New method used to study how cancer cells are organised
20 september 2021
Changes in individual cancer cells over time may explain why brain tumours develop so differently, and why some cancer cells are resistant to certain treatments. To track the development of cancer cells, researchers at Uppsala University have devised a new method that, in the long term, may make it easier to develop new, effective drug combinations. The research is presented in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.
Men may sleep worse on nights during the first half of the lunar cycle
13 september 2021
Men’s sleep may be more powerfully influenced by the lunar cycle than women’s, according to a new study from Uppsala University, now published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
Press invitation: Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture with Christiana Figueres and Agnès Callamard
03 september 2021
On 17 September 2021, the annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture will take place at Uppsala University’s Aula Magna. This year’s event features both the 2021 Lecture by Dr. Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, and the 2019 Lecture by Christiana Figueres, chief architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was previously postposed. Journalists and representatives of the press are invited to register for the eve...
Uppsala researchers solve long-standing biological search problem
01 september 2021
How the cell can mend broken DNA using another DNA copy as template has puzzled researchers for years. How is it possible to find the correct sequences in the busy interior of the cell? Researchers from Uppsala university have now discovered the solution; it is easier to find a rope than a ball if you are blindfolded.
Parental support crucial for better school performance
31 augusti 2021
Interest in studies and effort are important for pupils in achieving high grades, but high grades also require lots of work at home and extensive parental support. Today’s school system benefits pupils with ample resources and an academic tradition at home while disadvantaging others. These are the findings from an ethnological dissertation from Uppsala University.
Genetic test better than blood test for cardiovascular diseases
30 augusti 2021
Determining an individual’s blood group based on genetic tests instead of merely traditional blood tests can provide a better picture of the risk of cardiovascular diseases. If a patient has two genetic variants of A, B or AB, the risk is twice as high compared with if one is O. This is the finding of a new study from the Uppsala University using data from UK Biobank.
History of human antibiotic use written in the oral bacteria of wild brown bears
25 augusti 2021
An international team of researchers used historical museum collections to study the effects of human-made antibiotics over the entire history of their application. They found that the increased use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture in the 1950-1990s led to increases in antibiotic resistance in wild Swedish brown bears. However, they also detected a clear downward trend in antibiotic resistance after national policies to control antib...
Male Y chromosome facilitates the evolution of sex differences in body size
23 augusti 2021
Females and males differ in many ways and yet they share the same genome. The only exception is the male Y chromosome. Using beetles as a study system, new research from Uppsala University, now published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, shows that despite of the Y chromosome containing very few genes, it can dramatically change male body size and thus facilitate the evolution of sex differences.
How hormones may alleviate side-specific movement difficulties after brain injury
10 augusti 2021
Hormones released after a brain injury contribute to movement problems on the left and right sides of the body, scientists from Uppsala University and elsewhere can now show in a new study in rats. The results also suggest that hormone-blocking treatments may help counteract these effects, a finding that has implications for treating people with traumatic brain injuries or stroke. The study has been published in eLife.
Method for discovery of antiviral drugs
02 augusti 2021
The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for methods to identify new or repurposed drugs as antivirals. Researchers at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet are now presenting a new screening approach that focuses on the identification of virus-specific morphological changes in virus-infected cells.
A single cell type map of human tissues
30 juli 2021
In a study published in the US journal Science Advances, a single cell type map of human tissues is presented. An open access atlas has been launched with more than 250,000 interactive plots to allow researchers to explore the expression in individual single cell types for all protein-coding genes in these tissues.
Why mothers in novels leave their families
21 juli 2021
Mothers leaving their families is not a new theme in Swedish fiction. But the reasons for leaving have changed. It is no longer about lack of gender equality or a desire to work. Instead, they feel suffocated by the nuclear family, by the children or simply by society’s demands to have children. That is one of the conclusions in Jenny Björklund’s research on why mothers in 21st century books leave their families. The study was conducted at the...
