Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway

The University of Bergen is located in Bergen, Norway. Although founded as late as 1946, academic activity had taken place at Bergen Museum as far back as 1825. The university today serves more than 14,500 students, and is one of eight universities in Norway. Wikipedia.


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The result of 344 radiocarbon-dated megafossils is here presented and discussed. This study aims at elucidating early- to mid-Holocene forest-line and climate dynamics in the southern Scandes along a present gradient of decreasing forest-line elevations. Around 9.5 calibrated ka before present (BP), pine suddenly established vertical belts of at least 200 m. These represent the highest pine-forests during the Holocene, ca. 210–170 m higher than today when corrected for land uplift. By this, summer temperatures at least 1–1.3°C warmer than today are indicated for the early Holocene thermal maximum around 8.5–9.5 cal. ka BP. The most pronounced warming occurred in Jotunheimen, the highest mountain range in Scandinavia, because of an amplified ‘Massenerhebung’ effect. Megafossils show the establishment of birch-forests above pine-forests already from the early Holocene. Pine-forests started their decline in the early Holocene and became replaced by the less warmth-demanding birch-forests. Pine megafossil results and pollen studies from the same areas show that cooling around 8.5 cal. ka BP caused a significant decrease in pine pollen production whereas pine-forest-lines were more or less unaffected. In the following period of about 2000 years, the high-altitudinal pine-forests could hardly be detected in pollen diagrams. This shows how strongly past temperatures influenced on the pollen production of individuals and how this might obscure pollen-based reconstructions of past vegetation. To be able to correct for this error, there is a need for establishing exact present-day relationships between temperature and pollen production of prolific pollen producers. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


Christensen D.A.,University of Bergen | Aars J.,University of Bergen
Terrorism and Political Violence | Year: 2017

Fear is an integral part of terrorism. Fighting fear can thus be a crucial part of counterterrorist policies. In the case of terrorism, citizens look to the state for protection. Yet, most studies of terrorist fear emphasize individual-level factors. We lack studies that link fear to features of the state, especially whether democratic states are capable of reducing fear among its citizens. Our study aims to fill part of this research gap by asking whether democratic government reduces or increases fear of terrorism. We find that there is substantial cross-country variance in citizens’ fear of terrorism. The results suggest that fear is more widespread among citizens in non-democratic countries compared to citizens in democratic countries. Actual exposure to terrorist attacks has no impact on citizens’ fear of terrorism when we account for whether the country is a democracy or not. Hence, democratic government displays resilience towards fear mongering. © 2017 Taylor & Francis


Saito T.,University of Bergen | Rehmsmeier M.,University of Bergen | Rehmsmeier M.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Bioinformatics | Year: 2017

The precision-recall plot is more informative than the ROC plot when evaluating classifiers on imbalanced datasets, but fast and accurate curve calculation tools for precision-recall plots are currently not available. We have developed Precrec, an R library that aims to overcome this limitation of the plot. Our tool provides fast and accurate precision-recall calculations together with multiple functionalities that work efficiently under different conditions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.


Salvanes A.G.V.,University of Bergen
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2017

This study explores how antipredator behaviour of juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar developed during conventional hatchery rearing of eggs from wild brood stock, compared with the behaviour of wild-caught juveniles from the same population. Juveniles aged 1+ years were tested in two unfamiliar environments; in one S. salar were presented with simulated predator attacks and in the other they were given the opportunity to explore an open-field arena. No difference was found in their spontaneous escape responses or ventilation rate (reflex responses) after simulated predator attacks. Hatchery-reared juveniles were more risk-prone in their behaviours than wild-caught individuals. Hatchery juveniles stayed less time in association with shelter. In the open-field arena, hatchery juveniles were more active than wild juveniles. Hatchery juveniles were also immobile for less time and spent a shorter amount of time than wild juveniles in the fringe of the open-field arena. Salmo salar size had no effect on the observed behaviour. Overall, this study provides empirical evidence that one generation of hatchery rearing does not change reflex responses associated with threats, whereas antipredator behaviour, typically associated with prior experience, was less developed in hatchery-reared than in wild individuals. Journal of Fish Biology © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Jorgensen P.M.,University of Bergen
Bryologist | Year: 2017

Lichens have been a difficult group for botanists to understand. Only in the 20th century did they find their correct position among the fungi. This paper outlines the long and rather complicated course from Theophrastos, the first person to use the term lichen (about 300 B.C.) to the molecular evidence by Gargas and coworkers in 1995 that proved lichens to belong among the fungi. It was, however, not the first time this classification was proposed. The first to formally include lichens in the fungi was J. B. Payer in 1848, and Persoon had already around 1800 suggested this in a letter to Acharius. It then took nearly 200 years to become a generally accepted idea, but during that process many important observations, still worthy of attention, were made. © Copyright 2017 by The American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Inc.


Lindblom L.,University of Bergen | Blom H.H.,Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Lindbergia | Year: 2016

For almost twenty years Xanthoria calcicola was considered extinct on bark in Sweden. Here, we report X. calcicola growing on bark at 14 localities in Skåne, southernmost Sweden. In total, ca 300 thalli were observed on bark, and the populations vary from 1 to 200 thalli. In all localities except one X. calcicola was also present and more abundant on neighboring substrates made of stone, such as churchyard walls, church walls or tombstones. Preliminary results from fungal ITS data reveal that haplotypes found on bark are always present in the surrounding wall populations. We conclude that trees are suboptimal habitats for X. calcicola and only colonized when in close vicinity of an established wall population. The most obvious threat to epiphytic X. calcicola is the cutting down of host trees. © 2016 The Authors.


Vignes B.,University of Bergen
Journal of Health and Social Behavior | Year: 2017

This population-based study (N = 908,468) examines the effects of spousal loss on being absent from work due to illness or injury (sickness absence) among employed individuals in Norway. Fixed-effects models capturing antecedent and short- and long-term effects of spousal loss over a 15-year period were estimated to explore gender and age differences in the impact of widowhood. The crisis model, the social-role model, and the life course perspective are discussed. Furthermore, the study calls into question whether parenthood explains the gendered age gradient of the widowhood effect. The results show that the theoretical relevance of the crisis and social-role models is best understood in dialogue with a gendered life course approach. The results show that the crisis response is especially high among young widowers, whereas the recovery period is markedly prolonged among young widows. Parenthood at the time of widowhood explains much of the age difference among widowers and widows. © 2017, © American Sociological Association 2017.


Semper S.,University of Bergen | Darelius E.,University of Bergen
Ocean Science | Year: 2017

The summer enhancement of diurnal tidal currents at the shelf break in the southern Weddell Sea is studied using velocity measurements from 29 moorings during the period 1968 to 2014. Kinetic energy associated with diurnal tidal frequencies is largest at the shelf break and decreases rapidly with distance from it. The diurnal tidal energy increases from austral winter to summer by, on average, 50 %. The austral summer enhancement is observed in all deployments. The observations are compared to results from an idealised numerical solution of the properties of coastal trapped waves (CTWs) for a given bathymetry, stratification and an along-slope current. The frequency at which the dispersion curve for mode 1 CTWs displays a maximum (i.e. where the group velocity is zero and resonance is possible) is found within or near the diurnal frequency band, and it is sensitive to the stratification in the upper part of the water column and to the background current. The maximum of the dispersion curve is shifted towards higher frequencies, above the diurnal band, for weak stratification and a strong background current (i.e. austral winter-like conditions) and towards lower frequencies for strong upper-layer stratification and a weak background current (austral summer). The seasonal evolution of hydrography and currents in the region is inferred from available mooring data and conductivity-temperature-depth profiles. Near-resonance of diurnal tidal CTWs during austral summer can explain the observed seasonality in tidal currents. © Author(s) 2017.


Gautam Y.,University of Bergen | Andersen P.,University of Bergen
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2017

As the impacts of climate change (CC) have become apparent, Nepal has recently implemented a number of programs emphasizing climate sensitive resource management and development interventions. However, the attribution of vulnerability to CC alone may misdirect these programs because it is only one of multiple factors that affect rural livelihoods. Therefore, it is important to examine how CC interacts with historical socioeconomic, institutional and biophysical structures, as well as current policies and development to shape vulnerability. In this paper, we assessed the role of CC on food insecurity in the context of multiple interacting stressors in Humla district in west Nepal. Results suggested that the major features of climatic variabilities pertinent to food security included increasing dry spells, delayed monsoon and more frequent extreme events having direct negative impacts on agriculture. However, the most significant agricultural impacts were induced by socio-institutional changes. Environmental management through a community forestry program regulated livestock population, decreased manure supply to farms and significantly decreased soil productivity. This was synergized by a recent trend of school attendance among the young population which led to farm labor shortage and poor land management. Due to unequal land distribution, the low-caste households were more food insecure than households in higher tiers of the caste hierarchy. Their preexisting deprivation led to the adoption of modest or counterproductive coping strategies which would make them more vulnerable to future shocks. From these findings, we conclude that although CC is critical, it is not the only or the most significant factor of vulnerability. Its impacts are pre-configured by social relations, antecedent entitlement distributions and concurrent socio-institutional changes. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Widnes S.F.,University of Bergen | Schjott J.,University of Bergen
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2016

Pregnant women, but also physicians, have unrealistically high perceptions of teratogenic drug effects. This may result in suboptimal treatment of disease and even influence decisions of whether to continue pregnancy. To attain more realistic teratogenic risk perceptions, several factors that influence this issue should be considered, and these are further discussed in this Clinical Opinion. Importantly, drug use may have several benefits, both for the pregnant woman's health and to avoid negative fetal effects of untreated maternal disease. A greater focus on this aspect may act to balance risk perceptions. Furthermore, both pregnant women and physicians need access to drug information sources that provide realistic risk estimates to increase confidence in appropriate drug use and prescribing. We suggest that access to decision support and individually tailored information provided by drug information centers may contribute to this goal. © 2016 The Author(s).


Kolstad E.W.,University of Bergen | Bracegirdle T.J.,British Antarctic Survey
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2017

Polar lows are intense, small-scale cyclones in the high latitudes. Typically, polar lows are initiated through baroclinic processes, but they sometimes evolve into a post-baroclinic mature stage where air-sea interaction becomes more important. In this stage some polar lows have developed hurricane-like cloud structures, and idealized axisymmetric hurricane models have indicated that air-sea interaction-fuelled pressure drops of up to 50hPa are theoretically possible in polar environments. Here we study a polar low that formed in an extreme marine cold air outbreak over the Barents Sea and which had cloud structures with similarities to hurricanes. Using a high-resolution weather model, we artificially modified the sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) to assess if the polar low was close to developing into a true hurricane-like system, with air-sea interaction processes leading to intensification in the post-baroclinic, mature phase of its life cycle. The polar low simulations with SSTs augmented by 2-6K produced more intense mature phases than the control experiment (with unmodified SSTs). The intensity of the polar low in the last of these, which it must be pointed out was unrealistic with an SST increase of 6K, surpassed the intensity in the earlier baroclinic phase. The experiment where the SSTs were reduced by 2K did not produce a much weaker polar low than the control run. Broadly speaking, our experiments suggest that in this case large and unrealistic SST increases would be needed for apparently hurricane-like polar lows to exhibit true hurricane-like behaviour, but nevertheless air-sea interaction did drive a more intense and prolonged mature phase. © 2017 Royal Meteorological Society.


Totland C.,University of Bergen | Blokhus A.M.,University of Bergen
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2017

Mixtures of surfactants and medium chained alcohols display an anomalous phase behaviour, with the formation of swollen micelles in mid-range surfactant concentrations, which transition into larger non-swollen aggregates when the surfactant concentration increases above a critical point. These alcohols also affect the adsorption behaviour of the surfactants. In this study, intermolecular proximities are measured for such systems by 1H-1H NMR dipolar correlation experiments, giving molecular localizations. The medium chained 1-heptanol and an anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) are studied, both solubilized and adsorbed on alumina. Nuclear Overhauser Effect Spectroscopy (NOESY) shows that 1-heptanol localizes in both the palisade layer and in the core of SDS micelles when the 1-heptanol:SDS mole ratio increases beyond 2. The micelle diameter then increases with increasing 1-heptanol:SDS mole ratios due to more 1-heptanol partitioning in the micelle interior. When the micelle diameter increases beyond ∼6 nm, some SDS moves into the micelle interior, which may be a driving force for the structural transition at higher SDS concentrations. After being adsorbed on alumina, 1H-1H double-quantum magic angle spinning (DQ MAS) shows that SDS/1-heptanol bilayers are formed where 1-heptanol localizes in the palisade layer only, but with slightly different localizations compared to that in micelles. Three different 1-heptanol environments are identified on the surface by 2H NMR using 2H labelled 1-heptanol. However, in contrast to in solution, no 1-heptanol adsolubilizes in the bilayer interior. © the Owner Societies 2017.


Spensberger C.,University of Bergen | Egger J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Spengler T.,University of Bergen
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2017

Using a composite analysis for strong sea level pressure perturbations off the west coast of North America, the evolution of large-amplitude synoptic systems upstream of the Rocky Mountains is investigated for the winter season. Corresponding previous analyses are refined by avoiding multiple counting of events and extended by including potential vorticity, vertical motion, and deformation in the analysis. Cyclonic and anticyclonic anomalies behave similarly, with weak local extrema forming in the lee of the mountain range southeast of the parent systems. However, neither the geopotential anomaly nor the associated potential vorticity anomaly cross the mountain range. Nevertheless, these anomalies contribute to the sea level pressure anomaly in the lee. For both positive and negative anomalies, potential vorticity exhibits a bipolar structure with lobes over the reference point and over the Cordillera, respectively. The relevance of several theories describing the interaction between synoptic systems and mountains are discussed in the light of these findings. It is important to note that these findings differ considerably from results reported in an earlier study. Key differences are the previously reported passage of a wave train over the reference point and the movement of the anomalies over the Rocky Mountains. Both features are absent in the current analysis. However, these features can be recovered if a 6-day high-pass filter is applied before the events are selected or if the analysis is applied to predominantly zonal flow situations. © 2017 American Meteorological Society.


Pato-Doldan B.,University of Bergen | Rosnes M.H.,University of Bergen | Dietzel P.D.C.,University of Bergen
ChemSusChem | Year: 2017

The CO2 adsorption process in the family of porous metal-organic framework materials CPO-27-M (M=Mg, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn) was studied by variable-temperature powder synchrotron X-ray diffraction under isobaric conditions. The Rietveld analysis of the data provided a time-lapse view of the adsorption process on CPO-27-M. The results confirm the temperature-dependent order of occupation of the three adsorption sites in the pores of the CPO-27-M materials. In CPO-27-M (M=Mg, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn), the adsorption sites are occupied in sequential order, primarily because of the high affinity of CO2 for the open metal sites. CPO-27-Cu deviates from this stepwise mechanism, and the adsorption sites at the metal cation and the second site are occupied in parallel. The temperature dependence of the site occupancy of the individual CO2 adsorption sites derived from the diffraction data is reflected in the shape of the volumetric sorption isotherms. The fast kinetics and high reversibility observed in these experiments support the suitability of these materials for use in temperature- or pressure-swing processes for carbon capture. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Harthug H.,University of Bergen
Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny raekke | Year: 2016

The tuberculosis reform of 1947 stipulated a clear responsibility of the state to combat tuberculosis. This entailed sanctions directed at individuals, as well as compulsory vaccination. Universal vaccination was to be achieved through extensive information work that emphasised the responsibility of the individual. The decline in the disease, the dawning of human rights thinking and the decline of professional boards in public administration help to explain the downgrading of compulsory vaccination over time.


Gupta S.,University of Bergen | Roy S.,Chennai Mathematical Institute
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs | Year: 2016

In this paper we consider a problem that arises from a strategic issue in the stable matching model (with complete preference lists) from the viewpoint of exact-exponential time algorithms. Specifically, we study the STABLE EXTENSION OF PARTIAL MATCHING (SEOPM) problem, where the input consists of the complete preference lists of men, and a partial matching. The objective is to find (if one exists) a set of preference lists of women, such that the men-optimal Gale Shapley algorithm outputs a perfect matching that contains the given partial matching. Kobayashi and Matsui [Algorithmica, 2010] proved this problem is NP-complete. In this article, we give an exact-exponential algorithm for SEOPM running in time 2O(n), where n denotes the number of men/women. We complement our algorithmic finding by showing that unless Exponential Time Hypothesis (ETH) fails, our algorithm is asymptotically optimal. That is, unless ETH fails, there is no algorithm for SEOPM running in time 2o(n). Our algorithm is a nontrivial combination of a parameterized algorithm for SUBGRAPH ISOMORPHISM, a relationship between stable matching and finding an out-branching in an appropriate graph and enumerating non-isomorphic out-branchings. © Sushmita Gupta and Sanjukta Roy.


Curtis C.W.,San Diego State University | Kalisch H.,University of Bergen
Physics of Fluids | Year: 2017

The two-dimensional motion of point vortices in an inviscid fluid with a free surface and an impenetrable bed is investigated. The work is based on forming a closed system of equations for surface variables and vortex positions using a variant of the Ablowitz, Fokas, and Musslimani formulation [M. J. Ablowitz, A. S. Fokas, and Z. H. Musslimani, J. Fluid Mech. 562, 313-343 (2006)] of the water-wave free-surface problem. The equations are approximated with a dealiased spectral method making use of a high-order approximation of the Dirichlet-Neumann operator and a high-order timestepping scheme. Numerical simulations reveal that the combination of vortex motion and solid bottom boundary yields interesting dynamics not seen in the case of vortex motion in an infinitely deep fluid. In particular, strong deformations of the free surface, including non-symmetric surface profiles and regions of large energy concentration, are observed. Our simulations also uncover a rich variety of vortex trajectories including orbiting and nearly parallel patterns of motion. The dynamics of the free surface and of the point vortices are strongly influenced by the initial placement and polarity of the vortices. The method put forward here is flexible enough to handle a large number of vortices and may easily be extended to include the effects of varying bathymetry, stratification, and background shear currents.


Sandvik M.I.,University of Bergen | Sorteberg A.,University of Bergen | Rasmussen R.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2017

Using high resolution convective permitting simulations, we have investigated the sensitivity of historical orographically enhanced extreme precipitation events to idealized temperature perturbations. Our simulations were typical autumn and winter synoptic scale extreme precipitation events on the west coast of Norway. The response in daily mean precipitation was around 5%/K for a 2 °C temperature perturbation with a clear topographical pattern. Low lying coastal regions experienced relative changes that were only about 1/3 of the changes at higher elevations. The largest changes were seen in the highest elevations of the near coastal mountain regions where the change was in order of +7.5%/K. With a response around 5%/K, our simulations had a precipitation response that was around 2%/K lower than Clausius-Clapeyron scaling and 3%/K lower than the water vapor change. The below Clausius-Clapeyron scaling in precipitation could not be explained by changes in vertical velocities, stability or relative humidity. We suggest that the lower response in precipitation is a result of a shift from the more efficient ice-phase precipitation growth to less effective rain production in a warmer atmosphere. A considerable change in precipitation phase was seen with a mean increase in rainfall of 16%/K which was partly compensated by a reduction in snowfall of around 23%/K. This change may have serious implications for flooding and geohazards. © 2017 The Author(s)


Panolan F.,University of Bergen | Zehavi M.,University of Bergen
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs | Year: 2016

The classic K-CYCLE problem asks if a graph G, with vertex set V(G), has a simple cycle containing all vertices of a given set K ⊆ V (G). In terms of colored graphs, it can be rephrased as follows: Given a graph G, a set K ⊆ V (G) and an injective coloring c : K → {1, 2, . . ., |K|}, decide if G has a simple cycle containing each color in {1, 2, . . ., |K|} (once). Another problem widely known since the introduction of color coding is COLORFUL CYCLE. Given a graph G and a coloring c : V (G) → {1, 2, . . ., k} for some k ∈ double-struck N, it asks if G has a simple cycle of length k containing each color in {1, 2, . . ., k} (once). We study a generalization of these problems: Given a graph G, a set K ⊆ V (G), a list-coloring L : K → 2{1, 2, . . ., k∗} for some k∗ ∈ double-struck N and a parameter k ∈ double-struck N, LIST K-CYCLE asks if one can assign a color to each vertex in K so that G would have a simple cycle (of arbitrary length) containing exactly k vertices from K with distinct colors. We design a randomized algorithm for LIST K-CYCLE running in time 2knO(1) on an n-vertex graph, matching the best known running times of algorithms for both K-CYCLE and COLORFUL CYCLE. Moreover, unless the Set Cover Conjecture is false, our algorithm is essentially optimal. We also study a variant of LIST K-CYCLE that generalizes the classic HAMILTONICITY problem, where one specifies the size of a solution. Our results integrate three related algebraic approaches, introduced by Björklund, Husfeldt and Taslaman (SODA'12), Björklund, Kaski and Kowalik (STACS'13), and Björklund (FOCS'10). © Fahad Panolan and Meirav Zehavi.


Kumar M.,University of Bergen | Lokshtanov D.,University of Bergen
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs | Year: 2016

A bipartite tournament is a directed graph T := (A ∪ B, E) such that every pair of vertices (a, b), a ∈ A, b ∈ B are connected by an arc, and no arc connects two vertices of A or two vertices of B. A feedback vertex set is a set S of vertices in T such that T - S is acyclic. In this article we consider the FEEDBACK VERTEX SET problem in bipartite tournaments. Here the input is a bipartite tournament T on n vertices together with an integer k, and the task is to determine whether T has a feedback vertex set of size at most k. We give a new algorithm for FEEDBACK VERTEX SET IN BIPARTITE TOURNAMENTS. The running time of our algorithm is upper-bounded by O(1.6181k + nO(1)), improving over the previously best known algorithm with running time 2kkO(1) + nO(1) [Hsiao, ISAAC 2011]. As a by-product, we also obtain the fastest currently known exact exponential-time algorithm for the problem, with running time O(1.3820n). © Mithilesh Kumar and Daniel Lokshtanov.


Kumar M.,University of Bergen | Lokshtanov D.,University of Bergen
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs | Year: 2017

In the ℓ-Component Order Connectivity problem (ℓ ∈ ℕ), we are given a graph G on n vertices, m edges and a non-negative integer k and asks whether there exists a set of vertices S ⊆ V (G) such that |S| ≤ k and the size of the largest connected component in G-S is at most ℓ. In this paper, we give a kernel for ℓ-Component Order Connectivity with at most 2ℓk vertices that takes nO(ℓ) time for every constant ℓ. On the way to obtaining our kernel, we prove a generalization of the q-Expansion Lemma to weighted graphs. This generalization may be of independent interest. © 2016 Mithilesh Kumar and Daniel Lokshtanov.


De Oliveira Oliveira M.,University of Bergen
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs | Year: 2017

The ground term reachability problem consists in determining whether a given variable-free term t can be transformed into a given variable-free term t′ by the application of rules from a term rewriting system . The joinability problem, on the other hand, consists in determining whether there exists a variable-free term t″ which is reachable both from t and from t′. Both problems have proven to be of fundamental importance for several subfields of computer science. Nevertheless, these problems are undecidable even when restricted to linear term rewriting systems. In this work, we approach reachability and joinability in linear term rewriting systems from the perspective of parameterized complexity theory, and show that these problems are fixed parameter tractable with respect to the depth of derivations. More precisely, we consider a notion of parallel rewriting, in which an unbounded number of rules can be applied simultaneously to a term as long as these rules do not interfere with each other. A term t1 can reach a term t2 in depth d if t2 can be obtained from t1 by the application of d parallel rewriting steps. Our main result states that for some function f(, d), and for any linear term rewriting system , one can determine in time f(, d)·|t1|·|t2| whether a ground term t2 can be reached from a ground term t1 in depth at most d by the application of rules from . Additionally, one can determine in time f(, d)2·|t1|·|t2| whether there exists a ground term u, such that u can be reached from both t1 and t2 in depth at most d. Our algorithms improve exponentially on exhaustive search, which terminates in time 2|t1|·2O(d) ·|t2|, and can be applied with regard to any linear term rewriting system, irrespective of whether the rewriting system in question is terminating or confluent. © 2016 Mateus de Oliveira Oliveira.


Agrawal A.,University of Bergen | Lokshtanov D.,University of Bergen | Misra P.,Chennai Mathematical Institute | Saurabh S.,University of Bergen | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

Given a graph G and a parameter k, the Chordal Vertex Deletion (CVD) problem asks whether there exists a subset U V (G) of size at most k that hits all induced cycles of size at least 4. The existence of a polynomial kernel for CVD was a well-known open problem in the field of Parameterized Complexity. Recently, Jansen and Pilipczuk resolved this question affirmatively by designing a polynomial kernel for CVD of size O(k161 log58 k), and asked whether one can design a kernel of size O(k10). While we do not completely re- solve this question, we design a significantly smaller kernel of size O(k25 log14 k), inspired by the O(k2)-size kernel for Feedback Vertex Set. To obtain this result, we first design an O(optlog2 n)-factor approximation al- gorithm for CVD, which is central to our kernelization procedure. Thus, we improve upon both the kernel- ization algorithm and the approximation algorithm of Jansen and Pilipczuk. Next, we introduce the notion of the independence degree of a vertex, which is our main conceptual contribution. We believe that this notion could be useful in designing kernels for other problems. Copyright © by SIAM.


Stavelin A.,Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital | Sandberg S.,Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital | Sandberg S.,University of Bergen
Biochemia Medica | Year: 2017

External quality assurance (EQA) or proficiency testing for point-of-care (POC) testing is in principle similar to EQA for larger hospital laboratories, but the participants are different. The participants are usually health care personnel with little or no knowledge of laboratory medicine. The implication of this is that the EQA provider has to a) convince the participants that participation in EQA schemes are important, b) be able to circulate materials with reasonable time intervals, c) produce feedback reports that are understandable, and d) offer help and guidance to the participants when needed. It is also important that EQA for POC testing e) address the pre-examination, the examination and the post-examination processes, and f) that schemes for measurement procedures using interval or ordinal scale are offered. The aim of the present paper is to highlight important issues of these essential aspects of EQA for POC testing. © Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine.


Tysnes O.-B.,University of Bergen | Storstein A.,University of Bergen
Journal of Neural Transmission | Year: 2017

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects 1–2 per 1000 of the population at any time. PD prevalence is increasing with age and PD affects 1% of the population above 60 years. The main neuropathological finding is α-synuclein-containing Lewy bodies and loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, manifesting as reduced facilitation of voluntary movements. With progression of PD, Lewy body pathology spreads to neocortical and cortical regions. PD is regarded as a movement disorder with three cardinal signs: tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia. A recent revision of the diagnostic criteria excludes postural instability as a fourth hallmark and defines supportive criteria, absolute exclusion criteria and red flags. Non-motor symptoms in PD have gained increasing attention and both motor and non-motor signs are now included among the supportive criteria. The cause of PD is unknown in most cases. Genetic risk factors have been identified, including monogenetic causes that are rare in unselected populations. Some genetic factor can be identified in 5–10% of the patients. Several environmental factors are associated with increased risk of PD. Autopsy studies show that the clinical diagnosis of PD is not confirmed at autopsy in a significant proportion of patients. Revised diagnostic criteria are expected to improve the clinician´s accuracy in diagnosing PD. Increasing knowledge on genetic and environmental risk factors of PD will probably elucidate the cause of this disease within the near future. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Wien


Kirkendall L.R.,University of Bergen
Coleopterists Bulletin | Year: 2017

I summarize literature records and recent identifications of pinhole borers (Platypodinae) of Peru. Most specimens were from two sources: the Caroline Chaboo Beetles of Peru project (collected 2010-2011) and trapped material collected by R. Leschen (in 1993). This study more than doubles the reported species diversity. Examination of 706 mostly male specimens and a literature review yielded a total of 54 identified and 46 unnamed species distributed among 10 of the 11 Neotropical Platypodinae genera. Of the named species, 34 are new to Peru, and 5 species are new to South America: Costaroplatus clunis (Wood), Euplatypus cribricollis (Blandford), Megaplatypus artecarinatus (Schedl), Megaplatypus exaratus (Chapuis), and Neotrachyostus quadrilobus (Blandford). The genera Tesserocranulus Schedl, Costaroplatus Nunberg, Neotrachyostus Browne, Platyphysus Wood, and Teloplatypus Wood are reported for the first time from Peru. Many species found in Peruvian forests remain to be identified or described, as 46 species could not be named at this time; many of these probably are new to science and almost all are new to Peru. Platypus subaequalispinosus Schedl and one morphospecies could not be placed in current genera. Country records are given for all identified species. I find that Platypodinae are unusually widely distributed for tropical insects. Of 54 identified species, 11 species now known from Peru are found in Mexico, 23 have been collected from both Central and South America, 29 are known to occur in forests of the Guyana Shield, and eight are recorded as far south as Argentina. Given these wide distributions, it seems probable that further intensive sampling in Peru, especially at higher altitudes and in different forest types, would turn up all genera and many if not most of the platypodine species occurring in South America.


Golovach P.A.,University of Bergen | Mertzios G.B.,Durham University
Theoretical Computer Science | Year: 2017

We investigate the parameterized complexity of the graph editing problem called EDITING TO A GRAPH WITH A GIVEN DEGREE SEQUENCE where the aim is to obtain a graph with a given degree sequence σ by at most k vertex deletions, edge deletions and edge additions. We show that the problem is W[1]-hard when parameterized by k for any combination of the allowed editing operations. From the positive side, we show that the problem can be solved in time 2O(k(Δ⁎+k)2)n2log⁡n for n-vertex graphs, where Δ⁎=max⁡σ, i.e., the problem is FPT when parameterized by k+Δ⁎. We also show that EDITING TO A GRAPH WITH A GIVEN DEGREE SEQUENCE has a polynomial kernel when parameterized by k+Δ⁎ if only edge additions are allowed, and there is no polynomial kernel unless NP⊆co-NP/poly for all other combinations of the allowed editing operations. © 2016


Gander M.J.,University of Geneva | Loneland A.,University of Bergen
Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering | Year: 2017

In domain decomposition methods, coarse spaces are traditionally added to make the method scalable. Coarse spaces can however do much more: they can act on other error components that the subdomain iteration has difficulties with, and thus accelerate the overall solution process. We identify here the optimal coarse space for RAS, where optimal does not refer to scalable, but to best possible. This coarse space leads to convergence of the subdomain iterative method in two steps. Since this coarse space is very rich, we propose an approximation which turns out to be also very effective for multiscale problems. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


Myrseth H.,University of Bergen | Notelaers G.,University of Bergen
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2017

The aim of the present study was to improve the weaknesses of the three-dimensional Gambling Motives Questionnaire and to examine the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Gambling Motives Questionnaire-Revised. The Gambling Motives Questionnaire was administered to a sample of 418 gamblers (92% men, mean age 19.5 years). Participants completed the Gambling Motives Questionnaire and an additional item tapping boredom, as well as a variety of measures of gambling behavior and gambling problems as criterion measures. Results showed that the Gambling Motives Questionnaire-Revised is better represented as a four-factor structure tapping the following four gambling motives factors; enhancement, coping, social, and self-gratification, Δχ2 Δ(df) = 24.76 (3), p < 0.001. Removing two problematic items from the Gambling Motives Questionnaire and adding an extra item tapping boredom also improved the fit of the Gambling Motives Questionnaire-Revised. The subscales enhancement, social, and coping were all significant predictors of variety of gambling behaviors (p < 0.05), whereas enhancement, coping, and self-gratification predicted frequency of gambling behaviors (p < 0.01). Coping and self-gratification predicted loss of control (p < 0.01), whereas self-gratification predicted gambling problems (p < 0.001). The Gambling Motives Questionnaire – Revised, consisting of the four dimensions enhancement motives, social motives, coping motives and self-gratification motives, is a reliable and valid instrument to measuring gambling motives. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists have discovered the genetic mutation that causes the rare skin disease, keratolytic winter erythema (KWE), or 'Oudtshoorn skin', in Afrikaners Scientists have discovered the genetic mutation that causes the rare skin disease, keratolytic winter erythema (KWE), or 'Oudtshoorn skin', in Afrikaners. Researchers at the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Division of Human Genetics at Wits, in collaboration with peers in Europe, the US and Canada published this research in the May issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics. KWE causes a redness of the palms and soles with consecutive cycles of peeling of large sections of thick skin, often exacerbated during winter months. Oudtshoorn is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa where the disorder was present in large families. KWE causes a redness of the palms and soles with consecutive cycles of peeling of large sections of thick skin, often exacerbated during winter months. Oudtshoorn is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa where the disorder was present in large families. Afrikaners are Afrikaans-language speakers descended from predominantly Dutch, German and French settlers, who arrived in South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. Afrikaners have a high risk for several genetic disorders, the best known being familial hypercholesterolaemia (inherited high cholesterol leading to heart attacks early in life) and porphyria (sensitivity of the skin to ultra-violet exposure and adverse reactions to specific drugs). These disorders are common because of founder mutations brought to South Africa by small groups of immigrants who settled in the Cape of Good Hope and whose descendants are now spread throughout the country. KWE is one of these less well-known founder genetic disorders. KWE was first described as a unique and discrete skin disorder in 1977 by Wits dermatologist, Professor George Findlay. He noticed that it occurred in families and had a dominant mode of inheritance -- i.e., on average, if a parent has the condition about half the children inherit it in every generation. In addition to identifying the genetic mutation for scientific purposes, this research now enables dermatologists to make a definitive diagnosis of KWE in patients. It further enables researchers to understand similar skin disorders and is a starting point for developing possible treatments. Since the late 1980s, three MSc and three PhD students at Wits University researched the disorder, firstly under the supervision of Professor Trefor Jenkins and from about 1990 guided by Professor Michele Ramsay, Director and Research Chair in the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience. In 1997, Wits MSc student Michelle Starfield and a group in Germany mapped the KWE trait to a region on the short arm of chromosome 8. The researchers showed that it was likely that the South African families all had the same mutation, but that the German family had a different mutation. This research preceded the sequencing of the human genome and subsequent research focused on characterising this region of the genome and examining good candidate genes. The KWE mutation remained elusive. In 2012 Thandiswa Ngcungcu, then a Wits MSc student in Human Genetics whom Ramsay supervised, chose KWE as a topic for her PhD. Ngcungu's research involved large-scale DNA sequencing during an internship on the Next Generation Scientist Programme in Novartis, Basel. The mutation was not detected by conventional data analysis so copy number variants (genetic changes) -- where regions of the genome are duplicated or deleted - were investigated. Ngcungcu and the researchers then discovered a mutation in a region between genes that was present in all South African KWE-affected individuals studied. During this time Dr Torunn Fiskerstrand, University of Bergen, Norway, independently discovered the genetic cause of KWE in Norwegians. Ramsay and Fiskerstrand collaborated. The different DNA duplications in the South African and Norwegian families overlapped at a critical genomic region called an enhancer (which 'switches on' the gene) - providing strong evidence that this was, in fact, the KWE mutation. For over a year the scientists researched how this duplicated enhancer caused KWE. They demonstrated that the mutation causes a nearby gene to produce more protein than normal and that this abnormal expression was the likely cause of the skin peeling. Exactly twenty years after determining that the KWE mutation lies on chromosome 8, the mutation that causes KWE was identified and published. Solving the mystery of KWE was a journey of data analysis, ancestry mapping, genomic comparison and global collaboration. Ngcungcu continues her work as a postdoctoral fellow examining the genetics of another skin disorder, albinism, and as a lecturer in the Division of Human Genetics at Wits from July 2017.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.thefishsite.com

Bente Torstensen, the former Group Manager for feed and fish performance in Marine Harvest’s global R&D department, has been appointed as the new Director of Nofima’s aquaculture division. “My time at Marine Harvest has been amazing, and it isn’t easy to leave such an exciting company and such good colleagues. But when the position at Nofima came up, I knew I had to make use of this unique opportunity. Working with research with an opportunity to add research-based knowledge to the industry is incredibly exciting. I’m really excited to begin in the position on 1 August and look forward to good collaboration with the fish farming industry, one of the most exciting global industries,” she said. Nofima’s aquaculture division is divided into five departments that cover the aquaculture industry’s entire value chain. All together there are just about 130 people who work in the division all over Norway. In Bergen, the Aquafeed Technology Centre is also being built up in collaboration with the University of Bergen and Uni Research among others. The appointment marks the first time the institute has stationed one of its directors in Bergen – a reflection of the importance of western Norway to the aquaculture industry. “Hordaland is the power centre for aquaculture and when we are so lucky to have Bente Torstensen on the team, it is obvious that she should have an office located in Bergen. This will make dialogue with many of the main players in the aquaculture industry, and collaboration with NCE Seafood Innovation much easier,” says Øyvind Fylling-Jensen, CEO of Nofima. Nofima, with its main office in Tromsø, is divided into three divisions: food science, fisheries and aquaculture. The division management for land-based food production is located in Ås in the southeast, while the fisheries division has its management in Tromsø in the north. With the head of the aquaculture division in place in Bergen in the west, Nofima has an excellent geographical spread. The research institute also has branches in Stavanger and Sunndalsøra.


Konig C.,University of Bergen
Addiction | Year: 2011

Introduction The importance of building and strengthening effective infrastructures within the field of public health has increasingly been recognized. A wide variety of actors and structures can be identified for alcohol policy, including systems for policy development, monitoring, research and work-force development, but too little is known about the complex systems of infrastructure available across European countries and their impact on alcohol policy. Objective This study is part of the Alcohol Measures for Public Health Research Alliance (AMPHORA) project, and aims to map existing infrastructures, but also to examine the relationship between infrastructures and alcohol policy change. Methods A survey of alcohol policy infrastructure and infrastructure needs at the national level will be conducted using an updated and adapted questionnaire based on the Health Promotion (HP) Source Project tool. Case studies involving in-depth interviews will be conducted for a selection of countries. Data will be analysed descriptively, mapping alcohol policy infrastructure and identifying needs to reveal any relationship between infrastructure and alcohol policy. Expected results This study can contribute to building the scientific knowledge base on this topic as well to policy development. First, the Alcohol Measures for Public Health Research Alliance will produce an extended map of alcohol policy infrastructures in a wide range of European countries. Secondly, the Alcohol Measures for Public Health Research Alliance will foster a better understanding and expand the knowledge base on the role and influence of infrastructure on alcohol policy and practice. Recommendations deriving from this study will identify the need for better utilization of existing infrastructures and for the development of new infrastructures, necessary to develop and implement effective alcohol policy from a public health perspective. © 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.


Heuch I.,University of Oslo | Heuch I.,University of Bergen | Hagen K.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Zwart J.-A.,University of Oslo
Spine | Year: 2013

STUDY DESIGN.: A population-based, prospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE.: To determine whether overweight, obesity, or more generally an elevated body mass index (BMI) increase the probability of experiencing chronic low back pain (LBP) after an 11-year period, both among participants with and without LBP at baseline. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Chronic LBP is a common disabling disorder in modern society. Cross-sectional studies suggest an association between an elevated BMI and LBP, but it is not clear whether this is a causal relationship. METHODS.: Data were obtained from the community-based HUNT 2 (1995-1997) and HUNT 3 (2006-2008) studies of an entire Norwegian county. Participants were 8733 men and 10,149 women, aged 30 to 69 years, who did not have chronic LBP at baseline, and 2669 men and 3899 women with LBP at baseline. After 11 years, both groups indicated whether they currently had chronic LBP, defined as pain persisting for at least 3 months continuously during the last year. RESULTS.: A significant positive association was found between BMI and risk of LBP among persons without LBP at baseline. The odds ratio for BMI 30 or more versus BMI less than 25 was 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.67) for men and 1.22 (95% CI, 1.03-1.46) for women, in analyses adjusted for age, education, work status, physical activity at work and in leisure time, smoking, blood pressure, and serum lipid levels. A significant positive association was also established between BMI and recurrence of LBP among women. LBP status at baseline had negligible influence on subsequent change in BMI. CONCLUSION.: High values of BMI may predispose to chronic LBP 11 years later, both in individuals with and without LBP. The association between BMI and LBP is not explained by an effect of LBP on later change in BMI. Copyright © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Van De Vliert E.,University of Groningen | Van De Vliert E.,University of Bergen
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2013

Forty-nine commentators have reviewed the theory that needs-based stresses and freedoms are shaped differently in threatening, comforting, and challenging climato-economic habitats. Their commentaries cover the white domain, where the theory does apply (e.g., happiness, collectivism, and democracy), the gray domain, where it may or may not apply (e.g., personality traits and creativity), and the black domain, where it does not apply (e.g., human intelligence and gendered culture). This response article provides clarifications, recommendations, and expectations. Copyright © 2013 Cambridge University Press.


Forre M.,University of Bergen | Selsto S.,University of Oslo | Nepstad R.,University of Bergen
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We develop an approximate model for the process of direct (nonsequential) two-photon double ionization of atoms. Employing the model, we calculate (generalized) total cross sections as well as energy-resolved differential cross sections of helium for photon energies ranging from 39 to 54 eV. A comparison with results of ab initio calculations reveals that the agreement is at a quantitative level. We thus demonstrate that this complex ionization process can be described by the simple model, providing insight into the underlying physical mechanism. Finally, we use the model to calculate generalized cross sections for the two-photon double ionization of neon in the nonsequential regime. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Semprich J.,University of Oslo | Simon N.S.C.,Institute for Energy Technology of Norway | Simon N.S.C.,University of Bergen
Gondwana Research | Year: 2014

Studies on lower crustal and mantle xenoliths as well as geophysical data provide important information on the cratonic lithosphere. While geothermobarometric calculations of a majority of mantle xenoliths are in agreement with the typically low surface heat flow values of a craton (~40mW/m2), P-T estimates for lower crustal xenoliths deviate significantly from the cratonic geotherms. Independent from the individual cratonic history, the temperatures are ~200-300°C higher than what is expected at the base of the lower crust (~500-600°C at ~1.3-1.6GPa). Possible explanations may be a lack of equilibration to the cratonic geotherm or a relatively recent localized heat input. The presence of granulitic rocks under eclogite-facies conditions which are expected to prevail in the lower cratonic crust has consequences for the interpretation of geophysical rock properties. A mafic granulite which has been preserved under eclogite-facies conditions has densities and P-wave velocities similar to a felsic composition equilibrated to eclogite-facies conditions. Furthermore, phase diagrams calculated from xenolith bulk compositions demonstrate that eclogitization at relatively high temperatures as required for delamination of continental crust can only be triggered at significantly higher pressures than lithostatic at the base of the lower crust. As long as P-T conditions and the rock composition entail the assemblage to be granulitic, the addition of fluid at temperatures above 800°C will not result in eclogitization, but rather in melt generation. This can also lead to an increase in density of up to 3%, however, this is strongly dependent on the amount of water saturation. © 2012 International Association for Gondwana Research.


Helseth L.E.,University of Bergen | Helseth L.E.,Michelsen Center for Iindustrial Measurement Science and Technology
Optics Express | Year: 2012

The characterization of dyes in various solvents requires determination of the absorption spectrum of the dye as well as the refractive index of the solvent. Typically, the refractive index of the solvent and the absorption spectrum of the solute are measured using separate experimental setups where significant liquid volumes are required. In this work the first optical measurement system that is able to do simultaneous measurements of the refractive index of the solvent and the spectral properties of the solute in a microscopic volume is presented. The laser dye Rhodamine 6G in glycerol is investigated, and the refractive index of the solution is monitored using the interference pattern of the light scattered off the channel, while its spectral properties is found by monitoring reflected light from the channel. © 2012 Optical Society of America.


Laeng B.,University of Oslo | Laeng B.,University of Bergen | Hugdahl K.,University of Bergen | Specht K.,University of Bergen
Cortex | Year: 2011

Synaesthetes claim to perceive illusory colours when reading alphanumeric symbols so that two colours are said to be bound to the same letter or digit (i.e., the colour of the ink, e.g., black, and an additional, synaesthetic, colour). To explore the neural correlates of this phenomenon, we used a Stroop single-letter colour-naming task and found that distances in colour space between the illusory and real colours of a letter target (as computed from either the RGB or CIExyY coordinates of colours) systematically influenced the degree of neuronal activation in colour-processing brain regions. The synaesthetes also activated the same fronto-parietal network during the classic colour-word Stroop task and single-letter tasks. We conclude that the same neural substrate that supports the conscious experience of colour, as triggered by physical wavelength, supports the experience of synaesthetic colours. Thus, two colour attributes (one that is wavelength-dependent and one that is illusory) can be bound to the same stimulus position and simultaneously engage the colour areas in proportion to their similarity in colour space. © 2009 Elsevier Srl.


