News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 10 Dec 2018 09:40:50 +0100 for detection of cancer from blood samples<p><b>​His blood analysis could detect several different cancer types at an early stage, when the sickness may be effectively treated. For this work, Francesco Gatto is now rewarded as an “Innovator Under 35” by MIT Technology Review.</b></p>​Cancer is mainly diagnosed and monitored using medical imaging techniques such as x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans. The tests are expensive and could cause harm to patients in the long run. Therefore, these techniques are not to be used to often, which in turn leads to the risk of missing out on an opportunity for early diagnosis.<br /><br /><strong>Metabolites reveal sickness</strong><br /><br />Using a blood or urine sample, it is now possible to test for early detection of cancer – or cancer relapse – much more frequently, opening up options for optimal treatment. Tests like these are today in place for a few types of cancer. Francesco Gatto, guest researcher and alumnus at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, is developing the analysis of blood metabolites – small molecules that reflect a fundamental process of growth in tumour cells – to recognize a larger variety of cancer forms. For this he is now named as an “Innovator Under 35” along with 34 fellow European innovators.<br /><br />&quot;It is a big honor. At first, I did not fully grasp the magnitude of this. But then, when the news went public, the reaction was quite overwhelming&quot;, he says.<br />&quot;The award acknowledges the work of innovators in driving high risk/high impact projects for our society, and is assigned by a distinguished jury assembled by MIT Technology Review.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>Mission: To save lifes</strong><br /><br />In 2017, Francesco Gatto together with Professor Jens Nielsen founded the company Elypta, a spin-off company to Chalmers that is also in close collaboration with the university. Elypta’s mission is to prevent mortality from cancer by developing their liquid biopsy platform for detection as well as monitoring the disease, since the findings also show responses to treatments. The approach is based on the measurement of 19 biomarkers, identified during Francesco Gatto’s doctoral studies at Chalmers, and use of machine learning algorithms to generate a biomarker score, tailored to identify cancer-type specific signatures.<br /><br />&quot;We have now completed over five clinical studies to show exceptional accuracy, not only in our main indication – renal cell carcinoma – but also in multiple other forms of cancer&quot;, Francesco Gatto says, and adds the Elypta is planning to release the diagnostic test for research use in 2019, and activate two multicenter trials in 2020.<br />&quot;There is a lot of evidence to suggest that early detection reduces mortality, which, at the end of the day, is the only thing that matters&quot;, he concludes.<br /><br />Paloma Cabello, member of the jury of “Innovators Under 35” in 2018, comments that Francesco Gatto stands out for his “technical brilliance, creativity, and focus on the transference and implementation capacity”. <br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina ButoracThu, 06 Dec 2018 16:00:00 +0100 researcher gets major grant from The Swedish Research Council<p><b>​Åsa Haglund, professor at the Photonics Laboratory at MC2, has been awarded a consolidator grant from The Swedish Research Council (VR). She is funded with 10,4 million SEK for the years 2019-2024. &quot;I had to restrain myself from jumping for joy. It is really a dream come true&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/asa_haglund_170112_hsandsjo_350px.jpg" alt="Picture of Åsa Haglund." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />She tells us that she was sitting on the train to Stockholm when she got the announcement.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It feels fantastic! Doing the transition from a young researcher to an established professor is a very important step in one’s academic career, but also a big challenge. This generous consolidator grant will be the key enabler to make this happen&quot;, Åsa Haglund continues.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The grant is funding her project &quot;Ultraviolet and blue microcavity lasers&quot;, and will strengthen Åsa Haglund's group and help them establish a creative research environment. </div> <div>&quot;We can now have a long-term perspective that you seldom get with normal grants. We will dare to invest in more high-risk, high-gain research that hopefully will pay off in the end.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project aims to develop the very first electrically driven ultraviolet microcavity laser. Åsa Haglund and her colleagues will make blue microcavity lasers useful for real-world applications by trying to bring the power conversion efficiency above the single digit range.</div> <div>&quot;When these devices are realized, they will be of great use for a myriad of applications such as solid-state lighting, water purification, photolithography, biomedical applications, enhancing health-promoting substances in plants, gas sensing, fluorescence-based sensing and UV curing&quot;, she explains and continues:</div> <div>&quot;The project will get a flying start with two recent breakthroughs by our group; measures against optical anti-guiding and a selective etch technique. The latter will also be a key enabler in many other areas besides microcavity lasers where airgaps or substrate removal is crucial, such as for high-efficiency UV-LEDs.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The grant will also fund a post-doc and a PhD student; an important strengthening of the research group. </div> <div>&quot;We have many challenges ahead of us, but we will do our best to turn our dream of microcavity lasers emitting in the blue and ultraviolet into reality&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She has long Chalmers experience, and got her PhD degree already in 2005, working for Professor Anders Larsson, head of the Photonics Laboratory, where she has stayed since then.</div> <div>&quot;I focused on improving the performance of infrared-emitting vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The method we developed to boost the single-mode output power in these devices caught a lot of attention and is now used by many VCSEL companies across the world.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Åsa Haglund is one of the most talented and sucessful young researchers at MC2. In 2012 she was able to start her own group when she was awarded with a young researcher grant from The Swedish Research Council. The group focused on developing microcavity lasers in GaN-based materials to achieve emission in the blue.</div> <div>&quot;We could strongly benefit from the device knowledge we have acquired over the years on VCSELs. At the same time we had to start from scratch, since many of the concepts used for infrared VCSELs in GaAs-based materials can’t be translated to blue-emitting GaN-based devices&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a researcher it is important to have good networks with other researchers to interact with and share knowledge and experience with. She recalls when she first visited a GaN-based conference:</div> <div>&quot;Out of 900 participants, I only recognized one person. It has taken a few years to build up a network in a community I was completely unknown to. Now we have strong collaborations with some of the best material’s groups in the world. This, together with the dedication from our skilled group members, puts us in a unique position to make state-of-the-art devices. Something I am very thankful for.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The purpose of a consolidator grant is to give the most prominent junior researchers the opportunity to consolidate their research and broaden their activities as independent researchers. Three researchers at Chalmers received funding in this round. Beside Åsa Haglund, also Christoph Langhammer and Ermin Malic at the Department of Physics were awarded. The total grant amount for 2019-2024 is almost 221,5 million SEK. Chalmers gets 33,4 million SEK. 306 researcher from all over Sweden applied for a grant. Only 20 were successful; seven women and 13 men.