New method takes analysis of genetic libraries to next level
18 november 2019
Uppsala researchers have developed a new method for investigating dynamic processes in large genetic libraries. By using this method to study cell cycle regulation, they help paint a clearer picture of the elusive control mechanism. The study is published in the journal Nature Methods.
First evidence of feathered polar dinosaurs found in Australia
12 november 2019
A cache of 118 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur and bird feathers has been recovered from an ancient lake deposit that once lay beyond the southern polar circle.
Connecting the brain and consciousness
06 november 2019
What is consciousness? What does it mean to be ‘aware’, and how is our consciousness connected to the physical brain? A recent thesis from Uppsala University explores the philosophical aspects of the issue, and proposes a solution: the ‘intrinsic consciousness’ theory.
Variability in the molecules of life
01 november 2019
How variable are gene transcripts and proteins, the molecules of life, across the tissues and organs of the human body? Furthermore, how variable are they within the same tissue type from different people? Understanding this variability will be key for the realisation of personalised medicine. These questions are the focus of a new study led by researchers from Uppsala University, which is published in NAR Genomics and Bioinformatics.
The earliest well-preserved tetrapod may never have left the water
23 oktober 2019
Superbly preserved fossils from Russia, excavated with support of a grant from the National Geographic Society and described today by an international team in the leading scientific journal Nature, cast new and surprising light on one of the earliest tetrapods – the group of animals that made the evolutionary transition from water to land and ultimately became the ancestors not just of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, but of ourselves.
How rare earth element (REE)-rich deposits in central Sweden formed
23 oktober 2019
Much of our modern technology relies on the use of rare earth elements (REEs), and a key to finding more of them is to understand the processes that concentrate them in the Earth’s crust. In the ancient Bergslagen ore province of central Sweden lies a zone of ‘Bastnäs-type’ rare earth element deposits, and in a new study, scientists from Uppsala University and the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) show how these deposits originally formed.
DNA study sheds new light on the people of the Neolithic Battle Axe Culture
09 oktober 2019
In an interdisciplinary study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, an international research team has combined archaeological, genetic and stable isotope data to understand the demographic processes associated with the iconic Battle Axe Culture and its introduction in Scandinavia.
Aristocratic family trees became scientific model
01 oktober 2019
Before the French Revolution, family trees were reserved for the feudal upper classes, who used them to consolidate their social status. While feudalism broke down and family trees lost their old roles, the trees gained new functions as scientific models. This is shown by a new thesis in the history of science and ideas.
High pressure electronic transitions a pathway to high-temperature superconductivity in hydrogen
25 september 2019
An international experimental research team led by Professor Ho-Kwang Mao and Dr Cheng Ji from HPSTAR, China and a theory team led by Professor Rajeev Ahuja, Uppsala University, have used experimental research as well as theory to understand high-pressure structural phase transitions in hydrogen which could give rise to metallisation and could even result in superconductivity. The findings were published this week in the online edition of Nature.
Mechanism for the formation of new blood vessels discovered
23 september 2019
Researchers from Uppsala University have revealed for the first time a mechanism for how new blood vessels are formed and have shown the importance of this mechanism for embryo survival and organ function. The results could be developed to control the formation of new blood vessels in different diseases. The new study is published in the journal EMBO Reports.
New mechanism for dysfunctional insulin release identified
19 september 2019
In a new study, researchers at Uppsala University have identified a previously unknown mechanism that regulates release of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood glucose levels, from the β-cells (beta cells) of the pancreas. This mechanism is disrupted in type 2 diabetes. The scientists hope this finding will be used to develop new treatments against the disease.
One step closer future to quantum computers
16 september 2019
Physicists at Uppsala University have identified how to distinguish between true and ‘fake’ Majorana states in one of the most commonly used experimental setups, by means of supercurrent measurements. This theoretical study is a crucial step for advancing the field of topological superconductors and applications of Majorana states for robust quantum computers. New experiments testing this approach are expected next.
