The focus of financial reporting influences business cycles
27 december 2021
Editorial choices can impact the amplitude of business cycles even if the information that is reported is correct. On reason is that the focus of the reports can be on sectors that are non-representative of the economy in general. A new study shows that financial reporting can explain up to 20 per cent of the business cycles for GDP and 40 per cent of the business cycles for unemployment.
Zebrafish and AI replace some mouse experiments in cancer research
20 december 2021
Researchers at Uppsala University have used AI to develop a new method to study brain cancer. The method is based on transplanting tumour cells from patients to fish embryos, followed by observation with AI. The method, which is described in the scientific journal Neuro-Oncology, can partly replace current mouse models for studying tumour growth and treatment.
Small measures can be a big help for children of mothers with depression
20 december 2021
Several new studies among Syrian refugee families in Turkey and families with infants in Sweden and Bhutan show that children of mothers in poor mental health risk falling behind in their cognitive development. However, very small changes can suffice to break this correlation and enable the children to return to their normal developmental level. Having plenty of people around them and an available community are two of the most important factor...
Hunt for the protein TGM1 led to disease discovery
14 december 2021
By searching for the protein TGM1 among patients with various autoimmune skin diseases, researchers have successfully identified a separate disease that can be linked to autoimmunity against TGM1. This backward method demonstrates a new way of identifying autoantigens as markers for serious diseases. By letting autoantigens point to the disease, diagnosis and treatment can be facilitated, according to the study now published in PNAS.
Several protein biomarkers protect against disease development
08 december 2021
A comprehensive study from Uppsala University shows that several disease-associated protein biomarkers protect healthy individuals from developing inflammatory diseases. The protective effects are attributed to the proteins’ function in preventing tissue damage, a function that might be very different from the effect in a tissue subjected to chronic or acute inflammation.
Genes associated with hearing loss visualised in new study
02 december 2021
Researchers from Uppsala University have been able to document and visualise hearing loss-associated genes in the human inner ear, in a unique collaboration study between otosurgeons and geneticists. The findings illustrate that discrete subcellular structures in the human organ of hearing, the cochlea, are involved in the variation of risk of age-related hearing loss in the population. The study is published in BMC Medicine.
Blocking inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells
24 november 2021
Viruses invade our cells and turn them into virus factories. Researchers at Uppsala University, together with a network of national and international collaborators, have identified the way SARS-CoV-2 takes control of our cells – and they have found a possible way to inhibit the ravages of the virus.
Spin Mixing in Ferromagnets Revealed
19 november 2021
For the first time through experiments and theory, Uppsala researchers, together with international collaborators, have been able to measure spin mixing in a ferromagnetic material. Through the experimental measurements, they discovered that a common factor in spin equations, in common use since the 1950s, has been significantly underestimated.
Expectations and dopamine can affect outcome of SSRI treatment
05 november 2021
Levels of dopamine and the placebo effect can determine whether patients with social anxieties improve when treated with SSRIs. A new study shows the effect was four times higher for patients with high expectations of the medication compared with patients with low expectations. This was true even though the groups received the same medical treatment. Although SSRIs influence levels of serotonin in the brain, the effects on dopamine had the gre...
Why some Darwin’s finch nestlings have yellow beaks
25 oktober 2021
Carotenoids are the underlying pigment for much of the enormous variety in color found across birds and form the basis for the colors red, yellow, and orange. In a study published in Current Biology, researchers from Uppsala University and Princeton University have uncovered the genetic basis for the yellow beak of some Darwin’s finch nestlings.
Pathways to lifelong mental wellbeing in focus at Uppsala Health Summit
14 oktober 2021
Increasing mental ill health is one of the most urgent public health challenges in the world. The global meeting Uppsala Health Summit, to be held online on 18–21 October, will discuss which preventive measures societies should deploy to better address this troubling trend.
How do probiotic bacteria benefit the intestine?
12 oktober 2021
Interaction between the gut microbiota and the immune system is important for host physiology and susceptibility to disease, but also for the efficacy of e.g., cancer immunotherapies. A multidisciplinary research team have now discovered that specific probiotic bacteria shape the intestinal microbiome by affecting B lymphocytes in the Peyer’s patches to induce, produce and release IgA following trafficking to the mucosa of the small intestine ...
The role of diet in the rise of modern shark communities
05 oktober 2021
The availability of prey and the ability to adapt to changing environments played key roles in the evolution of sharks. A new study, in which over 3,000 shark teeth were analysed, provides new insight into how modern shark communities were established. The results are published in the journal Current Biology.
T-cell tests unreliable in establishing previous COVID-19
04 oktober 2021
Can T-cell tests be used to determine whether people have had COVID-19? Scientists at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet have jointly analysed this issue under the aegis of the COMMUNITY study at Danderyd Hospital. Their study is published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
More effective treatment of Alzheimer’s
28 september 2021
Researchers at Uppsala University have designed new antibodies that might provide more effective treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease. By designing antibodies that bind even to the smaller aggregates, or clumps, of the amyloid-beta protein, it may be possible to check the progress of the disease. The results presents in Translational Neurodegeneration.
Allergic stimulation activates mast cell precursor cells
27 september 2021
Mast cell precursor cells do not just cause an increase in mature mast cells during inflammation, they also play an active role in diseases like asthma. This finding is in a new study by immunology researchers published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study also emphasises that precursor cells in general can play an active role in inflammation and challenges the current idea that only mature immune cells are involved in ...
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.