Male beetles’ spiny genitalia both harmful and beneficial to females
14 juli 2021
Male seed beetles with genital structures that injure females may have greater reproductive success. As new research from Uppsala University shows, females that mate with such males benefit, in the sense that their offspring are healthier. This new piece of the puzzle will help scientists to understand how complex mating interactions between males and females have developedevolved. The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
New model aims to promote better-adapted bladder cancer treatment in the future
07 juli 2021
Uppsala University scientists have designed a new mouse model that facilitates study of factors contributing to the progression of human bladder cancer and of immune-system activation when the tumour is growing. Using this model, they have been able to study how proteins change before, while and after a tumour develops in the bladder wall. The study has now been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
Structures discovered in brain cancer patients can help fight tumours
05 juli 2021
Researchers at Uppsala University have discovered lymph node-like structures close to the tumour in brain cancer patients, where immune cells can be activated to attack the tumour. They also found that immunotherapy enhanced the formation of these structures in a mouse model. This discovery suggests new opportunities to regulate the anti-tumour response of the immune system.
New beetle found in fossil faeces attributed to dinosaur ancestor
30 juni 2021
The tiny beetle Triamyxa coprolithica is the first-ever insect to be described from fossil faeces. The animal the researchers have to thank for the excellent preservation was probably the dinosaur ancestor Silesaurus opolensis, which 230 million years ago ingested the small beetle in large numbers.
Males help keep populations genetically healthy
27 juni 2021
A few males are enough to fertilise all the females. The number of males therefore has little bearing on a population’s growth. However, they are important for purging bad mutations from the population. This is shown by a new Uppsala University study providing in-depth knowledge of the possible long-term genetic consequences of sexual selection. The results are published in the scientific journal Evolution Letters.
New knowledge of Earth’s mantle helps to explain Indonesia's explosive volcanoes
24 juni 2021
Indonesia’s volcanoes are among the world’s most dangerous. Why? Through chemical analyses of tiny minerals in lava from Bali and Java, researchers from Uppsala University and elsewhere have found new clues. They now understand better how the Earth’s mantle is composed in that particular region and how the magma changes before an eruption. The study is published in Nature Communications.
Downward trend broken in 2020 – fatalities in organised violence increase again
16 juni 2021
New data from Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), at Uppsala University, show that the total number of fatalities stemming from organised violence increased in 2020, after five consecutive years of falling numbers. Despite a substantial decrease in violence in the two biggest wars of the 2010s, Afghanistan and Syria, UCDP registered more than 80,100 deaths in organised violence in 2020, compared to 76,300 in 2019.
Consensus and continuity determine Swedish foreign policy
10 juni 2021
The Swedish Government was able to undertake and justify Swedish military involvement in Afghanistan in 2002–2014 by describing it as a traditional Swedish contribution while differentiating it from American military operations in the region. Both consensus and a sense of continuity in foreign policy formulation are required to achieve broad support. This is a finding of a new dissertation from Uppsala University.
How the major Swedish forest fire of 2014 affected the ecosystem
01 juni 2021
Swedish researchers from institutions including Uppsala University have spent four years gathering data from the areas affected by the major forest fire of 2014. In their study of how the ecosystem as a whole has been altered, they could see that water quality in watercourses quickly returned to normal, while forested areas continued to lose carbon for many years after the fire.
Chair and director appointed for Alva Myrdal Centre for Nuclear Disarmament
24 maj 2021
Uppsala University has appointed Cecilia Wikström to chair the governing board of the University’s new knowledge centre for nuclear disarmament and Professor Erik Melander to be the centre’s director. Following these appointments, the Alva Myrdal Centre can start its activities.
Epigenetic mechanism can explain how chemicals in plastic may cause lower IQ levels in children
20 maj 2021
The chemical bisphenol F (found in plastics) can induce changes in a gene that is vital for neurological development. This discovery was made by researchers at the universities of Uppsala and Karlstad, Sweden. The mechanism could explain why exposure to this chemical during the fetal stage may be connected with a lower IQ at seven years of age – an association previously seen by the same research group. The study is published in the scientific...
The entire genome from Peştera Muierii 1 sequenced
20 maj 2021
For the first time, researchers have successfully sequenced the entire genome from the skull of Peştera Muierii 1, a woman who lived in today’s Romania 35,000 years ago. Her high genetic diversity shows that the out of Africa migration was not the great bottleneck in human development but rather this occurred during and after the most recent Ice Age. This is the finding of a new study led by Mattias Jakobsson at Uppsala University and being pu...
Married in Sweden – but single in another EU Member State?
