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Novel hypothesis on why animals diversified on Earth

Photo:Emma Hammarlund and Sofie Mohlin Can tumors teach us about animal evolution on Earth? Researchers believe so and now present a novel hypothesis of why animal diversity increased dramatically on Earth about half a billion years ago. A biological innovation may have been key. A transdisciplinary and international team, from Lund University in Sweden and University of Southern Denmark presents their findings in Nature and Ecology.

Hybridization can give rise to different genome combinations

Photo: Julia M I Barth Researchers have for the first time determined that hybridization between two bird species can give rise to several novel and fully functional hybrid genomic combinations. This could potentially be because hybrid species emerged through independent hybridisation events between the same parent species on different islands.

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

Image: Talía Velasco-Hernández; graphical editing: Marco La Rosa, Daniel Tornero and Karolina Komorowska. The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining our blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in Cell Reports.

Should GM crops be grown in the EU? Let the countries decide for themselves, propose a group of experts

Among the gene-modified plant types approved in the EU’s risk assessment, but nonetheless not allowed to be cultivated, are several types of maize (the maize in the photo is not a GM crop). Photo: David Stephansson. Even though the EU’s food safety authority, EFSA, has classified genetically modified (GM) crops as safe, several member states always vote against authorisation, which poses an obstacle for countries thinking of growing these crops. A group of researchers and experts want to resolve this impasse. Each country should be allowed to individually decide on cultivation of GM crops within their borders if the crops have passed the EU’s risk assessment – this is the message of an opinion piece published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Leif C Groop award for outstanding diabetes research to Jorge Ruas at Karolinska Institutet

Jorge Ruas (Photo: Ulf Sirborn, KI) Our muscles enable us to breathe, move and run. Exercise improves our health and can even prevent many diseases. “I think that the importance of muscle in our overall physiology has been underestimated”, says Jorge Ruas, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and recipient of the Leif C Groop award for outstanding diabetes research.

Oxygen in the World’s Oceans is Declining, Scientists Reveal Dangers and Solutions

When the oxygen content of bottom water gets low, eventually only bacteria are able to survive on the seabed. Here is the so-called dead layer, which consists of white sulfur bacteria (Peter Bondo Christensen). In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean without oxygen has gone up more than four-fold. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than 10-fold since 1950.

New honorary doctors at the Faculty of Medicine in 2018

Photo: Kennet Ruona An astrophysicist who has developed new knowledge about cardiac function, a cardiovascular expert who stimulated research in general medicine, an internationally leading researcher in autoimmune diseases, and a neuroscientist who is deeply engaged in society: these are the new honorary doctors at the Faculty of Medicine, who will be formally recognised in Lund Cathedral on 25 may 2018.

Four intact child burials found in Gebel el Silsila, Egypt

Gebel el Silsila The Swedish-Egyptian archaeological mission at Gebel el Silsila, Egypt, led by Dr. Maria Nilsson from Lund University and John Ward, has discovered four intact child burials at the site. The findings could provide important clues into family life at the ancient quarry.

Three new Wallenberg Academy Fellows at Lund University

Johannes Rousk, Johan Östling and Hanna Isaksson Photo: Markus Marcetic © The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The impact of soil microbes on carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere; the transformation of knowledge as it moves between different contexts; zooming in on the Achilles’ tendon to a cellular and molecular level to discover how weight should be placed on a torn tendon in order for it to heal. These are the research projects that Lund University’s three new Wallenberg Academy Fellows will dig deep into over the next few years.

The flight speed of birds is more complex than previously thought

Photo: Magnus Hellström The flight speed of birds is more complex than research has previously managed to show. In a new study from Lund University in Sweden, researchers have found that birds use multiple – each one simple yet effective - methods to control their speed in the air and compensate for tailwind, headwind and sidewind.

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