News: Livsvetenskaper och teknik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 23 Jan 2018 10:16:20 +0100 fuels are based on baker’s yeast<p><b>​Perfumes, flavours and biofuels from regular baker’s yeast. Now Chalmers makes further breakthrough in the search for more sustainable industrial chemicals.</b></p>Fatty acids form the basis of many industrial chemicals and are included in most plastics, flavours and perfumes, solvents and fuels. While fossil oils, animal fats or plant oils are traditionally used in the chemical production of those types of products, we have, since a few years back, experienced the transition towards more sustainable alternative such as using cell factories, e.g. the regular baker’s yeast, to obtain the necessary fatty acids. However, a common bottleneck arising from these alternatives remains the insufficient production of fatty acids to meet levels of the petrochemical industry. <br /><br />A problem to which Chalmers researchers Paulo Teixeira and Raphael Ferreira in Jens Nielsen’s team at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology are now one step closer to solve. <br /><br />”We have found a way to remove and modify the genes in the yeast cells to start producing large amounts of fatty acids,” says Paulo Teixeira. <br />“It was amazing when I saw the first graphs about the amount of fatty acids that we now can bring out. I barely thought it was true!” says Raphael Ferreira. <br /><br />While other researchers often invest in adding genes to increase fatty acid production, Paulo Teixeira and Raphael Ferreira have instead chosen to remove certain genes, thus reprogramming the lipid metabolism of the yeast. Paulo Teixeira describes how it works. <br />“Imagine that lipid metabolism is like roads and crossroads and the fatty acids are cars. A car can drive along different roads and come to different places. But by closing certain roads, as we do when we remove certain genes, we force the cars to only drive along the roads we leave open and thus all the cars – the fatty acids – end up in the same place,” he says. <br /><br />Now as a confirmation on their pioneering research, their paper is published in the prestigious scientific journal “Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” – PNAS. <br /><br />“I was super happy when our paper was accepted!” says Paulo Teixeira. <br />“Our research proves that you do not necessarily need to add genes. But by modifying and deleting certain genes you can achieve amazing results.” <br /><br />“The great thing about this is that these new yeast cells that we created can now be used by other people together with other successful strategies to build even better yeast cells to produce fatty acids and one day reach those industrial levels we all want”, says Raphael Ferreira. <br /><br />Read more in the scientific article in PNAS: <a href="">Redirection of lipid flux toward phospholipids in yeast increases fatty acid turnover and secretion</a><br /><br /><br />Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg <br />Photo: Martina Butorac Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100 methods to analyze molecular dynamics in biology, chemistry and physics<p><b>​A recent paper in Nature Chemistry, involving Chalmers guest researcher Jakob Andreasson, explains a key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Jakob-Andreasson.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In biology, chemistry, and physics, molecular function is strongly dependent on the interaction between structure and dynamics. In processes such as photosynthesis and many types of catalysis, charge transfer reactions between metal ions and their surroundings, and the time scale on which they occur, play a major role. Jakob Andreasson, guest researcher at the Condensed Matter Physics division at Chalmers University of Technology, has together with an International and interdisciplinary team of researchers performed a study where a combination of ultrashort X-ray and laser pulses were used to show how the local binding of copper ions depends on the speed of charge transfer in photochemical reactions. The results of this demanding series of experiments were published earlier this week in Nature Chemistry.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The research project is led by Sonja Herres-Pawlis from the RWTH Aachen University (RWTH),  Michael Rübhausen from the University of Hamburg and Wolfgang Zinth from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="">Read the press release from DESY</a><br /></p> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the article in Nature Chemistry<br /></a></div> <div>doi:10.1038/nchem.2916</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Photo: Jakob Andreasson during preparations for an experiment at the AMO instrument at the X-ray Free Electron Laser LCLS at SLAC, Stanford, California. </em>(Jakob Andreasson, private)</p> <div><a href=""></a> </div></div>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100 Meaney elected Fellow of IEEE<p><b>​From January 2018 Paul Meaney, Professor in microwave imaging for biomedical applications, is elected IEEE Fellow for his contributions to microwave tomography and its translation to clinical use.</b></p>​IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the world’s largest technical professional organization, given to persons with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.<br /><br />Professor Paul Meaney was recruited to Chalmers and the research group Biomedical electromagnetics in 2015. He also holds a position as Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. <br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Paul%20Meaney%20elected%20Fellow%20of%20IEEE/Paul_Meaney.