Swedish researchers snubbed. Silvia’s advice to Victoria. Journalist stole Tranströmer’s Facebook profile.
Swedish researchers snubbed
Daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet reports that researchers at Lund University have run into trouble with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding a Swedish discovery. The researchers are now asking the Swedish government for help. “It looks like we’ve been fooled,” says Tobias Olofsson, one of the two researchers. “We had no cause to be suspicious at first, as they told us they had no commercial interests in our discovery. But now they’ve sent us a contract, asking for the commercial rights.” Researchers Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez say they were first in revealing the secret behind honey as a folk medicine some years ago. That’s when they found the world’s greatest collection of 13 different lactic acid bacteria, all of which work together with the bee. These bacteria are added to the honey by the bees and also work as the bee’s immunity against illness. Lund University helped the two researchers get a patent for their discovery in 2006. “It’s a discovery that may become very important since these bacteria can kill certain illnesses that are resistant to antibiotics. Our discovery may be the key to the health of bees and pollination all across the world. It may also be the most important alternative to antibiotics in the future.” After the discovery, the researchers commenced several collaborations, among them with the USDA. The USDA never signed the contract that the researchers in Lund gave them, a contract which would’ve protected their rights. Instead the USDA went ahead with the work, mapping out the DNA of the lactic acid bacteria. According to Olofsson, when the USDA realized the bacteria’s potential, they spent lots of money on the DNA and when they were done, they broke off all collaboration with Olofsson and his colleague. “They’ve excluded us from all publications and haven’t returned the bacteria to us,” Olofsson says. He and Vasquez are supported by the director of Lund University, Per Eriksson, and the three of them are now asking the Swedish government for help in dealing with the USDA.
Silvia’s advice to Victoria
“I’m so happy!” Queen Silvia discloses that she’s longed for a grandchild for quite some time, and that when she found out Victoria was pregnant she was thrilled. The queen also has some serious advice for the mother-to-be: “To take time to be with the child, that’s the most important. Because it’s not like you will just have that time. It’s a confidentiality that must be built during a long time. You can’t just give children ‘quality time,’ that’s not enough. That’s always irritated me. That’s what they all told me—that I have ‘quality time.’ But you have to have quantity time, too,” the queen told Svenska Dagbladet. Statistics show that every fifth child today feels their parents don’t have enough time for them. “I think that’s sad,” says the queen. She also reveals what it was like when she and her husband, the Swedish king, talked to their children about alcohol and drugs. “Just like other families, we talked about it, and I felt it was important that we knew each other, knew the parents of our children’s friends. Otherwise it’s easy for children to say ‘Sure, but he gets to do it, and she does.…’” When there was a party for the younger generation at Drottningholm there was a question about wine, and the queen then called other parents to ask their advice. “We decided that they could have one glass of wine, then Coca Cola,” she says.
Journalist stole Tranströmer’s Facebook profile
Hundreds of people befriended poet Tomas Tranströmer after it became known he is the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literautre. But unfortunately his Facebook profile was a fake created by an Italian journalist, who says he did so to show the shortcomings of Facebook. “The same day news broke that Tranströmer won the Nobel Prize, I created a Facebook page in his name,” says Tommaso Debenedetti. “Soon thereafter congratulatory greetings began to flow in. I received 240 friend requests from other journalists and writers all over the world.” Debenedetti says it’s not the first time he faked another person’s Facebook profile. “I did the same thing with Mario Vargas Llosa and Abraham Yehoshua. I also pretended to be Swedish author Henning Mankell. It’s my way of showing how easy it is to steal other people’s identity on Facebook. You can become anyone you want to behind the computer screen. It wasn’t until I wrote on the page that it was fake that it was taken down. Before that nobody even reacted. It’s a serious problem with Internet. That there’s no control.”
Researchers Tobias Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez are in conflict with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photo: Jenny Leyman for Sydsvenska Dagbladet.