Richelle Duque Björvang, Karolinska Institutet

Fewer Kids: Not Always By Choice

In the 1950s, women had 4-5 children. Today, women have 2-3 children. The decline is partly by choice. People choose to have fewer kids or none at all. But there are likely other reasons behind this that is not necessarily by choice. Infertility affects 10-15% of couples worldwide. And recently, there are more and more evidence showing that man-made chemicals around us may play a role in the capability of people having children. The chemicals are in Teflon in nonstick pans, make-up, pesticides, electronic gadgets, toys, furniture and so much more.

We wanted to study the link between chemicals and fertility in women. By studying this, we are one step closer to better regulations so that we will all live in a safe environment where chemicals will not decide how many kids you have. That decision should only be up to you.

Contact:

Richelle Björvang  – PhD Student, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology

[email protected]

My research

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Louise Karlsson, Högskolan i Halmstad

Varför ökar de stressrelaterade sjukdomarna?

Stress, du kanske har hört det förut? Du kanske hör om det dagligen? Du kanske till och med upplevt det idag? Allt fler människor har svårt att få ihop sitt vardagspussel och blir sjuka pga stress. Stressrelaterade sjukskrivningarna ökar varje år och under 2020 var cirka 41 procent av alla pågående sjukfall kopplat till stress. Statistik visar att det inte bara är antalet sjukskrivna som ökar, utan även längden på dessa sjukskrivningar. Detta kostar både samhället och individen stora summor och enormt lidande. Men varför? Och vad är egentligen de främsta riskfaktorerna för att drabbas?

Till vardags arbetar jag halvtid som arbetsterapeut i primärvården där jag ofta hjälper individer att återfå kontrollen över sin vardag, medan jag med min forskning även hoppas kunna lyfta blicken för att se hur vi på grupp och samhällsnivå ska kunna främja hälsa så att fler kan mår bra, och därmed också kunna förebygga stressrelaterad ohälsa.

Kontakt:

Louise Karlsson, Leg Arbetsterapeut & Doktorand, Högskolan i Halmstad

[email protected]

Mer om min forskning

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Louise Karlsson


Michael Bossetta, Lunds universitet

Social Media and Politics

Social media are exciting new platforms for politics. Politicians use social media to win elections, citizens use them to discuss politics, and ‘bad actors’ use them to spread fake news and disinformation. But how do we actually study politics on social media?

I’ll share my research using experiments and digital methods. The presentation shows a study of fake news on Twitter, and how I use computer vision to study emotions in Facebook political ads.

Contact:

Michael Bossetta, Researcher at Media and Communication Studies, Lund University.

[email protected]

My research 

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Michael Bossetta


Alexander Flaig, Linköpings universitet

Shaping sustainable markets

With our race to stop climate change, environmental pollution and resource depletion, many countries and much of research is focusing on developing and providing sustainable solutions.

However, despite promising and proven solutions, many solutions remain unused. And often you might hear or read that the problem is the market. More specifically, the lack or unattractiveness of a market.

But what is actually a market? If we look at research, we get some clues that help us describe a market. It is you, it is me, it is everyone that in some form is involved in selling, buying, using, producing, etc. a specific product or service.

But how do we get us all to actually start to buy, sell, produce, etc. a specific product/service? For this we need to understand how a market develops and how it can be shaped. Because once we know how to shape a market, we can ensure that sustainable solutions receive their sustainable market.

And this is what my research project focuses on. Understanding and providing actionable strategies on how to shape markets for sustainable solutions.

Contact

Alexander Flaig, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling (IEI), Linköping University

[email protected]

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Alexander Flaig


Yingwei Ouyang, Chalmers tekniska högskola

Couples therapy for plastics (for the sake of our planet!)

With the climate crisis, we need more sustainable ways of meeting our energy demands. We hear a lot about solar cells and wind turbines… but these are not of much use if the energy they harness is lost before even reaching us! We need power cables that efficiently transport electricity, enabled by the insulating layer surrounding the cable wire. The insulation material should not only minimise the loss of electricity during transportation, but must also withstand the high temperatures in the cable!

Polyethylene (the plastic in plastic bags) is an almost perfect material, except it is too weak at the high cable temperatures. The material can be strengthened by adding another plastic that is harder to melt, like polypropylene (eg. in takeaway boxes). However, this only works if the two plastics mix well, which they don’t because they dislike each other. My research focuses on understanding and developing different ways of improving the relationship between the two plastics – with the goal of achieving the ideal insulation material for cables that transport electricity (to us) efficiently!

Contact

Yingwei Ouyang, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers

[email protected]

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Robert Lagerström, KTH

Foto: Erik Thor.

Stoppar cyberskurkar

I media hör vi om hackare som lyckas stjäla miljontalskronor från banker, släcka elnät för hela städer, låsa datorer på sjukhus mitt under pågående pandemi eller påverka resultatet i presidentval. Jag arbetar i en forskargrupp som kartlägger hur cyberattacker går till genom att bland annat själv hacka olika system.

Baserat på detta arbete har min grupp utvecklat en app som kan bygga stora kartor över IT-system och sedan visa var en attackerare kan ta sig in, röra sig i systemet och nå viktiga funktioner. Företag som använder appen kan alltså bättre förstå den IT de har och hur sårbara de är mot cyberattacker och fatta de beslut som ger bäst säkerhet. Målet är att IT-system ska bli så säkra det bara går.

Kontakt

Robert Lagerström, Docent och lektor i industriell informationssystemarkitektur vid KTH

[email protected]

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Robert Lagerstrom


Sophia Hernandez, Umeå universitet

Tackling Malaria by looking at the biology of parasites

Malaria is a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite that disproportionately affects developing regions of the world. It is the biggest killer among all parasites, killing thousands of people per year. There is still a lot we don’t know about the parasite’s biology, and this is one of the reasons why it has been difficult to eradicate the disease. Conventional methods to study the function of genes involves removing the gene and looking at the effect on the parasite. However, it has been difficult to uncover and study essential genes with this approach as upon removal of an essential gene the parasite dies.

I am trying to address this problem by developing tools to study these essential genes, to try to get a better understanding of the parasite’s biology and provide information useful to the development of ways to target the parasite such as therapeutics and vaccine design.

Contact:

Sophia Hernandez, Bushell Lab, MIMS/Umeå University

[email protected]

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Sophia Hernandez