Van De Vliert E.,University of Groningen | Van De Vliert E.,University of Bergen
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2013

This paper examines why fundamental freedoms are so unevenly distributed across the earth. Climato-economic theorizing proposes that humans adapt needs, stresses, and choices of goals, means, and outcomes to the livability of their habitat. The evolutionary process at work is one of collectively meeting climatic demands of cold winters or hot summers by using monetary resources. Freedom is expected to be lowest in poor populations threatened by demanding thermal climates, intermediate in populations comforted by undemanding temperate climates irrespective of income per head, and highest in rich populations challenged by demanding thermal climates. This core hypothesis is supported with new survey data across 85 countries and 15 Chinese provinces and with a reinterpretative review of results of prior studies comprising 174 countries and the 50 states in the United States. Empirical support covers freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of expression and participation, freedom from discrimination, and freedom to develop and realize one's human potential. Applying the theory to projections of temperature and income for 104 countries by 2112 forecasts that (a) poor populations in Asia, perhaps except Afghans and Pakistanis, will move up the international ladder of freedom, (b) poor populations in Africa will lose, rather than gain, relative levels of freedom unless climate protection and poverty reduction prevent this from happening, and (c) several rich populations will be challenged to defend current levels of freedom against worsening climato-economic livability. Copyright © 2013 Cambridge University Press.


Jorgensen C.,University of Bergen | Auer S.K.,University of California at Riverside | Reznick D.N.,University of California at Riverside
American Naturalist | Year: 2011

Since Smith and Fretwell's seminal article in 1974 on the optimal offspring size, most theory has assumed a trade-off between offspring number and offspring fitness, where larger offspring have better survival or fitness, but with diminishing returns. In this article, we use two ubiquitous biological mechanisms to derive the shape of this trade-off: the offspring's growth rate combined with its size-dependent mortality (predation). For a large parameter region, we obtain the same sigmoid relationship between offspring size and offspring survival as Smith and Fretwell, but we also identify parameter regions where the optimal offspring size is as small or as large as possible. With increasing growth rate, the optimal offspring size is smaller.We then integrate our model with strategies of parental care. Egg guarding that reduces egg mortality favors smaller or larger offspring, depending on how mortality scales with size. For livebearers, the survival of offspring to birth is a function of maternal survival; if the mother's survival increases with her size, then the model predicts that larger mothers should produce larger offspring. When using parameters for Trinidadian guppies Poecilia reticulata, differences in both growth and size-dependent predation are required to predict observed differences in offspring size between wild populations from high- and low-predation environments. ©2011 by The University of Chicago.


Mells G.F.,University of Cambridge | Kaser A.,University of Cambridge | Karlsen T.H.,University of Oslo | Karlsen T.H.,University of Bergen
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) are complex disorders, resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. For many years, investigators have attempted to delineate the genetic architecture of these conditions, aiming to elucidate disease pathogenesis and identify molecular targets for pharmacotherapy. Early genetic studies consisted of HLA association studies and non-HLA candidate gene association studies, designed to identify association with selected HLA or non-HLA loci. HLA association studies identified HLA risk loci that are now well-established. Non-HLA candidate gene studies were less fruitful because they were mostly underpowered to detect modest effects and were frequently designed to investigate one or two functional polymorphisms, meaning that gene coverage was poor. Furthermore, weak associations detected in one small cohort were often never validated. If replication studies were undertaken, the results were often conflicting. More recently, a series of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and related study designs have evaluated the impact of common genetic variants (frequency >5% in the general population) across the entire genome. These studies have identified several non-HLA risk loci for autoimmune liver disease. The majority of risk loci detected are similar to those of non-hepatic immune-mediated diseases, suggesting that outcomes from GWAS and related genetic studies reflect broad phenotypic themes rather than traditional clinical conditions. The specific genetic basis of these PBC and PSC associated inflammatory themes as determined by GWAS is described and discussed in the context of interacting genetic and non-genetic (including environmental) factors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Karlsen T.H.,University of Oslo | Karlsen T.H.,University of Bergen | Boberg K.M.,University of Oslo
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2013

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) remains one of the most challenging conditions of clinical hepatology. There has been a steady growth in research to overcome this fact and the present review aims at summarizing the most recently published literature. The main emphasis will be put on the link of recent pathogenetic insights to clinical characteristics and patient management. With regard to pathogenesis, there is no consensus yet as to whether immune mediated injury or factors related to bile acid physiology are the most important. It also remains to be clarified whether PSC is a mixed bag of various secondary etiologies yet to be defined, or a disease entity predominantly represented by sclerosing cholangitis in the context of inflammatory bowel disease. Most important, there is no available medical therapy with proven influence on clinical end points, and timing of liver transplantation and patient follow-up are challenging due to the unpredictable and high risk of cholangiocarcinoma. © 2013 European Association for the Study of the Liver.


Carlsen B.,University of Bergen
BMJ Quality and Safety | Year: 2011

Background: Clinical guidelines are important for ensuring quality of treatment and care. For this reason, it is essential that clinicians adhere to guidelines. Review studies conclude that barriers to using guidelines are context specific. Nevertheless, there is a lack of studies that compare the attitudes of different groups of doctors to guidelines. Objectives: To survey the attitudes of Norwegian medical practitioners to clinical guidelines and the reasons for any scepticism, and to compare general practitioners (GPs) with other medical doctors in Norway in this respect. Method: Postal questionnaire to a panel of 1649 Norwegian medical doctors. Results: 1072 doctors responded (65%). 97% claimed to be familiar with and following guidelines. A majority expressed confidence in guidelines issued by the health authorities and the medical association. GPs are significantly more uncertain about the legal status of, accessibility of and evidence in guidelines than other doctors. The most important barriers to guideline adherence are concerns about the uniqueness of individual cases and reliance on one's own professional discretion. Both groups rank attitudinal constraints higher than practical constraints, but GPs more often report practical issues as reasons for non-adherence. Conclusion: It is suggested that creating trust in guidelines could be more important than more efforts to improve guideline format and accessibility. It may also be worth considering whether guidelines should be implemented using different processes in generalist and specialist care.


Klove T.,University of Bergen | Lin T.-T.,National Chiao Tung University | Tsai S.-C.,National Chiao Tung University | Tzeng W.-G.,National Chiao Tung University
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2010

An (n,d) permutation array (PA) is a subset of S n with the property that the distance (under some metric) between any two permutations in the array is at least d They became popular recently for communication over power lines. Motivated by an application to flash memories, in this paper, the metric used is the Chebyshev metric. A number of different constructions are given, as well as bounds on the size of such PA. © 2010 IEEE.


Van De Vliert E.,University of Groningen | Van De Vliert E.,University of Bergen | Postmes T.,University of Groningen
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2012

A 121-nation study of societal collectivism and a 174-nation study of political autocracy show that parasitic stress does not account for any variation in these components of culture once the interactive impacts of climatic demands and income resources have been accounted for. Climato-economic livability is a viable rival explanation for the reported effects of parasitic stress on culture. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Bjorknes R.,University of Oslo | Manger T.,University of Bergen
Prevention Science | Year: 2013

A randomized prevention study for ethnic minority mothers assessed the intervention effects of Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMTO) on maternal parent practices and child behavior. Ninety-six mothers from Somalia and Pakistan and their children aged 3 to 9 years were randomized to PMTO or a wait-list condition (WLC). Assessments were carried out at the baseline and post-intervention, using standardized measures and a multi-agent approach. All analyses were based on the intention-to-treat principle. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed that PMTO was effective in enhancing parent practices, with a decrease in harsh discipline and an increase in positive parenting. Moreover, PMTO produced reductions in motherreported child conduct problems. The largest effect sizes were found among mothers who attended more than 50 % of the PMTO group sessions. Teacher reports showed, however, that there were no significant intervention effects on conduct problems and social competence in kindergarten or school. The results emphasize the importance and feasibility of offering PMTO to ethnic minority families. © 2012 Society for Prevention Research.


Johannessen T.-C.A.,University of Bergen | Bjerkvig R.,University of Bergen
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy | Year: 2012

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM; WHO astrocytoma grade IV) is considered incurable owing to its inherently profound resistance towards current standards of therapy. Considerable effort is being devoted to identifying the molecular basis of temozolomide resistance in GBMs and exploring novel therapeutic regimens that may improve overall survival. Several independent DNA repair mechanisms that normally safeguard genome integrity can facilitate drug resistance and cancer cell survival by removing chemotherapy-induced DNA adducts. Furthermore, subpopulations of cancer stem-like cells have been implicated in the treatment resistance of several malignancies including GBMs. Thus, a growing number of molecular mechanisms contributing to temozolomide resistance are being uncovered in preclinical studies and, consequently, we are being presented with a broad range of potentially novel targets for therapy. A substantial future challenge is to successfully exploit the increasing molecular knowledge contributing to temozolomide resistance in robust clinical trials and to ultimately improve overall survival for GBM patients. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.


Hirschfield G.M.,University of Birmingham | Karlsen T.H.,University of Oslo | Karlsen T.H.,University of Bergen | Lindor K.D.,Arizona State University | Adams D.H.,University of Birmingham
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Primary sclerosing cholangitis is the classic hepatobiliary manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease and is generally chronic and progressive. Patients frequently present with asymptomatic, anicteric cholestasis, but many develop progressive biliary strictures with time, leading to recurrent cholangitis, biliary cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease. Medical treatment does not slow the progression of disease, and many patients need liver transplantation, after which recurrent disease is a risk. The increased incidence of hepatobiliary cancer, which is not related to the underlying severity of biliary fibrosis, is of particular concern. Risk of colorectal cancer is also increased in patients with coexistent inflammatory bowel disease. Mechanistic insights have arisen from studies of secondary sclerosing cholangitis, in which a similar clinical profile is associated with a specific cause, and genomic studies have elucidated potential disease-initiating pathways in the primary form. The close association between inflammatory bowel disease and primary sclerosing cholangitis underscores the need to further understand the role of environmental factors in generation of lymphocytes that are postulated to be retargeted, deleteriously, to the biliary tree. Treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis is confined to supportive measures, but advances in pathobiology suggest that new stratified approaches will soon be available.


Verma A.,Southlake Regional Health Center | Jiang C.-Y.,Zhejiang University | Betts T.R.,John Radcliffe Hospital | Chen J.,University of Bergen | And 11 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Catheter ablation is less successful for persistent atrial fibrillation than for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Guidelines suggest that adjuvant substrate modification in addition to pulmonary-vein isolation is required in persistent atrial fibrillation. METHODS: We randomly assigned 589 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation in a 1:4:4 ratio to ablation with pulmonary-vein isolation alone (67 patients), pulmonary-vein isolation plus ablation of electrograms showing complex fractionated activity (263 patients), or pulmonary-vein isolation plus additional linear ablation across the left atrial roof and mitral valve isthmus (259 patients). The duration of follow-up was 18 months. The primary end point was freedom from any documented recurrence of atrial fibrillation lasting longer than 30 seconds after a single ablation procedure. RESULTS: Procedure time was significantly shorter for pulmonary-vein isolation alone than for the other two procedures (P<0.001). After 18 months, 59% of patients assigned to pulmonary-vein isolation alone were free from recurrent atrial fibrillation, as compared with 49% of patients assigned to pulmonary-vein isolation plus complex electrogram ablation and 46% of patients assigned to pulmonary-vein isolation plus linear ablation (P = 0.15). There were also no significant differences among the three groups for the secondary end points, including freedom from atrial fibrillation after two ablation procedures and freedom from any atrial arrhythmia. Complications included tamponade (three patients), stroke or transient ischemic attack (three patients), and atrioesophageal fistula (one patient). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, we found no reduction in the rate of recurrent atrial fibrillation when either linear ablation or ablation of complex fractionated electrograms was performed in addition to pulmonary-vein isolation. Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Karlsen T.H.,University of Oslo | Karlsen T.H.,University of Bergen | Vesterhus M.,University of Oslo | Vesterhus M.,University of Bergen | Boberg K.M.,University of Oslo
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2014

Background Despite considerable advances over the last two decades in the molecular understanding of cholestasis and cholestatic liver disease, little improvement has been made in diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies. Aims To critically review controversial aspects of the scientific basis for common clinical practice in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and to discuss key ongoing challenges to improve patient management. Methods We performed a literature search using PubMed and by examining the reference lists of relevant review articles related to the clinical management of PBC and PSC. Articles were considered on the background of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) practice guidelines and clinical experience of the authors. Results Ongoing challenges in PBC mainly pertain to the improvement of medical therapy, particularly for patients with a suboptimal response to ursodeoxycholic acid. In PSC, development of medical therapies and sensitive screening protocols for cholangiocarcinoma represent areas of intense research. To rationally improve patient management, a better understanding of pathogenesis, including complications like pruritis and fatigue, is needed and there is a need to identify biomarker end-points for treatment effect and prognosis. Timing of liver transplantation and determining optimal regimens of immunosuppression post-liver transplantation will also benefit from better appreciation of pre-transplant disease mechanisms. Conclusion Controversies in the management of PBC and PSC relate to topics where evidence for current practice is weak and further research is needed. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Thrane A.S.,University of Rochester | Thrane A.S.,University of Bergen | Thrane A.S.,University of Oslo | Rangroo Thrane V.,University of Rochester | And 3 more authors.
Trends in Neurosciences | Year: 2014

Edema formation frequently complicates brain infarction, tumors, and trauma. Despite the significant mortality of this condition, current treatment options are often ineffective or incompletely understood. Recent studies have revealed the existence of a brain-wide paravascular pathway for cerebrospinal (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange. The current review critically examines the contribution of this 'glymphatic' system to the main types of brain edema. We propose that in cytotoxic edema, energy depletion enhances glymphatic CSF influx, whilst suppressing ISF efflux. We also argue that paravascular inflammation or 'paravasculitis' plays a critical role in vasogenic edema. Finally, recent advances in diagnostic imaging of glymphatic function may hold the key to defining the edema profile of individual patients, and thus enable more targeted therapy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Haugen A.S.,University of Bergen | Softeland E.,University of Bergen | Almeland S.K.,Forde Central Hospital | Sevdalis N.,Imperial College London | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Surgery | Year: 2015

Objectives: We hypothesized reduction of 30 days' in-hospital morbidity, mortality, and length of stay postimplementation of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC). Background: Reductions of morbidity and mortality have been reported after SSC implementation in pre-/postdesigned studies without controls. Here, we report a randomized controlled trial of the SSC. Methods: A stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2 hospitals. We examined effects on in-hospital complications registered by International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes, length of stay, and mortality. The SSC intervention was sequentially rolled out in a random order until all 5 clusters-cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, orthopedic, general, and urologic surgery had received the Checklist. Data were prospectively recorded in control and intervention stages during a 10-month period in 2009-2010. Results: A total of 2212 control procedures were compared with 2263 SCC procedures. The complication rates decreased from 19.9% to 11.5% (P < 0.001), with absolute risk reduction 8.4 (95% confidence interval, 6.3-10.5) from the control to the SSC stages. Adjusted for possible confounding factors, the SSC effect on complications remained significant with odds ratio 1.95 (95% confidence interval, 1.59-2.40). Mean length of stay decreased by 0.8 days with SCC utilization (95% confidence interval, 0.11-1.43). In-hospital mortality decreased significantly from 1.9% to 0.2% in 1 of the 2 hospitals post-SSC implementation, but the overall reduction (1.6%-1.0%) across hospitals was not significant. Conclusions: Implementation of the WHO SSC was associated with robust reduction in morbidity and length of in-hospital stay and some reduction in mortality. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Price M.C.,University of Bergen | Mattingley J.B.,University of Queensland
Cortex | Year: 2013

For many people, thinking about certain types of common sequence - for example calendar units or numerals - elicits a vivid experience that the sequence members occupy spatial locations which are in turn part of a larger spatial pattern of sequence members. Recent research on these visuospatial experiences has usually considered them to be a variety of synaesthesia, and many studies have argued that this sequence-space synaesthesia is an automatic process, consistent with a traditional view that automaticity is a key property of synaesthesia. In this review we present a critical discussion of data from the three main paradigms that have been used to argue for automaticity in sequence-space synaesthesia, namely SNARC-like effects (Spatial-Numerical-Association-of-Response-Codes), spatial cueing, and perceptual incongruity effects. We suggest that previous studies have been too imprecise in specifying which type of automaticity is implicated. Moreover, mirroring previous challenges to automaticity in other types of synaesthesia, we conclude that existing data are at best ambiguous regarding the automaticity of sequence-space synaesthesia, and may even be more consistent with the effects of controlled (i.e., non-automatic) processes. This lack of strong evidence for automaticity reduces the temptation to seek explanations of sequence-space synaesthesia in terms of processes mediated by qualitatively abnormal brain organization or mechanisms. Instead, more parsimonious explanations in terms of extensively rehearsed associations, established for example via normal processes of visuospatial imagery, are convergent with arguments that synaesthetic phenomena are on a continuum with normal cognition. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Carlsen B.,University of Bergen | Glenton C.,Sintef | Glenton C.,Norwegian Knowledge Center for the Health Services
BMC Medical Research Methodology | Year: 2011

Background: Focus group studies are increasingly published in health related journals, but we know little about how researchers use this method, particularly how they determine the number of focus groups to conduct. The methodological literature commonly advises researchers to follow principles of data saturation, although practical advise on how to do this is lacking. Our objectives were firstly, to describe the current status of sample size in focus group studies reported in health journals. Secondly, to assess whether and how researchers explain the number of focus groups they carry out. Methods. We searched PubMed for studies that had used focus groups and that had been published in open access journals during 2008, and extracted data on the number of focus groups and on any explanation authors gave for this number. We also did a qualitative assessment of the papers with regard to how number of groups was explained and discussed. Results: We identified 220 papers published in 117 journals. In these papers insufficient reporting of sample sizes was common. The number of focus groups conducted varied greatly (mean 8.4, median 5, range 1 to 96). Thirty seven (17%) studies attempted to explain the number of groups. Six studies referred to rules of thumb in the literature, three stated that they were unable to organize more groups for practical reasons, while 28 studies stated that they had reached a point of saturation. Among those stating that they had reached a point of saturation, several appeared not to have followed principles from grounded theory where data collection and analysis is an iterative process until saturation is reached. Studies with high numbers of focus groups did not offer explanations for number of groups. Too much data as a study weakness was not an issue discussed in any of the reviewed papers. Conclusions: Based on these findings we suggest that journals adopt more stringent requirements for focus group method reporting. The often poor and inconsistent reporting seen in these studies may also reflect the lack of clear, evidence-based guidance about deciding on sample size. More empirical research is needed to develop focus group methodology. © 2011 Carlsen and Glenton; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Ekman S.,Uppsala University | Ekman S.,University of Bergen | Blaalid R.,University of Bergen | Blaalid R.,University of Oslo
Systematic Biology | Year: 2011

In popular use of Bayesian phylogenetics, a default branch-length prior is almost universally applied without knowing how a different prior would have affected the outcome. We performed Bayesian and maximum likelihood (ML) inference of phylogeny based on empirical nucleotide sequence data from a family of lichenized ascomycetes, the Psoraceae, the morphological delimitation of which has been controversial. We specifically assessed the influence of the combination of Bayesian branch-length prior and likelihood model on the properties of the Markov chain Monte Carlo tree sample, including node support, branch lengths, and taxon stability. Data included two regions of the mitochondrial ribosomal RNA gene, the internal transcribed spacer region of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene, and the protein-coding largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. Data partitioning was performed using Bayes' factors, whereas the best-fitting model of each partition was selected using the Bayesian information criterion (BIC). Given the data and model, short Bayesian branch-length priors generate higher numbers of strongly supported nodes as well as short and topologically similar trees sampled from parts of tree space that are largely unexplored by the ML bootstrap. Long branch-length priors generate fewer strongly supported nodes and longer and more dissimilar trees that are sampled mostly from inside the range of tree space sampled by the ML bootstrap. Priors near the ML distribution of branch lengths generate the best marginal likelihood and the highest frequency of "rogue" (unstable) taxa. The branch-length prior was shown to interact with the likelihood model. Trees inferred under complex partitioned models are more affected by the stretching effect of the branch-length prior. Fewer nodes are strongly supported under a complex model given the same branch-length prior. Irrespective of model, internal branches make up a larger proportion of total tree length under the shortest branch-length priors compared with longer priors. Relative effects on branch lengths caused by the branch-length prior can be problematic to downstream phylogenetic comparative methods making use of the branch lengths. Furthermore, given the same branch-length prior, trees are on average more dissimilar under a simple unpartitioned model compared with a more complex partitioned models. The distribution of ML branch lengths was shown to better fit a gamma or Pareto distribution than an exponential one. Model adequacy tests indicate that the best-fitting model selected by the BIC is insufficient for describing data patterns in 5 of 8 partitions. More general substitution models are required to explain the data in three of these partitions, one of which also requires nonstationarity. The two mitochondrial ribosomal RNA gene partitions need heterotachous models. We found no significant correlations between, on the one hand, the amount of ambiguous data or the smallest branch-length distance to another taxon and, on the other hand, the topological stability of individual taxa. Integrating over several exponentially distributed means under the best-fitting model, node support for the family Psoraceae, including Psora, Protoblastenia, and the Micarea sylvicola group, is approximately 0.96. Support for the genus Psora is distinctly lower, but we found no evidence to contradict the current classification. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved.


Rollins N.C.,Child and Adolescent Health MCA | Bhandari N.,Center for Health Research and Development | Hajeebhoy N.,FHI 360 | Horton S.,University of Waterloo | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2016

Despite its established benefits, breastfeeding is no longer a norm in many communities. Multifactorial determinants of breastfeeding need supportive measures at many levels, from legal and policy directives to social attitudes and values, women's work and employment conditions, and health-care services to enable women to breastfeed. When relevant interventions are delivered adequately, breastfeeding practices are responsive and can improve rapidly. The best outcomes are achieved when interventions are implemented concurrently through several channels. The marketing of breastmilk substitutes negatively affects breastfeeding: global sales in 2014 of US$44·8 billion show the industry's large, competitive claim on infant feeding. Not breastfeeding is associated with lower intelligence and economic losses of about $302 billion annually or 0·49% of world gross national income. Breastfeeding provides short-term and long-term health and economic and environmental advantages to children, women, and society. To realise these gains, political support and financial investment are needed to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Kolstad E.W.,Bjerknes Center for Climatic Research | Breiteig T.,UK Met Office | Scaife A.A.,University of Bergen
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2010

Previous studies have identified an association between temperature anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere and the strength of stratospheric polar westerlies. Large regions in northern Asia, Europe and North America have been found to cool during the mature and late stages of weak vortex events in the stratosphere. A substantial part of the temperature changes are associated with changes in the Northern Annular Mode (NAM) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pressure patterns in the troposphere. The apparent coupling between the stratosphere and the troposphere may be of relevance for weather forecasting, but only if the temporal and spatial nature of the coupling is known. Using 51 winters of re-analysis data, we show that the development of the lower-tropospheric temperature relative to stratospheric weak polar vortex events goes through a series of well-defined stages, including the formation of geographically distinct cold air outbreaks. At the inception of weak vortex events, a precursor signal in the form of a strong high-pressure anomaly over northwest Eurasia is associated with long-lived and robust cold anomalies over Asia and Europe. A few weeks later, near the mature stage of the weak vortex events, a shorter-lived cold anomaly emerges off the east coast of North America. The probability of cold air outbreaks increases by more than 50% in one or more of these regions during all phases of the weak vortex events. This shows that the stratospheric polar vortex contains information that can be used to enhance forecasts of cold air outbreaks. As large changes in the frequency of extremes are involved, this process is important for the medium-range and seasonal prediction of extreme cold winter days. Three-hundred-year pre-industrial control simulations by 13 coupled climate models corroborate our results. © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright.


Mass balances of Scandinavian glaciers are mainly influenced by winter precipitation and summer temperature. We used simple statistical models to assess the relative importance of summer temperature and winter precipitation for annual balances of eight glaciers in Scandinavia. Winter precipitation was more important for maritime glaciers, whereas summer temperature was more important for annual balances of continental glaciers. Most importantly relative importances of summer temperature and winter precipitation were not stable in time. For instance, winter precipitation was more important than summer temperature for all glaciers in the 25-year period 1972-1996, whereas the relative importance of summer temperature was increasing towards the present. Between 1963 and 1996 the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index was consistently negative and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index was consistently positive between 1987 and 1995, both being favourable for glacier growth. Winter precipitation was more important than summer temperature for annual balances when only considering subsets of years with high NAO-index and negative AMO-index, respectively, whereas the importance of summer temperature was increased analysing subsets of years with low NAO-index and positive AMO-index, respectively. Hence, the relative importance of precipitation and temperature for mass balances was probably influenced by the state of the AMO and the NAO, as these two indexes are associated with changes in summer temperature (AMO) and winter precipitation (NAO). © Author(s) 2015.


Marzeion B.,University of Innsbruck | Nesje A.,University of Bergen
Cryosphere | Year: 2012

We present and validate a set of minimal models of glacier mass balance variability. The most skillful model is then applied to reconstruct 7735 individual time series of mass balance variability for all glaciers in the European Alps and Scandinavia. Subsequently, we investigate the influence of atmospheric variability associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the glaciers' mass balances.

We find a spatial coherence in the glaciers' sensitivity to NAO forcing which is caused by regionally similar mechanisms relating the NAO forcing to the mass balance: in southwestern Scandinavia, winter precipitation causes a correlation of mass balances with the NAO. In northern Scandinavia, temperature anomalies outside the core winter season cause an anti-correlation between NAO and mass balances. In the western Alps, both temperature and winter precipitation anomalies lead to a weak anti-correlation of mass balances with the NAO, while in the eastern Alps, the influences of winter precipitation and temperature anomalies tend to cancel each other, and only on the southern side a slight anti-correlation of mass balances with the NAO prevails. © 2013 Author(s).


Clark C.D.,University of Sheffield | Hughes A.L.C.,University of Swansea | Greenwood S.L.,University of Stockholm | Jordan C.,British Geological Survey | Sejrup H.P.,University of Bergen
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2012

During the last glacial the ice sheet that subsumed most of Britain, Ireland and the North Sea attained its maximum extent by 27 ka BP and with an ice volume sufficient to raise global sea level by ca 2.5 m when it melted. We reconstruct the demise of this British-Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) and present palaeo-glaciological maps of retreat stages between 27 and 15 ka BP. The whole land area was investigated using remote sensing data and we present maps of moraines, meltwater channels, eskers, and drumlins and a methodology of how to interpret and bring them together. For the continental shelf, numerous large moraines were discovered recording an extensive pattern of retreat stretching from SW Ireland to the Shetland Isles. From an integration of this new mapping of glacial geomorphology (>26,000 landforms) with previously published evidence, compiled in the BRITICE database, we derive a pattern of retreat for the whole BIIS. We review and compile relevant dates (881 examples) that constrain the timing of retreat. All data are held within a Geographic Information System (GIS), and are deciphered to produce a best-estimate of the combined pattern and timing of retreat.Pattern information reveals an ice sheet mainly comprised of a shelf-parallel configuration from SW Ireland to NE Scotland but it spread far enough to the south to incorporate outlying ice domes over Wales, the Lake District and Kerry. Final disintegration was into a number of separate ice caps, rather than reduction as a single mass, and paradoxically, retreat was not always back to high ground. By 23 ka BP ice withdrew along its northern boundaries at the same time as the southern margins were expanding, including transient ice streaming down the Irish Sea and advances of lobes in the Cheshire Basin, Vale of York and east coast of England. Ice divides migrated south. By 19 ka the ice sheet was in crisis with widespread marine-based ice losses, particularly in the northern North Sea and the Irish Sea. Considerable dynamic-thinning occurred during this phase. Final collapse of all marine sectors occurred by 17 ka BP and with most margins beginning to back-step onshore. Disintegration of the North Sea 'ice bridge' between Britain and Norway remains loosely constrained in time but the possibility of catastrophic collapse of this sector is highlighted. The North Channel and Irish Sea ice streams had finally cleaved the ice sheet into separate Irish and Scottish ice sheets by 16 ka BP. Rates of ice loss were found to vary widely over space and time (e.g., 65-260 km 3 per year). The role of ice streams and calving losses of marine-based sectors are examined. Retreat rates of up to ca 150 ma -1 were found for some ice stream margins.That large parts (2/3) of the BIIS were marine-based, drained by ice streams, and possibly with fringing ice shelves in places, makes it a useful analogue for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). This is especially so because the BIIS deglaciated in response to rising temperatures and a rising sea level (driven by melting of other ice masses) which are the current forcings that might cause collapse of the WAIS. Our reconstruction, when viewed from the opposite perspective, documents when fresh land became exposed for exploitation by plants, animals and Man, and records for how long such land has been available for soil and geochemical development and ecological succession. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Friis H.A.,IRIS - International Research Institute of Stavanger | Friis H.A.,University of Bergen | Edwards M.G.,University of Swansea
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2011

A new family of cell-centered finite-volume schemes is presented for solving the general full-tensor pressure equation of subsurface flow in porous media on arbitary unstructured triangulations. The new schemes are flux continuous and have full pressure support (FPS) over each subcell with continuous pressure imposed across each control-volume sub-interface, in contrast to earlier formulations. The earlier methods are point-wise continuous in pressure and flux with triangle-pressure-support (TPS) which leads to a more limited quadrature range. An M-matrix analysis identifies bounding limits for the schemes to posses a local discrete maximum principle. Conditions for the schemes to be positive definite are also derived.A range of computational examples are presented for unstructured triangular grids, including highly irregular grids, and the new FPS schemes are compared against the earlier pointwise continuous TPS formulations. The earlier pointwise TPS methods can induce strong spurious oscillations for problems involving strong full-tensor anisotropy where the M-matrix conditions are violated, and can lead to decoupled solutions in such cases. Unstructured cell-centered decoupling is investigated. In contrast to TPS, the new FPS formulation leads to well resolved solutions that are essentially free of spurious oscillations.A substantial degree of improved convergence behavior, for both pressure and velocity, is also observed in all convergence tests. This is particularly important for problems involving high anisotropy ratios. Also the new formulation proves to be highly beneficial for an upscaling example, where enhancement of convergence is highly significant for certain quadrature points, clearly demonstrating further advantages of the new formulation. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Spang A.,Uppsala University | Saw J.H.,Uppsala University | Jorgensen S.L.,University of Bergen | Zaremba-Niedzwiedzka K.,Uppsala University | And 8 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

The origin of the eukaryotic cell remains one of the most contentious puzzles in modern biology. Recent studies have provided support for the emergence of the eukaryotic host cell from within the archaeal domain of life, but the identity and nature of the putative archaeal ancestor remain a subject of debate. Here we describe the discovery of 'Lokiarchaeota', a novel candidate archaeal phylum, which forms a monophyletic group with eukaryotes in phylogenomic analyses, and whose genomes encode an expanded repertoire of eukaryotic signature proteins that are suggestive of sophisticated membrane remodelling capabilities. Our results provide strong support for hypotheses in which the eukaryotic host evolved from a bona fide archaeon, and demonstrate that many components that underpin eukaryote-specific features were already present in that ancestor. This provided the host with a rich genomic 'starter-kit' to support the increase in the cellular and genomic complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Nesje A.,University of Bergen | Nesje A.,University Bjerknes Center | Matthews J.A.,University of Swansea
Holocene | Year: 2012

In the ad 1990s maritime glaciers in Scandinavia started to advance as a response to positive net mass balance in the preceding years, invoking annual advance rates in the order of ~50-60 m and a total frontal advance of 285 m (at Briksdalsbreen) in less than a decade. Records from six south Norwegian glaciers with continuous, annual front measurements are used to evaluate the magnitude, duration, climatic causes, and frontal time lags involved in this mass balance perturbation and the following frontal response of glaciers in southern Norway. A climate index based on meteorological data from Bergen unequivocally demonstrates that the main cause for the large glacier advances in Scandinavia in the 1990s was high winter precipitation linked to positive NAO index in the winters of 1988/1989, 1989/1990, 1992/1993, 1994/1995, 1997/1998, and 1999/2000. Less positive (or negative) glacier mass balance years were 1990/1991, 1993/1994, 1995/1997, and 1998/1999. Between 1996/1997 and 2009, Briksdalsbreen retreated 486 m (maximum annual retreat of 145 m in 2005/2006). The main cause of the significant glacier retreat in the early twenty-first century was a combined effect of reduced winter precipitation and higher summer temperatures. The glacier advance and following retreat phase back to the pre-advance position was completed in ~20 years, and is here termed the Briksdalsbre Event. This event has relevance for the identification and interpretation of decadal to centennial Holocene glacial events recorded in lacustrine and terrestrial sequences. © SAGE Publications 2011.


Hannisdal B.,University of Bergen | Henderiks J.,Uppsala University | Henderiks J.,University of Oslo | Liow L.H.,University of Oslo
Global Change Biology | Year: 2012

Calcifying phytoplankton play an important role in marine ecosystems and global biogeochemical cycles, affecting the transfer of both organic and inorganic carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Coccolithophores are the most prominent members of this group, being well adapted to low-nutrients environments (e.g., subtropical gyres). Despite urgent concerns, their response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (pCO 2) and ocean acidification is still poorly understood, and short-term experiments may not extrapolate into longer-term climatic adaptation. Current atmospheric pCO 2 (~390 ppmv) is unprecedented since at least 3 million years ago (Ma), and levels projected for the next century were last seen more than 34 Ma. Hence, a deep-time perspective is needed to understand the long-term effects of high pCO 2 on the biosphere. Here we combine a comprehensive fossil data set on coccolithophore cell size with a novel measure of ecological prominence: Summed Common Species Occurrence Rate (SCOR). The SCOR is decoupled from species richness, and captures changes in the extent to which coccolithophores were common and widespread, based on global occurrences in deep-sea sediments. The size and SCOR records are compared to state-of-the-art data on climatic and environmental changes from 50 to 5 Ma. We advance beyond simple correlations and trends to quantify the relative strength and directionality of information transfer among these records. Coccolithophores were globally more common and widespread, larger, and more heavily calcified in the pre-34 Ma greenhouse world, and declined along with pCO 2 during the Oligocene (34-23 Ma). Our results suggest that atmospheric pCO 2 has exerted an important long-term control on coccolithophores, directly through its availability for photosynthesis or indirectly via weathering supply of resources for growth and calcification. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Geisler J.,University of Oslo | Lonning P.E.,University of Bergen
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2010

Following the implementation of the third generation aromatase inhibitors in the treatment algorithms for early breast cancer, special attention has been given to the influence of these drugs on bone health. Due to their potent estrogen suppression, the aromatase inhibitors anastrozole and letrozole, as well as the aromatase inactivator exemestane, enhance bone loss in postmenopausal women reflected in decreasing levels of bone mineral density. Moreover, all major phase III trials involving aromatase inhibitors in the adjuvant setting have reported increased fracture rates. All in all, there is no hard evidence to suggest major differences between the individual compounds concerning their side-effects on bone. The consequences of AI therapy on bone are in addition modified by a variety of factors like the BMD level prior to therapy, time since menopause, and vitamin D status. Strategies to avoid bone loss during AI therapy have shown promising results. Thus, bisphosphonates have been shown to prohibit bone loss during AI therapy if used upfront. Novel treatment strategies, like antibodies against RANKL have been developed and promising preliminary results have been published from early trials. Standardized guidelines to avoid or minimize bone loss during AI therapy have been developed, in most countries involving calcium and vitamin D supplementation, as well as BMD measurements to identify patient subgroups demanding bisphosphonate therapy. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.3-3 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2009

AMPHORA is a Europe wide project involving researches and research institutions from 14 European countries, and counterparts and organizations from all 27 Member States, that will provide new scientific evidence for the best public health measures to reduce the harm done by alcohol through addressing social and cultural determinants, marketing and advertising, taxes and pricing, availability and access, early diagnosis and treatment of disease, interventions in drinking environments, and safer untaxed alcohol products. Cost effectiveness analyses will be undertaken in multiple settings, geographical regions, and for different gender and age groups to guide integrated policy making to reduce the harm done by alcohol. Using time series analysis, longitudinal intervention research, policy mapping, cost effectiveness analyses, and other policy relevant research methodologies, recent and current alcohol policy changes will be evaluated throughout European Member States. Current alcohol policy related infrastructures will be documented and their impact on effective policy development and implementation analyzed. The interaction between social and cultural determinants of alcohol policy and policy and preventive measures will be studied to determine the extent to which the implementation and impact of effective alcohol policies is culturally determined. Methodologies will be developed to allow tools for benchmarking and comparative analysis at the European level, advancing the state of the art in alcohol policy research and enhancing cooperation between researchers in Europe and other geographic regions to promote integration and excellence of European research in alcohol policy. AMPHORA will provide the evidence base to inform policy and decision makers at European, national and local levels to implement effective interventions to reduce the harm done by alcohol throughout a wide range of policies implemented in different sectors and settings.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2015

All visual information is broadcasted by an intra-retinal pathway formed by a group of neurons called bipolar cells. They collect photoreceptor signals in the outer retina and relay the signals to the inner retinal neurons. This transfer of visual information is far from passive: Each of the at least 10 bipolar cell types transforms the photoreceptor signals in a unique and highly specific way. As a result, the bipolar cell output signals form the first elementary operations from which the neural circuits of the inner retina compose a feature-oriented description of the visual world. Reflecting the partitioning of visual information into parallel channels, the retinal layer in which bipolar cell axon terminals meet their synaptic partners, is highly organized: This so-called inner plexiform layer effectively serves as the retinas switch board: The input is provided by the different bipolar cell channels, while the output is carried by an even larger number of channels, represented by ganglion cells that form the optic nerve. Each of the ~20 ganglion cell types composes its feature-extracting circuits from a specific set of bipolar cell input it receives. Owing to its regular structure and ease of experimental access, the retina is amongst the best understood self-standing neuronal networks in neuroscience. Indeed, recent advances hold the exciting promise that an in-depth understanding of the bipolar cells an entire class of neurons and their role in the first critical steps of visual processing is within reach. Our proposal aims to train young researchers in world-leading research labs towards completing this goal. We will accomplish this by exposing the students to a host of cutting-edge techniques and a broad spectrum of research approaches within the training network from imaging at synaptic resolution, transgenetics and retina degeneration models to the application of retinal circuit principles for signal processing in artificial vision chips.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2015

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are frequent, chronic and highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders. Despite their societal importance, progress in understanding disease biology has been slow and no curative treatment options are available. The pan-European training network MiND aims to educate a new generation of researchers in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders, through innovation-oriented research combined with highly interdisciplinary and intersectoral international training. Research and training in MiND span state-of-the-art topics in the fields of ADHD, ASD and their yet un-investigated overlap. We combine advanced (epi-)genetics approaches with bioinformatics and develop novel cell and animal models of increasing complexity to understand pathomechanisms. Integrated with research in large human DNA-neuroimaging-cognition data sets, we push forward the understanding of the biology leading from gene to cognition and disease. Our mechanistic work is embedded in a framework exploring alternative disease definitions for ADHD and ASD across the lifespan and working towards improved treatment: we use novel cognitive assessments, we probe the microbiome for dietary interventions reducing symptoms and evaluate mindfulness training as non-pharmacological treatment options, in addition to developing new compounds for pharmacological treatment optimization and individualization. The strategic collaboration of world-leading academic groups, research-intensive commercial enterprises and patient organisations will deliver 15 young, scientifically excellent researchers which are optimally prepared for private sector and academic careers. MiND can be expected to impact patients and society by improving our understanding of disease biology, by developing novel diagnostic and treatment strategies, and by raising awareness for the necessity of research of neurodevelopmental disorders from childhood to adulthood.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2013

Extensive clinical and epidemiological data clearly shows that chronic periodontal disease (PD), the most prevalent infectious inflammatory disease of mankind, is strongly linked to systemic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) , rheumatoid arthritis (RA) , and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) . Taking into account that up to 30% of the adult population worldwide suffers from severe periodontitis , the impact of this disease on human health is immense and has been recognized by World Health Organization . Nevertheless, in many EU countries PD is a neglected disease, both by the population in general and health-care personnel. Often this negligence comes to the point that, like a hair-loss, the tooth-loss due to periodontitis is still considered as a normal inevitable event associated with aging. To combat this misconception and conceive novel approaches to prevent and/or treat CVD, RA, and COPD we will explore highly innovative ideas that these non-communicable diseases are at least aggravated, if not initiated, by periodontal infection. Results emanating from our project will: i) elucidate a relationship between the presence of specific periodontal pathogens and severity of systemic diseases; ii) show that extensive periodontal treatment improves clinical parameters of investigated systemic diseases; iii) reveal the impact of eradication of specific periodontal pathogen on the level of inflammatory markers; iv) develop novel, periodontal-pathogen specific bactericidal compounds based on periodontal glutaminyl cyclase (QC), the enzyme essential for these pathogens vitality. This will reduce mortality and ameliorated quality of life of CVD, RA, and COPD patients. All of these will be possible based on the knowledge of mechanisms beyond the causative links between specific pathogen driven periodontal disease and CVD, RA, and COPD revealed by research program outlined in this project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 4.61M | Year: 2009

Chromatin packages a few meters of DNA into a nucleus measuring a few microns. This tight folding occurs by assembling DNA with histones into so-called nucleosomes, thus ensuring the mechanical stability of our genome. On the flipside, this makes nucleosomes a formidable obstacle to the machines that read, copy or repair its DNA message. One of the fundamental questions in biology is to understand how nucleosome structure is established, maintained and manipulated. Our Marie Curie Initial Training Network will carry out multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects focused on deciphering nucleosome structure and function in space and time (Nucleosome4D). Our main objective is to provide our young researchers with world-class research & training in nucleosome biology. We will use cutting-edge, interdisciplinary methods and collaborative projects to determine how nucleosomes are remodeled during transcription, when genes are silenced, as cell divide, as stem cells differentiate, during organismal development and in human disease. We utilize state-of-the-art approaches in structural biology, biophysics, cell biology, live-cell imaging, biochemistry, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. We will implement a comprehensive training plan for scientific and career development using the best local approaches to research & training, by promoting exchanges, using the advise of our industrial partners and three Visiting Scientists, by sharing reagents and expertise, as well as through a structured set of scientific workshops and complementary skills training courses. Together, our effort will ensure the multidisciplinary and intersectorial training of a new cohort of young European researchers. This will allow our trainees to take the opportunities and meet the challenges of a successful career in the life science sector through excellent training, effective communication, great teamwork and proven project management skills.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-16-2014 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2015

Terrestrial and marine ecosystems provide essential services to human societies. Anthropogenic pressures, however, cause serious threat to ecosystems, leading to habitat degradation, increased risk of collapse and loss of ecosystem services. Knowledge-based conservation, management and restoration policies are needed to improve ecosystem benefits in face of increasing pressures. ECOPOTENTIAL makes significant progress beyond the state-of-the-art and creates a unified framework for ecosystem studies and management of protected areas (PA). ECOPOTENTIAL focuses on internationally recognized PAs in Europe and beyond in a wide range of biogeographic regions, and it includes UNESCO, Natura2000 and LTER sites and Large Marine Ecosystems. Best use of Earth Observation (EO) and monitoring data is enabled by new EO open-access ecosystem data services (ECOPERNICUS). Modelling approaches including information from EO data are devised, ecosystem services in current and future conditions are assessed and the requirements of future protected areas are defined. Conceptual approaches based on Essential Variables, Macrosystem Ecology and cross-scale interactions allow for a deeper understanding of the Earths Critical Zone. Open and interoperable access to data and knowledge is assured by a GEO Ecosystem Virtual Laboratory Platform, fully integrated in GEOSS. Support to transparent and knowledge-based conservation and management policies, able to include information from EO data, is developed. Knowledge gained in the PAs is upscaled to pan-European conditions and used for planning and management of future PAs. A permanent stakeholder consultancy group (GEO Ecosystem Community of Practice) will be created. Capacity building is pursued at all levels. SMEs are involved to create expertise leading to new job opportunities, ensuring long-term continuation of services. In summary, ECOPOTENTIAL uses the most advanced technologies to improve future ecosystem benefits for humankind.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-6-2015 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2016