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more about the consolidator grants and the decision &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">​</a></div>Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:00:00 +0100 in dinosaur collaboration<p><b>​New discoveries regarding the dolphin-like fish lizard Stenopterygius, which lived 180 million years ago have been published in the scientific journal Nature. Chalmers’ research infrastructure Chemical imaging plays an important part in the discoveries.</b></p>​The <a href="">Stenopterygius</a> <span>was around two meters long and lived in the <a href="">Early Jurassic</a> period in an ocean that was situated where southern Germany now is, over a hundred million years before the times of the better known dinosaurs Tyrannusaurus and Triceratops. Now researchers, in a multidisciplinary international collaboration led by a group at the Lund University in Sweden, have investigated a very well preserved fossil which has led to astonishing new knowledge about the dolphin-like creature which they now <a href="">publish in Nature</a>. The fossil’s integumental parts such as blubber, skin and liver have been studied at both cellular and molecular levels. This has led to a clearer image of what the animal looked like and was structured.  One discovery the researchers made was that although 180 million years have passed, there is still some flexibility in parts of the tissue. To be able to perform this in depth analysis the groupe involved Chalmers infrastructure of Chemical imaging.</span><div><br /><span></span> <div>– We have been looking at melanophores, i.e pigment-containing cells, and skin from the fossil. We have been able to confirm that the cells, after millions of years, still contain important organic elements from lipids and proteins, says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Per-Malmberg.aspx">Per Malmberg</a>, director at Chalmers and University of Gothenburgs open infrastructure <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/chemicalimaging/Pages/default.aspx">Chemical imaging</a>.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/Per%20Malmberg-.jpg" width="2741" height="3549" alt="" style="height:220px;width:170px;margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The discovery contributes with renewed knowledge regarding convergent evolution, i.e similar characteristics in different species that have developed due to similar living conditions rather than due to heritage. The fish lizard has several similarities with today’s dolphins and porpoises, but also the leatherback sea turtle, even though they are not related. </div> <div>The research has been carried out together by universities all over the world, but has been led by researchers at the Lund University. They choose to engage Chalmers because <span style="background-color:initial">their open infrastructure</span><span style="background-color:initial"> offer access to NanoSIMS-analysis and analytical competence</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div></div> <div>– Me and my colleague Aurélien Thomen from University of Gothenburg, who also is involved in this work, are proud to be able to contribute with an important piece of the puzzle to understand how Stenopterygius functioned. Our infrastructure offers a unique possibility to get high resolution chemical surface analysis and our contribution to the study shows that our infrastructure is world class, says Per Malmberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>NanoSIMS, as part of Chemical imaging, is a technology that makes it possible to create chemical maps of surfaces. Ranging from hard materials such as fossil to soft matter such as cells, all can be analysed by the <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/nanosims.jpg" width="457" height="294" alt="" style="height:223px;width:345px;margin:5px" /><br />NanoSIMS. It is a quite sensitive technology that may analyse substances at a ppm-level and create images of distribution with a resolution down to 50 nanometres. Chemical imaging is an infrastructure co-owned together with the University of Gothenburg and facilitates the only NanoSIMS instrument in the Nordic countries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the discovery at Lunds University’s web.​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 were awarded the coveted consolidator grants<p><b></b></p><div><img src="/en/departments/physics/news/PublishingImages/vrkonsilodation.jpg" alt="vrkonsilodation.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />The Swedish Research Council has decided on the applications to be awarded consolidator grants in 2018. The total grant amount for 2019-2024 is almost 221,5 million SEK. </div> <div>The competition has been hard. Of the 306 applications received, 20 have been granted and three of them go to physicists at Chalmers.​<br /></div> <div>Congratulations to <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Christoph-Langhammer.aspx">Christoph Langhammer</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/ermin-malic.aspx">Ermin Malic</a> at the Department of Physics and to <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Åsa-Haglund.aspx">Åsa Haglund</a> at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience. They were the three researchers at Chalmers who managed to get the coveted grant. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Christoph Langhammer’s project” The Sub-10 nm Challenge in Single Particle Catalysis” and has been granted 12 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Christoph-Langhammer.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Christoph Langhammer and the research that paves the way for the hydrogen vehicles of the future.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Ermin Malics’ project ”Microscopic view on exciton dynamics in atomically thin materials” has been granted 12 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Optical-fingerprint-can-reveal-environmental-gases.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Ermin Malic's research on, for example, ultra-thin, fast, efficient and accurate sensors. ​​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Åsa Haglund’s project ”Ultraviolet and blue microcavity lasers” has been granted 10,4 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/MC2-researcher-gets-major-grant-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Åsa Haglund and her research on developing the very first electrically driven ultraviolet microcavity laser. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the consolidator grant and the projects (Swedish Research Council)​</a></div> Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 help LFV to reduce environmental impact from aviation<p><b>​During next year, the Chalmers researcher Olivier Petit will be lent out to the Swedish air transport agency LFV. At LFV he will analyze how aeroplanes fly today. A change in how they fly will save money and reduce environmental impact.</b></p>​Olivier Petit is a researcher in the field of fluid dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. His research area for five years back is the development of future aircraft engines. But there is more to do than to improve the aircraft engine itself. It's also important to analyze how the aircraft is flying, he believes. <div><br /></div> <div>There is currently a lot of ongoing research that deals with how aeroplanes fly in and out from airports, tells Olivier Petit. One example is smarter start and landing procedures. Another example is the so-called curved approach landing, which means that the aircraft can land in a shorter distance. It could provide a number of advantages that reduces both noise and environmental impact. At LFV Olivier Petit will work as a performance specialist. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;There is a lot of things you can do if you only optimize how to fly today. I will analyze the radar data that the aircraft sends to LFV. The goal is to improve air traffic from a logistical perspective and thereby reduce environmental impact&quot; says Olivier Petit. </div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">If research could prove better in- and outflows, landing procedures and more, why are the changes not implemented? </h5> <div>Olivier Petit believes that a number of actors must cooperate. The biggest challenge is to convince all parties in the aviation industry that it is important to look at how to fly today from an environmental perspective. