Other April News in Brief
A post in Berlingske by the DNRF, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
The DNRF’s chair, Jens Kehlet Nørskov, and its CEO, Søren Peter-Olesen, together with David Dreyer Lassen, chair of the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and Mogens Høgh Jensen and Lars Arge, president and general secretary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, have written a post in the Danish newspaper Berlingske. In the post, they encourage parties of the Danish Parliament to make it clear – both to voters and themselves – as to where they stand in relation to basic research. In the wake of the coming election, the DNRF, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters are encouraging the political parties to prioritize basic research through clear decision making, since it will influence the development of society both in the short term and in the long term. Research will be part of the solution to the future’s monumental challenges within fields such as renewable energy, antibiotic resistance, global warming, and societal development in a world dominated by social media.
A study from Kristian Helin and former DNRF center for Epigenetics published in Genome Research
Kristian Helin, professor and former head of center of the DNRF’s Center for Epigenetics at the University of Copenhagen, is part of an international research team behind a new study in gene mutations in blood cells in mice. The results show that certain gene mutations block healthy blood cells. These findings could have an impact on patients with leukemia, since they often have mutations in the same gene the researchers examined in mice. The researchers stress that there is great research potential in understanding how gene mutations can lead to leukemia. For example, the mutation is often present in humans even before the disease develops, which means that t may be possible to treat the patient at a much earlier stage and thereby prevent the disease from developing. The study, which began when the center was funded by the DNRF, was recently published in the scientific journal Genome Research.
Jäättelä from CARD receives a grant from Novo Nordisk for research on fat
Professor Marja Jäättelä, head of center at the DNRF’s Center for Autophagy, Recycling and Disease (CARD) at the Danish Cancer Society, has received a Novo Nordisk Foundation Distinguished Professor Grant of 10 million DKK for a new research project. The project, which will take place at CARD with Professor Jäättelä in charge, will examine how diets with the same number of calories but with different kinds of fat change the combination of fat in a number of organs and in tissue. Since changes in the combinations of fat are often shown when comparing healthy cells with unhealthy cells, Jäättelä and the rest of the research team aim to better understand if and how our diet has a much bigger impact on our health and on diseases than what we are aware of today.
Magisterbladet and Weekendavisen write about CEM’s research in the wake of the DNRF’s conference on electromicrobiology
Last month, under the theme “From Electrons to Ecosystems,” the Center for Electromicrobiology (CEM) and the DNRF invited 100 researchers from all over the world to Aarhus for the first international conference in electromicrobiology. On this occasion, professor and CEM head of center Lars Peter Nielsen was interviewed for the Danish newspapers Weekendavisen and Magisterbladet about CEM’s research on electromicrobiology. The point of departure for the research field and the Center of Excellence is Professor Nielsen’s discovery of so-called cable bacteria underneath the mud in Aarhus harbor not more than ten years ago.
The Danish Science Festival
On the occasion of the Danish Science Festival 2019, several of the DNRF’s Centers of Excellence participated in the popular science festival, including the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC), the Center for Proteins in Memory (PROMEMO), the Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), and the Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS). For instance, CMEC is behind the school program called “Close to Sound” (Danish “Tæt på Lyd”), in which pupils across the country become sound researchers for a day through practical activities that awake both senses and professionalism. And PROMEMO Assistant Professor Magnus Kjærsgaard holds lectures on how memories are stored in the molecular structures of the brain.