Science Round-Up: Denmark investing much more into coronavirus research than Sweden

Denmark is investing more in coronavirus research funding than Sweden, News Øresund reports.

According to the Swedish Education Ministry, only 68 million Danish kroner has been allocated to the Swedish Research Council, Sweden’s largest body for state research funding. The Danish government, in contrast, has granted 150 million kroner to research.

Furthermore, research efforts in Denmark have received further support from the country’s three largest private foundations: the Novo Nordisk Foundation (50 million kroner), the Lundbeck Foundation (30) and the Carlsberg Foundation (25).

Obese people six times more likely to develop type two diabetes
According to a new study from the University of Copenhagen, obese people are almost six times more like to develop type two diabetes, regardless of any genetic predisposition. People with the highest genetic risk score have a twice as high risk than people with the lowest score, while those with a lifestyle considered very unhealthy are 18 percent more likely to develop the disease than those who have a lifestyle considered very healthy. The disease costs Danish society about 87 million kroner every single day, according to the study.

Studying Danes’ diet during pandemic
Researchers are investigating how the shutdown has changed Danish people’s lifestyles during the Coronavirus Crisis. A research team at DTU has conducted a survey to ask what Danes have eaten and how much their diets have changed since the coronavirus outbreak. The same survey will be repeated in September to compare what diet changes the coronavirus brought on. Another research team, meanwhile, is testing a hypothesis that the Danes’ increased focus on hand hygiene will lead to a decreased number of food-transmitted disease cases. 

Stress link to acceleration of ageing proven at cellular level
Researchers from the Centre for Healthy Ageing at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have discovered a strong correlation between stress and ageing at a cellular level. The ageing process of cells is an interaction between cellular stress and stress response. A particular sensor detects cell stress and alerts the organism – the research team proved that this process delays aging. The research will continue to demonstrate whether the sensor has the same function and importance in larger organisms.

DTU produced crucial enzymes for coronavirus test kits
In response to the high demand for coronavirus test kits, researchers at DTU have succeeded in producing crucial substances that the manufacturers lacked: enzymes. The research team are confident they can produce enzymes sufficient for 10,000 kits. However the manufacturers have meanwhile discovered an alternative method, so the enzymes produced at DTU are not currently being used in tests but in research.

Sustainable ammonia fertilizer on the way
Some researchers at DTU Physics are interested in finding alternative and sustainable ways to produce fertiliser containing ammonia. Currently, the production of ammonia, of which 90 percent is used for fertilisers, accounts for more than 1 percent of the world’s total energy consumption. The research team have launched a three-year project named ‘E-Ammonia’ with an investment of 19.5 million kroner from the Innovation Fund. The preliminary experiment was conducted by using electricity, which the researchers are optimistic they can scale up to a large production level. A Danish microchip company, Spectro Inlets, is part of the project. Is product are used to measure the fluids included in the electrocatalyst for the production of ammonia.