Biological sequence diversity in nowhere as apparent as in the vast sequence space of viral genomes. The Virus-X project will specifically explore the outer realms of this diversity by targeting the virosphere of selected microbial ecosystems and investigate the encoded functional variety of viral gene products. The project is driven by the expected large innovation value and unique properties of viral proteins, previously demonstrated by the many virally-derived DNA and RNA processing enzymes used in biotechnology. Concomitantly, the project will advance our understanding of important aspects of ecology in terms of viral diversity, ecosystem dynamics and virus-host interplay. Last but not least, due to the inherent challenges in gene annotation, functional assignments and other virus-specific technical obstacles of viral metagenomics, the Virus-X project specifically addresses these challenges using innovative measures in all parts of the discovery and analysis pipeline, from sampling difficult extreme biotopes, through sequencing and innovative bioinformatics to efficient production of enzymes for molecular biotechnology. Virus-X will advance the metagenomic tool-box significantly and our capabilities for future exploitation of viral biological diversity, the largest unexplored genetic reservoir on Earth.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-8 | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013

The MIDAS project addresses fundamental environmental issues relating to the exploitation of deep-sea mineral and energy resources; specifically polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements. These new industries will have significant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems, in some cases extending over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. Scientific knowledge is needed urgently to develop guidelines for industry ensuring wealth creation and Best Environmental Practice. MIDAS will assess the nature and scales of the potential impacts including 1) physical destruction of the seabed by mining, the creation of mine tailings and the potential for catastrophic slope failures from methane hydrate exploitation, 2) the potential effects of particle-laden plumes in the water column, and 3) the possible toxic chemicals that might be released by the mining process. Knowledge of the impacts will be used to address the key biological unknowns, such as connectivity between populations, impacts of the loss of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, and how quickly the ecosystems will recover. The information derived will be used to guide recommendations for best practice, iterating with MIDAS industry partners and the wider stakeholder community to ensure that solutions are practical and cost-effective. We will engage with European and international regulatory organisations to take these recommendations forward into legislation in a timely fashion. A major element of MIDAS will be to develop methods and technologies for 1) preparing baseline assessments of biodiversity, and 2) monitoring activities remotely in the deep sea during and after exploitation (including ecosystem recovery). The MIDAS partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 4.07M | Year: 2015

The proposed European Training Network, MARmaED, connects science, policy and people and transcends national borders, disciplinary barriers and sectorial divides. By building a greater knowledge base and train the next generation of scientists to think across disciplines, MARmaED contributes to reinforce Europes position as a global leader in marine science and ensure blue growth and sustainable exploitation of marine living resources. The objectives of MARmaED are: - To increase the marine scientific knowledge base by integrating traditionally separate scientific disciplines within a unified learning platform. - To train a new generation of innovative researchers with interdisciplinary experience and skilled in promoting marine science to a wide audience. MARmaED integrates education and research in complementary marine sciences in Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and France. Specifically, the network links state-of-the-art competences in genetics, ecophysiology, ecology, climatology, physical oceanography, statistics and economics. By so doing, the network unifies essential disciplines needed to achieve a good understanding and management of the marine environment. The research will provide new insights into how the cumulative stress from biodiversity loss, climate change and harvesting affects Europes complex marine systems and the consequences for optimal resource use - knowledge that is needed for sustainable, ecosystem-based management. MARmaED has a strong focus on training, with a mobility programme facilitating inter-disciplinarity and training modules of transferrable skills such as communication. Targeted secondments in the non-academic sector will provide the networks students with inter-sectorial training and favourable employment opportunities. MARmaED will thus create novel standards in the training of a new generation of multi-disciplinarily skilled and creative marine scientists, fit to address Europes future challenges.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-5-04 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2009

Trade in aquatic products is the largest global food sector, by value, and Asia represents the main external source of aquatic products into the EU. Current EU policy supporting international trade between Asia and Europe concentrates on issues of food safety as measures of quality, whilst market-forces drive development of standards and labels that identify social and environmental parameters. This project proposes to establish an evidence-based framework to support current stakeholder dialogues organised by a third party certifier. This will contribute to harmonising standards, helping consumers to make fully informed choices with regards to the sustainability and safety of their seafood. The Ethical Aquatic Food Index, a qualitative holistic measure of overall sustainability to support consumers purchasing decisions, will be based on detailed research centred around a Life Cycle Assessment of current processes involved in ensuring aquatic products reach consumers, aligned with analyses from the sustainable livelihoods approach and systems thinking. SMEs based in the EU will participate in this project, particularly the action research phase, enhancing their relative competitiveness. By strengthening the knowledge base surrounding EU-Asia seafood trade the project will provide the evidence required to support further expansion whilst ensuring a fair deal for producers who are meeting appropriate social and environmental goals and offering a safe and sustainable product for consumers. The sectors covered represent the main aquaculture products reaching EU markets; tilapia, catfish, shrimps and prawns. Known case study stakeholders include SMEs in Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Vietnam where sustainability is essential in the face of rapid growth. The research will secondarily improve understanding of opportunities for European exports to supply the expanding middleclass in Asia. Outputs will be promoted through workshops, websites, journal and press articles.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 996.69K | Year: 2016

The exploitation of the ocean unraveled a huge diversity of organisms producing innovative compounds used as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and antifoulings. The aim of BLUEandGREEN is to strength the performance of CIIMAR - Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, from the low performing Member State Portugal, in the emergent area of marine biotechnology. This will be done by the establishment of a scientific strategy for stepping up and stimulating scientific excellence and innovation capacity in partnership with four internationally-leading counterparts at the EU level: the University of Helsinki, Finland, the University of Bergen, Norway, GEOMAR, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany, and Fundacin MEDINA, Spain. BLUEandGREEN scientific strategy includes: to review the latest research and innovation advances in the sector, identify and address institutional network gaps and deficiencies; to raise staffs research profile and excellence by training and mentoring; to increase stakeholder interaction and mobilization to research and innovation partnerships; to guide research to contribute to economic growth; to deliver a framework for strengthening a long-term research and innovation environment in marine biotechnology. The network enhancement will enforce cluster dynamics in close interaction with industrial partners to contribute to regional, national and EU Blue Growth strategies, especially to marine biotechnology industry. The implementation of brokerage with stakeholders and market-oriented projects will dismantle trade barriers, increase the ways of communication among partners and promote knowledge enhancements and its conversion in business. Being Portugal, especially North Portugal, a peripheral region, this will contribute to the change its economic landscape, giving new opportunities for development and job creation and reinforcing the role of marine biotechnology in the economic development of Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-2-2015 | Award Amount: 975.52K | Year: 2015

EMBRC is a distributed infrastructure of marine biology and ecology, encompassing aquaculture and biotechnology, exploiting the latest omics, analytical and imaging technologies, and providing on site and remote scientific and technical services to the scientific community of the public and private sector. EMBRC successfully completed a preparatory phase in early in 2014 with the production of a business plan and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by 9 countries. A host for its headquarters has been chosen and and an ERIC application is in preparation. Since only institutions from 5 MoU signatory countries went through the preparatory phase, the present proposal has as objectives: 1) to harmonize the access mechanism to the operational EMBRC-ERIC across all the partners, putting all the practical tools in place, including host contracts and single point online access platform, to enable EMBRC-ERIC to commence its access program; 2) to put in place practical guidelines towards the full implementation of the new European and international legislation and commitments on access and fair benefit sharing of the use of marine biological resources, thus providing clarity to future users of EMBRC-ERIC about their legal rights over obtained biological resources, and positioning itself globally as a broker between users and the supplying countries ; 3) to focus the smart specialization of the regions onto the opportunities marine biological resources offer for blue-biotech development and innovation, thus demonstrating the member states that EMBRC is a tool towards economic development of their maritime regions, and enticing them to sign the EMBRC-ERIC, and prioritize its sustained support, particularly from regions which are now underrepresented in EMBRC (Black and Baltic Seas). These activities will ensure that the beneficiary research communities can exploit the results obtained at EMBRC-ERIC facility from the start with the highest efficiency.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 31.03M | Year: 2015

The nations of Europe are distributed around some of the most complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet and understanding these is essential to the security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technology, both on- and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this information with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and furnish essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems are distributed across Europe and the globe and measure the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS will bring together 24 European nations and combine national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earths resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 2.85M | Year: 2010

Scientists develop computer models of real, complex systems to increase understanding of their behaviour and make predictions. A prime example is the Earths climate. Complex climate models are used to compute the climate change in response to expected changes in the composition of the atmosphere due to man-made emissions. Years of research have improved the ability to simulate the climate of the recent past but these models are still far from perfect. The model projections of the globally averaged temperature increase by the end of this century differ by as much as a factor of two, and differ completely in regard to projections for specific regions of the globe.\n\nCurrent practice commonly averages the predictions of the separate models. Our proposed approach is instead to form a consensus by combining the models into one super model. The super model has learned from past observations how to optimally exchange information among individual models at every moment in time. Results in nonlinear dynamics suggest that the models can be made to synchronize with each other even if only a small amount of information is exchanged, forming a consensus that best represents reality. This innovative approach to reduce uncertainty might be compared to a group of scientists resolving their differences through dialogue, rather than simply voting or averaging their opinions.\n\nExperts from non-linear dynamics, machine-learning and climate science are brought together within SUMO to produce a climate change simulation with a super model combining state-of-the-art climate models. The super-modelling concept has the potential to provide improved estimates of global and regional climate change, so as to motivate and inform policy decisions. The approach is applicable in other situations where a small number of alternative models exist of the same real-world complex system, as in economy, ecology or biology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-4-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 9.04M | Year: 2015

Marine (blue) biotechnology is the key to unlocking the huge economic potential of the unique biodiversity of marine organisms. This potential remains largely underexploited due to lack of connectivity between research services, practical and cultural difficulties in connecting science with industry, and high fragmentation of regional research, development and innovation (RDI) policies. To overcome these barriers, EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Resource Infrastructure Cluster) will link biological and social science research infrastructures (EMBRC, MIRRI, EU-OPENSCREEN, ELIXIR, AQUAEXCEL, RISIS) and will build inter-connectivity along three dimensions: science, industry and regions. The objectives of EMBRIC are to: (1) develop integrated workflows of high quality services for access to biological, analytical and data resources, and deploy common underpinning technologies and practices; (2) strengthen the connection of science with industry by engaging companies and by federating technology transfer (TT) services; (3) defragment RDI policies and involve maritime regions with the construction of EMBRIC. Acceleration of the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine bioresources will be achieved through: (i) establishment of multidisciplinary service-oriented technological workflows; (ii) joint development activities focusing on bioprospection for novel marine natural products, and marker-assisted selection in aquaculture; (iii) training and knowledge transfer; (iv) pilot transnational access to cluster facilities and services. EMBRIC will also connect TT officers from contrasted maritime regions to promote greater cohesion in TT practices. It will engage with policy-makers with the aim of consolidating a perennial pan-European virtual infrastructure cluster rooted in the maritime regions of Europe and underpinning the blue bioeconomy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 5.32M | Year: 2008

The ERICON-AB project will generate the strategic, legal, financial and organisational frameworks required from National Governments and the European Commission to commit financial resources to the construction and running of the European Polar Research Icebreaker AURORA BOREALIS. Scientific management frameworks will be assessed including mechanisms to handle dedicated large-scale multi-year or special mission specific research programmes. The strategic integration of the facility into the fabric of the European Research Area shall be achieved by connecting the national research priorities and the demand of ship time of the stakeholder countries with a European level facility. The relevance of the facility in promoting science and technology cooperation with EU strategic partner countries such as the Russian Federation will be specifically analysed. Deliverables will focus on moving the project from the preparatory phase to the construction phase by addressing key barriers especially in relation to engineering financial models that allow the mixed participation of EU member states and Non-EU partner countries. Consortium partners and legal experts will develop the legal/political frameworks for joint ownership and operation of a multi-country research facility. A dedicated legal implementation structure for managing and operating the AURORA BOREALIS will be proposed and its connection with other existing research assets such as Polar Stations, air support and supporting satellite assets will be analysed. The final deliverables of this project will be concerned with reaching a decision point and agreement with nations ready to move forward with the construction phase. It is anticipated that a series of natural decision points for agencies/governments to pass on their individual degree of integration into the project will be programmed in to the ERICON - AB Stakeholder councils meetings.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.3.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2010

The purpose of this project is to develop research-based, culture- and gender-sensitive, sustainable, community-based interventions to promote sexual- and reproductive health among adolescents aged 12-14 years in southern and East Africa, with schools as the gateway for delivery. In two sites (Cape Town and Dar es Salaam), comprehensive, best practice, effectiveness studies will be implemented. The aim of the interventions for these studies is that the adolescents use condoms correctly and consistently, postpone sexual debut, or reduce the number of sexual partners. In two other African sites (Limpopo and Kampala), we shall carry out focused efficacy studies. The innovation in the proposal derives from the manner and extent to which we address gender-based violence; parent-child communication on sexuality; culture-specific norms, attitudes and beliefs; active involvement of school students in peer education; contextual factors (physical, organizational and cultural aspects of environments); and action planning. The evaluation includes a process evaluation utilising mainly qualitative methods, and an outcome evaluation involving intervention and comparison groups at all sites. The sample for the effectiveness studies will consist of 15 matched pairs of schools (6000 students), with one school in each pair being randomly allocated to each of the groups in each site. The sample for the efficacy studies will consist of 40 school classes (1200 students) in each group in each site. The theoretical framework draws from social cognition and community mobilisation models. Statistical analyses will exploit current advances in structural equation modelling and multilevel analysis. The use of a biological marker (HSV2) as a proxy for sexual practices will be explored in the first two years of the project. This proposal is perfectly consistent with priorities described under area 4.3.2.1 Strategies and interventions for improving reproductive health (SICA).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.4.1 | Award Amount: 8.15M | Year: 2008

Science Created by You (SCY) will deliver a system for constructive and productive learning of science and technology. SCY uses a flexible and adaptive pedagogical approach to learning based on emerging learning objects (ELOs) that are created by learners. \n\nIn SCY-Lab (the SCY learning system) students work individually and collaboratively on missions which are guided by a general socio-scientific question (for example how can we produce healthier milk?) and fulfilling the mission requires a combination of knowledge from different domains (e.g., physics and mathematics, or biology and engineering).\n\nWhile on a SCY-mission, students perform several types of learning actions that can be characterised as productive (experiment, game, share, explain, design, etc.), students encounter multiple resources, they collaborate with varying coalitions of peers, and they use changing constellations of tools and scaffolds (e.g., to design a plan, to state a hypothesis etc.). The configuration of SCY-Lab is adaptive to the actual learning situation, advising students on appropriate learning actions, resources, tools and scaffolds, or peer learners that can support the learning process. The SCY project aims at students between 12-18 years. A total of five concrete SCY-missions will be developed.\n\nThe SCY approach is enabled by the innovative architecture of SCY-Lab that supports the creation, manipulation, and sharing of ELOs (models, data sets, designs, plans, etc.). The central unit in the SCY architecture is a broker that configures SCY-Lab to unfolding learning processes and activities. For this it uses information from pedagogical agents that exploit techniques of educational data mining to monitor information in the SCY repository that stores the ELOs as well as domain information, the log-files of student behaviour, and the recorded chats between students.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 6.19M | Year: 2016

Understanding mechanisms underlying comorbid disorders poses a challenge for developing precision medicine tools. Psychiatric disorders are highly comorbid, and are among the last areas of medicine, where classification is driven by phenomenology rather than pathophysiology. We will study comorbidity between the most frequent psychiatric conditions, ADHD, mood/anxiety, and substance use disorders, and a highly prevalent somatic disease, obesity. ADHD, a childhood-onset disorder, forms the entry into a lifelong negative trajectory characterized by these comorbidities. Common mechanisms underlying this course are unknown, despite their relevance for early detection, prevention, and treatment. Our interdisciplinary team of experts will integrate epidemiologic/genetic approaches with experimental designs to address those issues. We will determine disease burden of comorbidity, calculate its socioeconomic impact, and reveal risk factors. We will study biological pathways of comorbidity and derive biomarkers, prioritizing two candidate mechanisms (circadian rhythm and dopaminergic neurotransmission), but also leveraging large existing data sets to identify new ones. A pilot clinical trial to study non-pharmacologic, dopamine-based and chronobiological treatments will be performed, employing innovative mHealth to monitor and support patients daily life. Integration of findings will lead to prediction algorithms enhancing early diagnosis and prevention of comorbidity. Finally, we will screen to repurpose existing pharmacological compounds. Integrating complementary approaches based on large-scale, existing data and innovative data collection, we maximize value for money in this project, leading to insight into the mechanisms underlying this comorbidity triad with its huge burden for healthcare, economy, and society. This will facilitate early detection and non-invasive, scalable, and low-cost treatment, creating opportunities for substantial and immediate societal impact.


Yu D.,Northwestern University | Yazaydin A.O.,University of Surrey | Lane J.R.,University of Waikato | Dietzel P.D.C.,Sintef | And 2 more authors.
Chemical Science | Year: 2013

A first principles study of CO2 adsorption is presented for a group of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) known as CPO-27-M, where M = Mg, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. These materials consist of one-dimensional channels with a high concentration of open metal sites and have been identified as among the most promising MOFs for CO2 capture. In addition, extensive, high-pressure, experimental adsorption results are reported for CO2, CH4, and N2 at temperatures ranging from 278 K to 473 K. Isosteric heats of adsorption were calculated from the variable-temperature isotherms. The binding energies of CO2 calculated using an MP2-based QM/MM method are in good agreement with those obtained from experiments. The relative CO2 binding strengths for the different transition metals can be explained by the relative strength of electrostatic interactions caused by the effective charge of the metal atom in the direction of the open metal site induced by incomplete screening of 3d electrons. The Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, and Cu versions of CPO-27 are predicted to be anti-ferromagnetic in their ground states. Selectivities for CO2 over CH4 or N2 were calculated from the experimental isotherms using ideal adsorbed solution theory. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-21-2016 | Award Amount: 1.14M | Year: 2017

INJECTs objective is to transfer new digital technologies to news organisations to improve the creativity and the productivity of journalists, in order to increase the competitiveness of European news and media organisations. To achieve this objective, INJECT will extend and aggregate new digital services and tools already developed by consortium members to support journalist creativity and efficiency, and integrate the services and tools with current CMSs and journalist work tools in order to facilitate their uptake and use in newsrooms. The services will undertake new forms of automated creative search on behalf of journalists, using public sources (e.g. social media) and private digital resources (e.g. digital libraries of political cartoons) to generate sources of inspiration for journalists who are seeking new angles on stories. The tools will provide new interactive support for journalists to think creatively about new stories and reuse news content in new ways to increase productivity. To transfer the new services and tools to Europes news and media organisations, INJECT will establish a new INJECT spin-off business, build up and expand multiple vibrant ecosystems of providers and users of new digital technologies, and exploit its position at the heart of Europes journalism industry to raise market awareness and take-up on the services and tools. With respect to Call ICT21, INJECT will increase the competitiveness of one of Europes most important creative industries journalism - by stimulating ICT innovation in SMEs, by effectively building up and expanding vibrant EU technological ecosystems that will meet the emerging needs of Europes new and existing news and media organisations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 10.23M | Year: 2016

The objective of SponGES is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use vulnerable sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The SponGES consortium, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions, environmental non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, will focus on one of the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important and vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea - sponge grounds that to date have received very little research and conservation attention. Our approach will address the scope and challenges of ECs Blue Growth Call by strengthening the knowledge base, improving innovation, predicting changes, and providing decision support tools for management and sustainable use of marine resources. SponGES will fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable sponge ecosystems and provide guidelines for their preservation and sustainable exploitation. North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds will be mapped and characterized, and a geographical information system on sponge grounds will be developed to determine drivers of past and present distribution. Diversity, biogeographic and connectivity patterns will be investigated through a genomic approach. Function of sponge ecosystems and the goods and services they provide, e.g. in habitat provision, bentho-pelagic coupling and biogeochemical cycling will be identified and quantified. This project will further unlock the potential of sponge grounds for innovative blue biotechnology namely towards drug discovery and tissue engineering. It will improve predictive capacities by quantifying threats related to fishing, climate change, and local disturbances. SpongeGES outputs will form the basis for modeling and predicting future ecosystem dynamics under environmental changes. SponGES will develop an adaptive ecosystem-based management plan that enables conservation and good governance of these marine resources on regional and international levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-09-2016 | Award Amount: 15.49M | Year: 2016

The overall objective of INTAROS is to develop an integrated Arctic Observation System (iAOS) by extending, improving and unifying existing systems in the different regions of the Arctic. INTAROS will have a strong multidisciplinary focus, with tools for integration of data from atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and terrestrial sciences, provided by institutions in Europe, North America and Asia. Satellite earth observation data plays an increasingly important role in such observing systems, because the amount of EO data for observing the global climate and environment grows year by year. In situ observing systems are much more limited due to logistical constraints and cost limitations. The sparseness of in situ data is therefore the largest gap in the overall observing system. INTAROS will assess strengths and weaknesses of existing observing systems and contribute with innovative solutions to fill some of the critical gaps in the in situ observing network. INTAROS will develop a platform, iAOS, to search for and access data from distributed databases. The evolution into a sustainable Arctic observing system requires coordination, mobilization and cooperation between the existing European and international infrastructures (in-situ and remote including space-based), the modeling communities and relevant stakeholder groups. INTAROS will include development of community-based observing systems, where local knowledge is merged with scientific data. An integrated Arctic Observation System will enable better-informed decisions and better-documented processes within key sectors (e.g. local communities, shipping, tourism, fisheries), in order to strengthen the societal and economic role of the Arctic region and support the EU strategy for the Arctic and related maritime and environmental policies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.00M | Year: 2017

Experimentation in mesocosms is arguably the single most powerful approach to obtain a mechanistic quantitative understanding of ecosystem-level impacts of stressors in complex systems, especially when embedded in long-term observations, theoretical models and experiments conducted at other scales. AQUACOSM builds on an established European network of mesocosm research infrastructures (RI), the FP7 Infra project MESOAQUA (2009-2012), where 167 users successfully conducted 74 projects. AQUACOSM greatly enhances that network on pelagic marine systems in at least 3 ways: first by expanding it to 10 freshwater (rivers and lakes), 2 brackish and 2 benthic marine facilities, and by involving 2 SMEs and reaching out to more, thereby granting effective transnational access to world-leading mesocosm facilities to >340 users on >11500 days; second, by integrating scattered know-how between freshwater and marine RI; and third, by uniting aquatic mesocosm science in an open network beyond the core consortium, with industry involved in an ambitious innovation process, to promote ground-breaking developments in mesocosm technology, instrumentation and data processing. A new dimension of experimental ecosystem science will be reached by coordinated mesocosm experiments along transects from the Mediterranean to the Arctic and beyond salinity boundaries. These efforts will culminate in a joint research activity (JRA) to assess aquatic ecosystem responses across multiple environmental gradients to a selected climate-related key stressor with repercussions for ecosystem services. Overall, AQUACOSM will fill a global void by forging an integrated freshwater and marine research infrastructure network. Long-term sustainability is sought through assessing governance models based on science priorities and economic innovation opportunities. Linkages to and synergies with ESFRI RI and other large initiatives are ensured by AQUACOSM partners and Advisory Board members in those programs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.00M | Year: 2016

The SeaDataNet pan-European infrastructure has been developed by NODCs and major research institutes from 34 countries. Over 100 marine data centres are connected and provide discovery and access to data resources for all European researchers. Moreover, SeaDataNet is a key infrastructure driving several portals of the European Marine Observation and Data network (EMODnet), initiated by EU DG-MARE for Marine Knowledge, MSFD, and Blue Growth. SeaDataNet complements the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS), coordinated by EU DG-GROW. However, more effective and convenient access is needed to better support European researchers. The standards, tools and services developed must be reviewed and upgraded to keep pace with demand, such as developments of new sensors, and international and IT standards. Also EMODnet and Copernicus pose extra challenges to boost performance and foster INSPIRE compliance. More data from more data providers must be made available, from European and international research projects and observing programmes. SeaDataCloud aims at considerably advancing SeaDataNet services and increasing their usage, adopting cloud and HPC technology for better performance. More users will be engaged and for longer sessions by including advanced services in a Virtual Research Environment. Researchers will be empowered with a collection of services and tools, tailored to their specific needs, supporting marine research and enabling generation of added-value products. Data concern the wide range of in situ observations and remote sensing data. To have access to the latest cloud technology and facilities, SeaDataNet will cooperate with EUDAT, a network of computing infrastructures that develop and operate a common framework for managing scientific data across Europe. SeaDataCloud will improve services to users and data providers, optimise connecting data centres and streams, and interoperate with other European and international networks.


HarmonicSS vision is to create an International Network and Alliance of partners and cohorts, entrusted with the mission of addressing the unmet needs in primary Sjogren Syndrome; working together to create and maintain a platform with open standards and tools, designed to enable secure storage, governance, analytics, access control and controlled sharing of information at multiple levels along with methods to make results of analyses and outcomes comparable across centers and sustainable through Rheumatology associations. The overall idea of the HarmonicSS project is to bring together the largest well characterized regional, national and international longitudinal cohorts of patients with Primary Sjgrens Syndrome (pSS) including those participating in clinical trials, and after taking into consideration the ethical, legal, privacy and IPR issues for sharing data from different countries, to semantically interlink and harmonize them into an integrative pSS cohort structure on the cloud. Upon this harmonized cohort, services for big data mining, governance and visual analytics will be integrated, to address the identified clinical and health policy pSS unmet needs. In addition, tools for specific diagnostic procedures (e.g. ultrasonography image segmentation), patient selection for clinical trials and training will be also provided. The users of the HarmonicSS platform are researchers (basic/translational), clinicians, health policy makers and pharma companies. pSS is relevant not only due to its clinical impact but also as one of the few model diseases to link autoimmunity, cancer development (lymphoproliferation) and the pathogenetic role of infection. Thus, the study of pSS can facilitate research in many areas of medicine; for this reason, the possibility for sustainability and expandability of the platform is enhanced. Moreover, pSS has a significant impact on the healthcare systems, similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-10-2016 | Award Amount: 8.10M | Year: 2016

Blue-Action will provide fundamental and empirically-grounded, executable science that quantifies and explains the role of a changing Arctic in increasing predictive capability of weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere.To achieve this Blue-Action will take a transdisciplinary approach, bridging scientific understanding within Arctic climate, weather and risk management research, with key stakeholder knowledge of the impacts of climatic weather extremes and hazardous events; leading to the co-design of better services.This bridge will build on innovative statistical and dynamical approaches to predict weather and climate extremes. In dialogue with users, Blue-Arctic will take stock in existing knowledge about cross-sectoral impacts and vulnerabilities with respect to the occurrence of these events when associated to weather and climate predictions. Modeling and prediction capabilities will be enhanced by targeting firstly, lower latitude oceanic and atmospheric drivers of regional Arctic changes and secondly, Arctic impacts on Northern Hemisphere climate and weather extremes. Coordinated multi-model experiments will be key to test new higher resolution model configurations, innovative methods to reduce forecast error, and advanced methods to improve uptake of new Earth observations assets are planned. Blue-Action thereby demonstrates how such an uptake may assist in creating better optimized observation system for various modelling applications. The improved robust and reliable forecasting can help meteorological and climate services to better deliver tailored predictions and advice, including sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales, will take Arctic climate prediction beyond seasons and to teleconnections over the Northern Hemisphere. Blue-Action will through its concerted efforts therefore contribute to the improvement of climate models to represent Arctic warming realistically and address its impact on regional and global atmospheric and oceanic circulation.


Hirnstein M.,University of Bergen | Westerhausen R.,University of Bergen | Korsnes M.S.,University of Oslo | Hugdahl K.,University of Bergen
Cortex | Year: 2013

Men are often believed to have a functionally more asymmetrical brain organization than women, but the empirical evidence for sex differences in lateralization is unclear to date. Over the years we have collected data from a vast number of participants using the same consonant-vowel dichotic listening task, a reliable marker for language lateralization. One dataset comprised behavioral data from 1782 participants (885 females, 125 non-right-handers), who were divided in four age groups (children <10yrs, adolescents=10-15yrs, younger adults=16-49yrs, and older adults >50yrs). In addition, we had behavioral and functional imaging (fMRI) data from another 104 younger adults (49 females, aged 18-45yrs), who completed the same dichotic listening task in a 3T scanner. This database allowed us to comprehensively test whether there is a sex difference in functional language lateralization. Across all participants and in both datasets a right ear advantage (REA) emerged, reflecting left-hemispheric language lateralization. Accordingly, the fMRI data revealed a leftward asymmetry in superior temporal lobe language processing areas. In the N=1782 dataset no main effect of sex but a significant sex by age interaction emerged: the REA increased with age in both sexes but as a result of an earlier onset in females the REA was stronger in female than male adolescents. In turn, male younger adults showed greater asymmetry than female younger adults (accounting for <1% of variance). There were no sex differences in children and older adults. The males in the fMRI dataset (. N=104) also had a greater REA than females (accounting for 4% of variance), but no sex difference emerged in the neuroimaging data. Handedness did not affect these findings. Taken together, our findings suggest that sex differences in language lateralization as assessed with dichotic listening exist, but they are (a) not necessarily reflected in fMRI data, (b) age-dependent and (c) relatively small. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.4.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 8.67M | Year: 2011

Today, countries use a wide variety of methods to monitor the carbon cycle and it is difficult to compare data from country to country and to get a clear global picture. The current global observational and modelling capabilities allow us to produce estimates of carbon budget at different level (from local to global) but many uncertainties still remain. Decision makers need now more than ever systematic, consistent and transparent data, information and tools for an independent and reliable verification process of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks. Therefore higher quality and quantity of CO2 and CH4 data, from different domains and with an enhanced spatial and temporal resolution, need to be collected by a globally integrated observation and analysis system. This can be obtained by the coordinated Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System that this project aims at designing, addressing the climate targets of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) toward building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) for carbon. Specific objectives of the GEOCARBON project are: Provide an aggregated set of harmonized global carbon data information (integrating the land, ocean, atmosphere and human dimension) Develop improved Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation Systems (CCDAS) Define the specifications for an operational Global Carbon Observing System Provide improved regional carbon budgets of Amazon and Central Africa Provide comprehensive and synthetic information on the annual sources and sinks of CO2 for the globe and for large ocean and land regions Improve the assessment of global CH4 sources and sinks and develop the CH4 observing system component Provide an economic assessment of the value of an enhanced Global Carbon Observing System Strengthen the effectiveness of the European (and global) Carbon Community participation in the GEO system


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 8.15M | Year: 2013

Aggression is a basic physiological trait with important roles throughout evolution, both in defence and predation. When expressed in humans in the wrong context, aggression leads to maladjustment, social impairment and crime. Despite this, knowledge about aggression aetiology is limited and current treatment strategies are insufficient. Contingent to a subdivision into impulsive and instrumental subtypes, we investigate the aetiology of maladaptive aggression in paediatric conduct disorders most strongly predisposing to pathological aggression, ADHD and conduct disorder, and in the general population. We employ highly innovative approaches in humans and animal models and maximize the output from the project by optimally balancing the use of large, existing data sets with new data acquisition. Through this, we build a knowledge chain from molecule to behaviour, investigating known and novel genes, gene-networks and their epigenetic interactions, and mapping their mode of action from the molecular via the cellular to the brain-circuit level. This is accompanied by highly powered analyses of the neural substrates of the aggression subtypes. Based on innovative bioinformatic multimodal data integration, our interdisciplinary research will lead to novel, accurate algorithms for reliable aggression prediction, which will be validated in existing longitudinal studies in children and tested for their predictive value in adult outcome. In addition to this approach towards prevention, we test promising non-pharmacological biofeedback for personalised treatment and prevention of overt aggression. For the identification of novel pharmacological compounds in aggression treatment, we introduce a new animal model, the zebrafish. The Aggressotype consortium is based on successful existing collaborations. It includes experts in childhood and adult psychiatry and research-intensive SMEs ensuring maximal dissemination, clinical implementation and business development opportunities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-3 | Award Amount: 13.98M | Year: 2011

The ECO2 project sets out to assess the risks associated with the storage of CO2 below the seabed. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is regarded as a key technology for the reduction of CO2 emissions from power plants and other sources at the European and international level. The EU will hence support a selected portfolio of demonstration projects to promote, at industrial scale, the implementation of CCS in Europe. Several of these projects aim to store CO2 below the seabed. However, little is known about the short-term and long-term impacts of CO2 storage on marine ecosystems even though CO2 has been stored sub-seabed in the North Sea (Sleipner) for over 13 years and for one year in the Barents Sea (Snhvit). Against this background, the proposed ECO2 project will assess the likelihood of leakage and impact of leakage on marine ecosystems. In order to do so ECO2 will study a sub-seabed storage site in operation since 1996 (Sleipner, 90 m water depth), a recently opened site (Snhvit, 2008, 330 m water depth), and a potential storage site located in the Polish sector of the Baltic Sea (B3 field site, 80 m water depth) covering the major geological settings to be used for the storage of CO2. Novel monitoring techniques will be applied to detect and quantify the fluxes of formation fluids, natural gas, and CO2 from storage sites and to develop appropriate and effective monitoring strategies. Field work at storage sites will be supported by modelling and laboratory experiments and complemented by process and monitoring studies at natural CO2 seeps that serve as analogues for potential CO2 leaks at storage sites. ECO2 will also investigate the perception of marine CCS in the public and develop effective means to disseminate the project results to stakeholders and policymakers. Finally, a best practice guide for the management of sub-seabed CO2 storage sites will be developed applying the precautionary principle and valuing the costs for monitoring and remediation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.15. | Award Amount: 11.18M | Year: 2013

IS-ENES2 is the second phase project of the distributed e-infrastructure of models, model data and metadata of the European Network for Earth System Modelling (ENES). This network gathers together the European modelling community working on understanding and predicting climate variability and change. ENES organizes and supports European contributions to international experiments used in assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This activity provides the predictions on which EU mitigation and adaptation policies are built. IS-ENES2 further integrates the European climate modelling community, stimulates common developments of software for models and their environments, fosters the execution and exploitation of high-end simulations and supports the dissemination of model results to the climate research and impact communities. IS-ENES2 implements the ENES strategy published in 2012 by: extending its services on data from global to regional climate models, supporting metadata developments based on the FP7 METAFOR project, easing access to climate projections for studies on climate impact and preparing common high-resolution modeling experiments for the large European computing facilities. IS-ENES2 also underpins the communitys efforts to prepare for the challenge of future exascale architectures. IS-ENES2 combines expertise in climate modelling, computational science, data management and climate impacts. The central point of entry to IS-ENES2 services, the ENES Portal, integrates information on the European climate models and provides access to models and software environments needed to run and exploit model simulations, as well as to simulation data, metadata and processing utilities. Joint research activities improve the efficient use of high-performance computers and enhance services on models and data. Networking activities increase the cohesion of the European ESM community and advance a coordinated European Network for Earth System modelling.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.4.1.3.2. | Award Amount: 4.75M | Year: 2008

At present there are a number of fixed point observatories that autonomously measure biological, chemical and physical variables in the oceans around Europe. These operate at various levels of sophistication but in a largely uncoordinated and fragmented manner. There is no agreed set of basic variables and common data protocols are not followed. EuroSITES has two main objectives: 1: To enhance the existing deep ocean observatories thus forming a coherent European network. This will then provide a clear and relevant description of the time varying properties of the ocean system. 2: To perform a small number of specific science missions that will, in the future, form the basis for greatly improved and novel monitoring capability. The work we propose addresses directly and explicitly the vision of GEOSS. We will address this in the context of the time changing properties of the ocean interior, seafloor and sub seafloor around Europe. EuroSITES will promote links with other international observation networks such as the network envisioned under the U.S. National Science Foundations Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Long-term time-series data offer some of the most important insights into the ways our oceans are changing. Crucially important processes occur on time scales that can not be observed by ships and in the deep parts of the ocean that are outside the reach of satellites. Sustained in situ observations are therefore required to provide high quality data on climatically and ecologically relevant variables at a few key locations. EuroSITES is the means to achieve this.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.17M | Year: 2013

Tropical Atlantic climate recently experienced pronounced shifts of great socio-economic importance. The oceanic changes were largest in the eastern boundary upwelling systems. African countries bordering the Atlantic strongly depend upon their ocean - societal development, fisheries, and tourism. They were strongly affected by these climatic changes and will face important adaptation challenges associated with global warming. Furthermore, these upwelling regions are also of great climatic importance, playing a key role in regulating global climate. Paradoxically, the Tropical Atlantic is a region of key uncertainty in earth-climate system: state-of-the-art climate models exhibit large systematic error, climate change projections are highly uncertain, and it is largely unknown how climate change will impact marine ecosystems. PREFACE aims to address these interconnected issues, and has the following goals: To reduce uncertainties in our knowledge of the functioning of Tropical Atlantic climate. To improve climate prediction and the quantification of climate change impacts in the region. To improve understanding of the cumulative effects of the multiple stressors of climate variability, greenhouse induced climate change, and fisheries on marine ecosystems, and ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries, coastal vulnerability). To assess the socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate the resilience of Atlantic African fishing communities to climate-driven ecosystem shifts and global markets. To meet these goals we bring together European and African expertise to combine regional and global scale modelling capabilities, field experiments and observation systems. Our target region includes areas more affected by climate change and by its consequences, European outermost regions, and African countries bordering the Atlantic.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 13.00M | Year: 2015

Particle physics is at the forefront of the ERA, attracting a global community of more than 10,000 scientists. With the upgrade of the LHC and the preparation of new experiments, the community will have to overcome unprecedented challenges in order to answer fundamental questions concerning the Higgs boson, neutrinos, and physics beyond the Standard Model. Major developments in detector technology are required to ensure the success of these endeavours. The AIDA-2020 project brings together the leading European infrastructures in detector development and a number of academic institutes, thus assembling the necessary expertise for the ambitious programme of work. In total, 19 countries and CERN are involved in this programme, which follows closely the priorities of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. AIDA-2020 aims to advance detector technologies beyond current limits by offering well-equipped test beam and irradiation facilities for testing detector systems under its Transnational Access programme. Common software tools, micro-electronics and data acquisition systems are also provided. This shared high-quality infrastructure will ensure optimal use and coherent development, thus increasing knowledge exchange between European groups and maximising scientific progress. The project also exploits the innovation potential of detector research by engaging with European industry for large-scale production of detector systems and by developing applications outside of particle physics, e.g. for medical imaging. AIDA-2020 will lead to enhanced coordination within the European detector community, leveraging EU and national resources. The project will explore novel detector technologies and will provide the ERA with world-class infrastructure for detector development, benefiting thousands of researchers participating in future particle physics projects, and contributing to maintaining Europes leadership of the field.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.3 | Award Amount: 6.68M | Year: 2010

Environmental change and climate change in particular, are expected to be most pronounced in the polar regions. For this reason, a multi-disciplinary research infrastructure covering all important elements of the coupled Earth System in the Arctic is a very valuable tool to quantify the ongoing global change and to verify the capability of Earth System models to predict future changes. The proposed EFRI project Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS) is intended to take this role. The main goal of the SIOS Preparatory Phase (SIOS-PP) project is to define, work out and decide on the formal framework needed to establish and operate the geographically distributed and thematically composed multi-national research infrastructure with a node function in different aspects, that SIOS will manifest. This covers, on one side, aspects common for all ESFRI initiatives, such as legal status, governance structure, financial strategy, a data management and utilization plan, and an (on- and offshore) logistics plan. In addition, SIOS-PP will address topics that are special for this infrastructure: a dedicated remote sensing strategy, an internal scientific and observational, as well as an international integration and cooperation plan, which will link SIOS to regional European Arctic and pan-Arctic scientific infrastructure networks. The SIOS-PP project will be carried out by a consortium of 27 partners from 14 countries including 4 non-EU and non-associated countries; three of the partners are national funding agencies. In addition, 19 associated partners with infrastructure or strong scientific interests on Svalbard will cooperate during the preparatory phase. The project has a duration of 3 years.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 49.52M | Year: 2013

The innovative and economic potential of Manufactured Nano Materials (MNMs) is threatened by a limited understanding of the related EHS issues. While toxicity data is continuously becoming available, the relevance to regulators is often unclear or unproven. The shrinking time to market of new MNM drives the need for urgent action by regulators. NANoREG is the first FP7 project to deliver the answers needed by regulators and legislators on EHS by linking them to a scientific evaluation of data and test methods. Based on questions and requirements supplied by regulators and legislators, NANoREG will: (i) provide answers and solutions from existing data, complemented with new knowledge, (ii) Provide a tool box of relevant instruments for risk assessment, characterisation, toxicity testing and exposure measurements of MNMs, (iii) develop, for the long term, new testing strategies adapted to innovation requirements, (iv) Establish a close collaboration among authorities, industry and science leading to efficient and practically applicable risk management approaches for MNMs and products containing MNMs. The interdisciplinary approach involving the three main stakeholders (Regulation, Industry and Science) will significantly contribute to reducing the risks from MNMs in industrial and consumer products. NANoREG starts by analysing existing knowledge (from WPMN-, FP- and other projects). This is combined with a synthesis of the needs of the authorities and new knowledge covering the identified gaps, used to fill the validated NANoREG tool box and data base, conform with ECHAs IUCLID DB structure. To answer regulatory questions and needs NANoREG will set up the liaisons with the regulation and legislation authorities in the NANoREG partner countries, establish and intensify the liaisons with selected industries and new enterprises, and develop liaisons to global standardisation and regulation institutions in countries like USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-35-2016 | Award Amount: 566.29K | Year: 2016

This project will study aspects of the smart agenda in which practitioners from the Social and Human Sciences (SSH) offer unique and valuable insights of relevance to innovators and researchers in the ICT - LEIT[1] areas. Centred on topics concerning of users, design, digital rights and critical infrastructures, CANDID will engage SSH and ICT - LEIT researchers in extended peer communications aiming at Responsible Innovation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 288.00K | Year: 2016

An important gap in continued sustainability of fish farming is the lack of a proper understanding on digestive function and aquafeeds utilization. The WiseFeed project will focus on this gap using an integrative approach and considering selected key fish species in culture, the feed composition and feeding protocols. The approach in WiseFeed is based on a collaborative effort for advancing both the fundamental physiological knowledge and practical applicability. WiseFeed will build an integrated network of research groups from the academia and partners in SME and large enterprises where the overall aim is to improve performance and sustainability of aquafeeds for fish production. WiseFeed has the following specific objectives: - Develop model that quantifies digestion, absorption and retention efficiency of selected macro nutrients in key cultured fish species - Develop software package to optimize feeding strategies - Elucidate the role and effects of specific amino acids and dietary supplements for enhancing metabolism, growth and N-retention including effects of elevated temperatures due to climate changes. The research that forms the basis for WifeFeed is funded by on-going national R&D projects that constitute the scientific and technical pillars of the current proposal. The secondments will bring external expertise to each of these R&D projects and coordinate efforts among similar and related activities. The secondments also build the competence of each of the participating researchers The practical benefits of WiseFeed will be improved production yield, reduced feeding cost and reduced N-waste from fish farms. The expected added value will be a faster advance in common objectives by facilitating progress and fulfilment of the R&D objectives for each participant. Furthermore, it is also the aim of WiseFish to establish a consolidated network beyond the framework of this proposal to give response to new challenges of the aquafeed industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SiS-2008-1.1.2.1 | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2009

