News: Livsvetenskaper och teknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyWed, 13 Jan 2021 08:46:46 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Travel-patterns-can-predict-care-needs-during-the-pandemic.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/math/news/Pages/Travel-patterns-can-predict-care-needs-during-the-pandemic.aspxTravel patterns can predict care needs during the pandemic<p><b>​By measuring how much people travel on a regional level, Philip Gerlee et al. have developed a model that can be used to predict the number of patients with covid-19 who need to be hospitalised.</b></p><p>​The transmission of covid-19 is dependent on the number of physical encounters between people, the rate of which has varied during the course of the pandemic due to mandated and voluntary social distancing. One way to measure and predict this transmission is to study our mobility, assuming that the more we move, the more people we encounter.</p> <p>Philip Gerlee and Torbjörn Lundh, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, have together with several other researchers at universities and university hospitals in Gothenburg, Linköping and Lund compared the number of hospitalised covid-19 patients with mobility data in terms of public transport utilisation and mobile phone usage. This model has been shown to capture the timing of both the first and the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic.</p> <h2>Travel data from regional public transport companies</h2> <p>The comparison with mobile phone data was made for all regions in Sweden and the model turned out to perform somewhat better for larger regions than for smaller, where random effects may have a greater effect. The researchers also received travel data from the regional public transport companies Västtrafik and Skånetrafiken and were able to show that this data provided an even better agreement between model and data.</p> <p>Since there is a time lag between an increased number of infections and hospital admissions, this model can predict the need for hospital care at a regional level three weeks in advance through the access to local traffic data. The preprint “<a href="https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.00823">Predicting regional COVID-19 hospital admissions in Sweden using mobility data</a>” can be accessed via the web site arXiv.<br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/math/news/Pages/They-predict-the-need-for-care-for-covid-19-patients.aspx">Interview with Philip Gerlee in August about predicting the care need for covid-19 patients &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p>Contact information for <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/gerlee.aspx">Philip Gerlee</a> and <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/torbjorn-lundh.aspx">Torbjörn Lundh</a> &gt;&gt;<br /><br /><strong>Text</strong>: Setta Aspström</p>Tue, 05 Jan 2021 10:35:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Bionic-touch-does-not-remap-the-brain.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Bionic-touch-does-not-remap-the-brain.aspxBionic touch does not remap the brain<p><b>​Advances in neuroscience and engineering have generated great hope for Luke Skywalker-like prosthetics: robotic devices that are almost indistinguishable from a human limb. Key to solving this challenge is designing devices that not only can be operated with a user’s own neural activity, but can also accurately and precisely receive and relay sensory information to the user. ​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">A new study by neuroscientists at Chalmers and the University of Chicago, published in the journal Cell Reports, highlights just how difficult this may prove to be. In a cohort of three subjects whose amputated limbs had been replaced with a neuromusculoskeletal prosthetic limb, the investigators found that even after a full year of using the devices, the participant’s subjective sensation never shifted to match the location of the touch sensors on their prosthetic devices. </span><div><br /></div> <div>The stability of the touch sensations highlights the limits in the ability of the nervous system to adapt to different sensory input.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Three participants with above-elbow amputations were equipped with high-tech neuroprosthetic devices that were affixed directly to their humerus bone. The users could control the prosthetic device thanks to signals received from electrodes implanted in the residual arm muscles, and received sensory feedback via another set of implanted electrodes. A sensor located on the prosthetic thumb triggered stimulation of the nerve, which in turn elicited a touch sensation. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, because the organisation of the nerve is essentially arbitrary, surgeons can’t be sure whether their placement of the electrodes will generate a sensation in the correct location on the thumb. In the study, the prosthetic users did not report feeling the sensation on the thumb, but rather in other hand locations, such as their middle finger or the palm.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Participants then wore the prosthesis for upwards of 12 hours a day, every day, using it to manipulate objects during their daily routine for over a year.</div> <div><strong><br />The sensation persisted where it was originally felt</strong></div> <span style="font-weight:700"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Nytt%20centrum%20för%20ledande%20forskning%20om%20bionik%20och%20smärta/Max_Ortiz_Catalan_300x350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" style="margin:5px;height:254px;width:220px" /></span><div>“One problem with current neural electrodes is that you can’t tell during the implantation surgery which part of the nerve corresponds to what sensation, so the electrodes don’t always land in exactly the location in the nerve that would match the location of the sensors in the prosthetic hand,” said lead author and developer of the neuromusculoskeletal prostheses, Max Ortiz Catalan, PhD, an associate professor of bionics at Chalmers, and Director of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research in Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We hoped that because the patients were grabbing objects and feeling the sensation somewhere else in the hand, all day and every day for several months, the brain would resolve the mismatch by shifting the perceived sensation to the thumb,” he continued.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Despite being able to observe their hand while interacting with objects, none of the users ever reported that they felt the sensation on their thumb, but rather that the sensation persisted in the same area where it was originally felt. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Every day, for a year, these subjects saw their prosthetic thumb touching things and felt it in a different location – sometimes close to the thumb, but not on it – and the sensation never budged. Not even a smidge,” said senior author Sliman Bensmaia, PhD, the James and Karen Frank Family Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at UChicago. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The results challenge dogma regarding brain plasticity</strong></div> <div>These results challenge prevailing dogma regarding brain plasticity following limb loss. Many have believed that the brain has a high capacity to reorganise itself after losing sensory input, co-opting existing, unused brain tissue for other purposes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There’s been this idea that the nervous system is really plastic, so if you see a mismatch between what you see and what you feel, it’s a great opportunity for neural remapping,” said Bensmaia. “For example, if you sew two fingers together and look at how that’s represented in the brain, they seem to have merged.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“But I think that this idea has been vastly overstated. It’s less like you’re reorganising a room and more like you’re just hearing echoes bouncing around an empty chamber,” he continued. “You might get some overlapping sensation from adjacent limbs, but it’s just because the area of the brain that used to respond to sensation is empty, and activating the neurons around it leads to an echo through the emptiness.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This study highlights the importance of knowing exactly where to place electrodes when implanting sensory arrays for patients using these types of neuroprosthetic devices, as it appears unlikely that the brain is capable of making substantial adjustments in how it perceives that sensory input. “This means that you really have to get it right,” said Bensmaia. “There are no do-overs here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about: The study</strong></div> <div>The study, <a href="https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247%2820%2931528-X" target="_blank">Chronic use of a sensitized bionic hand does not remap the sense of touch​</a>​, was supported by the Promobilia Foundation, the IngaBritt and Arne Lundbergs Foundation, Vinnova, the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the European Research Council and NINDS grant NS095251. Additional authors include Enzo Mastinu of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Charles Greenspon of the University of Chicago. </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>More about: Mind-controlled arm prostheses</strong></div> <div>A study about the neuromusculoskeletal arm prostheses was published in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em> in April.  F<span style="background-color:initial">or images, video and more information, see the press release <a href="https://news.cision.com/chalmers/r/mind-controlled-arm-prostheses-that--feel--are-now-a-part-of-everyday-life%2cc3179194" target="_blank">Mind-controlled arm prostheses that “feel” are now a part of everyday life.​</a></span></div> <div>  </div> <div><strong>More about: Center for Bionics and Pain Research</strong></div> <div><a href="https://cbpr.se/" target="_blank">Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR)</a> is a new interdisciplinary research center in Gothenburg, Sweden, formed by experts in engineering, medicine, and medical practice. The overall goal is to develop medical technologies and treatments to restore lost sensory and motor function, in patients who have, for example, lost a limb or suffered nerve damage, and to relieve the pain that can arise from these types of sensorimotor impairments. The participating organisations are Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. Director of the center is Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan</a>, associate professor of bionics at Chalmers University of Technology and Director of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research in Gothenburg, Sweden.</div> <div><br /></div> Tue, 22 Dec 2020 17:30:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Chalmers-contributes-to-a-sustainable-food-sector.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Chalmers-contributes-to-a-sustainable-food-sector.aspxChalmers contributes to a sustainable food sector<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology’s contribution to research and development of new solutions for a more sustainable food sector is growing. Through three national centres − FINEST, PAN Sweden and BLUE FOOD − Chalmers researchers will be involved in developing the food of the future.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The Swedish Research Council Formas give 192 million SEK to four national centres for food research and innovation – and Chalmers is participating in three of these. In close collaborations researchers, industry and other actors, will develop new sustainable food systems in Sweden. This means an increase in production of more nutritious food, while the environmental impact decreases.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">BLUE FOOD</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">BLUE FOOD, centre for the seafood of the future, will result in completely new Swedish seafood products that could play an important role in the ongoing protein shift. This shift means leaving red meat as the primary source of protein for more sustainable and healthy alternatives. Ingrid Undeland, Professor of Food Science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, will, as the research coordinator, have a central role in BLUE FOOD.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I hope that BLUE FOOD will contribute to more of our Swedish blue raw materials being processed nationally <span>−</span> and that this will positively influence new job opportunities, competence level, self-sufficiency and profitability in the Swedish fishing and seafood industry,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">One goal of the centre is that a larger proportion of the wild fish caught in Sweden will be used as food – another is to expand Swedish aquaculture, i.e. the cultivation of, for example, fish, mussels and algae. Today, as much as 85 percent of the wild Swedish-caught wild fish is not used for food, but for low-value products that are later used in animal feed. This includes both small fish species such as herring, and sprat, but also the parts of the fish that remain after the fillet is removed. These species and cutting details need to be better utilised. But technological development is required to succeed.