Climate-smart school lunches accepted by students
Many researchers agree that shifting to a more plant-based diet is an important step towards reducing our impact on the climate. A new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet describes the development and test of a new method of providing sustainable school lunches. The new lunch resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in climate impact with no increase in cost or decrease in consumption.
The new coronavirus
Neandertal gene variants both increase and decrease the risk for severe COVID-19
Last year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany showed that a major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals. Now the same researchers report in PNAS that Neandertals also contributed a protective variant. Half of all people outside Africa carry a Neandertal gene variant that reduces the risk of needing intensive care by 20 percent.
Genetic cause of severe liver disease discovered
Liver transplantation is currently the only treatment available for the severe liver disease PSC. Now, however, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Oslo University have discovered the first reported genetic mutation that causes PSC. The study, which is published in Science Translational Medicine, opens new paths to future treatments.
New research on mitochondrial function can play significant part in serious disease
Disorders of the cells’ energy supply can cause a number of serious diseases, but also seem to be connected to ageing. More research is needed on mitochondrial function to find future treatments. A new study involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows how an important molecule inside the mitochondria affects their function in mice and fruit flies. The study, which is published in Science Advances, adds valuable knowledge on formerly relatively unexplored protein modifications.
One in five has a mutation that provides superior resilience to cold
Almost one in five people lacks the protein α-actinin-3 in their muscle fibre. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that more of the skeletal muscle of these individuals comprises slow-twitch muscle fibres, which are more durable and energy-efficient and provide better tolerance to low temperatures than fast-twitch muscle fibres. The results are published in The American Journal of Human Genetics.
An inner sensor of body movement revealed in zebrafish
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have in zebrafish discovered a central proprioceptive organ that acts as an inner movement sensor and is built directly into the central nervous system. The research has been published in the scientific journal Neuron.
A new look at our “sixth sense”, the sensory link between our movement and motor control
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have revealed a large diversity of proprioceptive neurons and unveiled a new type of plasticity suggesting neuronal individuality in the nervous system to adapt its performance to changing environment. The article was recently published in Nature Communications.
New study gives hope of eliminating mother-to-baby transmission of HIV
Anti-retroviral drugs are a vital tool in the prevention and treatment of HIV. A new study of pregnant women in Tanzania shows that life-long antiviral treatment also seems to prevent viral transmission from mother to baby. The results of the study, which was conducted in part by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and published in Lancet HIV, make a promising contribution to the WHO’s work with HIV prevention in low and middle-income countries.
Gene variants increase risk of Addison’s disease
Variants of nine genes increase the risk of developing Addison’s disease, a rare disease in which the immune system attacks the adrenal glands. That is according to the largest genetic study to date on patients with Addison’s disease. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Opioid prescriptions remained elevated two years after critical care
Nearly 11 percent of people admitted to an intensive care unit in Sweden between 2010 and 2018 received opioid prescriptions on a regular basis for at least six months and up to two years after discharge. That is according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet published in Critical Care Medicine.
Study offers hope of new treatment for accelerated aging in children
Researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Gothenburg University have investigated a potential new drug target for the rare genetic disorder Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome that causes accelerated aging in children. The findings in mice are published in the scientific journal eLife and may aid in the development of more effective treatments for this fatal condition.
A limited selection of recent publications in high impact journals to which researchers at KI have contributed.
Neandertal protein variant may protect Europeans against COVID-19
A Neanderthal OAS1 isoform protects individuals of European ancestry against COVID-19 susceptibility and severity, Hugo Zeberg et al, Nature Medicine, February 2021.
Severe COVID-19 more common in patients with collagenous colitis
Association Between Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis and Risk of Severe COVID-19, Hamed Khalili et al, Gastroenterology, February 2021.
The anticoagulant heparin also has an anti-inflammatory effect
Heparin prevents caspase-11-dependent septic lethality independent of anticoagulant properties, Ulf Andersson et al, Immunity, February 2021.
Study uncovers novel features controlling gene expression in inflammatory macrophages
The corepressors GPS2 and SMRT control enhancer and silencer remodeling via eRNA transcription during inflammatory activation of macrophages, Zhiqiang Huang et al, Molecular Cell, January 2021.
No reduced risk of extremely preterm birth during the pandemic
Preterm Birth and Stillbirth During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Sweden: A Nationwide Cohort Study, Björn Pasternak et al, Annals of Internal Medicine, January 2021.
More high impact publications
KI in the media
The Macchiarini case: timeline
She wants to understand long-term COVID
As a tuberculosis researcher, she is accustomed to studying airborne pandemic contagion. Early in the current pandemic, Judith Bruchfeld saw the need to assemble various experts to investigate long-term illness after COVID-19. “There’s a lot we don’t understand yet.”
Spotlight on Vaccine Research
Vaccines have saved lives for more than 200 years, but the research area continues to evolve with new discoveries that provide more effective and safer vaccines. Doors are now opening to develop vaccines against, for example, cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has given vaccine research a real boost.
Spotlight on COVID-19
In early 2020, a new coronavirus was identified in China, and it has now caused a worldwide pandemic. The official name for this virus is SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that is caused by the virus is called COVID-19. Here we present news and features about KI's efforts to stop the new coronavirus.