The goal of this project is to provide the blueprints for a value-based and value-informed new and flexible governance of the science-society relation in Europe. Furthermore, the study shall identify necessary research tasks in order to move from a generic understanding of value-based and value-informed governance to more specific mechanisms of governance that improve current practice. Emerging biotechnologies with dual use problematic and security technologies (biometrics) shall serve as pilots to test the validity of the framework. The key research challenges are: understanding the very concept of social/ethical values, improving the methodology for the study of values, identifying innovative mechanisms of platforms for value-based dialogue in civil society and citizen consultation, and assessing the potential of legal and regulatory instruments, including soft-law, to provide value-oriented framework orientation for scientific and technological development. Two specific technologies will be analyzed in these respects closely: biotechnology dealing with pathogens with a pandemic potential (biosafety and biosecurity issue), and biometrics as a security technology. The project shall result in a multi-disciplinary report that summarizes existing knowledge on social values and their relevance for attitudes to science and technology, and that furthermore sketches the blueprint of a more coherent, flexible and dynamic conception of a value-based governance of science and technology. The report is aimed at policy makers and researchers concerned about ethical issues in current or upcoming scientific and technological developments and policies. An additional report shall suggest and specify more concrete research topics within Science in Society and FP7 generally. Specific attention shall be given to dual-use problematic and security technologies. Feedback on the draft of the report shall be sought through an interactive website and a selected group of European experts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.3-1;HEALTH-2007-3.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.37M | Year: 2009

Health inequalities are currently regarded as one of the most important public health challenges in the EU. There is however not sufficient knowledge of what actions are effective to reduce the gradient in health inequalities. Tackling the Gradient aims to address this, to ensure that political momentum is maintained and that operational strategies can be developed to make progress on this issue. The focus of the research project will be on families and children, since the greatest impact on reducing the health gradient can be achieved through early life policy interventions and by creating equal opportunities during childhood and adolescence. This project involves the following components, which directly address the theme of the call: Develop a common Evaluation Framework that can be applied across the EU to assess and determine what works. Determine whether and why traditional public health and health promotion policy measures dont reach or fail to change behaviours amongst the more socially deprived groups. Explore some currently understudied protective factors (particularly the influence of social capital on children, adolescents and families) that could be important to tackling the health gradient. Identify what targeted and universal policy approaches to protect families and children from falling into poverty and ill health are currently being applied, and appear to be effective in tackling the health inequalities gradient Widely disseminate the outcomes and results to politicians and practitioners in the form of scientifically sound recommendations at the local, national and EU levels. The research will be undertaken by a consortium comprising of 34 members from 12 institutions across Europe. The work will be coordinated by EuroHealthNet, which has considerable expertise in managing EU projects in the area of health inequalities, and is well placed to feed research results into policy making processes at the national and EU level.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-4-07 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2009

PEGASUS aims to provide policy support regarding the development, implementation and commercialisation of GM animals, and derivative foods. The results will contribute to the FP7 KBBE by integrating existing social, (including existing public perception) environmental and economic knowledge regarding GM animals. The use of GM in farmed animals (aquatic and terrestrial) will be reviewed. A foresight exercise will be conducted to predict future developments. Two case studies (1 aquatic, 1 terrestrial) will be applied to identify the pros and cons of GM animals from the perspectives of the production chain (economics, agri-food sector) and the life sciences (human and animal health, environmental impact, animal welfare, sustainable production). Ethical and policy concerns will be refined through application of combined ethical matrix and policy workshops involving EU and non-EU stakeholders. The case studies will be used to demonstrate best practice in public engagement in the policy process. The activities will provide European policy support regarding GM animals and the foods derived from them, taking into account public perceptions, the competitiveness of EU animal production, and risk-benefit assessments linked with human and animal health, environmental impact, and sustainable production. A final stakeholder dissemination workshop will disseminate the results to the EU policy community.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.1.4.1. | Award Amount: 11.43M | Year: 2009

The European integrating project COMBINE brings together research groups to advance Earth system models (ESMs) for more accurate climate projections and for reduced uncertainty in the prediction of climate and climate change in the next decades. COMBINE will contribute to better assessments of changes in the physical climate system and of their impacts in the societal and economic system. The proposed work will strengthen the scientific base for environmental policies of the EU for the climate negotiations, and will provide input to the IPCC/AR5 process. COMBINE proposes to improve ESMs by including key physical and biogeochemical processes to model more accurately the forcing mechanisms and the feedbacks determining the magnitude of climate change in the 21st century. For this purpose the project will incorporate carbon and nitrogen cycle, aerosols coupled to cloud microphysics and chemistry, proper stratospheric dynamics and increased resolution, ice sheets and permafrost in current Earth system models. COMBINE also proposes to improve initialization techniques to make the best possible use of observation based analyses of ocean and ice to benefit from the predictability of the climate system in predictions of the climate of the next few decades. Combining more realistic models and skilful initialization is expected to reduce the uncertainty in climate projections. Resulting effects will be investigated in the physical climate system and in impacts on water availability and agriculture, globally and in 3 regions under the influence of different climate feedback mechanisms. Results from the comprehensive ESMs will be used in an integrated assessment model to test the underlying assumptions in the scenarios, and hence to contribute to improved scenarios. COMBINE will make use of the experimental design and of the scenarios proposed for IPCC AR5. Therefore the project will be able to contribute to the AR5, by its relevant research and by the contribution of experiments to the IPCC data archives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.2.2.1.3. | Award Amount: 7.40M | Year: 2009

Europes four regional seas (Baltic, Black, Mediterranean and NE Atlantic) have suffered severe environmental degradation due to human pressure. Existing measures to manage pressures have proven inadequate and the EC has responded by proposing a new policy (Maritime Strategy Blue Book) and environmental legislation (Marine Strategy Directive), both currently close to adoption. These instruments rely on the Ecosystem Approach, a management paradigm that encompasses humans and the supporting ecosystem. But the science base for this approach needs strengthening and practical tools must be developed and tested for policy implementation. In particular, criteria for assessing costs and benefits of management actions are poorly developed, particularly in the complex marine environment where multiple uses and management conflicts are common. The KnowSeas consortium will strengthen the science base for managing Europes seas through the practical application of systems thinking. It will work at the two scales envisaged for emergent EU policy: the Regional Sea Scale and Member State Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZs). We have developed a new approach of Decision Space Analysis to investigate mismatches of scale. Knowledge created through the FP6 European Lifestyles and Marine Ecosystems project, augmented with necessary new studies of climate effects, fisheries and maritime industries - in EEZ case studies - will provide a basis for assessing changes to natural systems and their human causes. New research will examine and model economic and social impacts of changes to ecosystem goods and services and costs and benefits of various management options available through existing and proposed policy instruments. Institutional and social analysis will determine conflicts of interest and examine governance as well as stakeholder values and perceptions. Our research will develop and test an assessment toolbox through regional liaison groups and a multisectoral Project Advisory Board.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.4-2 | Award Amount: 15.57M | Year: 2010

The goal of VascuBone is to develop a tool box for bone regeneration, which on one hand fulfils basic requirements and on the other hand is freely combinable with what is needed in the respective patients situation. The tool box will include a variation of biocompatible biomaterials and cell types, FDA approved growth factors, material modification technologies, simulation and analytical tools like molecular imaging based in vivo diagnostics which can be combined for the specific medical need. This tool box will be used to develop translational approaches for regenerative therapies of three different types of bone defects. The chosen bone diseases differ in their requirements, to ensure a successful implementation and translation. Additionally this implementation strategy is characterized by high complexity to remove bottlenecks and limitations of bone regeneration identified in the clinical setting. Therefore definite quality criteria have to be evaluated concerning an optimal stem cell source/subpopulation as well as GF concentrations and their bioactivity in vivo. Furthermore quantitative evaluation will focus on the definition of differences between stem cell populations responsible for bone regeneration in young and old people, as a prerequisite for the development of regenerative therapies for the ageing European society. Considering a successful and prompt approval of the biomaterial, for each clinical application a minimum of modification steps in daily routine must be identified. The road map of the project and clinic trials contains pre-determined milestones, to ensure efficacy, safety, and immunological acceptance of the implant. The efficacy is quantified by high innovative MRI and PET/CT technology which is able to demonstrate the regenerative effect of biomaterials and cells in vivo. Based on the clinical data the proposal as Advanced Therapeutical Medicinal Product will be submitted to the European Medicines Agency at the end of the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH.2012.2.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2012

ECOPAS (European Consortium for Pacific Studies) is an innovative, ambitious multidisciplinary project designed to provide coordination and support to research and policy communities on issues connected to climate change and related processes in the Pacific Islands region, in order to define better options for sustainable development. The Pacific is notable for the discrepancy between the contribution of its small economies to global climate change, and the severity of climate change effects experienced by its peoples. Linkages between research networks and policy interfaces will contribute to more context-sensitive EU external action, and will set a future research agenda for social science and humanities in the Pacific. From an initial 3-year duration ECOPAS is the first-ever network to develop extensive, durable collaboration between European and Pacific scholarly institutions, as well as between research institutions and local, national and international political agencies. The project will have lasting effects on the ways in which research is undertaken in the social sciences and humanities and beyond in the Pacific, and on the efficacy of development efforts in and for the region. While the emphasis of ECOPAS is on developing a long-term strategy for SSH research on the Pacific, strong links are also forged with climate research in the natural sciences. Built on seven interrelated and complementary Work Packages, ECOPAS aims to define and strengthen the potential of European research in the Pacific by creating a platform and portal for knowledge exchanges, a long-term plan for capacity building, and a strategic plan for Pacific state and non-state involvement. ECOPAS is hosted by four recognized European university centres of excellence on Pacific research, in Norway, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands (Bergen BPS, Aix-Marseille CREDO, St. Andrews CPS and Nijmegen CPAS), and by two major Pacific institutions (University of the South Pacific, Fiji, and the National Research Institute, Papua New Guinea). While ECOPAS is coordinated from the University of Bergen, the projects seven interconnected Work Packages are directed by the participating centres, thus guaranteeing maximal efficiency and feasibility of work programme and deliverables. ECOPAS will grow to be the premier research network in the field of Pacific Studies, and will progressively involve additional associate researchers with strong track records and international visibility. During the projects stages, the collective networks of the six participant institutions throughout Europe, in the Anglophone and Francophone Pacific, and in North America will lead to near complete participation of the worlds community of Pacific scholars. A final outcome of the project will be the delivery to the European Commission of a comprehensive, forward-looking, long-term social sciences and humanities research policy agenda for the Pacific Islands region.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.10.;INFRA-2011-1.1.11. | Award Amount: 10.44M | Year: 2011

InGOS will support and integrate the observing capacity of Europe for non-CO2 greenhouse gases (NCGHG: CH4, N2O, SF6, H2 and halocarbons). The emissions of these gases are very uncertain and it is unknown how future climate change will feedback into the land use coupled emissions of CH4 and N2O. The NCGHG atmospheric abundances will increase further in the future and the emissions of these gases are an attractive target for climate change mitigation policies. InGOS aims to improve the existing European observation system so that this will provide us insight into the concentration levels and European and extra-European emissions of the NCGHGs. The data from the network will enable to better constrain the emissions of NCGHGs within the EU and show whether emission reduction policies are effective. The data from the network is designed to allow to detect the spatial and temporal distribution (hotspots) of the sources and to detect changes in emissions due to mitigation and feedbacks with climate change. To strengthen the European observation system, the project has several objectives: Harmonize and standardize the measurements. Provide capacity building in new member states and countries with inadequate existing infrastructure. Support existing observation sites and transfer of selected sites into supersites. Integrate and further integrate marine observations of the NCGHGs with land-based observations Improve measurement methods by testing new innovative techniques and strategies. Test advanced isotope techniques for application in the network to enable attribution of the atmospheric fractions to source categories Integrate data for network evaluation by using inverse modeling and data-assimilation methods and developments in bottom up inventories Link the network to remote sensing data of column abundances from in-situ and satellite observations Prepare for the integration of the NCGHG network with the Integrated Carbon Observation System


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.11. | Award Amount: 8.61M | Year: 2013

The Fixed point Open Ocean Observatory network (FixO3) seeks to integrate European open ocean fixed point observatories and to improve access to these key installations for the broader community. These will provide multidisciplinary observations in all parts of the oceans from the air-sea interface to the deep seafloor. Coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, UK, FixO3 will build on the significant advances achieved through the FP7 programmes EuroSITES, ESONET and CARBOOCEAN. With a budget of 7.00 Million Euros over 4 years (starting September 2013) the proposal has 29 partners drawn from academia, research institutions and SMEs. In addition 14 international experts from a wide range of disciplines comprise an Advisory Board. The programme will be achieved through: 1. Coordination activities to integrate and harmonise the current procedures and processes. Strong links will be fostered with the wider community across academia, industry, policy and the general public through outreach, knowledge exchange and training. 2. Support actions to offer a) access to observatory infrastructures to those who do not have such access, and b) free and open data services and products. 3. Joint research activities to innovate and enhance the current capability for multidisciplinary in situ ocean observation. Open ocean observation is currently a high priority for European marine and maritime activities. FixO3 will provide important data on environmental products and services to address the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in support of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. The FixO3 network will provide free and open access to in situ fixed point data of the highest quality. It will provide a strong integrated framework of open ocean facilities in the Atlantic from the Arctic to the Antarctic and throughout the Mediterranean, enabling an integrated, regional and multidisciplinary approach to understand natural and anthropogenic change in the ocean.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: BG-04-2014 | Award Amount: 7.40M | Year: 2015

INMARE stands for Industrial Applications of Marine Enzymes: Innovative screening and expression platforms to discover and use the functional protein diversity from the sea. It is a collaborative Innovation Action to streamline the pathways of discovery and industrial applications of new marine enzymes and bioactives for targeted production of fine chemicals, drugs and in environmental clean-up applications. The INMARE consortium will unify the multidisciplinary expertise and facilities of academic and industry partners. This will include integrating the following core activities: advanced technologies to access and sample unique marine biodiversity hot-spots; state-of-the art technologies for construction of metagenomic libraries; innovative enzyme screening assays and platforms; cutting-edge sequence annotation pipelines and bioinformatics resources; high-end activity screening technology; bioanalytical and bioprocess engineering facilities and expertise, nanoparticle-biocatalysts; high-quality protein crystallization and structural analysis facilities and experts in IP management for biotechnology. The companies involved in the project are market leaders in enzyme production and biocatalysis processes designed to efficiently deliver safer (pharmaceuticals) cheaper (agriculture) and biobased (biopolymers) products. They also have impressive track record in environmental clean-up technologies and are committed to promoting public understanding, awareness and dissemination of scientific research. The main emphasis will be focused on streamlining and shortening the pipelines for enzyme and bioactive compound discovery towards industrial applications through the establishing of marine enzyme collections with a high proportion of enzymes-allrounders. The project will also prioritize the identification of novel lead products and the delivery of improved prototypes for new biocatalytic processes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2008

Autoimmune Addisons disease (AAD) is an endocrine disease resulting from the immune systems destruction of hormone producing cells in the adrenal cortex. Diagnosis is frequently first established after a life-threatening adrenal crisis, often resulting in untimely fatalities. The disease is rare, more common in women than in men, and also affects children. AAD very frequently occurs with other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune thyroid disease and/or premature ovarian failure. Based on a European network of patient registry and biobanks, a translational approach using genetics, immunology, clinical management, and epidemiology, the project aims to unravel the pathogenesis and natural course of AAD, ultimately to improve diagnosis and treatment as well as to offer strategies for disease prevention. The consortium capitalises on the joint cutting edge expertise of leading European investigators covering all these fields. Exploiting these resources, we will describe the natural course of the disease with focus on factors limiting quality of life, and identify and characterise the disease-causing genes, using the corresponding disease in a spontaneous dog model and a gene targeted mouse model. In parallel, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity directed at the adrenal cortex will be unravelled both in humans with ADD and in the genetic mouse model. Together, these efforts will increase our still incomplete understanding of pathogenic pathways operational in AAD and pave the way for new therapies of this debilitating disorder. Moreover, clinical studies will be performed to evaluate more physiological and personalised treatment with cortisol also aimed at prevention. As an autoimmune model disease the results of the project will not only lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Addison patients, but also increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in general.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-08-2014 | Award Amount: 20.65M | Year: 2015

The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS), by defining requirements and systems design, improving the readiness of observing networks and data systems, and engaging stakeholders around the Atlantic; and leaving a legacy and strengthened contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). AtlantOS will fill existing in-situ observing system gaps and will ensure that data are readily accessible and useable. AtlantOS will demonstrate the utility of integrating in-situ and Earth observing satellite based observations towards informing a wide range of sectors using the Copernicus Marine Monitoring Services and the European Marine Observation and Data Network and connect them with similar activities around the Atlantic. AtlantOS will support activities to share, integrate and standardize in-situ observations, reduce the cost by network optimization and deployment of new technologies, and increase the competitiveness of European industries, and particularly of the small and medium enterprises of the marine sector. AtlantOS will promote innovation, documentation and exploitation of innovative observing systems. All AtlantOS work packages will strengthen the trans-Atlantic collaboration, through close interaction with partner institutions from Canada, United States, and the South Atlantic region. AtlantOS will develop a results-oriented dialogue with key stakeholders communities to enable a meaningful exchange between the products and services that IAOOS can deliver and the demands and needs of the stakeholder communities. Finally, AtlantOS will establish a structured dialogue with funding bodies, including the European Commission, USA, Canada and other countries to ensure sustainability and adequate growth of IAOOS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 7.27M | Year: 2015

This programme of work will advance the understanding of the combined effects of factors that cause poor lung function, respiratory disability and the development of COPD . This will be achieved by examination of determinants of lung growth and lung function decline within existing cohorts that cover the whole life course, and which have followed, in detail, the respiratory health status of over 25000 European children and adults from the early 1990s to the present day. Following a comprehensive programme of risk factor identification we will generate a predictive risk score. The programme includes 1) identification of behavioural, environmental, occupational, nutritional, other modifiable lifestyle, genetic determinant of poor lung growth, excess lung function decline and occurrence of low lung function, respiratory disability and COPD within existing child and adult cohorts 2) generation of new data to fill gaps in knowledge on pre-conception and transgenerational determinants and risk factors 3) validation of the role of risk factors by integration of data from relevant disciplines, integration of data from the cohort-related population-based biobanks and exploitation of appropriate statistical techniques 4) generation of information on change in DNA methylation patterns to identify epigenetic changes associated with both disease development and exposure to specific risk factors 5) generation of a predictive risk score for individual risk stratification that takes account of the combined effects of factors that cause poor lung growth, lung function decline, respiratory disability, and COPD and 6) implementation of an online interactive tool for personalised risk prediction based which will be disseminated freely and widely to the population, patients and health care providers. The work will provide an evidence base for risk identification at individual and population level that can underpin future preventive and therapeutic strategies and policies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-16 | Award Amount: 8.75M | Year: 2009

LIFECYCLE (14 partners, 9 countries) will deliver a knowledge-base to improve competitiveness and sustainability of European aquaculture, through a combination of question-problem driven approaches. The focus will be on early developmental events, growth and environmental adaptation throughout the lifecyle, and on the physiology and immunology of key life-stage transitions, such as metamorphosis, smoltification and puberty. To advance current knowledge on mechanisms governing essential biological functions in fish, state-of-the-art physiological research will be combined with functional genomics by leading European research groups. LIFECYCLE will focus on all major life stages of sea bass, sea bream, Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. For these important aquaculture species, substantial resources and biological information exists which will be exploited and integrated to potentiate the overall impact. Two key conceptual approaches will be taken: 1. Changes in physiological systems at different points during the lifecycle will be studied to establish how early factors impact on later stages. 2. Cross-cutting experiments will address integration and crosstalk between physiological systems. LIFECYCLE is planned to direct research at current production bottlenecks. The knowledge generated about development and growth, adaptation and homeostasis, the immune system, sex differentiation and puberty will have a major impact on alleviating problems linked to abnormal larval development, skeletal deformities, poor growth and energy utilization, mortalities related to life stage transitions, poor environmental performance, and unwanted sexual maturation. The focused dissemination of such knowledge will make the EU aquaculture industry more efficient and stimulate its sustainable expansion. The knowledge-base established will pave way for future advances within fields of stress and disease control, breeding selection, environmental performance and species diversification.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-10a-2014 | Award Amount: 8.10M | Year: 2015

European aquaculture production provides direct employment to 80,000 people and a 3-billion annual turnover. Parasites cause severe disease outbreaks and high economic losses in finfish aquaculture. The overarching goal of ParaFishControl is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of European Aquaculture by improving understanding of fish-parasite interactions and by developing innovative solutions and tools for the prevention, control and mitigation of the major parasites affecting Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, European sea bass, gilthead sea bream and turbot. To achieve these objectives, ParaFishControl brings together a multidisciplinary consortium comprising 30 partners possessing world-leading, complementary, cross-cutting expertise and drawn from public and private research organisations, and the aquaculture industry. The consortium has access to excellent research facilities, diverse biological resources including host-parasite models, and state-of-the-art vaccinology, genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic technologies. The project will: 1) generate new scientific knowledge on key fish parasites, including genomics, life-cycle, invasion strategy and host-parasite interaction data, with special emphasis on host immunity, pathogen virulence and immunomodulation, providing a scientific basis for improved prophylaxis; 2) determine the transfer of parasites between farmed and wild host populations; 3) develop a wide range of novel prophylactic measures, including vaccines and functional feeds; 4) provide a range of advanced or alternative treatments for parasitic diseases; 5) develop cost-effective, specific and sensitive diagnostic tools for key parasitic diseases; 6) assess the risk factors involved in the emergence, transmission and pathogenesis of parasitic diseases; 7) map the zoonotic risks due to fish helminths and; 8) provide a catalogue of good husbandry practices to obtain safe and high-quality fish products.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2012

Aim of the CAFFEIN network is to provide 10 early stage researchers (ESRs) and 2 exprerienced researchers (ERs) with excellent training in an industry relevant area of cancer research, complementary skills required for pharmaceutical industry, and knowledge in setting up biomedical start-up companies. To this end, the network comprises two full industrial partners: the established pharmaceutical company Medimmune, a global leader in immunopharmaceuticals, and the small biotech company Gimmune, which used breakthrough results in nanotechnology to establish a new enterprise. The research focus of CAFFEIN, which stands for Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAF) Function in Tumor Expansion and Invasion, is to understand the mechanisms, how fibroblastoid cells support tumor progression and metastasis formation. CAF biology is therefore rather complex, but the research groups of the CAFFEIN network cover many different aspects of it, thus having a critical mass to provide relevant training in this area. Training in complementary skills important for work in the pharmaceutical industry is provided by the industrial partner MedImmune, where communication with management, industrial project planning, IPR, etc. will be taught. Entrepreneurial skills, business plans, funding by venture capitalists, and patentability of research findings are highlights of the training provided by the industrial partner Gimmune. All this training is transmitted to the ESRs/ERs by networkwide events, secondments and tight research collaboration. Taken together, the CAFFEIN research training network combines the acquisition of excellent scientific knowledge in an area highly attractive for pharmaceutical industry with special education in relevant complementary skills that increase employment chances of the trained researchers in industry and that encourage them to translate their scientific results into products, thus improving health and economic welfare of European citizens.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.59M | Year: 2013

Synthetic biology (SynBio) offers huge potential for applications in energy, health and the environment. It also brings with it various challenges such as regulatory issues of biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property rights, as well as potential environmental and socio-economic risks in developing countries. As yet, however, there is scant public knowledge about the technology. It is thus essential to establish an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning SynBios potential benefits and risks and to explore possibilities for its collaborative shaping on the basis of public participation. SYN-ENERGY will organise a wide range of mobilisation and mutual learning processes relating to these challenges. Besides a number of well-established European and international networks, the consortium encompasses and can mobilise a wide variety of stakeholders from science, industry, civil society, policy, education, art and other areas. Learning processes will contribute to a better understanding of SynBio research and innovation and to enhanced public engagement, while at the same time stimulating reflection on novel approaches to an inclusive governance framework that is capable of fostering responsible research and innovation. The processes will involve citizens and specific publics through well-established and innovative means of engagement, and will support the convergence of stakeholders and perspectives. Activities will be structured by four platforms, highlighting SynBios future, public, cultural and research & innovation perspectives. The iterative mutual learning process within SYN-ENERGY will be open to change in order to accommodate the dynamics of an emergent field. By dint of its approach, design and consortium, SYN-ENERGY will be a Science in Society activity with significant impact, raising public awareness of SynBio and yielding benefits for involved stakeholders, public discourse and European policy making in an international context.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-10-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

We propose to revolutionize current endocrine diagnostics by replacing conventional, time-consuming single-analyte hormone assays with ambulatory dynamic endocrine diagnostics. Disorders of the adrenal and pituitary endocrine systems are not only accompanied by changes in absolute hormone levels, but also secretion patterns. The rapid circadian (24 hour) and ultradian (< 24 hour) cycling of hormone levels poses diagnostic challenges since random measurements do not always detect abnormalities. Furthermore, monitoring of treatment of endocrine diseases are often severely limited by lack of multiple measurements at different time points, which is impractical in an out-patient setting. To overcome these hurdles academic and commercial partners propose to: Develop a novel microdialysate sampling and analysis system for adrenal and pituitary hormonome profiling Validate the method in healthy vs. six populations with endocrine disorders Promote the system for demonstration in routine clinical practice by dissemination of results to relevant European stakeholders The portable fraction collector for subcutaneous microdialysate combined with state-or-the-art ultrasensitive assays by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LCMS/MS) and multiplex proximity extension assays (Proseek), will allow collection of 10 minute fractions for up to 72 hours while the person tends to daily life activities. LCMSMS and Proseek assays can generate a timeline of hormonomes covering the 24 hour cycle without losing sensitivity and specificity, producing not only hormone levels, but also secretion patterns for diagnostics and monitoring purposes. ULTRADIAN will deliver an ambulatory diagnostic system with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity for simplified diagnostics and monitoring of endocrine conditions, economisation of health care, and new products and markets for the European diagnostic sector.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-3 | Award Amount: 2.18M | Year: 2011

It is recognised that research must be a basis for better health throughout Africa (e.g. Global Ministerium Forum on Research for Health, Bamako 2008, Beijing declaration 2008). As a consequence It is a priority to build research capacities in the African continent that will set good standards for development of improved health security and systems in the future. In several African countries western medicine is not widely available, and WHO has recognised the role of traditional medicine and its practitioners in primary health care. The overall objective of this project is to create sustainable research capacity and research networks between the participants in Africa ( Mali, South Africa and Uganda) collaborating neighbouring institutions, and the European project participants to obtain improved health in Africa. In order to reach this goal we will identify needs and develop and deliver research training programmes. The research institutions from Africa taking part in this project will have implemented research methodologies so that they are able to improve traditional medicines, identify bio-active compounds, and clinically evaluate and register medicinal products that are used for treatment of illnesses that are frequent in African countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.3.1. | Award Amount: 8.30M | Year: 2012

DASISH provides solutions to a number of common issues relevant for the five ESFRI projects in social science and humanities, being CESSDA, CLARIN, DARIAH, ESS and SHARE and therefore is supporting infrastructure construction. These five infrastructures are presently at different stages in the process of establishing ERICs. DASISH has identified four major areas namely data quality, data archiving, data access and legal and ethics. The activities in these four major areas are based on a thorough analysis of the underlying architectures. The outcome forms the basis for educational activities and for outreach to the communities that are to benefit from the work. Through DASISH the participating infrastructures will not only obtain new solutions for specific problems and a consolidation of their infrastructure building, but will work out solutions facilitating interdisciplinary cross-walks of their researchers. This will be of mutual benefit for the five infrastructures and the communities they serve.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.21M | Year: 2011

ALICE RAP is a Europe wide project of 43 partner research institutions involving 107 researchers from 25 European countries providing 1000 months of a plurality of scientific endeavour to analyse the place and challenges of addictions and lifestyles to the cohesion, organization and functioning of contemporary European society. Through integrated multidisciplinary research, a wide range of factors will be studied through a foresight approach to inform a redesign of effective addictions governance. Ownership will be described by an historical study of addiction through the ages, an analysis of public and private stakeholder views, and through image analyses, of professional and citizenship views. A study of how addictions are classified and defined will be followed by estimates of their health, social and economic impact. Determinants of addiction will be investigated through a coordinated and cohesive social, economic and biological analysis of initiation, transition into problem use and transition into and out of dependence. The business of addiction will be analyzed through studies of revenues, profits and participants in legal and illegal trade, the impact of suppliers on addictive substance use and behaviours, and analyses of webs of influence on policy responses. Addictions governance will be studied by describing the views and forces that determine the ways societies steer themselves and by stock taking of present governance practices to old and emerging addictions. Youth as customers will be analyzed through considering the impacts of new technologies on promoting and mitigating use, by studying the interrelations of culture and biology, and by determining features that promote resilience and nudge young people to reduce problematic use. The programme itself will be professionally managed from a partnership perspective to promote a coordinated and integrated approach to the high volume of research and its policy implications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 18.74M | Year: 2009

The Project promotes the access to five European Research Infrastructures, and it is structured intop eight Networking Activities, plus the Management of the Consortium, and fourteen Joint Research Activities. The Project represents the continuation of the successful HadronPhysics project in FP6 and originates from the initiative of more than 2.500 European scientists working in the field of hadron physics. Hadron physics deals with the study of strongly interacting particles, the hadrons. Hadrons are composed of quarks and gluons. Their interaction is described by Quantum Chromo Dynamics, the theory of the strong force. Hadrons form more complex systems, in particular atomic. Under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, hadrons may loose their identity and dissolve into a new state of matter similar to the primordial matter of the early Universe. The Networking Activities are related to the organization of experimental and theoretical collaborative work concerning both ongoing activities at present Research Infrastructures and planned experiments at future facilities. In hadron physics the close interaction between experimentalists and theoreticians is of paramount importance. The Joint Research Activities concentrate on technological innovations for present and future experiments. Applications in material science, medicine, information, technology, etc., represent natural fall-outs. The main objective of this Integrating Activity is to optimize the use and development of the Research Infrastructures existing in Europe working in the field of hadron physics. The Project aims as well at structuring, on European scale, the way Research Infrastructures operate, and at fostering their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. The approach used is the bottom up approach, to respond to the needs of the scientific community in all fields of science and technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.35M | Year: 2013

The marine food web is at the centre of both the climate-related CO2 cycle and food production in the marine environment. It plays a key role in regulating the climate system and is highly sensitive to climate change and other stressors. OCEAN-CERTAIN will investigate the impact of climatic and non climatic stressors on the food web and the connected biological pump , and the important feedback mechanisms. OCEAN-CERTAIN will identify and quantify multi-stressor impacts and feedbacks and how these alter the functionality and structure of the food web and efficiency of the biological pump in different bio-geographical regions. This will be done by utilizing existing ecosystem models employing existing data, in addition to mesocosm, lab-scale experiments and field study. . The resulting knowledge will then be used to assess socio-economic vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity by using indicators of food-web functions as responses to particular changes by way of stressor combinations. OCEAN-CERTAIN will then address socio-economic policy and management issues by using highly interactive participatory stakeholder workshops to create models of user group resilience and adaptability. These will show how potential climate-driven physical, chemical and biological changes may affect relevant economic activities and human welfare and help to identify adaptation pathways. This information and knowledge will reduce of epistemic uncertainty and help policy makers chose among management options, which in turn will be treated as additional feedbacks to the food web. The stressors, key feedback mechanisms and indicators, form the basis for the design of an integrated Decision Support System (DSS).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.8.0 | Award Amount: 797.38K | Year: 2008

One of the most important challenges of the emerging Information Age is to effectively utilise the immense wealth of information and data acquired, computed and stored by modern information systems. On the one hand, the appropriate use of available information volumes offers large potential to realize technological progress and business success. On the other hand, there exists the severe danger that users and analysts easily get lost in irrelevant, or inappropriately processed or presented information, a problem which is generally called the information overload problem. Visual Analytics is an emerging research discipline developing technology to make the best possible use of huge information loads in a wide variety of applications. The basic idea is to appropriately combine the strengths of intelligent automatic data analysis with the visual perception and analysis capabilities of the human user. We propose a Coordination Action to join European academic and industrial RandD excellence from several individual disciplines, forming a strong Visual Analytics research community. An array of thematic working groups set up by this consortium will focus on advancing the state of the art in Visual Analytics. Specifically, the working groups will join excellence in the fields of data management, data analysis, spatial-temporal data, and human visual perception research with the wider visualisation research community. This Coordination Action will (1.) form and shape a strong European Visual Analytics community, (2.) define the European Visual Analytics Research Roadmap, (3.) expose public and private stakeholders to Visual Analytics technology and (4.) set the stage for larger follow-up Visual Analytics research initiatives in Europe.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

-- Largest imaging study of ADHD to date identifies differences in five regions of the brain, with greatest differences seen in children rather than adults. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with the delayed development of five brain regions and should be considered a brain disorder, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry. The study is the largest to look at the brain volumes of people with ADHD, involving more than 3200 people. The authors say the findings could help improve understanding of the disorder, and might be important in challenging beliefs that ADHD is a label for difficult children or the result of poor parenting. ADHD symptoms include inattention and/or hyperactivity and acting impulsively. The disorder affects more than one in 20 (5.3%) under-18 year olds, and two-thirds of those diagnosed continue to experience symptoms as adults. Previous studies have linked differences in brain volume with the disorder, but small sample sizes mean results have been inconclusive. Areas thought to be involved in ADHD are located in the basal ganglia - a part of the brain that controls emotion, voluntary movement and cognition - and research has previously found that the caudate and putamen regions within the ganglia are smaller in people with ADHD. The new international study measured differences in the brain structure of 1713 people with a diagnosis of ADHD and 1529 people without, all aged between four and 63 years old. All 3242 people had an MRI scan to measure their overall brain volume, and the size of seven regions of the brain that were thought to be linked to ADHD - the pallidum, thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus. The researchers also noted whether those with ADHD had ever taken psychostimulant medication, for example Ritalin. The study found that overall brain volume and five of the regional volumes were smaller in people with ADHD - the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and hippocampus. "These differences are very small - in the range of a few percent - so the unprecedented size of our study was crucial to help identify these. Similar differences in brain volume are also seen in other psychiatric disorders, especially major depressive disorder." said lead author Dr Martine Hoogman, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. [1] The differences observed were most prominent in the brains of children with ADHD, but less obvious in adults with the disorder. Based on this, the researchers propose that ADHD is a disorder of the brain, and suggest that delays in the development of several brain regions are characteristic of ADHD. Besides the caudate nucleus and putamen, for which previous studies have already shown links to ADHD, researchers were able to conclusively link the amygdala, nucleus accumbens and hippocampus to ADHD. The researchers hypothesise that the amygdala is associated with ADHD through its role in regulating emotion, and the nucleus accumbens may be associated with the motivation and emotional problems in ADHD via its role in reward processing. The hippocampus' role in the disorder might act through its involvement in motivation and emotion. At the time of their MRI scan, 455 people with ADHD were receiving psychostimulant medication, and looking back further, 637 had had the medication in their lifetime. The different volumes of the five brain regions involved in ADHD were present whether or not people had taken medication, suggesting the differences in brain volumes are not a result of psychostimulants. "The results from our study confirm that people with ADHD have differences in their brain structure and therefore suggest that ADHD is a disorder of the brain," added Dr Hoogman. "We hope that this will help to reduce stigma that ADHD is 'just a label' for difficult children or caused by poor parenting. This is definitely not the case, and we hope that this work will contribute to a better understanding of the disorder." [1] While the study included large numbers of people of all ages, its design means that it cannot determine how ADHD develops throughout life. Therefore, longitudinal studies tracking people with ADHD from childhood to adulthood to see how the brain differences change over time will be an important next step in the research. Writing in a linked Comment Dr Jonathan Posner, Columbia University, USA, said: "[This] is the largest study of its kind and well powered to detect small effect sizes. Large sample sizes are particularly important in the study of ADHD because of the heterogeneity of the disorder both in the biological cause and clinical manifestation... This study represents an important contribution to the field by providing robust evidence to support the notion of ADHD as a brain disorder with substantial effects on the volumes of subcortical nuclei. Future meta-analyses and mega-analyses will need to investigate medication effects as well as the developmental course of volumetric differences in this disorder." The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study is part of the ENIGMA Consortium, where researchers are also studying the structure of the brain in other psychiatric disorders, allowing researchers to define differences and similarities between the disorders. It was conducted by scientists from Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, University of Southern California, University of Groningen, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, National Human Genome Research Institute, Asociación para la Innovación en Análisis, Gestión y Procesamiento de Datos Científicos y Tecnológicos, University Hospital Aachen, JARA Translational Brain Medicine, Research Center Juelich, Harvard Medical School, The Broad Institute, University of Bergen, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of California, UC San Diego, University of Tübingen, University of Würzburg, University of Dublin, NYU Langone Medical Center, King's College London, Heidelberg University, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, University of Zurich, Child Mind Institute, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Maastricht University, University Hospital Frankfurt, Haukeland University Hospital, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, VU University Amsterdam, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Fundació IMIM, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, SUNY Upstate Medical University, National Institute of Mental Health. [1] Quote direct from author and cannot be found in the text of the Article. IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE A LINK FOR YOUR READERS, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WILL GO LIVE AT THE TIME THE EMBARGO LIFTS: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(17)30049-4/fulltext


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Writing fiction allows neuroscientist David Eagleman to ask the big questions that science can't yet answer. He had already written several non-fiction books about perception and cognition, and had scripted and presented a television series on the brain. These are ways to disseminate science to the broader public. But his more-recent fiction writing has allowed him to explore and wrestle with the biggest ideas, he says. “These are the questions that live some distance beyond the cycles of papers and grants,” Eagleman says. Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives (Pantheon, 2009), a collection of stories that explore human identity from the perspective of those who have died, was translated into 29 languages and turned into two operas. “I feel that fiction picks up right where my science leaves off,” says Eagleman, who is at Stanford University, California, and chief executive of Braincheck, a company that uses technology to measure brain function. “I can prove X, Y, Z in the lab, but what happens beyond that? Fiction asks the big 'what ifs', which are the most powerful inroad into everything we're doing.” Whereas Eagleman's non-fiction articles and books translate his scientific research for a broader audience, his fiction takes him well beyond the field of neuroscience. “To some degree, they're really separate worlds — writing journal articles and writing fiction — and that's fine with me.” He's currently writing a novel, Eon, about the cosmos that spans more than 200 billion years. Science is a creative process. Researchers must be inventive and ingenious as they design experiments, seek funding and try to publish results. But those who find time to squeeze creative writing into their life at the bench (and the laptop) report that there is a pay-off. Whether they write poems, stories, blogposts or novels, the act of writing creatively can help to unleash the spark that fuels original research. Little information is available worldwide on the number of researchers who pursue creative writing informally or as a moonlight gig. But, anecdotally, many scientists are drawn to pen creative work. Their interest comes at an opportune time, when consumer publications and platforms such as blogs are increasingly inviting researchers to write about their work or their personal experiences as scientists. People can start writing creatively through a variety of routes. Some include writing for their institution's website, joining a local writers' group or attending a university course or an outside workshop on creative writing (see 'Practice makes perfect'). Astrophysicist and author Gregory Benford launched his creative-writing career while a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, in the 1960s. Since then, he has published 31 science-fiction novels and 223 short stories. Now an emeritus faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, he credits his fiction writing for some of the theories he has created as part of his scientific research. “You can devise thought experiments beyond the real and into the possible,” says Benford, who is now an adviser on Breakthrough Starshot, a privately funded initiative to develop a fly-by mission to the Alpha Centauri star system. “Fiction aids scientific discovery and thinking. It makes me a better scientist and researcher.” Benford's Galactic Center Saga, for instance, a series about a galactic war between mechanical and biological life, led him to study radio maps of the real Galactic Centre, the rotational centre of the Milky Way. He devised a hypothesis about the radiating filaments observed in the centre, and published his first paper on the subject in 1988. “Even today it seems like a viable model,” he says. And it's a two-way street. His 1980 time-travel novel Timescape (Simon & Schuster, 1980) was based on research for his PhD thesis, and imagines an ecological disaster that takes place in 1998. His 1970 story, The Scarred Man, anticipates the computer virus. For many writer–scientists, creating poems, song lyrics or fiction helps them to unwind and to access and practice a different way of thinking, even if they don't deliberately try to channel their muse into their academic thinking and writing. “When molecular research becomes frustrating, I can recharge my batteries, giving free rein to my creativity,” says Gaia Bistulfi, a computational biologist at D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York. She writes novels in the young-adult genre and blogs for her young audience about social issues and her life as a writer–scientist. “Fiction writing has helped me reconnect with my community and find renewed purpose for my scientific research as well.” Bistulfi has published four novels (as Gaia B. Amman), which explore social issues such as eating disorders, sexuality and drug abuse. For years, she wrote peer-reviewed papers on molecular biology, but she says that it wasn't until she started writing novels that she gained the voice and courage to extend her neutral scientific writing to penning opinion pieces. She sent a Correspondence article to Nature ( Nature 502, 170; 2013) calling on scientists to reduce, reuse and recycle lab waste. “I would have never thought to do that before my experience as a novelist,” says Bistulfi. “Fortified by my writing experience, I gathered the courage to express my thoughts in a format that did not require standard deviations and graphs.” Whereas writing fiction appeals to some scientists, others find non-fiction — such as blogs, essays or books — about their own research or research field to be the most accessible genre. Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary molecular biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, had been at the bench for 13 years before deciding to try her hand at popular scientific non-fiction. She wrote her first book, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction (Princeton Univ. Press, 2015), because she wanted to communicate to a non-scientific readership the differences between the science fiction of de-extinction and what was technically feasible — and what might become feasible in the future. Shapiro also wanted to show how emerging genetic tools could be used to enhance beneficial traits in existing animals to help them survive in a changing climate. “I enjoyed the freedom to write a popular book,” she says. “It was a relief from writing a journal article. And I think it made me a better writer.” Penning the book helped her to write manuscripts more clearly. “I had to be able to communicate complex ideas in a simple way, but without cutting corners or leaving out the important parts,” she says. “This translates to academic publishing. Nobody ever complained that a manuscript was too easy to understand.” Another benefit is that researching the book deepened her understanding of the field well beyond her specific research. “It forced me to dive into literature that is tangential to my everyday research but critical to understanding different components of de-extinction,” says Shapiro. For those who want more immediate reader interaction, blogging is popular. Hanneke Meijer, a palaeontologist at the University of Bergen in Norway, is one of a team of researchers that contributes to Lost Worlds Revisited, a palaeontology blog for The Guardian newspaper in London. “I enjoy telling people what my research is about,” she says. “I like the exposure it gives my research, and it's a way to highlight my field. Blogging is a nice way of showing people there's a lot more to palaeontology than dinosaurs and mammoths.” Between researching for her blogposts and writing them, Meijer says she has learnt to think more broadly as a scientist and to step back and ask herself, partly for her readers, why her research and the broader field are important to the public. Meijer likes to weave some of her own experiences and perspectives into her posts, which she cannot do in her papers. Personalizing them provides a 'hook' into the story, she says. She adds that it helps to make the post more interesting and allows non-scientists to relate more closely to research and to palaeontology itself. If all of this sounds as though it takes a lot of time, it does. “I work all the time,” says Bistulfi. And the time sink isn't the only downside of moonlighting. Published work, particularly if it is not connected to one's research, can raise eyebrows among colleagues and superiors. And, like many aspects of research itself, writing can be a lonely pursuit. But many maintain that it becomes a compulsion. “Once you do something you love,” says Bistulfi, “it doesn't feel like work.” Some researchers weave their work into their writing. Clinical epidemiologist Anne McTiernan co-wrote Breast Fitness (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which explores the connection between exercise and a lowered risk of breast cancer. She then started Grandma Doc, a blog that discusses health care and her life as a researcher, physician and grandmother. McTiernan decided to build the blogposts into a larger, more cohesive body of work. Thus began her coming-of-age memoir Starved: A Nutrition Doctor's Journey From Empty to Full (Central Recovery Press, 2016), which delves deeply into her childhood struggle with both anorexia and obesity, and her adult life as a medical practitioner and researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. McTiernan says that writing the book has helped her to excavate long-buried emotions that give her insight into her patients' struggles and improve her research. “When you're writing a memoir, it puts you in touch with feelings,” she says. “It has reminded me how difficult it is to have weight issues. Now I really feel for those patients in clinical trials who have been trying to lose weight.” Osmo Pekonen, a mathematician at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, finds a connection between maths and poetry. “The art of poetry is a matter of condensing meaning into a single beautiful and striking line, and a mathematical formula does the same,” he says. Like poets or philosophers, mathematicians explore the realm of the spirit, whereas physicists, chemists and others deal with matter, adds Pekonen, who writes poems, reviews, essays, and books about poetry and poets. He has organized an annual international conference called Bridges on the link between maths and poetry, and is book reviews editor for The Mathematical Intelligencer, a magazine published by Springer that explores the human side of maths. “Like a new mathematical theory, creative poetry can encompass an entire world in a condensed form,” he says. “Mathematical rigour and poetical fantasy inform each other in my thinking. Mathematics seems to represent structure while poetry carries the spirit.” Although creative writing poses its own challenges, researchers who dive into it say that it makes their life, including their work, more rewarding and diverse. “My science-fiction writing and my research continue to inform each other,” says Benford. “To me, it's absolutely essential to life balance that I have writing on the side.”


