News: Livsvetenskaper och teknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 24 Oct 2017 10:05:44 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/A-step-closer-to-a-cure-for-adult-onset-diabetes.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/A-step-closer-to-a-cure-for-adult-onset-diabetes.aspxA step closer to a cure for adult-onset diabetes<p><b>​In healthy people, exosomes – tiny structures secreted by cells to allow intercellular communication – prevent clumping of the protein that leads to type 2 diabetes. Exosomes in patients with the disease don’t have the same ability. This discovery by a research collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and Astrazeneca takes us a step closer to a cure for type 2 diabetes.</b></p>​Proteins are the body’s workhorses, carrying out all the tasks in our cells. A protein is a long chain of amino acids that must be folded into a specific three-dimensional structure to work. Sometimes, however, they behave incorrectly and aggregate – clump together – into long fibres called amyloids, which can cause diseases. It was previously known that type 2 diabetes is caused by a protein aggregating in the pancreas.<br /><br />“What we’ve found is that exosomes secreted by the cells in the pancreas stop that process in healthy people and protect them from type 2 diabetes, while the exosomes of diabetes patients do not,” says Professor Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, who headed the study whose results were recently published in the <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/114/42/11127.abstract">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS</a>.<br /><br />What we know now is that “healthy” exosomes bind the protein that causes diabetes on the outside, preventing it from aggregating; however, the results do not explain why. We also don’t know if type 2 diabetes is caused by “sick” exosomes or if the disease itself causes them to malfunction.<br /><br />“The next step is to make controlled models of the exosomes, whose membranes contain lipids and proteins, to understand exactly what component affects the diabetes protein. If we can find which lipid or protein in the exosome membrane leads to that effect, and can work out the mechanism, then we’ll have a good target for development of treatment for type 2 diabetes.”<br /><br />The study is actually a part of industrial doctoral student Diana Ribeiro’s thesis work, and a collaboration between Chalmers and Astrazeneca.<br /><br />“She came up with the idea for the project herself,” says Wittung Stafshede, who is also Ribeiro’s academic advisor at Chalmers. “She had done some research on exosomes before and I had read a bit about their potential. It’s a fairly new and unexplored field, and honestly I didn’t think the experiments would work. Diana had access to pancreatic cells through Astrazeneca – something we’d never had access to before – and she conducted the studies very thoroughly, and this led us to our discovery.”<br /><br />This is the first time that Wittung Stafshede has worked with Astrazeneca.<br /><br />“We ought to collaborate more. It’s beneficial to them to understand what molecular experiments we can carry out, and it’s valuable for us to be able to put our research into a wider medical-clinical perspective. In the search for a future cure for type 2 diabetes, it’s also good for us to already be working with a pharmaceutical company.”<br /><br />Read the article in PNAS:<br /><a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/114/42/11127.abstract">Extracellular vesicles from human pancreatic islets suppress human islet amyloid polypeptide amyloid formation</a><br /><br />Text: Christian Borg<br />Photo: Anna-Lena LundqvistTue, 24 Oct 2017 10:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspxEnergy award to Jens Nielsen for biofuels from yeast<p><b>​Professor Jens Nielsen is awarded the prestigious &#39;Energy Frontiers Award&#39; by the Italian oil company ENI for research on the engineering of microorganisms that open new solutions for the production of fuels and chemical products from renewables.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">&quot;It is a very prestigious award to receive. Among the earlier winners are Nobel Prize laureates, and I am extremely proud to receive this prize for the research on how to produce hydrocarbons in yeast,&quot; says Jens Nielsen, professor in systems biology at Chalmers University of Technology.</span><div><br /></div> <div>To create a society that can do without fossil fuels, it is necessary to make it possible to sustainably produce chemicals that can be used as fuel for cars, trucks and aircraft. Biotechnology offers the opportunity to design microorganisms for the production of such chemicals, which can be integrated directly into the existing energy infrastructure of our society. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Professor Jens Nielsen’s research on yeast in renewable fuel and chemical production has shown that through the engineering of the metabolism of baker’s yeast – already used industrially for bioethanol production – it is possible to improve the traditional production process, but also to produce chemicals that can be used as drop-in fuels for use with diesel and jet fuel. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have succeeded in redirecting the metabolism in yeast so it can produce these new compounds in small scale, suitable for the production of jet fuel and other fuels, but also antibiotics, dietary supplements and other chemicals interesting for the food and life science industry,” says Jens Nielsen.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A technical-economic analysis has shown that biotechnology-based production of new biofuels could, if developed further, compete with petroleum-based fuels and make a significant contribution to the development of future energy solutions and a more sustainable society, according to the prize jury.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">About the Eni Award</h5> <div>The prestigious ENI Award has been handed out by the Italian oil company ENI since 2007. Reflecting the ongoing energy transition the award is from 2017 given in eight different categories, with focus on research projects aiming at sustainable use of resources, reducing CO2 and promoting natural gas and renewable energy. <a href="https://www.eni.com/en_IT/innovation/eni-award.page">Read more about the Eni Award​</a></div> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biomarkers-in-the-blood-prove-strong-role-of-food-for-type-2-diabetes.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biomarkers-in-the-blood-prove-strong-role-of-food-for-type-2-diabetes.aspxBiomarkers in the blood prove strong role of food for type 2 diabetes<p><b>​A pioneering method, developed at Chalmers University of Technology, has demonstrated its potential in a large study showing that metabolic fingerprints from blood samples could render important new knowledge on the connection between food and health. The study finds that diet is one of the strongest predictors of type 2 diabetes risk in older women.</b></p>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have found that several diet and nutrient biomarkers – molecules that can be measured in blood that are related to diet – are linked with both risk to have type 2 diabetes and future risk of developing diabetes. <p>The study, published in the leading nutrition research journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was carried out on 600 women from Gothenburg where diagnosis of diabetes was made at the start of the study, at their age 64, and again after 5 ½ years.