Deaths halved among infarct patients attending Heart School
16 september 2019
Patients who attend ‘Heart School’, as almost every patient in Sweden is invited to do after a first heart attack, live longer than non-participating patients. This is shown in a new study, by researchers at Uppsala University, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Children’s unique urban health challenges timely topic at Uppsala Health Summit 2019
10 september 2019
Densification of cities causes increased traffic and less space for playgrounds, schoolyards and spontaneous play. This has a negative effect on children’s health and development. Even though the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by most countries, the child perspective is often missing in the planning process. The high-level international meeting Uppsala Health Summit is focusing on urban planning from a child health ...
Women’s deep belly fat more strongly linked to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
09 september 2019
A comprehensive study from Uppsala University, with over 325,000 participants, shows that deep belly fat is a major contributing risk factor for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study also shows that deep belly fat is a larger risk factor in women compared to men. Moreover, the scientists investigated how our genes affect the accumulation of fat and present a new, simpler method to estimate the amount of deep belly fat.
New WHO autoantibody reference reagent will benefit SLE patients
05 september 2019
Reference reagents are important in diagnostics and care of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In a new study, an international team of researchers presents a new WHO autoantibody reference reagent that will help to align autoantibody analyses and thus to optimise diagnosis and treatment to patients irrespective of where they live. The findings are published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
The genealogy of important broiler ancestor revealed
28 augusti 2019
A new study examines the historical and genetic origins of the White Plymouth Rock chicken, an important contributor to today’s meat chickens (broilers). Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, The Livestock Conservancy and Virginia Tech in the USA have used genomics to study breed formation and the roots of modern broilers.
How the herring adapted to the light environment in the Baltic Sea
26 augusti 2019
The evolutionary process that occurs when a species colonizes a new environment provides an opportunity to explore the mechanisms underlying genetic adaptation,which is essential knowledge for understanding evolution and the maintenance of biodiversity. An international team of scientists, led by researchers from Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, reports that a single amino acid change in the light-sensing rhodopsin protein played a critica...
Filter-feeding pterosaurs were the flamingoes of the Late Jurassic
26 augusti 2019
Modern flamingoes employ filter feeding and their feces are, as a result, rich in remains of microscopically-small aquatic prey. Very similar contents are described from more than 150 million year old pterosaur droppings in a recent paper in PeerJ. This represents the first direct evidence of filter-feeding in Late Jurassic pterosaurs and demonstrates that their diet and feeding environment were similar to those of modern flamingoes.
Novel method identifies the right individual exosomes
26 augusti 2019
There is a growing demand for diagnostic markers for early disease detection and prognosis. Exosomes are potential biomarkers for cancer progression and neurodegenerative disease but it can be difficult to identify what tissue a specific exosome comes from. Researchers at Uppsala University and spin-off company Vesicode AB have solved this problem by developing a method that maps surface protein complements on large numbers of individual exoso...
Paper filter from local algae could save lives in Bangladesh
19 augusti 2019
The problem of access to safe drinking water in most parts of Bangladesh is a persistent challenge. Now, a team of scientists from Uppsala University, Sweden, and Dhaka University, Bangladesh, shows that a locally growing and previously unexploited green macroalgae species could be used to extract cellulose nanofibers, which can then be formed into paper sheets with tailored pore size that are utilized for point-of-use water treatment.
Studies of fungi provide new knowledge of harmful mutations in cells
08 augusti 2019
Long-lived mushrooms that grow in ‘fairy rings’ accumulate surprisingly few mutations over time. This finding indicates that their protection against harmful mutations is well developed. The results, to be published in the esteemed journal Current Biology, are interesting in terms of both medicine and evolutionary biology.
Multiple genes affect risk of asthma, hay fever and eczema
05 augusti 2019
In a new study from SciLifeLab at Uppsala University, researchers have found a total of 141 regions (genes) in our genetic material that largely explain the genetic risk underlying asthma, hay fever and eczema. As many as 41 of the genes identified have not previously been linked to an elevated risk for these diseases. The results are published in the scientific journal Human Molecular Genetics.
Solar energy becomes biofuel without solar cells
26 juli 2019
Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water. Researchers at Uppsala University have successfully produced microorganisms that can efficiently produce the alcohol butanol using carbon dioxide and solar energy, without needing to use solar cells.
