Bergen, Norway

University of Bergen
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 recently published study disproving the generally accepted notion that high-fat dairy products — such as cheese, butter and milk — are harmful to the heart has sparked a heated debate over the health benefits and disadvantages of saturated fat. The research, conducted by the Reading University in Great Britain in collaboration with Copenhagen University in Denmark and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, documents that full-fat dairy doesn't increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite the new evidence, some health experts remain unconvinced and caution people to continue avoiding saturated fats as much as possible. After examining data from 29 previous studies, involving a total of more than 900,000 participants and carried out in the span of 35 years, the British researchers couldn't find any link between high-fat dairy consumption and heart disease. In fact, the team discovered that a high-fat diet can be beneficial to health. According to their study, fermented dairy products can actually curb the risk of cardiovascular disease, albeit to a modest extent. The scientists argued that avoiding dairy altogether can have a negative impact on health. They showed that the misconception about saturated fat has led parents to restrict their children's consumption of full-fat milk, depriving them of the highly necessary calcium it contains. Moreover, they explain the same reason has persuaded pregnant women to give up milk, cheese, and yogurt, exposing their unborn babies to the risk of developing neurological disorders in the womb. This isn't the only study to attest the health benefits of saturated fat. A paper published last year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offered proof that eating more naturally high-fat food, including dairy, doesn't up "bad" cholesterol levels — or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — as long as the carbohydrates intake is restricted. "It's not the fat per se, or on its own, that's driving a negative health response. You can have just as good a health benefit on this high-fat diet as a low-fat diet in this context," explained lead author Simon Dankel, from the University of Bergen in Norway. Until the study's publication it was widely believed that saturated fat boosts LDL cholesterol levels, thereby increasing cardiovascular risk. However, the 2016 research rebutted this theory and revealed that a saturated fat diet actually raises "good" cholesterol levels — or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) — provided the calorie intake is kept in check. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines released at the beginning of 2016 recommends that saturated fats should account for less than 10 percent of the daily calorie intake. Soon after the Reading University study was published, British government health advisers asserted the results were not to be trusted and stated that saturated fat should be avoided. To support their claim against full-fat dairy products, they argued these foods contain high amounts of not only saturated fat, but also sodium, both of which are harmful to overall health and the heart in particular. The British Heart Foundation backed these allegations, pointing to the numerous studies that link a diet rich in saturated fat with elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and, subsequently, a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, saturated fat has a negative impact on metabolism, as shown in a study from the German Diabetes Center and the Helmholtz Center published this February. The research uncovered a high-fat diet leads to more cases of type 2 diabetes and obesity, while also contributing to fatty liver disease among overweight people. Keep in mind that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines' key recommendations emphasize a healthy eating pattern includes fat-free or low-fat dairy. This suggestion applies to milk, yogurt, cheese, as well as fortified soy beverages. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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.

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.

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.

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 ( 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.

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.

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.

Olweus D.,University of Bergen
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology | Year: 2013

After sketching how my own interest and research into bullying problems began, I address a number of potentially controversial issues related to the definition and measurement of such problems. The importance of maintaining the distinctions between bullying victimization and general victimization and between bullying perpetration and general aggression is strongly emphasized. There are particular problems with the common method of peer nominations for purposes of prevalence estimation, comparisons of such estimates and mean levels across groups and time, and measurement of change. Two large-scale projects with time series data show that several recent claims about cyber bullying made in the media and by some researchers are greatly exaggerated and lack scientific support. Recent meta-analyses of the long-term outcomes for former bullies and victims provide convincing evidence that being involved in such problems is not just a harmless and passing school problem but something that has serious adjustment and public health consequences that also entail great costs to society. Another section presents my view of why the theme of bullying took quite some time to reach the peer relations research community in the United States and the role of a dominant research tradition focusing on "likeability" in this account. In a final section, I summarize some reasons why it may be considered important and interesting to focus both research and intervention on bully/victim problems. Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews.

Arnesen T.,University of Bergen
PLoS Biology | Year: 2011

Protein N-terminal acetylation is a major modification of eukaryotic proteins. Its functional implications include regulation of protein-protein interactions and targeting to membranes, as demonstrated by studies of a handful of proteins. Fifty years after its discovery, a potential general function of the N-terminal acetyl group carried by thousands of unique proteins remains enigmatic. However, recent functional data suggest roles for N-terminal acetylation as a degradation signal and as a determining factor for preventing protein targeting to the secretory pathway, thus highlighting N-terminal acetylation as a major determinant for the life and death of proteins. These contributions represent new and intriguing hypotheses that will guide the research in the years to come. © 2011 Thomas Arnesen.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-2016-STG | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2017

In this project we revise the foundations of parameterized complexity, a modern multi-variate approach to algorithm design. The underlying question of every algorithmic paradigm is ``what is the best algorithm? When the running time of algorithms is measured in terms of only one variable, it is easy to compare which one is the fastest. However, when the running time depends on more than one variable, as is the case for parameterized complexity: **It is not clear what a fastest possible algorithm really means.** The previous formalizations of what a fastest possible parameterized algorithm means are one-dimensional, contrary to the core philosophy of parameterized complexity. These one-dimensional approaches to a multi-dimensional algorithmic paradigm unavoidably miss the most efficient algorithms, and ultimately fail to solve instances that we could have solved. We propose the first truly multi-dimensional framework for comparing the running times of parameterized algorithms. Our new definitions are based on the notion of Pareto-optimality from economics. The new approach encompasses all existing paradigms for comparing parameterized algorithms, opens up a whole new world of research directions in parameterized complexity, and reveals new fundamental questions about parameterized problems that were considered well-understood. In this project we will develop powerful algorithmic and complexity theoretic tools to answer these research questions. The successful completion of this project will take parameterized complexity far beyond the state of the art, make parameterized algorithms more relevant for practical applications, and significantly advance adjacent subfields of theoretical computer science and mathematics.

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