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“My research group has extensive experience from processes that can be used to refine both residual raw materials and small fish species. For almost 20 years, we have used complex marine raw materials to isolate functional proteins, i.e. proteins that can provide structure to food at different levels. This knowledge will be used in the doctoral student project that Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers will supervise in the centre. When it comes to seafood quality, we also have extensive experience, not least on how to avoid oxidation of the unsaturated marine fats, which otherwise leads to the food becoming rancid and losing nutritional value,” says Ingrid Undeland.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Mehdi Abdollahi and Ann-Sofie Sandberg from the Division of Food and Nutrition Science and Robin Teigland from the Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) also participate, as artificial intelligence,  AI, and digitalisation in the blue sector are important focus areas in BLUE FOOD. The latter will also form the basis for a PhD-student project in a later stage of the centre.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FINEST</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">FINEST is a centre for future innovations in a sustainable food system. The centre brings research on sustainability and nutrition, food technology, consumer behaviour, innovation management and system change together. In addition, there is a joint development of methods through the Food Transition Lab run by Rise, and a co-creation platform that will be created within the centre formation.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre wants to contribute to innovation in the Swedish food sector by involving actors from all parts of the value chain – to jointly create the best conditions for innovation, contribute to system change and support concrete projects, including berries as raw materials and experimental value chains.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Professor Maria Elmquist at TME, on Chalmers' involvement in FINEST:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I will lead a work package together with RISE where we will work with innovation management and study how established players can find new paths to innovation by collaborating in new ways and with new parties. We will recruit a doctoral student with a focus on innovation in the food sector, who will, among other things, work closely with ICA and the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet). The activities in the centre will constitute an exciting research arena and lab environment for us, as we will be able to collaborate and study the participating actors, and easily test new models and tools.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">PAN SWEDEN</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Efforts to limit the environmental impact from animal-based food are needed to meet the goals of Agenda 2030 but innovations within plant-based proteins options are lagging. Evidence-based knowledge within food processing, consumption and health benefits of plant-based proteins is currently scarce, which limits the necessary further development.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre PAN SWEDEN (plant-based proteins for health and wellbeing) will in collaboration with universities, research institutes, the Swedish industry and public sector partners, develop new knowledge and new methods to examine how increased consumption of plant-based proteins affects health and well-being. PAN brings together a unique set of interdisciplinary competence and creates a new infrastructure that integrates research on food, nutrition, technology, medicine and social sciences. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Marie Alminger, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science, is part of PAN’s management team and she will participate in the research with focus on characterisation of plant-based proteins. Among other things, the researchers want to clarify the relationship between processing, structure, bioavailability, digestion of proteins, and how the proteins can affect the intestinal flora and health. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “We will compare selected plant proteins (model proteins combined with fibre components) with animal foods, in this case chicken. We want to identify raw materials with promising properties that work well in food processes − but also gain knowledge about possibilities and health effects, or risks, that come with increased use of plant-based foods,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Anna Ström is Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She is also part of the management of PAN and is responsible for the focus area &quot;Biomolecular signatures in a precision nutrition perspective&quot;. Here, the researchers will work mainly on how plant-based nutrition is absorbed by the body and investigate the processes for uptake of different vegetable proteins in the digestive systems. As a chemist, Anna Ström contributes with the physical chemical aspects and she is particularly interested in exploring one idea with an exciting focus:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The idea is to develop a sensor that makes it possible to follow how we degrade various plant-based proteins, which could enable us to look directly into the intestinal system. We see a great need for such technical solutions. With the help of AI, the information can be translated into new, important knowledge on the functions of different proteins in our digestive systems,” says Anna Ström.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Another research area to be explored is how the combination of different proteins, and high and low fibre levels in the diet affects us from a nutritional and health perspective.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the press release from Formas:</strong> <a href="https://formas.se/en/start-page/archive/news/news/2020-11-23-multi-million-investment-in-swedish-centres-for-food-research-and-innovation.html">Multi-million investment in Swedish centres for food research and innovation​</a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 22 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Drinking-milk-while-breastfeeding-may-reduce-the-child’s-food-allergy-risk.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Drinking-milk-while-breastfeeding-may-reduce-the-child%E2%80%99s-food-allergy-risk.aspxCow’s milk while breastfeeding reduces allergy risk<p><b>​Children of mothers who drink relatively more cow&#39;s milk during breastfeeding are at reduced risk of developing food allergies. That is the conclusion of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, in a new study published in the scientific journal Nutrients.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The result is based on a survey of more than 500 Swedish women's eating habits and the prevalence of allergies in their children at one year of age.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We have found that mothers of healthy one-year-olds consumed more cow's milk during breastfeeding than mothers of allergic one-year-old​s. Though​ the association is clear, we do not claim that drinking cow's milk would be a general cure for food allergies.” says Mia Stråvik, doctoral student in the Division of Food Science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, and first author of the study.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">There are many factors behind​ the risk of food allergy, not least genetic predisposition. Yet, as Mia Stråvik explains, “Diet is a factor where parents themselves can have direct influence. It is quite common nowadays for young women to avoid drinking milk, due in part to prevailing trends and concerns, some of which are linked to myths about diet.” </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">She points out that allergy to milk protein is uncommon in adults, so most women can consume milk and dairy products themselves without issue. Lactose intolerance is something completely different, when the body cannot break down milk sugars. And in this case, lactose-free dairy products are tolerated by the body.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The hygiene hypothesis</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">According to Professor Ann-Sofie Sandberg, Mia Stråvik's supervisor, one possible explanation may be that the milk in the mother's diet contains substances that stimulate the maturity of the immune system.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“In a child's early development, there is a time window where stimulation of the immune system is necessary for the child to develop tolerance to different foods.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">According to something known as the hygiene hypothesis, early contact with various microorganisms can function as something of a kickstart’ for a child's immune system, she explains.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“But, with the lower prevalence of microorganisms nowadays in our more hygienic society, substances taken in through the mother's diet can be another way to stimulate the maturity of the immune system.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Mia Stråvik's study is not the first to link cow's milk in a mother’s diet to a reduced risk of allergies in children. Previous studies, however, have often been based solely on questionnaire responses – both in terms of eating habits and the presence of allergies. In this study both data and conclusions are significantly more robust.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“In this study, we were able to actually verify the women’s reported intake of milk and milk products through biomarkers in her blood and breast milk. The biomarkers are two fatty acids formed in the cow's stomach, which are specific to dairy products,” says Mia Stråvik. “Furthermore, all the cases of allergy in children were diagnosed by a doctor specialising in child allergies.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The study is part of a more extensive research project built around a family cohort study of 655 families who gave birth at Sunderby Hospital near Luleå, northern Sweden, during the years 2015–2018. The project was initiated, and the cohort established, by Ann-Sofie Sandberg from Chalmers, Professor Agnes Wold at the University of Gothenburg and the chief physician and paediatric allergist Anna Sandin, affiliated with Umeå University and Sunderby Hospital.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The current study is the first scientific publication, focusing mainly on allergies based on data collected from the families in northern Sweden.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A clear connection</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The mothers in the study, more than 500, gave detailed accounts of their eating habits on three occasions – in the 34th week of the pregnancy, one month after the birth and four months after birth. At one year of age, the children were medically examined, and all cases of food allergy, atopic eczema and asthma were identified.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">After the material was adjusted for various other factors, such as hereditary predisposition or reverse causation, the researchers were able to establish that there was indeed a clear connection between the mother's intake of milk and dairy products and the smaller incidence of food allergy in their children.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “No matter how we looked at and interpreted the data, we came to the same conclusion,” states Chalmers researcher and co-author Malin Barman, Assistant Supervisor to Mia Stråvik.“The mechanisms behind why milk has this preventative effect against allergies, however, are still unclear.” A further explanation of various hypotheses can be found below. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Another result in the study that Mia Stråvik highlights is that children of breastfeeding mothers, who at the four month measurement were eating a lot of fruit and berries, tended to suffer from eczema to a much greater extent – though she stresses that further studies are needed before anything can be said with certainty about this connection. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">A follow-up study is currently underway to examine the children's health at the age of four.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text:</strong> Björn Forsman</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read the article in the scientific journal Nutrients:</h3> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/12/3680">Maternal Intake of Cow’s Milk during Lactation Is Associated with Lower Prevalence of Food Allergy in Offspring </a></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">More about: Child Allergies</span><br /></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Allergy is the most common chronic disease that affects children, and is becoming ever more prevalent in Sweden and other industrialised countries. </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Of the 508 children included in the current study:</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <ul><li>​7.7 percent of the children (39) had a diagnosed food allergy at one year of age, most commonly to cow's milk or eggs (or both)</li> <li>6.5 percent of the children (33) were diagnosed with atopic eczema and the same amount were diagnosed with asthma</li> <li>23 percent of the children had allergies of some type (including non-food-based) at the age of one year​</li></ul> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How does milk cause these effects?</h3> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">It is unclear exactly why cow's milk in the mother's diet can reduce the risk of child allergy. According to researcher Malin Barman, there are several possible explanations, that could potentially work together.