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Environment - 05.02.2020
Our carbon footprint is highly impacted by how we live
Swiss households have excessively large carbon footprints. However, that footprint depends more on socio-economic status than location - whether the household is in the countryside or the city - because people travel more in the country but consume more in cities. Swiss households enjoy a high standard of living, but this results in a large carbon footprint.

Physics - Innovation - 05.02.2020
A new substance prevents vascular calcification
The calcification of blood vessels and other soft tissues is problematic. Researchers at ETH Zurich and ETH spin-off Inositec have discovered a substance that prevents vascular calcification. Researchers at ETH Zurich and ETH spin-off Inositec have developed a new substance to prevent vascular calcification, which affects many patients suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Physics - Chemistry - 04.02.2020
New insights could lead to superconductivity in ambient conditions
New insights could lead to superconductivity in ambient conditions
A team of researchers from Switzerland, the US and Poland have found evidence of a uniquely high density of hydrogen atoms in a metal hydride. The smaller spacings between the atoms might enable packing significantly more hydrogen into the material to a point where it could begin to superconduct at room temperature and ambient pressure.

Environment - Chemistry - 04.02.2020
Legacy effects of persistent organic pollutants
Legacy effects of persistent organic pollutants
Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), formerly widely used as a fungicide, is one of the so-called dirty dozen - the first twelve toxic chemicals whose use was banned worldwide in 2004 under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. However, due to its chemical structure, this compound is extremely stable and is only broken down very slowly in nature.

Pharmacology - Health - 03.02.2020
Designing an emergency stop switch for immunotherapies
Designing an emergency stop switch for immunotherapies
CAR T-cell therapy is a highly promising treatment strategy for tumors, but is associated with life-threatening side effects. Researchers at EPFL, UNIL and CHUV have developed a new way to "switch off" the therapy when a cancer patient's life is in danger, paving the way for safer immunotherapy approaches to target solid tumors.

Environment - Physics - 03.02.2020
What if half of Switzerland's rooftops produced electricity?
Researchers at EPFL are assessing Switzerland's solar power potential. Their results show that photovoltaic panels could be installed on more than half of the country's 9.6 million rooftops. The resulting power would meet more than 40% of Swiss electricity demand. The widespread installation of photovoltaic panels on building rooftops could play an important role in Switzerland's transition to a low-carbon energy system.

Materials Science - 31.01.2020
Harnessing the moiré effect to make transparent images
Researchers at EPFL have developed a material that combines transparent properties with the moiré effect to produce images. The technology could have interesting decorative and anti-forgery applications. Applying a moiré pattern to a transparent material is a new and surprising way of creating images.

Health - Physics - 31.01.2020
Could resetting our internal clocks help control diabetes?
Could resetting our internal clocks help control diabetes?
Researchers from the University of Geneva and HUG were able to demonstrate the link between disturbances of the circadian clocks in pancreatic cells and type 2 diabetes, then to correct these disturbances. The circadian clock system (from Latin "circa diem", about a day) allows the organisms to anticipate periodical changes of geophysical time, and to adjust to these changes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 30.01.2020
Rivers are warming at the same rate as the atmosphere
Rivers are warming at the same rate as the atmosphere
Researchers at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have found that the temperature of Swiss rivers is rising steadily. This situation is straining ecosystems and could limit the use of this water in Switzerland's nuclear and hydropower industries. For a long time, meltwater from snow and glaciers has limited the warming of the Swiss rivers, allowing them to maintain a relatively low temperature throughout the year.

Computer Science - 30.01.2020
Smart heat
Smart heat
Can buildings learn to save all by themselves? Empa researchers think so. In their experiments, they fed a new self-learning heat­ing control system with temperature data from the previous year and the current weather forecast. The "smart" control system was then able to assess the building's behavior and act with good anticipation.