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;LFV, airline companies, aircraft manufacturers, airports and more must cooperate and agree with each other. Sometimes there is a reluctance to make changes before you are completely sure that it really works. Therefore, more research is important&quot; says Olivier Petit. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The interaction between Chalmers and LFV brings great benefits to both parties. For Chalmers, cooperation with LFV involves more industrial contacts in air traffic management. A valuable network that can be used for future research projects, which in turn may benefit LFV by bringing them closer to the research community. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It feels very exciting to start working at LFV. It will give me a more applied view of the aviation industry and I will, as a performance specialist, be able to contribute with an educational dimension that is very relevant for presenting data analysis in a good way&quot; says Olivier Petit.</div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information</h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/m2/research/fluiddynamics">Research on Fluid dynamics​</a></div> <div><a href=";query=Olivier+Petit">Olivier Petit's publications​</a></div>Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:00:00 +0100 joint restores wrist-like movements<p><b>​A new artificial joint restores important wrist-like movements to forearm amputees, something which could dramatically improve their quality of life. A group of researchers led by Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have published their research in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one’s wrist, or to ‘pronate’ and ‘supinate’. When you lay your hand flat on a table, palm down, it is fully pronated. Turn your wrist 180 degrees, so the hand is palm up, and it is fully supinated. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><div>Most of us probably take it for granted, but this is an essential movement that we use every day. Consider using a door handle, a screwdriver, a knob on a cooker, or simply turning over a piece of paper. For those missing their hand, these are much more awkward and uncomfortable tasks, and current prosthetic technologies offer only limited relief to this problem. </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“A person with forearm amputation can use a motorised wrist rotator controlled by electric signals from the remaining muscles. However, those same signals are also used to control the prosthetic hand,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department for Electrical Engineering at Chalmers. “This results in a very cumbersome and unnatural control scheme, in which patients can only activate either the prosthetic wrist or the hand at one time and have to switch back and forth. Furthermore, patients get no sensory feedback, so they have no sensation of the hand’s position or movement.” </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The new artificial joint works instead with an osseointegrated implant system developed by the Sweden-based company, Integrum AB – one of the partners in this project. An implant is placed into each of the two bones of the forearm – the ulnar and radius – and then a wrist-like artificial joint acts as an interface between these two implants and the prosthetic hand. Together, this allows for much more naturalistic movements, with intuitive natural control and sensory feedback. </div> <div> </div> <div><img alt="A collection of images showing the new technology" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Kollage_konstgjord_led_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Patients who have lost their hand and wrist often still preserve enough musculature to allow them to rotate the radius over the ulnar – the crucial movement in wrist rotation. A conventional socket prosthesis, which is attached to the body by compressing the stump, locks the bones in place, preventing any potential wrist rotation, and thus wastes this useful movement. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“Depending on the level of amputation, you could still have most of the biological actuators and sensors left for wrist rotation. These allow you to feel, for example, when you are turning a key to start a car. You don’t look behind the wheel to see how far to turn – you just feel it. Our new innovation means you don’t have to sacrifice this useful movement because of a poor technological solution, such as a socket prosthesis. You can continue to do it in a natural way,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.</span></div> <div><div> </div> <div>Biomedical Engineers Irene Boni and Jason Millenaar were at Chalmers as visiting international students. They worked with Dr. Ortiz Catalan at his Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab at Chalmers, and with Integrum AB on this project. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In tests designed to measure manual dexterity, we have shown that a patient fitted with our artificial joint scored far higher compared to when using conventional socket technology,” explains Jason Millenaar.</div> <div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“Our new device offers a much more natural range of movement, minimising the need for compensatory movements of the shoulder or torso, which could dramatically improve the day to day lives of many forearm amputees,” says Irene Boni. </span></div> <div> </div> <div>Dr. Marco Controzzi at the Biorobotics Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy also participated in the research.</div> <div> </div> <div>Read the paper <a href="" target="_blank">‘Restoring Natural Forearm Rotation in Transradial Osseointegrated Amputees​</a>’ published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="A closeup of the implants and the artificial joint." src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Konstgjord_led_hand_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><strong><br /></strong> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">More on the research</strong><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (<a href="">@ChalmersBNL​</a>)</span><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>Irene Boni was a visiting student from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, and Jason Millenaar from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers found that restoring the full range of movement to all degrees of freedom in which the forearm bones can move was not necessary – the key parameter for returning a naturalistic wrist motion is the ‘axial’, or circular, motion of the ulnar and radius bones.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The wrist is a rather complicated joint. Although it is possible to restore full freedom of movement in the ulnar and radial bones, this could result in discomfort for the patient at times. We found that axial rotation is the most important factor to allow for naturalistic wrist movement without this uncomfortable feeling,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan. </div> <div> </div> <div>The development was finalised within the Horizon 2020 framework programme for Research and Innovation under the DeTOP project. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, <br />+46 70 846 10 65, <a href=""></a></span><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Images: C</span><span style="background-color:initial">halmers Biomechanics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory/Chalmers University of Technolog and Oscar Mattsson</span><br /></div></div> ​Wed, 28 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100 internal combustion engine – a part of the future<p><b>​Many are currently pointing out electric cars as the only solution for us to be able to drive a car in the future. The cars are marketed as cars without emissions but it&#39;s not that simple. Lucien Koopmans is a professor at the Division of Combustion and Propulsion Systems and believes that the internal combustion engine is one part of the solution.