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:280px" />“To be appointed Fellow of IEEE is for me a nice validation that microwave tomography is for real and can be applied in real world situations”, says Paul Meaney.<br /><br />While the field is generally dominated by numerical modelers, translation to a working system has been a huge stumbling block.<br /><br />“Our work draws from a variety of imaging fields outside of the microwave domain. We previously collaborated with groups working in near infrared imaging, electrical impedance imaging and MR elastography. In depth discussions with these groups formed many of our design choices. From a classical microwave antenna standpoint, many of our design concepts often appear counterintuitive. However, when taking into account a broader array of ideas, it becomes clear that our synergism of various techniques is well grounded in classical mathematics and physics. These methods have been crucial in translating the technology to the clinic”, Paul Meaney comments.<br /><br />Developing a microwave imaging system has required inputs from multiple disciplines.<br /><br />“We have become experts in designing and building custom microwave electronics systems that achieve higher dynamic range, along with excellent cross channel isolation, than what is available in most commercial measurement systems. The monopole antenna concept is remarkably simple and counterintuitive yet most closely meets all of our system requirements. We have also delved heavily into numerical modeling and parameter estimation theory to devise algorithms which interact optimally with our physical illumination chamber concept. Being able to draw conclusions from these different cross-disciplinary areas of expertise has been crucial in our success”, Paul Meaney concludes.<br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-recruits-leading-Microwave-Imaging-Professor.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Paul Meaney and his research</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-electromagnetics.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The research group Biomedical electromagnetics</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Information about the IEEE program</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br />Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100 Cancer Society funds researchers<p><b>​Unique biomarkers for cancer and individualized medication can become reality with Chalmers research. Now, the Swedish Cancer Society supports Chalmers for the first time in more than a decade.</b></p>​The Professors Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede and Jens Nielsen, as well as Associate Professor Fredrik Westerlund at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, have received SEK 2.4 million each. And they are pleased that the Swedish Cancer Society is supportive of their research.<br />– Funding from the Swedish Cancer Society emphasizes that Chalmers is working with cancer research and it has a strong symbolic value, says Jens Nielsen.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Cancerfonden_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />The three researchers have different approaches to the fight against cancer. Jens Nielsen's project focuses on the new biomarker that he has identified and now wants to verify, both on a larger group of patients and on different types of cancer. Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede studies copper transport proteins and their role in the emergence of tumors, which in the long term can lead to a whole new way of attacking cancer. Fredrik Westerlund’s project is already ongoing and he is working on a method to predetermine a patient-adapted medicine dose before starting the cancer treatment.<br /><br />And all three researchers see the Swedish Cancer Society participation as a token that Chalmers biological research is important for curing more forms of cancer in the future.<br />– This is great for Chalmers! says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede.<br />– We have spent a long time investing in Life science, and this proves that Chalmers is conducting high-quality cancer research today. To me, it is also proof that the Swedish Cancer Society, as a cancer expert, believes in me and my research group, even though we come from the mechanistic biophysical angle, she says.<br /><br />In addition to the grants making him able to develop his own project, Fredrik Westerlund also hopes that the funding from the Swedish Cancer Society can give the outside world a broader and more diversified view on Chalmers different specialties.<br />– It's great if it makes more people aware that Chalmers doesn’t only just focus on technology but is also conducting outstanding biological research, he says.<br />– And I also hope that more researchers at Chalmers will see that you can apply for this type of grants.<br /><br />Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg<br />Photo: Cancerfonden/Scandinav/Leif Johansson<br />Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0100 can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals<p><b>​It took several years, but a research team headed by Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology has finally succeeded in mapping out the complex metabolism of yeast cells. The breakthrough, recently published in an article in Nature Communications, means a huge step forward in the potential to more efficiently produce protein therapies for diseases such as cancer.