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Life Sciences - Architecture
21.02.2017
New computer model shows how proteins are controlled
New computer model shows how proteins are controlled "at a distance"
EPFL scientists have created a new computer model that can help better design of allosteric drugs, which control proteins ‘at a distance'. Enzymes are large proteins that are involved in virtually every biological process, facilitating a multitude of biochemical reactions in our cells. Because of this, one of the biggest efforts in drug design today aims to control enzymes without interfering with their so-called active sites - the part of the enzyme where the biochemical reaction takes place.
Medicine/Pharmacology
20.02.2017
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
The sharp pain shoots to the face or teeth and seriously torments patients. Known as trigeminal neuralgia, it is one of the worst chronic nerve pains. The bouts are triggered by touch, such as shaving, putting on make-up, showering, talking and tooth brushing, or even a gust of wind. The cause is usually an irritation of the trigeminal nerve, the cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the facial area, parts of the scalp, and the oral cavity.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Computer Science/Telecom
17.02.2017
Digital reconstruction of teeth
Digital reconstruction of teeth
ETH Zurich researchers and Disney Research have produced a new algorithm that allows non-invasive reconstruction of the teeth and gums from digital photos.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Earth Sciences
16.02.2017
Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
After long-awaited snowfall in January, parts of the Alps are now covered with fresh powder and happy skiers. But the Swiss side of the iconic mountain range had the driest December since record-keeping began over 150 years ago, and 2016 was the third year in a row with scarce snow over the Christmas period.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
15.02.2017
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
If degraded and logged areas of tropical forests are left to nature, the populations of certain endangered tree species are not able to recover. This applies in particular to trees with large fruit where the seeds are distributed by birds, as ETH scientists have shown in a rainforest in India. In order to restore tropical rainforests, it is not enough to simply set up protected areas and leave them to their own devices.
Physics/Materials Science
14.02.2017
Frequency combs: on-chip integration on track
Frequency combs: on-chip integration on track
EPFL scientists have found a way to miniaturize frequency combs, realizing a new step toward miniaturization of such tools. Their device can measure light oscillations with a precision of 12 digits. A compact, precision tool for counting and tracking laser frequencies may improve atomic clocks and optical data transmission devices.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
14.02.2017
Measuring entropy
Measuring entropy
A scanning-tunneling microscope (STM), used to study changes in the shape of a single molecule at the atomic scale, impacts the ability of that molecule to make these changes - the entropy of the molecule is changed and, in turn, can be measured.
Physics/Materials Science - Computer Science/Telecom
14.02.2017
Success by deception
Success by deception
Theoretical physicists from ETH Zurich deliberately misled intelligent machines, and thus refined the process of machine learning. They created a new method that allows computers to categorise data - even when humans have no idea what this categorisation might look like. When computers independently identify bodies of water and their outlines in satellite images, or beat the world's best professional players at the board game Go, then adaptive algorithms are working in the background.
Civil Engineering/Traffic Engineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
13.02.2017
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Cities are heat islands - not only above ground but below ground too, and therein lies the enormous potential to better harness this energy through geothermal heat exchangers.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
10.02.2017
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
No less than 500 new species of cichlids, brightly coloured perch-like fish, evolved in Lake Victoria (East Africa) over the past 15,000 years - a record in the animal and plant world.
Physics/Materials Science - Mathematics
10.02.2017
Taming complexity
Taming complexity
Quantum systems consisting of many particles are a major challenge for physicists, since their behaviour can be determined only with immense computational power. ETH physicists have now discovered an elegant way to simplify the problem. Classical physics offers a relatively easy approach to describing how objects move in our everyday world.
Physics/Materials Science
08.02.2017
Measuring time without a clock
Measuring time without a clock
EPFL scientists have been able to measure the ultrashort time delay in electron photoemission without using a clock. The discovery has important implications for fundamental research and cutting-edge technology.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
07.02.2017
Genetic defects in tooth enamel conducive to development of caries
Why do some people develop caries even though they always brush their teeth carefully while others are less stringent regarding dental hygiene yet do not have any holes' Ultimately, both have bacteria on the surface of their teeth which can attack the enamel. Enamel forms via the mineralization of specific enamel proteins.
Computer Science/Telecom
30.01.2017
With or without a driver, vehicles are able to cooperate
With or without a driver, vehicles are able to cooperate
EPFL researchers have developed an algorithm for automated vehicles to operate in traffic alongside manually-driven vehicles.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
30.01.2017
Not necessarily harmful: Protein aggregates in the brain
Not necessarily harmful: Protein aggregates in the brain
Protein aggregates in neurons are characteristic for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
27.01.2017
New study into leukemia offers clearer understanding of its biology
New study into leukemia offers clearer understanding of its biology
EPFL scientists have made an extensive study in the cause of leukemia that could greatly improve the way we treat the disease. Leukemia affects 350,000 people worldwide. It is a cancer of the white blood cells, which are the cells of the immune system and are produced by stem cells in the bone marrow. There are two types of chronic and two types of acute leukemia.
Life Sciences
26.01.2017
Switching between Freezing and Flight
Switching between Freezing and Flight
Researchers from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) and the University of Basel have identified two types of neurons in the amygdala, each of which generates a distinct fear response - freezing or flight.
Microtechnics/Electroengineering - Computer Science/Telecom
26.01.2017
Reptilian Robots are Spies in the Wild
Reptilian Robots are Spies in the Wild
EPFL scientists designed, built and remote-controlled the robotic structures of a crocodile and a lizard for a field experiment, in the depths of Africa, in collaboration with the BBC. The robots are featured in today's episode of ‘Spy in the Wild'. What happens when you combine EPFL's first-class robotic engineering with the BBC‘s first-class special effects' You get reptilian robots that look and move (almost) like the real thing, and as a bonus, a scientific tool for studying biology and for improving search and rescue robotics.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
25.01.2017
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Adaptive evolution, i.e. genetic change via natural selection, plays a central role in how plant and animal populations guarantee their long-term survival. Although this process is well understood in breeding conditions and in the lab, it is still largely unclear how often and how rapidly it takes place under natural conditions.
Agronomy/Food Science - Medicine/Pharmacology
25.01.2017
Deprivation: a decisive factor in obesity
Deprivation: a decisive factor in obesity
A joint study involving Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) shows that people with a genetic predisposition to obesity are more likely to develop the condition if they find themselves in a situation of deprivation. The city of Lausanne was used as a test site by the researchers.
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