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Environment/Sustainable Development
17.11.2017
The importance of forest biodiversity could increase with climate change
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Forests fulfil many important functions for humanity, and do so particularly well if they contain many different tree species. At the same time, European forests could potentially provide more services than they do at the moment.
Computer Science/Telecom
17.11.2017
Objectively measuring how clean our cities are
Objectively measuring how clean our cities are
EPFL researchers have come up with a fact-based system to measure urban cleanliness. Municipal authorities will now be able to draw on objective assessments when planning their street cleaning - a sector with multi-million-franc budgets. The concept is straightforward: on one hand, vehicles equipped with video cameras to record the city streets, and on the other, a computer able to spot waste, identify it and classify it - in the blink of an eye.
Physics/Materials Science - Astronomy
15.11.2017
Still no sign of dark matter
Still no sign of dark matter
Measurements at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI further constrain theories about the nature of dark matter Experts are largely in agreement that a major portion of the mass in the universe consists of so-called dark matter. Its nature, however, remains completely obscure. One kind of hypothetical elementary particle that might make up the dark matter is the so-called axion.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Medicine/Pharmacology
14.11.2017
Global Warming - New Study Calls for Decisive Action
Global Warming - New Study Calls for Decisive Action
The largest global study to date on the effects of climate change on temperature-related mortality shows that more deaths due to hot weather may not be balanced by fewer deaths in colder world regions should global temperatures continue to rise. Swiss TPH, working for improved health of the people around the globe, prepared the data set for Switzerland.
Microtechnics/Electroengineering - Physics/Materials Science
10.11.2017
A rubber power station
A rubber power station
Researchers from Empa have developed a flexible material that generates electricity when stressed. In future, it might be used as a sensor, integrated into clothing or even implanted in the human body, for instance, to power a pacemaker.
Arts and Design - Life Sciences
10.11.2017
That music playing in your head: a real conundrum for scientists
That music playing in your head: a real conundrum for scientists
Researchers at EPFL can now see what happens in our brains when we hear music in our heads. The researchers hope that in time their findings will be used to help people who have lost the ability to speak. When we listen to music, different parts of our brain process different information - such as high and low frequencies - so that our auditory perception of the sounds matches what we hear.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Chemistry
09.11.2017
A milestone in the fight against malaria
A milestone in the fight against malaria
The malaria parasite employs an effective trick: it forces transmission from human to human as soon as the conditions in the host deteriorate. An international research team has discovered the molecule that plays a key role in this process. Malaria parasites are both dangerous and versatile. On entering the human bloodstream, they multiply exponentially.
Physics/Materials Science - Business/Economics
08.11.2017
A new bio-robot
A new bio-robot
With a new method for modifying antibodies, drugs are developped showing more stability and, thus, having fewer side-effects. At the time Spycher, a postdoctoral radiopharmaceutical researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, was concerned with the question of how active agents could be bound to antibodies more efficiently.
Microtechnics/Electroengineering - Computer Science/Telecom
08.11.2017
A robotic spy among the fish
A new miniature robot developed by EPFL researchers can swim with fish, learn how they communicate with each other and make them change direction or come together. These capabilities have been proven on schools of zebrafish. Researchers at EPFL's Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO), which is headed by Professor Francesco Mondada, have developed a miniature robot that can integrate perfectly into schools of zebrafish.
Media - Politics
08.11.2017
Strong Digital Well-Being in Switzerland
Strong Digital Well-Being in Switzerland
Reading the news, posting holiday pictures, or watching cat videos on YouTube - the internet can be used for many things.
Physics/Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering/Mechanics
08.11.2017
Liquid shock absorbers
Liquid shock absorbers
Researchers have determined how certain liquids stiffen in response to powerful impacts. At first glance, colloids resemble homogeneous liquids such as milk or blood plasma. But in fact they consist of particles in suspension. Some colloids have remarkable properties: they may stiffen following an impact and absorb surface shocks.
Computer Science/Telecom
06.11.2017
The floor you walk on is now smart
The floor you walk on is now smart
Technis, an EPFL spin-off, has developed a system that combines a connected floor surface with artificial intelligence to track people's trajectories as they walk through a shopping mall or convention center, for example.
Astronomy
06.11.2017
A "cosmic snake" reveals the structure of remote galaxies
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies' For around a decade, the Hubble telescope has been allowing astronomers to observe solar systems that are six or seven billion light years away. Hubble suggests that there are existing galaxies of nebulae and star clusters with a diameter of over 3000 light-years.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
02.11.2017
Animals' mitochondria defenses discovered in plants
Animals' mitochondria defenses discovered in plants
Scientists at EPFL have discovered that the mechanism that mitochondria use to defend mammalian cells against protein-damaging stress also exists in plants. The work is published in Molecular Cell. Image: Arabidopsis thaliana plants used in this study. On the left is a plant under normal growth conditions, while on the right is a plant treated with doxycycline, which has significantly stunted its growth but is protected against aging as evidenced by its fresher appearance (credit: J. Auwerx/EPFL).
Medicine/Pharmacology
31.10.2017
Virtual reality reduces phantom pain in paraplegics
Virtual reality reduces phantom body pain in paraplegics and creates the illusion that they can feel their paralyzed legs being touched again. The results could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics. In breakthrough research led by neuroscientist Olaf Blanke and his team at EPFL, Switzerland, the scientists show that phantom body pain can be reduced in paraplegics by creating a bodily illusion with the help of virtual reality.
Physics/Materials Science - Medicine/Pharmacology
31.10.2017
Illuminated pajamas treat newborns
Illuminated pajamas treat newborns
Babies who suffer from jaundice after birth are treated with shortwave light. Empa researchers have now developed illuminated pajamas that replace the treatment in an incubator.
Environment/Sustainable Development
27.10.2017
Peat bogs defy the laws of biodiversity
Peat bogs defy the laws of biodiversity
EPFL scientists working with a team of researchers from across Europe have found that peat bogs, despite their low biodiversity, can effectively withstand both moderate and glacial climates. That finding stands to change the way we look at biodiversity.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
26.10.2017
How
How "sleeper cells" in cancerous tumours can be destroyed
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) In many metastasised types of cancer, disseminated tumours grow back despite successful chemotherapy. As a research team under the direction of the University of Bern has now discovered, this is because of isolated cancer cells that survive the chemotherapy due to a phase of dormancy.
Earth Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
26.10.2017
The oceans were colder than we thought
The oceans were colder than we thought
A team of EPFL and European researchers has discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now. Their findings could mean that the current period of climate change is unparalleled over the last 100 million years. According to the methodology widely used by the scientific community, the temperature of the ocean depths and that of the surface of the polar ocean 100 million years ago were around 15 degrees higher than current readings.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
26.10.2017
How much does life weigh?
How much does life weigh?
ETH researchers have developed a scale for measuring cells. It allows the weight of individual living cells, and any changes in this weight, to be determined quickly and accurately for the first time. The invention has also aroused significant interest both in and outside the field of biology. From earthworms and sunflowers to human beings, we are all made up of cells, so it's no surprise that researchers are hard at work investigating these building blocks of life.
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