<br /><br /></p> <p>The results underline that diet is an important factor when it comes to risk for developing type 2 diabetes, with fish, whole grains, vegetable oils and good vitamin E status found to be protective against type 2 diabetes, while red meat and saturated fat increased the risk for developing the disease. <br /><br /></p> <p>“What is really important is that we were able to reach these conclusions without having any additional information on diet from the subjects”, said lead author Doctor Otto Savolainen, who works at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science and the Chalmers Mass Spectrometry Infrastructure at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br /></p> <p>The blood samples were analysed at Chalmers, where a unique metabolic fingerprint, including many different diet biomarkers, could be linked to each woman at the specific time the sample was taken. Using this method it was possible for the first time to objectively determine the impact of key dietary components on future type 2 diabetes risk, as well as to find differences in dietary patterns between women with and without type 2 diabetes.<br /><br /></p> <p>“Collecting information about diet can be complicated and time consuming, and is always biased by what people remember and think they should report. Dietary biomarkers don’t have this problem, and highlight that dietary recommendations to avoid red meat and saturated fat and increase intake of plant-based oils and whole grains do seem to hold true, at least in this group of women”, says Associate Professor Alastair Ross, responsible senior researcher at Chalmers, at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science.<br /><br /></p> <p>“The new method has allowed us to measure several markers of diet and nutrient status at the same time in a large number of people, which we believe is the first time this has been done”, he says.<br /></p> <p>Although the role of diet is often discussed as a preventative measure for developing type 2 diabetes, this new research provides strong support for dietary guidelines, and underlines the importance of changing diet to improve health. <br /><br /></p> <p>“New methods such as ours will help to improve how we measure diet and understand in more detail how dietary patterns relate to disease”, says Alastair Ross.<br /> <br /><strong>Video: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL_myF3Fbh0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">We know what you eat!</a></strong><br />See short video on researchers’ new ability to objectively measure what people eat, and the impact this cutting edge technology may have for individuals, researchers and society at large: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL_myF3Fbh0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">We know what you eat!</a></p> <p><strong><br />More about this research</strong><br />Read the article published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: <a href="http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2017/09/13/ajcn.117.152850.abstract" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Biomarkers of food intake and nutrient status are associated with glucose tolerance status and development of type 2 diabetes in older Swedish women</a> </p> <br />The study was made in the Diwa cohort (Diabetes and Impaired glucose tolerance in Women and Atherosclerosis), an earlier study run by Björn Fagerberg and Göran Bergström, Institute of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. <br /><br /><br /><br />Text: Christian Borg<br />Photo: Johan Bodell Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fuels,-medicine-and-chemicals-may-be-sustainably-engineered-from-yeast.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fuels,-medicine-and-chemicals-may-be-sustainably-engineered-from-yeast.aspxFuels, medicine and chemicals may be sustainably engineered from yeast<p><b>​Yeast have become increasingly interesting as paths to address several societal challenges over the last years. Verena Siewers explains how, here – and at the KAW jubilee symposium Metabolism – The Foundation of Life.</b></p><div>​The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with a series of symposia in various university cities around Sweden. The one in Gothenburg will focus on metabolism and will be held 28 September in Conference Centre Wallenberg. Anybody with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.</div> <div> </div> <div>At the symposium, young promising researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology will be paired with internationally renowned experts in the respective fields. The young researcher will present his or her research and introduce the international guest. </div> <div> </div> <div>Verena Siewers, researcher at the department Biology and biological Engineering, will talk about the use of yeast for the production of chemicals.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is yeast interesting for the production of chemicals?</strong></div> <div>– Many of these chemicals are currently derived from petroleum or other non-sustainable sources. Therefore the aim of this research is to provide a sustainable source for a number of compounds that are used for example as fuels, lubricants, polymer building blocks, cosmetics, food ingredients or pharmaceuticals, says Verena Siewers.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>You will be introducing Christina Smolke, Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University. Tell us about her!</strong></div> <div>– Christina Smolke is a world-known synthetic biologist who has constructed artificial control devices based on RNA that are able to regulate microbial metabolism. She is probably most famous for her research on transferring complex biosynthetic pathways to yeast and by this enabling yeast to produce pharmaceuticals such as opioids.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are the main challenges in your research field right now?</strong></div> <div>– There have been numerous proof-of-concept examples in the past years (both by academia and industry), where microbes are engineered to produce certain chemicals. However, only a relative small number has made it to industrial-scale production so far. A major challenge is therefore the closing of this gap.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Christian Borg</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>September 28 the jubilee symposium <strong>Metabolism – The Foundation of Life</strong>, is held to celebrate Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s 100-year anniversary. <a href="/en/about-chalmers/calendar/Pages/Metabolism-–-The-Foundation-of-Life.aspx">More information and registration &gt;&gt;</a> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read</h2> <div><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Symposium-on-Metabolism-the-Foundation-of-Life.aspx">Symposium on Metabolism - the Foundation of Life</a><br /></div>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Symposium-on-Metabolism-the-Foundation-of-Life.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Symposium-on-Metabolism-the-Foundation-of-Life.aspxSymposium on Metabolism - the Foundation of Life<p><b>​The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with a series of symposia in various university cities around Sweden. The one in Gothenburg will focus on metabolism and will be held 28 September in Conference Centre Wallenberg. Anybody with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.