</b></p>​The market for pharmaceuticals that mimic the body’s own proteins – protein-based therapeutics – is exploding. Some of them are relatively simple to manufacture in yeast-based cell factories. Insulin and HPV vaccine are two examples that are already under production, but other therapies, such as antibodies to various forms of cancer, are significantly more difficult to manufacture.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/news201712_JN.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" width="130" height="159" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“They are currently produced using a cell factory based on a single cell from a Chinese hamster. It’s an extremely expensive process. If we can get yeast cells to do the same thing, it will be significantly cheaper – perhaps 10% of what it costs today. Our vision is to eventually be able to mass-produce and supply the entire world with therapies that are too expensive for many countries today,” says Jens Nielsen, professor of systems biology.<br /><br /><span><span><span><span><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/news201712_DP.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" width="130" height="160" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span></span></span></span></span>In collaboration with Associate Professor Dina Petranovic and Mathias Uhlén’s<span><span></span></span> research<span><span><span></span></span></span> team at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Jens Nielsen has been mapping <span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span>out th<span></span>e complex metabolism of yeast cells for four years.<br /><br />“We’ve been studying the metabolism of a yeast that we already know is a good protein producer. And we found the mechanisms that can be used to make the process even more efficient. The next step is to prove that we can actually produce antibodies in such quantities that costs are reduced.”<br /><br />The discussion has mainly been about cancer, but there are many other diseases, for example Alzheimer’s, diabetes and MS, that could potentially be treated by yeast-based protein therapies. How distant a future are we talking about?<br /><br />“Our part of the process is fast, but pharmaceuticals always take a long time to develop. It could be a possibility in five years, but should absolutely be on the market in ten,” Nielsen says.<br /><br />Jens Nielsen has been making headlines the past few months. In addition to his publication in Nature Communications, he has recently received three prestigious awards.<br /><br />On 31 October he received the world’s biggest award for innovation in alternative fuels for transportation – <a href="" target="_blank">the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize</a>, in Israel. Alternative fuels? Yes, plain old yeast can be used for a lot, and Nielsen’s award was for his contribution to processes for producing hydrocarbons from yeast, which will advance new biofuels. Earlier in October he received the prestigious <a href="/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspx" target="_blank">Energy Frontiers Award from the Italian oil company Eni</a> for the same type of research. And just a week before he left for Israel, he was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)’s gold medal for innovative and creative research in systems biology.<br /><br />“Yeast is a superb modelling system. Almost everything in yeast is also found in humans. We have complete computer models of the metabolism of yeast, and we use the same type of models to study human metabolism,” Nielsen explained when he received the IVA award. <br /><br /><strong>More about making the metabolism in yeast more effective</strong><br />The protein production of yeast cells comprises more than 100 different processes in which proteins are modified and transported out of the cell. Around 200 enzymes are involved, which makes it a very complex system to engineer. In order to optimize protein production, it is necessary to chart how these 200 enzymes function and work. In the study, this has been done by altering the genetic set of certain key genes, using advanced screening methods in combination with modern genome sequencing techniques.<br /><br />Read more about how in the scientific article in Nature Communications: <a href="" target="_blank">Efficient protein production by yeast requires global tuning of metabolism</a><br /><br />Text: Christian BorgMon, 11 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0100 prized young prominent female researchers<p><b>​Hana Dobšíček Trefna has received a grant of 1 million SEK from the Hasselblad Foundation for her research on a more effective technology to treat cancer. The award is given to female researchers in the field of natural sciences who are in the beginning of their academic careers.</b></p>​“This prize will mean a lot to my research,” says Hana Dobšíček Trefna, Assistant Professor in the research group Biomedical electromagnetics at Chalmers. “Thanks to this I will be able to employ a PhD student in my research area, thereby hoping that it will be possible to faster implement effective technology for treating and curing cancer.”