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Coronavirus - Information about vaccination services at the University of Bern
Update 22.09.2021: The University of Bern now offers vaccinations at Parkterrasse 14 as well as at the vonRoll area, Fabrikstrasse 2, starting on 27.09.2021. Information about opportunities for testing at the University of Bern is also now available.
“Welcome back” to the University of Bern
The University of Bern has also coped well with the second year of coronavirus and is welcoming students back in full in-person mode at the start of the semester. The certificate requirement will be extended to all courses at bachelor’s and master’s level from September 20, 2021. There are currently around 18,400 students enrolled, which represents a slight decrease compared to the previous year. New challenges arise from the construction situation of university buildings and Switzerland’s exclusion from the Horizon Europe research program.
The first farmers of Europe
A research team from the University of Bern has managed to precisely date pile dwellings on the banks of Lake Ohrid in the south-western Balkans for the first time: they came into being in the middle of the 5th millennium BC. The region around the oldest lake in Europe played a key role in the proliferation of agriculture.
New Mathematical Solutions to An Old Problem in Astronomy
The Bernese theoretical astrophysicist Kevin Heng has achieved a rare feat: On paper, he has derived novel solutions to an old mathematical problem needed to calculate light reflections from planets and moons. Now, data can be interpreted in a simple way to understand planetary atmospheres, for example. The new formulae will likely be incorporated into future textbooks.
The astrophysicist who achieved a rare feat
As a child, Kevin Heng wanted to become an astronaut. Today, he is the director of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) and has recently discovered new mathematical solutions that help solve a century-old problem in astronomy. In this interview, the astrophysicist talks about his career and what motivates him.
Creation of a detailed "catalogue" of degradation products in cells
Cells have their own quality control to prevent the production and accumulation of harmful proteins. This quality control is essential for correct embryonic development in all mammals and plays an important role in tumors and genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. A group of researchers from the University of Bern and the University of Basel have now made visible and cataloged for the first time, "blueprints" that give rise to defective proteins and are normally recognized and rapidly degraded in cells. This leads to a better understanding of this degradation mechanism and helps in the development of new therapeutic approaches.
In-person courses will continue
At the University of Bern, the upcoming fall semester will continue to be planned in in-person mode. There is no longer a restriction on the number of people for events at universities and the room capacities can be fully utilized. Masks are mandatory in indoor spaces. The University of Bern recommends that all students and employees be vaccinated, but no certificates are required.
Genetic enigma solved: Inheritance of coat color patterns in dogs
An international team of researchers including scientists from the Institute of Genetics of the University of Bern has unraveled the enigma of inheritance of coat color patterns in dogs. The researchers discovered that a genetic variant responsible for a very light coat in dogs and wolves originated more than two million years ago in a now extinct relative of the modern wolf.
How micro-circuits in the brain regulate fear
The brain mechanisms underlying the suppression of fear responses have attracted a lot of attention as they are relevant for therapy of human anxiety disorders. Despite our broad understanding of the different brain regions activated during the experience of fear, how fear responses can be suppressed remains largely elusive. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel have now discovered that the activation of identified central amygdala neurons can suppress fear responses.
For a rapid association of Switzerland to Horizon Europe
swissuniversities asks the Federal Council and the Parliament to stabilise relations with the European Union as soon as possible so that Switzerland can be quickly associated with Horizon Europe. This is important for the academic world, but also for companies and, beyond that, for the maintenance of the quality of life enjoyed by the Swiss population, in terms of prosperity, health, education and security.
AI improves speech understanding of hearing aid users
In noisy environments it is difficult for hearing aid users or people with a hearing implant to understand their conversational partner because current audio processors still have difficulty focusing precisely enough on specific sound sources. In a feasibility study, researchers from the Hearing Research Laboratory at the University of Bern and the Inselspital are now suggesting that artificial intelligence could solve this problem.
Sinergia grants for three University of Bern researchers
Three researchers at the University of Bern are receiving Sinergia grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for their research projects. The projects will be supported by the SNSF with funds totaling around CHF 7.3 million over three to four years.
Unique exoplanet photobombs CHEOPS study of nearby star system
While studying two exoplanets in a bright nearby star system, the CHEOPS satellite has unexpectedly spotted the system’s third known planet crossing the face of the star. This transit reveals exciting details about a rare planet “with no known equivalent”, as the scientific team led by the Universities of Geneva and Bern, and members of the National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS, point out.
Scientists detect signatures of life remotely
It could be a milestone on the path to detecting life on other planets: Scientists under the leadership of the University of Bern and of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS detect a key molecular property of all living organisms from a helicopter flying several kilometers above ground. The measurement technology could also open up opportunities for remote sensing of the Earth.
"We should not underestimate how important travel can be"
Emma Hodcroft of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, using the Nextstrain sequencing platform she co-developed, has identified a new coronavirus variant (EU1) that spread rapidly in Europe last summer. Travel during summertime played an important role for the rise of EU1. Summer vacations are coming soon: How can we travel without too much risk?
Plastic waste in the sea mainly drifts near the coast
A study conducted at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern provides new insights into the pollution of the world's oceans with plastic waste. The modelling shows that most of the plastic does not end up in the open ocean, but beaches or drifts in the water near the coast.
