news from the lab 2017


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Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
27.12.2017
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication in "Cell Reports", Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Computer Science/Telecom
26.12.2017
Looking back at 2017 (1/2)
Coral reefs that can survive global warming, an expedition around Antarctica, a booster for genetic research, a personnal virtual heart, a National Center for Data Science... Some of the EPFL's research and milestones that marked the year 2017.
Innovation/Technology - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
21.12.2017
Sensor-enhanced surgical robot enables highly precise and safe spinal operations
Sensor-enhanced surgical robot enables highly precise and safe spinal operations
Researchers from the University of Bern, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology develop a high-precision, sensor-based surgical robot for spinal operations together with industry partners. Their project is being funded with two million Swiss francs, sponsored by the "BRIDGE" programme of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Commission for Technology and Innovation.
Physics/Materials Science - Business/Economics
21.12.2017
Physics/Materials Science
20.12.2017
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
20.12.2017
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, together with European and African collaborators, carried out a mass dog vaccination in Chad and determined its effect on human rabies exposure. The study employed a bio-mathematical method for estimating the transmission dynamics of rabies. The researchers conclude that with political will and the necessary funding, elimination of rabies is possible in Africa.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Computer Science/Telecom
20.12.2017
New software can model natural light from the occupants' perspective
New software can model natural light from the occupants' perspective
OCUVIS, a visualization software developed by a soon-to-be-launched EPFL spin-off, lets architects simulate 3D building models to assess the performance of natural light indoors. After specifying the ambient conditions, architects can view the visual and non-visual characteristics of the resulting natural light in their designs.
Life Sciences
20.12.2017
How Plants Form Their Seeds
How Plants Form Their Seeds
Around 80 to 85 percent of our calorie needs is covered through seeds, either directly as food or indirectly through use as feed.
Medicine/Pharmacology
20.12.2017
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, together with European and African collaborators, carried out a mass dog vaccination in Chad and determined its effect on human rabies exposure. The study employed a bio-mathematical method for estimating the transmission dynamics of rabies. The researchers conclude that with political will and the necessary funding, elimination of rabies is possible in Africa.
Physics/Materials Science - Medicine/Pharmacology
18.12.2017
Using gold nanoparticles to destroy viruses
Using gold nanoparticles to destroy viruses
EPFL researchers have created nanoparticles that attract viruses and, using the pressure resulting from the binding process, destroy them. This revolutionary approach could lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.  HIV, dengue, papillomavirus, herpes and Ebola - these are just some of the many viruses that kill millions of people every year, mostly children in developing countries.
Innovation/Technology - Computer Science/Telecom
14.12.2017
Real-world district for digital
Real-world district for digital
For the very first time, the "Innovation Lab", a special exhibition for digital transformations in the construction industry, will be held at Swissbau 2018 from 16 to 20 January. NEST, the modular research and demonstration platform from Empa and Eawag, will be presenting with its partners (in hall 1.1, booth L88) how digital construction is implemented in reality and exactly what kind of potential for digital innovation is offered by the set of demonstrators on the Empa campus in Dübendorf.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
14.12.2017
The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them
The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them
EPFL scientists have discovered that neutrophils, a type of immune cell, can actually help lung tumors grow. The work is published in Cell Reports, and has enormous implications for cancer immunotherapy. Neutrophils inside lung adenocarcinoma tumors. On the left, neutrophils inside a mouse tumor are stained brown; on the right, neutrophils inside a human tumor are stained red (credit: E. Meylan/EPFL).
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
13.12.2017
Protein Structure Could Unlock New Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis
Protein Structure Could Unlock New Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a severe hereditary disease of the lung, for which there is currently no cure. The underlying cause of the disease is a malfunction of the chloride channel CFTR, which prevents the secretion of chloride in certain body cells.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
13.12.2017
Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease
Autophagy refers to a fundamental recycling process of cells that occurs in yeast, fungi, plants, as well as animals and humans. This process allows cells to degrade their own components and thus activate energy resources to be able to adapt to nutritional needs. In addition, autophagy plays a central role in steering an organism's immune response.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
11.12.2017
Novartis drug crizanlizumab shown to prolong time to patients’ first sickle cell pain crisis in subgroup analysis of SUSTAIN study
Investigational therapy crizanlizumab (SEG101, formerly SelG1) approximately doubled the time to first on-treatment sickle cell pain crisis, according to new subgroup analysis of Phase II SUSTAIN data Results were consistent across patient subgroups despite differences in disease severity, genotype or background therapy New findings for crizanlizumab, a potential disease-modifying, preventive treatment option for patients with sickle cell diseas
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
11.12.2017
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
Lipid, also known as fat, is an optimal energy source and an important cell component. Much is required for the rapid and uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and from the University of Geneva have now discovered that the protein mTOR stimulates the production of lipids in liver tumors to satisfy the increased nutrient turnover and energy needs of cancer cells among other functions.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
08.12.2017
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19% for 1000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market's next generation of photovoltaics.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Physics/Materials Science
08.12.2017
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
07.12.2017
First experiment at SwissFEL carried out successfully
First experiment at SwissFEL carried out successfully
The years of careful planning and construction have paid off: At the newest large-scale research facility of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI - the free-electron X-ray laser SwissFEL - the first experiment has been carried out successfully. With that, two goals have been achieved: First, a new scientific result is already expected.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
06.12.2017
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's
Using a bioinformatics and experimental approach, scientists at EPFL have found that rendering mitochondria resistant to damage can halt diseases caused by amyloid toxicity, such as Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called beta-amyloid inside neurons.
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