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“One hypothesis is that cow's milk contains something that activates the child's immune system and helps it to develop tolerance. This as-yet unknown cause could be found in the fat of the milk or in its protein content. But it could also be the case that the milk itself is neutral in relation to the immune system. Then it might be more simply a matter of a higher intake of milk fats leading to a relatively lower intake of polyunsaturated fats.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">This would help, because we believe high levels of polyunsaturated fat in a mother's diet can counteract the maturation of a child’s immune system at an early age.” </p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: the funding of this research</h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P">This research was funded by the Swedish Research Council, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte), Västra Götaland Region, Region Norrbotten, Magnus Bergvalls stiftelse, Wilhelm och Martina Lundgrens stiftelse, Per Håkanssons stiftelse, Stiftelsen Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Minne, The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg and Jane och Dan Olssons stiftelse. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results. The authors declare no conflict of interest.</p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: the NICE project</h3> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The 655 families participating in the NICE cohort (Nutritional impact on Immunological maturation during Childhood in relation to the Environment) were recruited during the years 2015–2018 in connection with pregnant women visiting Sunderby Hospital in northern Sweden.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The aim is to map how a number of factors in the nutritional intake of the foetus and infant affect their immune system and, in the long run, their health and development.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In addition to the connection between food and allergies, which is the Chalmers researchers' special area of responsibility, researchers are also looking at microorganisms and toxic substances and their significance for such things as dental health and neuropsychological development.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">To this end, the researchers hav​​e built up an extensive biobank with samples from the participants – everything from placentas and umbilical cord blood to breast milk, urine and saliva.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Alongside Chalmers University of Technology, Umeå University, Karolinska Institutet and the University of Gothenburg are also participating in studies based on the NICE cohort – a total of around 30 researchers are involved.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Mon, 21 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-center-for-leading-research-into-bionics-and-pain.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/New-center-for-leading-research-into-bionics-and-pain.aspxNew center for research into bionics and pain<p><b>​A new, interdisciplinary research center has been established in Gothenburg to promote the further development and clinical implementation of novel technologies to treat sensory and motor impairments, such as amputations or nerve injuries. Thanks to generous donations, the Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR) will help patients regain quality of life through world-leading technologies and treatments, developed by engineering and medical professionals working closely together.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The new Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR) is formed by experts in engineering, medicine, and medical practice from three participating organisations: Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">CBPR has been made possible thanks to significant research grants from the Promobilia Foundation and the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation, awarded to Chalmers researcher and Associate Professor Max Ortiz Catalan, now also serving as Director for CBPR. Max Ortiz Catalan is the researcher who led the development of the world's first mind-controlled and sensate arm prostheses used in daily life.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The overall goal of the collaboration is to develop medical technologies and treatments to restore lost sensory and motor function, in people who have, for example, lost a limb or suffered nerve damage, and to relieve the pain that can arise from these types of sensorimotor impairments. ‘Sensorimotor’ refers to the experience of sensations and the control of our body movements.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There will also be research into the wider effects of such technologies and methods, such as safety aspects and health economics. Increasing the understanding of the causes of sensorimotor pain, such as phantom pain, will be an important part of research at CBPR.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Strong investment by Swedish research foundations</strong></div> <div>CBPR has been made possible thanks to significant research grants, mainly from two private Swedish foundations. The largest financier is the <a href="https://www.promobilia.se/?lang=en" target="_blank">Promobilia Foundation</a>, which has contributed SEK 50 million to the establishment of CBPR.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Nytt%20centrum%20för%20ledande%20forskning%20om%20bionik%20och%20smärta/Max_Ortiz_Catalan_300x350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" style="margin:5px;width:245px;height:284px" />“We are extremely happy to participate and have high expectations for this new project,” says Kaj Sigstam, Chairman of the Promobilia Foundation. “The research and development that will take place at the Center echoes the values we have at Promobilia – to create more independent lives for people with disabilities. We also appreciate that the research and development is closely and directly implemented by users of the healthcare system, so that the results can benefit those in need more quickly.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Another important donor is the <a href="https://www.lundbergsstiftelsen.se/en/home/" target="_blank">IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation​</a>, which is financing the purchase of equipment through an award of SEK 15 million.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are very happy to continue our investment in this important research. Through the new center, Max Ortiz Catalan's globally unique technology can continue to develop at an even faster pace and provide ever better help to more patients,” says Christina Backman, Chairwoman of the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facilitating successful research collaboration</strong></div> <div>“I have enjoyed successful collaborations with researchers from Sahlgrenska and the University of Gothenburg for several years. I see the new center as a platform to enable my research team to work even more closely with our medical partners. In this way, we can continue to develop even more effective technologies for overcoming physical disabilities and pain,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Their collaboration so far has already led to the development of cutting-edge technologies such as neuromusculoskeletal prostheses – artificial limbs, mainly arm prostheses, which are connected to the patient's skeleton, nerves, and muscles.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Introducing new technologies into clinical practice is just as important as developing them. At CBPR, we will work together with clinicians and industrial partners to ensure that our new advances are developed and tested considering the needs of all stakeholders, and according to the best clinical practices. This will enable a seamless clinical introduction,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Exciting projects with great benefit for patients</strong></div> <div>The establishment of CBPR will bring many benefits, something further emphasised by representatives from Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This is a welcome development of the successful research collaboration we have already enjoyed at the Center for Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities (C.A.R.E.). This has resulted in, among other things, the development of globally unique mind-controlled arm prostheses, and important research into the phenomenon of phantom pain,” says Carina Reinholdt, Head of C.A.R.E. and the Department of Hand Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Now that CBPR is opening, in the newly constructed R-building at Mölndal Hospital, many exciting projects can begin – projects with great benefit for patients with amputations requiring prosthetics, as well as patients suffering nerve damage, pain in the musculoskeletal system, spinal cord injuries, strokes and paralysis, for example,” continues Carina Reinholdt.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have a lot to learn from each other about the meeting points between humans and technology, between Chalmers and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. This collaboration will be very positive for everyone involved – especially the patients,” says Anna Nilsdotter, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Gathering broad competence with cutting-edge knowledge</strong></div> <div>“Those of us who work with orthopaedics at Sahlgrenska Academy are very much looking forward to an expanded collaboration with Chalmers. The goal of research into musculoskeletal diseases and injuries is to find new and more effective ways to improve mobility and relieve pain. The collaboration through the Center will provide broad competence for clinical medical technology research in this area, offering good opportunities to develop new treatment methods,” says Ola Rolfson, Professor and Head of the Department of Orthopaedics at Sahlgrenska Academy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This is something that Peter Dahm, Professor and Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, agrees with:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The experience and competence of our partners will contribute valuable knowledge to our organisation. We see great developmental potential for future joint projects, especially for patients who need prostheses, and those suffering from neuropathic pain. We are looking forward to it, and warmly welcome them!” he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Several industry partners are also involved in projects at CBPR, such as Össur and Ottobock – the two largest prosthetic and orthopaedic companies in the world – as well as the robotics company Prensilia in Italy, and the orthopaedic implant company Integrum AB in Sweden.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>CBPR will be based at the R-building at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Mölndal.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Examples of successful research projects</strong></div> <div>The three parties have already collaborated on projects and achieved remarkable results. The center is being established to strengthen and facilitate this close collaboration.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Examples of projects carried out under the leadership of Max Ortiz Catalan:</div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-arm-prostheses-now-a-part-of-everyday-life.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Mind-controlled prostheses that “feel” for real​</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Hand-prosthesis-successfully-implanted.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />First dexterous hand prosthesis implanted</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Artificial-joint-restores-wrist-like-movements-to-forearm-amputees-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Artificial joint restores wrist-like movements </a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-new-theory-for-phantom-limb-pain-points-the-way-to-more-effective-treatment.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />A new theory for phantom limb pain points the way to more effective treatment</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More information</strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.cbpr.se/" target="_blank">Read more about the Center for Bionics and Pain Research</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For further information contact:</strong></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan​​</a>, Associate Professor, Head of the Bionics Research Unit at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, and Director of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research</div> <div> +46 70-846 10 65​, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><strong>Carina Reinholdt</strong>, Head of the Department of Hand Surgery and of C.A.R.E., Sahlgrenska University Hospital</div> <div>+46 70-085 26 12, <a href="mailto:%20carina.reinholdt@vgregion.se">carina.reinholdt@vgregion.se</a></div> <div><strong>Anna Nilsdotter</strong>, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital</div> <div>+46 70-082 56 05, <a href="mailto:%20anna.nilsdotter@vgregion.se">anna.nilsdotter@vgregion.se</a></div> <div><strong>Ola Rolfson</strong>, Professor and Head of the Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, </div> <div>+46 31-343 08 52, <a href="mailto:%20ola.rolfson@gu.se">ola.rolfson@gu.se</a></div> <div><strong>Peter Dahm</strong>, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Sahlgrenska University Hospital</div> <div> +46 031-34 250 59, <a href="mailto:%20peter.dahm@vgregion.se">peter.dahm@vgregion.se</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Portrait photo of Max Ortiz Catalan: Oscar Mattsson<br />Other images: Chalmers</em></div>Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cutting-edge-Nobel-technique-in-practice-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cutting-edge-Nobel-technique-in-practice-at-Chalmers.aspxCutting edge Nobel tool in practice at Chalmers<p><b>​The researchers behind the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors are awarded this year&#39;s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Why is this technology considered ground-breaking, and what are the advantages of using it? We asked the researchers at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. ​​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">“<a href="https://www.emmanuelle-charpentier-lab.org/research/on-crispr-cas-9/">Charpentier</a> <span style="background-color:initial">and </span><a href="https://doudnalab.org/research_areas/new-editing-tools/">Doudna's</a> <span style="background-color:initial">technology has revolutionised life sciences. In just eight years, it has evolved from an interesting discovery to a tool which is used as a standard in laboratories around the world </span>–<span style="background-color:initial"> also at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. Nobel Prizes are usually awarded to discoveries that are older as they needed more time to gain ground, says Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology, whose research group studies protein aggregation mechanisms and amyloid formation in neurodegenerative diseases.