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Environment - Earth Sciences - 30.04.2024
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
In order to understand the Earth's resilience, researchers at ETH Zurich are modelling climate changes from times long past. And they show: Plants are not simply victims of circumstances, but have helped to shape climate conditions on Earth. Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, Earth has lived through a series of climatic shifts, shaping the planet as we know it today.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
A four-legged robot trained with machine learning by researchers has learned to avoid falls by spontaneously switching between walking, trotting, and pronking - a milestone for roboticists as well as biologists interested in animal locomotion. With the help of a form of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning (DRL), the EPFL robot notably learned to transition from trotting to pronking - a leaping, arch-backed gait used by animals like springbok and gazelles - to navigate a challenging terrain with gaps ranging from 14-30cm.

Economics - 29.04.2024
With a gambling ban against addiction and over-indebtedness
With a gambling ban against addiction and over-indebtedness
Since 2000, Switzerland has had a statutory gambling ban. This can be applied for voluntarily by those affected or ordered by casinos and lotteries in order to prevent over-indebtedness. A study by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts has investigated whether this gambling ban is an effective measure to protect players and how it affects the gambling behavior and quality of life of those affected.

Life Sciences - Economics - 29.04.2024
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Before the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 in 2012, precise genome modification was a complex process requiring heavy investment. Simple and fast, this revolutionary technology enables scientists to cut the DNA of plants, animals and humans at precise points, opening up previously unimaginable opportunities, such as the creation of disease-resistant plants or the treatment of diseases of genetic origin .

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.04.2024
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Cichlid fishes exhibit differing degrees of curiosity. The cause for this lies in their genes, as reported by researchers from the Universities of Bern and Basel in the journal Science. This trait influences the cichlids' ability to adapt to new habitats. Exploratory behavior is one of the fundamental personality traits of animals - and these traits influence their probability of survival, among other things.

Physics - Electroengineering - 26.04.2024
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Researchers have for the first time recorded X-rays being produced at the beginning of upward positive lightning flashes; an observation that gives important insight into the origins of this rare - and particularly dangerous - form of lightning. Globally, lightning is responsible for over 4,000 fatalities and billions of dollars in damage every year; Switzerland itself weathers up to 150,000 strikes annually.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
When the digestive system influences a child's sleep
When the digestive system influences a child’s sleep
Sleep cycles and neurological development in children are closely linked to interactions between the brain and the gut. Two researchers from the University of Fribourg, in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zurich and Lucerne Children's Hospital, have just been awarded a 2.4 million SNSF grant to better understand these mechanisms, which are fundamental to the health of toddlers .

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
Mini-colons revolutionize colorectal cancer research
In a breakthrough for cancer research, scientists at EPFL have created lab-grown mini-colons that can accurately mimic the development of colorectal tumors, offering a powerful new tool for studying and testing treatments for the disease. As our battle against cancer rages on, the quest for more sophisticated and realistic models to study tumor development has never been more critical.

Health - Chemistry - 25.04.2024
How to clean up New Delhi's smoggy air
How to clean up New Delhi’s smoggy air
An international study led by atmospheric researchers at PSI shows for the first time what portions of particulates in the air over northern India are especially harmful to health. According to the World Health Organisation, as many as 1.3 million deaths per year on the subcontinent can be attributed to polluted air.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 24.04.2024
AI designs new drugs based on protein structures
AI designs new drugs based on protein structures
A new computer process developed by chemists at ETH Zurich makes it possible to generate active pharmaceutical ingredients quickly and easily based on a protein's three-dimensional surface. The new process could revolutionise drug research. "It's a real breakthrough for drug discovery," says Gisbert Schneider, Professor at ETH Zurich's Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences.

Environment - History / Archeology - 24.04.2024
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
A team of researchers from EPFL, UNIL, and Unisanté have published a report that goes through about the legacy of pollution from a trash incinerator that burned in the Lausanne Vallon neighborhood from 1958 to 2005.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 24.04.2024
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Eruption of mega-magnetic star lights up nearby galaxy
Thanks to ESA satellites, an international team including researchers has detected a giant eruption coming from a magnetar, an extremely magnetic neutron star. While ESA's satellite INTEGRAL was observing the sky, it spotted a burst of gamma-rays - high-energy photons - coming from the nearby galaxy M82.

Environment - Chemistry - 23.04.2024
Bacteria for climate-neutral chemicals of the future
Bacteria for climate-neutral chemicals of the future
Researchers at ETH Zurich have engineered bacteria in the laboratory to efficiently use methanol. The metabolism of these bacteria can now be tapped into to produce valuable products currently made by the chemical industry from fossil fuels. To produce various chemicals such as plastics, dyes or artificial flavours, the chemical industry currently relies heavily on fossil resources such as crude oil.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 23.04.2024
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
Regenerating damaged tissues or organs has been a dream of scientists for decades. Now, researchers at the FMI and Novartis Biomedical Research have discovered a new molecule that activates a protein involved in regeneration. The tool holds promise for advancing our understanding of how organisms repair damaged tissue.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 22.04.2024
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Icebergs on the Bosporus and a frozen Black Sea: an international study by the University of Bern with the participation of the Austrian Academy of Sciences shows how volcanic eruptions on Iceland influenced the European climate in the early Middle Ages and led to severe winter cooling anomalies. It was one of the coldest winters the region has ever experienced: In 763, large parts of the Black Sea froze over and icebergs were sighted on the Boporus.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 22.04.2024
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Apoptotic cell death is a crucial mechanism that contributes to tissue homeostasis and prevents the onset of several diseases. However, this phenomenon is challenging to identify within microscopy movies that can encompass thousands of cells. Led by Santiago Gonzalez, the recent study carried at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, affiliated with USI, introduces ADeS, an innovative approach based on artificial intelligence for the automatic detection of apoptotic cells in microscopy movies.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.04.2024
Understanding muscle regeneration with zebrafish
Understanding muscle regeneration with zebrafish
In humans, muscles can only regenerate from small injuries, such as those resulting from sporting activities. After an accident or combat injury, large wounds often cause deep damage to muscles, which fail to regenerate and scar. Some animals, on the other hand, replace injured body parts perfectly.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.04.2024
The enemy within: How pathogens spread unrecognized in the body
The enemy within: How pathogens spread unrecognized in the body
Some pathogens hide inside human cells to enhance their survival. Researchers at the University of Basel, have uncovered a unique tactic certain bacteria use to spread in the body without being detected by the immune system. In their study, they reveal the crucial role of a bacterial nanomachine in this infection process.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.04.2024
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Researchers have developed the first comprehensive model of the quantum-mechanical effects behind photoluminescence in thin gold films; a discovery that could drive the development of solar fuels and batteries. Luminescence, or the emission of photons by a substance exposed to light, has been known to occur in semiconductor materials like silicon for hundreds of years.

Physics - 18.04.2024
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Researchers at ETH Zurich have studied topological effects in an artificial solid, making surprising observations. The new insights into topological pumping could be used for quantum technologies in the future. In principle, one shouldn't compare apples to oranges. However, in topology, which is a branch of mathematics, one has to do just that.
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