<br /><br /><strong>Microwave technology used for cancer treatment</strong><br />Hana's research focuses on using microwave technology as a complement to traditional cancer treatments. By transmitting microwaves through the body of the patient, the cancer tumor is heated to 40-44 degrees, so called hyperthermia. This treatment is toxic to the tumor, and the warming also makes the tumor more susceptible to other treatments. Clinical studies have shown that traditional radiation therapy and chemotherapy combined with hyperthermia significantly enhances the possibility of a long-term cure for a number of different cancer types.<br /><br />“In about a year, by the end of 2018, we are planning to start clinical studies on patients at Sahlgrenska University Hospital,” Hana says. “Through a new hyperthermia system, which can reach deep-seated tumors in the head and neck with high precision, it is possible to raise the temperature in the tumor without damaging the surrounding tissue. This study is an important step on the way to finally make the treatment available in cancer care.”<br /><br /><strong>Unique research on brain tumors in children</strong><br />Hana also conducts research on brain tumors in children, where the research group today is the only one in the world developing microwave technology for that kind of treatment. The primary goal is that fewer children should suffer from serious side effects in the brain's development that traditional therapies induce.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Hasselblad%20prisar%20framstående%20unga%20kvinnliga%20forskare/Hana_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />”It really would be great if we succeed in this,” says Hana Dobšíček Trefna. “Just consider what it would mean to contribute to higher survival rates and to a better life for children and adults with a cancer diagnosis, as well as for their families.”<br /><br />For the seventh consecutive year, the Hasselblad Foundation allocates funds to support female postdoctoral researchers in the field of natural sciences. The other recipient of 2017 is Anna Reymer from University of Gothenburg. <br /><br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Yvonne Jonsson, and Cecilia Sandblom © Hasselbladstiftelsen<br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Hasselblad Foundation</a><br /><br />For more information, contact <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/hana-dobsicek-trefna.aspx">Hana Dobšíček Trefna</a>, Department of Electrical Engineering.<br />Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0100 method maps chemicals in the skin<p><b>​A new method of examining the skin can reduce the number of animal experiments while providing new opportunities to develop pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Chemical imaging allows all layers of the skin to be seen and the presence of virtually any substance in any part of the skin to be measured with a very high degree of precision.</b></p>​More and more chemicals are being released into our environment. For example, parabens and phthalates are under discussion as two types ofchemicals that can affect us. But so far it has not been possible to find out how they are absorbed by the skin. A new study from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg shows how what is termed chemical imaging can provide comprehensive information about the human skin with a very high level of precision.<br /><br />Investigations into how substances pass into and through the skin have so far taken<img width="400" height="215" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/nickel.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> place in two ways:by using tape strips to pull off the top “corneal” layer of skin for analysis,and throughurine and blood testing to see what has penetrated through the skin. But we still know very little about what happens in the layers of skin in between. Chemical imaging now allows us to see all layers of the skin with very high precision and to measure the presence of virtually any substances in any part of the skin. This can lead to pharmaceutical products that are better suited to the skin, for example. <div> </div> <div>The new method was created when the chemists Per Malmberg, at Chalmers University of Technology,and Lina Hagvall, at the University of Gothenburg, brought their areas of research together.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Lina%20Hagvall.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br />“With pharmaceuticals you often want as much as possible of the dose to be </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">absorbed by the skin, but in some cases you may not want skin absorption, such as when you apply a sunscreen, which needs to remain on the surface of the</span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"> skin and not penetrate it. Our method allows you to design pharmaceuticals according to the way you want the substance to be absorbed by the skin,” says Hagvall.</span></em><span style="font-size:14px"> </span></div></blockquote> <div>Chemical imaging has until now mainly been used for earth sciences and cellular imaging, but with access to human skin from operations the researchers have come up with thisnew area for the technology. The researchers now also see opportunities opening up for replacing pharmaceutical tests which currently involve animal experiments. Their methods provide more accurate results than tests on mice and pigs. Since it is not permissible to use animals to test cosmetics, this method may also create new opportunities for thecosmetics industry.</div> <div> </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Many animal experiments carried out by researchers and companies are no longer necessary as a result of this method. If you want to know something about passive absorption into the human skin, this method is at least as good. It’s better to do your testing on human skin than on a pig,” says Hagvall.