</b></p><div>​At the symposium, young promising researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology will be paired with internationally renowned experts in the respective fields. The young researcher will present his or her research and introduce the international guest.</div> <div> </div> <div>–When we were offered the opportunity to host a symposium in Gothenburg, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had already selected the topic. Gothenburg has a long tradition of strong research in the area of metabolism, and the symposium request is a recognition of that, says Sven Enerback, professor of medical genetics and one of the scientists in the programme committee.</div> <div> </div> <div>In addition to Enerbäck, the programme committee consists of Professor Maria Falkenberg from the University of Gothenburg and Professor Jens Nielsen from Chalmers University of Technology. Each committee member has chosen two topics, invited appropriate top scientists and teamed them up with promising young researchers from Gothenburg.</div> <div> </div> <div>–In order to understand the importance of metabolism, let me put it like this: Where there is a metabolism, there is life. Where there is no metabolism, there is no life, says Enerbäck.</div> <div> </div> <div>He explains that the scientists in the field are interested in much more than just the diseases typically associated with metabolism. In fact, the study of metabolism may concern anything from diabetes and how to programme yeast to produce medicines to intestinal microbiota and cell mitochondria.</div> <div> </div> <div>–We know that interference with this process leads to many different types of diseases, like cardiovascular illness, obesity and diabetes, but also cancer. Tumours modify their metabolism to benefit their own growth. This knowledge may help us find ways to block the metabolism of cancer cells and eventually be able to offer treatments and medicines. Even dementias may partly be due to a faulty metabolism. Metabolism is a vital function for all cells. If they don’t get the energy they need, they die, says Enerbäck.</div> <div> </div> <div>Anders Rosengren is a researcher at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology. He will present his research and introduce Professor Christina Smolke from Stanford University.</div> <div> </div> <div>–I’m going to talk about our latest findings from connecting bioinformatics with studies on pancreatic beta cells to explore the underlying disease mechanisms in type 2 diabetes. I will also describe examples of how beta cell research can be transferred to the treatment of patients.</div> <div> </div> <div>Doctor Valentina Tremaroli is one of the young scientists of the University of Gothenburg who will present her research as an introduction of Director Ruth Ley from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. Valentina Tremaroli will talk about the human microbiota and how it influences human physiology and in particular metabolism.</div> <div> </div> <div>–After weight loss, we have seen alterations to the gut microbiota, indicating that specific modulation might be helpful for the treatment or prevention of metabolic diseases. I will talk about how the gut microbiota can contribute to metabolic regulation, says Valentina Tremaroli.</div> <div> </div> <div>Enerbäck points out that the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation provides invaluable support to Swedish research and has been immensely important.</div> <div> </div> <div>–The Foundation’s 100-year anniversary is a big deal. Over the years, it has granted huge amounts of money to research projects that in various ways have been “beneficial to Sweden”. Considering the size of the country, having a foundation that provides such strong support to research is totally unique.</div> <div> </div> <div>The symposium will be held in English. Although it is open to the public, it is not a popular science event.</div> <div><a href="/en/about-chalmers/calendar/Pages/Metabolism-–-The-Foundation-of-Life.aspx">Read more and register &gt;&gt;</a> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">International scientists, see top picture</h2> <div><strong>Sir Doug Turnbull,</strong> Professor, Mitochondrial Research Group, Newcastle University</div> <div><strong>Ruth Ley</strong>, director, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen</div> <div><strong>Bruce M. Spiegelman</strong>, professor, Spiegelman Lab, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University</div> <div><strong>Christina Smolke</strong>, professor, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University</div> <div><strong>Sekar Kathiresan</strong>, doctor, Center for Genomic Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital</div> <div><strong>Dame Frances Ashcroft</strong>, professor, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">About the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</h2> <div>The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation supports long-term, free basic research beneficial to Sweden, mainly in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved through long-term grants to free basic research of the highest international standard.</div> <div>In the 100 years since its establishment, the Foundation has granted SEK 24 billion to excellent Swedish research and education. Recent annual grants of SEK 1.7 billion make the Foundation one of the largest private funders of scientific research in Europe.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Carina Elmäng</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read</h2> <div><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fuels,-medicine-and-chemicals-may-be-sustainably-engineered-from-yeast.aspx">Fuels, medicine and chemicals may be sustainably engineered from yeast</a></div> Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chemist-receives-the-Arne-Sjogren-award.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chemist-receives-the-Arne-Sjogren-award.aspxChemist receives the Arne Sjögren award<p><b>​This year’s Arne Sjögren award went to Jelena Lovric for best thesis within Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Chalmers. She was a PhD student in the Analytical Chemistry group supervised by Professor Andrew Ewing at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at and defended her thesis last autumn.</b></p><p>The ceremony took place at the <a href="https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/nano/Pages/default.aspx">Area of Advance Nanoscience and Nanotechnology</a>’s community building event August 23. </p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">​-        It is a very pleasant feeling to be awarded. I believe that there are many other PhD students who had challenging and exciting doctoral work which also deserves attention. Additionally, it is a pleasure to know that the scientific community recognizes the significance of the work presented in my thesis and its impact on the future research. It is an award for all people I shared the work with, says Jelena Lovric. </span></p></blockquote> <p>Her advice to other PhD students to succeed with their thesis is to keep being curious, open to collaborations and have self-motivation.</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><p><span style="font-size:14px">-    It may happen that you find yourself without scientific results for longer periods of time. During those times it is important to find the ways to stay motivated and remind yourself of the importance of your research, she says.