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Unravelling the genetics of fungal fratricide

Unravelling the genetics of fungal fratricide

Press Releases   •   Oct 15, 2018 12:38 BST

Selfish genes are genes that are passed on to the next generation but confer no advantage on the individual as a whole, and may sometimes be harmful. Researchers at Uppsala University have, for the first time, sequenced (or charted) two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia that cause fungal spores to kill their siblings.

New knowledge about retrovirus-host coevolution

Press Releases   •   Oct 08, 2018 20:00 BST

Retroviruses have colonised vertebrate hosts for millions of years by inserting their genes into host genomes, enabling their inheritance through generations as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Researchers from Uppsala University now provide new knowledge about the long-term associations of retroviruses and their hosts by studying ERV variation and segregation in wild and domestic rabbits.

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

Press Releases   •   Oct 04, 2018 10:02 BST

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize the cell’s own energy, and thereby enable hydrogen gas to be produced from solar energy.

​World speed record for polymer simulations

​World speed record for polymer simulations

Press Releases   •   Oct 04, 2018 08:34 BST

Star polymers are within the most topologically entangled macromolecules. With a simulation over a hundred times faster than earlier studies, it is demonstrated that the mean square displacement scales with a power law 1/16 in time, instead of the previously assumed zero. It suggests that star polymer motion is the result of two linear relaxations coinciding in time.

New study shows cells produce specialised protein factories under stress

Press Releases   •   Oct 03, 2018 12:15 BST

Prevailing dogma in biological research holds that the cell’s protein factories, the ribosomes, function the same way in all cells and in all conditions. In an international study with participation from Weill Cornell Medicine and Uppsala University, published today in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers show that this is a truth that seems to not hold true.

Well established theories on patterns in evolution might be wrong

Press Releases   •   Sep 27, 2018 13:23 BST

How do the large-scale patterns we observe in evolution arise? A new paper in the journal Evolution by researchers at Uppsala University and University of Leeds argues that many of them are a type of statistical artefact caused by our unavoidably recent viewpoint looking back into the past.

Genetic risk: Should researchers let people know?

Press Releases   •   Sep 24, 2018 08:10 BST

Should researchers inform research participants, if they discover genetic disease risks in the participants? The value of complex genetic risk information for individuals is uncertain. In a PhD thesis from Uppsala University, Jennifer Viberg Johansson suggests that this uncertainty needs to be acknowledged by both geneticists and ethicists.

Bravery cells found in the hippocampus

Press Releases   •   Sep 07, 2018 10:00 BST

Why do some people comfortably walk between skyscrapers on a high-wire or raft the Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel whereas others freeze on the mere thought of climbing off escalators in a shopping mall? In a new study, scientists have found that a certain type of cells in the hippocampus play a key role.

How sleep loss may contribute to adverse weight gain

Press Releases   •   Aug 23, 2018 08:43 BST

In a new study, researchers at Uppsala University now demonstrate that one night of sleep loss has a tissue-specific impact on the regulation of gene expression and metabolism in humans. This may explain how shift work and chronic sleep loss impairs our metabolism and adversely affects our body composition. The study is published in the scientific journal Science Advances.

Catastrophic floods can trigger human resettlement away from rivers

Press Releases   •   Aug 22, 2018 19:00 BST

A new study by researchers at Uppsala University, published in the journal Science Advances, uses satellite nighttime light data to reveal how flood protection shapes the average distance of settlements from rivers.

Working memory might be more flexible than previously thought

Press Releases   •   Aug 16, 2018 12:52 BST

Breaking with the long-held idea that working memory has fixed limits, a new study by researchers at Uppsala University and New York University suggests that these limits adapt themselves to the task that one is performing. The results are presented in the scientific journal eLife.

There is not one kind of “good sperm” – it depends on other qualities in the male

There is not one kind of “good sperm” – it depends on other qualities in the male

Press Releases   •   Aug 16, 2018 11:00 BST

In a study published in Behavioral Ecology researchers from Uppsala University show that the same type of sperm is not always the best for all male birds. Depending on how attractive or dominant you are you might be more successful with longer or shorter sperm.

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies

Press Releases   •   Aug 15, 2018 14:04 BST

Nanosized magnetic particles called skyrmions are considered highly promising candidates for new data storage and information technologies. Now, physicists have revealed new behaviour involving the antiparticle equivalent of skyrmions in a ferromagnetic material. The results are published in Nature Electronics.

​The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity

​The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity

Press Releases   •   Aug 02, 2018 17:00 BST

A study that examined the shape of hundreds of fossilized shark teeth suggests that modern shark biodiversity was triggered by the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event, about 66 million years ago. This finding is reported this week in Current Biology.

​Magma storage and eruptive behaviour at Bali volcano

​Magma storage and eruptive behaviour at Bali volcano

Press Releases   •   Jul 16, 2018 13:37 BST

A new study by researchers at Uppsala University and INGV, Italy, sheds light on magma storage under the currently active Agung volcano on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Magma at Agung is stored at both mantle (~20 km) and shallow crustal (~5 km) depths, which may be a potential cause for sudden pressure-driven eruptions in this densely populated part of the world. (Scientific Reports 180712)

New research detects brain cell that improves learning

Press Releases   •   Jul 05, 2018 16:00 BST

The workings of memory and learning have yet to be clarified, especially at the neural circuitry level. But researchers at Uppsala University have now, jointly with Brazilian collaborators, discovered a specific brain neuron with a central role in learning. This study, published in Neuron, may have a bearing on the potential for counteracting memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.

Striking differences in brain morphology between wild and domestic rabbits

Striking differences in brain morphology between wild and domestic rabbits

Press Releases   •   Jun 25, 2018 20:00 BST

The most characteristic feature of domestic animals is their tame behaviour. A team of scientists has now used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study how domestication has affected brain morphology in domestic rabbits. The results show that domestication has had a profound effect on brain morphology in particular regions of the brain involved in fear processing.

UCDP: fatalities in organised violence still decreasing

Press Releases   •   Jun 18, 2018 07:00 BST

​New data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), Uppsala University shows that the number of fatalities in organised violence decreased for the third consecutive year. In 2017, almost 90,000 deaths were recorded by UCDP, a decrease of 32% compared to the latest peak in 2014. The most significant drop took place in Syria.

Endocrine-disrupting pesticides impair frog reproduction

Endocrine-disrupting pesticides impair frog reproduction

Press Releases   •   Jun 14, 2018 10:00 BST

In a new study, researchers from Sweden and Britain have investigated how the endocrine-disrupting substance linuron affects reproduction in the West African clawed frog. The scientists found that linuron, which is used as a pesticicide, impaired the males’ fertility, and that tadpoles developed ovaries instead of testicles to a greater extent, which caused a female‐biased sex ratio.

Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century

Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century

Press Releases   •   Jun 13, 2018 14:12 BST

The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed. This view is held by archaeologists from Uppsala and York whose findings are presented in the European Journal of Archaeology.