</b></p>On November 29, AVL will organize the conference <a href="">Product Development in Motion 2018 </a> at Chalmers. A conference for the engineers of tomorrow where they can get insights into today's rapidly evolving engineering industry and the trends that they need to know to support the development of future mobility. <div><br /></div> <div>Lucien Koopmans, Professor and Head of Division for Combustion and Propulsion Systems at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, is one of the speakers and launches a series of workshops with his presentation <em>The end of the combustion engine – or a new life?</em> Spoiler Alert! He is convinced that the internal combustion engine will be a part of the future solutions. The field of application is too wide and the potential of making it climate neutral is too big for the internal combustion engine to go away. The best thing would be to combine the benefits of the two technology solutions to achieve a climate-friendly and sustainable solution for the future, he believes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I think that a system-based internal combustion engine can enable a sustainable transport system, but only through electrification, renewable fuels and online controls of the system,&quot; says Lucien Koopmans. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>One important aspect is that since the combustion engine will be an integral part of a connected electrified propulsion system, it should be developed with that in mind, but increased efficiency, renewable fuels, unconventional control strategies and near-zero emissions require research. </div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">But what is the most climate-friendly today, a car with an electric motor or a car with an internal combustion engine? </h5> <div>The answer to the question is, of course, that it depends. A small electric car with a small battery recharged with renewable energy such as solar energy is very climate-friendly but as soon as you want to drive long distances that require a bigger battery and start charging the battery with electricity produced through combustion of fossil fuels, significant amounts of CO2 are produced over a lifecycle; from the manufacturing of the battery to the propulsion of the vehicle. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Compared with the latter, for example, a new diesel car fueled with 50% renewable fuel can be a lot more climate-friendly. The car, engine, driving style, driving conditions and electricity mix are part of a complex system and therefore the answers are never easy, says Lucien Koopmans. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, something that Lucien Koopmans easily states is that more research is needed on both electric cars and combustion engines. A hybrid that uses a large proportion of renewable fuel is the most attractive, cost-effective and climate-friendly transport solution for most vehicle users in a foreseeable future, both for passenger cars and freight transport on the road. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Regardless of future scenario, several generations of internal combustion engines will be manufactured and they have a great potential to reach a zero emission scenario with unexplored technologies,&quot; says Lucien Koopmans.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information</h5> <div><a href=""> Product Development in Motion 2018</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/m2/research/combustion">Research at the Division of Combustion and Propulsion Systems</a></div>Fri, 23 Nov 2018 08:00:00 +0100 a possible source for future products<p><b>​How can we use the seaweed growing along our coastlines? Researchers at BIO have now found a new tool for making nutrients and sugars available, to be used for pharmaceutical production, as well as foods or in chemical production.</b></p>​Seaweeds grow abundantly, and are relatively little affected by harmful environmental impact, along Swedish coasts. At the same time, there is a huge demand for sustainable foods, alternative food sources and new sources for a biological production of fuels and chemicals.<br /><br />As part of a larger project, funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, researchers at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering took a closer look at the green seaweed <em>Ulva lactuca</em>, also known as sea lettuce.<div><br /></div> <div><strong>Suitable for foods and pharmaceuticals</strong><br /><br />“<em>Ulva </em>biomass consists of a full range of various biomolecules. The quality of <em>Ulva </em>and its subsequent applications greatly depend on the waters in which it is grown. As the western Swedish coastline is to a large extent free of toxic metals and pollutants, the <em>Ulva </em>biomass that we obtain from these sea waters is suitable for food and medical applications,” says Venkat Rao Konasani, a postdoc at the division of Industrial Biotechnology, and continues:<br /><br />“<em>Ulva </em>biomass from the algal blooms that are found in eutrophicated waters, rich in phosphorous, pollutants and toxic metals, is not suitable for food. However, this algal bloom biomass would be a good choice for bio-energy applications.”<br /><br />In <em>Ulva</em>, there’s a carbohydrate and polysaccharide called ulvan, which is rather different to anything found on land. Ulvan has features that make it relatively easy to dissolve, compared to most other polysaccharides.<br /><br />“We also find more unusual and interesting sugars. They could be used as building blocks in a chemical synthesis to make heparin, a drug used to treat blood clots, thereby providing an alternative to heparin produced from animal sources. They could also, for example, be used as a starter molecule for flavors, or for the production of sustainable materials,” says Associate Professor Eva Albers.</div> <div><br /><strong>Enzymes to open up the cell wall</strong><br /><br />To use the nutrients and sugars found in seaweed, they must first be recovered. Seaweed consist of cells, with cell walls containing – among other things – the ulvan. The researchers aim to find ways of opening up the cell wall structure, as mildly as possible. Using enzymes has proved both efficient and environmentally friendly. Recently, the research group at BIO identified a completely new and promising subgroup of the enzyme group ulvan lyase, which cleaves the ulvan.<br /><br />“Two subgroups are earlier described, and we have found a third. We have also been able to describe yet another enzyme of one of the other subgroups, which comes from the same bacteria. Our findings give us new ways of processing biomass for industrial purposes,” Eva Albers says.<br /><br />The new enzyme subgroup is also shown to have an unexpected advantage; it is naturally present in two groups of bacteria, found in our gastric/intestinal tract.</div> <div><br /><strong>Possible to digest</strong><br /><br />“Researchers ask the question: Could we eat seaweed? Is it possible for us to take advantage of seaweed’s nutritional value? Our findings indicate that we can probably digest and absorb nutrients from seaweed, with help of our own intestinal bacteria breaking the cell walls. In other words, seaweed could possibly serve as a new, future source of nutrition,” Eva Albers says, and Venkat Rao Konasani concludes:<br /><br />“This finding brings forward the potential of <em>Ulva </em>and opens for new commercial high-value applications of the algae biomass which is abundant in Swedish coastal waters, and otherwise unused.”<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac</div>Thu, 22 Nov 2018 17:00:00 +0100 toxic mercury from contaminated water<p><b>Water which has been contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a totally new way to clean contaminated water, through an electrochemical process. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Our results have really exceeded the expectations we had when we started with the technique,” says the research leader Björn Wickman, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics. “Our new method makes it possible to reduce the mercury content in a liquid by more than 99%. This can bring the water well within the margins for safe human consumption.” </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mercury is one the most harmful substances for human health. It can influence the nervous system, the development of the brain, and more. It is particularly harmful for children and can also be transmitted from a mother to a child during pregnancy. Furthermore, mercury spreads very easily through nature, and can enter the food chain. Freshwater fish, for example, often contain high levels of mercury. