news 2021

Astronomy - Jan 22
Astronomy
Why are the planets of the inner Solar System dry and rocky, but the outer ones are not? An international team of researchers with participation of the University of Zurich discovered that a two-step formation process of the planets can explain the chronology and split in volatiles like water and isotope content of the inner and outer Solar System.
Health - Jan 22
Health

Scientists at EPFL and the Universities of Geneva, Cape Town and Bochum have joined forces to investigate brain activity during sleep with the help of MRI scans. It turns out our brains are much more active than we thought.

Environment - Jan 21
Environment

A health impact study has for the first time estimated the mortality burden attributable to air pollution in more than 1,000 European cities. The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, includes a ranking of the European cities with the highest rates of mortality attributable to each of the two air pollutants studied: fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The research project was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in collaboration with Swiss TPH and Utrecht University.

Life Sciences - Jan 21
Life Sciences

Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The larger the synapse, the stronger the signal it transmits. These findings will enable a better understanding of how the brain functions and how neurological disorders arise.

Materials Science - Jan 21
Materials Science

Scientists have developed a metamaterial whose mechanical properties can be reprogrammed on demand and whose internal structure can be modified by applying a magnetic field.


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Results 1 - 20 of 37.


Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 22.01.2021
Solar System formation in two steps
Solar System formation in two steps
Why are the planets of the inner Solar System dry and rocky, but the outer ones are not? An international team of researchers with participation of the University of Zurich discovered that a two-step formation process of the planets can explain the chronology and split in volatiles like water and isotope content of the inner and outer Solar System.

Health - 22.01.2021
MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep
MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep
Scientists at EPFL and the Universities of Geneva, Cape Town and Bochum have joined forces to investigate brain activity during sleep with the help of MRI scans. It turns out our brains are much more active than we thought. Our state of consciousness changes significantly during stages of deep sleep, just as it does in a coma or under general anesthesia.

Life Sciences - 21.01.2021
Size of Connections between Nerve Cells Determines Signaling Strength
Size of Connections between Nerve Cells Determines Signaling Strength
Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The larger the synapse, the stronger the signal it transmits. These findings will enable a better understanding of how the brain functions and how neurological disorders arise.

Environment - 21.01.2021
Study Identifies European Cities with Highest Mortality Due to Air Pollution
Study Identifies European Cities with Highest Mortality Due to Air Pollution
A health impact study has for the first time estimated the mortality burden attributable to air pollution in more than 1,000 European cities. The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, includes a ranking of the European cities with the highest rates of mortality attributable to each of the two air pollutants studied: fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Materials Science - Computer Science - 21.01.2021
New metamaterial offers reprogrammable properties
New metamaterial offers reprogrammable properties
Scientists have developed a metamaterial whose mechanical properties can be reprogrammed on demand and whose internal structure can be modified by applying a magnetic field. Over the past 20 years, scientists have been developing metamaterials, or materials that don't occur naturally and whose mechanical properties result from their designed structure rather than their chemical composition.

Life Sciences - 21.01.2021
Bigger synapse, stronger signals
Bigger synapse, stronger signals
Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The neocortex is the part of the brain that humans use to process sensory impressions, store memories, give instructions to the muscles, and plan for the future.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.01.2021
Detailed tumour profiling
As part of a clinical study involving patients from the University Hospitals in Zurich and Basel, researchers are conducting a thorough and highly precise investigation into the molecular and functional properties of tumours. Their goal is to help physicians to better determine which treatment will best match every patient's cancer and thus be most effective.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 21.01.2021
How our planets were formed
How our planets were formed
Terrestrial planets versus gas and ice giants: A new theory explaining why the inner solar system is so different to the outer regions runs counter to the prevailing wisdom. The theory was proposed by an international research group with ETH Zurich's participation. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in the inner solar system are relatively small, dry planets, unlike Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the outer regions, planets that contain much greater quantities of volatile elements.