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

The most anticipated speaker late last month at an international conference devoted to the mysterious malady commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was not a scientist with a hot new finding—although there was excitement about new research in the air. Rather, it was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official bearing good news to a community that has long existed on the margins of the biomedical research establishment. Vicky Whittemore, the agency's CFS point person in Bethesda, Maryland, delivered on a promise that NIH Director Francis Collins made last year by announcing that NIH spending for research on the poorly understood disease should rise to roughly $15 million in 2017, doubling the estimated $7.6 million handed out in 2016. What's more, the NIH emissary said to those gathered here, the biomedical agency will in December solicit CFS proposals from outside scientists to establish several collaborative centers for basic and clinical research, and another center to manage their data on the illness. The calls for applications, which will come with dedicated funds from the planned budget increase, are the first of their kind for CFS from the United States's major medical research funder since 2005. "There is a shifting tide at NIH with regard to ME/CFS," Whittemore told the conference, incorporating the term that many with the multisystem illness prefer. (ME stands for "myalgic encephalomyelitis," and the meeting was convened by the International Association for CFS/ME.) Some scientists working on the disease agree. "The fact that there is a budget for it at all means that the agency is taking it seriously. And it's not coming only out of Francis Collins's discretionary fund, but from the individual NIH institutes," says Ian Lipkin, an immunologist at Columbia University, who serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director, Collins's key group of external advisers. Lipkin is also a principal investigator, with Columbia psychiatrist Mady Hornig, on a $766,000 grant from NIH's infectious diseases institute to collect samples from hundreds of patients and controls, looking for biomarkers that could be used to diagnose the disease and searching for clues to its causes. It has been nearly 3 decades since a group of researchers led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coined the term "chronic fatigue syndrome" after an investigation of two outbreaks in the United States. Typified by exhaustion that commonly worsens with physical, mental, or emotional exertion, the condition is also often characterized by short-term memory and concentration problems and profound fatigue that sleep does not relieve. Sufferers may experience widespread muscle and joint pain, immune system problems, headaches, and many other symptoms. The onset of the disease frequently follows an infectious illness. Ever since it was given a name, many researchers and physicians have viewed the malady, which has no Food and Drug Administration–approved treatment and no diagnostic test, as psychosomatic. Then, in 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) dismissed the "misconception" of the disease as psychological in a report informed by a review of more than 9000 articles from 64 years of medical literature. "Remarkably little research funding has been made available to study the etiology, pathophysiology, and effective treatment of this disease, especially given the number of people affected," the authors noted. CDC estimates that ME/CFS affects more than 1 million Americans, a majority of them women. The IOM report "had an unbelievable effect," because it validated patients' experiences—"it told them that they weren't crazy," says geneticist Ronald Davis, who directs the Genome Technology Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and was one of the report's 15 authors. Davis became a passionate advocate for ME/CFS research and shifted his own studies to the topic after his now 33-year-old son fell ill with ME/CFS in 2008; he is now bedridden. "It also did a lot to NIH and the CDC, who had been ignoring this disease." Not long after the IOM report was published, NIH issued its own written assessment, concluding that research has neglected many of the biological factors behind ME/CFS and urging more basic science aimed at teasing out the mechanisms of the disease. Collins also announced a "strengthening" of the agency's ME/CFS effort. He moved oversight of the research out of the agency's small Office of Research on Women's Health and into the $1.7 billion National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and launched an intramural study that began enrolling people late last month. Forty patients who have developed the disease within the last 5 years, after an infection, will be run through a battery of exams at the Clinical Center, the NIH's research hospital. The assessments, from exercise stress tests to brain magnetic resonance imaging tests, will probe the biological and clinical characteristics of the disease—for which there is not even a broadly agreed-upon definition. For comparison, the study will also include healthy controls and people who have recovered from Lyme disease, which can cause similar symptoms. Some ME/CFS patients remain skeptical that the NIH moves reflect a genuine commitment to research on the disease. They have criticized what they call the narrow eligibility criteria being used for the Clinical Center study, and they complain that even $15 million scarcely begins to fund the research they say is needed. Critics such as Deborah Waroff, a retired Wall Street energy analyst who fell ill with ME/CFS in 1989, point, for instance, to multiple sclerosis, a similarly chronic, debilitating disease, which affects fewer than half as many Americans, according to one recent estimate. It received about 13 times as much NIH funding in 2016: $98 million. "ME still floats in space, belonging fully to no NIH institute and therefore having de jure claim to no budget," Waroff says. "The disease remains a beggar when it comes to budget." Any goodwill won by Whittemore's appearance in Florida may have evaporated after anger erupted last week when ME/CFS patients learned NIH had invited Edward Shorter, a medical historian at the University of Toronto in Canada, to give a 9 November talk at the agency. Shorter last year called the IOM report affirming the biological basis of ME/CFS "valueless; junk science at its worst." He traces the disease to a 1970s "brew of toxic beliefs about being tired all the time." Walter Koroshetz, the director of NINDS, defended the talk, writing in a letter to ME/CFS patients that "inclusion in the scientific conversation is not an endorsement." In an email to Science, he wrote that Shorter's talk was not "an official ME/CFS lecture. [An] announcement went out to the contrary. That was recalled. End of story." Tangible scientific progress on unraveling ME/CFS might be the best medicine to heal the current divisions. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August found depressed blood levels of scores of metabolites in people with the disease compared with healthy controls, suggesting that the disease may push the body into a low-energy state some have compared with hibernation. Scientists and patients are eagerly waiting for the results of a similar study by Lipkin's team. If replicated, the tantalizing finding could fit with an emerging theory that subpar function by mitochondria, the organelles that provide energy for cells, drives the disease. Hints that the monoclonal antibody rituximab, a drug that destroys antibody-producing B cells, may help some people with ME/CFS have also sparked optimism. ME/CFS patients have a slightly elevated risk of developing B-cell lymphoma, and Norwegian researchers accidentally found that treating a woman who had both conditions with rituximab markedly improved her ME/CFS symptoms. The group went on to do a nonblinded study of the antibody in 29 ME/CFS patients, 18 of whom reported major or moderate improvements in their symptoms. The researchers are now running a larger, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of the drug in 152 patients, planning to evaluate its effectiveness next October. Øystein Fluge, one of the Norwegian trial's leaders and an oncologist at the University of Bergen's Haukeland University Hospital in Norway, remains cautious. "Many places on the internet say this is an autoimmune disease. We haven't said that. We think some features fit, probably, with some autoimmune mechanism. But that's a hypothesis. We aren't sure." Only one thing is sure: After decades of frustration, the mysterious disease remains maddeningly elusive.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 49.02M | Year: 2008

A globally distributed computing Grid now plays an essential role for large-scale, data intensive science in many fields of research. The concept has been proven viable through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE and EGEE-II, 2004-2008) and its related projects. EGEE-II is consolidating the operations and middleware of this Grid for use by a wide range of scientific communities, such as astrophysics, computational chemistry, earth and life sciences, fusion and particle physics. Strong quality assurance, training and outreach programmes contribute to the success of this production Grid infrastructure. \nBuilt on the pan-European network GANT2, EGEE has become a unique and powerful resource for European science, allowing researchers in all regions to collaborate on common challenges. Worldwide collaborations have extended its reach to the benefit of European science.\nThe proposed EGEE-III project has two clear objectives that are essential for European research infrastructures: to expand, optimize and simplify the use of Europes largest production Grid by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources; to prepare the migration of the existing Grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives. \nBy strengthening interoperable, open source middleware, EGEE-III will actively contribute to Grid standards, and work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake of the Grid, which is a key to sustainability. \nFederating its partners on a national or regional basis, EGEE-III will have a structuring effect on the European Research Area. In particular, EGEE-III will ensure that the European Grid does not fragment into incompatible infrastructures of varying maturity. EGEE-III will provide a world class, coherent and reliable European Grid, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of scientific excellence.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS.2007-2.2.1.2;SiS-2007-2.2.1.1 | Award Amount: 1.43M | Year: 2008

CarboSchools\ proposes to link carbon science laboratories with secondary schools to develop partnerships where young Europeans learn and conduct experiments about climate research and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In partnership projects, scientists and teachers co-operate over several months to give young people a practical experience of research through real-time experiments, site visits, debates etc. A final output (article, exhibition) shares the findings with parents, friends, community etc. Nine research institutes in 7 countries will explore how they can best motivate and support such partnerships at the regional level in a wide variety of contexts, approaches, topics and age-groups. European co-operation will allow a comparison of results, learn from each other and develop replicable good practice. Pupils will gain European experience by doing comparative measurements through a common school CO2-web. An in-depth study of impacts on attitudes, beliefs and skills will allow a better understanding of the projects level of effectiveness. Over 2 school years, partnerships will involve about 90 scientists, 140 teachers and more than 3000 students. Their direct interaction will support teachers in the highly complex, interdisciplinary and socially relevant field of global change, and improve the communication skills of scientists. Methods and materials will be jointly developed and shared with a broad range of players in science education via the internet, a European conference and regional dissemination activities. CarboSchools\ is proposed by institutes firmly rooted in two FP6 research projects on climate change on the basis of outstanding results from educational projects piloted since 2005. A field-tested concept, a first set of resources and an enthusiastic human network provides us with confidence and institutional support to make science learning more engaging and challenging for young people as future workers, consumers and citizens.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-03-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2017

Childrens health is a major societal challenge for Europe and the world, requiring development of paediatric medicines and treatments strategies based on evidence derived from clinical trials demonstrating efficacy and safety in infants and children, rather than on uncritical extrapolation from adult data (over 50 % of the medicines used for children had not been tested in this specific age group). Conducting clinical trials in children requires specific competences and infrastructure. ECRIN-ERIC (www.ecrin.org) is a generic infrastructure for multinational trial management, in any disease area. However it does not specifically address the paediatric needs in terms of trial management capacity. In its 2016 Roadmap, ESFRI suggested an upgrade of ECRIN to develop a common infrastructure for paediatric trial management through cooperation with the European Paediatric Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure (EPCTRI). The resulting PedCRIN project is also a unique opportunity to improve ECRIN business model and financial sustainability, attracting more industry-sponsored trials and more Member and Observer countries. PedCRIN builds on five work packages : project coordination (WP1); establishment of a strategy and upgrade of the governance and business plan, through a Sustainability Board jointly involving the scientific partners and the government representatives (WP2); development of tools specific for paediatric and neonatal trials (WP3) (methodology, outcome measures, adverse event reporting, bio-sample management, ethical and regulatory database, monitoring, quality and certification); operational support provided as transnational access to a few pilot trials to test the updated organisation and tools (WP4); communication targeting users communities (including industry), policymakers, patient and parents empowerment (WP5). Two other ESFRI-landmarks, BBMRI-ERIC and EATRIS ERIC, will contribute to PedCRIN.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Dec. 1, 2016--Menopausal women appear to experience an accelerated decline in lung function, according to new research published online ahead of print in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. "Women are living longer and, therefore, many years beyond menopause," said Kai Triebner, MSc, lead author and a PhD candidate in epidemiology at the University of Bergen in Norway. "Our study highlights the importance of maintaining respiratory health long after the menopausal transition." In "Menopause is Associated with Accelerated Lung Function Decline," European researchers report that both forced vital capacity (FVC), a measure of lung size, and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), a measure of how much air can be forcefully exhaled in one second, declined in women going through the menopausal transition and after menopause beyond what would be expected through normal aging. The authors wrote that the decline in FVC was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, and the decline in FEV1 was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 2 years. The more pronounced decline in FVC than FEV1 indicated menopause was more likely to cause restrictive, rather than obstructive, breathing problems. Obstructive breathing problems (including COPD) make it difficult to exhale air from the lungs while restrictive breathing problems (including sarcoidosis) make it difficult to fully expand the lungs upon inhaling. "Whether obstructive or restrictive, the decline in lung function may cause an increase in shortness of breath, reduced work capacity and fatigue," Mr. Triebner said. "Symptoms depend upon how much lung capacity is reduced, and a few women may actually develop respiratory failure as a result of this decline." In what they believe is the first longitudinal population-based study of lung function and menopause, the researchers analyzed data from 1,438 women enrolled in the European Respiratory Health Survey. Participants in the study ranged in age from 25 to 48 at enrollment, and none was menopausal when the study began. They were followed for 20 years and during that time most went through the menopausal transition or became postmenopausal. The researchers adjusted their findings for age, weight, height, education and smoking history. As might be expected, current and past smokers showed a steeper decline in both age- and menopause-related lung function decline. The authors said there were several possible explanations for their findings. Menopause brings hormonal changes that have been linked to systemic inflammation, which itself is associated with lung function decline. Hormonal changes are also implicated in osteoporosis, which shortens the height of the chest vertebrae and may, in turn, limit the amount of air a person can inhale. "Women, and their physicians, should be aware that respiratory health might decline considerably during and after the menopausal transition," Mr. Triebner said. "This could mean that they experience shortness of breath already with low physical activity." The AJRCCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society. The Journal takes pride in publishing the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. With an impact factor of 12.996, it is the highest ranked journal in pulmonology. Editor: Jadwiga Wedzicha, MD, professor of respiratory medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute (Royal Brompton Campus), Imperial College London, UK. Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes three journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine


Based on a unique dataset collected during a research cruise to the Irminger Sea in April 2015, a new paper reveals a strong link between atmospheric forcing, deep convection, ocean ventilation and anthropogenic carbon sequestration. The Irminger Sea, a small ocean basin between Greenland and Iceland, is known for its harsh and extreme weather conditions during winter. Research cruises that take measurements in the subpolar North Atlantic almost exclusively do so in summer, although the area is particularly interesting in the convectively active winter season. Wintertime on-board ship measurements in the Irminger Sea were collected in April 2015 by scientists from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate research, as part of the SNACS project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The results are now published in Nature Communications by Friederike Fröb, a PhD student at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, with colleagues from the University of Bergen, Uni Research Bergen, the University of Toronto and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, both in Canada. Compared to the far more famous Labrador Sea where deep convection is observed almost every year, convection in the Irminger Sea is more rare, and more variable in extent and strength. The 2015 data show record winter mixed layers of 1,400m depth -- usually observed are 400m. The last time winter mixing had been that deep was probably in the mid-1990s, however, there is only indirect evidence for that; no direct measurements are available from that time. In the late 2000s, during the winters 2007/08 and 2011/12, convection down to between 800m and 1,000m was observed by ARGO floats. With the newly collected data in 2015, oxygen and carbon concentrations during active convection have been determined as well. These data show that oxygen and anthropogenic CO2 concentrations were both almost saturated with respect to the atmosphere in the upper water column. This resulted in a replenishment of depleted oxygen levels at mid-depth as well as a sequestration of large amounts of anthropogenic carbon to the deep ocean. Compared to historic cruise data in 1997 and 2003 covering the same transect as the 2015 cruise, the anthropogenic carbon storage rate almost tripled in response to the large variability in the physical climate system. The main driver for that extreme convective event in 2015 was the strong heat flux from the water column, a consequence of exceptionally strong winds that developed that winter around the southern tip of Greenland. The winter 2014-2015 was also the coldest on record in the North Atlantic, a phenomenon known as the 'cold-blob'. This cold-blob has been tied to a reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation as a consequence of increased freshwater runoff from the melting Greenland Ice Sheet and the Arctic, which increases ocean stratification. Although observations of one extreme event during winter can not be used to reject a hypothesis that is based on long-term trends, global climate model predictions are definitely challenged. The ability or lack of such to resolve small scale atmospheric phenomena like the ones in the Irminger Sea might be of greater relevance to simulate convective processes in the North Atlantic than anticipated. Overall, the cruise observations reveal the strong, direct link between atmospheric forcing, oceanic heat loss, ventilation, and anthropogenic carbon storage in the Irminger Sea. Further, the cruise data shows the necessity of ongoing, continuous data collection in remote areas also during harsh seasons, allowing to study highly variable natural processes as well as the impact of anthropogenic climate change on ocean biogeochemistry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 19.05M | Year: 2015

The life sciences are undergoing a transformation. Modern experimental tools study the molecules, reactions, and organisation of life in unprecedented detail. The precipitous drop in costs for high-throughput biology has enabled European research laboratories to produce an ever-increasing amount of data. Life scientists are rapidly generating the most complex and heterogeneous datasets that science can currently imagine, with unprecedented volumes of biological data to manage. Data will only generate long-term value if it is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR). This requires a scalable infrastructure that connects local, national and European efforts and provides standards, tools and training for data stewardship. Formally established as a legal entity in January 2014, ELIXIR - the European life science Infrastructure for Biological Information - is a distributed organisation comprising national bioinformatics research infrastructures and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). This coordinated infrastructure includes data standards, exchange, interoperability, storage, security and training. Recognising the importance of a data foundation for European life sciences, the ESFRI and European Council named ELIXIR as one of Europes priority Research Infrastructures. In response ELIXIR have developed ELIXIR-EXCELERATE. The project will fast-track ELIXIRs early implementation phase by i) coordinate and enhance existing resources into a world-leading data service for academia and industry, ii) grow bioinformatics capacity and competence across Europe, and iii) complete the management processes needed for a large distributed infrastructure. ELIXIR-EXCELERATE will deliver a step-change in the life sciences. It will enable cost-effective and sustainable management and re-use of data for millions of users across the globe and improve the competitiveness of European life science industries through accessible data and robust standards and tools.


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

One of the world's leading botanical science research institutions, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is celebrating 15 years of partnerships aimed at protecting Mexico's biodiversity during this year's Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties, CBD-COP13, in Cancun from Dec 2-17th. RBG Kew has been in partnerships in Mexico since 2002, principally with the country's largest wild plant seed bank at the Faculty of Higher Studies of Iztacala, part of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) and CONABIO (The National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity). To date, the collaboration has resulted in 7% of Mexico's flora being safeguarded in the Seed Bank at FESI-UNAM, each with a duplicate collection also held at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank in the UK - the largest off site plant conservation programme in the world. This equates to 986 Mexican plant species duplicated at Kew's MSB. On December 2nd at the Business Forum in Cancun, Kew will sign a new agreement with the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN) and HSBC Mexico to support a two year project focussing on arid areas in Baja California which are threatened with habitat loss, climate change and invasive species. Kew's Director of Science, Prof. Kathy Willis, who will be addressing businesses on December 3rd on some of the ways in which they can contribute to global efforts to tackle threats to biodiversity, especially from agriculture, says; "Mexico is the fifth most mega biodiverse country in the world. It is facing pressures on its ecosystems from agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, leading to rapidly changing land use. We're starting to see some very tangible results from the work we have been doing here for over a decade and we're proud that Kew's world class science and expertise is helping to inform some of the big environmental decisions about what to prioritise and where in order to ensure sustainable ecosystems in the future. We are committed to our existing partnerships and are exploring new ones so we can collectively buck the trends and foster greater collective responsibility for the solutions to the biggest challenges facing our planet." Solutions include field identification and collection of the wild relatives of commonly used crops that could hold the key to future food supplies in areas under threat of climate change. Some of these plant species which will be stored in Mexico's seed bank may represent sources of new genetic diversity and will potentially be available for plant breeding experiments, contributing to a wide range of beneficial agronomic and nutritional traits. Kew is also just beginning a four year Tree Project in Mexico that aims to conserve seeds from approximately 300 priority tree species nationally, including endemic, protected and useful plants important for the livelihoods of rural communities. Outputs from this project will also include a database of tree species and a map of tree species 'biodiversity hotspots'. Both will be critical assets when 'modelling' the actual and potential distribution of these important tree species under a changing climate. China Williams, Senior Science Officer, RBG Kew will be participating in the Science Forum in Cancun and on the UK Delegation at the CBD. Kew's Director of External Affairs. David Cope, Director of External Affairs, RBG Kew will be hosting a side event at the CEPA Fair which hopes to foster a lively discussion with representatives from several other botanic gardens about the wider role they play in communicating, educating and raising public awareness of biodiversity. For more information, images or to book an interview with a Kew spokesperson, please contact Ciara O'Sullivan, Head of Media Relations c.osullivan@kew.org and Tel: + 44 7753 10 34 60. In Cancun 30/11 to 5/12 1-2 Dec: 3rd Science for Biodiversity Forum More details China Williams, Senior Science Officer speaking on panel. Available for interview. 3 Dec: 14:15-16:15, 2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum, More details (CBD website). Kathy Willis, Director on Science speaking on Panel. Available for interview. Session G: Agriculture - negative impact of current agricultural practices on ecosystems and biodiversity. Business opportunities and challenges. 5 Dec: 13.15, Experiences in Tourism and Biodiversity. Contact Group 3 Meeting Room at the Universal Building. David Cope, Director of External Affairs is a panellist on this event organised between the British Embassy in Mexico and the Mexican Ministry of Tourism 6 Dec: 15:30, Kew's CEPA Side Event More details Venue: Universal Building (Moon Palace Hotel, Main Floor). Title: 'Gardens of the Anthropocene: How botanic gardens are reconnecting people with plants'. Topic: A panel of experts from botanic gardens and universities across the globe will discuss the role of botanical gardens in communicating, educating and raising public awareness of biodiversity. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. In May 2016 Kew released the first ever State of the World's Plants report which will now be an annual report tracking progress and scanning the horizons on issues ranging from useful plants to illegal trade and agreements like the Nagoya Protocol being discussed in Cancun in December.Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives approximately just under half of its funding from the UK Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The Kew Foundation charity raises much needed funds from individuals, companies and trusts to support Kew's work. For further information visit our website. Professor Kathy Willis, Director of Science, RBG Kew (Cancun, Dec 1-3): Kathy was appointed in November 2013 to lead Kew's Science Directorate, and the development of a new Science Strategy for Kew which enhances its world-leading science and conservation work, strengthens its position as a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge, and promotes plant and fungal-based solutions to current global challenges. Kathy's career began with a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Southampton and was followed by a PhD in from the University of Cambridge. Kathy remained at Cambridge in the Department of Plant Sciences for her early postdoctoral career, obtaining fellowships with Selwyn College, NERC and the Royal Society, before moving to the University of Oxford in 1999 to take up a lectureship in the School of Geography and the Environment. While in this role she established the Oxford Long-term Ecology Laboratory in 2002, and was made Professor of Long-term Ecology in 2008. Kathy became Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford in 2010 and maintains this position and an adjunct Professorship in Biology at the University of Bergen.Kathy's research interests focus on the relationship between long-term vegetation dynamics and environmental change, with current projects examining biodiversity baselines and processes responsible for ecosystem thresholds and resilience. Recent work has also focused on the development of technologies to measure and derive economic and ecological values for biodiversity. Julia Willison, Head of Learning and Participation, RBG Kew: Julia Willison has over 20 years' experience of working with botanic gardens around the world, supporting them to develop their education programmes. Julia leads Kew's Learning and Participation Programme which includes the schools programme, visitor learning (families, guides and participation) and Grow Wild, a UK-wide programme inspiring people to transform local spaces with native wild flowers. Her professional interests lie in how we engage people of all ages and backgrounds in understanding the importance of plants in our lives and how our decisions and behaviours impact the sustainability of the planet. Julia is the originator of 'Communities in Nature: Growing the Social Role of Botanic Gardens', an international initiative supporting botanic gardens to work with their local communities on common issues of social and environmental importance and she also co-led INQUIRE, a pan-European project aiming to reinvigorate inquiry-based science education in formal and informal education systems. David Cope, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, RBG Kew: David is responsible for building Kew's external reputation and relationships across all our stakeholders, facilitating changes to strategic plans, and ensuring the effective governance of Kew. David joined Kew after eight years working in a variety of change management, strategy, analysis, performance improvement and policy roles in the UK Government department for the Environment Defra and the Home Office. David trained as a biologist, conducting his PhD and postdoctoral research on the population dynamics and conservation of herbivores. David aims to bring his passion for science and conservation along with his developed knowledge of strategy formulation and implementation and his understanding of the workings of government in order to support Kew in achieving its potential to make an even greater positive impact in the world. China Williams, Senior Science Officer (Science Policy), RBG Kew: China's role focuses on ensuring that Kew staff comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources, as well as the national laws of our partner countries. This involves supporting Kew staff preparing for overseas collecting trips, developing legal agreements with partners, and making sure that policies in all research areas ensure that we are using material legally. In addition China represents Kew at national and international meetings and work with the UK government so that Kew's breadth of science knowledge is used to guide policy decisions. China has developed and delivers a range of policy training modules for Kew staff, partners, others in the non-commercial research sector and also at the graduate and post graduate level. Alison Purvis, Co-CEO (interim), Kew Foundation: Alison brings years over 15 years of experience in philanthropic, institutional and corporate strategy and International NGO development work to support Kew's mission to unlock why plants mater. The Kew Foundation was named the second fasted growing charity by income in the UK by Cass Business School in February 2016 and Alison has expert knowledge of non-profit fundraising within complex, global and scientific research organisations working in over 100 countries with public, scientific and educational objectives. Alison is a FRSA and holds her BA from St Lawrence University in New York and recently completed the PMNO course at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has resided in London with her husband and son for 15 years.


Haaheim L.R.,University of Bergen | Katz J.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2011

The emergence of a novel swine-origin pandemic influenza virus in 2009, together with the continuing circulation of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 viruses and the urgent global need to produce effective vaccines against such public health threats, has prompted a renewed interest in improving our understanding of the immune correlates of protection against influenza. As new influenza vaccine technologies, including non-HA based approaches and novel production platforms are developed and undergo clinical evaluation, it has become clear that existing immune correlates such as serum hemagglutination-inhibition antibodies may be unsuitable to estimate vaccine immunogenicity and protective efficacy of such vaccines. This International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (ISIRV) sponsored international meeting held in Miami, Florida USA on March 1-3, 2010, brought together scientists from industry, academia, and government agencies that develop and evaluate seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines and scientists from regulatory authorities that approve them, to identify approaches to develop expanded immune correlates of protection to aid in vaccine licensure. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


The human body strives at maintaining homeostasis within fairly tight regulated mechanisms that control vital regulators such as core body temperature, mechanisms of metabolism and endocrine function. While a wide range of medical conditions can influence thermoregulation the most common source of temperature loss in trauma patients includes: exposure (environmental, as well as cavitary), the administration of i.v. fluids, and anaesthesia/loss of shivering mechanisms, and blood loss per se. Loss of temperature can be classified either according to the aetiology (i.e. accidental/spontaneous versus trauma/haemorrhage-induced temperature loss), or according to an unintended, accidental induction in contrast to a medically intended therapeutic hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs infrequently (prevalence < 10% of all injured), but more often (30-50%) in the severely injured. Hypothermia usually come together with and may aggravate acidosis and coagulopathy (the "lethal triad of trauma"), which again may be associated with a high mortality. However, recent studies disagree in the independent predictive role of hypothermia and mortality. Prevention of hypothermia is imperative through all phases of trauma care and must be an interest among all team members. Hypothermia in the trauma setting has attracted focus in the past from a pathophysiological, preventive and prognostic perspective; yet recent focus has shifted towards the potential for using hypothermia for pre-emptive and cellular protective purposes. This paper gives a brief update on some of the clinically relevant aspects of hypothermia in the injured patient. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Forsaa E.B.,University of Stavanger | Larsen J.P.,University of Stavanger | Wentzel-Larsen T.,University of Bergen | Alves G.,University of Stavanger
Neurology | Year: 2010

Objective: To identify independent risk factors of mortality in a community-based Parkinson disease (PD) cohort during prospective long-term follow-up. Methods: A community-based prevalent sample of 230 patients with PD from southwestern Norway was followed prospectively with repetitive assessments of motor and nonmotor symptoms from 1993 to 2005. Information on vital status until October 20, 2009, was obtained from the National Population Register in Norway. Cox proportional hazards models were applied to identify independent predictors of mortality during follow-up. Chronological age, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score, levodopa equivalent dose, probable REM sleep behavior disorder, psychotic symptoms, dementia, and use of antipsychotics were included as time-dependent variables, and age at onset (AAO) and sex as time-independent variables. Results: Of 230 patients, 211 (92%) died during the study period. Median survival time from motor onset was 15.8 years (range 2.2-36.6). Independent predictors of mortality during follow-up were AAO (hazard ratio [HR] 1.40 for 10-years increase, p = 0.029), chronological age (HR 1.51 for 10-years increase, p = 0.043), male sex (HR 1.63, p = 0.001), UPDRS motor score (HR 1.18 for 10-point increase, p < 0.001), psychotic symptoms (HR 1.45, p = 0.039), and dementia (HR 1.89, p = 0.001). Conclusions: This population-based long-term study demonstrates that in addition to AAO, chronological age, motor severity, and dementia, psychotic symptoms independently predict increased mortality in PD. In contrast, no significant impact of antipsychotic or antiparkinsonian drugs on survival was observed in our PD cohort. Early prevention of motor progression and development of psychosis and dementia may be the most promising strategies to increase life expectancy in PD. © 2010 by AAN Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.


Soreide K.,University of Stavanger | Thorsen K.,University of Bergen | Soreide J.A.,University of Bergen
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2014

Background: Perforated peptic ulcer (PPU) is a common surgical emergency that carries high mortality and morbidity rates. Globally, one-quarter of a million people die from peptic ulcer disease each year. Strategies to improve outcomes are needed. Methods: PubMed was searched for evidence related to the surgical treatment of patients with PPU. The clinical registries of trials were examined for other available or ongoing studies. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses were preferred. Results: Deaths from peptic ulcer disease eclipse those of several other common emergencies. The reported incidence of PPU is 3·8-14 per 100 000 and the mortality rate is 10-25 per cent. The possibility of non-operative management has been assessed in one small RCT of 83 patients, with success in 29 (73 per cent) of 40, and only in patients aged less than 70 years. Adherence to a perioperative sepsis protocol decreased mortality in a cohort study, with a relative risk (RR) reduction of 0·63 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 0·41 to 0·97). Based on meta-analysis of three RCTs (315 patients), laparoscopic and open surgery for PPU are equivalent, but patient selection remains a challenge. Eradication of Helicobacter pylori after surgical repair of PPI reduces both the short-term (RR 2·97, 95 per cent c.i. 1·06 to 8·29) and 1-year (RR 1·49, 1·10 to 2·03) risk of ulcer recurrence. Conclusion: Mortality and morbidity from PPU can be reduced by adherence to perioperative strategies. © 2013 BJS Society Ltd.


Husebye E.S.,University of Bergen | Anderson M.S.,University of California at San Francisco
Immunity | Year: 2010

Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes are complex in their pathogenesis. One approach to improving our understanding of type 1 diabetes is the study of diseases that represent more extreme examples of autoimmunity. Autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes (APS) are relatively rare diseases that often include type 1 diabetes as part of the disease phenotype. Recently, there has been tremendous progress in unraveling some of the underlying mechanisms of APS. Here, we highlight the APS disorders with the perspective of the clues they can offer to the pathogenesis and treatment of type 1 diabetes. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Fomin F.V.,University of Bergen | Lokshtanov D.,University of Bergen | Saurabh S.,Chennai Mathematical Institute | Thilikos D.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2010

Bidimensionality theory appears to be a powerful framework in the development of meta-algorithmic techniques. It was introduced by Demaine et al. [J. ACM 2005] as a tool to obtain sub-exponential time parameterized algorithms for bidimensional problems on H-minor free graphs. Demaine and Hajiaghayi [SODA 2005] extended the theory to obtain polynomial time approximation schemes (PTASs) for bidimensional problems. In this paper, we establish a third meta-algorithmic direction for bidimensionality theory by relating it to the existence of linear kernels for parameterized problems. In parameterized complexity, each problem instance comes with a parameter k and the parameterized problem is said to admit a linear kernel if there is a polynomial time algorithm, called a kernelization algorithm, that reduces the input instance to an equivalent instance (called kernel) with size linearly bounded by k. We show that "essentially" all bidimensional problems not only have sub-exponential time algorithms and PTASs but they also have linear kernels, affirmatively answering an open question from [J. ACM 2005] where the existence of linear kernels was conjectured for the first time. In particular, we prove that every minor (respectively contraction) bidimensional problem that satisfies the separation property and is of finite integer index, admits a linear kernel for classes of graphs that exclude a fixed graph (respectively an apex graph H) H as a minor. Recently, Bodlaender et al. [FOCS 2009] laid the foundation for obtaining meta-algorithmic results for kernelization and showed that various problems satisfying some logical and compactness properties have polynomial, even linear kernels on graphs of bounded genus. With the use of bidimensionality we are able to extend these results to minor-free and apex-minor-free graphs. Our results imply that a multitude of bidimensional problems, which include DOMINATING SET, FEEDBACK VERTEX SET, EDGE DOMINATING SET, VERTEX COVER, r-DOMINATING SET, CONNECTED DOMINATING SET, CYCLE PACKING, CONNECTED VERTEX COVER, ALMOST CONSTANT TREEWIDTH, and various other vertex covering and packing problems, admit linear kernels on the corresponding graph classes. For most of these problems no polynomial kernels on H-minor-free graphs were known prior to our work. Copyright © by SIAM.


Gjerstad M.D.,University of Stavanger | Tysnes O.B.,University of Bergen | Larsen J.P.,University of Stavanger
Neurology | Year: 2011

Objective: This study explores the risk and correlates of leg restlessness in drug-naive patients with Parkinson disease (PD) as compared to control subjects matched for age and gender. Methods: A total of 200 drug-naive patients with early, unmedicated PD derived from a population-based incident cohort and 173 age- and gender-matched control subjects were assessed for leg restlessness by structured interviews, clinical examination, and blood samples. All subjects were Caucasian. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) was diagnosed according to the essential diagnostic criteria. Results: More patients (81 of 200, 40.5%) than controls (31 of 173, 17.9%) reported leg restlessness (p < 0.001). Thirty-one (15.5%) of these patients with PD and 16 (9.2%) control subjects met RLS criteria (p - 0.07). A total of 21 (12.5%) patients and 12 (6.9%) controls with RLS remained after the exclusion of potential RLS mimics and 26 patients vs 10 control subjects with leg motor restlessness (LMR), leading to a relative risk for RLS of 1.76 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90-3.43, p - 0.089) and 2.84 for LMR (95% CI 1.43-5.61, p - 0.001) in PD. Except for increased sleep disturbances in patients with RLS and increased Montgomery and Åsberg Depression Rating Scale scores for patients with RLS or LMR there were no other major differences in relevant blood tests, motor or cognitive function between PD with and without RLS or LMR. Conclusion: LMR and not RLS occurs with a near 3-fold higher risk as compared to controls in early PD. The findings underline a need for more accurate assessments of RLS in PD and support the notion that RLS and PD are different entities. Copyright © 2011 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.


Flo E.,University of Bergen | Chalder T.,King's College London
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2014

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the treatments of choice for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, the factors that predict recovery are unknown.The objective of this study was to ascertain the recovery rate among CFS patients receiving CBT in routine practice and to explore possible predictors of recovery.Recovery was defined as no longer meeting Oxford or CDC criteria for CFS measured at 6 months follow-up. A composite score representing full recovery additionally included the perception of improvement, and normal population levels of fatigue and of physical functioning. Logistic regression was used to examine predictors of recovery. Predictors included age, gender, cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms, work and social adjustment, beliefs about emotions, perfectionism, anxiety and depression at baseline.At 6 months follow-up 37.5% of the patients no longer met either the Oxford or the CDC criteria for CFS while 18.3% were fully recovered. Multivariate analyses showed that worse scores on the work and social adjustment scale, unhelpful beliefs about emotions, high levels of depression and older age were associated with reduced odds for recovery.Recovery rates in this routine practice were comparable to previous RCTs. There was a wide spectrum of significant predictors for recovery. © 2014 The Authors.


Fomin F.V.,University of Bergen | Golovach P.,Durham University | Thilikos D.M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B | Year: 2011

We provide two parameterized graphs Γk, Πk with the following property: for every positive integer k, there is a constant ck such that every graph G with treewidth at least ck, contains one of Kk, Γk, Πk as a contraction, where Kk is a complete graph on k vertices. These three parameterized graphs can be seen as "obstruction patterns" for the treewidth with respect to the contraction partial ordering. We also present some refinements of this result along with their algorithmic consequences. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Dorheim S.K.,University of Stavanger | Bjorvatn B.,University of Bergen | Eberhard-Gran M.,Akershus University Hospital | Eberhard-Gran M.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2013

Objective To describe the prevalence of, reasons given for, and factors associated with sick leave during pregnancy. Design Longitudinal, population-based descriptive study. Setting Akershus University Hospital, Norway. Population All women scheduled to give birth at the hospital (November 2008 to April 2010). Methods Consenting women were handed a questionnaire at the routine ultrasound check at 17 weeks of gestation. Women returning this questionnaire received a second questionnaire at 32 weeks of gestation. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to examine associations with somatic, psychiatric and social factors. Main outcome measures Rates and duration of sick leave. Results By 32 weeks of gestation, 63.2% of the 2918 women included were on sick leave, and 75.3% had been on sick leave at some point during their pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain and fatigue/sleep problems were the main reasons given for sick leave. Being on sick leave in all trimesters was strongly associated with hyperemesis, exercising less than weekly, chronic pain before or during pregnancy, infertility treatment (all P < 0.001); younger maternal age, conflicts in the workplace (both P < 0.01); multiparity, previous depression, insomnia and lower education (all P < 0.05). Sick leave was associated with elective caesarean section and higher infant birthweight (P < 0.01). Adjustment of the work situation was associated with 1 week shorter duration of sick leave. Conclusions Most women receive sick leave during pregnancy, but sick leave might not be caused by pregnancy alone. Previous medical and psychiatric history, work conditions and socio-economic factors need to be addressed to understand sick leave during pregnancy. © 2012 The Authors BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology © 2012 RCOG.


Hirnstein M.,University of Bergen | Coloma Andrews L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Hausmann M.,Durham University
Archives of Sexual Behavior | Year: 2014

Sex differences in specific cognitive abilities are well documented, but the biological, psychological, and sociocultural interactions that may underlie these differences are largely unknown. We examined within a biopsychosocial approach how gender stereotypes affect cognitive sex differences when adult participants were tested in mixed- or same-sex groups. A total of 136 participants (70 women) were allocated to either mixed- or same-sex groups and completed a battery of sex-sensitive cognitive tests (i.e., mental rotation, verbal fluency, perceptual speed) after gender stereotypes or gender-neutral stereotypes (control) were activated. To study the potential role of testosterone as a mediator for group sex composition and stereotype boost/threat effects, saliva samples were taken before the stereotype manipulation and after cognitive testing. The results showed the typical male and female advantages in mental rotation and verbal fluency, respectively. In general, men and women who were tested in mixed-sex groups and whose gender stereotypes had not been activated performed best. Moreover, a stereotype threat effect emerged in verbal fluency with reduced performance in gender stereotyped men but not women. Testosterone levels did not mediate the effects of group sex composition and stereotype threat nor did we find any relationship between testosterone and cognitive performance in men and women. Taken together, the findings suggest that an interaction of gender stereotyping and group sex composition affects the performance of men and women in sex-sensitive cognitive tasks. Mixed-sex settings can, in fact, increase cognitive performance as long as gender-stereotyping is prevented. © 2014, The Author(s).


Aksnes D.L.,University of Bergen | Cao F.J.,Complutense University of Madrid
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2011

Nearly 50 yr ago, the Michaelis-Menten (MM) model, originally derived for enzyme kinetics, was adapted to characterize microbial nutrient uptake and has become a framework for defining microbial traits in competition theory, evolutionary dynamics, and ocean ecosystem models. We provide theoretical evidence that microbial traits and environmental properties are not appropriately distinguished in current ecological modeling that makes use of MM models, and we propose a framework where inherent microbial traits are explicitly distinguished from environmental variables. This provides novel expectations on how nutrient uptake is affected by cell size, porter density, temperature, and nutrient regimes, and we show that uptake kinetics and tradeoffs likely differ between oligotrophic and eutrophic regimes. We present mechanistic expressions for the affinity and the half-saturation (K) coefficients, and our results suggest that K might behave opposite to that commonly assumed in ecological modeling and should be abandoned as an index of uptake efficiency. Our results further suggest that the effect of organism size, considered a master trait in modeling, on specific uptake and growth rates is effectively modified by porter density, although differently in oligotrophic and eutrophic regimes. While nutrient uptake studies have commonly been carried out at a bulk scale, which is much larger than that experienced by the organisms, our study emphasize the need for observations at the scale of the individual. © 2011 Inter-Research.


Larsen S.,University of Bergen | Ogaard T.,University of Stavanger | Brun W.,University of Bergen
Annals of Tourism Research | Year: 2011

This paper addresses the issue of the budget traveler (backpacker) as compared to mainstream tourists, highlighting travel motivations, subjective judgments of risk, tourist worries and tourists' self identifications. A total of 1880 tourists to Norway participated in the study, of which 211 were budget travelers.Few motivational differences were found between groups, but budget travelers were less motivated by needs for luxury and relaxation and they judged travel related hazards (including food risk) to be less risky. Their overall travel related worry was similar to other travelers' although they worried less about terror and foreign cultures. Budget travelers also perceived themselves to be less typical tourists than mainstream tourists perceived themselves to be. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Lauvsnes M.B.,University of Stavanger | Omdal R.,University of Stavanger | Omdal R.,University of Bergen
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2012

Neurological and psychiatric disorders are common in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). While several pathogenetic mechanisms are thought to be involved, among of the most challenging and best investigated are antibodies against the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subtypes 2a and 2b (anti-NR2 antibodies). This review summarizes the most relevant mechanisms for neuropsychiatric (NP) involvement in SLE (NPSLE) with special emphasis on the role of anti-NR2 antibodies and provides an overview of published articles on anti-NR2 antibodies and brain involvement as of May 2011. In mice, neuronal cell death occurs when anti-NR2 antibodies gain access to the brain, either by injection directly into the brain, or by systemic immunization and abrogation of the blood-brain barrier. Either impaired memory and hippocampal atrophy, or emotional disturbances and atrophy of the amygdala follow, seemingly dependent on the method used for disruption of the blood- brain barrier. Recent studies indicate that the effect of anti- NR2 antibodies is dose dependent; at low concentrations they alter synaptic function; at higher concentrations they can cause neuronal cell death by apoptosis. An association between anti-NR2 antibodies and NPSLE has been confirmed in 6 out of 13 human studies; the manifestations are primarily of diffuse cerebral character. © Springer-Verlag 2011.


