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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.
The polar regions communicate via "postcards" and "text messages"
The University of Bern was involved in a new study that has found two types of climatic connection between the North Atlantic and Antarctica. One is a rapid atmospheric channel and the other a much slower connection through the ocean. During the last glacial period, these links resulted in abrupt climatic changes – and could so again in future.
How we can get more out of our forests
Most European forests are primarily used for timber production. However, woodlands also offer spaces for recreation and they store carbon but it is not clear how forests can be managed for these multiple benefits. A new study under the direction of the University of Bern is now showing how forestry can be improved so that wooded areas can fulfill as many services as possible.
Einstein Lectures 2018: Videos
Barry Barish and his team achieved something which not even Albert Einstein himself believed possible: they obtained direct evidence for the existence of gravitational waves. At the Einstein Lectures 2018, Barry Barish spoke about what gravitational waves have to do with Albert Einstein, how their existence can be proven directly, and what significance these findings will have for science in the future. His Lectures are now available as videos.
Recommendations for new EU Framework Program Horizon Europe
The University of Bern is a member of The Guild, a network of research-intensive universities. Within the framework of the legislative work on the new EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation, The Guild has now issued recommendations to the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission. The Guild recommends that the scientific leadership of top researchers and a global orientation of the Horizon Europe program are treated as top priorities.
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.
What makes our immune system strong
This year's Johanna Dürmüller-Bol DBMR Research Award from the University of Bern goes to Dr. Stephanie Ganal-Vonarburg. She is being awarded for her research project on the positive influence of maternal intestinal microbes on the child's immune system. Stephanie Ganal-Vonarburg explains what fascinates her about the development of our immune system in an interview with “uniaktuell”.
Wyss Foundation supports the University of Bern
The Wyss Foundation announced yesterday that it will begin a global conservation campaign. On a related note, they also announced that they will be working on a year-long pilot project in Kenya and Peru, together with the University of Bern. This should highlight possibilities of how sustainable development for people and the environment can be put into practice in the future.
Rum, heat, and a rocket launch
BepiColombo blasted off to investigate Mercury. Nicolas Thomas, Co-Principal Investigator of the instrument BELA and Director of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern, experienced the launch first hand. Here are his impressions.
A type of moss could prove to be more medically effective than hemp
In collaboration with colleagues from the ETH Zurich, researchers at the University of Bern, Switzerland, have for the first time investigated a substance found in liverwort, which resembles THC. The psychoactive substance, which is consumed as a “legal high”, also exerts analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, which might be superior to that of THC.
"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.
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.