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News from the Faculty of Science 2014

  • 12.12.2014

    Fat cells reprogrammed to increase fat burning

    White adipose tissue stores excess calories as fat that can be released for use in other organs during fasting. Mammals also have small amounts of brown adipose tissue, which primarily acts as an effective fat burner for the production of heat. Now researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have uncovered the mechanism by which white fat cells from humans gets reprogrammed to become browner.

  • 11.12.2014

    Scientists closing in on a new type of vaccine

    When we acquire diarrhea on a vacation, it is often caused by a bacterial infection. Now a Danish research team is working on a new type of vaccine design targeting the disease causing bacterium - if it works it may very well revolutionize not only the prevention of this disease, but also offer protection against other pathogens with a heavy disease burden such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA).

  • 18.11.2014

    Research provides new insight into gluten intolerance

    Celiac disease patients suffer from gluten intolerance and must adjust to a life without gluten from food sources like wheat, rye and barley. There is no treatment of the disease except lifelong gluten-free diet, but now a Danish/Norwegian research team publishes new research, that may lead to the development of a drug against the disease.

  • 07.11.2014

    Maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle after all

    Last year CERN announced the finding of a new elementary particle, the Higgs particle. But maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle, maybe it just looks like it. And maybe it is not alone.

  • 20.10.2014

    Scientists create possible precursor to life

    How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life - we can also revolutionize the future of technology.

  • 07.10.2014

    Researchers turn computers into powerful allies in the fight against AIDS

    The battle against AIDS cannot be won in the laboratory alone. To fight the potentially deadly virus that 34 million people are suffering from we need help from computers. Now research from the University of Southern Denmark turns computers into powerful allies in the battle.

  • 30.09.2014

    New material steals oxygen from air

    Researchers from SDU have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. The stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed.

  • 29.09.2014

    Scientists make droplets move on their own

    Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines, etc.

  • 22.09.2014

    Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere

    Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity. The Arctic is now so warm that the extent of sea ice has decreased by about 30 pct. in summer and in winter, sea ice is getting thinner. New research has shown that sea ice removes CO2 from the atmosphere. If Arctic sea ice is reduced, we may therefore be facing an increase of atmospheric concentration of CO2, researchers warn.

  • 19.09.2014

    Environmental pollutants make worms susceptible to cold

    Some pollutants are more harmful in a cold climate than in a hot, because they affect the temperature sensitivity of certain organisms. Now researchers from Danish universities have demonstrated how this happens, and it can help us better predict contamination risks, especially in the Arctic.

  • 01.09.2014

    Physicists suggest new way to detect dark matter

    For years physicists have been looking for the universe’s elusive dark matter, but so far no one has seen any trace of it. Maybe we are looking in the wrong place? Now physicists from University of Southern Denmark propose a new technique to detect dark matter.

  • 27.08.2014

    Researchers discover why Listeria bacterium is so hard to fight

    The harmful and potentially deadly bacterium Listeria is extremely good at adapting to changes. Now research from University of Southern Denmark uncovers exactly how cunning Listeria is and why it is so hard to fight. The discovery can help develop more efficient ways to combat the bacteria.

  • 18.08.2014

    New discovery: Microbes can create dripstones

    According to new research humble, microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. This illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth’s geology - and the same may be happening right now on other planets in space.

  • 06.08.2014

    Burrowing animals may have been key to stabilizing Earth's oxygen

    Evolution of the first burrowing animals may have played a major role in stabilizing the Earth's oxygen reservoir.

  • 31.07.2014

    Breakthrough in understanding of important blood protein

    New Danish research describes a previously unknown protein mechanism. This provides an exceptionally detailed understanding of how nature works, and it can also provide the ability to control nature - in this case, it is about how coagulated blood can be dissolved, and this can lead to treatment of diseases carrying a risk of blood clots.

  • 18.06.2014

    Scientists about sequencing data: We drown in data but thirst for knowledge

    The availability of genome data has revolutionized modern biology and molecular medicine. However, with the costs for genome sequencing dropping by several orders of magnitude down to 200 EUR for a bacterial genome, the amount of species with available whole-genome sequences has exploded over the last years. On the other hand, information does not equal knowledge, say researchers from University of Southern Denmark, who have analyzed bacteria genome sequences.

  • 12.06.2014

    Scientists closing in on new obesity drug

    Obesity and diabetes are among the fastest growing health problems in the world, and the hunt is in for a pill that can fight the problem. Now a Danish/British team has come up with a smart tool that will speed up the scientific hunting process, and we may be one step closer to a pill against obesity.

  • 10.06.2014

    Conference on 27 June 2014: What do the critical technology trends mean for us?

    This year's Euroscience Open Forum, ESOF2014, is taking place in Copenhagen - but not all events are happening in the capital. At the SDU university campus in the town of Sønderborg, we invite you to join a conference about critical technology trends with an international panel of speakers and participants.

