news 2021


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Results 21 - 40 of 113.


Physics - Materials Science - 17.02.2021
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Scientists have developed a method for boosting the sensitivity of rapid-detection tests like those used for the new coronavirus. The results of their feasibility study have just been published ináNano Letters. Pregnancy tests and rapid-detection tests for the new coronavirus work in the same way. They contain a surface - usually made of metal - on which chemical nanosensors detect specific compounds in a sample of urine, saliva or blood that indicate the presence of a given protein or part of a virus.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.02.2021
Targeted elimination of leukemic stem cells
Targeted elimination of leukemic stem cells
Cancer research has discovered a further mechanism to combat leukemia: a research team has succeeded in identifying an important signaling pathway for regulating leukemic stem cells. With this discovery, the researchers are expanding the arsenal of potentially highly effective drugs against leukemias ("blood cancers").

Life Sciences - Health - 16.02.2021
Aging: What underlies the mitochondrial stress response
Aging: What underlies the mitochondrial stress response
Scientists at EPFL have discovered certain enzymes that play a central role in the stress responses that defend mitochondria from stress, and promote health and longevity. Probably the most well-known organelle of the cell, mitochondria play a critical role in producing energy from food. So, it's no surprise that mitochondria can get stressed and damaged.

Life Sciences - 15.02.2021
New discovery at the IOR on mechanisms leading to the spread of metastases
New discovery at the IOR on mechanisms leading to the spread of metastases
Prostate cancer research is making further progress with a recent discovery of the Prostate Cancer Biology laboratory at the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated to the UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana). A study led by Drá Giuseppina Carbone has revealed that micro-RNA fragments, released into the body by prostate cancer cells through microscopic vesicles called exosomes, lead to the formation of metastases.

Physics - Electroengineering - 15.02.2021
Kagome graphene promises exciting properties
Kagome graphene promises exciting properties
For the first time, physicists from the University of Basel have produced a graphene compound consisting of carbon atoms and a small number of nitrogen atoms in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles. This honeycomb-structured -kagome lattice- behaves as a semiconductor and may also have unusual electrical properties.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.02.2021
Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure
Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure
Coffee, cola or an energy drink: caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance. Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. However, the effect appears to be temporary. No question - caffeine helps most of us to feel more alert.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.02.2021
Signs of burnout can be detected in sweat
Signs of burnout can be detected in sweat
EPFL engineers, working in association with startup Xsensio, have developed a wearable system that can measure the concentration of cortisol - the stress hormone - in human sweat. Enabling future quasi-continuous monitoring, their device can eventually help doctors better understand and treat stress-related conditions like burnout and obesity.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.02.2021
Enigmatic blooms in the depths of Lake Tanganyika
Enigmatic blooms in the depths of Lake Tanganyika
A community of sulfur bacteria grows in the northern basin of Lake Tanganyika and plays a key role in the lake's nitrogen cycle. With climate change, the deep blooms could expand southward, a new study shows. This could have drastic consequences for regional fisheries. Lake Tanganyika in Africa is one of the largest freshwater lakes on earth and provides a critical source of fish to millions of people in the surrounding region.

Environment - Computer Science - 12.02.2021
Digital sobriety is now a top priority at EPFL
An independent report commissioned by EPFL's upper management recommends drastic measures and more comprehensive carbon accounting in order to reduce the substantial environmental impact caused by the use of digital technology at the School. A recent assessment of EPFL's digital-technology carbon footprint found that the use of computer equipment by staff and students accounts for 25% of the School's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Innovation - 11.02.2021
Smartphone App to Change Your Personality
Smartphone App to Change Your Personality
How quickly can personality traits be modified? An international research team led by the University of Zurich has shown that daily use of a smartphone app can lead to desired personality changes within three months. And three months after the daily interventions, the changes are still noticeable. Personality traits such as conscientiousness or sociability are patterns of experience and behavior that can change throughout our lives.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.02.2021
The cause of genetic diseases can also be found in
The cause of genetic diseases can also be found in "gene deserts"
Large parts of the human genome do not contain protein-coding genes. Now, however, a research team with participation from the University of Basel has discovered the cause of a severe hereditary defect in such a "gene desert". The study in the scientific journal Nature shows that a single genetic change in the "junk DNA" long thought to be useless can have serious consequences.

Environment - 11.02.2021
Towards more fish-friendly hydropower plants
Towards more fish-friendly hydropower plants
Over the course of the EU project "FIThydro", research and industry partners studied the ecological impact of hydropower plants. ETH Zurich's Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) has developed a protection and guidance system that can help migratory fish to safely bypass hydropower turbines.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.02.2021
How bacteria sleep through antibiotic attacks
Bacteria can survive antibiotic treatment even without antibiotic resistance by slowing down their metabolism and going into a type of deep sleep. A research team funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation reveals the changes bacteria undergo to reach this "persister" state. Resistant bacteria evade the effects of antibiotics by becoming less susceptible, for example by breaking the drugs down.

Computer Science - 11.02.2021
FLeet: Putting Machine Learning in your pocket
New EPFL/INRIA research shows for the first time that it is possible for our mobile devices to conduct machine learning as part of a distributed network, without giving big global tech companies access to our data. Every time we read news online or search for somewhere to eat out, big tech collects huge amounts of our behavioral data.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.02.2021
COVID-19 Test from Start to Finish: How Does it Work?
COVID-19 Test from Start to Finish: How Does it Work?
Testing for COVID-19 has rapidly scaled up in the past months, thanks to better availability of testing material and the introduction of new testing strategies. The Swiss TPH Travel Clinic and Diagnostic Centre offer SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody tests in Basel, Switzerland. Did you ever wonder what laboratory work is actually involved, when you take a Corona test? The following steps demonstrate how a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test is carried out with all the labour-intensive steps in the laboratory that it entails.

Life Sciences - 10.02.2021
How the brain makes sense of touch
How the brain makes sense of touch
Researchers have identified specific neurons that help activate sensory processing in nearby nerve cells - a finding that could explain how the brain integrates signals necessary for tactile perception and learning. The ability to perceive touch sensations gives our brains a wealth of information about the environment, including the shape, texture and temperature of objects.

Computer Science - Innovation - 10.02.2021
Virtual reality helping to treat fear of heights
Virtual reality helping to treat fear of heights
Researchers from the University of Basel have developed a virtual reality app for smartphones to reduce fear of heights. Now, they have conducted a clinical trial to study its efficacy. Trial participants who spent a total of four hours training with the app at home showed an improvement in their ability to handle real height situations.

Environment - Innovation - 10.02.2021
How cities can grow sustainably
A new five-year research collaboration between ETH Zurich and three Singapore universities will see scientists from both countries come together to develop solutions to help cities and their surrounding regions achieve sustainable growth.The collaborative venture launched on 1 December 2020. According to a United Nations report, two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities by 2050.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.02.2021
Genes that dance to the circadian rhythm
Genes that dance to the circadian rhythm
Scientists at EPFL have made breakthrough discoveries on the circadian clock and how it affects gene expression. Some of the findings suggest a biological underpinning for different behaviors in people, such as morning people, nappers, evening people, night owls etc. In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to three scientists who uncovered the molecular mechanisms that control the circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the "wake-sleep" cycle.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.02.2021
Synchronization of Brain Hemispheres Changes What We Hear
Most of the time, our brain receives different input from each of our ears, but we nevertheless perceive speech as unified sounds. This process takes place through synchronization of the areas of the brain involved with the help of gamma waves, neurolinguists at the University of Zurich have now discovered.