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Negotiating identity through language online
Rap videos and YouTube commentary as sources of scientific research? Of course! Sociolinguist Unn Røyneland from the University of Oslo analyses how identities are negotiated online through distinct dialect features. She will present her research on October 16, 18.15 in Lecture Hall F-121 at Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36. The public guest lecture is part of the Forum «Language and Society» which invites national and international sociolinguists to discuss current issues.
"Mercury awaits us at 400 degrees Celsius"
The BepiColombo spacecraft is scheduled to start its journey from the Kourou spaceport to Mercury on 20 October 2018. Nicolas Thomas, Director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Bern, and his team designed and built the most important and delicate instrument on board. In an interview with "uniaktuell" he talks about the challenges.
Risky maneuvers on the way to Mercury
When the BepiColombo spacecraft takes off for Mercury on 20 October 2018, it will also be carrying an instrument from Peter Wurz, Professor of Experimental Space and Planetary Physics at the University of Bern. In an interview with "uniaktuell" he tells what the mass spectrometer STROFIO will have to do with Mercury.
Narcolepsy, scientists unmask the culprit of an enigmatic disease
Patients with a rare disease, called narcolepsy, suffer of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy. A study published in the renowned scientific journal Nature reports the cause of the disease, which has previously been a mystery. The study is the result of a close collaboration between researchers from the University Sleep-Wake-Epilepsy-Centre Bern at the University Hospital (Inselspital), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona and ETH Zurich.
A very special protein synthesis machinery
Sleeping sickness-causing parasites contain an unusual protein synthesis machinery. A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Bern resolved its very special structure for the first time.
"You have to take a step out of your research comfort zone"
Molecular biologist Kellie Cotter from the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR) receives the 2018 Young Investigator Award. The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) will support her research over three years with a total of 225,000 dollars.
Scent of a woman: what makes it attractive?
Reproductive hormones control a woman’s monthly cycle and regulate fertility. Reproductive hormones are also related to how attractive a woman smells a study now shows. Researchers at the University of Bern demonstrate that some women smell better to men than others. Namely those who are "fittest" for reproduction.
Jupiter had growth disorders
Researchers of the Universities of Bern and Zürich and of ETH Zürich show how Jupiter was formed. Data collected from meteorites had indicated that the growth of the giant planet had been delayed for two million years. Now the researchers have found an explanation: Collisions with kilometer-sized blocks generated high energy, which meant that in this phase hardly any accretion of gas could take place and the planet could only grow slowly.
New comet models thanks to "Chury" data
The MiARD project (Multi-instrument Analysis of Rosetta Data) was a 30-month international research project led by the University of Bern to make the best use of the vast amount of data produced by the Rosetta mission. The most important results, models and an artistic project on MiARD have now been presented.
The heat is on in climate change summer school
An undergraduate summer school on climate change brought students from eleven nations to the University of Bern from 6-17 August. They were inspired by the interdisciplinary nature of the program and impressed with the high quality of the lectures. Further highlights included a swim in the Aare and a visit to the Jungfraujoch research station.
Iron and titanium discovered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
For the first time, researchers of the universities of Bern and Geneva have proven the presence of iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. The existence of these elements in gas form was theoretically predicted by a team led by the Bernese astronomer Kevin Heng and has now been confirmed by Geneva-based astronomers.
How an herbivore hijacks a nutrient uptake strategy of its host plant
The struggle for iron determines the fate of maize and insect pest: Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm, the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition. With these insights, researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, provide a new explanation for the extraordinary success of the Western corn rootworm as a global maize pest.
Marine heatwaves are threatening ecosystems
Marine heatwaves can irreversibly damage ecosystems and, therefore, also present a threat to fishing. As a team led by physicist Thomas Frölicher from Bern showed in a study just published in the journal Nature, the number of marine heatwaves has increased dramatically in past decades. This trend will further intensify as a result of climate change.
How resistant cancer cells can be fought
An international research team under the co-direction of the University of Bern and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) has discovered various mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapy. The findings help researchers to understand the self-repair of cancer cells after a therapy and thus help to fight resistant tumors more efficiently.
Daniel Odermatt: An obituary
"We’ll sort that out", or "That’s a great idea, we’ll do that", or "What a brilliant university", or even just a happy laugh with a glass of good wine once work was done. This was the voice of Dr. Daniel Odermatt, the Administrative Director of the University of Bern, who sadly fell silent forever on July 6, 2018. We still can’t believe it and yet must accept it.
