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Earth Sciences - Materials Science - 06.12.2019
Gaining insight into the energy balance of earthquakes
Gaining insight into the energy balance of earthquakes
Researchers at EPFL's Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory and the Weizmann Institute of Science have modeled the onset of slip between two bodies in frictional contact. Their work, a major step forward in the study of frictional rupture, could give us a better understanding of earthquakes - including how far and fast they travel.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.12.2019
NeuroRestore Center: aimed at restoring lost neurological function
NeuroRestore Center: aimed at restoring lost neurological function
The Defitech Foundation has teamed up with EPFL, CHUV and UNIL to widen access to the groundbreaking neurotechnology developed under the 2018 STIMO study, which allowed paraplegic patients to walk again. Their aim is also to develop new neurosurgical treatments for people suffering from Parkinson's disease or from neurological disorders following a head injury or stroke.

Chemistry - Physics - 05.12.2019
First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
Thanks to a newly developed laser spectrometer, Empa researchers can for the first time show which processes in grassland lead to nitrous oxide emissions. The aim is to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by gaining a better understanding of the processes taking place in the soil. Nitrous oxide (N2O, also known as laughing gas) is one of the most important greenhouse gases.

Environment - Life Sciences - 05.12.2019
Hybrids increase fish biodiversity in lakes of East Africa
Hybrids increase fish biodiversity in lakes of East Africa
When two individuals from different species mate, the offspring is known as a hybrid. As a result of the genomes being mixed, sometimes phenotypes are produced that deal with new environmental conditions better than the two parent species. Very often, hybrids are not able to reproduce, but there are quite a number of exceptions to this, including the cichlids.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2019
Failure of the molecular bodyguard in Parkinson's disease
Failure of the molecular bodyguard in Parkinson’s disease
Scientists from ETH Zurich and the University of Basel's Biozentrum have shown that chaperone proteins dynamically bind to the Parkinson protein -synuclein. If this interaction is disturbed, it leads to cell damage and the formation of aggregates typical for the disease. Parkinson's disease is characterised by the progressive death of nerve cells in the brain.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2019
Big data toolkit to mine the dark genome for precision medicine
Big data toolkit to mine the dark genome for precision medicine
EPFL researchers have developed Big Data tools for identifying new gene functions. The work identifies millions of connections between genes and their functions, and can facilitate the development of precision medicine. Genes are the functional units of heredity, and the understanding of gene function is the major focus of biomedical research, serving as the basis of precision medicine.

Materials Science - Health - 03.12.2019
Paradoxical replacement tissue for medicine
Paradoxical replacement tissue for medicine
A material that thickens when you pull on it seems to contradict the laws of physics. However, the so-called auxetic effect, which also occurs in nature, is interesting for a number of applications. A new Empa study recently published in "Nature Communications" shows how this amazing behavior can be improved - and even used to treat injuries and tissue damage.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 02.12.2019
Designing and re-purposing cell receptors
Designing and re-purposing cell receptors
EPFL scientists have developed a computational method modeling and designing protein allostery that allows the accurate and rational engineering and even re-purposing of cell receptors. The method can be a significant tool for drug development. Called the "second secret of life", allostery is one of the most fundamental processes of biology and has been a central focus among scientists across the life sciences spectrum, from fundamental biology to drug development.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.12.2019
Big Data makes intensive care better
Big Data makes intensive care better
Patient safety in intensive care units could be significantly improved if false alarms could be greatly reduced and critical complications such as epileptic seizures could be predicted. This is where the "ICU Cockpit" project of the National Research Programme "Big Data" (NRP 75) comes in: The large amounts of data from intensive care medicine will be used to develop procedures for early warning systems and therapeutic recommendations.

Environment - Social Sciences - 02.12.2019
Improved health check for running waters
Improved health check for running waters
If one turns a stone over in a river or stream, it swarms with tiny animals: caddisflies, water beetles, freshwater shrimp, and snails. The invertebrates living on the beds of water bodies that can be seen with the naked eye, called macroinvertebrates, are rather unimposing, but for science and the protection of surface waters they are of great importance.

Environment - Politics - 02.12.2019
What's driving erosion worldwide?
What’s driving erosion worldwide?
ETH Zurich researchers are reexamining the causes of soil erosion around the world - and have found that countries themselves have a surprisingly strong influence on their soil. This country effect was previously undetected. Soil erosion is a global problem that threatens food security and the functioning of ecosystems.
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