News 2019

Health - Mar 18
How does the immune system respond to fungi on our skin? Researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated that the same immune cells that protect us against skin fungi also encourage the inflammatory symptoms of atopic dermatitis. An antibody therapy could alleviate this chronic inflammatory skin disease.
Linguistics - Mar 14
Linguistics

Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as "f" in languages all over the world, a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich has shown.

Life Sciences - Mar 14
Life Sciences

Fragrances are added in a wide variety of consumer products - cosmetics, detergents, cleaning agents, and air fresheners.

Innovation - Mar 14
Innovation

EPFL spinoffs Lumendo and Gliapharm are among 80 deep-tech startups from around the world that have qualified for the finals of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris tomorrow.

Psychology - Mar 13

It is no secret that a bad mood can negatively affect how we treat others. But can it also make us more distrustful? Yes, according to a new study, which shows that negative emotions reduce how much we trust others, even if these emotions were triggered by events that have nothing to do with the decision to trust.


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Health - Life Sciences - 18.03.2019
New Potential Approach to Treat Atopic Dermatitis
How does the immune system respond to fungi on our skin? Researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated that the same immune cells that protect us against skin fungi also encourage the inflammatory symptoms of atopic dermatitis. An antibody therapy could alleviate this chronic inflammatory skin disease.

Linguistics / Literature - 14.03.2019
Diet-Induced Changes Favor Innovation in Speech Sounds
Diet-Induced Changes Favor Innovation in Speech Sounds
Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as "f" in languages all over the world, a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich has shown. The findings contradict the theory that the range of human sounds has remained fixed throughout human history.

Innovation / Technology - Life Sciences - 14.03.2019
Two EPFL spin-offs reach the finals of an international competition
Two EPFL spin-offs reach the finals of an international competition
EPFL spinoffs Lumendo and Gliapharm are among 80 deep-tech startups from around the world that have qualified for the finals of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris tomorrow. The finalists will pitch their company to a jury of technology specialists and investors. In addition to vying for cash prizes, the startups are gaining valuable visibility.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.03.2019
Keeping track of fragrances
Keeping track of fragrances
Fragrances are added in a wide variety of consumer products - cosmetics, detergents, cleaning agents, and air fresheners. If incompletely eliminated in wastewater treatment plants, they can end up in rivers and lakes. Companies are therefore required to perform an environmental risk assessment before fragrance compounds are used in final products.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 13.03.2019
Negative Emotions Can Reduce Our Capacity to Trust
It is no secret that a bad mood can negatively affect how we treat others. But can it also make us more distrustful? Yes, according to a new study, which shows that negative emotions reduce how much we trust others, even if these emotions were triggered by events that have nothing to do with the decision to trust.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.03.2019
Stress hormones promote breast cancer metastasis
It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking breast cancer metastasis with increased stress hormones. In addition, they found that synthetic derivatives of stress hormones, which are frequently used as anti-inflammatory in cancer therapy, decrease the efficacy of chemotherapy.

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science / Telecom - 13.03.2019
Neural networks predict planet mass
To find out how planets form astrophysicists run complicated and time consuming computer calculations. Members of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Bern have now developed a totally novel approach to speed up this process dramatically. They use deep learning based on artificial neural networks, a method that is well known in image recognition.

Politics - 13.03.2019
Virtual time-lapse photos can capture ultrafast phenomena
Virtual time-lapse photos can capture ultrafast phenomena
EPFL scientists have developed a new image-processing method that can capture extremely rapid phenomena using any type of camera. Their method, called Virtual Frame Technique, delivers better performance than any commercial high-speed camera and is affordable and accessible to anyone. Many phenomena occurring in nature and industry happen very quickly: a tear running through a piece of fabric, a rubber ball bouncing off a hard floor, a drop of water wetting a dry surface and a piece of scotch tape peeling off, for example.

Health - 12.03.2019
Vaccine developed to treat osteoarthritic pain
Vaccine developed to treat osteoarthritic pain
Researchers from the Universities of Bern and Oxford have developed a vaccine that blocks the effects of the main cause of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) - nerve growth factor (NGF) - in mice. In a collaborative effort between the Jenner Institute and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford, with colleagues in the University of Bern, and the Latvian Biomedical Research & Study Centre, scientists have developed and tested a vaccine that could be used to treat chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis, by blocking the cause of the pain - NGF.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.03.2019
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Using high-performance computer simulations, EPFL researchers were able to observe how surface roughness changes when two materials rub together. Their findings, which provide insight into friction and wear mechanisms, have implications for areas ranging from engineering to the study of tectonic faults.