</span></em></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"></em><span style="font-size:14px"></span> </div></blockquote> <div dir="ltr">The new method can also provide a basis for determining the correct limits for harmful levels of substances that may come into contact with the skin. In order to establish those limits, youneed to know how much of the dose on the skin’s surface penetrates into and through the skin, which this method can show. It enhances our knowledge about what we are absorbing in our workplaces and in childcare facilities. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div> <img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Per%20Malmberg.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br /><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Our method can show everything with an image, whether you are looking for </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">nickel, phthalates or parabens in the skin, or if you want to follow the drug’s path through the skin. Withjust a skin sample we can essentially search for any molecules. We don’t need to adapt the method in advance to what we are looking for,” says Malmberg.</span></em><br /></div></blockquote> <div>It will be possible to apply the results in the very near future. The technology itself is ready for use today. There is still a small amount of work left to do in optimising the tests to achieve the best results, but the researchers believe that the method will be ready for use within a year.</div> <div><br /><strong>Facts: </strong><strong>Chemical imaging</strong></div> <div>Chemical imaging involves the use ofa laser or ion beam to analyse the sectionsof skin using a mass spectrometer. Every dot, or pixel, of the section which the beam strikes provides information, which is used to classify the chemicals present in the skin according to molecular weight. The chemical information from each dot can then be combined into a digital image which shows the distribution of a substance in the skin. A time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS), which provides a very high spatial resolution down to the nanometre range, was used in this particular study.</div> <div><br /></div> <p><img width="960" height="641" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kemikalier%20i%20huden%20avbildas%20med%20ny%20metod/Chemical%20imaging2.png" alt="" style="height:205px;width:322px;margin:5px" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The chemists Lina and Per make samples ready for analysis in the ToF-SIMS. When analyzed, samples are introduced into the test chamber using the test arm as seen in the bottom of the image.</p>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100 rain down on Jens Nielsen<p><b>​End of October Chalmers professor Jens Nielsen was awarded the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize – the world’s largest prize for research into alternative fuels. This completed a full hat-trick of prestigious accolades for Nielsen this October.</b></p>​Nielsen was handed his third and final prize of the month by the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis during an official ceremony in Tel Aviv on 31 October. The Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize has been awarded for five years to researchers who lead the world in the development of alternative fuels. Nielsen, who is Professor of Quantitative Systems Biology at Chalmers, was rewarded for his work on the production of hydrocarbons from yeast, thus developing new biofuels. He shared the $1 million prize money with this year’s other prize-winner: Jean-Marie Tarascon from the Collège de France.  <br /><br />“My research team has had great success in redirecting the metabolism in ordinary baker’s yeast to produce chemical components that can be used in biofuel for cars, diesel for trucks and jet fuel for aircraft. Our research covers the entire spectrum, which I think played a significant role in the winning of this award,” says Nielsen. <br /><br />Earlier in October he was presented with the “Energy Frontiers Award” by the Italian oil company ENI for the same type of research. And only a week before the trip to Israel he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) for his innovative and creative research in systems biology. Three prestigious prizes in one month. A complete hat-trick – how does it feel?<br /><br />“It’s fantastic, so overwhelming that you can’t put it into words. I found out that I was going to be awarded the Israeli prize a month or so ago. It all went really quickly.” <br /><br />He also thinks that the yeast-based production of new biofuels, which could compete with petroleum-based fuels, could be brought to the market relatively rapidly.<br /><br />“We’ve got quite far with our research. Industrial implementation is more dependent on political decisions and economics than on technological development. If a decision were made to do this, we could have a product out on the market in five to eight years,” he says.  <br /><br /><strong>Read more: </strong><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Eric and Sheila Samson Prize 2017</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Press release about IVA’s Great Gold Medal 2017</a><br /><a href="/en/news/Pages/Energy-award-to-Jens-Nielsen-for-biofuels-from-yeast.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Energy award to Jens Nielsen for biofuels from yeast</a><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Jens-B-Nielsen.