</span></p></blockquote> <p>Her thesis is named <a href="http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/publication/240917-probing-secretory-vesicles-and-liposome-model-systems-using-nanoscale-electrochemistry-and-mass-spec">Probing secretory vesicles and liposome model systems using nanoscale electrochemistry and mass spectrometry</a> in which she is exploring how a cell communicates with its surroundings. Knowledge about this could, in the long run, lead to a better understanding of different processes such as learning and memory, altered neuronal activity associated with phenomena of drug abuse and different neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p> </p> <p>See a <a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Dissertation-Jelena-Lovric.aspx">video where Jelena Lovric</a> explains what her thesis is about. <br /><a href="https://www.chalmers.se/sv/om-chalmers/chalmers-vanner/dagens-chalmers-vanner/Sidor/Arne-Sj%C3%B6gren.aspx">Read more about the Arne Sjögren award</a> (in Swedish) <br />    </p> <p>Text and image: Mats Tiborn<br /></p>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Pedros-goal-is-to-eliminate-malaria.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Pedros-goal-is-to-eliminate-malaria.aspxPedro&#39;s goal is to eliminate malaria<p><b>​Pedro Pagalday landed a dream job. After finishing his studies in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers he now works for the Clinton Health Access Initiative. He is leading a project about a disease surveillance system to eradicate malaria in Southeast Asia.</b></p><strong>​Congratulations on your new job at the Clinton Foundation! What is your work about? </strong><br />The Clinton Health Access Initiative supports governments to scale up effective interventions for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance of diseases as malaria. The goal is to sustainably reduce the number of malaria-related illnesses and deaths worldwide, and accelerate towards malaria elimination in the long term. <br />My role is to help governmental programs in Lao, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam improve how they collect and analyze data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts to eliminate the disease. It is about building in-country capacity related to the use of information technology in terms of creating, modifying and maintaining surveillance platforms. I work with technology companies, academic partners, the World Health Organization WHO, and other non-governmental organizations to ensure that the malaria programs have the tools required to monitor and evaluate progress towards elimination.<br /><br /><strong>What do you hope to achieve? </strong><br />I hope to be able to successfully implement surveillance systems in these four countries and make sure it helps to reduce malaria cases in the short term and eliminates the disease in the long term. To do that, I would like to create a smooth and simple transition to the new systems, create a system that is simple to use, and has acceptance among all the users involved. Furthermore, I would like the system to be sustainable so governments and other partners will use it in the future and create a system that could easily scale-up to be used in other public health challenges.<br /><br /><strong>What are the main challenges you expect to be confronted to? </strong><br />The main challenge I expect is behavioral change, the small &quot;chaos&quot; created when implementing IT systems for users with low IT literacy. This will require a very good understanding of the context. Another important challenge will be to work with many different partners and make sure the systems satisfies everybody's needs. And of course, there are always cultural challenges.<br /><br /><strong>In what ways do you think that your studies in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers have made you prepared for this mission? </strong><br />In my opinion, the most important was the wide range of specializations I could choose within the master at Chalmers and the high quality of innovative research that the department is doing. That environment allowed me to specialize in a very specific field and get support and learn from great professionals, like Professor Bengt-Arne Sjöqvist, Ruben Buendía, and Ants Silberberg, that were able to mentor me professionally and personally. Also, the international environment in the classroom and campus where you end up with friends from all over the world and indirectly make you ready to work internationally. And of course, how the professors include guest lecturers from the industry that allow us to know and be prepared for the challenges we will face in our working lives. <br /><br /><strong>What are your plans for the future? </strong><br />To be honest, I landed a dream job for me. What I want in the short term is to become a better professional, especially when it comes to creating behavioral change through technology on an international scale. Professionally, I want to keep working in this kind of projects and see that my work is helping other people. It´s also nice to keep traveling and seeing the world.  <br /> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Pedros%20mål%20är%20att%20utrota%20malaria/Pedro_Pagalday_portrait_300px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:260px" /><br /><br /><span><br /><br />Read about Pedro´s master’s thesis:<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Student-project-aim-to-improve-maternal-health-care-in-Ghana.aspx">Student project aim to improve maternal health care in Ghana</a><br /><br />Read more about <a href="https://www.clintonfoundation.org/our-work/clinton-health-access-initiative" target="_blank">the Clinton Health Access Initiative</a><br />Tue, 05 Sep 2017 09:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Pernilla-Wittung-Stafshede-elected-to-Council-of-Biophysical-Society-.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Pernilla-Wittung-Stafshede-elected-to-Council-of-Biophysical-Society-.aspxPernilla Wittung-Stafshede elected to Council of Biophysical Society<p><b>​Chalmers Professor Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede is the first Swede for over fifty years to be elected to the Council of the International Biophysical Society.</b></p>​Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede was somewhat sceptical when she got an unknown US phone call. Was it a marketing call? But it turned out to be the president of the Biophysical Society who wanted to give her the news in person that she was one of four Society members that had just been elected to the Council.<br /><br />“I was very delighted. I am very much involved in academic research and science policy here in Sweden, but I would also like to make a contribution at the international level,” says Wittung-Stafshede.<br /><br />She is the second Swede and the first Swedish woman ever to have been elected to the Council of the Biophysical Society – a major, well-established society whose focus matches Wittung-Stafshede’s research interests well. The field of biophysics is involved in mapping the biological world all the way down to the molecular level. The Biophysical Society was founded in 1958 to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. It does so through its many programs, including its meetings, publications, and committee outreach activities. It has over 9000 members.