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Latest news of science, reserch and studies

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  • 11/28/12--04:49: Equal before the law
  • University of Helsinki students of law are involved in a project to establish legal aid offices in Central Asia for women, the young, and people with disabilities. Funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Eurasia Foundation, the Equal Before the Law programme seeks to provide vulnerable groups in Central Asia with better access to legal services.

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    Is slim healthier than round? Not necessarily. Physical condition affects our health even more than a few extra kilos, says Professor of Nutrition Mikael Fogelholm.BIGTALK is a video clip series in which Ville Halonen interviews University of Helsinki experts. The third clip deals with food and fitness and features Professor Mikael Fogelholm.

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    Helsinki residents and visitors can now learn about Mayan mythology as well as the everyday life of the Maya, including ancient food recipes. Spoiler alert! The world will not end on 21 December 2012 as predicted by the Mayan calendar, which has inspired not only Mel Gibson, but also a range of occultists and people with a penchant for mystical thinking.

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  • 12/18/12--04:23: Untangling the jungle
  • A new study uses comprehensive sampling and species identification to uncover the full species richness of a rain forest.Most multicellular species on earth are arthropods living in tropical forests. Yet, given the difficulties involved in counting them, we know very little about their exact numbers – even at the scale of a single forest.

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    Helsinki's term as the design capital of the world has been successful for the University of Helsinki in several ways. All through the year, the Think Corner, the new Helsinki University Main Library and other meeting places have offered people new perspectives on the university.

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    Whether decked out with traditional straw goats, bling bling or children’s craft projects, every Christmas tree is decorated differently. However, all natural trees gracing our homes share one thing – their fauna.A spruce in the forest is a safe place to hibernate and live for many a tiny creature.

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    Having graduated in International Politics from the University of Helsinki in 2000, the Northern-Irish Steafán Hanvey enjoys a career as a singer-songwriter today.It was a typical November afternoon in Helsinki: cold, damp and dark. More than one hundred international students and staff had gathered in the University’s Big Hall for the annual International Evening.

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    Social Psychology graduate and HIIT research assistant Iris Summanen examines how Finnish emigrants build Finnishness through blog writing.It was ten years ago that Iris Summanen spent time as an exchange student in Chile.“Back then, my only contact with Finland were a few e-mails and a telephone call with my parents once a month,” she remembers.

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  • 01/08/13--03:47: Disclosing reality
  • The German author Antje Rávic Strubel is currently the writer in residence at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS). The invitation to spend five months at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies came unexpectedly for Antje Rávic Strubel. Although very familiar with Sweden and an established critic of Scandinavian literature, she had not set foot on Finnish soil till now.

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  • 01/09/13--06:21: Space sailing soon
  • Using ultrasonic welding, the Electronics Research Laboratory at the University of Helsinki successfully produced a 1 km long ESAIL tether. Tether from several wires joined at approximately one-centimetre intervals.The electric sail (ESAIL), invented by Dr. Pekka Janhunen at the Finnish Kumpula Space Centre in 2006, produces propulsion power for a spacecraft by utilizing the solar wind.

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    Odour identification is based on the detection of gaseous compounds. BIGTALK is a interview series, where big questions are asked from the scientists of University of Helsinki. On this episode Ville Halonen talks with postdoctoral researcher Markus Metsälä from the Department of Chemistry.

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    Knowledge is not enough – that much is clear. Nothing we know seems to have an effect on the vigour and speed with which we are destroying the environment in the name of growth or national interests.Janne Hukkinen, Professor of Environmental Policy, suggests looking at an advertisement by the investment giant Goldman Sachs.

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    Chinese legislation is becoming more open so that it can meet the needs of economic expansion. Multinationals operating in China are also subjected to increasing pressure to show more social responsibility."International companies can be better or worse employers than local employers," says Ulla Liukkunen, Professor of Private International Law and Comparative Law.

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    Social psychologist Suvi Silfverberg’s PhD thesis discusses the normative circumstances under which social media users construct their online profiles."Most people think if you are not an engineer you have nothing to say about technology", regrets social scientist Suvi Silfverberg, "I think it's quite the opposite: as a technology user you have a lot to contribute.

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  • 01/25/13--05:19: Get your research funded!
  • Advisors of the Research Services guide researchers of the University of Helsinki through complex funding processes. University of Helsinki's Research Sector supports researchers in identifying funding sources, setting up applications, and coping with legal issues related to their research.

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    University research and education laboratory Software Factory has launched a new kind of Open Source collaboration with the software industry and leading universities like Stanford and MIT. How do we keep students engaged until graduation, and how could young people be offered something they cannot already learn at work? These are big enough challenges for more than one university.

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    “Being a teacher is more about enabling students to learn than disseminating information,” says Lotta Aunio, a researcher in Bantu languages and one of the recently selected founding members of the Teachers’ Academy. A lecturer at the Department of World Cultures since 2004, Lotta Aunio is one of the first 30 fellows selected for the Teachers' Academy, a network of university teachers set up by the University of Helsinki aiming to enhance and share teaching competence.

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    There are no longer scientific grounds for doubting the association between elevated risk for narcolepsy and the Pandemrix vaccine used against H1N1 influenza (swine flu). “At first our findings were taken to be flawed, but now they have been replicated in the other Nordic countries, the UK and France,” says Professor Markku Partinen.

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    “The standing of an expert requires visibility on the net,” says Jessica Parland-von Essen.In the past, knowledge was stored away in the databases of libraries, universities and the government. Today, an increasing amount of knowledge and information is freely available on the Internet.

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  • 02/14/13--01:55: Types of love
  • “Love comes in many different forms. I distinguish between at least seven,” says philosopher Pärttyli Rinne.BIGTALK is a interview series, where big questions are asked from the scientists of Helsinki University. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and affection.

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