Other News in Brief from September
New research report from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science
The Danish National Research Foundation, together with the Independent Research Fund Denmark, the Innovation Fund Denmark and EU’s Horizon 2020, contributed 4 billion DKK to Danish research in 2017. Among these four contributors, the DNRF was the institution most applied to for funding, and the foundation received applications for 10.3 billion DKK. The numbers come from this year’s “Figures for Research and Innovation 2017,” a report recently published by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in Denmark.
CMEC: Hummingbirds are extremely important for the survival of biodiversity
Head of center Carsten Rahbek, lector Bo Dalsgaard, and Ph.D. student Jesper Sonne, from the DNRF’s Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC), are part of a research group that is studying the hummingbird’s importance for biodiversity. The colorful birds’ special ability to drink nectar from different kinds of flowers enables the species to live with each other in harmony. The study took as its point of departure a collection of hummingbirds from the Natural History Museum of Denmark and observations from the US and Caribbean. Professor Rahbek and the rest of the research team examined how the tropical birds’ specialized pollination plays a crucial role in nature.
CARB researchers published in Science
A so-called high-risk/high-gain project, initiated in the previous basic research Centre for Carbohydrate Recognition and Signaling (CARB), was recently published in the journal Science. The scientific article is a great example of the possibilities a center grant can create, with freedom to carry out risky basic research. CARB was led by Professor Jens Stougaard and held a DNRF grant from 2007-2017.
CCS joins interdisciplinary research collaboration in DNA separation
Professor Ian Hickson, who is head of center at the DNRF’s Center for Chromosome Stability (CCS), is in charge of a new interdisciplinary study in which biologists from the CCS and physicists from the Free University, in Amsterdam, join forces to study how the final stages of DNA separation occur in cell division in human cells.
CCG: New allergy vaccine may provide shorter treatment and have greater effect than today’s treatments
Professor Hans Wandall, from the Center for Glycomics (CCG), is part of a new study that has developed a vaccine against hay fever. The treatment, with the help of sugar molecules, may potentially result in shorter treatments and greater effect than the treatments of today. The vaccine is still in an early stage, but it has been tested on mice and the results show that the vaccine prohibited the mice from developing allergies. The research team’s method of using sugar molecules might be used to develop future vaccines against autoimmune diseases.
BASP: Enzyme activates hibernation-defense in bacteria
A new study published in the journal Science shows that bacteria that cause diseases enter a mode of hibernation in an attempt to survive antibiotic treatment – a surprising tactic. Professor Kenn Gerdes, who is also head of center at the Center for Bacterial Stress Response and Persistence (BASP), is one of the key persons behind the study, in which the researchers have discovered an enzyme that, in different variations, activates a condition of hibernation that enables the bacteria to avoid antibiotic treatment.
CENPERM: Root growth in Arctic wetland caused by summer heat
Post-doc Ludovica d’Imperio, from the basic research center the Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), and research colleagues have examined how summer heat has caused enhanced growth of roots in Arctic wetlands. The research from CENPERM is based on a field study made in areas of the Arctic where seasonal weather conditions, such as the rise of snow depth during winter and high temperatures during summer, mime future climate changes. D’Imperio and the rest of the research team hope to expand our knowledge about how these roots react to climate change.