<br /><br />“In my research group, we try to understand the molecular mechanisms of life and various diseases by performing biophysical and biochemical experiments on various strategic proteins,” explains Wittung-Stafshede.<br /><br />Among the issues she plans to emphasize during her three years on Council are gender issues, something she has already been involved in through one of the Biophysical Society’s committees. She would also like to try to get more young researchers interested in pursuing biophysics research, and she will make sure a range of topics are included in the program at the Society’s annual conference.<br /><br /><strong>Text</strong>: Ingela RoosWed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Developing-a-robot-controlled-by-the-power-of-thought.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Developing-a-robot-controlled-by-the-power-of-thought.aspxDeveloping a robot controlled by the power of thought<p><b>​ Max Ortiz Catalan and Yiannis Karayiannidis, both working as researchers at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, want to develop robotic technology that can be used to increase the quality of life for people with motor disabilities. They are cooperating in an interdisciplinary project where biomedical engineering and robotics are combined.</b></p><strong>​<table class="chalmersTable-default" width="100%" cellspacing="0" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1" style="text-align:center"><span><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Max_Ortiz_Catalan_170x200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></strong></span></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderOddCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<span><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Yiannis_Karayiannidis_170x200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></strong></span></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderEvenCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​</th></tr> <tr class="chalmersTableOddRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1" style="text-align:right">   ​Max Ortiz Catalan</th> <td class="chalmersTableOddCol-default" style="text-align:left">​         Yiannis <span>Karayiannidis<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></td> <td class="chalmersTableEvenCol-default">​</td></tr></tbody></table>  <br />What is the aim of your project?</strong><br />The aim is to investigate how the machine’s artificial intelligence can facilitate the achievement of certain task initiated by a human, who has overall control while delegating unnecessary burden to the robot.<br />We are aiming at appropriately blending commands sent to the robot using human myoelectric signals with autonomous robot control driven by the sensors on the robot. A first example that we will consider is a simple robot that is controlled by the human but it can autonomously avoid obstacles.<br /><br /><strong>How is it possible to control a robot by using the power of thought?</strong><br />The “power of thought” results in myoelectric signals that reflect the human intention of motion. By measuring, processing, and decoding these signals, the human intention could be send as a control command to the robot.<br /><br /><strong>In which applications could this be used?</strong><br />There is a variety of relevant applications related to partial automation such as assistive devices like exoskeleton (an external, artificial skeleton that protects and helps the person to move) or powered wheelchairs where the control is shared between a motor impaired human user and the device.  <br /><br /><strong>What are the main challenges you are confronted to?</strong><br />The most important challenge is to make a system that the human user can accept both in terms of performance and ease of use. <br /><br /><strong>This project is a part of an initiative to encourage interdisciplinary research. What can your areas of research learn from each other?</strong><br />Observing how humans are doing things (e.g. through muscles’ activity) can help roboticists to design human-inspired control algorithms so that robots could become more friendly to humans. <br /><br />Read more about interdisciplinary seed projects in Electrical Engineering:<br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Initiative-that-takes-research-across-boundaries.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /> Initiative that takes research across boundaries</a><br /><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan and his research</a><br /><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/yiannis.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Dr. Yiannis Karayiannidis and his research</a><br />Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:30:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Future-microorganisms-for-sustainable-production.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Future-microorganisms-for-sustainable-production.aspxFuture microorganisms for sustainable production<p><b>More robust microorganisms can play an important role in future production of fuels and chemicals. But changing nature’s design can be problematic. Lina Lindahl will soon defend her thesis in this research field.</b></p>​Our society is in great need of greener, alternative ways to produce fuels, materials and chemicals. One way of doing this is to replace fossil raw materials with biomass from forest and agriculture. Microorganisms can then be used to produce the desired compounds from the biomass.<br /><br />But this environmentally friendly production needs to be made more efficient. Therefore, researchers are now trying to developing more robust microorganisms that can retain a high productivity also under unfavorable conditions.<br /><br />Lina Lindahl has attempted to change the protective coat of the microorganisms, its cell membrane, to make it more resilient.<br />– I have investigated how the lipid composition in membranes can be changed to reduce the diffusion of acetic acid, which is one of several substances that prevent efficient production, she says.<br /><br />In her research, Lina Lindahl, has compared the lipid composition of the yeast <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>, which has already proved useful for industrial production, with another yeast with the capability to handle acetic acid significantly better.<br />– By comparing the two yeasts, I could identify a group of lipids called sphingolipids, and then show that their presence decreases the acetic acid diffusion rate across the cell membrane.<br /><br />Next, she tried to increase <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>’s production of sphingolipids using genetic engineering, thus increasing the yeast’s resistance to acetic acid. But this turned out to be difficult.<br />– Lipid production in yeast is very strictly regulated. Attempts at the genome level were not enough – but it should be possible, Lina Lindahl says.<br />– Changing the lipid composition of the cell membrane to create more robust microorganisms is a new research field, with few successful experiments. We did not really know how difficult it would be to get results, but we realized that solutions evolved in nature creations is not always easy to imitate. My dissertation presents methodology and new thinking in this research field.<br /><br />On June 2, Lina Lindahl defends her thesis entitled “Towards membrane engineering as a tool in cell factory design: A case study on acetic acid tolerance in <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>”.