20 maj 2021
A same-sex marriage entered into in one EU Member State may not be recognised in another. The argument is often that such a marriage is too different from the country’s own laws and policies. In a new dissertation on private international law, Laima Vaige analyses how this application of the law compares with the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law.
Finery for fashionable ladies
11 maj 2021
When the first descriptions of knitting and crochet were published in Swedish, in the mid-19th century, such handiwork was described as the finest of all feminine handicrafts, for the benefit and pleasure alike of the trend-conscious, diligent middle- and upper-class woman. Within a few decades, the patterns had moved into fashion journals. A new thesis from Uppsala University examines how these changes affected handicrafts.
How bullying and obesity can affect girls’ and boys’ mental health
07 maj 2021
Depressive symptoms are more common in teenage girls than in their male peers. However, boys’ mental health appears to be affected more if they suffer from obesity. Irrespective of gender, bullying is a considerably greater risk factor than overweight for developing depressive symptoms. These conclusions are drawn by researchers at Uppsala University who monitored adolescents for six years in a questionnaire study, now published in the Journal...
Conspiracy theories characterise views in and about Europe
03 maj 2021
Conspiratorial narratives of internal disintegration and external threats affect views in the European Union and Europe to an increasing extent. Our trust in society is put to the test in crises such as COVID-19 when various groups are singled out as the villains. In extreme cases, this can inspire acts of terror. Researchers from Uppsala University are among those demonstrating this in the new book Europe: Continent of Conspiracies. Conspirac...
Decrease in prostate cancer diagnoses due to pandemic
29 april 2021
During the first wave of the corona pandemic, 36 per cent fewer men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in Sweden than in previous years. On the other hand, the number of patients receiving curative treatment for prostate cancer was unaffected. This is shown by a new register study led by Uppsala University researchers, whose results are published in the Scandinavian Journal of Urology.
Molecular biologists travel back in time 3 billion years
29 april 2021
A research group working at Uppsala University has succeeded in studying ‘translation factors’ – important components of a cell’s protein synthesis machinery – that are several billion years old. By studying these ancient ‘resurrected’ factors, the researchers were able to establish that they had much broader specificities than their present-day, more specialised counterparts.
Socioeconomic deprivation modifies genetic influence on higher education
27 april 2021
A comprehensive study from Uppsala University demonstrates that socioeconomic deprivation modifies genetic effects on higher education and abstract reasoning. The paper illustrates how genes play a greater role in educational attainment in more socioeconomically deprived regions of the United Kingdom. The study was recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Newly discovered immune cell function vital to healing
22 april 2021
Cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death, is the result of oxygen deprivation as blood perfusion to affected tissue is prevented. To halt the development of the disease and to promote healing, re-establishment of blood flow is crucial. Researchers at Uppsala University have now discovered that one of the most common immune cells in the human body, macrophages, play an important role in re-establishing and controlling blood flow, ...
David D. Laitin is awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science
15 april 2021
David D. Laitin, Stanford University, is this year’s recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize, known by many as the ‘Nobel Prize in Political Science’. Professor Laitin is awarded the prize for his “original and objective explanation of how politics shapes cultural strategies in heterogeneous societies.”
Gut epithelium muscles up against infection
12 april 2021
To maximise absorption of nutrients from the diet, the intestinal mucous membrane has a large surface area. However, this also makes it vulnerable to attack from aggressive gut microbes. A new study by Uppsala University researchers now shows that the surface layer of the mucosa, known as the epithelium, can rapidly contract when it recognises a bacterial attack. The results are published in the journal PNAS.
Genome sequencing reveals a new species of bumblebee
07 april 2021
While studying genetic diversity in bumblebees in the Rocky Mountains, USA, researchers from Uppsala University discovered a new species. They named it Bombus incognitus and present their findings in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Largest-ever DNA mapping study of the Philippines
23 mars 2021
Over 50 millennia, at least five major immigration waves have successively populated the Philippines, the most comprehensive survey of genetic variations in the country to date shows. This Uppsala University study, published in the scientific journal PNAS, comprises 2.3 million DNA markers from some 1,000 individuals.