Health - 29.01.2020
Unique new antiviral treatment made using sugar
Unique new antiviral treatment made using sugar
New antiviral materials made from sugar have been developed by researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Geneva and the EPFL in Lausanne. They can destroy viruses on contact and may help in the fight against viral outbreaks. Although at an early stage of development, the broad-spectrum activity of this compound could also be effective against new emerging viruses such as the recent coronavirus currently of concern in China.

Administration - 29.01.2020
Participatory democracy platforms gain traction in Switzerland
Participatory democracy platforms gain traction in Switzerland
An initial survey by researchers at EPFL has found that local and regional governments are increasingly turning to digital technology to understand the views of their citizens, especially on planning and development proposals. Governments across Switzerland are embracing civic technology. This is one of the headline findings of the first Civic Tech Barometer, a survey conducted by researchers from EPFL's Urban Sociology Laboratory (LaSUR) in partnership with Geneva Canton's Consultation and Communication Department.

Life Sciences - 27.01.2020
Could depression be linked to our cells' metabolism?
EPFL researchers have discovered a compound that stimulates brain-cell metabolism and reduces signs of depression in mice. The next step will be to test their findings on humans. Chronic stress can be a major cause of depression. The exact mechanism of how that works isn't clear, but the missing link could be found in the metabolic processes of brain cells.

Health - 27.01.2020
Introducing the SDGs into Peer-Reviewed Literature
Introducing the SDGs into Peer-Reviewed Literature
Tropical Medicine and International Health is the first peer-reviewed journal that fully integrates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its publication process. In turn, this will enhance the visibility of the contributions of the scientific community to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Environment - 27.01.2020
Mountain vegetation dries out Alpine water fluxes
Mountain vegetation dries out Alpine water fluxes
ETH researchers confirm the paradox: rather than withering during droughts, plants at higher elevations absolutely thrive, as a study just published Climate Change shows. Until now, scientists assumed that most plants suffer from water stress during droughts: they close their stomata to retain water, stop growing and, in the worst case, wither.

Environment - Social Sciences - 24.01.2020
Climate change: how can we unleash citizen action?
Climate change: how can we unleash citizen action?
A researcher from the University of Geneva has synthesized two decades of scientific studies on climate change to identify the obstacles to behaviour change and find ways to overcome them. Why is it that more individual actions are not taken to combat climate change? What should be done to embolden individuals to act within their scope of action? To answer these questions, a researcher at the University of Geneva , Switzerland, integrated the results of the scientific literature on climate change in the framework of a Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI) policy brief.

Health - Physics - 22.01.2020
Portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster
Portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster
EPFL researchers have developed a highly sensitive and portable optical biosensor that stands to accelerate the diagnosis of fatal conditions like sepsis. It could be used by ambulances and hospitals to improve the triage process and save lives. Sepsis claims one life every four seconds. It is the primary cause of death in hospitals, and one of the ten leading causes of death worldwide.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 21.01.2020
Reconstructing structure and function of a neuronal circuit
Reconstructing structure and function of a neuronal circuit
Reconstructing structure and function of a neuronal circuit The function of neuronal circuits is thought to be determined largely by specific connections between neurons. But this assumption has been difficult to test because the reconstruction of the synaptic connectivity of a neuronal circuit - its "wiring diagram" - is a major challenge.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.01.2020
Cardiac and visual degeneration arrested by a food supplement
Cardiac and visual degeneration arrested by a food supplement
UNIGE researchers have discovered a new gene that causes blindness and cardiomyopathy. They have also managed to halt the progression of eye disease and treat cardiac disease by administering a food supplement. Our genome consists of 20,000 genes, all of which may be capable of triggering disease. It is estimated that there are 7,000 unknown genes that cause recessive genetic diseases resulting from mutations in two copies of a gene that have been inherited from each parent.

Environment - 21.01.2020
"Green economy": an ambiguous concept that is on the way out
Concerns about climate change have given rise to a whole series of concepts that are widely used despite their lack of a concrete definition. EPFL researchers have taken a closer look at the "green economy" concept in particular to clarify exactly what it means. Today's consumers want a cleaner, greener society.
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