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"Flight recorder" of rocks within the Earth’s crust
Daniela Rubatto, Professor at the Institute of Geology at the University of Bern, was awarded the prestigious Bunsen Medal of the European Geosciences Union. It is an appreciation of her innovative research approach, which uses metamorphic zircon as a "flight recorder" of rocks within the Earth’s crust.
"Land systems are the loci for sustainability transformations"
From 24 to 26 April 2019, over 600 leading scientists from all over the world will meet in Bern for the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme (GLP). Its theme: Transforming Land Systems for People and Nature – What research and policies are needed to achieve ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable land systems? Ariane de Bremond, senior research scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern and executive officer of the GLP International Programme Office, discussed the role of the conference.
First accredited laboratory worldwide to offer nanopore sequencing of bacteria
The Institute for Infectious Diseases (IFIK) of the University of Bern is the first accredited laboratory worldwide to offer nanopore sequencing for the identification of bacteria.
University boosts visibility in international science
Being part of The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild) is turbo-charging the University of Bern’s international radius of influence to ultimately bring benefits to researchers. That’s according to Rector Christian Leumann and Jan Palmowski. Palmowski, The Guild’s secretary general, recently visited Bern.
Female roundworms produce clones of themselves
In the Mesorhabditis belari roundworm, the sole purpose of males is to help females produce clones of themselves. This unique form of reproduction was recently described by an international research team with participation of Peter Meister from the Institute of Cell Biology of the University of Bern.
Internationally acknowledged expert becomes Endowed Professor for Preventive Dentistry
The Executive Board of the university has appointed WHO expert Guglielmo Campus to the position of Endowed Professor for Preventive Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. The endowed professor has the objective to promote public oral health. Guglielmo Campus brings wide-ranging experience and considerable expertise to his post.
Vaccine developed to treat osteoarthritic pain
Researchers from the Universities of Bern and Oxford have developed a vaccine that blocks the effects of the main cause of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) - nerve growth factor (NGF) – in mice.
The deep Southern Ocean is key to more intense ice ages
Over the last million years, ice ages have intensified and lengthened. According to a study led by the University of Bern, this previously unexplained climate transition coincides with a diminution of the mixing between deep and surface waters in the Southern Ocean. The study confirms that the Antarctic region plays a crucial role during periods of climate change.
European Southern Observatory Committee of Council meets in Bern
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is Europe’s foremost organisation for astronomical research. The ESO Committee of Council, which currently has the University of Bern's astrophysicist Willy Benz as president, is to meet in Bern on 5 and 6 March.
Small and medium-sized towns are surprisingly innovative
Small and medium-sized towns are increasingly appearing on the radar of policy makers all over Europe. Findings from a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on the role and significance of these towns in Switzerland show that national policy and planning overlook their potential.
«Better to dry a rocky planet before use»
Earth’s solid surface and clement climate may be in part due to a massive star in the birth environment of the Sun. Without its radioactive elements injected into the early solar system, our home planet could be a hostile ocean world covered in global ice sheets. This is demonstrated by computer simulations in which the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS, based at the University of Bern, was involved.
WTO: A way out of the crisis?
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in a fundamental crisis. What role does the US play in this? The University of Bern’s World Trade Institute (WTI) is organizing a conference on the subject at the WTO in Geneva at the beginning of February.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis: high mortality rate due to inaccurate tests
Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients in developing countries often fail to reliably detect resistance to drugs, leading to incorrect treatment and a higher mortality rate. These are the results of study by an international group of researchers led by a team at the University of Bern published today.
Learning new vocabulary during deep sleep
Researchers of the University of Bern showed that we can acquire the vocabulary of a new language during distinct phases of slow-wave sleep and that the sleep-learned vocabulary could be retrieved unconsciously following waking. Memory formation appeared to be mediated by the same brain structures that also mediate wake vocabulary learning.
China looks to Bernese space expertise
A delegation of Chinese space researchers tested and calibrated an instrument for China's 2020 mission to Mars at the University of Bern. Even the "Tagesschau" was interested. The inside story.
Discovery of bacterial signature of intestinal disease
Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Research of the University of Bern and the University Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine of the Inselspital Bern, Switzerland, have discovered that changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease affect the severity of the disease and the success of therapy. The advance provides an important basis to improve treatment of these diseases.
Turbocharger for the cell machinery
Researchers of the University of Bern have discovered a new molecular regulatory mechanism in unicellular parasites which has never before been observed. RNA fragments do not act as brakes in the cell apparatus, but on the contrary as "stimulants": they boost protein production after periods of stress.
Satellite data expose looting
Globally archaeological heritage is under threat by looting. The destruction of archaeological sites obliterates the basis for our understanding of ancient cultures and we lose our shared human past. Research at University of Bern shows that satellite data provide a mean to monitor the destruction of archaeological sites. It is now possible to understand activities by looters in remote regions and take measures to protect the sites.
Preserving soil quality in the long term
The National Research Programme "Sustainable Use of Soil Resources" (NRP 68) proposes various measures to safeguard soil quality in Switzerland in the long term. The Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the Institute of Geography have investigated the impacts of soil use by Switzerland abroad.
Great success for the promotion of young researchers at the University of Bern
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has pledged to finance nine new assistant professorships at the University of Bern within the framework of the first "Eccellenza" call for proposals. At the same time, an "Eccellenza" grant was also approved, resulting in a total of approximately 16.2 million in funding flowing to Bern.
Emotional intelligence: a new criterion for hiring?
Researchers from UNIGE and UNIBE have developed an emotional intelligence test for the workplace that can be used to assess and predict an employee’s abilities in interpersonal relations and leadership capabilities.
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.
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.