<br />– It's great to do research, and it would be nice to stay at Chalmers. But it’s also tough with long experiments in the lab, especially if you have a family. I do not know where I will continue my career – I keep my options open!<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac<br />Tue, 30 May 2017 16:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Award-for-thesis-on-Type-2-diabetes.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Award-for-thesis-on-Type-2-diabetes.aspxAward for thesis on Type 2 diabetes<p><b>Leif Väremo’s thesis entitled Systems Biology of Type 2 Diabetes in Skeletal Muscle was awarded the prize for this year’s best pre-clinical thesis by the society Svensk diabetologisk förening. &quot;A big and happy surprise&quot;, he says.</b></p><p>​On April 27th, the prize for thesis of the year was awarded by SDF, Svensk diabetologisk förening, at a banquet at Diabetesforum. The award went to Leif Väremo.<br />– I was really surprised, I do not even know how they found me, Leif Väremo said as he received the news.<br />– The price money is 20,000 SEK and are to be used to study something which will add value to the health care system... Maybe I can go to a conference?<br /><br />His thesis focuses mainly on the use of systems biology tools to investigate which genes are expressed – that is, which genes are active or inactive – at a particular time, thereby being able to draw some conclusions on what is happening inside the cell.<br />– Each cell has its DNA, with its genes. Under a given condition, for example a disease, some genes are expressed. Proteins are then formed which, in turn, have specific tasks within the cell, Leif Väremo explains.<br />– If we measure the expression of all 20,000 genes, how are we to translate this information into something we can understand? We need the system biology analysis tools for this. If we can see what changes at the gene level, we might understand what this means for the function of the cell.<br /><br />Studies of gene expressions can be useful in research on various diseases. Leif Väremo chose to look at Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to the function of muscle cells. After a meal, for example, insulin gives signals to reduce sugar in our blood, and the majority of this sugar is absorbed by muscle cells. However, when an individual is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the muscle cells develop insulin resistance. The muscle tissue no longer absorb sugar, and this leads to an excess of sugar in the blood.<br /></p> <p>Väremo's thesis also includes a closer look at the metabolism of muscle cells:<br />– We constructed a network model of muscle cell metabolism, where we map all the chemical reactions of the cell. Each step, each reaction, needs an enzyme to be catalyzed - and this enzyme is a protein that, in turn, comes from a gene. The network explains the metabolism, and if we then connect it to the gene data, we may use our network to interpret gene expression data.<br /></p> <p>With his qualified hypotheses, Leif Väremo wants to pave the way for future studies, which in the long term can lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and design of effective drugs.<br />– Our methods and a variety of new studies could lead to a greater understanding and more hypotheses about the factors behind Type 2 diabetes, he concludes.<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Fredrik Boulund<br /></p>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-project-on-imaging-biomakers-for-drug-safety-assessment.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-project-on-imaging-biomakers-for-drug-safety-assessment.aspxNew project on imaging biomarkers for drug safety assessments<p><b>​The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has approved the 5-year project TRISTAN focusing on validation of translational imaging methods as potential imaging biomarkers.</b></p>​<span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/New%20project%20on%20imaging%20techniques%20in%20drug%20safety%20assessment/tristan_300px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span>TRISTAN (Translational Imaging in Drug Safety Assessment) is a public-private partnership supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and involving 21 organisations including academics centres, research organisations, small and mediumsize enterprises (SMEs), imaging and pharmaceutical companies.<br /><br />TRISTAN is a significant investment in imaging research in West Sweden. Other West Sweden collaborators in addition to Chalmers include Västra Götalands Region, Sahlgrenska Academy and Antaros Medical, who are all working to avoid toxicity in humans during drug development.<br /><br />The objective of the project is to validate or qualify translational imaging methods as potential imaging biomarkers. The imaging biomarker qualification will be specifically addressed in three areas with a high unmet medical need: the assessment of liver toxicity, lung toxicity and the bio-distribution of biologics. The in-kind contributions to the project of around EUR 12 million by the industrial partners are complemented by IMI-funding in a total budget of EUR 24 million. TRISTAN is led by Bayer and coordinated by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), who also leads one imaging biomarker qualification study for cancer drug induced interstitial lung disease. <br /><br />Imaging techniques are firm components of today’s medical practices, just as the use of biomarkers has become commonplace in pre-clinical and clinical research. However, imaging biomarkers are not widely used in the drug discovery process although they could advance drug safety evaluation, both for pre-clinical and clinical development. Imaging biomarkers have the potential to improve translatability of pre-clinical (animal) data to healthy volunteers and patients and thus could help avoid late stage attrition of development programmes. In addition, functional diagnostic imaging methods used as biomarkers would offer the possibility to confirm drug toxicity mechanisms in humans, including the potential to determine drug-drug interactions. <br /> <br />Data relevant for validation of methods addressed in the project and aggregated data will be made publicly available in compliance with data privacy laws. Significant interactions with existing imaging biomarker initiatives as well as with regulatory authorities will have a strong impact on the future value of imaging biomarker procedures. To sustainably offer access to the validated imaging biomarkers, the three project SME partners are planning to offer respective biomarker imaging services commercially. <br /><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/New%20project%20on%20imaging%20techniques%20in%20drug%20safety%20assessment/Tristan_IMG_7682_340px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><em>“We are very proud of being a partner in the TRISTAN consortium and that our MRI-models are used to find biomarkers to better predict toxicity in humans in drug development&quot;, says Paul Hockings, Adjunct Professor at Chalmers University of Technology and at MedTech West</em><em>, and Per Malmberg, researcher in Analytical Chemistry at Chalmers University of Technology.