</span></p> <span></span><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Briefly, this is how gene editing with CRISPR-Cas9 works: The enzyme Cas9 is the scissors that cut DNA. For the scissors to cut at the correct position in the genome, a piece of RNA is constructed, a single-stranded molecule that matches the sequence on the DNA molecule to be cut. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">This RNA sequence guides Cas9 to the target with high precision. The cut of the DNA strand makes it possible for the researchers to turn off certain genes – and thus certain functions in the cells – or to paste new genes into the genome, which provides the cells with new properties.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">ALS research and studies on nucleic-acid based drugs​</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/ChemBio/ElinEW_20191202-340x400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Elin Esbjörner" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />“We use the genetic scissors to label cells, to light up the proteins we want to study. We achieve this by adding a gene sequence that extends the protein with a so-called fluorescent, light-emitting, marker. In this way, we can study the protein directly in living cells using a microscopy. This is a very powerful way to understand biology and how the body works. We use our genetically modified cell models to investigate a protein that causes the neurodegenerative paralysis disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), but also to study how nucleic-acid based drugs are taken up and distributed inside cells,” says <strong>Elin Esbjörner</strong>.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">She says that the genetic scissors provide more opportunities to examine, in a finely tuned manner, why some people suffer from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“It enables us to work with models that are similar to the conditions of the disease. Previously, we had to modify our cell models with a method that involves expressing the proteins we study in very high concentrations. The high protein concentration enhances the risk that the results do not sufficiently represent what is really happening in the patient’s brain.”<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a> <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/New-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-2019.aspx">New Wallenberg Academy Fellow seeks to prevent neurodegenerative disorders​​</a><br /></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a> <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/news/Pages/43-Chalmers-researchers-receive-funding-for-more-research.aspx">43 Chalmers researchers receive funding for more research</a></span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Development of efficient cell factories</span></h2> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/Florian_5q-340x400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Florian David" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />F</strong><span><strong>lorian David</strong>, Assistant Prof</span><span>essor at the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, uses the gene scissors for a completely different area of research: the development of cell factories.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">A cell factory is a microorganism, often yeast, that can be genetically adapted for large-scale and sustainable production of a variety of products, such as biofuels, drugs and chemicals. For these cell factories to be used industrially, they must be viable, productive and efficient, under the industrial conditions.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Florian David's research group develops new CRISPR based tools to efficiently engineer strains of baker’s yeast,<em> Saccharomyces cerevisae</em>, for sustainable production of chemicals and novel drugs. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The cell factories are genetically optimised to ferment renewable sources of sugars, which can for instance be derived from waste products from the wood industry. Through this fermentation process the cells can produce various products. Cell factories can be a key in the transition from an oil-based to a bio-based industry, but one major challenge is to make the production cost-effective.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“For me, efficiency and precision are the big advantages of CRISPR-Cas9. We do not want long development cycles because it is too expensive – consuming both time and money. This technology has accelerated development and optimisation of yeast strains considerably,” says Florian David.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">He believes that from societal and environmental perspectives, it is important that the development of these cell factories is fast and efficient for the industry.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“If we succeed in making the different steps of the production cheaper, we will move more quickly, towards a change in the industry enabling sustainable production and environmentally friendly products based on renewable resources,” he says.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In one of his research projects the CRISPR-Cas9 technology was used to create thousands of different yeast strains in a short time frame and screen for the most efficient producers using high throughput screening approaches. More insights on how to improve the yeast cell factory are gained quickly, directly speeding up the development cycle. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssynbio.9b00258#">Model-assisted fine-tuning of central carbon metabolism in yeast through dCas9-based regulation</a></p> <div></div> <div></div> <div></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10295-017-2000-6">Advancing biotechnology with CRISPR/Cas9: recent applications and patent landscape</a><span style="background-color:initial">.​​</span></p> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Development of cell factories and  tools for new organisms</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/IndBio/yvonne-profile_340x400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Yvonne Nygård" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />Yvonne </strong><strong>Nyg</strong><span><strong>ård</strong></span><span><strong></strong></span><span><strong></strong></span><span><strong></strong></span><span><strong></strong></span><span><strong></strong>, Associate Professor at the Division of Industrial Biotechnology, also develops cell factories that use residues from forestry and agriculture to produce biofuels and biochemicals. Her research group runs several projects that are based on CRISPR-Cas9, and others where the technology is used as one of many tools for genetic modification.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Cutting and pasting genes was the first application, but the technology has developed continuously, and now there are many applications. You can now use the technology for up- and down-regulation of genes, which means that you can control the activity of different genetic pathways in the cells. We have just published a study (link below) where we have developed a so-called tool kit, a system, where a variant of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology is used to regulate genes in industrial yeast strains,” she says.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Yvonne Nygård's group also develops CRISPR-based tools for filamentous fungi, and her previous research involved the development of tools for the fungus that is used industrially to produce penicillin. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The great thing about CRISPR-Cas9 is that the technology works in many different organisms. Before the genetic scissors, you had to develop the genetic toolbox from scratch if you wanted to work with a new organism, which can be time consuming. These days you can relatively easily implement the same technology and tools in different types of cells,” she says. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Yvonne Nygård explains that it is now much easier to test different production organisms in parallel - or to start using new microorganisms found in nature.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The CRIPSR-Cas9 technology provides better conditions for working with organisms that are difficult to manipulate genetically, such as filamentous fungi. Filamentous fungi grow relatively slowly and have several cell nuclei, all of which contain chromosomes, which requires effective genetic modification tools,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-71648-w">A CRISPR activation and interference toolkit for industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain KE6-12​</a></p> <div></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.13.338012v1">CRISPR-Based Transcriptional Activation Tool for Silent Genes in Filamentous Fungi​</a> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Potential ethical issues when using CRISPR-Cas9​</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he researchers are of the same opinion regarding potential ethical issues of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology: It is not the method itself that involves ethical dilemmas, it depends on how it is used. For example, using the technique clinically, as treatment of various diseases, may involve many ethical issues. </span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“There are probably no direct ethical, CRISPR-Cas9-related problems associated with my or the other BIO researchers' studies, as the cells engineered with this technology do not differ from cells engineered with other tools. But it would be naive to say that there are no ethical issues connected to the technology. You never know what the tools you develop will be used for,” says Yvonne Nygård.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Elin Esbjörner agrees. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The genetic scissors have great potential when it comes to correcting genes directly in the body. This is fantastic, because we will probably be able to use the technology to cure serious diseases that we have not yet managed to cure with traditional medicines. But there are complex ethical issues regarding which genetic defects should be corrected. As members of the scientific community, we have a great responsibility to ensure that this fantastic technology is used, and will be used, for the proper purposes,” she says.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>​<strong style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">Text:</strong><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial"> Susanne Nilsson Lindh</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-size:14px;font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a> This is how we use CRISPR-Cas9:</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Verena Siewers, Senior Researcher, Systems and Synthetic Biology:</strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/Verena_3321%20copy_340x400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Verena Siewers" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />“My research is about developing cell factories for industrial production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and lipids. We mainly work in baker’s yeast, and in this organism the gene scissors are an established technique for gene engineering, and by now my research group uses it in all projects for engineering yeast. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">For me, the true beauty of CRISPR/Cas9 is the wide range of possibilities to modify the original technique. You can for example target a modified Cas9-protein to a specific position in the DNA, and instead of cutting the DNA it can regulate the expression of that specific gene − or create random mutations to evolve a certain region of the DNA.  We have used this for genes involved in the fatty acid metabolism, but also to create so called libraries where we randomly altered gene expression in the cells – and then screened for expression patterns that were beneficial for a specific product. There are still some limitations to the technique, but our research would definitely have progressed slower without it.