Game to help children with cancer
15 augusti 2022
Children with cancer can find radiotherapy distressing. A research group at Uppsala University is currently developing a computer game to prepare children for therapy and hopefully make it less scary.
Hundreds of large habitat shifts have shaped life on Earth today
05 augusti 2022
An international team led by Uppsala University researchers has uncovered that eukaryotes (organisms with a cellular nucleus) have made hundreds of big leaps from sea to soil and freshwater habitats, and vice versa, during their evolution. The results, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, also provide insights into what the habitats of our ancient microbial ancestors looked like.
DNA Gives Clues to Clean and Effective Energy Production
19 juli 2022
Researchers from several universities, including Uppsala University, have, by studying helical molecules in the body such as DNA, received clues as to how energy production in fuel cells can be made more efficient without admixture of carbon dioxide and heavy metals. The new research shows how the helical molecules, found naturally in all oxygen-dependent life, catalyses energy production in the cells.
Y chromosome loss causes heart failure and death from cardiovascular disease
14 juli 2022
Loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells of men is associated with disease and mortality, but no clear causal relationship has previously been identified. Now, researchers from Uppsala University show in an international study in the journal Science that loss of the Y chromosome in white blood cells causes development of fibrosis in the heart, impaired heart function and death from cardiovascular diseases in men.
Ancestral genetic variation essential for rapid evolution of Darwin’s finches
08 juli 2022
In a study, published in Science Advances, an international team of researchers have identified 28 gene regions that have been particularly important in the evolution of Darwin’s finches. These genetic variants do not represent recent mutations but constitute ancestral genetic variation that has accumulated over time as different species of Darwin’s finches have evolved with striking differences in beak morphology.
New data on violent political protest in UCDP
08 juli 2022
Violent political protest has become increasingly common across the globe, with the Middle East and Africa displaying the trend most often. This is shown in a new study conducted by peace researchers at Uppsala University. In conjunction with the study, violent political protest has as of now been introduced as its own fourth category in Uppsala University’s conflict database, known as UCDP.
New hypothesis about crocodiles’ ears may help people with impaired hearing
04 juli 2022
Impaired hearing affects over 1.2 billion people worldwide. But crocodiles, who live almost as long as humans and can surpass 70 years of age, have good hearing throughout their lives. One reason is because crocodiles can create new hair cells, and a research group from Uppsala University is now on the path to finding out why. Hopefully, knowledge from the world of crocodiles will be able to help people with impaired hearing.
Municipal housing policy influences refugee reception
30 juni 2022
Municipalities can use their local housing policy to influence the extent to which refugees are able to settle in the municipality in the long term. While certain municipalities offer refugees permanent housing contracts, others only provide temporary contracts that make it difficult for individuals to stay and establish themselves in the municipality. These are the conclusions of a new study led by the Institute for Housing and Urban Research...
Iceland volcano eruption opens a rare window into the Earth beneath our feet
29 juni 2022
The recent Fagradalsfjall eruption in the southwest of Iceland has enthralled the whole world, including nature lovers and scientists alike. The eruption was especially important as it provided geologists with a unique opportunity to study magmas that were accumulated in a deep crustal magma reservoir but ultimately derived from the Earth’s mantle (below 20 km).
Oral contraceptives and hormone therapy increase the risk of stroke
28 juni 2022
A new study from Uppsala University shows that oral contraceptives and hormone therapy at menopause increase the risk of stroke. The increased risk is greatest during the first year of treatment and then declines. The study, which is now published in Stroke, is based on data from over a quarter of a million women from the UK Biobank database.
Major increase in conflict-related deaths – approaching record levels of 2014
27 juni 2022
New data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) at Uppsala University show that at least 119,000 people died in organised violence in 2021. This is an increase of 46 per cent compared to the previous year, and the highest number since 2015.
New inherited retroviruses identified in the koala genome
13 juni 2022
Historic virus infections can be traced in vertebrate genomes. For millions of years, these genomes have been repositories for retroviruses that incorporated their code into germline cells and were inherited as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Researchers from Uppsala University now provide new findings about retroviral establishment in the koala genome. The findings are being published in the journal PNAS.
Bioarchaeological evidence of very early Islamic burials in the Levant
09 juni 2022
A new study combining archaeological, historical and bioarchaeological data provides new insights into the early Islamic period in modern-day Syria. The research team was planning to focus on a much older time period but came across what they believe to be remains of early Muslims in the Syrian countryside.
Newly discovered coronavirus common in bank voles
03 juni 2022
Researchers from the Zoonosis Science Center at Uppsala University have identified a new coronavirus. Their study of approximately 260 bank voles caught around Grimsö, Örebro County, shows that the virus is well established in Sweden’s red-backed voles. The finding has been published in the journal Viruses.
