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About the research project

The project is an interdisciplinary project about the so-called 'Old Friends' in a Greenlandic context. 'Old Friends' is a term for microbes that previously existed in human daily life, but which have disappeared with modern lifestyles in the homes, hygiene conditions, types of nutrition and human behavior in nature.

Some of the microbes may have had a beneficial effect against the occurrence of diseases, allergies and the like - and the project therefore investigates which 'friends' may have been forgotten and whether they should be reintroduced.

The present phase I is an initial study based primarily on historical archive and literature studies on concrete changes in the Greenlandic lifestyle since about 1800, which has had an influence on different types of microbial deposits as well as an initial data study of current deposits of allergic diseases in Greenland.

The project, which will form the basis for a larger project on the significance and potential of 'Old Friends' in Greenland, is continuously disseminated through a podcast focusing on the research process and the listeners' opportunity to contribute knowledge.


The method in the phase project is also part of the outreach, which consists of a short podcast series. The series will not 'only' tell about the subject and the significance of the subject, but just as much about the research process itself - how do you find the information, and how do you use it to learn new things? And how can what we learn be used? The podcasts will be disseminated widely and must also invite listeners to contribute knowledge that they believe can be useful in the project - e.g. traditional food preparation, clothing, use of nature, etc.

The goal is to gather knowledge, but also to tell that people's own knowledge is valuable to the whole society. Of course, we also hope that phase I will pave the way for the larger phase II project, which will include more far-reaching outreach as well as teaching offers and research training opportunities in Greenland.

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