Dutch news in brief, Monday 30 March 2009

30th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Dutch local councils implement Moroccan nationality laws
De Telegraaf reports that Dutch local council officials are tracking down the children of Moroccan mothers and registering them as Moroccan citizens, despite the parents’ consent.

Before, only children of Moroccan fathers were automatically registered as Moroccan citizens, but the Moroccan government has amended the law to include children of Moroccan mothers. The local councils say they are only complying with municipal laws regarding local council administration.

The conservative VVD announced it will ask Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan en Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst for an explanation.

“Local councils ignore the right of the parents to choose whether or not to register their child with the Moroccan embassy. It is bizarre and revolting that the Dutch government should actively cooperate with the territorial urges of another country, also without the parents actively asking for it,” said VVD MP Paul de Krom.

Utrecht lab grows intestinal tissue from single stem cell
Today's de Volkskrant reports that a Utrecht laboratory has successfully grown intestinal tissue from a single stem cell.

In a report published on the website of the leading scientific magazine Nature, researchers at the Hubrecht Institute wrote the artificial tissue has the same structure as a normal intestine.

The new technique is seen as a fundamental step in stem research, and may be used in cancer and gene therapy in a few years’ time. The Hubrecht Institute used an intestinal stem cell of a mouse to create hundreds of intestinal cells which developed into cells with specific tasks over a few days.

In the research, a basal intestinal stem cell of a mouse was isolated by means of a specific protein on the outside of the cell, an earlier discovery of the Hubrecht Institute. Its new technique can also be used to grow tissues from other organs, including the stomach and the pancreas.

The Hubrecht institute has joined forces with the MIT research institute in Boston in an attempt to make blood vessels develop along with the intestinal tissue, a first step on the road to growing artificial organ tissue which could be used to repair damaged organs.

Possible effects of offshore wind farms on marine life
Trouw reports on the possible effects of offshore wind farms on marine life after a recent conference revealed that the construction of wind farms can lead to destruction of marine life. Driving piles into the sea bottom can kill, seals, fish and porpoises.

"During pile driving, each pole gets hit every 0.8 to 1.5 seconds, the noise can reach 220 decibels, about twice the volume of a discothèque," said Sander de Jong from the public works ministry.

Impulse noises can reportedly blow up fish in a 50-metre radius and cause physical harm up to a kilometre away. Adult fish can swim away, but their fry can't, so biologists are proposing delaying pile-driving activities until after the mating season.

Builders are already using a so-called pinger, used by fishermen to keep porpoises out of their nets, to keep sea mammals safe. However, once construction is completed, the wind farms provide a safe haven for the fish, because rocks dumped at the base of the windmills would tear apart the nets of fishing vessels.

At present there are only two wind farms off the Dutch coast, but the number is expected to grow.

Runners take over Zandvoort racetrack
The front page of today's De Telegraaf features a photograph of hundreds of runners on the Zandvoort racetrack. The paper writes that instead of roaring engines, "the huffing and puffing of thousands of runners is heard at the Zandvoort racetrack, during the second edition of the Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run".

The race included a main distance of 12 kilometres, a five-kilometre Ladies Circuit Run and a 2.5-kilomtre Kids Circuit Run. All runners started from the pits and finished in front of the grandstand.

Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica

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