Category Archives: K2Nytt Uke 42

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to cancer researcher William G. Kaelin Jr, physician-scientist Sir Peter Ratcliffe and geneticist Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”. The ability of organisms to respond to changes in oxygen availability is of fundamental importance to life on earth. The prize-winning scientists have revealed how cells sense and respond to oxygen by switching genes on and off by oxygen-sensitive post-translational modification and the subsequent proteasomal degradation of hypoxia inducible factors. Among the applications of their discovery is a better understanding of how the body reacts when oxygen levels drop owing to exercise or stroke, and efforts to manipulate the response to slow the growth of oxygen-hungry cancer tumors.

Interestingly, in 2017 William G. Kaelin wrote in a commentary in Nature that many of the papers that he, Semenza and Ratcliffe wrote leading up to their discoveries “would be considered quaint, preliminary and barely publishable today”. “The goal of a paper seems to have shifted from validating specific conclusions to making the broadest possible assertions,” he argued, calling for a return to a focus on quality over impact.

What can be the causes for today’s inflation of impact and claims? One might be the emphasis funding agencies have on impact and translation of the results. Another can be that technological advances have made it easier to generate large amounts of research data, which can be published as online only supplements. Both these factors can encourage editors and reviewers to ask for extra experiments that can be byproducts, peripheral to the main conclusion or targeted to increase the impact.

In his comment in Nature in 2017, Kaelin concludes that he main question when reviewing a paper should be whether its conclusions are likely to be correct, not whether it would be important if it were true. Food for thought!

Have a nice week end!


Legatet tildeler midler til hjerneforskning med fokus på uutforskede medfødte og ervervede sykdommer i nervesystemet, innen fagfeltene nevrologi, psykiatri og psykologi og humanitære formål rettet mot stiftelsen formål. Årlig utdelingsbeløp vil være opp mot en million kroner, og utdelingen vil begrenses til 2-3 prosjekter. For humanitære formål vil utdelingen årlig være i størrelsesorden totalt kr 60.000. Frist 1.12.19.

Mer informasjon her.

Reminder: Research data breakfast meeting

The University Library invites researchers and other employees to a research data breakfast Tuesday 22nd of October at the Medical Library!

Get breakfast and an introduction to open research data and how to prepare your data for storage and sharing. Sign up today!

08:30-08:40 Breakfast time!
08:40-09:00 Introduction to open research data
09:00-09:00 Break
09:10-09:30 How to prepare your data for sharing


New publications

Here are recent publications with contributions from K2 based on last week’s search on PubMed (and optionally articles that have not been included in previous lists). This time the list includes in total 5 recent publications. The entries appear in the order they were received from NCBI. If you have publications that are not included in this or previous lists, please send the references to Hege F. Berg.

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Dear all,

Please see below the updated links for external funding:

External funding opportunities:

Funding opportunities for education:

The webpages are updated every second week. New calls are marked as NEW.

Kind regards,

Amra, Ramune and Kaia