Environment - Economics / Business - 20.01.2021
Modelling the energy transition
Modelling the energy transition
An interdisciplinary research team from ETH Zurich is developing the Nexus-e modelling platform in a project supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. The platform facilitates the analysis of how technological, economic and regulatory developments affect the energy system of the future. Switzerland's energy system will undergo a fundamental transformation in the coming years.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.01.2021
NAD+ can restore age-related muscle deterioration
Scientists at EPFL have discovered that Alzheimer's-like protein aggregates underly the muscle deterioration seen in aging. But the aggregates can be reversed by boosting the levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD + ), which turns on the defense systems of mitochondria in cells and restores muscle function.

Campus - Economics / Business - 20.01.2021
How Fellow Students Improve Your Own Grades
Better grades thanks to your fellow students? A study conducted by the University of Zurich's Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics has revealed that not only the grade point average, gender and nationality peers can influence your own academic achievement, but so can their personalities. Intensive contact and interaction with persistent fellow students improve your own performance, and this effect even endures in subsequent semesters.

Career - 20.01.2021
How recruiters discriminate on employment websites
How recruiters discriminate on employment websites
Researcher on conducted a large-scale study of discrimination on an online recruitment platform. The findings showed that, depending on the occupation, both men and women suffer from discrimination, and that discrimination against foreigners depends, among other things, on the time of day. Discrimination in hiring is a major societal problem.

Social Sciences - 20.01.2021
How clicks on a job platform can reveal bias
How clicks on a job platform can reveal bias
Scientists at ETH Zurich have leveraged big data from recruitment platforms and machine learning to study hiring discrimination. They show that discrimination against immigrants depends, among other things, on the time of day; and that both men and women face discrimination. Education, professional skills and experience are the essential criteria for filling a position - or at least that is the expectation.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.01.2021
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method.

Music - Computer Science - 19.01.2021
Machine learning helps retrace evolution of classical music
Machine learning helps retrace evolution of classical music
Researchers in EPFL's Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab in the College of Humanities used an unsupervised machine learning model to 'listen to' and categorize more than 13,000 pieces of Western classical music, revealing how modes - such as major and minor - have changed throughout history. Many people may not be able to define what a minor mode is in music, but most would almost certainly recognize a piece played in a minor key.

Life Sciences - 18.01.2021
Snap-freezing reveals a truer structure of brain connections
Snap-freezing reveals a truer structure of brain connections
Scientists at EPFL have used a snap-freezing method to reveal the true structure of the connections that join neurons together in the adult brain. Most synaptic connections in the adult brain are situated on dendritic spines; small, micrometer-long, protrusions extending from the neurons' surface. The spines' exact size and shape determine how well signals are passed from one neuron to another.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.01.2021
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests. An international team of scientists led by ETH Zurich used geological samples to estimate ocean oxygen during a period of global warming 56 million years ago - and found limited expansion of seafloor anoxia (absence of oxygen).

Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
Protecting the genome from transposon activation
Protecting the genome from transposon activation
Transposons are foreign DNA elements capable of random insertion into the genome, an event that can be very dangerous for a cell. Their activity must be silenced to maintain genomic integrity, which is primarily achieved by H3K9me3-mediated repression. Researchers from the Gasser group identified two parallel pathways that are essential for H3K9me3- mediated transcriptional repression and thus for protecting the genome from toxic transposon activation.

Chemistry - 14.01.2021
How aerosols are formed
How aerosols are formed
ETH Zurich researchers conducted an experiment to investigate the initial steps in the formation of aerosols. Their findings are now aiding efforts to better understand and model that process - for example, the formation of clouds in the atmosphere. Aerosols are suspensions of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas.

Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
How the circadian clock regulates liver genes in time and space
How the circadian clock regulates liver genes in time and space
Scientists have carried out the first comprehensive study of how genes in the liver perform their metabolic functions in both space and time of day. Monitoring almost 5000 genes at the level of the individual cell across a 24-hour period, the researchers have modelled how the circadian clock and liver functions crosstalk throughout the day in sync with the feeding-fasting cycle.