How bacteria translate proteins from structurally blocked mRNAs - using standby
15 juli 2019
Bacterial ribosomes need a single-stranded ribosome binding site (RBS) to initiate protein synthesis, whereas stable RNA structure blocks initiation. Paradoxically, structured mRNAs can nevertheless be efficiently translated. Researchers at Uppsala University have now elucidated the anatomy of a "standby" site and its requirements, to overcome RNA structure problems for translation.
New biomarker test improves diagnosis of ovarian cancer
20 juni 2019
The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer. A novel blood test developed by researchers at Uppsala University and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now offers the possibility of more precise diagnostics without the need for surgery. This could lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery and to earlier detection and treatment for affected women. The study was recently published in C...
New genes out of nothing
04 juni 2019
One key question in evolutionary biology is how novel genes arise and develop. Swedish researchers now show how new genes and functions that are advantageous to bacteria can be selected from random DNA sequences. The results are presented in the scientific journal mBio.
Lowest level of fatalities in organised violence in seven years
04 juni 2019
New data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), Uppsala University shows that in 2018 the number of fatalities in organised violence reached the lowest level in seven years. However, the large share of internationalised conflicts, to which external states contribute troops, worries researchers. These conflicts tend to be both bloodier and longer.
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention themselves
22 maj 2019
In typical development, both infants and their parents flexibly use verbal and non-verbal behaviors to establish frequent episodes of joint attention, such as when a child follows her parent’s gaze to look at an airplane in the sky. A new study published in Biological Psychiatry shows that infants who are later diagnosed with autism react adequately when others initiate joint attention, but seldom actively seek to establish such episodes thems...
Owning a dog is influenced by our genetic make-up
17 maj 2019
A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The results indicate that an individual’s genetic make-up has a great influence on whether they choose to acquire a dog. Genes appear to account for more than half of the difference in dog ownership.
Inhibition of ribosome biogenesis as a novel approach for multi-stage cancer treatment
08 maj 2019
Nearly ninety per cent of all cancer patient deaths are due to metastasis. A study from Uppsala University shows that a process that allows the cells to metastasise is aided by the synthesis of new ribosomes, the cell components in which proteins are produced. The results open the possibility for new treatment strategies for advanced cancers. The study is published in Nature Communications.
Soap film artificial photosynthesis research granted EUR 3.2 million
06 maj 2019
A research project led by Uppsala University has been awarded a EUR 3.2 million grant by the European Commission. The aim is to create renewable solar fuel using soap foam, carbon dioxide and sunlight.
Children’s Health in Cities in Focus at Uppsala Health Summit
29 april 2019
By 2050, around 70 per cent of the world’s children will live in cities. During the high-level meeting Uppsala Health Summit this autumn, international experts from different sectors will gather to discuss how to plan cities and strengthen public health strategies to better care for children’s health and wellbeing in all parts of the world.
Association between high blood PCB levels and premature death
26 april 2019
High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the blood are associated with premature death. This is shown by a cross-disciplinary study, based on 1,000 randomly selected 70-year-olds in Uppsala, that is published in the JAMA Network Open journal today.
New discovery could lead to improved blood sugar level control
26 april 2019
Many diabetes patients do not only have problems with their insulin, but also with the release of the hormone glucagon. Researchers at Uppsala University have now discovered a regulation mechanism which could provide an opportunity to improve blood glucose control in these patients. The research is published in the journal Diebetologia.
Megalith tombs were family graves in European Stone Age
15 april 2019
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international research team, led from Uppsala University, discovered kin relationships among Stone Age individuals buried in megalithic tombs on Ireland and in Sweden. The kin relations can be traced for more than ten generations and suggests that megaliths were graves for kindred groups in Stone Age northwestern Europe.
New research supports volcanic origin of Kiruna-type iron ores
12 april 2019
The origin of giant apatite-iron oxide ores of the so-called ‘Kiruna-type’ has been the topic of a long standing debate that has lasted for over 100 years. In a new article, published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists presents new and unambiguous data in favour of a magmatic origin for these important iron ores. The study was led by researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden.
Origin of Scandinavian wolves clarified
29 mars 2019
There are no signs that hybrids of dog and wolf have contributed to the Scandinavian wolf population – a matter that has been discussed, especially in Norway. These wolves appear to have originated from the Nordic region or adjacent parts of Northern Europe, new genetic research from Uppsala University shows.