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssynbio.9b00258">Model-Assisted Fine-Tuning of Central Carbon Metabolism in Yeast through dCas9-Based Regulation</a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221403011730024X?via%3Dihub">Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for overproduction of triacylglycerols​</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Cecilia Geijer, Assistant Professor, Industrial Biotechnology:</strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/IndBio/cecilia5q_340x400.jpg" alt="Cecilia Geijer" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />“In my research group we develop industrial yeast strains, which can effectively convert sugars from plant biomass into sustainable biofuels and biochemicals.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Baker’s yeast, <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>, is a very efficient producer of bioethanol from glucose. In my group we use the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to introduce genes from other organisms into the genome of baker’s yeast, which also enables fermentation of other sugars from plant biomass and broadens the yeasts' spectrum of applications.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The gene scissors speed up the development process of these yeast strains considerably - and have a lot of advantages compared to other methods. For example, it is a very precise method and we can now modify the strains without introducing markers such as antibiotic resistance genes in the genome, which is a great advantage for yeast strains that will be used industrially.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">I also work with new, relatively unknown yeast species that possess many industrially attractive properties. I am convinced that CRIPSR-Cas9 will be an essential tool for turning these &quot;non-conventional&quot; yeasts into efficient cell factories in the future.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a><span style="background-color:initial;white-space:pre"> </span><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/New-network-improves-European-yeast-research.aspx" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);outline:0px">New network improves European yeast research ​​</a><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a><a href="https://biotechnologyforbiofuels.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13068-020-1663-9">Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Candida intermedia reveals the genetic determinants for its xylose-converting capacity</a> ​</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>F</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>redrik Westerlund, Professor, Chemical Biology:</strong></span><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/ChemBio/FredrikWesterlund_340x400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Fredrik Westerlund" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />“In my research group, we use the gene scissors in an antibiotic resistance project to analyse plasmids. Plasmids are the &quot;extra&quot; DNA molecules of bacterial cells where the genes that encode antibiotic resistance often are found. Traditional methods of studying plasmids do not provide all the information that is clinically important. By using CRISPR-Cas9 in combination with a mapping method that we have developed, we can locate antibiotic resistance genes on specific plasmids.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">We use the CRISPR-Cas9 technology in its simplest form: we cut the DNA and with the mapping method we identify if the DNA was cut, and in that case where; a cut only occurs if the antibiotic resistance gene is present.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Since plasmid DNA is easily picked up by other bacteria, compared to chromosomal DNA, a resistance gene on a plasmid can be expected to spread. Although PCR can determine if a specific strain has a resistance gene, it may be necessary and relevant for further studies to know exactly where the gene is located. If so, our analysis method is an excellent choice.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/srep37938">Direct identification of antibiotic resistance genes on single plasmid molecules using CRISPR/Cas9 in combination with optical DNA mapping </a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a><a href="https://mbio.asm.org/content/10/4/e00347-19/article-info">Optical DNA Mapping Combined with Cas9-Targeted Resistance Gene Identification for Rapid Tracking of Resistance Plasmids in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Outbreak</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Oliver Konzock, PhD Student, Systems and Synthetic Biology:</strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/Oliver%20k_340x400.jpg" alt="Oliver Konzock" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:176px" />“In my research project, I am optimising the non-conventional yeast <em>Yarrowia lipolytica</em> for sustainable production of food oils, such as the high-value product cocoa butter.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Yarrowia lipolytica is naturally producing a lot of fat, however, the exact composition is different from my target food oils. To change the lipid composition, I use the gene scissors to remove or exchange the gene for a protein that induces double bonds between carbons in the fat molecules. By changing the gene or its expression level I can alter the fat composition and get closer to food oils. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">For me, CRISPR/Cas9 is an extremely important tool, as it speeds up the gene engineering part of the project and I can spend my time testing the strains <span style="background-color:initial">− </span><span style="background-color:initial">or build more.“</span></p> <span></span><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Forskningsgenombrott-Producerar-bensin-i-jastcellfabriker.aspx" style="font-weight:300;outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231161">Deletion of MHY1 abolishes hyphae formation in Yarrowia lipolytica without negative effects on stress tolerance</a><span style="background-color:initial"> ​</span><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> ​</p>Tue, 08 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Excellent-results-for-Sweden-in-Cyborg-Olympics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Excellent-results-for-Sweden-in-Cyborg-Olympics.aspxExcellent results for Sweden in &#39;Cyborg Olympics<p><b>​The Swedish teams used their mind-controlled arm prostheses to secure a bronze medal, as well as a seventh place, in the international competition Cybathlon 2020. In total, 51 teams from 20 countries competed against each other. Chalmers University of Technology was one of the arenas.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“Our participants showed great fighting spirit and did well in the competition. Given the fact that they, unlike their competitors, use arm prostheses that also include the elbow, we are very pleased with the results”, says team leader Max Ortiz Catalan, the Chalmers researcher who has been in charge of developing the world's first mind-controlled and sensate prosthesis.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Cybathlon has been called a ‘Cyborg Olympics’. The competition is aimed at participants who have physical disabilities and use various types of advanced aids with built-in robot technology. The races consist of elements from everyday life, that can be difficult to perform for those who wear a prosthesis or use a wheelchair. The goal of Cybathlon is to showcase what is currently possible to perform, and to drive forward the development of prostheses and other types of assistive aids.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/International-competition-for-cyborgs-at-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />International competition for 'cyborgs' at Chalmers</a></div> <div><a href="https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Cybathlon 2020: Results, videos and information</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Fina%20placeringar%20för%20Sverige%20i%20”OS%20för%20cyborgar”/Cybathlon3_IMG_4761_750px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Cybathlon 2020 at Chalmers" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The organisers at Chalmers would like to thank everyone who in various ways helped to carry out the Cybathon competition.​ A special thanks go to <span style="background-color:initial">their collaborators and sponsors Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Integrum AB, Promobilia Foundation, </span><span style="background-color:initial">IngaBritt and Arne Lundbergs Foundation</span><span style="background-color:initial">, Akademiska Hus and A Working Lab.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Photos: Shahrzad Damercheli and Eric Earley</em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan​</a>, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden,</div> <div>​+46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></div></div> Thu, 19 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cell-ageing-can-be-slowed-by-oxidants.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Cell-ageing-can-be-slowed-by-oxidants.aspxCell ageing can be slowed by oxidants<p><b>​At high concentrations, reactive oxygen species – known as oxidants – are harmful to cells in all organisms and have been linked to ageing. But a study from Chalmers University of Technology has now shown that low levels of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide can stimulate an enzyme that helps slow down the ageing of yeast cells.​</b></p><p>​<span style="background-color:initial">One benefit of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, is that they neutralise reactive oxygen species – known as oxidants – which may otherwise react with important molecules in the body and destroy their biological functions. Larger amounts of oxidants can cause serious damage to DNA, cell membranes and proteins for example. Our cells have therefore developed powerful defence mechanisms to get rid of these oxidants, which are formed in our normal metabolism.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>It was previously believed that oxidants were only harmful, but recently we have begun to understand that they also have positive functions. Now, the new research from Chalmers University of Technology shows that the well-known oxidant hydrogen peroxide can actually slow down the ageing of yeast cells. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical used for hair and tooth whitening, among other things. It is also one of the oxidants formed in our metabolism that is harmful at higher concentrations.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Less food gives longer life</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>The Chalmers researchers studied the enzyme <em>Tsa1</em>, which is part of a group of antioxidants called <em>peroxiredoxins</em>.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>“Previous studies of these enzymes have shown that they participate in yeast cells' defences against harmful oxidants,” says Mikael Molin, who leads the research group at Chalmers’ Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. “But the peroxiredoxins also help extend the life span of cells when they are subjected to calorie restriction. The mechanisms behind these functions have not yet been fully understood.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>It is already known that reduced calorie intake can significantly extend the life span of a variety of organisms, from yeast to monkeys. Several research groups, including Mikael Molin’s, have also shown that stimulation of peroxiredoxin activity in particular is what slows down the ageing of cells, in organisms such as yeast, flies and worms, when they receive fewer calories than normal through their food.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>“Now we have found a new function of Tsa1,” says Cecilia Picazo, postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology. “Previously, we thought that this enzyme simply neutralises reactive oxygen species. But now we have shown that Tsa1 actually requires a certain amount of hydrogen peroxide to be triggered to participate in the process of slowing down the ageing of yeast cells.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>Surprisingly, the study shows that Tsa1 does not affect the levels of hydrogen peroxide in aged yeast cells. On the contrary, Tsa1 uses small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to reduce the activity of a central signalling pathway when cells are getting fewer calories. The effects of this ultimately lead to a slowdown in cell division and processes linked to the formation of the cells’ building blocks. The cells' defences against stress are also stimulated – which causes them to age more slowly.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Could lead to drugs that mimic the positive effects of calorie restriction</h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <p>“Signal pathways which are affected by calorie intake may play a central role in ageing by sensing the status of many cellular processes and controlling them,” says Mikael Molin. “By studying this, we hope to understand the molecular causes behind why the occurrence of many common diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes shows a sharp increase with age.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>The fact that researchers have now come a step closer to understanding the mechanisms behind how oxidants can actually slow down ageing could lead to new studies, for example looking for peroxiredoxin-stimulating drugs, or testing whether age-related diseases can be slowed by other drugs that enhance the positive effects of oxidants in the body.