</em><br /> <br /><strong>About Imaging Biomarkers </strong><br />An imaging biomarker is a functional radiographic imaging procedure utilising imaging modalities like Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). In research and development, imaging biomarkers are used as characteristics to objectively measure biological processes, pathological changes, or pharmaceutical responses to a therapeutic intervention. They have the advantage of remaining non-invasive and being spatially and temporally resolved. Imaging biomarkers have the potential to improve translatability of animal data to healthy volunteers and patients, thereby helping to improve our understanding of drug mechanisms, interactions and metabolic processes. <br /><br /><strong>About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) </strong><br />The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industries, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of EUR 3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources. <br /><br />The research leading to these results received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiatives 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 116106. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.<br /><br /><strong>Partners in TRISTAN </strong><br /><em>The project is coordinated and led by: </em><br />European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC (Coordinator) <br />Bayer (Lead) <br />Bioxydyn (Co-coordinator) <br />GlaxoSmithKline (Co-lead) <br /><br /><em>Other partners</em><br />AbbVie <br />Antaros Medical <br />Bruker Chalmers University of Technology <br />Université de Bourgogne Dijon <br />GE Healthcare  <br />University Medical Center Groningen <br />University of Leeds <br />Lund University <br />University of Manchester <br />MSD <br />Radboud University Nijmegen  <br />Novo Nordisk <br />Pfizer <br />Sanofi <br />University of Sheffield/Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust <br />Truly Labs <br /> <br />More info on IMI: <a href="http://www.imi.europa.eu/" target="_blank">www.imi.europa.eu  </a><br />To contact TRISTAN: <a href="mailto:%20contact@imi-tristan.eu">contact@imi-tristan.eu</a>  <br />More info on MedTech West, a western Sweden based organization for medtech research &amp; development driven by clinical need: <a href="http://www.medtechwest.se/" target="_blank">www.medtechwest.se</a><br />Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hearing-and-touch-mediate-sensations-via-osseointegrated-prostheses.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hearing-and-touch-mediate-sensations-via-osseointegrated-prostheses.aspxHearing and touch mediate sensations via osseointegrated prostheses<p><b>​ A new study has found that people with a prosthesis attached directly to their skeleton can hear by means of vibrations in their implant. This sound transmission through bones is an important part of osseoperception – sensory awareness of the patient’s surroundings provided by their prosthesis. This discovery sheds new light on the tactile and auditory perception of humans and can be used to develop improved prostheses.</b></p>​How can we help amputees regain tactile sensations and other natural feelings while grasping an object or walking on uneven ground?<br /><br />An international group of researchers in Sweden and Italy offers a new answer. They have demonstrated for the first time that patients with implanted osseointegrated prostheses (ones attached directly to the skeleton) are able to perceive external stimuli better by hearing through their limb implants.<br /><br />The investigation was conducted jointly in Sweden by Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and the University of Gothenburg; all collaborating closely with Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy.<br /><br />In a recent paper in <em>Nature Scientific Reports,</em> the researchers presented a discovery that opens up new scenarios for developing novel artificial limbs. Even though the transmission of sound through skull bones is a well-known phenomenon, widely studied by Professor Bo Håkansson at Chalmers who was a participant in this study, it was not clear whether this also occurs through bones in the arms and legs and thus contribute to osseoperception – “feeling” arising from the mechanical stimulation of an osseointegrated prosthesis.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Hearing%20and%20touch%20mediate%20sensations%20via%20osseointegrated%20prostheses/Max-Ortiz-Catalan_S8A7544-1_180px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />“Until now, the consensus was that the sense of touch played the primary role in osseoperception for patients with artificial limbs fixated into their skeletons”, says Max Ortiz Catalan, head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (BNL) at Chalmers and supervisor of the research.<br /><br /><br /><br />Francesco Clemente, who conducted the experiments as a visiting PhD student at BNL from the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, comments:<br /><br />“Using four different psychophysical tests, we have demonstrated that even subtle sensory stimuli can travel through the body and be perceived as sound. This hearing increases the individual’s sensory awareness, even in patients with osseointegrated implants in their legs.”<br /><br />These results show that osseointegration, which allows for stable mechanical attachment of robotic prostheses directly to the skeleton through a titanium implant, improves patients’ functionality, comfort, and ability to perceive the world around them.<br /><br />The researchers tested twelve patients with various degrees of amputation, both upper and lower limb amputees. All tests indicated that patients could perceive mechanical vibrations applied to their titanium implants, through hearing as well as touch. In particular, and synchronously with the vibrations in their arms or legs, patients reported audible sound. During the experiments, the researchers found that subjects with osseointegrated prostheses could perceive very small stimuli and react more quickly to them due to additional perception by hearing.<br /><br />“In practice, the stimuli received by the patients are perceived more strongly and carry more information because they are composed of two modalities; touch and hearing,” says Max Ortiz Catalan. “This is an important step forward in understanding the osseoperception phenomenon and, more generally, the tactile and auditory perception of humans. This discovery may offer a new starting point for implementing novel prostheses that provide enriched sensory feedback to the user.”<br /><br />Read the article in <span><em>Nature Scientific Reports:<br /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><span></span><a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/srep45363" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Touch and Hearing Mediate Osseoperception</a><br /><br /><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong><br />Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.<br />Tel: +46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a><br /><br /><strong>Facts about the research</strong><br />The investigation was conducted jointly in Sweden by the Signals and Systems Department at Chalmers University of Technology, the Centre for Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg; all collaborating closely with the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy.<br /><br />Read more about the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (BNL) at Chalmers:<br /><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />BNL website</a><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChalmersBNL/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Chalmers BNL on Facebook</a><br /><br />Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fungi-a-source-for-future-antibiotics.