioengineer Andreas Alexander Bastian is working on multi-drug resistant bacteria in Indiana. Ecologist Arne Hegemaan is doing field work into the migratory behaviour of birds in Switzerland and evolutionary sociologist Gert Stulp is researching modern fertility in England.

Lauwersloop: UKrant wasn’t last

thumb-lauwersloopThe 115-kilometer Lauwersloop relay race was held this past weekend, and the Universiteitskrant team may not have won, but at least they weren’t dead last: out of 45 teams, the journalists finished 43rd and completed the race in 11 hours, 2 minutes and 33 seconds.

Several international teams did better, though: ESN Team 1 finished in 31st place with a time of 10:10:13 and ESN Team 2 placed even higher in 25th place with a time of 9:55:42. GSTV Tritanium was the first team to finish, coming in at 7:27:27.