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Text: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">Johanna Wilde, Susanne Nilsson Lindh and Joshua Worth <br /></span><strong style="background-color:initial">Photo:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> Martina Butorac and Mikael Molin</span></div> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>​Read the study:</strong> <a href="https://elifesciences.org/articles/60346">Peroxiredoxin promotes longevity and H2O2 resistance in yeast through redox modulation of protein kinase A</a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">More about: <strong>The mechanism of slowed ageing by the enzyme Tsa1</strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <ul><li>The Chalmers researchers have shown a mechanism for how the peroxiredoxin enzyme Tsa1 directly controls a central signalling pathway. It slows down ageing by oxidising an amino acid in another enzyme, <em>protein kinase A</em>, which is important for metabolic regulation. The oxidation reduces the activity of protein kinase A by destabilising a portion of the enzyme that binds to other molecules. Thus, nutrient signalling via protein kinase A is reduced, which in turn downregulates the division of cells and stimulates their defence against stress.</li></ul> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">More about: <strong>Related results from other research groups</strong></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <ul><li>​Other studies have also shown that low levels of reactive oxygen species can be linked to several positive health effects. These oxidants are formed in the mitochondria, the ‘powerhouse’ of a cell, and the process, called <em>mitohormesis</em>, can be observed in many organisms, from yeast to mice. In mice, tumour growth is slowed by mitohormesis, while in roundworms it has been possible to link both peroxiredoxins and mitohormesis to the ability of the type 2 diabetes drug <em>metformin</em> to slow cellular ageing.</li> <li>Metformin is also relevant in the hunt for drugs that can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02856-7?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&amp;utm_campaign=7f2b123fc5-briefing-dy-20201014&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-7f2b123fc5-44553161">reduce the risk of older people being severely affected by Covid-19</a><span style="background-color:initial">. Studies in China and the United States have yielded some promising results, and one theory is that metformin may counteract the deterioration of the immune system caused by ageing.</span></li></ul> <div> </div> <p></p>Mon, 09 Nov 2020 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Help-scientist-understand-the-enigma-of-phantom-limb-pain.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Help-scientist-understand-the-enigma-of-phantom-limb-pain.aspxHelp scientist understand the enigma of phantom limb pain<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are calling you to take part in an art contest. Use your artistic skills to illustrate phantom limb pain.</b></p>​T<span style="background-color:initial">he challenge is to depict how you understand, describe or feel phantom limb pain. You can express this in a drawing, painting, photo, animation, sculpture and/or collage.</span><div>Submit your artwork by 6 December 2020 (the deadline is extended).</div> <div><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/index.php/icplp-2020/conference-art-contest/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More information about the contest</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Phantom limb pain is a vivid and often severe pain originating from a lost extremity. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people all over the world suffer from it. However, due to the complexity and individuality of the condition, there is no single definition of phantom limb pain.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>On 26-28 May 2021, the world´s first international conference on Phantom Limb Pain will be held in Gothenburg, ICPLP2021.</div> <div>The winner of the art contest will receive SEK 5000 and free entrance to ICPLP2021. All submissions will be exhibited at the conference.</div> <div><a href="http://www.bnl.chalmers.se/wordpress/index.php/icplp-2020/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about ICPLP2021​</a></div> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Digital-health-joins-forces-with-the-automotive-industry.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Digital-health-joins-forces-with-the-automotive-industry.aspxDigital health joins forces with the automotive industry<p><b>​Higher road traffic safety, better insight into the health status of the person behind the wheel, and increased knowledge of how connected aids and smart services can be applied in vehicles. These are some of the benefits of the emerging collaboration between researchers in the digital health area and the automotive industry.​</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">“There are many important interfaces between digital health and the automotive industry that have not yet been explored. From our perspective in western Sweden, we think that the time is right for a joint venture”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist, Professor of Practice Emeritus at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers, who has played an active role in the area of digital health for many years. “The mutual potential of this development has also been obvious within SAFER, the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers, where both areas meet.”</span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Digital%20hälsa%20möter%20fordonsindustrin/Bengt_Arne_Sjöqvist_191122_DSC_8857_200x300px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Bengt Arne Sjöqvist" style="margin:5px" />In this case, the common interest revolves around the measurement, analysis and communication of physiological signals in a vehicle. Traffic safety is in focus, but also to handle sudden acute illness, to follow-up on chronic health conditions or treatments, and to take the adequate actions in the event of traffic accidents.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In a future scenario, if a driver for example suffers from acute heart fibrillation, sensors and intelligent technology built into the car will be able to register and decode the physiological signals and ensure that the vehicle automatically stops on the side of the road, while healthcare services are being alarmed.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In its roadmap for 2025, the European road traffic safety organisation Euro NCAP has identified driver monitoring systems as a priority area, making new technology of that kind extra attractive to the automotive industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Building a digital health profile</strong></div> <div>In order to meet these research challenges, and also the over-all digitalisation trend in health care, the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology is gradually developing its profile in digital health. New projects and new skills are being allocated to the area. An example is Anna Sjörs Dahlman, researcher at the Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute, VTI, recently appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor at Chalmers, whose knowledge in measuring vital data in difficult environments now will be of good use.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, our work is mainly devoted to solutions where IT, communication technology and medical engineering are supporting and improving clinical health care processes. By gaining access to relevant information from various sources, we aim to increase the accuracy of every decisions made in a healthcare process. This includes the development of clinical decision support systems based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as video and telemedicine of various kinds. At present, the main application areas are prehospital care and mobile healthcare”, says Bengt Arne Sjöqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Collaboration on sleep detection in vehicles</strong></div> <div>With this in mind, work is now in progress in collaboration with Autoliv, to develop solutions using digital health technology in a vehicle setting. In the COPE project, Connected Occupant Physiological Evaluation, an IT platform is being designed, that focuses on the driver and uses the car as the location for measurements (find more information about the project below).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Digital%20hälsa%20möter%20fordonsindustrin/20200122_StefanCandefjord_portrait_WebbRes_(C)_Emmy_Jonsson_300x200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Stefan Candefjord" style="margin:5px" />“To detect sleepiness is the first application we are working on”, says Stefan Candefjord, Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering. “Sleepiness is the cause of many traffic accidents, and by using new technology we can help drivers to refrain from driving when they are not completely alert. We will soon be able to test the technology together with Autoliv.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>When a person becomes drowsy and sleepy, the heart rate and breathing are affected, among other things. By integrating sensors in the car interior, for example in the seat belt and the steering wheel, the variations in heart rate and respiration can be monitored in real time. Smartwatches and bracelets with built-in sensors, worn by the driver, can also be used to register physiological signals.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The results are interpreted by an algorithm trained by artificial intelligence, which we at Chalmers have developed in collaboration with Autoliv and VTI”, says Stefan Candefjord. “The system recognises the signs of a person going into drowsiness, thus having an impaired ability as a driver. Data which is collected during the drive can be shared to the cloud, and of course also be used by systems in the car that ensure that the driver, if possible, focuses his or her attention again or gets a recommendation to take a break from driving.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Smart alarm management the next step</strong></div> <div>Another research project, where digital health and the automotive industry have joined forces, is the TEAPaN project, Traffic Event Assessment, Prioritizing and Notification (find information about the project below). The IT platform, that now is being developed and tested in the COPE project, will later form a central part of this system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This is really exciting projects allowing us to constantly expand our knowledge in new applications”, says Stefan Candefjord. “A success factor is the collaboration that is enabling us to interconnect our areas of expertise.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Photo: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><em> </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Johan Karlsson, Autoliv (photo on top), Yvonne Jonsson (portrait photo of Bengt Arne Sjöqvist), Emmy Jonsson (portrait photo of Stefan Candefjord)</em></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>What is digital health?</strong></div> <div>Digital health includes the digitalisation of services and working processes in healthcare, as well as the emergence of intelligent sensors, decision support systems, analytic and diagnostic tools, apps, etc. IT technology, including AI and machine learning, is a fundamental part. Thus, the area combines medical engineering, telecommunications and IT, and often requires a close interaction of academia, healthcare providers and industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the COPE project</strong></div> <div>Connected Occupant Physiological Evaluation, COPE, is a two-year research project that aims to develop and test smart monitoring of health data in real time with a focus on sleep detection in drivers. <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers Transport Area of Advance</a> and <a href="https://www.autoliv.com/" target="_blank">Autoliv </a>are funding the research, that is affiliated with <a href="https://www.saferresearch.com/" target="_blank">SAFER</a>, the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers.</div> <div>Chalmers and Autoliv are researching algorithms and data analysis, while Autoliv has developed the hardware that connects sensors and other technology, as well as the test fleet of cars where the system will be tested.<br /><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/A-technology-that-alerts-if-you-doze-at-the-wheel.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read a news article on the COPE project: A technology that alerts if you doze at the wheel​​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://picta.lindholmen.se/en/news/new-project-enables-improved-traffic-safety" target="_blank">More about the TEAPaN project</a> </div> <div>Traffic Event Assessment, Prioritizing and Notification, TEAPaN, develops smart alarm management systems for increased traffic safety. The project focuses on early detection of accidents as well as smart and abundant information management for more efficient prioritisation of resources within the public protection and disaster relief, aiming at better care for the injured. TEAPaN is led by <a href="https://picta.lindholmen.se/en" target="_blank">PICTA</a> and is carried out in collaboration with the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers, <a href="https://www.saferresearch.com/" target="_blank">SAFER​</a>. The following parties are involved: Volvo Car Group, Consat, Detecht, SOS International, the University of Borås/Prehospen, Chalmers, VTI and the Emergency Healthcare and Ambulance Centre within VGR.