Verguet S.,University of Washington | Norheim O.F.,University of Bergen | Olson Z.D.,University of Washington | Yamey G.,University of California at San Francisco | Jamison D.T.,University of California at San Francisco
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2014

Background: Measuring a country's health performance has focused mostly on estimating levels of mortality. An alternative is to measure rates of decline in mortality, which are more sensitive to changes in health policy than are mortality levels. Historical rates of decline in mortality can also help test the feasibility of future health goals (eg, post-2015). We aimed to assess the annual rates of decline in under-5, maternal, tuberculosis, and HIV mortality over the past two decades for 109 low-income and middle-income countries. Methods: For the period 1990-2013, we estimated annual rates of decline in under-5 mortality (deaths per 1000 livebirths), the maternal mortality ratio (deaths per 100 000 livebirths), and tuberculosis and HIV mortality (deaths per 100 000 population per year) using published data from UNICEF and WHO. For every 5-year interval (eg, 1990-95), we defined performance as the size of the annual rate of decline for every mortality indicator. Subsequently, we tested the feasibility of post-2015 goals by estimating the year by which countries would achieve 2030 targets proposed by The Lancet's Commission on Investing in Health (ie, 20 deaths per 1000 for under-5 mortality, 94 deaths per 100 000 for maternal mortality, four deaths per 100 000 for tuberculosis mortality, and eight deaths per 100 000 for HIV mortality) at observed country and aspirational best-performer (90th percentile) rates. Findings: From 2005 to 2013, the mean annual rate of decline in under-5 mortality was 4·3% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·9-4·6), for maternal mortality it was 3·3% (2·5-4·1), for tuberculosis mortality 4·1% (2·8-5·4), and for HIV mortality 2·2% (0·1-4·3); aspirational best-performer rates per year were 7·1% (6·8-7·5), 6·3% (5·5-7·1), 12·8% (11·5-14·1), and 15·3% (13·2-17·4), respectively. The top two country performers were Macedonia and South Africa for under-5 mortality, Belarus and Bulgaria for maternal mortality, Uzbekistan and Macedonia for tuberculosis mortality, and Namibia and Rwanda for HIV mortality. At aspirational rates of decline, The Lancet's Commission on Investing in Health target for under-5 mortality would be achieved by 50-64% of countries, 35-41% of countries would achieve the 2030 target for maternal mortality, 74-90% of countries would meet the goal for tuberculosis mortality, and 66-82% of countries would achieve the target for HIV mortality. Interpretation: Historical rates of decline can help define realistic targets for Sustainable Development Goals. The gap between targets and projected achievement based on recent trends suggests that countries and the international community must seek further acceleration of progress in mortality. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NORAD. © 2014 Verguet et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-SA.


Bhangu A.,Queen Elizabeth Hospital | Bhangu A.,University of Birmingham | Soreide K.,University of Stavanger | Soreide K.,University of Bergen | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Acute appendicitis is one of the most common abdominal emergencies worldwide. The cause remains poorly understood, with few advances in the past few decades. To obtain a confident preoperative diagnosis is still a challenge, since the possibility of appendicitis must be entertained in any patient presenting with an acute abdomen. Although biomarkers and imaging are valuable adjuncts to history and examination, their limitations mean that clinical assessment is still the mainstay of diagnosis. A clinical classification is used to stratify management based on simple (non-perforated) and complex (gangrenous or perforated) inflammation, although many patients remain with an equivocal diagnosis, which is one of the most challenging dilemmas. An observed divide in disease course suggests that some cases of simple appendicitis might be self-limiting or respond to antibiotics alone, whereas another type often seems to perforate before the patient reaches hospital. Although the mortality rate is low, postoperative complications are common in complex disease. We discuss existing knowledge in pathogenesis, modern diagnosis, and evolving strategies in management that are leading to stratified care for patients. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Suster M.L.,National Institute of Genetics | Suster M.L.,University of Bergen | Abe G.,National Institute of Genetics | Schouw A.,University of Bergen | And 2 more authors.
Nature Protocols | Year: 2011

Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) are widely used in studies of vertebrate gene regulation and function because they often closely recapitulate the expression patterns of endogenous genes. Here we report a step-by-step protocol for efficient BAC transgenesis in zebrafish using the medaka Tol2 transposon. Using recombineering in Escherichia coli, we introduce the iTol2 cassette in the BAC plasmid backbone, which contains the inverted minimal cis-sequences required for Tol2 transposition, and a reporter gene to replace a target locus in the BAC. Microinjection of the Tol2-BAC and a codon-optimized transposase mRNA into fertilized eggs results in clean integrations in the genome and transmission to the germline at a rate of ∼15%. A single person can prepare a dozen constructs within 3 weeks, and obtain transgenic fish within approximately 3-4 months. Our protocol drastically reduces the labor involved in BAC transgenesis and will greatly facilitate biological and biomedical studies in model vertebrates. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sheffield N.C.,Duke University | Thurman R.E.,University of Washington | Song L.,Duke University | Safi A.,Duke University | And 6 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2013

Regulatory elements recruit transcription factors that modulate gene expression distinctly across cell types, but the relationships among these remains elusive. To address this, we analyzed matched DNase-seq and gene expression data for 112 human samples representing 72 cell types. We first defined more than 1800 clusters of DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) with similar tissue specificity of DNase-seq signal patterns. We then used these to uncover distinct associations between DHSs and promoters, CpG islands, conserved elements, and transcription factor motif enrichment. Motif analysis within clusters identified known and novel motifs in cell-type-specific and ubiquitous regulatory elements and supports a role for AP-1 regulating open chromatin. We developed a classifier that accurately predicts cell-type lineage based on only 43 DHSs and evaluated the tissue of origin for cancer cell types. A similar classifier identified three sex-specific loci on the X chromosome, including the XIST lincRNA locus. By correlating DNase I signal and gene expression, we predicted regulated genes for more than 500K DHSs. Finally, we introduce a web resource to enable researchers to use these results to explore these regulatory patterns and better understand how expression is modulated within and across human cell types. © 2013, Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007.1.1.3.1. | Award Amount: 9.77M | Year: 2008

The overall goal of the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) is to fill the numerous gaps in our understanding of the effects and implications of ocean acidification. EPOCA aims to document the changes in ocean chemistry and biogeography across space and time. Paleo-reconstruction methods will be used on several archives, including foraminifera and deep-sea corals, to determine past variability in ocean chemistry and to tie these to present-day chemical and biological observations. EPOCA will determine the sensitivity of marine organisms, communities and ecosystems to ocean acidification. Molecular to biochemical, physiological and ecological approaches will be combined with laboratory and field-based perturbation experiments to quantify biological responses to ocean acidification, assess the potential for adaptation, and determine the consequences for biogeochemical cycling. Laboratory experiments will focus on key organisms selected on the basis of their ecological, biogeochemical or socio-economic importance. Field studies will be carried out in systems deemed most sensitive to ocean acidification. Results on the chemical, biological and biogeochemical impacts of ocean acidification will be integrated in biogeochemical, sediment and coupled ocean-climate models to better understand and predict the responses of the Earth system to ocean acidification. Special special attention will be paid to the potential feedbacks of the physiological changes in the carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and iron cycles. EPOCA will assess uncertainties, risks and thresholds (tipping points) related to ocean acidification at scales ranging from sub-cellular, to ecosystem and from local to global. It will also assess pathways of CO2 emissions required to avoid these thresholds and describe the state change and the subsequent risk to the marine environment and Earth system should these emissions be exceeded.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007.2.2.1.4. | Award Amount: 8.58M | Year: 2008

MEECE is a scientific research project which aims to use a combination of data synthesis, numerical simulation and targeted experimentation to further our knowledge of how marine ecosystems will respond to combinations of multiple climate change and anthropogenic drivers. With an emphasis on the European Marine Strategy (EMS), MEECE will improve the decision support tools to provide a structured link between management questions and the knowledge base that can help to address those questions. A strong knowledge transfer element will provide an effective means of communication between end-users and scientists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-5 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2009

NeuroXsys will generate regulatory maps and models of the human X chromosome based on evolutionary conservation, with special attention to genes and regions implicated in X-linked neurological diseases. Vertebrate chromosomes are subdivided into domains of genomic regulatory blocks (GRBs) and NeuroXsys aims to map all GRBs on the X chromosome through bioinformatic approaches, extract gene regulatory sequences, and model their activity through transgenic reporter assays in the zebrafish juvenile and adult brain. One of the major deliverables of this project will be the publication of an online database that achieves correlation of disease genes ordered with respect to their regulatory regions and their experimentally and bioinformatically assessed function. NeuroXsys will seek to identify human disease mutations in neural gene regulatory elements. Implicated elements will be studied as regulators at single cell resolution in the zebrafish and mouse brain, defining expression patterns driven by the normal and mutant human regulatory DNA sequences. NeuroXsys will generate a regulatory map of a human chromosome.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2013

The overall goal with INFECT is to advance our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms, prognosis, and diagnosis of the multifactorial highly lethal NSTIs. The fulminant course of NSTIs (in the order of hours) demands immediate diagnosis and adequate interventions in order to salvage lives and limbs. However, diagnosis and management are difficult due to heterogeneity in clinical presentation, in co-morbidities and in microbiological aetiology. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in order to improve outcome of NSTIs. To achieve this, a comprehensive and integrated knowledge of diagnostic features, causative microbial agent, treatment strategies, and pathogenic mechanisms (host and bacterial disease traits and their underlying interaction network) is required. INFECT is designed to obtain such insights through an integrated systems biology approach in patients and different clinically relevant experimental models. Specific objectives of INFECT are to: 1. Unravel specific mechanisms underlying diseases signatures though a bottom-up systems approach applied to clinically relevant experimental settings 2. Apply a top-down systems biology approach to NSTI patient samples to pin-point key host and pathogen factors involved in the onset and development of infection 3. Identify and quantify disease signatures and underlying networks that contribute to disease outcome 4. Exploit identified disease traits for the innovation of optimized diagnostic tools 5. Translate the advanced knowledge generated into evidence-based guidelines for classification and management, and novel therapeutic strategies We have gathered a team of multidisciplinary researchers, clinicians, SMEs and a patient organization, each with a unique expertise, technical platform and/or model systems that together provide the means to successfully conduct the multifaceted research proposed and efficiently disseminate/exploit the knowledge obtained.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 16.04M | Year: 2010

To contribute to the development of vaccines against Shigella and ETEC for children of the developing world, STOPENTERICS will provide novel solutions by imposing a two-fold paradigm switch: (i) to break the dogma of serotype-specificity by inducing a cross-protective immunity (ii) to improve the immunogenicity of Shigella glycoconjugates by using synthetic oligosacharides mimicking the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen. The possibilities offered by genomics/proteomics and bacterial outer membrane blebs (OMB) will be exploited to identify virulence proteins conserved throughout Shigella or ETEC isolates. For ETEC, the development of a safe, immunogenic ST (heat stable) toxoid is a priority. State-of-the-art glycochemistry and sugar-protein carrier conjugation will allow engineering optimal Shigella glycoconjugates with focus on the five most prevalent serotypes. The ultimate aim is to optimize chances for the best coverage by combining cross-protective and serotype-specific antigens, thus ensuring the development of efficient multivalent vaccines that will help reduce the burden of diarrheal diseases. At all stages of the R & D process, candidate antigens will be considered in light of immunomonitoring data obtained in naturally-infected individuals, and volunteers undergoing vaccine trials. Regarding the latter, Phase-1 clinical trials with two vaccine candidates are planned as proofsof-concept of (i) a synthetic oligosaccharides approach mimicking Shigella O-antigens, and (ii) a Shigella OMB-based vaccines to be tested after validation of preclinical studies. STOPENTERICS is a unique combination of laboratories, platforms, vaccinology centres from academia and industry in the North and the South, integrated to successfully develop new vaccines, from R&D toward clinical trials. By promoting high-standard training capacity for young investigators, it will foster a new generation of researchers in neglected infectious diseases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2010

Autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by an antibody response to citrullinated proteins. Periodontitis (PD) is largely caused by infection, in which Porphyromonas gingivalis is a major pathogen. The two diseases combine specific HLA-DRB1alleles and smoking as risk factors, and have a similar pathophysiology characterised by destructive inflammation. A possible causative link between RA and PD is based on the ability of P. gingivalis to citrullinate proteins and thereby generate autoantigens that drive autoimmunity in RA. We hypothesise that anti-citrullinated protein antibodies can be generated, in genetically susceptible individuals, as a consequence of P. Gingivalis-induced citrullination in the gingiva. In the context of genetic risk factors, during chronic exposure to danger signals, such as bacterial lipopolysacharides and DNA, tolerance to citrullinated proteins may be broken, with production of a pathogenic antibody response, which at a later time point cross-reacts with joint proteins and causes chronic RA. We will use a multidisciplinary approach (genetics, epidemiology, molecular immunology and animal models) to study susceptibility factors and immune responses in RA and PD, with an aim to identify novel etiological and pathogenic pathways, forming the basis for new therapies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2013

GLANAM (Glaciated North Atlantic Margins) aims at improving the career prospects and development of young researchers in both the public and private sector within the field of earth science, focusing specifically on North Atlantic Glaciated Margins. Our multi-Partner ITN comprises ten partner institutions, both academic and industrial, from Norway, UK and Denmark and will train eleven Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and four Experienced Researchers (ERs). The young scientists will perform multi-disciplinary research and receive training through three interconnected workpackages that collectively address knowledge gaps related to the large, glacial age, sedimentary depocentres on the North Atlantic Margin. Filling these gaps will a) result in major new insights regarding glacial age processes on continental margins, b) have particular impact on the exploitation of hydrocarbons in glacial age sediments, notably the gas hydrate energy potential on the European continental margin, c) provide paleoclimate information essential for understanding the role of marine-based ice sheets in the climate system and for the testing of climate models, an issue of increasing socio-economic relevance. GLANAM builds on the diverse expertise and experience of leading senior and junior scientists in the field of marine and glacial geology through the establishment of a training program offering a broad spectrum of career-oriented courses and tailored workshops preparing the researchers for an increasingly demanding, pan-European job market. Intersectoral rotation and secondments hosted by our three industry partners will provide the fellows with complementary scientific training and allow them to establish and deepen contacts relevant to their work life beyond the ITN. Interaction of the GLANAM Fellows with internationally renowned senior visiting scientists will provide significant added-value to their training and will complete the supply of knowledge and advice sources.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2008

CalMarO aims at the comprehensive training of twelve young researchers in the field of calcification by marine organisms based on a Network of thirteen research institutions and four SMEs. The Network participants are acknowledged experts with complementary research or commercial approaches in this field. Calcification is a fundamental physiological process of marine organisms that is largely determined by the characteristics of seawater. Calcifying marine organisms differ in their adaptability to variations in environmental conditions, in particular temperature and seawater pH. If global CO2 emissions continue to rise at current trends seawater pH may decrease to levels that are probably lower than have been experienced for tens of millions of years and, critically, at a rate of change 100 times greater than at any time over this period, with dramatic effects on productivity and marine ecosystems. CalMarO comprises investigation of calcification processes and the sensitivities to changes in environmental conditions at all scales ranging from cellular, organism, population to ecosystem, and regional to global levels. Covering this important topic in a training Network will offer young researchers an integrated perspective on an emerging problem and position their own work within the framework of a concerted effort to better understand the risks and consequences associated with ocean change. Three pillars support the training programme: personalised programmes, Network activities and dissemination. The principle of co-supervision by at least two senior scientists and SME placement on the basis of an individual mentoring plan represents the core piece of the training programme, with links to joint activities across the Network. These include annual meetings and theme oriented workshops. CalMarO participants will disseminate the Network achievements in a special session at a major conference and a major joint publication.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-10-2016 | Award Amount: 8.72M | Year: 2016

Arctic climate change increases the need of a growing number of stakeholders for trustworthy weather and climate predictions, both within the Arctic and beyond. APPLICATE will address this challenge and develop enhanced predictive capacity by bringing together scientists from academia, research institutions and operational prediction centres, including experts in weather and climate prediction and forecast dissemination. APPLICATE will develop a comprehensive framework for observationally constraining and assessing weather and climate models using advanced metrics and diagnostics. This framework will be used to establish the performance of existing models and measure the progress made within the project. APPLICATE will make significant model improvements, focusing on aspects that are known to play pivotal roles in both weather and climate prediction, namely: the atmospheric boundary layer including clouds; sea ice; snow; atmosphere-sea ice-ocean coupling; and oceanic transports. In addition to model developments, APPLICATE will enhance predictive capacity by contributing to the design of the future Arctic observing system and through improved forecast initialization techniques. The impact of Arctic climate change on the weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere through atmospheric and oceanic linkages will be determined by a comprehensive set of novel multi-model numerical experiments using both coupled and uncoupled ocean and atmosphere models. APPLICATE will develop strong user-engagement and dissemination activities, including pro-active engagement of end-users and the exploitation of modern methods for communication and dissemination. Knowledge-transfer will also benefit from the direct engagement of operational prediction centres in APPLICATE. The educational component of APPLICATE will be developed and implemented in collaboration with the Association of Early Career Polar Scientists (APECS).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-15-2015 | Award Amount: 15.97M | Year: 2016

STEMM-CCS is an ambitious research and innovation project on geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage that will deliver new insights, guidelines for best practice, and tools for all phases of the CO2 storage cycle at ocean Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites. It brings together the main operator (Shell) of the worlds first commercial scale full-chain ocean demonstration CCS project (Peterhead Project) with the leading scientific and academic researchers in the field of ocean CCS. The work performed in STEMM-CCS will add value to this existing operational programme, and fill gaps in future capability by providing generically applicable definitive guides, technologies and techniques informing how to select a site for CCS operations, how to undertake a risk assessment, how best to monitor the operations, how to provide information on fluxes and quantification of any leakage; necessary for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and to guide mitigation/remediation actions. All of this information will be used to better communicate the case for offshore CCS, with a particular focus on communities directly and indirectly impacted. During STEMM-CCS we will perform a simulated CO2 leak beneath the surface sediments at the site to be used for CCS as part of the Peterhead project. This experiment will be used to test CO2 leak detection, leak quantification, impact assessment, and mitigation/remediation decision support techniques currently at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) stage 4-5 and support their development to a higher TRL. In addition, using new geophysical approaches STEMM-CCS will develop tools to assess leakage from natural geological features (e.g. chimneys) and engineered structures such as abandoned wells. The Peterhead project will commence during the life of STEMM-CCS and so a unique aspect is the focus on a real-world ocean CCS site covering its initial phases of implementation, with direct involvement of industrial partners.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.4-2 | Award Amount: 15.47M | Year: 2010

Bone is among the most frequently transplanted tissue with about 1 million procedures annually in Europe. The worldwide market of bone replacement materials is currently estimated at 5 billion with a 10% annual growth. Despite their considerable disadvantages, including the risk of disease transfer and immunologic rejection, limited supply of bone, costs and complications, allografts and autografts account for more than 80% of total graft volume. Significant growth opportunities exist for synthetic bone grafts in association with mesenchymal stem cells from autologous or allogenic sources as alternatives to biological bone grafts in orthopaedic and maxillofacial surgery. The objectives of REBORNE is to perform clinical trials using advanced biomaterials and cells triggering bone healing in patients. In order to reach this goal, five phase II clinical studies with 20 patients are proposed in 12 clinical centres spread in 8 European countries. Three orthopaedic trials concerning the treatment of long bone fractures and osteonecrosis of the femoral head in adults or children will be conducted using bioceramics, hydrogel for percuteneous injection and stem cells from autologous or allogenic sources. Clinical research will also concern maxillofacial surgery with bone augmentation prior to dental implants and the reconstruction of cleft palates in children. The safety and efficacy of the new therapies will be assessed clinically using X-rays, CT scans and MRI as well as histology of biopsies. These ambitious clinical targets will require research and development efforts from a large consortium of top world class laboratories, SMEs manufacturing biomaterials, GMP-cell producing facilities and surgeons in hospitals as well as the consideration of ethical and regulatory issues. It is expected that REBORNE will expand the competitiveness of Europe through the patenting of new CE-marked bioproducts in the field of regenerative medicine.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2013

The majority of failures in pattern replication processes are caused by wear of forming and forging master tools. Tribology is the science applied for lowering the wear by developing advanced (nanostructured) coatings. However, even these coatings are subject to wear that manifest itself as changes in the mechanical properties of the master tool in the form of fractures, roughness changes (adhesion) or deformation of the 3D shape. Hence a careful examination of the surface structure is essential for validating the functionality of a master tool. Ideally by applying a fast, reliable measurement, which determines the first wear before any faulty replication takes place. No such method exists at present for nanoscale structures: Scanning probe microscopy is generally slow and not suitable for the high aspect ratio structures often present in forming and forging tools. Scanning electron and helium ion microscopy offer alternatives. However both beams penetrate into the material which limits the accuracy, the beam energy can cause surface damage and there may be image distortions due to charging effects. Here we propose a new instrument based on NEUTRAL helium atoms. The technique is strictly surface sensitive with no penetration into the bulk (the atoms interact with the outermost electronic layer on the surface). The energy of the atoms is less than 0.1 eV, 4-6 order of magnitudes less than typical electron and helium ion energies. The new technique can image down to 10 nm and has the potential of being fast and applicable over large areas. We will apply the new technique to access the tool lifetime improvement by the application of nanostructured coatings to micron and nanometer precision master tools from SME partners Kenneth Winther A/S and NILTechnology. Metrology partners DFM and KTH will evaluate the new instrument in relation to ISO-standard parameters with the aim of introducing the technique to the ISO TC213/WG16 committee for future standardization.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2009

Cardiovascular malformation (CVM) is the commonest cause of childhood death in developed countries. In the EU there are 51,000 new cases each year and two million affected individuals. Yet, despite intensive research, the cause of 80% of CVM remains elusive. The mission of CHeartED is to identify genetic and environmental pathways that can be modified with the goal of reducing preventable CVM incidence. Epidemiological studies have shown that the stress of maternal hypo or hyperglycaemia increases the incidence of CVM. We plan a genetic association study in individuals with and without CVM born to diabetic mothers, to test whether genetic variants are associated with CVM. A similar study, without prior risk hypothesis, addresses tetralogy of Fallot, a CVM, which requires surgery in early life. These studies will reveal common genetic variants associated with CVM and thus add to existing knowledge on the aetiology of CVM. Moreover, the identification of genetic factors that differ in the context of maternal diabetes will disclose any associations in genetic pathways influenced by environmental factors. RNA expression studies in the mouse to identify new genes and pathways involved in outflow tract malformations and maternal diabetes associated with CVM, will complement the human studies. Finally, we will develop a 3D atlas of gene expression patterns and cardiac morphology at key developmental stages that will serve as a morphological framework. Central to our proposal is the development of a bioinformatics tool complemented by an open-access Wiki-based database. The bioinformatics tool will combine the sequence data and expression data generated by the human and mouse studies with morphology and literature to prioritize genes and generate hypotheses. The Wiki, which will contain existing and new genetic and environmental knowledge on heart development, will be an aid for many groups working on cardiovascular development and a novel means of disseminating our findings


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-11 | Award Amount: 4.93M | Year: 2010

Secure and stabilised hatchery production of bivalve seed is the unifying objective of the REPROSEED project. Development of innovative new methods will lead to high quality seed of guaranteed physiological health, sanitary status and genetic diversity. By considering the biology of bivalve life stages and the trophic and microbial environment of rearing conditions REPROSEED researches ways of controlling key processes, like reproduction, larval rearing and metamorphosis. New technological advances, like recirculation systems and outdoor algal culture, will provide ways to reduce costs. The need for hatcheries is growing in Europe due to demands from the shellfish industry for quality juveniles and concerns about wild seed due to inconsistent spatfall or environmental harm caused by seed collection of some species. Four economically important molluscs were selected to represent these needs: two species already reared in hatcheries, Crassostrea gigas and Pecten maximus, and two emerging hatchery species, Mytilus edulis and Ruditapes decussatus. Scientific research is most advanced for C. gigas, so its further development will enable us to attain a level of excellence. Knowledge on this species and on P. maximus, an excellent model for solving particular bivalve rearing problems, can also help improve hatchery culture of the other species. Inter-specific differences enable comparative study of important traits. REPROSEED investigates the physiological basis of early sexual maturation, gamete competency, immunity and metamorphosis, at cellular and molecular levels, including genomics and proteomics. Application of these results and dedicated studies will be made on practical aspects of controlled bivalve reproduction, nutritional needs for broodstock conditioning and larval growth (including testing of mutant yeasts and lipid microcapsules) and the benefits of probiotics. Advances will be shared with end-users throughout the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2007-1.2.3.2-CT | Award Amount: 792.81K | Year: 2008

The main idea behind this Support action is to develop a platform for deliberative processes on Nano-science and Nano-technology (NS&T) in the European consumer market. Nanotechnology products are now reaching the consumer markets within a large number of branches. During the last year, the number of consumer products using nanotechnology has more than doubled, from 212 to 475. Clothing and cosmetics top the inventory at 77 and 75 products, respectively. We will concentrate on deliberative processes concerning human and environmental safety, ethical and moral dilemmas, and perceptions of risks and responsibilities as revealed through a focus on the market interfaces across the value chain of consumer goods. Consumers, citizens and their organisations could be the most important stakeholders in the diffusion process of nano-products in Europe and beyond. The main goal is to evaluate and stimulate the deliberate dialogue, and give scientific support to the stakeholders responsible for this dialogue. We will Evaluate selected deliberative processes in Europe, both at the EU and national level. These evaluations will have a general NS&T perspective, with special focus on consumption Identify the needs and interest of relevant stakeholders along this value chain, especially focusing on producers, consumers, NGOs and the civil society. Develop a deliberative and science based platform for a stakeholder dialogue in Europe and beyond in this area. The main elements of the platform are: o a) the content, o b) the participants, o c) the physical and technical solutions and arenas and - at last o d) the responsibility for a permanent platform. Formulate Recommendation for research and political actions. The work packages of the project will more or less mirror this structure. We will combine desk research, qualitative interviews and workshops to meet the challenges of these objectives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SyG | Phase: ERC-2013-SyG | Award Amount: 12.50M | Year: 2014

The cryosphere is in fast transition. The possibility that the ongoing rapid demise of Arctic sea ice may instigate abrupt changes on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is not tackled by current research. Ice cores from the GIS show clear evidence of past abrupt warm events,up to 15 degrees warming in less than a decade, possibly caused by disappearing se ice in the Nordic Seas..Arctic sea ice extent was in 2012 half of the 1979-2000 average. Satellite data document an increasing loss of GIS ice mass since 1990 and temperatures have risen markedly at the GIS summit. Strong transient changes in both Arctic cryospheric entities prompts the question: Is the dramatic decline in Arctic Sea Ice heralding a new phase of abrupt change, similar to those recorded in ocean sediments and ice cores? Such changes would have major consequences for the GIS mass balance and global climate and sea level. Ice2Ice will approach this complex problem by integrating 4 PI teams from three Nordic world class research centres comprising empiricists and dynamicists specialized in Arctic and Greenland atmospheric, oceanic and cryospheric sciences. With an innovative combination of synchronized records of GIS parameters, records of sea ice change and models ranging from global climate models to regional and process models, Ice2Ice will be the first concerted effort to tackle the question of the cause and future implications of past abrupt climate change in Greenland, the main hypothesis being that Arctic and sub-Arctic sea ice cover is key to understand past and future Greenland temperature and ice sheet variations. In Ice2Ice this will be done by:a)describing the nature, timing and extent of abrupt events across climate archives,b)resolving mechanisms behind the sudden demise of sea ice cover,c)identifying the risk that the ongoing rapid diminution of Arctic sea ice cover could give abrupt GIS changes in the future, d)determining the impacts of such changes for the GIS, Arctic and global climate.


NACLIM aims at investigating and quantifying the predictability of the climate in the North Atlantic/European sector related to North Atlantic/Arctic sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice variability and change on seasonal to decadal time scales. SST and sea-ice forcing have a crucial impact on weather and climate in Europe. Rather than running climate forecasts ourselves, we will analyze the multi-model decadal prediction experiments currently performed as part of the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and critically assess the quality of predictions of the near-future state of key oceanic and atmospheric quantities relevant to the SST and sea-ice distribution and the related climate. Long-term observations of relevant ocean parameters will be carried out, necessary to assess the forecast skill of the model-based prediction results. We will identify those observations that are key to the quality of the prediction and in turn optimize the present observing system. We will quantify the impact of North Atlantic/European climate change on high trophic levels of the oceanic ecosystem as well as on urban societies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.33 | Award Amount: 26.09M | Year: 2011

AIDA (http://cern.ch/aida) addresses the upgrade, improvement and integration of key research infrastructures in Europe, developing advanced detector technologies for future particle accelerators, as well as transnational access to facilities that provide these research infrastructures. In line with the European Strategy for Particle Physics, AIDA targets the infrastructures needed for R&D, prototyping and qualification of detector systems for the major particle physics experiments currently being planned at future accelerators. By focusing on common development and use of such infrastructure, the project integrates the entire detector development community, encouraging cross-fertilization of ideas and results, and providing a coherent framework for the main technical developments of detector R&D. This project includes a large consortium of 37 beneficiaries, covering much of the detector R&D for particle physics in Europe. This collaboration allows Europe to remain at the forefront of particle physics research and take advantage of the world-class infrastructures existing in Europe for the advancement of research into detectors for future accelerator facilities. The infrastructures covered by the AIDA project are key facilities required for an efficient development of future particle physics experiments, such as: test beam infrastructures (at CERN, DESY and LNF), specialised equipment, irradiation facilities (in several European countries), common software tools, common microelectronics and system integration tools and establishment of technology development roadmaps with a wide range of industrial partners.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 8.19M | Year: 2011

Current interventional treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) focused on re-establishing cardiac reperfusion has significantly improved clinical outcome by reducing infarct size and mortality due to cardiac ischemia.It is now recognized that events triggered at reperfusion also result in cell death and may account for as much as 50% of the infarct volume, this being termed ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening appears to be a responsible for IRI and a recent small clinical trial with cyclosporine A shows that it is a feasible target for the development of new therapies to treat it. Since total infarct size is a major determinant of a patients risk to develop heart failure, treating IRI is expected to further reduce morbidity, mortality and the need for regenerative medicine following cardiac ischemia. By harnessing a multi-disciplinary consortium of clinical and basic scientists along with four SMEs, MitoCare brings state-of-the art expertise together to 1) better understand IRI pathophysiology and factors directly or indirectly influencing patients recovery or response to treatment; 2) investigate the translational usefulness of preclinical models; and 3) compare selected treatments. These objectives will be reached through the following work plan: A) a medium-scale phase II clinical study will evaluate the efficacy of a novel complementary therapy to PCI, the new mPTP modulator TRO40303, while at the same time 1) perform extensive sampling from subjects in the study for analysis of standard and emerging biomarkers; 2) identify confounding factors influencing patients outcomes. B) Parallel investigations in preclinical in vitro and in vivo AMI models. C) Statistical analysis of data from clinical and preclinical studies, to identify better diagnostic and prognostic endpoints in man and assess predictive utility of preclinical models.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.3-1 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2008

The project is being undertaken in response to the need to develop an effective, user friendly, heat stable vaccine to control the highly pathogenic form of avian influenza virus (H5 and H7 subtypes) which has the potential to cause another global influenza pandemic. The overall objective of this programme is to develop a nasal avian influenza vaccine using ChiSys (chitosan), which is a chitosan-based technology of Archimedes Development Ltd.. Chitosan has already been tested with several nasally delivered antigens pre-clinically and clinically with excellent results. The most effective way of controlling a pandemic flu would be via the nasal route as this route is advantaged to generate both systemic and mucosal antibodies; the latter allowing virus control at its point of entry. In comparison the currently used injection route cannot achieve the mucosal response. Intranasal vaccination has further advantages: avoids the need for injection and safe disposal of syringes, eliminate the risk of HIV transmission through re-use or accidental contact with body fluids, have greater public compliance and well-suited to rapid mass global vaccination programmes. The scientific objectives of the project are: induce both systemic and mucosal immunity, evaluation of efficacy and toxicity in preclinical studies, evaluation of efficacy and safety profile in humans, provide a substantial level of cross-immunity against a drifted strains of H5 or H7, effective at low dose to meet the global demands from limited vaccine stockpiles, thermal stability so as to avoid refrigeration for storage and transportation and user friendly vaccine applicator. The consortium members have extensive experience in their specialist fields which would enable the success of this project. ChiSys would be an excellent candidate for developing an intranasal pandemic influenza vaccine to provide a quantum leap in successfully combating pandemic influenza globally.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 9.56M | Year: 2011

CARBOCHANGE will provide the best possible process-based quantification of net ocean carbon uptake under changing climate conditions using past and present ocean carbon cycle changes for a better prediction of future ocean carbon uptake. We will improve the quantitative understanding of key biogeochemical and physical processes through a combination of observations and models. We will upscale new process understanding to large-scale integrative feedbacks of the ocean carbon cycle to climate change and rising carbon dioxide concentrations. We will quantify the vulnerability of the ocean carbon sources and sinks in a probabilistic sense using cutting edge coupled Earth system models under a spectrum of emission scenarios including climate stabilisation scenarios as required for the 5th IPCC assessment report. The drivers for the vulnerabilities will be identified. The most actual observations of the changing ocean carbon sink will be systematically integrated with the newest ocean carbon models, a coupled land-ocean model, an Earth system model of intermediate complexity, and fully fledged Earth system models through a spectrum of data assimilation methods as well as advanced performance assessment tools. Results will be optimal process descriptions and most realistic error margins for future ocean carbon uptake quantifications with models under the presently available observational evidence. The project will deliver calibrated future evolutions of ocean pH and carbonate saturation as required by the research community on ocean acidification in the EU project EPOCA and further projects in this field. The time history of atmosphere-ocean carbon fluxes past, present, and future will be synthesised globally as well as regionally for the transcontinental RECCAP project. Observations and model results will merge into GEOSS/GEO through links with the European coordination action COCOS and will prepare the marine branch of the European Research Infrastructure ICOS.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.85M | Year: 2008

Hatchery production of bivalves during autumn and winter (outside natural spawning season) is a challenge, but necessary to keep market shares and ensure sufficient seed supply to European growers on a year-round basis. The SETTLE project will focus on key events during hatchery production of flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) and great scallop (Pecten maximus) which are species native to Europe. The overall objective is to foster year-round production of spat in hatcheries by controlling gonad development and maximise larval metamorphosis and settlement. Flat oyster and great scallop are both highly valued and sought-after products on the European seafood market, but insufficient numbers of high quality seed severely hamper aquaculture development of this sector. Bivalve hatcheries (SMEs) in Spain, France, Ireland and Norway are looking to increase the availability of spat and will engage RTDs in Spain, France and Norway to solve selected problems related to broodstock conditioning and larval settlement. Successful intensive production of bivalve spat depends on predictable procedures for conditioning of broodstock (manipulation with feed, light and temperature) to induce spawning, breeding period, larval rearing and settlement. To solve the seasonal problems the SETTLE project will identify environmental factors leading to successful off-season broodstock conditioning, reveal effects of conditioning and other biological processes on settlement and optimise existing culture methods and technology. By extending the hatchery production season and obtaining new knowledge and technologies the SMEs will increase the available number of flat oyster and great scallop spat. A quantity and value increase 5-10 times of todays level is anticipated within 5-7 years. This will strengthen the competitive position of the SMEs and increase the shellfish production in Europe significantly.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.2-02;KBBE.2013.3.6-01 | Award Amount: 11.91M | Year: 2013

Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustainable supply of commodities and specialties for food and non-food products. Despite this potential the implementation is still limited which is mainly due to unfavourable economics. Major bottlenecks are the lack of available biomass at acceptable costs and the absence of appropriate biorefinery technologies. The 4-year MIRACLES project aims to resolve these hurdles by development of integrated, multiple-product biorefinery for valuable specialties from algae for application in food, aquafeeds and non-food products. The focus is on development and integration of mild cell disruption and environmentally friendly extraction and fractionation processes including functionality testing and product formulation based on established industrial strains. The project will also develop new technologies for optimization and monitoring of valuable products in the algal biomass during cultivation and innovative photobioreactor and harvesting technology that will enable substantial cost reduction. A new technology will be developed for CO2 concentration from the air for algal growth and new industrial algae strains for extreme locations will be selected via bioprospecting to expand the resource base for the algae industry and enable cultivation in areas less suitable for agriculture such as deserts. The work is supported by market assessment, integral biorefinery designs, techno-economic and sustainability assessment, and the creation of business plans for full valorisation of algal biomass. Integrated value chains will be demonstrated to deliver proof-of-concept and demonstrate economic feasibility. MIRACLES is an industry driven R&D and innovation project with a multidisciplinary approach aimed at generating robust business cases through technology development. The consortium has 26 partners with 11 prominent research organisations. Strong industrial leadership is guaranteed through the participation of 12 SMEs and 3 NMI/end users.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2017

Lightning is an extremely energetic electric discharge process in our atmosphere. It significantly affects the concentration of greenhouse gases and it threatens electrical and electronic devices, in particular, when placed on elevated structures like wind turbines or aircraft, and when these structures are built with modern composite materials with inherently low electric conductivity. In addition, even our fundamental understanding of atmospheric electricity is far from complete. New discharge processes in the atmosphere above thunderstorms have been discovered, the so-called Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) in the stratosphere and mesosphere, and Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) that emit particle beams of antimatter. These phenomena demand thorough investigations, in geophysics and in the related fields of plasma and high-voltage technology where similar discharges appear. These challenges are approached within the SAINT project with a multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial training platform for 15 ESRs. The platform brings together satellite and ground observations with modelling and lab experiments. It couples scientific studies to applications relevant to industries developing satellite data products, plasma discharge technologies, lightning detection systems and lightning protection devices. With SAINT, we take advantage of the extraordinary opportunity presented by three simultaneous space missions with dedicated instruments to study lightning discharges, TLEs and TGFs, to integrate the unique space data with dedicated novel ground observations, model developments and lab experiments. SAINT will train the next generation of young, innovative scientists to shape the future of research and technology in Europe.


Grimshaw R.,Loughborough University | Guo C.,University of Bergen | Helfrich K.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Vlasenko V.,University of Plymouth
Journal of Physical Oceanography | Year: 2014

Internal solitary waves commonly observed in the coastal ocean are often modeled by a nonlinear evolution equation of the Korteweg-de Vries type. Because these waves often propagate for long distances over several inertial periods, the effect of Earth's background rotation is potentially significant. The relevant extension of the Kortweg-de Vries is then the Ostrovsky equation, which for internal waves does not support a steady solitary wave solution. Recent studies using a combination of asymptotic theory, numerical simulations, and laboratory experiments have shown that the long time effect of rotation is the destruction of the initial internal solitary wave by the radiation of small-amplitude inertia-gravity waves, and the eventual emergence of a coherent, steadily propagating, nonlinear wave packet. However, in the ocean, internal solitary waves are often propagating over variable topography, and this alone can cause quite dramatic deformation and transformation of an internal solitary wave. Hence, the combined effects of background rotation and variable topography are examined. Then the Ostrovsky equation is replaced by a variable coefficient Ostrovsky equation whose coefficients depend explicitly on the spatial coordinate. Some numerical simulations of this equation, together with analogous simulations using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model (MITgcm), for a certain cross section of the South China Sea are presented. These demonstrate that the combined effect of shoaling and rotation is to induce a secondary trailing wave packet, induced by enhanced radiation from the leading wave. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.


Pedersen K.F.,University of Stavanger | Larsen J.P.,University of Stavanger | Tysnes O.-B.,University of Bergen | Alves G.,University of Stavanger
JAMA Neurology | Year: 2013

Importance: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is common in Parkinson disease (PD), but the prognostic value of MCI in early PD is unknown. Objective: To examine the course of MCI and its progression to dementia in an incident PD cohort. Design: Prospective longitudinal cohort study. Setting: The Norwegian ParkWest study, an ongoing population-based study of the incidence, neurobiology, and prognosis of PD in western and southern Norway. Participants: A population-based cohort of 182 patients with incident PD monitored for 3 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: Serial neuropsychological tests of attention, executive function, verbal memory, and visuospatial skills were administered at baseline, 1 year, and 3 years. Patients were classified as having MCI and received a diagnosis of dementia according to published consensus criteria. Results: Significantly more patients with MCI than without MCI at baseline (10 of 37 [27.0%] vs 1 of 145 [0.7%]; relative risk, 39.2 [95% CI, 5.2-296.5]; P < .001) progressed to dementia during follow-up. Of those with MCI at baseline, 8 of 37 (21.6%) had MCI that reverted to normal cognition during follow-up. Mild cognitive impairment at the 1-year visit was associated with a similar progression rate to dementia (10 of 36 patients [27.8%]) and reversion rate to normal cognition (7 of 36 [19.4%]). However, among the 22 patients with persistent MCI at baseline and the 1-year visit, 10 (45.5%) developed dementia and only 2 (9.1%) had MCI that reverted to normal cognition by the end of study. Conclusions and Relevance: Mild cognitive impairment at PD diagnosis predicts a highly increased risk for early dementia. Repeated neuropsychological testing increases the prognostic accuracy of MCI with respect to early dementia development in PD. ©2013 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-14 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2008

Although exploited fishes have traditionally been managed on a geographic basis, for conservation purposes they should be managed at the population level: the extent and dynamics of population structuring underlies resilience and sustainability. More effective enforcement and conservation demands a focus on identification and monitoring of wild fish populations and traceability of products. FishPopTrace brings together expertise in fish traceability projects (Fish and Chips, FishTrace, FISH-BOL) to: 1.Integrate data from European fish species traceability projects, and to generate a single compatible database and tissue archive managed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. 2. Examine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and otolith microchemistry and morphometrics in widely distributed populations of cod, hake, herring and sole. Outputs will comprise population-level signatures associated with fish origins in early life and representative spawning groups. 3. Undertake validation of traceability tools in relation to end-user technology. 4. Develop a population monitoring system based on genetic and otolith data that will assess population stability in a temporal and spatial framework. 5. Test the utility of additional novel traceability systems (fatty acid profiles, proteomics, gene expression, microarray platform for SNP genotyping). 6. Facilitate technology transfer in relation to enforcement and conservation policies of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and associated socio-economic consequences. Outputs from FishPopTrace will improve the traceability of fish and fish products and protection of consumer interests through enhanced understanding of the dynamics, temporal stability and distribution of major populations of four key exploited fish species. Central elements of the output will be the development and evaluation of end-user tools, a Cost Benefit Analysis and a final report setting FishPopTrace in the context of the CFP.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-09-2014 | Award Amount: 5.55M | Year: 2015

The European Union has committed to the gradual elimination of discarding. DiscardLess will help provide the knowledge, tools and technologies as well as the involvement of the stakeholders to achieve this. These will be integrated into Discard Mitigation Strategies (DMS) proposing cost-effective solutions at all stages of the seafood supply chain. The first focus is on preventing the unwanted catches from ever being caught. This will promote changes in gear using existing and innovative selectivity technology, and changes in fishing tactics based on fishers and scientists knowledge. The second focus is on making best use of the unavoidable unwanted catch. We will detail technical and marketing innovations from the deck, through the supply chain to the final market, including monitoring, traceability and valorization components. DiscardLess will evaluate the impacts of discarding on the marine environment, on the economy, and across the wider society. We will evaluate these impacts before, during and after the implementation of the landing obligation, allowing comparison between intentions and outcomes. Eliminating discards is as much a societal challenge as a fishery management one, so we will also evaluate stakeholders perception of discards. DiscardLess will describe the changes in management and the associated governance structures needed to cement the process. We will propose approaches to managing discards in a range of case study fisheries across Europe, encompassing differences in specific discarding issues. All these innovations will be combined in integrated Internet based interactive programs (DMS toolbox) that will help fishers to evaluate the present and future situation and to take a more qualified decision of how to adjust to the new regime. Also, we will disseminate the outcome of the project and maximize knowledge transfer across Europe through an educational environment teaching the next generation as well as more conventional routes.