  • 22.05.2014

    New insight into stem cell development

    The world has great expectations that stem cell research one day will revolutionize medicine. But in order to exploit the potential of stem cells, we need to understand how their development is regulated. Now researchers from University of Southern Denmark offer new insight.

  • 21.05.2014

    Breakthrough: Nasal spray may soon replace the pill

    When the doctor gives us medicine, it is often in the shape of a pill. But when it comes to brain diseases, pills are actually an extremely ineffecient way to deliver drugs to the brain, and according to researchers from University of Southern Denmark we need to find new and more efficient ways of transporting drugs to the brain. Spraying the patient's nose could be one such way.

  • 01.05.2014

    Researchers find the accelerator for molecular machines

    How hard can it be to make a wheel rotate in a machine? Very hard actually, when the wheel sits in one of those nano-small molecular machines that are predicted to be running our future machines. But before the molecular machines become part of our daily lives, researchers must be able to control them. A Danish/American research team have now solved part of this problem.

  • 11.04.2014

    Protein researchers closing in on the mystery of schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a severe disease for which there is still no effective medical treatment. In an attempt to understand exactly what happens in the brain of schizophrenic people, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have analysed proteins in the brains of rats that have been given hallucinogenic drugs. This may pave the way for new and better medicines.

  • 20.03.2014

    Now it is more likely than ever: There must be particles out there smaller than Higgs particle

    Nobody has seen them yet; particles that are smaller than the Higgs particle. However theories predict their existence, and now the most important of these theories have been critically tested. The result: The existence of the yet unseen particles is now more likely than ever.

  • 27.02.2014

    More dangerous chemicals in everyday life: Now experts warn against nanosilver

    Endocrine disruptors are not the only worrying chemicals that ordinary consumers are exposed to in everyday life. Also nanoparticles of silver, found in e.g. dietary supplements, cosmetics and food packaging, now worry scientists. A new study from the University of Southern Denmark shows that nano-silver can penetrate our cells and cause damage.

  • 26.02.2014

    Now it will become cheaper to make second-generation biofuels for our cars

    Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly - but it is also expensive because the process as used today needs expensive enzymes, and large international companies dominate this market. Now an Iraqi/Danish collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this may finally bring the price down.

  • 17.02.2014

    Theory on origin of animals challenged: Animals need only extremely little oxygen

    One of science's strongest dogmas is that complex life on Earth could only evolve when oxygen levels in the atmosphere rose to close to modern levels. But now studies of a small sea sponge fished out of a Danish Fjord shows that complex life does not need high levels of oxygen in order to live and grow.

  • 10.02.2014

    Threatened eels disappear in the deep on their way to the Sargasso Sea

    When the threatened European eels cross the Atlantic Ocean to get to the Sargasso Sea to spawn, they swim in deep water. But this does not protect them from predators, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark report: Even in deep water the eels are hunted and eaten.

  • 04.02.2014

    Scientists turn primitive artificial cell into complex biological materials

    It is a big dream in science: To start from scratch with simple artificial microskopic building blocks and end up with something much more complex: living systemts, novel computers or every-day materials. For decades scientists have pursied the dream of creating artificial building blocks that can self-assemble in large numbers and reassemble to take on new tasks or to remedy defects. Now researchers from University of Southern Denmark have taken a step forward to make this dream come true.

  • 30.01.2014

    At last: Mysterious ocean circles in the Baltic Ocean explained

    Are they bomb craters from World War II? Are they landing marks for aliens? Since the first images of the mysterious ocean circles off the Baltic coast of Denmark were taken in 2008, people have tried to find an explanation. Now researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and University of Copenhagen finally present a scientific explanation.

  • 27.01.2014

    Punctured cell membranes lead to high blood pressure

    Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have identified how a mutated protein can lead to holes in a protein sitting in a cell's membrane. Such holes cause high blood pressure, and the discovery can now lead to new and better medication for high blood pressure.

  • 22.01.2014

    New monitoring technique reveals endangered animals

    Now biologists can get much more accurate information about endangered bats, birds and insects. A new recording system, developed at the University of Southern Denmark, has revealed many previously unknown and highly valuable details about bats.

  • 15.01.2014

    Scientists warn: Conservation work in zoos is too random

    The world's zoos work hard and spend enormous resources on the conservation of endangered species, but the resources are not always optimally spent. One big problem is international legislation and the need of more zoos to work in regional or global networks. Zoo resources can be spent much more effectively, say scientists from University of Southern Denmark after analyzing animal collections across the world's zoos.

  • 08.01.2014

    Scientists make your stomach turn bright green if you have an ulcer

    Doctors may soon be able to diagnose stomach ulcers without taking tissue samples from the stomach. Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark now report to have developed a new, safer and noninvasive diagnostic technique for ulcers. The trick is to make the ulcer-causing bacteria in the gut light up in fluorescent green.