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, contact Chalmers researchers in the field of digital health:</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/stefan-candefjord.aspx">Stefan Candefjord</a>, Assistant Professor in the Biomedical electromagnetics research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, <a href="mailto:%20stefan.candefjord@chalmers.se">stefan.candefjord@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/bengt-arne-sjoqvist.aspx">Bengt Arne Sjöqvis</a>t, Professor of Practice Emeritus in the Biomedical signals and systems research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, and Head of Business &amp; Strategy at Prehospital ICT Arena (PICTA) at Lindholmen Science Park, <a href="mailto:%20bengt.arne.sjoqvist@chalmers.se">bengt.arne.sjoqvist@chalmers.se</a></div> <div>Anna Sjörs Dahlman, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and researcher at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), <a href="mailto:%20anna.dahlman@vti.se">anna.dahlman@vti.se</a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Ke-Lu.aspx">Ke Lu</a>, Postdoctoral researcher in the Biomedical signals and systems research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, <a href="mailto:%20ke.lu@chalmers.se%E2%80%8B">ke.lu@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/bakidou.aspx">Anna Bakidou​</a>, PhD student in the Biomedical signals and systems research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, and the University of Borås, <a href="mailto:%20bakidou@chalmers.se">bakidou@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information about Autoliv’s research, contact:</strong></div> <div>Johan Karlsson, Senior research engineer, Human Factors, Autoliv Research, <a href="mailto:%20johan.g.karlsson@autoliv.com">johan.g.karlsson@autoliv.com</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> ​Tue, 27 Oct 2020 13:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/International-competition-for-cyborgs-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/International-competition-for-cyborgs-at-Chalmers.aspxInternational competition for &#39;cyborgs&#39; at Chalmers<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology will be one of the arenas for the international Cybathlon 2020 competition, that will take place on 13 November. Two Swedish competitors will be lining up, each using a mind-controlled and sensate arm prosthesis to solve the challenges they will face in the race. More than 60 teams from 25 countries will participate from their home arenas around the world. The winner is the team that manages to blur the boundaries between man and machine most successfully.</b></p><div>​The competition for the Swedish participants will be broadcast on Friday 13 November at 17:00 CET. <br /><a href="https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/event_live" target="_blank">Watch the competition here.​​</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Cybathlon has been called a ‘Cyborg Olympics’. The competition is aimed at participants who have physical disabilities and use various types of advanced aids with built-in robot technology. The races consist of elements from everyday life, that can be difficult to perform for those who wear a prosthesis or use a wheelchair. The goal of Cybathlon is to showcase what is currently possible to perform, and to drive forward the development of prostheses and other types of assistive aids.</span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><em>Is it possible to tie shoelaces </em><em style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">with a mind-controlled arm prosthesis?</em></h2> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">his year, Sweden is represented by two participants, both of whom are competitors in the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race. They are supported by a team formed by Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Integrum AB. The team is sponsored by the Promobilia Foundation and Integrum AB. </span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Team leader is Max Ortiz Catalan, the Chalmers researcher who has been in charge of developing the world's first mind-controlled and sensate prosthesis usable in daily life, which in 2013 was implanted on a patient. <span style="background-color:initial">The prostheses worn by the Swedish participants are among the most sophisticated in the world, as they are directly connected to the person’s skeleton, nerves and muscles. This prosthesis also provides sensations of touch owing to the safe and reliable connection between the prosthesis and the nervous system.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“This interface is one of the world's most integrated, allowing to connect man and machine. So far, this is the closest you can get to make a limb prosthesis part of the human body”, says Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers. “This new concept of neuromusculoskeletal prostheses makes it possible for our patients to experience sensations of touch in everyday life, but more importantly, a reliable control over their new arm.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Due to the Corona pandemic, the Cybathlon, which otherwise would have taken place in a crowded arena in Switzerland, has been moved to the participants' home countries. On 13 November, the competition will be held in about 40 places around the world, including Chalmers as the only arena in Sweden. Identical tracks are built at all venues. The competition will be streamed live to Switzerland and broadcast from the organiser, the Swiss University ETH Zürich.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish contestants will compete on a course with six different stations, the tasks including setting a breakfast table, hanging laundry on a clothesline, and handling a hammer and nail. A new event added this year is a box where the competitors will identify objects, by only using touch.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“In addition to a precise and reliable control over the prosthesis, our competitors have the unique advantage to be able to feel with their prosthesis, which will allow them to perform well in the sensory discrimination task”, says Max Ortiz Catalan.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“Another unique feature of our team is that the prosthetic system our contestants will use in the competition is the same they wear in their daily professional and personal activities. This is currently the only prosthetic limb using bidirectional implanted electrodes in the world that can be used safely and reliably outside research laboratories, where it matters the most for patients – in their daily lives.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Presentations of the Swedish teams and contestants</strong></div> <div><a href="https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/teams/e-opra" target="_blank">e-OPRA</a><br /></div> <div><a href="https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/teams/x-opra" target="_blank">x-OPRA​</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/cybathlon-2020.html" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Find more information about the competition on the web page of Cybathlon 2020</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-arm-prostheses-now-a-part-of-everyday-life.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the mind-controlled arm prostheses on Chalmers web site</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/max-jair-ortiz-catalan.aspx">Max Ortiz Catalan</a>, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, <br />​+46 70 846 10 65, <a href="mailto:%20maxo@chalmers.se">maxo@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Cybathlon/cybathlon_huvudbild_750px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Cybathlon 2016" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div>This is the Swedish competitor preparing for Cybathlon 2016. The competition is based on tasks that challenge the limits of what is currently possible to achieve using robotic assistive technologies.</div></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/cse/news/Pages/can-AI-detect-early-signs-of-stroke.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/cse/news/Pages/can-AI-detect-early-signs-of-stroke.aspxCan AI detect early signs of stroke?<p><b>Can AI help detect oxygen deficiency in the brain leading to stroke? Researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will investigate this in a clinical research project starting in October.</b></p><div>”This is clinical research at its best”, says Helena Odenstedt Hergès, chief physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and adjunct university lecturer at Sahlgrenska Academy. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In an anesthetized patient, for example, the heart can signal that something is not right in the brain. These are subtle changes in signals, and they are difficult to detect. Now researchers want to find out if AI can be used to track and possibly help prevent an upcoming stroke in anesthetized patients. The method could be developed into a warning system that sets off an alarm when patients under anesthesia develop a lack of oxygen in the brain with a stroke as a result. These may be critically ill patients in intensive care, anesthetized patients and patients who have already developed stroke, but also other patient groups.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”Can threatening oxygen deficiency in the brain be detected based on other physiological signals, by analyzing large amounts of data through AI? The research aims to detect and possibly prevent oxygen deficiency in the brain of, among others, anesthetized patients. A doctor can’t analyze all the data registered from a patient, but it is for AI can”, says Helena Odenstedt Hergès.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> Researchers in the Software Engineering division at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will work to develop a prediction model that can warn doctors when patterns occur that may be signs of oxygen deficiency in the brain that could develop into stroke. They will mainly use supervised learning and develop a chain of algorithms where the reliability of the results increases with each step. ”For me, the project is important to gain a better understanding of the challenges of developing AI-based software in healthcare. By being in a hospital environment, and observing clinical work, I can study how to secure data and algorithm quality in healthcare software, says Miroslaw Staron, professor in the Software Engineering division. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The formulated research project that starts this autumn is a collaborative project dependent on several competencies, clinically active doctors and researchers in technology and software development. Among others Professor Miroslaw Staron, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Gothenburg/Chalmers University of Technology, Professor Silvana Naredi, Professor Mikael Elam, Med Dr Linda Block, Med Dr Jaquette Liljenkrantz, Leg doctor Ali El Merhi, Leg doctor Richard Vithal, SU , SA. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project is partially financed by <a href="/en/centres/chair/Pages/default.aspx">CHAIR – Chalmers AI Research Center</a>. <br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contact:</h2> <div> E-post: <a href="mailto:miroslaw.staron@cse.gu.se">miroslaw.staron@cse.gu.se</a><br />Telefon: 031-772 10 81 <br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Facts about the study: </h2> <ul><li>The study has not been done before and is registered in Clinical trials ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03919370). </li> <li>The study is ethically tested and approved, and starts in October 2020. </li> <li>The study protocol is published in Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2020; 64 (9): 1335-1342. Cerebral ischemia detection using artificial intelligence (CIDAI) - A study protocol. </li></ul> <div><br />The current study does not affect the patient other than the team collects their data from existing clinical monitoring methods and then analyzes it with AI. In a first pilot study with 20 patients, the research team focuses on analyzing changes in patterns in recorded data in relation to the development of oxygen deficiency in the brain. </div>Thu, 15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Contributes-to-new-medical-technology-research-lab.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Contributes-to-new-medical-technology-research-lab.aspxContributes to new medical technology research lab<p><b>​When a new medical technology research lab is built up at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Dag Winkler, professor of physics and head of the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory (QDP) at MC2, will be one of the users.</b></p>&quot;The idea is that the new 21-channel system we are now building will be used at the new lab and coexist with the microwave measurements and treatments&quot;, explains Dag Winkler, who for many years also was head of department at MC2.<br /><br />Winkler's and his research colleagues' acclaimed project NeuroSQUID, is now preparing for its next phase. The project is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and is a collaboration between researchers at Chalmers, The Sahlgrenska Academy and Karolinska Institutet. The project has been going on since 2014 and is led by Dag Winkler.