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Jens Nielsen</a><br /> Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +0100 robotic arm interested the President of France<p><b>​The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, took in conjunction with the EU summit in Gothenburg the opportunity to get to know more about an innovation that sparked the curiosity of them both: the first mind-controlled arm prosthesis used in daily life.</b></p>​Innovations were on the agenda when Emmanuel Macron and Stefan Löfven jointly visited the Volvo Group headquarters on 17 November. Various innovations were presented to the visitors during a guided tour, among other things the arm prosthesis which is neurally controlled by the patient´s thoughts. The prosthesis is developed by Max Ortiz Catalan, researcher at Chalmers department of Electrical Engineering, in collaboration with the company Integrum and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. <br /><br />The French president was keenly interested and asked several questions about this novel technology that is changing the lives of amputees. Max Ortiz Catalan was accompanied by Integrum’s CEO and a patient who demonstrated his new bone-anchored arm prosthesis with neural control to the visitors.<br /><br />”A handful of large multinational companies were invited to showcase their most innovative technology, and then us, smaller in comparison but nevertheless with a ground breaking technology of great impact. President Macron and Prime Minister Löfven were genuinely interested in our work and what it represents for patients with missing limbs,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.<br /><br /><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Svensk%20robotarm%20intresserade%20Frankrikes%20president/IMG-20171118-WA0005_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><em>Max Ortiz Catalan shook hands with Emmanuel Macron and presented research on bone-anchored prostheses.</em><br /></span><br /><a href="/en/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-prosthetic-arms-that-work-in-daily-life-are-now-a-reality.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the research in <span>bone-anchored prosthesis<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></a><br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory</a><br />Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0100 fruitful collaboration between medicine and engineering<p><b>​The initiative seminar Engineering Health – The Legacy of William Chalmers on 8-9 November 2017 gathered a large number of engineers and clinicians with one strong interest in common: to bring medicine and engineering closer together.</b></p>​The programme stretched from the past, to the present and into future challenges. Many short pair-presentations provided an overview of ongoing collaborations. These featured local, as well as international, researchers who have succeeded in establishing translational activities.There were a lot of evidence shown on how academia, industry and health care jointly collaborate for mutual progress, for the benefit of patients. Round table discussions and other activities provided plenty of networking opportunities.<br /><br />The initiative seminar was a collaboration between Sahlgrenska University hospital, AstraZeneca, Chalmers, University of Gothenburg and MedTech West. The first day was held at Chalmers and the following day took place at AstraZeneca in Mölndal.<br /><br />Here is a cavalcade of photos from the seminar day at Chalmers 8 November:<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_07_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The opening of the seminar was held by Stefan Bengtsson, President of Chalmers, and Ann-Marie Wennberg, Hospital director of Sahlgrenska. By cutting a blue and yellow double twisted Möbius ribbon lengthwise they got two halves linked together, manifesting the fruitful collaboration between the two partners. Chalmers and Sahlgrenska – a never ending story.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_02_600px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:340px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />In a historical reenacting Philip Wramsby and Johan Randhem appeared as William Chalmers and Pehr Dubb, giving the audience a humorous insight into how it might have happened when William Chalmers left half of his fortune to a school, nowadays known as Chalmers University of Technology, and the other half to Sahlgrenska hospital. And the rest is history…<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_08_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Kjell Torén from Sahlgrenska gave an overview of historical collaborations between Chalmers and Sahlgrenska. A traffic accident in the 1950s, where a Professor from Chalmers crashed his motorbike into a bus and got a complicated fracture, is said to have had importance for the upgrading of X-ray equipment at Sahlgrenska and also for the further collaboration in medical engineering.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_10_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A long-distance guest was Chris Cheng from Stanford University, who gave a talk on “Vascular Biomechanics – A collaborative Effort at Stanford” mentioning that a Chalmers alumnus, Hans Wallstén, created one of the earliest and most successful stents – the Wallstent.