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In a study published online by JAMA, Ole-Erik Iversen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues examined whether human papillomavirus (HPV) type-specific antibody responses would be noninferior (not worse than) among girls and boys ages 9 to 14 years after receiving 2 doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine compared with adolescent girls and young women ages 16 to 26 years who received the standard 3 doses. For this study, conducted at 52 ambulatory care sites in 15 countries, five groups were enrolled:(1) girls ages 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 6 months apart (n = 301); (2) boys ages 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 6 months apart (n = 301); (3) girls and boys ages 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 12 months apart (n = 301); (4) girls ages 9 to 14 years to receive 3 doses over 6 months (n = 301); and (5) a control group of adolescent girls and young women ages 16 to 26 years to receive 3 doses over 6 months (n = 314). Of the 1,518 participants (753 girls [average age, 11.4 years]; 451 boys [average age, 11.5 years]; and 314 adolescent girls and young women [average age, 21 years]), 1,474 completed the study and data from 1,377 were analyzed. At 4 weeks after the last dose, the researchers found that HPV antibody responses in girls and boys given 2 doses were noninferior to HPV antibody responses in adolescent girls and young women given 3 doses. "Diseases related to the human papillomavirus impose a substantial health care burden on both the developing and developed world," the authors write. "In many countries, HPV vaccination rates remain suboptimal. Using an effective 2-dose regimen entailing fewer visits could improve adherence to HPV vaccination programs. Co-administration of the 9-valent HPV vaccine with diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and meningococcal vaccines could also be completed at the same visit, which has been demonstrated in clinical studies. Based on health economics modeling, use of a 2-dose vaccination schedule could potentially reduce the total costs of HPV vaccination." "Further research is needed to assess persistence of antibody responses and effects on clinical outcomes." Editor's Note: The study was sponsored and funded by Merck & Co, which manufactures the quadrivalent and nonavalent HPV vaccines. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, etc. "In October 2016, the CDC recommended a 2-dose schedule for adolescents starting the HPV vaccination series before the age of 15 years. This important policy change for the United States is supported by previously published data as well as results from the clinical trial by Iversen and colleagues in this issue of JAMA. This clinical trial, which included 1,518 participants, was the basis for the recent approval from the Food and Drug Administration of a 2-dose series of the 9-valent HPV vaccine for adolescents," writes Lauri E. Markowitz, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues in an accompanying editorial. "With data from the trial reported in JAMA, evidence now supports a 2-dose schedule in adolescents (aged 9 to 14 years) for all 3 licensed HPV vaccines." "During the first decade of the HPV vaccination program, knowledge has increased about these highly effective HPV vaccines. Population-level effects of vaccination programs on infection and disease outcomes have exceeded expectations in many countries, and extensive safety evaluations have not identified concerns. In the second decade, reduced dose schedules might help achieve higher HPV vaccination coverage, advance HPV vaccine program introductions in more countries, and further reduce the burden of HPV-associated cancers and disease worldwide." Editor's Note: The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported. To place an electronic embedded link to these articles in your story These links will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork. http://jamanetwork.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new Norwegian diet intervention study (FATFUNC), performed by researchers at the KG Jebsen center for diabetes research at the University of Bergen, raises questions regarding the validity of a diet hypothesis that has dominated for more than half a century: that dietary fat and particularly saturated fat is unhealthy for most people. The researchers found strikingly similar health effects of diets based on either lowly processed carbohydrates or fats. In the randomized controlled trial, 38 men with abdominal obesity followed a dietary pattern high in either carbohydrates or fat, of which about half was saturated. Fat mass in the abdominal region, liver and heart was measured with accurate analyses, along with a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease. "The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases," says professor and cardiologist Ottar Nygård who contributed to the study. "Participants on the very-high-fat diet also had substantial improvements in several important cardiometabolic risk factors, such as ectopic fat storage, blood pressure, blood lipids (triglycerides), insulin and blood sugar." Both groups had similar intakes of energy, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, the food types were the same and varied mainly in quantity, and intake of added sugar was minimized. "We here looked at effects of total and saturated fat in the context of a healthy diet rich in fresh, lowly processed and nutritious foods, including high amounts of vegetables and rice instead of flour-based products," says PhD candidate Vivian Veum. "The fat sources were also lowly processed, mainly butter, cream and cold-pressed oils." Total energy intake was within the normal range. Even the participants who increased their energy intake during the study showed substantial reductions in fat stores and disease risk. "Our findings indicate that the overriding principle of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates, but the quality of the foods we eat," says PhD candidate Johnny Laupsa-Borge. Saturated fat has been thought to promote cardiovascular diseases by raising the "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood. But even with a higher fat intake in the FATFUNC study compared to most comparable studies, the authors found no significant increase in LDL cholesterol. Rather, the "good" cholesterol increased only on the very-high-fat diet. "These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy," says Ottar Nygård. "Future studies should examine which people or patients may need to limit their intake of saturated fat," assistant professor Simon Nitter Dankel points out, who led the study together with the director of the laboratory clinics, professor Gunnar Mellgren, at Haukeland university hospital in Bergen, Norway. "But the alleged health risks of eating good-quality fats have been greatly exaggerated. It may be more important for public health to encourage reductions in processed flour-based products, highly processed fats and foods with added sugar," he says.


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Survivors of cancer diagnosed before the age of 25 had a more than two-fold increased risk of suicide compared to their non-cancer peers This is the result of a national cohort study by researcher and medical doctor Maria Winther Gunnes at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Bergen (UiB). "From our study, it is not possible to say whether there is a connection between the cancer diagnosis and suicide on an individual level, but what we see is an association at population level," says Winther Gunnes. The results are based on a linkage between several national registries, including the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry and the Cancer registry of Norway. Among the 1.2 million people born in Norway between 1965 and 1985, a total of 5,440 individuals received a cancer diagnosis before the age of 25, and these two groups were compared. They were all tracked until 2008. During follow-up, a total of 24 of the cancer survivors committed suicide. "Survivors of brain tumours, leukaemia, bone and soft tissue sarcomas and testicular cancer are, in our material, more vulnerable in terms of risk of suicide," Gunnes points out. There was, however, no increased risk of external causes of death when one excluded suicide , like traffic accidents and accidental poisoning, among others. Winther Gunnes' research can not look at the individual background of this increased suicide risk. She believes, however, that this can be a result of the total chronic health burden, which is something many survivors have to live with for years, often life-long, after treatment is completed. Often, these survivors do not know where to turn to for help, and they might not find the right help. "We do not have any proper follow-up system for adult long time survivors of young age cancer," Winther Gunnes, says. She points out that the absolute risk of committing suicide for cancer survivors is low, and that one of the drawbacks of the study is the low numbers of suicide in total "It is, however, important to be aware of these new findings in order to develop appropriate surveillance and intervention strategies as part of a long-term follow-up programme of these cancer survivors," says Maria Winther Gunnes.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Alpha cells in the pancreas can be induced in living mice to quickly and efficiently become insulin-producing beta cells when the expression of just two genes is blocked, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Studies of human pancreases from diabetic cadaver donors suggest that the alpha cells' "career change" also occurs naturally in diabetic humans, but on a much smaller and slower scale. The research suggests that scientists may one day be able to take advantage of this natural flexibility in cell fate to coax alpha cells to convert to beta cells in humans to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. "It is important to carefully evaluate any and all potential sources of new beta cells for people with diabetes," said Seung Kim, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of medicine. "Now we've discovered what keeps an alpha cell as an alpha cell, and found a way to efficiently convert them in living animals into cells that are nearly indistinguishable from beta cells. It's very exciting." Kim is the senior author of the study, which will be published online Feb. 16 in Cell Metabolism. Postdoctoral scholar Harini Chakravarthy, PhD, is the lead author. "Transdifferentiation of alpha cells into insulin-producing beta cells is a very attractive therapeutic approach for restoring beta cell function in established Type 1 diabetes," said Andrew Rakeman, PhD, the director of discovery research at JDRF, an organization that funds research into Type 1 diabetes. "By identifying the pathways regulating alpha to beta cell conversion and showing that these same mechanisms are active in human islets from patients with Type 1 diabetes, Chakravarthy and her colleagues have made an important step toward realizing the therapeutic potential of alpha cell transdifferentiation." Rakeman was not involved in the study. Cells in the pancreas called beta cells and alpha cells are responsible for modulating the body's response to the rise and fall of blood glucose levels after a meal. When glucose levels rise, beta cells release insulin to cue cells throughout the body to squirrel away the sugar for later use. When levels fall, alpha cells release glucagon to stimulate the release of stored glucose. Although both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are primarily linked to reductions in the number of insulin-producing beta cells, there are signs that alpha cells may also be dysfunctional in these disorders. "In some cases, alpha cells may actually be secreting too much glucagon," said Kim. "When there is already not enough insulin, excess glucagon is like adding gas to a fire." Because humans have a large reservoir of alpha cells, and because the alpha cells sometimes secrete too much glucagon, converting some alpha cells to beta cells should be well-tolerated, the researchers believe. The researchers built on a previous study in mice several years ago that was conducted in a Swiss laboratory, which also collaborated on the current study. It showed that when beta cells are destroyed, about 1 percent of alpha cells in the pancreas begin to look and act like beta cells. But this happened very slowly. "What was lacking in that initial index study was any sort of understanding of the mechanism of this conversion," said Kim. "But we had some ideas based on our own work as to what the master regulators might be." Chakravarthy and her colleagues targeted two main candidates: a protein called Arx known to be important during the development of alpha cells and another called DNMT1 that may help alpha cells "remember" how to be alpha cells by maintaining chemical tags on its DNA. The researchers painstakingly generated a strain of laboratory mice unable to make either Arx or DNMT1 in pancreatic alpha cells when the animals were administered a certain chemical compound in their drinking water. They observed a rapid conversion of alpha cells into what appeared to be beta cells in the mice within seven weeks of blocking the production of both these proteins. To confirm the change, the researchers collaborated with colleagues in the laboratory of Stephen Quake, PhD, a co-author and professor of bioengineering and of applied physics at Stanford, to study the gene expression patterns of the former alpha cells. They also shipped the cells to collaborators in Alberta, Canada, and at the University of Illinois to test the electrophysiological characteristics of the cells and whether and how they responded to glucose. "Through these rigorous studies by our colleagues and collaborators, we found that these former alpha cells were -- in every way -- remarkably similar to native beta cells," said Kim. The researchers then turned their attention to human pancreatic tissue from diabetic and nondiabetic cadaver donors. They found that samples of tissue from children with Type 1 diabetes diagnosed within a year or two of their death include a proportion of bi-hormonal cells -- individual cells that produce both glucagon and insulin. Kim and his colleagues believe they may have caught the cells in the act of converting from alpha cells to beta cells in response to the development of diabetes. They also saw that the human alpha cell samples from the diabetic donors had lost the expression of the very genes -- ARX and DNMT1 -- they had blocked in the mice to convert alpha cells into beta cells. "So the same basic changes may be happening in humans with Type 1 diabetes," said Kim. "This indicates that it might be possible to use targeted methods to block these genes or the signals controlling them in the pancreatic islets of people with diabetes to enhance the proportion of alpha cells that convert into beta cells." Kim is a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Stanford Child Health Research Institute. Researchers from the University of Alberta, the University of Illinois, the University of Geneva and the University of Bergen are also co-authors of the study. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants U01HL099999, U01HL099995, UO1DK089532, UO1DK089572 and UC4DK104211), the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics, the Wallenberg Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the NIH Beta-Cell Biology Consortium, the European Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the H.L. Snyder Foundation, the Elser Trust and the NIH Human Islet Resource Network. Stanford's Department of Developmental Biology also supported the work. The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med. . The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med. .


Fomin F.V.,University of Bergen | Lokshtanov D.,University of California | Misra N.,Institute of Mathematical science | Saurabh S.,Institute of Mathematical science
Proceedings - Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS | Year: 2012

Let F be a finite set of graphs. In the F-deletion problem, we are given an n-vertex graph G and an integer k as input, and asked whether at most k vertices can be deleted from G such that the resulting graph does not contain a graph from F as a minor. F-deletion is a generic problem and by selecting different sets of forbidden minors F, one can obtain various fundamental problems such as Vertex Cover, Feedback Vertex Set or Tree width k-deletion. In this paper we obtain a number of generic algorithmic results about F-deletion, when F contains at least one planar graph. The highlights of our work are: 1. A constant factor approximation algorithm for the optimization version of Planar F-deletion, 2. A linear time and single exponential parameterized algorithm, that is, an algorithm running in time O(exp(2, O(k))n), for the parameterized version of Planar F-deletion where all graphs in Planar F are connected, 3. A polynomial kernel for parameterized F-deletion. These algorithms unify, generalize, and improve a multitude of results in the literature. Our main results have several direct applications, but also the methods we develop on the way have applicability beyond the scope of this paper. Our results - constant factor approximation, polynomial kernelization and FPT algorithms - are stringed together by a common theme of polynomial time preprocessing. © 2012 IEEE.


Geffen A.J.,University of Bergen | Nash R.D.M.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Fisheries Research | Year: 2012

Egg incubation experiments are the primary source of data for temperature-dependent development models used in the egg production method (EPM) for stock assessments. What at first appears as a relatively simple experiment, to incubate fertilized eggs at a variety of temperatures while recording the time they spend in each stage, proves to be a more complicated exercise. The criteria for these experiments, and considerations of source material, experimental systems, and sources of error are presented, with examples from previous experiments on a variety of species world-wide. The influence of different factors on the statistical models used in EPM is reviewed. To allow more robust generalizations and avoid the limitations of maternal effects a number of different parents and parental crosses should be used. The question of whether to replicate within batches, between batches, or between crosses or even over years is evaluated. Since individual eggs tend to develop at different rates (natural variability) consideration should be given to the use of populations or individual observations. In some species there are important stock specific differences in development rates, as well as differences in stage specific mortality rates. Egg quality (size or composition) also influences development rates in some species. These sources of variation should be incorporated into experiments on temperature-dependent development rates. Stock specific patterns should be considered before applying development rates to stocks that were not used in the original model formulation. Good quality experimental data on egg development rates are valuable for many applications in addition to EPM assessments, and the quality criteria are equally important for their use in ecosystem and climate modeling. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Heikkila U.,University of Bergen | Sandvik A.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Sorteberg A.,University of Bergen
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2011

Results from a first-time employment of the WRF regional climate model to climatological simulations in Europe are presented. The ERA-40 reanalysis (resolution 1°) has been downscaled to a horizontal resolution of 30 and 10 km for the period of 1961-1990. This model setup includes the whole North Atlantic in the 30 km domain and spectral nudging is used to keep the large scales consistent with the driving ERA-40 reanalysis. The model results are compared against an extensive observational network of surface variables in complex terrain in Norway. The comparison shows that the WRF model is able to add significant detail to the representation of precipitation and 2-m temperature of the ERA-40 reanalysis. Especially the geographical distribution, wet day frequency and extreme values of precipitation are highly improved due to the better representation of the orography. Refining the resolution from 30 to 10 km further increases the skill of the model, especially in case of precipitation. Our results indicate that the use of 10-km resolution is advantageous for producing regional future climate projections. Use of a large domain and spectral nudging seems to be useful in reproducing the extreme precipitation events due to the better resolved synoptic scale features over the North Atlantic, and also helps to reduce the large regional temperature biases over Norway. This study presents a high-resolution, high-quality climatological data set useful for reference climate impact studies. © 2010 The Author(s).


Liszczak G.,Wistar Institute | Liszczak G.,University of Pennsylvania | Goldberg J.M.,University of Pennsylvania | Foyn H.,University of Bergen | And 4 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

N-terminal acetylation is ubiquitous among eukaryotic proteins and controls a myriad of biological processes. Of the N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs) that facilitate this cotranslational modification, the heterodimeric NatA complex has the most diversity for substrate selection and modifies the majority of all N-terminally acetylated proteins. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structure of the 100-kDa holo-NatA complex from Schizosaccharomyces pombe, in the absence and presence of a bisubstrate peptide-CoA-conjugate inhibitor, as well as the structure of the uncomplexed Naa10p catalytic subunit. The NatA-Naa15p auxiliary subunit contains 13 tetratricopeptide motifs and adopts a ring-like topology that wraps around the NatA-Naa10p subunit, an interaction that alters the Naa10p active site for substrate-specific acetylation. These studies have implications for understanding the mechanistic details of other NAT complexes and how regulatory subunits modulate the activity of the broader family of protein acetyltransferases. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Bostrom A.,University of Washington | Bohm G.,University of Bergen | O'Connor R.E.,National Science Foundation
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2013

Social marketing studies suggest that targeting segments of the population, by assessing and addressing their values and motives for actions in the design of communications, can improve the effectiveness of health and environmental communications efforts. Guidance for climate change communication now routinely proposes targeting specific audience segments as a fundamental principle, despite ambiguity regarding what specific behaviors to target and a lack of empirical evidence for specific strategies. Audience segmentation strategies proposed to date for climate change communications resemble those used in other social marketing efforts, but can be proprietary or opaque, with little data on the effects of implementing them. Insufficient evidence exists to systematically demonstrate the effectiveness of targeting or tailoring climate change communications per se, other than by reference to related research on health and environmental risk communications. Meta-analyses with systematic literature reviews, however, demonstrate that health risk communications can be more effective at changing attitudes and behaviors if they are tailored to the individual recipients' beliefs about their self-efficacy. The advent of technology-enabled microtargeting is rapidly expanding the opportunities for tailoring and targeting climate change communications and for adding to what we know from using them to make them effective. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Helle K.B.,University of Bergen | Corti A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2015

Half a century after the discovery of chromogranin A as a secreted product of the catecholamine storage granules in the bovine adrenal medulla, the physiological role for the circulating pool of this protein has been recently coined, namely as an important player in vascular homeostasis. While the circulating chromogranin A since 1984 has proved to be a significant and useful marker of a wide range of pathophysiological and pathological conditions involving the diffuse neuroendocrine system, this protein has now been assigned a physiological "raison d'etre" as a regulator in vascular homeostasis. Moreover, chromogranin A processing in response to tissue damage and blood coagulation provides the first indication of a difference in time frame of the regulation of angiogenesis evoked by the intact chromogranin A and its two major peptide products, vasostatin-1 and catestatin. The impact of these discoveries on vascular homeostasis, angiogenesis, cancer, tissue repair and cardio-regulation will be discussed. © 2014 Springer Basel.


Abu-Samha M.,University of Bergen | Madsen L.B.,University of Aarhus
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2011

We solve the three-dimensional time-dependent Schrödinger equation and present investigations of the imprint of the orbital angular node in photoelectron momentum distributions of an aligned atomic p-type orbital following ionization by an intense elliptically polarized laser pulse of femtosecond duration. We investigate the role of light ellipticity and the alignment angle of the major polarization axis of the external field relative to the probed orbital by studying radial and angular momentum distributions, the latter at a fixed narrow interval of final momenta close to the peak of the photoelectron momentum distribution. In general only the angular distributions carry a clear signature of the orbital symmetry. Our study shows that circular polarization gives the most clear imprints of orbital nodes. These findings are insensitive to pulse duration. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Fuglebakk E.,University of Bergen | Echave J.,National University of San Martín of Argentina | Reuter N.,University of Bergen
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Motivation: The function of a protein depends not only on its structure but also on its dynamics. This is at the basis of a large body of experimental and theoretical work on protein dynamics. Further insight into the dynamics-function relationship can be gained by studying the evolutionary divergence of protein motions. To investigate this, we need appropriate comparative dynamics methods. The most used dynamical similarity score is the correlation between the root mean square fluctuations (RMSF) of aligned residues. Despite its usefulness, RMSF is in general less evolutionarily conserved than the native structure. A fundamental issue is whether RMSF is not as conserved as structure because dynamics is less conserved or because RMSF is not the best property to use to study its conservation.Results: We performed a systematic assessment of several scores that quantify the (dis)similarity between protein fluctuation patterns. We show that the best scores perform as well as or better than structural dissimilarity, as assessed by their consistency with the SCOP classification. We conclude that to uncover the full extent of the evolutionary conservation of protein fluctuation patterns, it is important to measure the directions of fluctuations and their correlations between sites. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved.


Svard M.,University of Bergen | Nordstrom J.,Linköping University
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2014

High-order finite difference methods are efficient, easy to program, scale well in multiple dimensions and can be modified locally for various reasons (such as shock treatment for example). The main drawback has been the complicated and sometimes even mysterious stability treatment at boundaries and interfaces required for a stable scheme. The research on summation-by-parts operators and weak boundary conditions during the last 20 years has removed this drawback and now reached a mature state. It is now possible to construct stable and high order accurate multi-block finite difference schemes in a systematic building-block-like manner. In this paper we will review this development, point out the main contributions and speculate about the next lines of research in this area. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Li C.,University of Bergen | Li N.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Helleseth T.,University of Bergen | Ding C.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2014

Let m ≥ 3 be an odd integer and p be an odd prime. In this paper, a number of classes of three-weight cyclic codes C(1,e) over F{double-struck}p, which have parity-check polynomial m 1(x)me(x), are presented by examining general conditions on the parameters p, m, and e, where mi(x) is the minimal polynomial of π-i over F{double-struck}p for a primitive element π of F{double-struck}pm. Furthermore, for p ≡ 3 (mod 4) and a positive integer e satisfying (pk + 1) · e ≡ 2 (mod pm - 1) for some positive integer k with gcd(m, k) = 1, the value distributions of the exponential sums T(a, b) = ∑ x∈F{double-struck}pm ωTr(ax+bxe) and S(a, b, c) = ∑x∈F{double-struck}pm ωTr(ax+bxe+cxs), where s = (pm - 1)/2, are determined. As an application, the value distribution of S(a, b, c) is utilized to derive the weight distribution of the cyclic codes C(1,e,s) with parity-check polynomial m 1(x)me(x)ms(x). In the case of p = 3 and even e satisfying the above condition, the dual of the cyclic code C(1,e,s) has optimal minimum distance. © 2014 IEEE.


Chang M.-Y.,University of Bergen | Geffen A.J.,University of Bergen | Geffen A.J.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Fish and Fisheries | Year: 2013

Fish otoliths are comprised primarily of CaCO3 and grow throughout an individual's lifetime. The chemical composition of otoliths is often a distinctive characteristic of the populations that live in discrete areas, and as a result, it has been used for population classification studies, supporting ecological and fisheries research. However, the deposition of chemical elements in the otolith is influenced by both physiological and environmental factors. We review observed trends in otolith elemental composition and then test the taxonomic and geographical patterns, using marine species in European waters. anova comparisons and multivariate analyses revealed strong taxonomic signals in species inhabiting the same region. Variations in Sr, Mg, Mn and Ba concentrations were most often species specific; for example, multivariate analyses showed separation of cod (Gadus morhua) and herring (Clupea harengus) based primarily on Mg and Sr concentrations, while Mn and Ba concentrations separated bluemouth (Helicolenus dactylopterus) and sole (Solea solea). The relative contributions of taxonomic and regional factors varied between elements. For cod and herring, for example, species-specific differences explain 75% of the variation for Mn, but only 50% of the variation in Sr. Although there are significant regional differences within a single species on both a restricted and extensive geographic scale, these regional patterns are not the same for each species. As the amount of otolith composition data increases, representing more species and regions, as well as longer time series, further analyses can provide a deeper insight into the predictability of using otolith data in fisheries ecology. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Balzer S.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Balzer S.,University of Bergen | Malde K.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Jonassen I.,University of Bergen
Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Motivation: 454 pyrosequencing, by Roche Diagnostics, has emerged as an alternative to Sanger sequencing when it comes to read lengths, performance and cost, but shows higher per-base error rates. Although there are several tools available for noise removal, targeting different application fields, data interpretation would benefit from a better understanding of the different error types. Results: By exploring 454 raw data, we quantify to what extent different factors account for sequencing errors. In addition to the well-known homopolymer length inaccuracies, we have identified errors likely to originate from other stages of the sequencing process. We use our findings to extend the flowsim pipeline with functionalities to simulate these errors, and thus enable a more realistic simulation of 454 pyrosequencing data with flowsim. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.


Luyckx V.A.,University of Alberta | Bertram J.F.,Monash University | Brenner B.M.,Harvard University | Fall C.,Southampton General Hospital | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Summary Developmental programming of non-communicable diseases is now an established paradigm. With respect to hypertension and chronic kidney disease, adverse events experienced in utero can affect development of the fetal kidney and reduce final nephron number. Low birthweight and prematurity are the most consistent clinical surrogates for a low nephron number and are associated with increased risk of hypertension, proteinuria, and kidney disease in later life. Rapid weight gain in childhood or adolescence further compounds these risks. Low birthweight, prematurity, and rapid childhood weight gain should alert clinicians to an individual's lifelong risk of hypertension and kidney disease, prompting education to minimise additional risk factors and ensuring follow-up. Birthweight and prematurity are affected substantially by maternal nutrition and health during pregnancy. Optimisation of maternal health and early childhood nutrition could, therefore, attenuate this programming cycle and reduce the global burden of hypertension and kidney disease in the future. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Hughes A.L.C.,University of Bergen | Clark C.D.,University of Sheffield | Jordan C.J.,British Geological Survey
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2014

We present a 10-stage reconstruction of the evolution in ice-flow patterns of the last British Ice Sheet from build-up to demise derived from geomorphological evidence. 100 flowsets identified in the subglacial bedform record (drumlins, mega-scale glacial lineations, and ribbed moraine) are combined with ancillary evidence (erratic-transport paths, absolute dates and a semi-independently reconstructed retreat pattern) to define flow patterns, ice divides and ice-sheet margins during build-up, maximum glaciation and retreat. Overprinting and cross-cutting of landform assemblages are used to define the relative chronology of flow patterns and a tentative absolute chronology is presented based on a collation of available dates for ice advance and retreat. The ice-flow configuration of the last British Ice Sheet was not static. Some ice divides were remarkably stable, persisting through multiple stages of the ice-sheet evolution, whereas others were transient features existing for a short time and/or shifting in position 10skm. The 10 reconstructed stages of ice-sheet geometry capture two main modes of operation; first as an integrated ice sheet with a broadly N-S orientated ice divide, and second as a multi-domed ice sheet orientated parallel with the shelf edge. A thick integrated ice sheet developed as ice expanded out of source areas in Scotland to envelop southerly ice caps in northern England and Wales, and connect with the Irish Ice Sheet to the west and the Scandinavian Ice Sheet across the North Sea. Following break-up of ice over the North Sea, ice streaming probably drove mass loss and ice-sheet thinning to create a more complex divide structure, where ice-flow patterns were largely controlled by the form of the underlying topography. Ice surface lowering occurred before separation of, and retreat to, multiple ice centres centred over high ground. We consider this 10-stage reconstruction of the evolution in ice-sheet configuration to be the simplest palaeo-glaciological interpretation of the flowsets identified from the geomorphological record and their relative timing. This empirically-based reconstruction of flow-pattern geometry provides a framework for more detailed local and regional studies and numerical modelling to provide robust explanations of the observed changes in ice-sheet structure in terms of climate and glacial dynamics. As a minimum, numerical model outputs should be able to reproduce the identified flowset patterns in space and satisfy their chronological order. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Arthun M.,University of Bergen | Eldevik T.,University of Bergen | Smedsrud L.H.,University of Bergen | Skagseth O.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Ingvaldsen R.B.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Journal of Climate | Year: 2012

The recent Arctic winter sea ice retreat is most pronounced in the Barents Sea. Using available observations of the Atlantic inflow to the Barents Sea and results from a regional ice-ocean model the authors assess and quantify the role of inflowing heat anomalies on sea ice variability. The interannual variability and longerterm decrease in sea ice area reflect the variability of the Atlantic inflow, both in observations and model simulations. During the last decade (1998-2008) the reduction in annual (July-June) sea ice area was 218 × 10 3 km 2, or close to 50%. This reduction has occurred concurrent with an increase in observed Atlantic heat transport due to both strengthening and warming of the inflow. Modeled interannual variations in sea ice area between 1948 and 2007 are associated with anomalous heat transport (r = -0.63) with a 70 × 10 3 km 2 decrease per 10 TW input of heat. Based on the simulated ocean heat budget it is found that the heat transport into the western Barents Sea sets the boundary of the ice-free Atlantic domain and, hence, the sea ice extent. The regional heat content and heat loss to the atmosphere scale with the area of open ocean as a consequence. Recent sea ice loss is thus largely caused by an increasing "Atlantification" of the Barents Sea. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.


Lee J.R.,British Geological Survey | Busschers F.S.,TNO | Sejrup H.P.,University of Bergen
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2012

Within this paper we review the pre-Weichselian glacial history of northern Europe focussing on evidence from the British Isles, Netherlands, Norway and adjacent marine areas that record the activity of the British (BIS) and Scandinavian (SIS) ice sheets. The objective of the paper is to examine the long-term evolution of the two ice sheets in order to determine their level of synchronicity and their relationship to the Plio-Pleistocene record of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. Geological evidence demonstrates striking long-term similarities between the behaviour of the BIS and SIS, with a step-wise intensification in the glacial signal: (1) first Ice Rafted Debris (IRD) input onto the continental margin at ca 2.7-2.6 Ma and restricted glaciation prior to ca 1.1 Ma; (2) initiation of more lowland-style glaciation from 1.1 Ma; (3) repeated shelf-edge glaciations from 0.45 Ma. These 'steps' coincide with a major intensification of the Northern Hemisphere climate signal at the beginning of the Quaternary, and the Mid Pleistocene Transition. Temporal and spatial variabilities in the behaviour of different sectors of the BIS and SIS appear to reflect regional-scale geographic (latitude, elevation), climatic (moisture, temperature) and glaciological (deformable beds) controls that modulate the build-up of ice volume in the main ice accumulation areas relative to global climate forcing and its subsequent lateral expansion. © 2010 NERC.


Zhou Z.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Zhou Z.,Xidian University | Ding C.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Luo J.,University of Bergen | Zhang A.,Xi'an University of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

Cyclic codes are a subclass of linear codes and have applications in consumer electronics, data storage systems, and communication systems as they have efficient encoding and decoding algorithms. In this paper, a family of $p$-ary cyclic codes whose duals have three pairwise nonconjugate zeros is proposed. The weight distribution of this family of cyclic codes is determined. It turns out that the proposed cyclic codes have five nonzero weights. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Ding C.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Helleseth T.,University of Bergen
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

Cyclic codes are a subclass of linear codes and have applications in consumer electronics, data storage systems, and communication systems as they have efficient encoding and decoding algorithms. Perfect nonlinear monomials were employed to construct optimal ternary cyclic codes with parameters [3 m-1, 3m-1-2m, 4] by Carlet, Ding, and Yuan in 2005. In this paper, almost perfect nonlinear monomials, and a number of other monomials over GF(3m) are used to construct optimal ternary cyclic codes with the same parameters. Nine open problems on such codes are also presented. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Yang J.,Tsinghua University | Xiong M.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Ding C.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Luo J.,University of Bergen
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

Cyclic codes have been widely used in digital communication systems and consumer electronics as they have efficient encoding and decoding algorithms. The weight distribution of cyclic codes has been an important topic of study for many years. It is in general hard to determine the weight distribution of linear codes. In this paper, a class of cyclic codes with any number of zeros is described and their weight distributions are determined. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Nash R.D.M.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Geffen A.J.,University of Bergen
Journal of Marine Systems | Year: 2012

It is difficult to estimate natural mortality for many marine fish populations, especially during the transition period from larvae to juveniles, because the appropriate data are scarce. Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) is an exception since it has been studied extensively. The study of mortality rates in juveniles is made easier because the nursery grounds are inshore and generally less than 5. m deep. This contribution considers the factors affecting mortality rates for eggs and larvae, and for settlement and nursery ground phases. There are problems associated with estimating mortality rates, especially for juveniles because immigration into nursery areas at the beginning of the season and emigration of larger individuals off nursery grounds in the latter part of the season confound losses due to mortality. The shifts in mortality schedules and the causes through the early life history are investigated in relation to concepts such as 'nursery ground carrying capacity' and 'self-thinning'. Predation in the pelagic phase is probably density independent and a source of inter-annual variability in survival of early life-history stages. Predation mortality during the nursery ground phase is most likely density dependent. However, there is a need for further in-depth study, especially during the period of settlement. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Fortunato S.A.V.,University of Bergen | Adamski M.,University of Bergen | Ramos O.M.,University of St. Andrews | Ramos O.M.,Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics | And 5 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2014

Sponges are simple animals with few cell types, but their genomes paradoxically contain a wide variety of developmental transcription factors, including homeobox genes belonging to the Antennapedia (ANTP) class, which in bilaterians encompass Hox, ParaHox and NK genes. In the genome of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, no Hox or ParaHox genes are present, but NK genes are linked in a tight cluster similar to the NK clusters of bilaterians. It has been proposed that Hox and ParaHox genes originated from NK cluster genes after divergence of sponges from the lineage leading to cnidarians and bilaterians. On the other hand, synteny analysis lends support to the notion that the absence of Hox and ParaHox genes in Amphimedon is a result of secondary loss (the ghost locus hypothesis). Here we analysed complete suites of ANTP-class homeoboxes in two calcareous sponges, Sycon ciliatum and Leucosolenia complicata. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that these calcisponges possess orthologues of bilaterian NK genes (Hex, Hmx and Msx), a varying number of additional NK genes and one ParaHox gene, Cdx. Despite the generation of scaffolds spanning multiple genes, we find no evidence of clustering of Sycon NK genes. All Sycon ANTP-class genes are developmentally expressed, with patterns suggesting their involvement in cell type specification in embryos and adults, metamorphosis and body plan patterning. These results demonstrate that ParaHox genes predate the origin of sponges, thus confirming the ghost locus hypothesis, and highlight the need to analyse the genomes of multiple sponge lineages to obtain a complete picture of the ancestral composition of the first animal genome. ©2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Huse G.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Fiksen O.,University of Bergen
Progress in Oceanography | Year: 2010

Marine ecosystem models often contain modules for two phytoplankton compartments (flagellates and diatoms) and two zooplankton groups (micro- and mesozooplankton). The models rarely include fish, not even as an agent in zooplankton mortality, which is often formulated as a constant rate. This mortality rate is treated as a free parameter, which can be used to tune or stabilize the model. There are major gaps in our knowledge and modelling capabilities of interactions at the higher trophic levels for example with regards to movement of fish at different scales, prey selection, and zooplankton responses to predators. Here, we argue that there are good reasons for making zooplankton mortality dependent on some key environmental variables known to affect the interaction strength between zooplankton and fish. In addition, since fish are highly mobile organisms, often moving in large groups, there is a need to better understand and model their horizontal migration and to include this in ecosystem models. We present basic models for light-dependent encounters between fish and their zooplankton prey and illustrate how predator-prey interactions can be modelled for herring-Calanus and cod-capelin interactions using individual-based models with super-individuals. In the latter two cases individual displacement is determined by movement behaviour and ocean circulation, and growth and mortality become emergent properties resulting from local encounters between predators and prey. Similarly movement behaviours emerge from simple adaptive rules or more complex models where behavioural strategies are evolved using a genetic algorithm. Such models are versatile and we argue that emergent mortality and growth rates resulting from adaptive behaviours and key environmental forcing are essential for realistic representation of fish-zooplankton interactions. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Astakhov V.,Saint Petersburg State University | Nazarov D.,University of Bergen
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2010

A geochronometric database, comprising 121 optically stimulated luminescence and 59 radiocarbon dates plus U/Th date on peat from 24 key sections in northern West Siberia is presented and discussed. These data have been obtained during Russian-Norwegian joint research for the past 15 years and are augmented by reports on radiocarbon dated mammoth carcasses in West Siberia. Together they provide the basis for revising the regional stratigraphic scheme and for correlation to the European Quaternary chronostratigraphy and marine oxygen isotope record. The geochronologic correlation of sedimentary formations across West Siberia involves classical stratotypes of fluvial, shallow limnic and temperate marine sediments of the Karginsky Horizon, ca 130. ka, which was previously attributed to MIS 3. The older Kazantsevo marine formation is thus assigned a Middle Pleistocene age. The uppermost glacial sedimentary complex containing glacial ice was deposited by shelf-based ice sheets between ca 100 and 60. ka. BP. The postglacial Pleistocene sediments are mostly ice-bound loess-like deposits and sink-hole silts containing numerous mammoth carcasses that are radiocarbon dated to between ca 42 and 25. ka. BP. There are no traces of glacial activity on the Siberian plains during MIS 2, a period for which palaeoclimatic proxies suggest a cold and dry environment. This synthesis indicates that the prior usage of the Siberian correlation horizons of Kazantsevo and Karginsky as equivalents of the Eemian and Middle Pleniglacial is stratigraphically invalid. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Yde J.C.,University of Aarhus | Paasche O.,University of Bergen
Eos | Year: 2010

Glaciers are among the most trusted indicators of climate change, not just because they retreat due to the current rise in global temperatures but also because of their central role in reconstructing past climates. Glaciers come in many forms, and their sensitivity to climate change depends partly on the physics governing the individual glacier, implying that a response can be fast or slow, straightforward or complex, which in sum suggests that not all glaciers are equally suitable for reconstructing past and present climate conditions. In particular, surging and debris-covered glaciers may especially yield misleading results (Figure 1).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.2;INFRA-2010-2.2.4 | Award Amount: 6.34M | Year: 2010

To understand the complex Earth System requires an integrated observational strategy and infrastructure to record key diagnostic features of its dynamics. Accordingly, this infrastructure must include geographically distributed and multidisciplinary monitoring instruments and observations. The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) will meet this challenge. The proposed RI (EPOS) will create a single sustainable, permanent and distributed infrastructure, integrating land-based geophysical monitoring networks, local observatories (including permanent in-situ and volcano observatories) and experimental laboratories in Europe. EPOS will give open access to geophysical and geological data and modelling tools, enabling a step change in multidisciplinary scientific research into different fields, including seismic and volcanic hazards, environmental changes as well as energy and long-term sustainability. This will result in benefits to society. Presently, the different European countries own a mosaic of hundreds of impressive, but separated networks, observatories, temporary deployments, labs and modelling facilities, etc... for solid earth studies. Long-term sustainability of plate observations, optimising access to, and combining a wide variety of solid Earth data and modelling tools are prerequisites to innovative research for a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other catastrophic events (landslides, tsunamis) together with those controlling Earth surface dynamics (crustal response to deformation and to global change). EPOS will enable the scientific community to study the same phenomena from a multidisciplinary point of view, at different temporal and spatial scales (from laboratory to field and plate tectonic scale experiments). EPOS intends to create the prerequisites for Europe to maintain a leading role in solid Earth science research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.3.0-1;HEALTH.2013.1.3-4 | Award Amount: 7.80M | Year: 2013

Although vaccination is the cornerstone of prophylaxis, current vaccines provide only moderate protection. Most employ inactivated or protein-based, including multimeric antigen, vaccines requiring annual updating. Their limited antigen loads provide limited capacity for inducing robust immune defences, without assurance that both humoral and cell mediated (CMI) responses, as well as durable immunity, will be induced. Replicating vaccines may provide several rounds of antigen production, increasing potential for humoral and CMI defence induction. Neither live, attenuated nor vector vaccines can be produced synthetically, being reliant on cell culture or egg production. They cannot be targeted to immune cells; interference from pre-existing immunity is also a risk. Efficacious, synthetic vaccines would be the answer, as seen with self-replicating RNA replicon (RepRNA) technology these replicate and translate without producing infectious progeny. RepRNA produced in vitro is combined with synthetic delivery vehicles targeting dendritic cell (DC) receptors essential for efficient immune defences with glycoconjugate ligands. The UniVax project promotes the first synergising of approaches with synthetic targeted delivery systems for RepRNA. The innovation integrates technologies of (i) RepRNA vaccines, (ii) lipoplexes (biodegradable lipid/adjuvant/RNA for cytosolic delivery), (iii) polyplexes (biodegradable, polysaccharide vehicles), (iv) glycoconjugates targeting DC receptors, (v) adjuvants with well-defined molecular targets and effector functions. This promotes efficacious mucosal and systemic responses, ensuring for the first time both humoral and CMI responses. Components developed in PANFLUVAC and Replixcel projects allow UniVax to create the first Universal Flu vaccine prototypes. This innovative approach creates the first synthetic vaccine of its kind, promoting consortium SMEs to a unique position of world leaders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-1 | Award Amount: 7.39M | Year: 2009

We propose a multidisciplinary program, focusing on the development of novel approaches for directing the differentiation, proliferation and tissue-tropism of specific hematopoietic lineages, using micro- and nano-fabricated cell chips. We will use advanced nanofabricated surfaces functionalized with specific biomolecules, and microfluidics cell chips to specify and expend regulatory immune cells for treating diverse inflammatory and autoimmune disorders in an organ- and antigen-specific manner. The proposed cell-chip will create ex-vivo microenvironments mimicking in-vivo cell-cell interactions and molecular signals involved in differentiation and proliferation of hematopoietic cells. Cell chip development and optimization will be supported by high throughput microscopy to select for optimal conditions. Educated cells will be employed for in vivo experiments in mice and the methodology will be further adapted for human cell populations, and applied for clinical diagnosis and therapy as well as the developments of clinically-relevant devices. Regulatory T-cells are extremely promising cells for treatment of inflammatory and auto-immune disease, as well as for tolerance induction in organ transplantation. To be effective they must be produced conveniently, at large numbers with an optimally tuned phenotype. The methodology is suggested to overcome current obstacles in obtaining therapeutically significant numbers of T cells. We propose to apply the suggested methodology for treating different inflammatory or autoimmune diseases including type-1 diabetes using targeted immunotherapeutic approaches. Developing new methods for producing large numbers of finely-tuned and tissue-targeted regulatory cells will make this approach clinically viable. This novel methodology can be extended to directing differentiation of other specific T-cell and hematopoietic lineages, with possible applications for targeting other autoimmune diseases and treating tumors or graft rejection.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007.1.1.1.1. | Award Amount: 12.95M | Year: 2008

THOR will establish an operational system that will monitor and forecast the development of the North Atlantic THC on decadal time scales and access its stability and the risk of a breakdown in a changing climate. Together with pre-existing data sets, ongoing observations within the project will allow precise quantitative monitoring of the Atlantic THC and its sources. This will, for the first time, allow an assessment of the strength of the Atlantic THC and its sources in a consistent manner and will provide early identification of any systematic changes in the THC that might occur. Analysis of palaeo observations covering the last millennium and millennium time scale experiments with coupled climate models will be carried out to identify the relevant key processes and feedback mechanisms between ocean, atmosphere, and cryosphere. In THOR, the combined effect of various global warming scenarios and melting of the Greenland ice sheet will also be thoroughly assessed in a coupled climate model. Through these studies and through the assimilation of systematic oceanic observations at key locations into ocean circulation models, THOR will forecast the development of the Atlantic THC and its variability until 2025, using global coupled ocean-atmosphere models. THOR will also assess induced climate implications of changes in the THC and the probability of extreme climate events with special emphasis on the European/North Atlantic region. THOR builds upon techniques, methods and models developed during several projects funded within FP5 and FP6 as well as many nationally funded projects. The project will contribute to Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), to Global Observing Systems such as to the Global Ocean Observing system (GOOS), and to the International Polar Year (IPY).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.3.3-2 | Award Amount: 3.80M | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe is high and contribute to mortality and the burden of many chronic diseases, especially within groups of lower social-economic status. Obesity is largely determined by modifiable lifestyle dependent risk factors such as reduced physical activity, sedentary behaviour and an unhealthy diet. There is growing evidence that influences on individuals and their lifestyle should not only be addressed in single-level interventions that focus on a distinct individual, social or environmental aspect, but rather in community based multi-level intervention approaches (MIAs) that integrate individual, community, organisational, and societal systems. OBJECTIVES SPOTLIGHT aims to increase and combine knowledge on the wide range of determinants of obesity in a systematic way, and to identify MIAs that are strong in terms of Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM). A further aim is to identify factors for successful implementation of MIAs into health promotion practice. APPROACH By combining published research and collected cross-European data with expert and target-group perspectives, effective, sustainable and implementable MIAs that counteract obesogenic behaviours in adults will be defined. ACHIEVEMENTS We will provide an evidence-based model for effective MIAs in health promotion practice applicable across Europe, and disseminate our findings by policy makers and the scientific community. We will develop a handbook with evidence- and practice-based instructions as well as practical recommendations for policies and interventions, suggestions and reference to best practice that serve as a major dissemination tool. IMPACT Through systematic dissemination of SPOTLIGHT outcomes, the project supports the development and implementation of effective MIAs by local authorities and public health practitioners in order to prevent obesity, reduce the social gradient, and so prevent the related chronic diseases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 5.13M | Year: 2014

The SOTERIA Project aims to research and develop recommendations and an associated toolbox that leverage the positive impact of social media in emergencies, enabling public safety organisations (PSOs) and citizens using new mobile and online social media technologies to communicate before, during and after an emergency event, and exchange critical information for the PSOs intervention in emergency, law enforcement and medical assistance situations. Empowered by the new mobile phones with cameras, text messaging and internet-based applications connecting to social media, citizens expect PSOs to use the same technologies. However, this is not the case. SOTERIA innovates the approach to the dynamics between PSOs and citizens in emergencies, allowing (i) the understanding of the impact social media entails in emergency management systems; (ii) the use of all communication channels in emergency situations, including social media, to the benefit of PSOs and citizens, (iii) the exploitation of mobile platforms ubiquity to locate and effectively communicate with citizens in distress and (iv) the leverage of PSOs levels of shared awareness and performance, benefiting from citizens social media information. Joining companies, universities, research laboratories and a wide community of expert end-users across Europe and beyond, the SOTERIA Consortium is one of the Projects strengths, having solid competences and experience developing research and development projects. Its ambitious goal is to create recommendations and a professional SOTERIA emergency response toolbox that, respecting the organisational culture of emergency services and the European Unions legislation and concerns on privacy, and considering the related human and technological dimensions, enables PSOs to understand the benefits of social media in emergencies and to gradually adopt these technologies in their daily activities, assisting in the safeguard of citizens in emergency and crisis situations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-01-2014 | Award Amount: 15.00M | Year: 2015