Vice-Rector for Research Daniel Candinas resigns
After more than five years in the University Executive Board, Daniel Candinas will step down as Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Bern at the end of 2021. He will now devote more time to his duties as head of a newly created medical department at the Inselspital, University Hospital Bern. The University of Bern would like to thank Daniel Candinas for his many years of dedicated service as the Vice-Rector for Research.
swissuniversities calls for the continuation of talks on the institutional framework agreement with the EU
The institutional framework agreement between Switzerland and the EU is of central importance for Switzerland as a centre of research, education and innovation. The EU has clearly signalled that it considers progress towards the conclusion of a Framework Agreement to be a prerequisite for Switzerland's participation in the research and education programmes. The swissuniversities Board calls on the Federal Council to avoid by all means the exclusion of Swiss researchers and students from these research and education programmes and to put relations with the EU on a permanent footing.
Annual Report 2020: Knowledge strengthens society
The COVID-19 crisis has also been extremely challenging for the University of Bern. Nevertheless, the articles in the 2020 annual report impressively show that the University is leveraging its expertise to make a vital contribution toward efforts to overcome this crisis and serve as a catalyst for the future. The University of Bern’s future success is being called into question, however, by the sluggish pace of infrastructure renewal as well as collaborative research projects with Europe that are in jeopardy.
Space technology in the operating theater
The instruments were developed to search for signs of life on other planets. But now they will also be used to distinguish healthy nerve cells from brain tumor cells. A conversation with astrophysicist Brice-Olivier Demory and Raphael Sznitman, an expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence, about their BrainPol project.
New endowed lectureship in wild bee health
The University of Bern has established an endowed lectureship for wild bee health, which has been made possible thanks to support from the Vinetum Foundation. With it, the University and the Foundation intend to help combat the worldwide decline of wild bee populations.
Tackling hate on the internet
Researchers in public are sometimes subjected to spiteful reactions, like Christian Althaus or Susanne Wampfler. The University of Bern stands behind its researchers.
Annika Frahsa becomes Lindenhof Endowed Professor of Community Health
Annika Frahsa has been chosen Lindenhof Foundation Professor of Community Health by the University Executive Board. The assistant professorship has been made possible thanks to support from the Lindenhof Foundation Bern. It focuses on participatory health promotion involving communities and is one of a kind in Switzerland.
The University of Bern welcomes seven Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows
This year, seven researchers are visiting the University of Bern as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows. The "Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships" are an opportunity for experienced researchers to advance their career with a stay in a foreign country.
Predicting success in therapy with individualized cancer models
Scientists at Urology Research Laboratory of the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR), University of Bern and Urology Department of the Inselspital of Bern, have established organoid culture models from prostate tumor biopsies. These are small clusters of cells which can be used to test the efficacy of various drugs. In this way, it is possible to test which treatment will most likely benefit individual patients.
What shapes our health very early on
Examining the communication between mother and fetus and showing the influence it has on the lives of mothers and children long after birth, Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri was awarded the 100,000 CHF Hans Sigrist Prize from the Hans Sigrist Foundation at the University of Bern.
How is gender diversity achieved in working life?
A new European research project led by the University of Bern is investigating the factors influencing the educational and professional careers of women and men, including members of gender and sexual minorities. "G-VERSITY" will receive EUR 4.1 million from the EU "Horizon 2020" funding program. The project is being coordinated by Prof. Sabine Sczesny from the Institute of Psychology.
Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop symptoms
While some people who contract SARS-CoV-2 infections never experience any symptoms, there remains disagreement about what proportion of total infections these cases comprise. A study by researchers of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Bern suggests that true asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 comprise a minority of infections.
The Limitation Initiative is harmful to education, research and innovation
The Swiss universities and organisations that support the promotion of research and innovation are opposed to the popular initiative “For moderate immigration”. The initiative jeopardises some of the basic parameters that favour Switzerland’s role as a centre for science and enterprise. Adopting the initiative would halt the free movement of persons and thus bring the research agreement with the EU to an end. In order to deliver outstanding performance, Switzerland’s education, research and innovation (ERI) sector relies on the free movement of persons and close cooperation with other countries.
Geography of childhood cancer in Switzerland studied
A research group under the direction of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University Bern has investigated the spatial distribution of childhood cancer risks in Switzerland for the period 1985-2015. The group found evidence of increased risks in certain areas, particularly for brain tumors. The researchers demand that the search for the causes of brain tumors in children be intensified.
How wallflowers evolved a complementary pair of plant defenses
A new study led by Tobias Züst from the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Bern shows that a pair of complementary chemical defenses evolved independently in wallflowers, shaped by co-evolution with local insects.
Bern and Fribourg researchers identify neurons responsible for rapid eye movements (REM) during sleep
Why do we move our eyes fast in the paradoxical sleep - in that sleep phase, in which most dreams take place? The secret is not yet fully aired, but we are on his track: A team at the University of Bern, in collaboration with the University of Fribourg, has identified the nerve cells behind this curious phenomenon.
Dr. Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award 2019 goes to a bioinformatician
The Dr. Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award for 2019, endowed with €900,000 and originally referred to as the "Nobel Prize for Cancer Research", is going to Prof. Serena Nik-Zainal of the University of Cambridge. Thanks to her research, mutations in cancerous tumors can be analyzed using new bioinformatic methods, which makes new targeted therapy approaches possible. The prize is being awarded today at the University of Bern.