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Researcher finds help in metabolomics – new animation sheds light on diverse method

Expertise in research can be showcased in ways that are simple and even funny, as has been done in a new animated video about a researcher who falls into despair after traditional analysis methods fail to explain what is killing his trees. Eventually, metabolomics comes to rescue, making it possible to analyse the levels of thousands of compounds in a sample at the same time. This diverse method is also well suited for food analytics as well as for the evaluation of disease progression and treatment efficacy in patient samples.

The video was produced by the Communication with metabolomics – development of novel computational tools for data analysis and visualisation project, which is a key project funded by the Academy of Finland. “One of our goals was to increase the visibility of our research on social media. The video popularises science, making it easy to share it on platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn,” Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland says. She is the leader of the project and has been working to develop metabolomics analytics for several years already.

“The video also resonates with the early days of my own research career. However, instead of trees, metabolomics gave me tools to study the compounds present in strawberries. The objective of the video is to spread awareness of the diverse possibilities offered by metabolomics, as many researchers still have a narrow idea of what metabolomics is and what it can do.”

The video is made by Science Stories, a start-up company founded by UEF researchers from different fields. The company’s business idea is to turn science into something visually understandable. Published on the university’s YouTube channel, the video also features some traditional elements associated with Finland and being a Finn, such as sauna bathing, summer cabin scenery, and Finnish mentality.

Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7eG_rFoHEuQ

For further information, please contact:

Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva, kati.hanhineva(at)uef.fi, tel. 0403552364