2019 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science to Margaret Levi
28 mars 2019
Professor Margaret Levi at Stanford University and University of Washington has been named the 25th recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. She is awarded the prize for “having laid the foundations of our understanding of why citizens accept state coercion, by combining theoretical acumen and historical knowledge.”
Two genes explain variation in colour and behaviour in the wall lizard
01 mars 2019
How are reptiles capable of generating such a diversity of bright colours? And how is it possible that within a single population of the same species, different individuals exhibit strikingly different coloration patterns? In a new paper published in the journal PNAS an international team of scientists, led by researchers from CIBIO/InBIO (University of Porto) and Uppsala University, reveal two genes implicated in yellow to red pigmentation in...
Should we be screening future parents for genetic disorders?
01 mars 2019
Should public health-care systems provide couples with expanded screening for genetic disorders before they decide to become pregnant? Screening programmes could increase our reproductive choices and autonomy. But there are ethical issues at stake.
New research initiative will power up Europe’s battery revolution
26 februari 2019
A world moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy will rely more and more on energy storage and in particular on batteries. Better batteries can reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector, stabilise the power grid, and much more. The Battery 2030+ large-scale research initiative will gather leading scientists in Europe, as well as the industry, to achieve a leap forward in battery science and technology. The first Battery 2030+ pro...
Uppsala Health Summit announces travel grants for journalists
22 februari 2019
Uppsala Health Summit will offer up to four travel grants to journalists to attend the summit 7 - 9 October themed Healthy Urban Childhoods at Uppsala Castle, Sweden. The grant is intended for journalists with a demonstrated interest in the area, and who otherwise would not have the possibility to attend due to unavailability of funds. Last day to apply is 3 May 2019.
Hard-to-detect antibiotic resistance an underestimated clinical problem
11 februari 2019
When antibiotics are used to treat bacteria susceptible to them, the treatment usually works. Nevertheless, the antibiotic chosen is sometimes ineffective. One of the reasons for this is heteroresistance, a phenomenon explored in depth by Uppsala and Emory University researchers in a new study.
The 210-million-year-old Smok was crushing bones like a hyena
31 januari 2019
Coprolites, or fossil droppings, of the dinosaur-like archosaur Smok wawelski contain lots of chewed-up bone fragments. This led researchers at Uppsala University to conclude that this top predator was exploiting bones for salt and marrow, a behavior often linked to mammals but seldom to archosaurs.
Celsius-Linnaeus Lectures 2019: Climate change, carbon dioxide storage, and human health
30 januari 2019
What do we need to be able to store carbon dioxide in bedrock and thereby reduce the human impact on the global climate? Is climate change in combination with environmental toxins affecting human health? At the Celsius-Linnaeus lectures on 7 February, geologist Martin Blunt and microbiologist and toxicologist Linda S. Birnbaum will present research findings on some of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
Large volcanic eruption in Scotland may have contributed to prehistoric global warming
24 januari 2019
Around 56 million years ago, global temperatures spiked. Researchers at Uppsala University and in the UK now show that a major explosive eruption from the Red Hills on the Isle of Skye may have been a contributing factor to the massive climate disturbance. Their findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Our genes affect where fat is stored in our bodies
21 januari 2019
A recent study from Uppsala University has found that whether you store your fat around the trunk or in other parts of your body is highly influenced by genetic factors and that this effect is present predominantly in women and to a much lower extent in men. In the study, which is published in Nature Communications, the researchers measured how fat was distributed in nearly 360,000 voluntary participants.
Our Universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension
27 december 2018
Uppsala University researchers have devised a new model for the Universe – one that may solve the enigma of dark energy. Their new article, published in Physical Review Letters, proposes a new structural concept, including dark energy, for a universe that rides on an expanding bubble in an additional dimension.
Historical genomes reveal recent changes in genetic health of eastern gorillas
27 december 2018
The critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla has recently lost genetic diversity and has experienced an increase in harmful mutations. These conclusions were reached by an international team of researchers who sequenced eleven genomes from eastern gorilla specimens collected up to 100 years ago, and compared these with genomes from present-day individuals. The results are now published in Current Biology.