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the last two years, Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu, researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, have studied an electrochemical process for cleaning mercury from water. Their method works via extracting the heavy metal ions from water by encouraging them to form an alloy with another metal. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, removing low, yet harmful, levels of mercury from large amounts of water is a major challenge. Industries need better methods to reduce the risk of mercury being released in nature,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_labbsetup1_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><div>Their new method involves a metal plate – an electrode – that binds specific heavy metals to it. The electrode is made of the noble metal platinum, and through an electrochemical process it draws the toxic mercury out of the water to form an alloy of the two. In this way, the water is cleaned of the mercury contamination. The alloy formed by the two metals is very stable, so there is no risk of the mercury re-entering the water. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“An alloy of this type has been made before, but with a totally different purpose in mind. This is the first time the technique with electrochemical alloying has been used for decontamination purposes,” says Cristian Tunsu.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One strength of the new cleaning technique is that the electrode has a very high capacity. Each platinum atom can bond with four mercury atoms. Furthermore, the mercury atoms do not only bond on the surface, but also penetrate deeper into the material, creating thick layers. This means the electrode can be used for a long time. After use, it can be emptied in a controlled way. Thereby, the electrode can be recycled, and the mercury disposed of in a safe way. A further positive for this process is that it is very energy efficient.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Another great thing with our technique is that it is very selective. Even though there may be many different types of substance in the water, it just removes the mercury. Therefore, the electrode doesn’t waste capacity by unnecessarily taking away harmless substances from the water,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Patenting for the new method is being sought, and in order to commercialise the discovery, the company Atium has been setup. The new innovation has already been bestowed with a number of prizes and awards, both in Sweden and internationally. The research and the colleagues in the company have also had a strong response from industry. ​ </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have already had positive interactions with a number of interested parties, who are keen to test the method. Right now, we are working on a prototype which can be tested outside the lab under real-world conditions.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a> </div> <div>and Joshua Worth, <a href=""> ​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article, <a href="">“Effective removal of mercury from aqueous streams via electrochemical alloy formation on platinum”​</a> in Nature Communications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. ​​</a><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_Bjorn_Wickman_Cristian_Tunsu_portratt_750x340_NY.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />​<span style="background-color:initial">Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​are pr</span><span style="background-color:initial">esenting a new and effective way of cleaning mercury from water. With the help of new technology, contaminated water can become clean enough to be well within the safe limits for drinkability. The results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Potential uses for the new method</h3> <div><ul><li>T<span style="background-color:initial">he technique could be used to reduce the amount of waste and increase the purity of waste and process water in the chemical and mining industries, and in metal production. </span></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>It can contribute to better environmental cleaning of places with contaminated land and water sources.<br /></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>​It <span style="background-color:initial">can even be used to clean drinking water in badly affected environments because, thanks to its low energy use, it can be powered totally by solar cells. Therefore, it can be developed into a mobile and reusable water cleaning technology. </span></li></ul></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More on heavy metals in our environment</h3> <div>Heavy metals in water sources create enormous environmental problems and influence the health of millions of people around the world. Heavy metals are toxic for all living organisms in the food chain. According to the WHO, mercury is one of the most dangerous substances for human health, influencing our nervous system, brain development and more. The substance is especially dangerous for children and unborn babies. </div> <div>Today there are strict regulations concerning the management of toxic heavy metals to hinder their spread in nature. But there are many places worldwide which are already contaminated, and they can be transported in rain or in the air. This results in certain environments where heavy metals can become abundant, for example fish in freshwater sources. In industries where heavy metals are used, there is a need for better methods of recycling, cleaning and decontamination of the affected water. <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">For more information</h3> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Björn-Wickman.aspx">Björn Wickman​</a></span>, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 51 79, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tunsu.aspx">Cristian Tunsu</a></span>,  Post Doc, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering​, <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers University of Technology, +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 29 45, <a href=""></a></span></div></div> <div><div><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div></div></div>Wed, 21 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100 celebrations at the autumn graduation ceremony<p><b>​What started with singing and dancing an early morning at Götaplatsen ended in a traditional manner in the auditorium at Chalmersplatsen. Nearly 250 newly graduated students received their diploma during the autumn graduation ceremony on November 17.</b></p><div>​After three, four or maybe even five academic years, it was time for the graduating students to receive their diplomas. The auditorium Runan was filled with students together with friends and family on Saturday. With the graduation cap on their head or on their shoulder, the students were ready to receive their diploma, showing that they had completed their education.</div> <br /><div>During the ceremony, President Stefan Bengtsson, Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel, and President of the Student Union, Gustav Eriksson, spoke to the students, wishing them, in different ways, good luck for what awaits after Chalmers. The students also listened to alumnus Tingting Li who graduated from Chalmers master’s program Supply Chain Management in 2013 and now works as a customs compliance manager at Rolls-Royce in Bristol. She talked about how Chalmers has helped her get where she is today.</div> <br /><div>“I am proud of what I have achieved so far, and I am particularly grateful for what Chalmers has prepared me for. Chalmers has enabled me to start my career and has also provided a solid foundation for me to quickly accelerate the ladder. I am sure it will be the same for you.