<br /><br />Researchers at NeuroSQUID have developed a unique MEG instrument (magnetoencephalography) with seven channels for measuring and mapping the brain. The construction of a new system with 21 channels is currently underway; a system to be used in the upcoming research lab.<br /><br />The project's final doctoral student in this round, Silvia Ruffieux, recently defended her thesis &quot;High-temperature superconducting magnetometers for on-scalp MEG&quot;.<br />&quot;It is now important to bring in new funding and staff who can continue with the development of the new MEG system with 21 channels. New sensors will be needed to equip the system with, and a lot of work in the clean room will be required from now on. We are in a turning point both financially and in terms of personnel&quot;, says Dag Winkler.<br /><br />The new research lab is a major investment in clinical research, in collaboration between Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers, The Sahlgrenska Academy and Region Västra Götaland. New methods for diagnosis and treatment - and in the long run better care - will be results of the new lab, which is expected to be inaugurated in May 2021.<br /><br />Text: Michael Nystås<br />Photo: Peter Widing<br /><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-research-lab-for-cancer-treatment-and-new-diagnostics.aspx">Read more about the upcoming research lab</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><a href="https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en/research/using-new-technology-map-signals-brain">Read more about the NeuroSQUID project</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Wed, 07 Oct 2020 05:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Heart-disease-patients-benefit-from-vegetarian-diet.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Heart-disease-patients-benefit-from-vegetarian-diet.aspxHeart disease patients benefit from vegetarian diet<p><b>​Four weeks of vegetarian diet resulted in positive effects in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a study from Örebro University Hospital in collaboration with Chalmers and other partners.“The study showed positive effects on risk factors of cardiovascular disease, especially on blood lipids and oxidation of blood lipids. The latter is an important suggestive mechanism of arteriosclerosis,” says Rikard Landberg, Professor of Food Science at Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><span></span></span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p>The study, recently ​published in Journal of the American Heart Association (link), is a so-called cross-over study and included 31 patients who had experienced a myocardial infarction. For three months, participants were prescribed either a ​lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, i.e. a vegetarian diet that also contains eggs and dairy products, or a diet rich in meat. Thereafter, all participants switched to their habitual diet for four weeks, followed by four weeks with the diet they had not previously had.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Lower levels of LDL cholesterol reduce risk of new heart attack​</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>After four weeks of a vegetarian diet, participants showed lower levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol, compared with participants who ate a diet rich in meat.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“The oxidised LDL cholesterol affects the development of blood clots in the coronary arteries of the heart. Lower levels reduce the risk of participants suffering from a new heart attack,” says Demir Djekic, researcher and MD at Örebro University Hospital, who is also the first author of the study.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The participants also showed a decrease in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and a slight weight loss.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Today we know very little about how to provide an optimal diet to prevent risk factors for cardiovascular disease in individuals who have already had a heart attack. The effects in the study were surprisingly clear and the effect of the diet was good, even though we did not ask them to eat very much vegetarian food and they were prescribed ready-made food, which is quite processed,” says Rikard Landberg.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Chalmers responsible for diet design and data analysis​</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>All participants were prescribed a specially designed diet delivered as ready meals, adapted to the individual calorie needs. Before and after each four-week period of an adapted diet, blood and stool samples were taken from the participants for analysis of risk markers for coronary heart disease, a wide range of molecules in the blood and the gut microbiota. The diet was designed by researchers in the Division of Food and Nutrition Science at the Department of Biology and Biotechnological Engineering at Chalmers. They were also responsible for the data analysis of the blood samples.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“This is an example of interdisciplinary research at its best, as we combine specific cutting-edge knowledge in nutrition, microbiology, data analysis and medicine. It was extremely stimulating and very enriching. We have all learned a lot,” says Rikard Landberg.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Lifestyle important part of treatment after a heart attack​</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Demir Djekic agrees and believes that the study shows that lifestyle is a very important part of the treatment after a heart attack, even though the number of participants in the study is relatively small.</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Changing the diet of this patient group is of great importance. We need to find methods and the right tools to help us improve lifestyle choices,” says Demir Djekic.</p> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Microbiota effected effects of v​egetarian diet</h2> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The study also showed that, on the risk factors examined, the microbiota of the participants effected the vegetarian diet.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“From our perspective, this is perhaps the most interesting finding and opens up new exciting opportunities for personalised diet, where the individual gets the right diet for optimal effect,” says Rikard Landberg.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text: </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial">Susanne Nilsson Lindh, Chalmers and Elin Abelson, Örebro University Hospital<br /></span><strong style="background-color:initial">Photo:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> Pixabay</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div> <span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read the study in</strong> <span style="font-style:italic;font-weight:700">Journal of American Heart Association:</span></span></div> <div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" style="font-weight:600" /><span style="background-color:initial">​<a href="https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.120.016518">Effects of a Vegetarian Diet on Cardiometabolic RiskFactors, Gut Microbiota, and Plasma Metabolome in Subjects With Ischemic HeartDisease: A Randomized, Crossover Study​</a></span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div>Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-research-lab-for-cancer-treatment-and-new-diagnostics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-research-lab-for-cancer-treatment-and-new-diagnostics.aspxNew research lab for cancer treatment and new diagnostics<p><b>​A new medical technology research lab will be built at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, starting this fall. The lab is a major investment in clinical research, and a collaboration between the hospital, Chalmers, Sahlgrenska Academy and Region Västra Götaland.</b></p><div>​<span></span><span style="background-color:initial">New methods for diagnosis and treatment – and in the long run better healthcare – will be results of the new lab, which is expected to be completed in May 2021. The lab will house research equipment with microwaves and biomagnetic sensor technologies. Microwave research will initially focus on new treatment methods for head, throat and neck cancer, as well as non-invasive diagnosis of bleeding in brain and muscles, and breast cancer. For the biomagnetic sensors, functional studies of the brain are planned, with magnetoencephalography for patients suffering from diseases like epilepsy and dementia, and studies of heart rhythm disturbances with magnetocardiography.</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span></span>&quot;Define needs and develop solutions&quot;</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div>The new lab will provide improved opportunities for researchers from clinics, academia and industry in the west of Sweden to collaborate and conduct research projects with the patient in focus.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Chalmers gives high priority to strengthening the collaboration between the areas of medicine and technology, and the new lab is one more piece in this puzzle. When engineers and clinicians spend time in the same environment, and are really given the opportunity to interact, they are able to together define needs and develop solutions”, says Stefan Bengtsson, President at Chalmers University of Technology.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Health/Udda%20format/Stefan-Bengtsson_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><div>The research lab will be run by MedTech West, a biomedical technology research platform that has also been in charge of planning. MedTech West is owned by Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland and the University of Borås. Chalmers has also deepened collaboration with the other parties through newly launched Health Engineering Area of Advance, where close dialogue is conducted to develop new forms of collaboration in both research and education.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Unique environment</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>Investments in the lab are made together with the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and it is strategically very important for western Sweden. The lab will contain an electrically and magnetically shielded examination and treatment room, where research will be conducted. This room is the first of its kind outside Swedish capital Stockholm, and the unique setting creates long-term conditions for the development of research areas that require an environment close to patients. Collaboration between different cutting-edge competencies is also a cornerstone of the lab.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Health/Udda%20format/Ann-Marie-Wennberg_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">“This is an important step in the right direction. Together, we drive healthcare forward through research in collaboration with other strong players”, Ann-Marie Wennberg, CEO and Professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, comments.</span><br /></div> <div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Broad applications</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>The innovative medical technology tools planned to already be in place in the coming six months may be of great use in many areas. Examples include neuroscience, oncology, trauma, cardiology and psychiatry.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The lab’s technologies, and state-of-the-art expertise from Chalmers and collaborating companies, will give our researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy excellent opportunities to lead their research in new directions. The lab will be a completely new arena where we can develop our important collaboration with prominent researchers at Chalmers, says Agneta Holmäng, Dean at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Facts about the new research lab</strong><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The new research collaboration lab will be a total of 36 square meters in size, and consists of a magnetically shielded examination and treatment room, a so-called MSR (Magnetically Shielded Room). Magnetic shielding from the outside world is required for the superconducting biomagnetic sensors used in MEG (magnetoencephalography) and MCG (magnetocardiography) to successfully capture the very weak magnetic fields emitted by the brain and heart. Previously, there is only one MSR used for medical research in Sweden, located at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The room will also be electrically shielded, which is required for microwave research.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The inauguration is expected to take place in May 2021. The research lab will be located in the Radiology Department’s premises on entrance level, in the new Image and Intervention Centre (BoIC), Blå Stråket 5, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</div> <div> </div> <div>MedTech West is a collaborative research platform, with the task of strengthening medical technology research in western Sweden. The research platform was founded in 2009 by Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Region Västra Götaland, Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Malmstedt, Helene Lindström</div> <div> </div> <div>Photo of Stefan Bengtsson: Johan Bodell. Photo of Ann-Marie Wennberg: Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Photo of Andreas Fhager, and of Paul Meaney and Samar Hosseinzadegan: Henrik Sandsjö.</div> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div>Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0200