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6876_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Stents was also the subject in the presentation given by Mårten Falkenberg, Sahlgrenska, and Håkan Nilsson, Chalmers: “Air bubble release and flow-induced forces in stent grafts”. <br />They also clearly pointed out the benefits of collaboration, listed according to their experience. Among Chalmers´ strengths are technologies, physics, mechanical as well as mathematical models, and analysis of results. Sahlgrenska, on the other hand, has expertise in life science problems, offers a clinical testbed and patient feedback, and is prominent in epidemiology.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_22_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Three flagships of medtech research, originating from Gothenburg, presented themselves. First in line was Max Ortiz Catalan from Chalmers, who gave a talk on “The future of bionic limbs: osseointegration and neural control”. In his research, conducted together with Rickard Brånemark, previously at Sahlgrenska but now at University of California, San Francisco, the world´s first mind-controlled arm prosthesis was developed, now regarded by the patient as a body part more than an external device. A coming research project is focused on feedback and doing the same with a leg; neuromuscular control of robotic leg prostheses.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6895_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />“You couldn´t do it without me!” said Sabine Reinfeldt from Chalmers and her colleague Måns Eeg-Olofsson from Sahlgrenska made the same statement: “You couldn´t do it without me!”. They jointly presented their research on “New hearing implant replacing the middle ear”, where functionally deaf patients can gain normal hearing with a Bone Conduction Implant (BCI). <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_26_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Mikael Elam, Sahlgrenska, and Mikael Persson, Chalmers, are co-inventors of the stroke helmet Strokefinder and share many research projects in the field of traumatic brain injury and stroke. They presented “A Sahlgrenska Chalmers collaborative effort around Stroke and trauma”. <br />They also emphasized the importance of MedTech West as a network and collaborative platform for research, education, development and evaluation of new biomedical concepts and technologies. The focus is on addressing actual clinical needs in collaboration with relevant clinical staff, and to initiate, facilitate and promote increased research collaboration between the health care sector, industry and academia.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6930_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Elin Rønby Pedersen is a member of Google Medical Brain Team and uses brain technology to solve problems in clinical domains. She focuses her research on the human side of deep learning in health and medicine, for example when it comes to adapting deep neural networks to read fundus images. Big data will only be helpful if you understand the context, was one of her conclusions.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6937_red_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Oliver Aalami from Stanford University Hospital gave a talk on how “Apps, Augmented reality and Bio design” can be designed through collaboration between computer science and medicine. For example, smart glasses can be used by surgeons to better get an overview of monitors and screens in the operating room, without taking the eyes off the patient. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/EngineeringHealth_171108_04_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />About 270 persons had registered for the first seminar day at Runan, Chalmers.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6943_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Sahlgrenska, and Paul Hockings, Chalmers, presented their collaboration in the TRISTAN project, focusing on “Imaging biomarkers for safer drugs”, especially in the field of assessment of liver toxicity. MRI-models are used to find biomarkers to better predict toxicity in humans in the development of drugs.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6959_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Marta Bally, Chalmers, and Nils Lycke, Sahlgrenska, gave a talk on &quot;Lipid nanoparticles for mucosal vaccine delivery: from physicochemical properties to immune stimulation&quot;. In their research, they have identified that lipid-based nanoparticles are suitable as pharmaceutical carriers. However, the physicochemical profile of an ideal nanoparticle for mucosal vaccine delivery remains to be further investigated.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6988_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><span><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A garment with integrated sensors, from the smart textiles project “WearIT” was shown by Kristina Malmgren from Sahlgrenska and Leif Sandsjö from MedTech West/University of Borås. <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6966_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <span><span>Kris</span></span><span><span>tina Malmgren <span style="display:inline-block"> explained</span></span></span>.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6972_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Textiles that monitor your health or measure your movements was the subject also for Nils-Krister Persson, Smart Textiles Technology Lab, and Anja Lund from Chalmers in their presentation “Chalmers Textiles as enabler for Engineering Health”. Amongst other things they defined the differences between medical textiles, medtech textiles and hygiene textiles. The presentation also included information about research on compression sensitive gastro intestinal stents, where a strain-sensing thread can be integrated in the stent to sense both position and amplitude of deformations.