news from the lab 2017

Medicine - Jul 19
Medicine
Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields may have adverse effects on the development of memory performance of specific brain regions exposed during mobile phone use. These are the findings of a study involving nearly 700 adolescents in Switzerland. The investigation, led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), will be published on Monday, 23 July 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Computer Science - Jul 16

Your torso is more intuitive - and more precise - than joysticks for piloting drones, both simulated and real, according to a recent study by EPFL scientists.

Transport - Jul 12
Transport

The one ideal asphalt for all conditions does not exist: climatic conditions, traffic frequencies and loads place different demands on the pavement.

History - Jul 12
History

Since the 16th century, Basel has been home to a mysterious papyrus. With mirror writing on both sides, it has puzzled generations of researchers.

Life Sciences - Jul 12
Life Sciences

When a cell divides, its constituents are usually evenly distributed among the daughter cells. UZH researchers have now identified an enzyme that guarantees that cell constituents that are concentrated in organelles without a membrane are properly distributed.


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Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 30.12.2017
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A promising new candidate is aluminium batteries, which are made from cheap and abundant raw materials. Scientists from Maksym Kovalenko's research group, which is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa's Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics , are researching and developing batteries made from abundant raw materials.

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.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 26.12.2017
Traces in scrap
Traces in scrap
Last year Empa's inorganic analytics lab was granted the status of "Reference Laboratory" within the scope of the ProSUM project, funded by the EU. Fine-grained samples of shredder waste from scrapped cars, e-waste or mine dumps from all over Europe end up here. Empa chemists find out what is in them, what is worth extracting and what could be dangerous for staff at recycling plants.

Innovation / Technology - 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.

Transport - Innovation / Technology - 12.12.2017
Tailor-made asphalt
Tailor-made asphalt
The one ideal asphalt for all conditions does not exist: climatic conditions, traffic frequencies and loads place different demands on the pavement. Another challenge: preparing old asphalt so that it can be used for new pavements. Thanks to Empa researchers, the design of the ideal asphalt for every type of road has finally become easier.

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.
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