&quot;</div> <br /><div>During the graduation ceremony, Chalmers educational prize was also distributed. This year's award winners are Mia Bondelind, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Risat Pathan, Computer Engineering division and Christian Sandström, Technology Management and Economics. The educational prize is awarded each year to encourage teachers to improve and develop the conditions for student learning. This year’s prize winners have in various ways managed to engage and motivate their students in their respective courses.</div> <br /><div>The Saturday continued with a graduation dinner and entertainment for the graduated students and their families.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Sophia Kristensson<br /></div> Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:00:00 +0100 to melt gold at room temperature<p><b>​When the tension rises, unexpected things can happen – not least when it comes to gold atoms. Researchers from, among others, Chalmers University of Technology, have now managed, for the first time, to make the surface of a gold object melt at room temperature.​</b></p><div><div><div>​<span style="background-color:initial">Ludvig de Knoop, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics, placed a small piece of gold in an electron microscope. Observing it at the highest level of magnification and increasing the electric field step-by-step to extremely high levels, he was interested to see how it influenced the gold atoms.</span></div> <div>It was when he studied the atoms in the recordings from the microscope, that he saw something exciting. The surface layers of gold had actually melted – at room temperature.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I was really stunned by the discovery. This is an extraordinary phenomenon, and it gives us new, foundational knowledge of gold,” says Ludvig de Knoop.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>What happened was that the gold atoms became excited. Under the influence of the electric field, they suddenly lost their ordered structure and released almost all their connections to each other.</div> <div>Upon further experimentation, the researchers discovered that it was also possible to switch between a solid and a molten structure.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The discovery of how gold atoms can lose their structure in this way is not just spectacular, but also groundbreaking scientifically. Together with the theoretician Mikael Juhani Kuisma, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, Ludvig de Knoop and colleagues have opened up new avenues in materials science. The results are now published in the journal Physical Review Materials. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Thanks to theoretical calculations, the researchers are able to suggest why gold can melt at room temperature, which has to do with the formation of defects in the surface layers. <br /><br />Possibly, the surface melting can also be seen as a so-called low-dimensional phase transition. In that case, the discovery is connected to the research field of topology, where pioneers David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz received the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016. With Mikael Juhani Kuisma in the lead, the researchers are now looking into that possibility. In any case, the ability to melt surface layers of gold in this manner enables various novel practical applications in the future.<br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Because we can control and change the properties of the surface atom layers, it opens doors for different kinds of applications. For example, the technology could be used in different types of sensors, catalysts and transistors. There could also be opportunities for new concepts for contactless components,&quot; says Eva Olsson, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>But for now, for those who want to melt gold without an electron microscope, a trip to the goldsmith is still in order.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: </span><span style="background-color:initial"> Joshua Worth,</span><a href="">  </a>and <span style="background-color:initial">M</span><span style="background-color:initial">ia </span><span style="background-color:initial">Hall</span><span style="background-color:initial">eröd</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Palmgren, </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""> </a></span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:24px;background-color:initial">About the scientific article</span><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">The article </span><a href="">“Electric-field-controlled reversible order-disorder switching of a metal tip surface </a><span style="background-color:initial">” has been published in the journal Physical Review Materials. It was written by Ludvig de Knoop, Mikael Juhani Kuisma, Joakim Löfgren, Kristof Lodewijks, Mattias Thuvander, Paul Erhart, Alexandre Dmitriev and Eva Olsson. The researchers behind the results are active at Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg,  the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and Stanford University in the United States.</span></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/GuldSmalterIRumstemperatur_181116_01_750x340px.jpg" alt="" style="font-size:24px;margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Joakim Löfgren, Eva Olsson, Ludvig de Knoop,  Mattias Thuvander, Alexandre Dmitriev and Paul Erhart are some of the researchers behind the discovery. Not pictured are Mikael Juhani Kuisma and Kristof Lodewijks.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image: Johan Bodell</span></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research infrastructure at Chalmers<br /></h3> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/CMAL/Pages/default.aspx">The Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory (CMAL) </a> has advanced instruments for material research. The laboratory formally belongs to the Department of Physics, but is open to all researchers from universities, institutes and industry. The experiments in this study have been carried out using advanced and high-resolution electron microscopes - in this case, transmission electron microscopes (TEM). Major investments have recently been made, to further push the laboratory to the forefront of material research. In total, the investments are about 66 million Swedish kronor, of which the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has contributed half.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about electron microscopy</h4> <div> </div> <div>Electron microscopy is a collective name for different types of microscopy, using electrons instead of electromagnetic radiation to produce images of very small objects. Using this technique makes it possible to study individual atoms. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact: </h3></div> <div><div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/f00lude.aspx"><span>Ludvig de Knoop</span>, </a>Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 <span style="background-color:initial">51 80, </span><a href="" style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:12pt"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></a></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Eva-Olsson.aspx"><span>Eva Olsson</span><span style="background-color:initial">,</span></a><span style="background-color:initial"> Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 32 47, </span><a href="" target="_blank"> </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. </a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Watch a <span style="background-color:initial">short video clip with researcher Ludvig de Knoop explaining the discovery.</span>​</a></div> </div></div> ​Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100 imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered how our bones grow at an atomic level, showing how an unstructured mass orders itself into a perfectly arranged bone structure. The discovery offers new insights, which could yield improved new implants, as well as increasing our knowledge of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.