Gene variant influences risk for blood clots in covid patients
30 maj 2022
A gene variant in the natural immune system influences the risk for blood clots in the lungs of severely ill COVID-19 patients. This has been documented in a new study by researchers at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet that has now been published in Nature Immunology.
Rare genetic variants not the major contributing factors to common diseases
16 maj 2022
Although some rare genetic variants can increase the risk of disease markedly for a few individuals, the genetic contribution to common diseases is mostly due to a combination of many common genetic variants with small effects. This is shown in a comprehensive study by researchers at Uppsala University and SciLifeLab, published in the journal Nature Communications.
Acute sleep loss may alter the way we see others
03 maj 2022
A new study from Uppsala University shows that young adults when sleep-deprived evaluate angry faces as less trustworthy and healthy-looking. Furthermore, neutral and fearful faces appear less attractive following sleep loss. The findings are published in the scientific journal Nature and Science of Sleep.
Climate resilient microalgae could help restore coral reefs
27 april 2022
Coral species exhibit different temperature tolerances. This is in part due to the composition of their microalgae symbionts. With a new method, researchers from Uppsala University were able to predict how individual microalgae might behave under future temperature stress and identify more tolerant coral symbionts. In combination with forthcoming single cell selection and growth experiments, the identification of climate resilient cells provid...
Robert Goodin awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science
25 april 2022
Professor Robert Goodin, Australian National University, is the recipient of the 2022 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize in Political Science’. He is awarded the prize for a number of works over several decades in which he “with acuity and success endeavoured to blend political philosophy with empirical political science to increase the understanding of how decent and dignified societies can be shaped”.
Symptom data help predict COVID-19 admissions
21 april 2022
Researchers at Lund University and Uppsala University are conducting one of the largest citizen science projects in Sweden to date. Since the start of the pandemic, study participants have used an app to report how they feel daily even if they are well. This symptom data could be used to estimate COVID-19 infection trends across Sweden and predict hospital admissions due to COVID-19 a week in advance. The results have now been published in the...
Spruce trees’ reconquest of Sweden after the last Ice Age took 10,000 years
07 april 2022
A new study from scientists at Uppsala University shows that it took more than 10 millennia from when the first spruces returned to Sweden after the glacial stage of the last Ice Age until the species became widespread. This sluggish rate of initial dispersal has surprised the researchers, since the spruce might have had good prospects of expanding its range.
Armed CAR-T cells to better fight cancer
05 april 2022
Immunotherapy is increasingly becoming a successful way to treat cancer. Researchers at Uppsala University have now developed armed CAR-T cells that reinforce the immune defence against cancer and that could increase the possibilities to successfully treat solid tumours. The study has been published in the journal Nature BioMedical Engineering.
Mobile app reduces post-traumatic stress
01 april 2022
Support offered by a phone app can relieve post-traumatic stress and depression. A new study from Uppsala University’s National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry involving 179 people shows that a dedicated PTSD app, PTSD Coach, helps adults suffering from mental health issues after traumatic events.
Inflammation and net-like protein structures in cerebral cavernous malformations
30 mars 2022
In the condition known as cavernoma, lesions arise in a cluster of blood vessels in the brain, spinal cord or retina. Researchers at Uppsala University show in a new study that white blood cells and protein structures associated with the immune response infiltrate the vessel lesions. The findings support that inflammation has a role in the development of cavernoma and indicate a potential biomarker for the disease.
Eliminating the bottlenecks for use of lithium-sulfur batteries
24 mars 2022
Energy storage in lithium-sulfur batteries is potentially higher than in lithium-ion batteries but they are hampered by a short life. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have now identified the main bottlenecks in performance.
Transforming space and society in Kiruna
22 mars 2022
When the Swedish government and mining company LKAB first shared responsibility for developing the city of Kiruna over a hundred years ago, they focused mostly on practical issues. How does one build a city in a “desolate wilderness”? How does one attract settlers to a new place, far away in the Arctic north? State and corporate ideas about nature, people and the future played a decisive role in the development of Kiruna as a mining town, and ...
Mummification in Europe may be older than previously known
03 mars 2022
Mummification of the dead probably was more common in prehistory than previously known. This discovery was made at the hunter-gatherer burial sites in the Sado Valley in Portugal, dating to 8 000 years ago. A new study, headed by archaeologists at Uppsala University and Linnaeus University in Sweden and University of Lisbon in Portugal, presents new evidence for pre-burial treatments such as desiccation through mummification, which has not bee...