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6995_500.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A poster session was arranged and showed even more projects where clinicians and engineers collaborate. <br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/events/Engineering-Health/Pages/Abstracts.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the abstracts from the poster session</a><br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Livsvetenskaper/Engineering%20Health%208%20November%202017/DSC_6883_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />A number of new Sahlgrenska-Chalmers contacts were made during the coffee breaks, lunch and dinner.<br /><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/lifescience/events/Engineering-Health/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the initiative seminar</a><br /><br /><span><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​MedTech West about &quot;Sahlgrenska and Chalmers - a never ending story&quot;</a><br /> <br />Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Yen Strandqvist<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> and Yvonne Jonsson<br /><br />Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0100 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="">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="">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 +0200 antibiotic resistance genes found<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have found several previously unknown genes that make bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics. The genes were found by searching large volumes of bacterial DNA and are published in the scientific journal Microbiome.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Large volumes of DNA are analysed" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/Nyagenerkartlagda300x.jpg" style="margin:5px" />The increasing number of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a rapidly growing global problem. Disease-causing bacteria become resistant through mutations of their own DNA or by acquiring resistance genes from other, often harmless, bacteria. By analysing large volumes of DNA data, the researchers found 76 new types of resistance genes. Several of these genes can provide bacteria with the ability to degrade carbapenems, our most powerful class of antibiotics used to treat multi-resistant bacteria.</p> <p>“Our study shows that there are lots of unknown resistance genes. Knowledge about these genes makes it possible to more effectively find and hopefully tackle new forms of multi-resistant bacteria”, says Erik Kristiansson, Professor in biostatistics at Chalmers University of Technology and principal investigator of the study.</p> <p>“The more we know about how bacteria can defend themselves against antibiotics, the better are our odds for developing effective, new drugs”, explains Joakim Larsson, co-author and Director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg.</p> <p>The researchers identified the novel genes by analysing DNA sequences from bacteria collected from humans and various environments from all over the world.</p> <p><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Photo Erik Kristiansson" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/erikkristiansson200x.jpg" style="margin:5px" />“Resistance genes are often very rare, and a lot of DNA data needs to be examined before a new gene can be found”, Kristiansson says.</p> <p>Identifying a resistance gene is also challenging if it has not previously been encountered. The research group solved this by developing new computational methods to find patterns in DNA that are associated with antibiotic resistance. By testing the genes they identified in the laboratory, they could then prove that their predictions were correct.</p> <p>“Our methods are very efficient and can search for the specific patterns of novel resistance genes in large volumes of DNA sequence data,” says Fanny Berglund, a PhD student in the research group.</p> <p>The next step for the research groups is to search for genes that provide resistance to other forms of antibiotics.</p> <p>“The novel genes we discovered are only the tip of the iceberg. There are still many unidentified antibiotic resistance genes that could become major global health problems in the future,” Kristiansson says.</p> <p>Link to the study: <a href=""></a> </p> <p>Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg (CARe): <a href=""></a></p> <p>For more information, please contact:<br />Erik Kristiansson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 70-5259751; <a href=""></a> <br /><br /><strong>Picture</strong>: Erik Kristiansson<br /><strong>Photo</strong>: Nachiket P Marathe</p>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:40:00 +0200 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="">Read more about the Eni Award​</a></div> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0200 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="" 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="" 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="" 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 +0200,-medicine-and-chemicals-may-be-sustainably-engineered-from-yeast.aspx,-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 +0200