CRESCENDO brings together seven Earth System Modelling (ESM) groups with three Integrated Assessment Modelling teams, as well as experts in ESM evaluation, ESM projection and feedback analysis, climate impacts and science communication to address the following goals; (i) improve the process-realism and simulation-quality of European ESMs in order to increase the reliability of future Earth system projections; (ii) develop and apply a community ESM evaluation tool allowing routine ESM performance benchmarking, process-based ESM evaluation and the analysis of Earth system projections. The resulting tool will be installed and made openly-available on the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF); (iii) further develop the discipline of emergent constraints in order to better constrain the representation of key biogeochemical and aerosol feedbacks in ESMs and thereby reduce overall uncertainty in Earth system projections; (iv) quantify the effective radiative forcing of key biogeochemical and aerosol feedbacks in ESM projections; (v) contribute to the development of a new set of combined socio-economic and climate emission scenarios that more explicitly link future socio-economic development pathways with global radiative forcing; (vi) apply the project ESMs to these new scenario data to generate an ensemble of Earth system projections for the coming century and, in combination with the underlying socio-economic scenarios, use these projections to assess joint risks and co-benefits related to climate change, climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation; (vii) ensure data produced by CRESCENDO is available to the international community through timely archival on the ESGF and work closely with climate impact assessment and regional downscaling teams to ensure maximum uptake and use of these data in such complementary areas of science; (viii) actively disseminate knowledge generated in CRESCENDO to fellow scientists, policymakers and the general public.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SEAC-2-2014 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2015

Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation (HEIRRI) foster an alignment of research and innovation (R&I) with the needs, values and societal expectations. The six key aspects of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)-societal/public engagement, gender equality, open access, science education, ethics and governance in R&I-are transdisciplinary included at all stages of formation of scientist and engineers, and other professional fields involved in R&I. HEIRRI will create and share on OA a stock-taking inventory constituted by a State of the Art Review and a Data Base. The inventory will gather results of other EU funded RRI projects, good cases and practices of RRI and RRI Learning. Also, different stakeholders involved and/or affected by R&I will participate in a debate and reflection process on RRI Learning through online and offline Forum actions. Results from the inventory will represent the basis for RRI Training programs and formative materials, offering the students knowledge and skills to develop viable solutions to specific problems related to R&I, integrating theory and practice. They will be designed for the different HEI educational levels (undergraduate, MD and PhD, summer courses and MOOC), mainly based on Problem based learning methodology, and supported by multimedia materials (videos and microvideos, 2.0 materials, etc.). All results and products elaborated by HEIRRI will be uploaded on OA at RRITools Platform. An internationalization plan will guarantee their spreading awareness and future use by HEI from Europe and beyond. A global scope and expertise on RRI will be provided by HEIRRI consortium that consists of 5 European HEI (Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Universitetet I Bergen (UiB), Aarhus Universitet (AU), Institut Fuer Hoehere Studien und Wissenschaftliche Forschung (IHS), Sveuciliste u Splitu (University of Split, UNIST)), the European network of science centres and museums (AEESTI / Ecsite), Fundacin Bancaria Caixa Destalvis i Pensions de Barcelona La Caixa (FBLC), a network of universities (Associaci Catalana dUniversitats Pbliques, ACUP), and a private company specialized in R&I (INNOVATEC).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.6.1-3 | Award Amount: 5.03M | Year: 2013

The iSAR\ Project aims to research and develop guidelines and an associated platform that, in emergencies or crises, enables citizens using new mobile and online technologies to actively participate in the response effort, through the bi-directional provision, dissemination, sharing and retrieval of information essential for critical PPDR intervention, in search and rescue, law enforcement and medical assistance. Empowered by new communication media, such as mobile phones with cameras and internet-based applications connecting to social media platforms, citizens are the in situ first sensors, but their added-value involvement in crisis response efforts is often disregarded by PPDRs, as they struggle to timely develop an adequate situational awareness. iSAR\ innovates the approach to the dynamics between citizens and PPDRs in crises, allowing (i) the leverage of PPDRs levels of shared awareness and performance, benefiting from citizens published information, (ii) the exploitation of mobile platforms ubiquity to search, locate and effectively communicate with citizens and (iii) the redirection of citizens large energy and information flow into PPDRs platforms. Joining large companies, SMEs, Universities, RTOs and a wide community of end-users and experts from Europe, Chile and the US, the iSAR\ Consortium is one of the Projects strengths, for it is a multi-disciplinary and complementary collective, with solid competences and experience developing R&D projects. Its ambitious goal is to create guidelines and a platform that, respecting the organizational culture of crisis response and EU legislation and concerns on privacy, considers the related organisational, human, technological, legal and ethical dimensions to enable a gradual evolution towards the full implementation of iSAR\ services, an efficient and effective solution to articulate the involvement of new media users in the effort to ensure citizens security in SAR and crisis situations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.1.1. | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2011

Underwater gliders are intelligent and affordable platforms, useful for long-term, multi parameter marine observations. Because of their remotely controlled navigational capabilities and the high spatial and temporal resolution of their measurements in real-time, gliders have been identified to fill gaps existing in the existing ocean observing systems. Along with there rapidly growing importance in purely science driven applications, the implementation of gliders into the Global Ocean Observing System has been recognized as a key point to improve the observational capabilities of the observing systems. The objective of the GROOM proposal is the design of a new European research infrastructure to use underwater gliders for the benefit of European citizens, researcher, and industry. GROOM will define the scientific, technological and organizational/legal levels, of a European glider capacity for research and sustained observations of the oceans, in line with the other European and international initiatives for marine in-situ observations. The proposal for this new infrastructure strongly relies on EuroARGO and JERICO infrastructures which are emerging and also considers the relevant international coordinating bodies such as GOOS. The proposed technological infrastructures will be based on several dedicated gliderports to maintain and operate a European fleet of gliders in coordination with US, Canadian, Australian and other similar infrastructures. This new infrastructure would be beneficial for both academic oceanographic research and operational oceanography systems on which a large number of marine activities and societal applications now rely.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES | Award Amount: 172.80K | Year: 2010

Protein-protein interactions are keys to executing important cellular functions. We hypothesize that gain or loss of protein-protein interactions plays important roles in carcinogenesis. We propose a network-based approach to biomarker discovery that uses protein-protein interactions and regulatory transcriptional networks. We will use prostate cancer and gliomas as models. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among men in the developed countries. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor and it GBM accounts for 52% of all primary brain tumor cases. Novel markers and therapeutic targets are still needed for these two cancers. We will be focusing on the androgen receptor protein-protein network in prostate cancer and TGF-beta mediated network in gliomas. Protein interactions will be extracted by text mining, from databases, and from structural data on protein complexes. To identify transcription factors and their targets in human, ChIP-Chip and ChIP-Seq experiments will be carried out. The resulting networks serve as a scaffold on which data of deregulated proteins derived from microarray and next-generation sequencing of patient cancer samples will be mapped. The perturbed subnetwork will be visualized with a new method that identifies and highlights network motifs and modules. Promising biomarker candidates will be further examined and validated experimentally. Where possible, candidates will be modelled using protein structural data on protein-protein complexes, providing the basis to design ligands that occupy binding sites in order to disrupt cancer-relevant interactions. Our proposal is highly innovative. We expect to identify key nodal points in the network, to which protein-protein interactions can be disrupted as a way to perturb or interfere with the network. These key nodal points will serve both as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: GARRI-10-2015 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

The European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity (ENERI) establishes an operable platform of actors in the fields of research ethics and research integrity. The reliability and credibility of research and science do not depend only on its excellence and productivity but also on the players awareness of highest standards of ethics in research and commitment to a responsible conduct of research. Research ethics addresses the application of ethical principles to the various fields of research. This includes ethical aspects of the design and conduct of research, the way human participants or animals within research projects are treated, and aspects of scientific misconduct. Research integrity is recognized as the attitude and habit of the researchers to conduct research according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks and standards. The fields of research ethics and research integrity combine general ethical reflections, ethics and law as academic disciplines addressing research activities, moral attitudes of researchers, normative policies of stakeholders like sponsors or funding organizations, and various ethical expectations of the civil society. ENERI is based on existing networks, projects and infrastructures that already initiated and developed important steps in sharing information, training and capacity building. Research ethics committees, review boards, ombudspersons offices, research integrity offices and supporting structures are the established bodies monitoring, accompanying and assisting the process of responsible and justifiable research. Therefore the European Network of Research Integrity Offices (ENRIO) and the European Network of Research Ethics Committees (EUREC) mutually initiated ENERI in collaborations with experts in academic research ethics (RE) and responsible research and innovation (RRI), practitioners in training and education in research ethics, and specialists in e-communication and database design.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 5.63M | Year: 2008

The ultimate goal of CLARIN is the construction and operation of a shared distributed infrastructure that aims at making language resources and technology available to the humanities and social sciences research communities at large. The preparatory phase will pave the way for implementation along 4 dimensions: Funding and governance: The aim is to bring together the funding agencies and to work out a ready-to-sign draft agreement between the funding agencies in the participating countries about governance, financing, construction and operation of the infrastructure. Technical: The technical objective is to provide a detailed specification of the infrastructure, agreement on data and interoperability standards to be adopted, and a running, validated prototype based on these specifications. The validation should cover technical, linguistic and user aspects. Language: For the validation the prototype will be populated with a selection of language resources and technologies for all participating languages. The objective is to deliver a sufficiently populated, and thoroughly tested prototype that demonstrates the adequacy of the approach for all participating languages. User: In order to fully exploit the potential of what language resources and technology have to offer to the humanities and social sciences communities we will: (i) make an analysis of current practice in the use of language technology in the humanities in order to establish the needs; (ii) launch and monitor typical humanities projects in order to validate the prototype and its specifications; (iii) create awareness in the humanities and social sciences communities of the potential of the use of language resources and technology to improve or innovate their research; (iv) bring together the humanities and language technology communities in order to ensure lasting synergies.


Price M.C.,University of Bergen | Pearson D.G.,University of Aberdeen
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2013

Sequence-space synesthetes experience some sequences (e.g., numbers, calendar units) as arranged in spatial forms, i.e., spatial patterns in their mind's eye or even outside their body. Various explanations have been offered for this phenomenon. Here we argue that these spatial forms are continuous with varieties of non-synesthetic visuospatial imagery and share their central characteristics. This includes their dynamic and elaborative nature, their involuntary feel, and consistency over time. Drawing from literatures on mental imagery and working memory, we suggest how the initial acquisition and subsequent elaboration of spatial forms could be accounted for in terms of the known developmental trajectory of visuospatial representations. This extends from the formation of image-based representations of verbal material in childhood to the later maturation of dynamic control of imagery. Individual differences in the development of visuospatial style also account for variation in the character of spatial forms, e.g., in terms of distinctions such as visual versus spatial imagery, or ego-centric versus object-based transformations. © 2013 Price and Pearson.


Kehrer J.,University of Bergen | Kehrer J.,is Research Center | Hauser H.,University of Bergen
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics | Year: 2013

Visualization and visual analysis play important roles in exploring, analyzing, and presenting scientific data. In many disciplines, data and model scenarios are becoming multifaceted: data are often spatiotemporal and multivariate; they stem from different data sources (multimodal data), from multiple simulation runs (multirun/ensemble data), or from multiphysics simulations of interacting phenomena (multimodel data resulting from coupled simulation models). Also, data can be of different dimensionality or structured on various types of grids that need to be related or fused in the visualization. This heterogeneity of data characteristics presents new opportunities as well as technical challenges for visualization research. Visualization and interaction techniques are thus often combined with computational analysis. In this survey, we study existing methods for visualization and interactive visual analysis of multifaceted scientific data. Based on a thorough literature review, a categorization of approaches is proposed. We cover a wide range of fields and discuss to which degree the different challenges are matched with existing solutions for visualization and visual analysis. This leads to conclusions with respect to promising research directions, for instance, to pursue new solutions for multirun and multimodel data as well as techniques that support a multitude of facets. © 1995-2012 IEEE.


Thompson J.C.,University of Queensland | Henshilwood C.S.,University of Witwatersrand | Henshilwood C.S.,University of Bergen
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2014

Tortoises are one of the most common faunal components at many Palaeolithic archaeological sites across the Old World. They provide protein, fat, and other 'animal' resources in a 'collectable' package. However, for most sites their interpretation as human food debris is based only on association, rather than demonstrated through taphonomic analysis. Because of their very different anatomical configuration compared to mammals, it is difficult to conduct such analyses by directly applying the taphonomic methods used to interpret large mammal assemblages. Tortoise-specific taphonomic analysis is presented here for the Still Bay layers at the important Middle Stone Age (MSA) site of Blombos Cave (BBC), Western Cape, South Africa. Research on MSA subsistence systems at sites such as BBC has almost exclusively relied on analysis of large ungulate remains, in spite of the fact that many of these key sites contain equal or greater numbers of tortoise fragments. In this analysis we show that human modification is common on the BBC tortoises, and that there are consistent patterns of fragmentation and burning that indicate set processing sequences including cooking while in the shell, hammerstone percussion, and human chewing of limbs. The almost exclusive dominance of the angulate tortoise, Chersina angulata, is confirmed by full skeletal element analyses rather than only counts of single elements such as humeri. The sex distribution can be reconstructed for this species, and is female-biased. For all tortoise assemblages, taxonomic and skeletal element abundance data should be calculated from a sample of complete elements, or at minimum the entoplastron and humerus. A sample of shell and limb/girdle elements should also be subjected to microscopic bone surface modification analysis, as modifications are often rare or subtle but highly informative. Using this approach, analysis of breakage patterns, bone surface modification, and burning patterns can be understood together to specifically reconstruct tortoise collection, processing, and human dietary significance across a range of archaeological sites. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Nyberg B.,University of Bergen | Howell J.A.,University of Aberdeen
Geology | Year: 2015

The stratigraphic record is heavily biased because it is uniquely composed of sediments that were laid down in basins, whereas the majority of the present and historic land surface of the planet is composed of areas that are in net long-term erosion with no preservation potential. Global mapping and quantification of the distribution of currently active sedimentary basins suggest that only 16% of Earth's terrestrial land surface is within sedimentary basins; the remainder of the land is in upland areas that will not be represented in the future rock record. Furthermore, 60% of the modern basin area has an arid climate, as opposed to 27% of the land surface. Tectonic classification of modern basins indicates that intracratonic and foreland basins cover the greatest area, whereas forearc, extensional, and strike-slip basins are the least represented by area. While this modern snapshot does not account for differences in subsidence rate or basin longevity, the mapping and quantification of modern basins highlight the incompleteness of the stratigraphic record, and the importance of caution when assuming "the present is the key to the past.". © 2015 Geological Society of America.


Thompson J.C.,University of Queensland | Henshilwood C.S.,University of Bergen | Henshilwood C.S.,University of Witwatersrand
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2011

A detailed taphonomic analysis is reported for a sample of the larger mammalian faunal assemblage (>4.5 kg live body weight) from Blombos Cave. The analysis provides an assessment of human involvement in the accumulation and modification of the faunal assemblage, and precedes equally detailed analyses and separate reports of Middle Stone Age (MSA) butchery, transport, and hunting behaviour. At Blombos, there are clear differences in the relative abundances of ungulate body size classes, with the lower MSA phases (upper/lower M2 and M3) showing a high representation of size 1 ungulates relative to the most recent MSA phase (M1). The bones from the earliest MSA phase (M3) have not undergone much post-depositional fragmentation, in contrast to fragments from more recent phases (M1 and upper M2). Much of this variability can be attributed to more burning activity and trampling during M1 and upper M2, which could indicate more intensive occupation. Bone surfaces are variably preserved, with high levels of exfoliation in the most recent two phases. Surface modification analyses revealed high proportions of human modification throughout the sequence, indicating that MSA humans were responsible for accumulating most of the larger mammals. After discard, the bones were modified by scavenging carnivores, leading to a moderate amount of density-mediated destruction and tooth-marking. Carnivores independently accumulated some of the smaller ungulates, mainly in the form of partially-digested remains. Raptorial birds are not implicated as major faunal accumulators. The results from Blombos are directly comparable with analogous datasets from two other sites in the Western Cape (Pinnacle Point Cave 13B and Die Kelders Cave 1). Such comparisons demonstrate that MSA faunal assemblages from nearby coastal sites have complex and different taphonomic histories both within and between sites. Because the human occupants were a major part of these processes, MSA subsistence behaviour and site use was also quite variable over time and space. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Spagnolo M.,University of Aberdeen | Clark C.D.,University of Sheffield | Hughes A.L.C.,University of Bergen
Geomorphology | Year: 2012

Drumlin relief is a key parameter for testing predictions of models of drumlin formation. Although this metric is commonly described in textbooks as being of the order of a few tens of metres, our critical review of the literature suggests an average value of about 13. m, but with much uncertainty. Here we investigate a large sample of drumlins (25,848) mapped from a high resolution digital terrain model of Britain, which allowed the identification of extremely shallow drumlins. Results indicate that most drumlins have a relief between 0.5 and 40. m (with a surprisingly low average value of only 7.1. m) a mode of 3.5-4. m, and with 41% of all drumlins characterized by a relief <. 5. m. Drumlin relief is found to never exceed 7% of the width and is positively correlated with this parameter, possibly indicating that drumlins need a large base to stand against the flow of the ice. Drumlin relief is also positively correlated with the length, which shows that drumlins do not grow in length by redistributing sediments from their summits to their downflow (lee) end, as previously hypothesised. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-05-2014 | Award Amount: 7.99M | Year: 2015

While prevention of most female specific cancers (ovarian, breast, endometrial) has not progressed substantially in recent years, significant progress has been made with cervical cancer due to accessibility of the cell of origin (cervical smear) and availability of a test for the causal agent (human papilloma virus); together these enable identification of high risk individuals and interventions to prevent infection or halt progression to invasive cancer. Our consortium has developed an exciting opportunity to utilise clinically abundant cervical cells in tandem with a multi-omics enabled (genome, epigenome, metagenome) analysis pipeline to understand an individuals risk of developing a female specific cancer and to direct a personalised screening and prevention strategy. Cervical cells currently collected within cervical cancer screening provide an ideal window into other female specific cancers because they are (i) an excellent non-invasive source of high quality DNA, (ii) provide a readout for environmental exposure, (iii) are part of the Mllerian tract and (iv) are hormone sensitive, recording (via the epigenome) various hormonal conditions over a lifetime that trigger cancer development. The FORECEE project is aligned with the novel concept of P4 Medicine (predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory): it aims to translate the risk prediction tools output into personalised recommendations for screening and prevention of female cancers. Our consortium comprises a multi-disciplinary team of experts in clinical oncology, risk-benefit communication, omics technologies, decision analysis, health economics and public health. We will examine the effectiveness of the proposed cervical cell omics analysis method and investigate the legal, social, ethical and behavioural issues related to implementation of the risk prediction tool, through direct interaction with stakeholder groups, to ensure its rapid translation into clinical practice across Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS.2011.1.1.1-4 | Award Amount: 1.93M | Year: 2012

The EPINET project will investigate conditions for the development of more integrated technology assessment (TA) methods. It will develop methods and criteria to be used for more socially robust and efficient practices on the interfaces between TA and the world of policy makers and innovators. At present, a large number of TA methodologies and practices exist. Many of these are based on varying and sometimes conflicting, unclear - values, presuppositions, interests and commitments. This is problematic, insofar as differing conclusions and recommendations will follow from different methodologies and disciplines; hence the need for more integrated approaches. However, the irreducible difference of perspectives and plurality in the field of TA needs to be recognised and used as a resource. EPINET introduces the concept of epistemic networks as a way of conceptualising complex developments within emerging fields of sociotechnical innovation practices. It establishes a weak or soft framework within which the plurality of different TA practices can be explored in a concerted and holistic manner; EPINET uses this to study four cases: wearable sensors, cognition for technical systems, synthetic meat and smart grids. Integrating TA, it is claimed, is a task for empirical investigation in which implicit values of TA methodologies, disciplines and practices are spelled out and placed in relation to the practices they are meant to assess. This is the context of innovation conceptualised through the concept of emerging and future epistemic networks. EPINET develops a holistic framework for integrating assessments through gradual co-production of methodologies and concepts (centrally that of responsible innovation) together with innovators and policy makers. The challenges of integrating assessments, we claim, can only be gradually worked out within such a holistic view of complex intersecting networks and practices.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2016

The basic concept of our proposal is to develop nanoparticle-based encapsulated libraries of different immunotherapeutic biomolecules for treatment after surgery as part of a novel cancer management strategy. The current state-of-art for the management of cancer starts with surgery, after identification of an accessible tumour mass. Surgery remains an effective treatment option for many types of cancer today and it is considered curative treatment for most solid tumours. It forms part of a multidisciplinary approach used in conjunction with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. These approaches, however, have several limitations, including inability of surgical resection to affect distal metastatic disease, toxicity to healthy tissues with chemotherapy and lack of effectiveness of radiation therapy in more aggressive tumours. The observation that cancer can relapse months or years after initial surgery implies that micrometastases still resides within the body in a latent state. Our proposal is to take cancer therapy to beyond state-of-art by implementing techniques which will take us into new directions. This includes a) new methods to identify immune gene profiles and biomarkers b) transgenic mouse models where the complex interactions that underlie immune function can be visualised as multiplexed events in real time and c) the use of nanoparticle-based libraries of immune modulating reagent combinations. There are three key objectives within this project: i) to use immune gene signatures to monitor disease progression and therapeutic efficacy of immunotherapy combinations on nanoparticle-based platforms, ii) to optimise the platform to encapsulate libraries of immune components for more personalised, accurate and timely delivery of the payload to its intended target and iii) to optimise the overall cancer management process of image-guided surgery followed by postoperative immunotherapy so that we can ultimately provide a lifetime of protection against cancer.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2010-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2011

The COCOPS project (Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future) seeks to comparatively and quantitatively assess the impact of New Public Management-style (NPM) reforms in European countries, drawing on a team of leading European public administration scholars. This evidence-based project focuses on the national level and the important policy domains of health and employment services, and the utilities of water, energy and transport. It will analyse the impact of reforms in public management and public services that address citizens service needs and social cohesion in Europe. Evaluating the extent and consequences of NPMs alleged fragmenting tendencies and the resulting need for coordination is a key part of assessing these impacts. Subsequently, COCOPS will map and analyse innovative mechanisms in the public sector to improve policy coordination and its associated effects on economic competition, public sector performance, social cohesion and societal outcomes. The proposed research will contribute to our understanding of the impact of NPM by integrating sectoral and national analyses and to the development of future public sector reform strategies by drawing lessons from past experience, exploring trends and studying emerging public sector coordination practices. Drawing on existing large-scale datasets and innovative data collection in ten countries, the project intends to provide a comprehensive picture of the challenges facing the European public sector of the future. The empirical investigation will result in a transfer of innovative best practices across European member states and a futures study outlining key scenarios for the public sector of the future. It will contribute to maximal policy learning through the involvement of expert practitioner groups and other key stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2016

The drug development strategy currently pursued by the pharmaceutical industry worldwide is inefficient and unsustainable for the health care system. To keep the latter affordable, drug development should become more efficient and drug treatment should become more personalized and rationalized. Molecular imaging can play a pivotal role in changing the landscape of drug design/development and improving the health care system. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, in particular, is the technology that has the potential to lead this fundamental innovation by providing at a much earlier stage reliable answers to key questions emerging during the care cycle: what and where is the disease? Is the disease accurately targeted by the therapy? Is the treatment effective? By answering the questions above, PET imaging has the capacity to render much more effectively the transition from pre-clinical to clinical phase, and to strongly facilitate the development of better drugs at an earlier stage and in a much more sustainable manner. The main obstacle to this change of paradigm in drug design and development is the lack of suitably trained translational scientists directly involved in PET imaging and imaging scientists with high-profile training in chemistry and PET-radiochemistry, which is particularly dramatic in Europe. This consortium is ideally suited to fill this gap, by providing top-quality training to the next generation of translational PET imaging scientists who will play a key role in shaping the future of drug design and development. The PET3D ETN will focus on 15 cutting-edge research projects in the 3 main therapeutic areas (oncology, cardiovascular, central nervous system) that will be conducted by 15 ESRs at 8 European beneficiary Institutions, 6 academic (all having a PET center on site) and 2 non-academic (one with a PET center on site and one big pharmaceutical company) representing the drug design and development terminus of the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 366.90K | Year: 2014

The aim of the project is to make a major step-change in developing novel effective tools for studying complex systems based on stochastic geometry and stochastic evolution methods, on appropriate methods of analysis and combinatorics, as well as on numerical methods and computer simulations. The network we are going to create will unite efforts of leading specialists in this area towards scientific excellence, will establish new and strengthen existing long-term collaboration links between them, and will train a new generation of young researchers in this multidisciplinary area. The proposed research is assumed to employ existing and to elaborate new models of real-world object, and hence to have direct applications. The systems we are going to study consist of large number of interacting entities and may evolve in continuous space and time. Both their structure and evolution are of our interest. Such systems appear in broadly understood statistical physics, including its industrial applications, in spatial ecology, evolutionary and population biology, epidemiology, etc. In view of this, along with mathematicians the network includes physicists and biologists working with the corresponding experimental data and experienced in modeling real world objects of the mentioned areas. In this direction, we plan to study structure and properties of complex networks, such as polymers, irregular and random graphs, random fields on graphs, and their applications in the mentioned areas. The microscopic evolution of complex systems of this type will be studied in Markovian and time-delayed frameworks. Their meso- and macroscopic dynamics will be deduced from the microscopic theory by various types of scaling procedures. Along with systems of interacting entities we will study objects which can be characterized as evolving complex shapes, where methods of stochastic geometry ought to be especially effective. Such models have various applications, e.g., in neurogeometry and visua


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2009

CLARA will train a new generation of linguistic experts who will be able to cooperate across national boundaries on the establishment of a common language resources infrastructure and its exploitation for the construction of the next generation of language models with wide theoretical and applied significance. The scientific objectives of the CLARA research context are twofold: 1. to develop the next generation of data-intensive language models and applications by integrating approaches across language and country boundaries; 2. to contribute to the establishment of a pan-European infrastructure for language resources. CLARA will supplement basic research competencies in the language and text sciences with specialized knowledge and skills in computer science, knowledge engineering, databases, statistical processing and language and speech applications. Participation in advanced research at leading universities will be complemented with additional training at industrial partners contributing to careers in industry.


News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

All zebrafish work was performed according to standard protocols approved by The University of Chicago (ACUP #72074). No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. The experiments were not randomized and the investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. In situ hybridization for the hox13, Cre, and1 and shha genes were performed according to standard protocols29 after fixation in 4% paraformaldehyde overnight at 4 °C. Probes for hox13 and shha were as previously described18. Primers to clone Cre and and1 into vectors can be found in Extended Data Tables 1 and 2. Specimens were visualized on a Leica M205FA microscope. In order to create a destination vector for lineage tracing, we first designed a random sequence of 298 bp that contained a SmaI site to be used in downstream cloning. This sequence was ordered as a gBlocks fragment (IDT) and ligated into the pCR8/GW/TOPO TA cloning vector (Invitrogen). We then performed a Gateway LR reaction according to the manufacturers specifications between this entry vector and pXIG–cFos–GFP, which abolished an NcoI site present in the gateway cassette and introduced a SmaI site. We then removed the GFP gene with NcoI and BglII of the destination vector and ligated in Cre with (primers in Extended Data Table 1), using the ‘pCR8GW–Cre–pA–FRT–kan–FRT’ (kind gift of M. L. Suster, Sars International Center for Marine Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway) as a template for Cre PCR and Platinum Taq DNA polymerase High Fidelity (Invitrogen). In order to add a late phase enhancer to this vector, we first ordered four identical oligos (IDT gBlocks) of the core e16 sequence from gar, each flanked by different restriction sites. Each oligo was then ligated into pCR8/GW/TOPO, and sequentially cloned via restriction sites into a single pCR8/GW/TOPO vector. This entry vector was used a template to PCR the final Lo-e16x4 sequence and ligate it into the Cre destination vector using XhoI and SmaI, creating Lo-e16x4–Cre. The early phase enhancer Dr-CNS65x3 was cloned into the destination vector using the same strategy. Final vectors were confirmed by sequencing. A full list of sequences and primers used can be found in Extended Data Table 1. *AB zebrafish embryos were collected from natural spawning and injected according to the Tol2 system as described previously21. Transposase RNA was synthesized from the pCS2-zT2TP vector using the mMessage mMachine SP6 kit (Ambion)21. All injected embryos were raised to sexual maturity according to standard protocols. Adult F0 fish were outcrossed to wild-type *AB, and the total F1 clutch was lysed and DNA isolated at 24 hpf for genotyping (see Extended Data Table 1 for primers) to confirm germline transmission of Cre plasmids in the F0 founders. Multiple founders were identified and tested for the strongest and most consistent expression via antibody staining and in situ hybridization. One founder fish was identified as best, and all subsequent experiments were performed using offspring of this individual fish. Founder Lo-e16x4–Cre and Dr-CNS65x3–Cre fish were crossed to the Tg(ubi:Switch) line (kind gift from L. I. Zon). Briefly, this line contains a construct in which a constitutively active promoter (ubiquitin) drives expression of a loxP flanked GFP protein in all cells of the fish assayed. When Cre is introduced, the GFP gene is removed and the ubiquitin promoter is exposed to mCherry, thus permanently labelling the cell. We crossed our founder Cre fish to Tg(ubi:Switch) and fixed progeny at different time points to track cell fate. In order to detect the mCherry signal, embryos or adults were fixed overnight in 4% paraformaldehyde and subsequently processed for whole-mount antibody staining according to standard protocols30 using the following antibodies and dilutions: 1st rabbit anti-mCherry/DsRed (Clontech #632496) at 1:250, 1st mouse anti-Zns-5 (Zebrafish International Resource Center, USA) at 1:200, 2nd goat anti-rabbit Alexa Fluor 546 (Invitrogen #A11071) at 1:400, 2nd goat anti-mouse Alexa 647 (Invitrogen #A21235) at 1:400. Stained zebrafish were mounted under a glass slide and visualized using an LSM 710 confocal microscope (Organismal Biology and Anatomy, the University of Chicago). Antibody stains on adult zebrafish (90 dpf) fins were imaged on a Leica SP5 II tandem scanner AOBS Laser Scanning Confocal (the University of Chicago Integrated Light Microscopy Core Facility). Two mutations were simultaneously introduced into the first exon of each hox13 gene by CRISPR/Cas9 system as previously described in Xenopus tropicalis31. Briefly, two gRNAs that match the sequence of exon 1 of each hox13 gene were designed by ZiFiT (http://zifit.partners.org/ZiFiT/). To synthesize gRNAs, forward and reverse oligonucleotides that are unique for individual target sequences were synthesized by Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT). Each oligonucleotide sequence can be found in Extended Data Table 2. Subsequently, each forward and reverse oligonucleotide were hybridized, and double stranded products were individually amplified by PCR with primers that include a T7 RNA promoter sequence, followed by purification by NucleoSpin Gel and PCR Clean-up Kit (Macherey-Nagel). Each gRNA was synthesized from the purified PCR products by in vitro transcription with the MEGAscript T7 Transcription kit (Ambion). Cas9 mRNA was synthesized by mMESSAGE mMACHINE SP6 Transcription Kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions (Ambion). Two gRNAs targeting exon 1 of each hox gene were injected with Cas9 mRNA into zebrafish eggs at the one-cell stage. We injected ~2 nl of the injection solution (5 μl solution containing 1,000 ng of each gRNA and 500 ng Cas9 diluted in nuclease-free water) into the single cell of the embryo. Injected embryos were raised to adulthood, and at three months were genotyped by extracting DNA from tail clips. Briefly, zebrafish were anaesthetized by Tricaine (0.004%) and tips of the tail fin (2–3 mm2) were removed and placed in an Eppendorf tube. The tissue was lysed in standard lysis buffer (10 mM Tris pH 8.2, 10 mM EDTA, 200 mM NaCl, 0.5% SDS, 200 μg/ml proteinase K) and DNA recovered by ethanol precipitation. Approximately 800-1,100 bp of exon 1 from each gene was amplified by PCR using the primers described in Extended Data Table 2. To determine whether mutations were present, PCR products were subjected to T7E1 (T7 endonuclease1) assay as previously reported32. After identification of mutant fish by T7E1 assay, detailed analysis of mutation patterns were performed by sequencing at the Genomics Core at the University of Chicago. Identified mutant fish were outcrossed to wild type to select frameshift mutations from mosaic mutational patterns and establish single heterozygous lines. Obtained embryos were raised to adults (~3 months), then analysed by T7E1 assay and sequenced. Among a variety of mutational patterns, fish that have frameshift mutations were used for assays as single heterozygous fish. We obtained several independent heterozygous mutant lines for each hox13 gene to compare the phenotype among different frameshift mutations. To obtain hoxa13a+/−, hoxa13b+/− double heterozygous mutant fish, each single heterozygous mutant line was crossed with the other mutant line. Offspring were analysed by T7E1 assay and sequenced after three months, and double heterozygous mutant fish were selected. To generate double homozygous hoxa13 mutant embryos and adult fish (hoxa13a−/−, hoxa13b−/−), double heterozygous fish (hoxa13a+/−, hoxa13b+/−) were crossed with each other. The ratio of each genotype from crossing heterozygous fish is summarized in Extended Data Table 4. After mutant lines were established, single (hoxa13a or hoxa13b) or double (hoxa13a, hoxa13b) mutant embryos and adult fish were genotyped by PCR for each analysis. Primer sequences for PCR are listed in Extended Data Table 2. To identify an 8 bp deletion in exon 1 of hoxa13a, the PCR product was treated by Ava1 at 37 °C for 2 h, because the 8 bp deletion produces a new Ava1 site in the PCR product (‘zebra hoxa13a_8 bp del’ primers, wild type; 231 bp, mutant; 111 bp and 119 bp). Final product size was confirmed by 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. To identify a 29 bp deletion in exon 1 of hoxa13a, the PCR product was confirmed by gel electrophoresis (‘zebra hoxa13a_29 bp del’ primers, wild type; 110 bp, mutant; 81 bp). To identify a 14 bp insertion in exon 1 of hoxa13b, the PCR product was treated by Bcc1 at 37°C for 2 h, because the 14 bp insertion produces a new Bcc1 site in the PCR product (‘zebra hoxa13b_14 bp ins’ primers, wild type; 98 bp, mutant; 53 bp + 57 bp). The final product size was confirmed by 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. The details of the mutant sequence are summarized in Extended Data Table 3a–c. Two gRNAs targeting exon 1 of hoxa13b and two gRNAs targeting exon 1 of hoxd13a were injected with Cas9 mRNA into zebrafish one-cell eggs that were obtained from crossing hoxa13a+/− and hoxa13a+/−, hoxa13b+/−, hoxd13a+/− (gRNAs were same as that were used to establish single hox13 knockout fishes and found in Extended Data Table 2). Injected eggs were raised to adult fish and genotyped by extracting DNA from tail fins. PCR products of each hox13 gene were cloned into PCRIITOPO (Invitrogen) and deep sequencing was performed (Genomic Core, the University of Chicago). At four months old, skeletal staining and CT scanning were performed to analyse the effect of triple gene deletions. The knockout ratios of each hox13 allele were calculated from the results of deep sequencing. Embryos were obtained by crossing hoxa13a+/−, hoxa13b+/− to each other and raised to 72 hpf or 96 hpf. After fixation by 4% PFA for 15 h, caudal halves were used for PCR genotyping. Pectoral fins of wild type and hoxa13a−/−, hoxa13b−/− were detached from the embryonic body and placed horizontally on glass slides. The fins were photographed with a Leica M205FA microscope, and the fin fold length along the proximodistal axis at the centre of the fin was measured using ImageJ. The resulting data were analysed by t-test comparing the means. Embryos were obtained by crossing hoxa13a+/−, hoxa13b+/− to each other and raised to 96 hpf. After fixation by 4% PFA for 15 h, caudal halves were used for PCR genotyping. Wild type and hoxa13a−/−, hoxa13b−/− embryos were stained by DAPI (1:4,000 in PBS-0.1% Triton) for 3 h and washed for 3 h by PBS−0.1% Triton. Pectoral fins were detached from the embryonic body, placed on glass slides and covered by a coverslip. The DAPI signal was detected by Zeiss LSM 710 (Organismal Biology and Anatomy, the University of Chicago). Individual nuclei were manually marked using Adobe Illustrator and the number of nuclei was counted. The data were analysed by t-test comparing the means. Skeletal staining was performed as previously described33. Briefly, fish were fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin overnight. After washing with milli-Q water, solutions were substituted by 70% EtOH in a stepwise fashion and then by 30% acetic acid/70% EtOH. Cartilage was stained with 0.02% alcian blue in 30% acetic acid/70% EtOH overnight. After washingwith milli-Q water, the solution was changed to a 30% saturated sodium borate solution and incubated overnight. Subsequently, specimens were immersed in 1% trypsin/30% saturated sodium borate and incubated at room temperature overnight. Following a milli-Q water wash, specimens were transferred into a 1% KOH solution containing 0.005% Alzarin Red S. The next day, specimens were washed with milli-Q water and subjected to glycerol substitution. Three replicates for each genotype were investigated. After skeletal staining, girdles and pectoral fins were manually separated from the body. Girdles and fins were stained with 0.5% PMA (phosphomolybdic acid) in milli-Q water for 16 h and followed by washes with milli-Q water. Specimens were placed into 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes with water and kept overnight to settle in the tubes. The next day, tubes containing specimens were set and scanned with the UChicago PaleoCT scanner (GE Phoenix v/tome/x 240kv/180kv scanner) (http://luo-lab.uchicago.edu/paleoCT.html), at 50 kVp, 160 μA, no filtration, 5×-averaging, exposure timing of 500 ms per image, and a resolution of 8 μm per slice (512 μm3 per voxel). Scanned images were analysed and segmented using Amira 3D Software 6.0 (FEI). Three replicates for single and double homozygotes and five for mosaic triple knockout were investigated.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Humans living in South Africa in the Middle Stone Age may have used advanced heating techniques to produce silcrete blades, according to a study published October 19, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Anne Delagnes from the CNRS (PACEA - University of Bordeaux, France) and colleagues. Middle Stone Age humans in South Africa developed intentional heat treatment of silcrete rock over 70,000 years ago to facilitate the flaking process by modifying the rock properties - the first evidence of a transformative technology. However, the exact role of this important development in the Middle Stone Age technological repertoire was not previously clear. Delagnes and colleagues addressed this issue by using a novel non-destructive approach to analyze the heating technique used in the production of silcrete artifacts at Klipdrift Shelter, a recently discovered Middle Stone Age site located on the southern Cape of South Africa, including unheated and heat-treated comparable silcrete samples from 31 locations around the site. The authors noted intentional and extensive heat treatment of over 90% of the silcrete, highlighting the important role this played in silcrete blade production. The heating step appeared to occur early during the blade production process, at an early reduction stage where stone was flaked away to shape the silcrete core. The hardening, toughening effect of the heating step would therefore have impacted all subsequent stages of silcrete tool production and use. The authors suggest that silcrete heat treatment at the Klipdrift Shelter may provide the first direct evidence of the intentional and extensive use of fire applied to a whole lithic chain of production. Along with other fire-based activities, intentional heat treatment was a major asset for Middle Stone Age humans in southern Africa, and has no known contemporaneous equivalent elsewhere. In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://dx. Citation: Delagnes A, Schmidt P, Douze K, Wurz S, Bellot-Gurlet L, Conard NJ, et al. (2016) Early Evidence for the Extensive Heat Treatment of Silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (Layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0163874. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163874 Funding: We acknowledge support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Open Access Publishing Fund of University of Tübingen. The research of PS was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through the research project Heat Treatment in the South African MSA (Grant Nr: CO 226/25-1, MI 1748/2-1, NI 299/25-1). Financial support was provided to CSH for the excavation of the KDS site and subsequent analysis by a National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology funded Chair at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and by the University of Bergen, Norway. AD and KD have benefited from the financial and logistical support of the Evolutionary Studies Institute (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) during their stay in Cape Town. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Furnes H.,University of Bergen | Dilek Y.,Miami University Ohio | Dilek Y.,China University of Geosciences | De Wit M.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Gondwana Research | Year: 2015

We present here a global geochemical dataset from one hundred-and-five greenstone sequences, ranging in age from the Eoarchean through the Archean and Proterozoic Eons that we have examined to identify different ophiolite types (c.f. Dilek and Furnes, 2011) with distinct tectonic origins in the Precambrian rock record. We apply well-established discrimination systematics (built on immobile elements) of basaltic components of the greenstone sequences as our geochemical proxies. The basaltic rocks are classified under two major groups, subduction-related and subduction-unrelated. This analysis suggests that ca. 85% of the greenstone sequences can be classified as subduction-related ophiolites, generated in backarc to forearc tectonic environments. The chemical imprint of subduction processes on the various greenstone sequences is highly variable, but particularly strong for the Archean occurrences, such as the 3.8. Ga Isua (Greenland) and the 3.8-4.3. Ga Nuvvuagittuq (Canada) greenstone Şs. Subduction-unrelated greenstone sequences appear to have developed in all phases of ocean basin evolution, through continental rifting, rift-drift tectonics, seafloor spreading, and/or plume magmatism. For the time interval of ca. 3500. million. years in the record of Precambrian greenstone evolution, a secular geochemical signature emerges from the oldest to the youngest, in which there is a gradual increase and decrease in the concentrations of incompatible (e.g. Zr) and compatible (e.g. Ni) elements, respectively. The compiled Precambrian greenstone data and our interpretations are consistent with the existence of interactive mantle-lithosphere dynamics, and plate-tectonic-like processes extending back to the Hadean-Archean transition. © 2013 International Association for Gondwana Research.


Staudigel H.,University of California at San Diego | Furnes H.,University of Bergen | DeWit M.,University of Bergen | DeWit M.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Haldorsen I.S.,University of Bergen | Espeland A.,University of Bergen | Larsson E.-M.,Uppsala University Hospital
American Journal of Neuroradiology | Year: 2011

CNS lymphoma consists of 2 major subtypes: secondary CNS involvement by systemic lymphoma and PCNSL. Contrast-enhanced MR imaging is the method of choice for detecting CNS lymphoma. In leptomeningeal CNS lymphoma, representing two-thirds of secondary CNS lymphomas, imaging typically shows leptomeningeal, subependymal, dural, or cranial nerve enhancement. Single or multiple periventricular and/or superficial contrast-enhancing lesions are characteristic of parenchymal CNS lymphoma, representing one-third of secondary CNS lymphomas and almost 100% of PCNSLs. New CT and MR imaging techniques and metabolic imaging have demonstrated characteristic findings in CNS lymphoma, aiding in its differentiation from other CNS lesions. Advanced imaging techniques may, in the future, substantially improve the diagnostic accuracy of imaging, ultimately facilitating a noninvasive method of diagnosis. Furthermore, these imaging techniques may play a pivotal role in planning targeted therapies, prognostication, and monitoring treatment response.


Galaasen E.V.,University of Bergen | Ninnemann U.S.,University of Bergen | Irvali N.,University of Bergen | Kleiven H.F.,University of Bergen | And 3 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Deep ocean circulation has been considered relatively stable during interglacial periods, yet little is known about its behavior on submillennial time scales. Using a subcentennially resolved epibenthic foraminiferal δ13C record, we show that the influence of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) was strong at the onset of the last interglacial period and was then interrupted by several prominent centennial-scale reductions. These NADW transients occurred during periods of increased ice rafting and southward expansions of polar water influence, suggesting that a buoyancy threshold for c