Hidden weaknesses within volcanoes may cause volcano collapse
25 februari 2022
Lava domes form at the top of many volcanoes when viscous lava erupts. When they become unstable, they can collapse and cause a hazard. An international team of researchers has analysed summit dome instabilities at Merapi Volcano, Indonesia. The researchers hope that by understanding the inner processes, volcano collapses can be better forecasted.
The reign of the dinosaurs ended in spring
23 februari 2022
The asteroid which killed nearly all of the dinosaurs struck Earth during springtime. This conclusion was drawn by an international team of researchers after having examined thin sections, high-resolution synchrotron X-ray scans, and carbon isotope records of the bones of fishes that died less than 60 minutes after the asteroid impacted. The team presents its findings in the journal Nature.
350 years old remains in a Stone Age site in Portugal
21 februari 2022
An African man who lived just 350 years ago was buried in a prehistoric shell midden in Amoreira in Portugal. This was very surprising because Amoreira and other midden sites in the Muge region are well known by archaeologists for the cemeteries of the last hunter-gatherers living in the area 8 000 years-ago. To investigate this burial researchers from Uppsala University and Universidade de Lisboa combined biomolecular archaeology, ancient DNA...
More chemicals, fewer words: exposure to chemical mixtures during pregnancy alters brain development
17 februari 2022
By linking human population studies with experiments in cell and animal models, researchers have provided evidence that complex mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals impact children’s brain development and language acquisition. With their novel approach, the scientists show that up to 54 per cent of pregnant women were exposed to experimentally defined levels of concern.
Ancestors of legionella bacteria infected cells two billion years ago
15 februari 2022
Researchers at Uppsala University have discovered that the ancestors of legionella bacteria infected eukaryotic cells as early as two billion years ago. It happened soon after eukaryotes began to feed on bacteria. These results, described in a new study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, also contributes to the chicken-or-egg debate about whether mitochondria or phagocytosis came first.
Promising molecule for treatment of COVID-19
10 februari 2022
Uppsala researchers have succeeded in designing a molecule that inhibits the replication of coronaviruses and that has great potential for development into a drug suitable for treating COVID-19. The molecule is effective against both the new variant and previously identified coronaviruses. The article has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Genomic effects of inbreeding on Scandinavian wolves
08 februari 2022
For many years, researchers at Uppsala University have been exploring the genetic origins of the Scandinavian grey wolf population, which was founded by only three immigrating wolves. In their new study the scientists show that, after five generations of inbreeding, between 10 and 25 per cent of the original genetic variation has been eliminated.
Unequal knowledge about cardiovascular diseases
08 februari 2022
Although many people know what increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, not everyone recognises their own risk factors. This is shown by a new study of 423 Swedes aged 40–70 years, which has now been published in the scientific journal Preventive Medicine Reports.
CRISPR-Cas9 can generate unexpected, heritable mutations
02 februari 2022
CRISPR-Cas9, the “genetic scissors”, creates new potential for curing diseases; but treatments must be reliable. In a new study, researchers have discovered that the method can give rise to unforeseen changes in DNA that can be inherited by the next generation. These scientists therefore urge caution and meticulous validation before using CRISPR-Cas9 for medical purposes.
COVID-19 patients may need less oxygen than previously thought
01 februari 2022
A new study, led by researchers at Uppsala University, shows that all individual patients suffering from severe COVID-19 may have lower oxygen requirements than was formerly believed. The study was conducted at a Swedish district hospital during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. The scientists’ methods, as well as their results, may be useful for future planning of health care and resources.
Strong bonding - a long-term commitment or many brief relationships?
27 januari 2022
In an article in the scientific journal Science, researchers at Uppsala University show how a DNA-binding protein can search the entire genome for its target sequence without getting held up on the way. The result contradicts our current understanding of gene regulation - the genetic code affects how often the proteins bind, but not for how long.
Curtailed sleep may alter how intense exercise stresses the heart
27 januari 2022
In a new study, participants underwent an intense bout of exercise after both normal sleep and after three nights of curtailed sleep. When they exercised after curtailed sleep, the levels of the heart injury biomarker troponin increased slightly more, compared with when the participants performed exercise in their well-rested condition. The study is a smaller pilot study and it is not yet possible to determine if the findings may be of relevan...
Why did ocean productivity decline abruptly 4.6 million years ago?
18 januari 2022
By drilling deep down into sediments on the ocean floor researchers can travel back in time. A research team led from Uppsala University now presents new clues as to when and why a period often referred to as the ‘biogenic bloom’ came to an abrupt end. Changes in the shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun may have played a part in the dramatic change.
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.