Mutations in the neurochondrin gene linked to epilepsy
15 mars 2021
Mutations in the neurochondrin (NCDN) gene can cause epilepsy, neurodevelopmental delay and intellectual disability. The gene mutation significantly impairs contacts and signalling between neurons in the brain. This is the conclusion of a study led from Uppsala University and published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Unmarried people given less intensive treatment for mantle cell lymphoma
12 mars 2021
Mantle cell lymphoma is a malignant disease in which intensive treatment can prolong life. In a new study, scientists from Uppsala University and other Swedish universities show that people with mantle cell lymphoma who were unmarried, and those who had low educational attainment, were less often treated with a stem-cell transplantation, which may result in poorer survival. The findings have been published in the scientific journal Blood Adva...
Release of serotonin from mast cells contribute to airway hyperresposivness in asthma
12 mars 2021
In asthma, the airways become hyperresponsive. Researchers from Uppsala University have found a new mechanism that contributes to, and explains, airway hyperresponsiveness. The results are published in the scientific journal Allergy.
Behaviour change and antimicrobial resistance in focus at Uppsala Health Summit
09 mars 2021
Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global threat to human and animal health. This year’s Uppsala Health Summit, which will take place online on 15–18 March, will discuss how behaviour change across various sectors of society can slow down this worrying trend.
Dried blood spots – simple and efficient sample collection for analyses of protein biomarkers
05 mars 2021
Recent results from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet demonstrate that self-collected blood in the form of dried blood spots works well in analyses of protein biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. Using these types of samples would mean simpler and efficient blood collection that could be done by the individuals themselves.
New model can predict how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance
04 mars 2021
Using theoretical models of bacterial metabolism and reproduction, scientists can predict the type of resistance that bacteria will develop when they are exposed to antibiotics. This has now been shown by an Uppsala University research team, in collaboration with colleagues in Cologne, Germany. The study is published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
New light shed on the early evolution of limb bone marrow
02 mars 2021
When and how bone marrow first originated in the limbs of early four-legged animals is disputed in evolutionary biology. With the help of powerful X-ray technology, an international research team, led by Uppsala University, has now discovered that this evolutionary adaptation most likely took place after the first tetrapods stepped ashore. The study is published in the scientific journal eLife.
Sound-frequency map for inner ear created with advanced X-ray technology
24 februari 2021
Researchers at Uppsala University have created the first 3D map of the hearing nerve showing where the various sound frequencies are captured. Using what is known as synchrotron X-ray imaging, they were able to trace the fine nerve threads and the vibrating auditory organ, the cochlea, and find out exactly how the frequencies of incoming sound are distributed. The study is published in Scientific Reports.
Beta blockers can repair malformed blood vessels in the brain
23 februari 2021
Propranolol, a drug that is efficacious against infantile haemangiomas (“strawberry naevi”, resembling birthmarks), can also be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations, a condition characterised by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere. This has been shown by researchers at Uppsala University in a new study published in the scientific journal Stroke.
Innate immune system worsens the situation in severe COVID-19
23 februari 2021
In patients with severe COVID-19, the innate immune system overreacts. This overreaction may underlie the formation of blood clots (thrombi) and deterioration in oxygen saturation that affect the patients. This is shown in an Uppsala University study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Multigenerational effects of environmental toxins
16 februari 2021
The effects of the endocrine disruptor linuron on frogs are not limited to those exposed, but are passed on to their offspring and grand-offspring. First generation offspring have reduced body weight and decreased fertility, while second generation offspring have increased body weight and a disrupted metabolism. This is demonstrated by a new study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University that has now been publish...
Metabolic response behind reduced cancer cell growth
12 februari 2021
Researchers from Uppsala University show in a new study that inhibition of the protein EZH2 can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the blood cancer multiple myeloma. The reduction is caused by changes in the cancer cells’ metabolism. These changes can be used as markers to discriminate whether a patient would respond to treatment by EZH2 inhibition. The study has been published in the journal Cell Death & Disease.
Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
12 februari 2021
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these “polymer dots” showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
New improved dog reference genome will aid a new generation of investigation
10 februari 2021
Researchers at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have used new methods for DNA sequencing and annotation to build a new, and more complete, dog reference genome. This tool will serve as the foundation for a new era of research, helping scientists to better understand the link between DNA and disease, in dogs and in their human friends. The research is presented in the journal Communications Biology.