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Fungi-a-source-for-future-antibiotics.aspxFungi a source for future antibiotics<p><b>​Fungi is a potential goldmine for the production of pharmaceuticals. This is shown by Chalmers researchers, who have developed a method for finding new antibiotics from nature’s own resources. The findings could prove very useful in the battle against antibiotic resistance.</b></p>​Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they were discovered in the 1940s. But recently we’ve had to learn a new term; antibiotic resistance. More and more bacteria are developing their own protection against antibiotics, thereby becoming resistant to treatment. This will lead to simple infections getting lethal once again, and our need for new antibiotics is urgent.<br /><br />The first antibiotic being mass-produced was penicillin, derived from the Penicillium fungi. Looking for new antibiotics, Chalmers researchers sequenced the genomes of nine different types of Penicillium species. And the findings are amazing:<br /><br />– We found that the fungi has an enormous, previously untapped, potential for production of new antibiotics and other bio-active compounds, such as cancer medicines, says Jens Christian Nielsen, a PhD student at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering.<br /><br />In the study, recently published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the research group scanned the genomes of 24 different kinds of fungi to find genes responsible for the production of different bio-active compounds, like antibiotics. More than 1000 pathways were discovered, showing an immense potential for fungi to produce a large variety of natural and bio-active chemicals that could be used as pharmaceuticals.<br /><br />In about 90 cases, the researchers were able to predict the chemical products of the pathways. As an evidence of this, they followed production of the antibiotic yanuthone, and identified a new version of the drug produced by species not previously known to produce it.<br /><br />All in all, the study show a vast potential for fungi, not only in producing new antibiotics but also in enabling a more efficient production of old ones – and maybe also more effective versions of the older ones.<br /><br />– It’s important to find new antibiotics in order to give physicians a broad palette of antibiotics, old as well as new, to use in treatment. This will make it harder for bacteria to develop resistance, Jens Christian Nielsen explains.<br />– Previous efforts on finding new antibiotics have mainly focused on bacteria. Fungi have been hard to study – we know very little of what they can do – but we do know that they develop bioactive substances naturally, as a way to protect themselves and survive in a competitive environment. This made it logical to apply our tools in research on fungi.<br /><br />Researchers now have different paths to follow. One way of moving forward would be to further look at production of the new yanuthone compound. The Chalmers researchers have also constructed a map making it possible to compare hundreds of genes in the continuous evaluation of bioactive products with potent drugs in sight.<br /><br />How long it would take to get new antibiotics on the market is impossible to say.<br /><br />– The governments need to act. The pharmaceutical industry don’t want to spend money on new antibiotics, it’s not lucrative. This is why our leaders have to step in and, for instance, support clinical studies. Their support would make it easier to reach the market, especially for smaller companies. This could fuel production, Jens Christian Nielsen says.<br /><br />Read the <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201744" target="_blank">full article here<span></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a>.<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac<br />Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:00:00 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Awarded-for-research-in-prosthetics.aspxhttp://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Awarded-for-research-in-prosthetics.aspxAwarded for research in prosthetics<p><b>​The 2017 ISPO Brian &amp; Joyce Blatchford Award goes to a team of researchers from Sahlgrenska and Chalmers for their work to restore quality of life after traumatic events that led to loss of extremity, for example the amputation of an arm.</b></p>​“I am honored to be part of the team receiving this award”, says Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan. “We are a truly multidisciplinary group, glued together by the same aim: develop and clinically implement technologies that restore quality of life. This prize highlights the importance of osseointegration in prosthetics, and recognizes the pioneering work lead by Dr. Rickard Brånemark to bring this technology into the clinical reality that is today in prosthetics.”<br /><br />“Decades of ground-breaking research conducted in Sweden are recognized by this award, from overcoming many hurdles to have this technology accepted by the medical world, to our latest osseointegrated interface that allow for neural control of prosthetic limbs”, says Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan.<br /><br />The awarded project is called “The search for the perfect substitution for a lost extremity”, and the winning team consists of: <br /><ul><li>Dr. Rickard Brånemark, Sahlgrenska University Hospital Gothenburg / University of California, San Francisco </li> <li>Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan, Chalmers University of Technology </li> <li>Dr. Bo Håkansson, Chalmers University of Technology </li> <li>Dr. Örjan Berlin, Sahlg<span><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span>renska University Hospital Gothenburg</li></ul> <p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Belönas%20för%20protesforskning/pristagare_495px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> </p> <span><em></em><span style="display:inline-block"><em>Top row, from left: Rickard Brånemark and M </em></span></span><span><em>ax Ortiz Catalan</em><br /><em>Bottom row, from left: Bo Håkansson, Örjan Berlin</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br />The prestigious award entails a prize money of 15,000 EUR for the winning team. The prize will be presented at the ISPO World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2017. <br /><br />ISPO is the largest and most important international society for prosthetics, orthotics and rehabilitation engineering. The award is established by the Blatchford family in memory of Mr. Brian Blatchford and Mrs. Joyce Blatchford. <br /><a href="http://www.ispoint.org/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about ISPO, the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics</a><br /><br />The research has taken place in Gothenburg, Sweden at:<a href="http://www.sahlgrenskaic.com/medical-care/treatments/bone-anchored-protheses/" target="_blank"><br /><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Sahlgrenska International Care: Bone-Anchored Protheses</a><br /><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the Department of Signals and systems, Chalmers University of Technology</a><br /><br />For more information, please contact:<br /><span> <a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan</a>, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/bo-hakansson.aspx">Bo Håkansson</a>, <span><span>Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology </span></span><br />Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +0100