In our everyday lives, we surround ourselves with electronics without really thinking about it. We go to work by car or train, travel by air when we go on holiday, and are reliant on our mobile phones, iPads and laptops. We take the products’ functions for granted, until they suddenly stop working. The fact is that this happens fairly often – every year in Sweden, we pay roughly SEK 2 billion to return products.
What if you could take a substance that allows a nasty bacterium to resist the human immune system and develop it into a drug to help people with completely different diseases? It sounds like a fairy tale for medical researchers. Yet this is precisely what is about to happen in Lund.
This autumn she was awarded SEK 22 million in ERC grants for her Alzheimer’s research. In addition, she is a member of the Nobel Prize committee for chemistry, she has written children’s books, won the veterans’ European Championship in orienteering and is director of Humlegården, a day centre for people with autism. Meet Professor of Chemistry Sara Snogerup Linse.
Petra Östergren is a social anthropologist who has received SEK 3 million to participate in a major new EU project about how to tackle human trafficking by studying demand. Around 15 researchers from eight countries are taking part in the project, the goal of which is to reduce the suffering that results from the worst forms of exploitation.
Patients with diabetes or Parkinson’s disease can be cured with stem cells at a clinic in China. Multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy are treated at a stem cell clinic in Mexico, and in Thailand, the deadly disease ALS can be cured with stem cells… at least according to advertising from these and other clinics around the world. Desperate individuals travel there in what has been called ‘stem cell tourism’ or ‘stem cell pilgrimages’.
The situation of patients with Huntington’s disease is in many respects different from patients with other serious conditions.
“The condition affects the brain, the very foundation of who we are, and is caused by a diseased gene. If you have the gene, you will develop the disease sooner or later, regardless of how healthy a lifestyle you have”, says ethnologist Niclas Hagen
Enzymes developed in Lund could be used in university and industry labs worldwide in the future. This is what Professor Eva Nordberg Karlsson hopes; her research group has signed a contract with an Icelandic biotech company that is going to sell their products.
Meet Ingvar Wirfelt – the new managing director of Gerdahallen, the university sports centre, from 1 March.
Geologist Charlotte Sparrenbom could be called a water detective. In her research, she searches for facts about underground water and its age in order to investigate and minimise the risk of pollution in groundwater. She is very concerned about insufficient monitoring of water quality by Swedish authorities.
Royal climate change researcher Harriet Bulkeley doesn’t believe that directives from above cause us to change our behaviour. On the other hand, she believes in the creative and fumbling environmental experiments that she has seen popping up in cities around the world. Now she is going to study climate-friendly initiatives in Sweden.