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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.

Salvanes A.G.,University of Bergen
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society

Different kinds of experience during early life can play a significant role in the development of an animal's behavioural phenotype. In natural contexts, this influences behaviours from anti-predator responses to navigation abilities. By contrast, for animals reared in captive environments, the homogeneous nature of their experience tends to reduce behavioural flexibility. Studies with cage-reared rodents indicate that captivity often compromises neural development and neural plasticity. Such neural and behavioural deficits can be problematic if captive-bred animals are being reared with the intention of releasing them as part of a conservation strategy. Over the last decade, there has been growing interest in the use of environmental enrichment to promote behavioural flexibility in animals that are bred for release. Here, we describe the positive effects of environmental enrichment on neural plasticity and cognition in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Exposing fish to enriched conditions upregulated the forebrain expression of NeuroD1 mRNA and improved learning ability assessed in a spatial task. The addition of enrichment to the captive environment thus promotes neural and behavioural changes that are likely to promote behavioural flexibility and improve post-release survival. Source

Identification of the cell types capable of initiating and sustaining growth of the neoplastic clone in vivo is a fundamental problem in cancer research. It is likely that tumor growth can be sustained both by rare cancer stem-like cells and selected aggressive clones and that the nature of the mutations, the cell of origin, and its environment will contribute to tumor propagation. Genomic instability, suggested as a driving force in tumorigenesis, may be induced by genetic and epigenetic changes. The feature of self-renewal in stem cells is shared with tumor cells, and deviant function of the stem cell regulatory networks may, in complex ways, contribute to malignant transformation and the establishment of a cancer stem cell-like phenotype. Understanding the nature of the more quiescent cancer stem-like cells and their niches has the potential to develop novel cancer therapeutic protocols including pharmacological targeting of self-renewal pathways. Drugs that target cancer-related inflammation may have the potential to reeducate a tumor-promoting microenvironment. Because most epigenetic modifications may be reversible, DNA methylation and histone deacetylase inhibitors can be used to induce reexpression of genes that have been silenced epigenetically. Design of therapies that eliminate cancer stem-like cells without eliminating normal stem cells will be important. Further insight into the mechanisms by which pluripotency transcription factors (e.g., OCT4, SOX2, and Nanog), polycomb repressive complexes and microRNAs balance self-renewal and differentiation will be essential for our understanding of both embryonic differentiation and human carcinogenesis and for the development of new treatment strategies. © 2010 Neoplasia Press, Inc. Source

In Ghana, the contested concepts of "land grabbing" and "land transaction" are strategically applied by proponents of critical and win-win discourses respectively to describe outcomes of land deals. Using case study methods and discourse analysis, this paper explores four cases of biofuels investments in Ghana and the implications of the choice of concepts used to represent them. Proponents of the critical discourse use the "land grabbing" concept to invoke imageries of "illegality", "theft" and "food insecurity" when describing land deals. Consequently, some biofuels investments have been hampered in their potential to generate profit and local employment. The biofuel investors in this study, whose projects have been labeled "land grabbing", therefore switched to food production to downplay public scepticism. Proponents of the win-win discourse portray biofuels investments as "pro-poor" projects and use the "land transaction" concept to pre-empt possible public criticisms in the media and elsewhere. Such representations of these biofuels investments are therefore mainly intended to pre-empt criticisms or attract public praise. Some projects with potentially promising outcomes have thus been terminated, while others with problematic outcomes have continued to be promoted. In contexts characterized by weak land regulations and ambivalence towards large-scale agriculture, the trajectory and outcomes of biofuels investments are often influenced by land deal representations drawn from global discourses and how they interact with pre-existing local discourses. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Goncearenco A.,University of Bergen
Nucleic acids research

The SPACER server provides an interactive framework for exploring allosteric communication in proteins with different sizes, degrees of oligomerization and function. SPACER uses recently developed theoretical concepts based on the thermodynamic view of allostery. It proposes easily tractable and meaningful measures that allow users to analyze the effect of ligand binding on the intrinsic protein dynamics. The server shows potential allosteric sites and allows users to explore communication between the regulatory and functional sites. It is possible to explore, for instance, potential effector binding sites in a given structure as targets for allosteric drugs. As input, the server only requires a single structure. The server is freely available at http://allostery.bii.a-star.edu.sg/. Source

Predictions of climate change and its impacts are highly uncertain at regional and local levels. Downscaled models often operate with a too coarse scale and look at standard parameters that may be irrelevant to resource-dependent people. This article argues that a more robust analysis and prediction of climate change at local levels can be inferred from the integration of local people's observation of change with meteorological records and models. The example proposed here is the analysis of climate change in the desert-steppe region of Mongolia. While regional models and local analyses agree that Mongolia has become warmer, predictions either ignore or are contradictory about the changes in precipitations and sand storms. The Mongolian pastoral nomads on the other hand identify longer and more intense droughts and sand storms as the most important recent climatic changes, relevant to their livelihoods. In addition, they record detailed changes in the precipitations regime. Thus, they are unequivocal that rains have become patchy - 'silk embroidery rains' - (forcing pastoralists to move farther and more frequently), more intense (thus less effective due to runoff) and that summer rains are delayed (reducing the growing season). The observations of the pastoralists can only partly be investigated in light of meteorological records due to different parameters observed by the two systems. Nevertheless, additional evidence derived from the analysis of meteorological records resonates with the perceptions of the herders and adds elements for further investigation. This combined evidence suggests that due to a southern shift of the East Asian Monsoon, rains in southern Mongolia rely on re-circulated local moisture, leading to large-scale droughts and in turn more frequent sand storms. The analysis provided herein shows that combining the two knowledge systems (local people's observations and climatology) holds the potential to provide more reliant and relevant investigations of climate change and allow for better planned adaptations. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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