Physics - 08.03.2019
Super superlattices: The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene
Super superlattices: The moiré patterns of three layers change the electronic properties of graphene
Combining an atomically thin graphene and a boron nitride layer at a slightly rotated angle changes their electrical properties. Physicists at the University of Basel have now shown for the first time the combination with a third layer can result in new material properties also in a three-layer sandwich of carbon and boron nitride.

Environment - 07.03.2019
The deep Southern Ocean is key to more intense ice ages
The deep Southern Ocean is key to more intense ice ages
Over the last million years, ice ages have intensified and lengthened. According to a study led by the University of Bern, this previously unexplained climate transition coincides with a diminution of the mixing between deep and surface waters in the Southern Ocean. The study confirms that the Antarctic region plays a crucial role during periods of climate change.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.03.2019
Vitamin B3 analogue boosts production of blood cells
Scientists from EPFL and the UNIL/Ludwig Cancer Research have found that supplementing diet with nicotinamide riboside, an analogue of vitamin B3, boosts the production of blood cells by improving the function of their stem cells. This can help overcome problems in stem cell-based therapies that treat leukemia and aggressive lymphomas.  Stem cell-based therapies are becoming more and more common, especially in the treatment of blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia.

Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 06.03.2019
A self-healing composite
A self-healing composite
Researchers from EPFL's Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites have developed a material that can easily heal after being damaged. This cutting-edge composite could be used in aircraft, wind turbines, cars and sports equipment. When a wind turbine blade or an airplane is hit by something, the damaged part has to be either replaced or patched with resin.

Materials Science - 05.03.2019
Virtual noise
Virtual noise
Railway noise is annoying. Trains cause numerous sleepless nights, especially in the vicinity of residential areas. This makes it all the more important to optimize trains and tracks in such a way as to dampen sounds. Empa researchers have devised a computer simulation that demonstrates how railway noise is created in the first place and which technical measures are effective in preventing it.

Environment - 04.03.2019
Agriculture impacts aquatic macroinvertebrates more than wastewater
Agriculture impacts aquatic macroinvertebrates more than wastewater
Community wastewater treatment plants and agricultural practices are the primary sources of pollution in rivers and streams, and affect aquatic communities. Substances such as traces of pharmaceuticals, nutrients, biocides, resistant bacteria and heavy metals find their way into the watercourses from wastewater treatment plants, while agriculture is primarily responsible for inputs of plant treatment agents, fine sediments and nutrients.

Pharmacology - Health - 04.03.2019
Novartis data confirm rapid response and high efficacy of Cosentyx in psoriasis patients for first time in China
Phase III study shows close to 9/10 patients who received Cosentyx 300mg achieved clear or almost clear skin during the first 16 weeks of treatment (87%), with rapid onset of relief seen as early as week 3   Results strengthen unique position of Cosentyx as a rapid and long-lasting complete treatment of psoriatic disease, with over 200,000 patients treated worldwide   Data is being presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annu

Life Sciences - Physics - 04.03.2019
Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for engineering proteins. EPFL scientists now show that it can also be used to engineer synthetic nanoparticles as optical biosensors, which are used widely in biology, drug development, and even medical diagnostics such as real-time monitoring of glucose. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who developed the method that forever changed protein engineering: directed evolution.

Business / Economics - 28.02.2019
Small and medium-sized towns are surprisingly innovative
Small and medium-sized towns are surprisingly innovative
Small and medium-sized towns are increasingly appearing on the radar of policy makers all over Europe. Findings from a project on the role and significance of these towns in Switzerland show that national policy and planning overlook their potential. For a long time, policy and research on urban development have primarily focused on large cities.

Health - Psychology - 28.02.2019
Psychiatry: case notes indicate impending seclusion
Psychiatry: case notes indicate impending seclusion
Using notes made by the attending healthcare professionals about psychiatric patients enables impending coercive measures to be predicted in advance - potentially even through automated text analysis. This was reported by researchers from the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
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