COVID-19 immunity in young Swedish adults investigated
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have analysed the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and memory cells of the immune system in young adults. The results, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, show that over one in four had antibodies due to the infection. Fewer of these individuals had measurable levels of memory B and T cells compared with other age groups. The researchers will now study long COVID in young adults and the effects of vaccination on immunity.
Tomorrow’s CT scanner soon to be introduced in Swedish healthcare
It’s described as a technological advance in computed tomography and the hope is that this imaging technique will eventually become hospital standard. At the end of October, a new type of CT scanner will be unveiled in MedTechLabs, an interdisciplinary centre set up by Karolinska Institutet, the Royal Institute of Technology and Region Stockholm.
Mitochondria of diabetic patients can’t keep track of time
Muscle cells in patients with type 2 diabetes have a disrupted biological clock discover researchers at the University of Copenhagen and Karolinska Institutet. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that treatments for type 2 diabetes may be more or less effective depending on the time of day they are given.
Major donation provides investment for KI's students
The Medical Association has received a donation of SEK 15 million from The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation to refurbish the old student union building. The project has been ongoing for years with the aim of creating an inspiring environment for KI's students, doctoral students, researchers and alumni.
Corporate influence linked to slow implementation of public health policies globally
Implementation of WHO’s recommended public health policies on alcohol, unhealthy foods and tobacco has been slow globally, according to a study led by researchers at KI and LSHTM. The study found particularly low implementation in poor, less democratic countries and where corporations had more influence for example through corruption and political favoritism.
Breastfeeding linked to lower risk of type 1 diabetes
Research on the role of diet in the development of type 1 diabetes is generally of low evidence, but there are some high-quality studies indicating that longer breastfeeding and later introduction to gluten may reduce the risk of disease. That is according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of available research on foods that may be linked to the risk of developing the type 1 diabetes in childhood. The study by KI researchers is published in EBioMedicine.
Focus on pedagogical initiative for the installation of new professors
The early development of the immune system, antibiotics in dentistry and strengthened medical pedagogy. These are some of the research areas that Karolinska Institutet's new professors are interested in. On 14 October 2021, the annual inauguration ceremony was held in Aula Medica where 18 new professors were installed, and 12 adjunct professors and 2 visiting professors were welcomed to their new positions at the university.
Brain ‘noise’ may hold the keys to psychiatric treatment efficacy
It remains a central challenge in psychiatry to reliably judge whether a patient will respond to treatment. In a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from Karolinska Institutet and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development show that moment-to-moment fluctuations in brain activity can reliably predict whether patients with social anxiety disorder will be receptive to cognitive behavioural therapy.
Sense of smell is our most rapid warning system
The ability to detect and react to the smell of a potential threat is a precondition of our and other mammals’ survival. Using a novel technique, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have been able to study what happens in the brain when the central nervous system judges a smell to represent danger. The study, which is published in PNAS, indicates that negative smells associated with unpleasantness or unease are processed earlier than positive smells and trigger a physical avoidance response.
Gel fights drug-resistant bacteria and induces body’s natural immune defense
Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital and KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a new kind of antibiotic-free protection for wounds that kills drug-resistant bacteria and induces the body’s own immune responses to fight infections. The technology is described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and could be an important tool in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria.
A limited selection of recent publications in high impact journals to which researchers at KI have contributed.
Tumour DNA in blood accumulates in exosomes
Extracellular vesicles are the primary source of blood-borne tumour-derived mutant KRAS DNA early in pancreatic cancer, Daniel W. Hagey et al, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, October 2021
Defective gene on the X chromosome behind severe COVID-19 in men
X-linked recessive TLR7 deficiency in ~1% of men under 60 years old with life-threatening COVID-19, Asano T et al, Science Immunology, August 2021
Autoantibodies against type I interferons may explain 20% of COVID-19 related deaths
Autoantibodies neutralizing type I IFNs are present in ~4% of uninfected individuals over 70 years old and account for ~20% of COVID-19 deaths, Bastard P et al, Science Immunology, August 2021
Lectins may reduce SARS-CoV-2 variants infectivity
Identification of lectin receptors for conserved SARS-CoV-2 glycosylation sites, Mirazimi A et al, EMBO Journal, augusti 2021
More high impact publications
KI in the media
The Macchiarini case: timeline
Creating a better future for all children
Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson isn’t interested in getting more papers published. No, he wants to spend the last ten years of his career helping to create a better future for all children. And time’s running out.
The Conversation: More accurate way to predict who will develop Alzheimer’s disease
Study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows that an early accumulation of tau in the brain is a better predictor of Alzheimer’s related memory decline than an accumulation of amyloid plaque. Unlike the presence of beta-amyloid in the brain, the presence of tau measured by PET turned out to be linked to a rapid decline of episodic memory. Read more in The Conversation.
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.