Self-worth of children and teenagers develops more positively than supposed
Contrary to previous assumptions, self-esteem already grows during childhood and doesn’t drop during adolescence. Furthermore, it increases considerably as a young adult until it reaches its peak at the age of roughly 60 to 70 years old. Our self-esteem only declines in old age. Researchers at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bern have been able to show the development over the lifespan in a comprehensive study.
Blood Pressure Medication can be detrimental in Old Age
Old and frail patients have an increased mortality risk and increased memory problems when their blood pressure is lowered too much through medication. This is what has been discovered by researchers from the University of Bern and University of Leiden (Netherlands) in a large-scale study – thus relativising the official recommendations for antihypertensive medications. They were awarded with the 2018 research prize by the Kollegium für Hausartztmedizin [College of General Medicine] for their work.
How to find signs of life in space
Astrophysicists of the University of Bern, Switzerland, contributed to a series of NASA papers that lay out strategies to search for signs of life beyond our solar system. They assume that the detection of atmospheric signatures of a few potentially habitable planets may possibly come before 2030.
Where Medical Technology and Astrophysics Meet
At the University of Bern, astrophysicists of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) teamed up with medical technology researchers to develop a new method to analyse spectra of atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. The unusual collaboration applied an artificial intelligence tool to study the chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres.
New weakness discovered in the sleeping sickness pathogen
Trypanosomes are single-celled parasites that cause diseases such as human African sleeping sickness and Nagana in animals. But they are also used in basic research as a model system to study fundamental biological questions. Researchers of the University of Bern have now investigated how trypanosomes equally distribute their “power plant” to the daughter cells during cell division. The discovered mechanism potentially opens new avenues for drug interventions.
Humidity switches molecular diode off and on
Molecular electronics is a growing research area where scientists study electrical properties of the molecules with a chemically programmed function. Molecules can function as diodes, switches and transistors, all with a typical length of few nanometers. An international group of scientists from University of Bern, Leiden University, Delft University of Technology, and Chuo University has developed the first switchable molecular diode.
Einstein Lectures 2017: Video Podcasts
Is there such a thing as absolute objectivity and truth? In the Einstein Lectures, the British philosopher Simon Blackburn addressed one of the oldest and most difficult questions in philosophy. His Einstein Lectures are now available as video podcasts.
Searching for distant worlds with a flying telescope
Researchers from the University of Bern, using an observatory on board a jumbo jet, have observed how the extrasolar Planet GJ 1214b is passing in front of its star, causing a kind of mini-eclipse. The first measurements of this kind with the observatory called SOFIA (short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infra-red Astronomy) prove that the flying observatory is well-suited to the observation of exoplanets.
Einstein Lectures 2016: Video Podcasts
The audience was enthralled by Martin Hairer’s lectures on how infinities can be tamed and the mathematics of randomness. His exciting Einstein Lectures are now available as video podcast.
Intensification of Land Use Leads to the Same Species Everywhere
Intensive use of grasslands by humans reduces species diversity and makes the landscape more monotonous, so that the same species end up everywhere. Nature is then no longer able to provide us with many essential ‘services’, which range from soil formation for food production to pest control. Led by the Technical University of Munich and the University of Bern, 300 scientists studied the consequences of land-use intensification for biodiversity at the landscape level and for the first time could do this for a wide range of species groups.
Humans and other Primates
The scientific view on human and animal behavior has changed over the past years. Not only humans, but other primates are now being depicted as political, cultural, even moral beings as well. In his guest lecture «Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?», the behavioral scientist Frans de Waal will focus on this topic. The event is part of the Collegium generale's new lecture series «Humans and other Primates» and will take place on Wednesday, September 28th at 18:15 in the Auditorium maximum (Room 110) in the main building of the University of Bern.
International conference KUNSTHALLEN
In contrast to collecting museums the model of the Kunsthalle is characterized by freedom and novelty. Due to its dynamic concept, this institutional format contributes to the formation of contemporary art in essential ways. The conference assembles international guests from diverse institutions and professional fields who will discuss the historical development, political implications as well as the societal positioning of the Kunsthalle. The institution’s role as curatorial field of experimentation, artistic material, and as a platform for transatlantic exchange will be examined as well. On September 2 and 3 at 9 a.m. in the main building and UniS. The Conference will be held in English.
When consumers sabotage brands
When consumers deliberately attack a brand with the objective of causing harm to it, this is known as «consumer brand sabotage». Marketing researchers of the University of Bern have examined this phenomenon in more detail, identified backgrounds and motives of brand sabotage and present initial countermeasures.