</b></p><p>​The bones in our body grow through several stages, with atoms and molecules joining together, and those bigger groupings joining together in turn. One early stage in the growth process is when calcium phosphate molecules crystallise, which means that they transform from an amorphous mass into an ordered structure. Many stages of this transformation were previously a mystery, but now, through a project looking at an imitation of how our bones are built, the researchers have been able to follow this crystallisation process at an atomic level. Their results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. <br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Martin%20150.jpg" alt="" style="height:200px;width:150px;margin:5px" /><br />“A wonderful thing with this project is that it demonstrates how applied and fundamental research go hand in hand. Our project was originally focused on the creation of an artificial biomaterial, but the material turned out to be a great tool to study bone building processes. We first imitated nature, by creating an artificial copy. Then, we used that copy to go back and study nature,” says Martin Andersson, Professor in Materials Chemistry at Chalmers, and leader of the study. </p> <p><br />The researchers were developing a method of creating artificial bone through additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. The resulting structure is built up in the same way, with the same properties, as real bone. Once fully developed, it will enable the formation of naturalistic implants, which could replace the metal and plastic technologies currently in use. As the team began to imitate natural bone tissue functions, they saw that they had created the possibility to study the phenomenon in a setting highly resembling the environment in living tissue. </p> <p><br />The team’s artificial bone-like substance mimicked the way real bone grows. The smallest structural building blocks in the skeleton are groups of strings consisting of the protein collagen. To mineralize these strings, cells send out spherical particles known as vesicles, which contain calcium phosphate. These vesicles release the calcium phosphate into confined spaces between the collagen strings. There, the calcium phosphate begins to transform from an amorphous mass into an ordered crystalline structure, which creates the bone’s characteristic features of remarkable resistance to shocks and bending. </p> <p><br />The researchers followed this cycle with the help of electron microscopes and now show in their paper how it happens at the atomic level. Despite the fact that bone crystallisation naturally occurs in a biological environment, it is not a biological process. Instead, calcium phosphate’s intrinsic physical characteristics define how it crystallises and builds up, following the laws of thermodynamics. The molecules are drawn to the <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Antiope%20150.jpg" alt="" style="height:200px;width:150px;margin:5px 10px" />place where the energy level is lowest, which results in it building itself into a perfectly crystallised structure.</p> <p><br />“Within the transmission electron microscope, we could follow the stages of how the material transformed itself into an ordered structure. This enables it to achieve as low an energy level as possible, and therefore a more stable state,” says Dr Antiope Lotsari, a researcher in Martin Andersson’s group, who conducted the electron microscopy experiments.</p> <p><br />The Chalmers researchers are the first to show in high resolution what happens when bones crystallise. The results could influence the way many common bone related illnesses are treated. </p> <p><br />“Our results could be significant for the treatment of bone disease such as osteoporosis, which today is a common illness, especially among older women. Osteoporosis is when there is an imbalance between how fast bones break down and are being re-formed, which are natural processes in the body,” says Martin Andersson. </p> <p><br />Current medicines for osteoporosis, which work through influencing this imbalance, could be improved with this new knowledge. The hope is that with greater precision, we will be able to evaluate the pros and cons of current medicines, as well as experiment with different substances to examine how they hinder or stimulate bone growth.</p> <p><br />The article “<a href="">Transformation of amorphous calcium phosphate to bone-like apatite</a>” is published now in Nature Communications. <br /></p>Sun, 18 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100 comics link science and the public<p><b>​Using comics and animated films, Chalmers astronomer Daria Dall’Olio shares astronomy research with fans of manga and anime. – In our project Costellazione Manga, we using examples from comics and animation to explain physical and astronomical concepts. We’ve found that if we connect science to things people know and love, they are happy to learn more about it, says Daria Dall’Olio, PhD student in Galactic Astrophysics at Chalmers and one of the speakers at the upcoming AHA-festival. ​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Japanese manga and anime culture are now known all over the world. Many Japanese comics and animated films and tv series became popular in Europe and other parts of the world in the 1970s. Today their common imagery and language is shared by three generations of fans, and Daria Dall’Olio is one of them. The stories are often centred on fantasy and science fiction set in space, she explains.</span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/RoG/Profilbilder/dallolio-daria.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– There are lots of examples of comics that use references to our own Solar System, and to what we know about other stars and galaxies. In our presentations we show examples of these references, and then we can explain the real physical and astronomical concepts behind them. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Using comics and animation as a educational tool is not a new concept. Walt Disney produced educational films back in the 1940s, about such diverse topics as health, economy and psychology. Manga and anime are just one of the latest examples. The characters from the popular comic series Galaxy Express 999 has even been used in special educational films, where they guide the audience through the galaxy in planetarium shows in Japan. </div> <div>– The series Galaxy Express 999 revolves around an intergalactic train travelling across space and visiting many new worlds, so you can compare the way different planets are depicted to the knowledge that we have today.  There are plenty of other examples. We use Sailor Moon, which is quite popular in Sweden, to illustrate the planets and other bodies of our Solar System.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project Costellazione Manga was started by Daria Dall’Olio and Piero Ranalli after they spent two years in Japan, with Piero working as a post-doctoral researcher and Daria studying Japanese. When they returned to the University of Bologna they arranged their first public talk on manga and astronomy at the planetarium of Ravenna – and the project was born. </div> <div>– I really enjoy these presentations. Each one is different! Every country – or even every city – has its own common cultural references, so when we prepare a lecture we try to find out which comics are the most popular there.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In Sweden, Sailor Moon and Starzinger are the favourites, Daria explains. But even when she can use references that people are familiar with, the differences between fact and fantasy still has to be addressed – with a generous dose of humour.</div> <div>– Sometimes we have to deliver bad news! Fans of UFO Robot Grendizer might be disappointed to learn that astronomers have found no signs of planets around the star Vega, where their favourite giant robot supposedly comes from, says Daria, who is a PhD student at the Department och Space, Earth and Environment. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Over the last few years Daria has presented the project at several conferences and festivals, mostly in Italy but also elsewhere. A highlight was when she was invited to present at <a href="">the large international conference CAP 2018, Communicating Astronomy with the Public</a><span style="background-color:initial"> in Fukuoka, Japan, in March 2018. </span></div> <div></div> <div>The project was also featured in an article in the October 2018 issue of the CAP Journal: <span></span><a href="">Costellazione Manga: Explaining Astronomy Using Japanese Comics and Animation</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project now includes several international scientists, as well as Swedish comic book artist Yvette Gustafsson. Daria and Yvette presented the project together at the Gothenburg Science Festival 2018, and now once more at <a href="">the AHA Festival at Chalmers on 19-21 November​</a>. </div> <div>For Daria, combining her love of astronomy with her love of manga and anime is way of bridging the gap between science and the rest of society.</div> <div>– The public doesn’t always understand what scientists are doing, and I think one of the reasons is that we seem to be far apart from each other. If scientists can find a common ground and find links to people and their everyday lives, we can reach into hearts and minds and start to talk the same language, says Daria. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen and Robert Cumming. </em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><i>Daria presents Costellazione Manga at<a href=""> the AHA-festival ​</a>on Wednesday 21 November. </i></div> <div><i>Read more about the project at <a href="">the Costellazione Manga Website</a>. </i></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100’s-Grand-prix-finale.aspx student at Chalmers to Researcher’s Grand prix finale<p><b>​Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo, PhD student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is qualified to the finale in the popular science presentation contest “Researcher’s Grand prix”. The finale is held November 27.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In his research he imitates nature by creating small spaces which mimic the cell-like environment for enzymes. In brief, the research is focused on  developing materials on which enzymes retain their function, while also controlling their activity and how to make different enzymes co-operate in chain reactions. The final goal is to use enzymes in a smarter way, which could lead to more environmentally friendly synthesis of chemicals or improved medical treatments in the future.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>What have you learned from preparing for the competition?</strong></div> <div>&quot;How to summarize my research, which I have worked on for many years now, in under four minutes. Being a detail-oriented person, it is a challenge for me to describe my work briefly and in terms of concepts.  This competition has taught me how important it is to have a clear message which reaches out to more than just my colleagues at work.&quot;</div> <div><br /><strong>What made you participate in the Grand Prix competition?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I was inspired by my supervisor Andreas Dahlin to participate. Andreas has also competed in popular science presentations, in fact he is European champion! &quot;</div> <div><br /><strong>How do you plan to win?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I want to engage my audience and at the same time spread knowledge about how cool science is and what we can use it for. I will use items and products I found at home as props. All of the products contain or have been manufactured using enzymes, like for instance gluten-free beer, washing detergent and tablets for those who are lactose intolerant.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100 areas of the Brazilian rainforest at risk of losing protection<p><b>​​Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is equivalent to more than 4 times the entire forest area of the UK.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“Brazil has favourable conditions for increasing production on land which is already used for agriculture, in particular lands where low-intensity animal grazing is practised. But if the legal protections for nature are weakened, it could lead to agricultural growth being based more on increasing the amount of agricultural land, rather than increasing the production on lands already in use. This would be at the expense of valuable natural ecosystems, with negative impacts on biodiversity. It would also lead to extensive greenhouse gas emissions, since much of the Amazon is covered by forests,” says Flavio Freitas at the Department for Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Technology at KTH, and leader of the study.</span><div><br /><div>In Brazil, there is a legislative requirement that private landowners designate a certain part of their land for the protection of native vegetation. Private landowners in states that lie in the Amazon region may use up to 20 percent of their land for agriculture, with the rest reserved for nature. But the law contains a paragraph which makes it possible for states to reduce this land use restriction, if more than 65 percent the state’s territory is protected public land.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Earlier studies concluded that this paragraph probably would never be invoked. But we have now shown that the ongoing land tenure regularisation process of undesignated land in the Amazon could lead to the paragraph being invoked in several states in the Amazon region. If this happens, it would become legal to use a further 30 percent of the privately-owned land for agriculture,” says Göran Berndes, Professor at Chalmers, and one of the authors behind the study. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>This means that between 6.5 and 15.4 million hectares could lose the protections they enjoy today. By way of comparison, the total forest area of the UK is about 3.17 million hectares. The areas that might become legally available for agriculture consist primarily of tropical rainforest, which hold high biodiversity values. Additionally, tropical deforestation causes large carbon dioxide emissions, which contributes to global warming.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Brazil has pledged that by 2025, its greenhouse gas emissions will be at a level 37 percent lower than in 2025,” says Göran Berndes. “That will be a struggle if deforestation is not kept down.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“If this protection disappears, it doesn’t automatically mean that these rainforests would be lost. But it is important to acknowledge the situation, and to consider possible mitigation actions before such development take place. We hope that our study can make an impact in Brazil as well as internationally,” says Flavio Freitas. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“One possibility is that the law could be revised, with the paragraph adjusted or removed entirely. In addition to legal measures, businesses could help to reduce the risk through non-deforestation commitments. Such measures could be motivated by simple economic reasons – there is a strong international awareness of the downsides of deforestation, and Brazilian agricultural exports will likely be negatively influenced through their association,” he continues.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The study, “<a href="">Potential increase of legal deforestation in Brazilian Amazon after Forest Act revision​</a>”, published in Nature Sustainability, is a collaboration between KTH and Chalmers in Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The collaboration has been ongoing for around 10 years, under the leadership of Göran Berndes from Chalmers, and Professor Gerd Sparovek of the University of Sao Paulo. In the newly published study, further Swedish participants included Ulla Mörtberg, at the same department as Flavio Freitas, and Chalmers researchers Martin Persson and Oskar Englund, who, together with Göran Berndes, are based at the Division for Physical Resource Theory at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment.</div> <div><br /> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>​More about: </span>T​he land tenure regularisation <span>process of undesignated land in the Amazon</span></h5> <div>Brazil has developed legal and practical solutions to the land tenure issues in the Amazon region. The most important programme is Terra Legal (legal or ‘good’ land). The aim of Terra Legal is to legalise the use of 55 million hectares of state-owned land by granting land titles to some 160,000 smallholder families.</div></div>Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:00:00 +0100