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Environment - Life Sciences - 01.12.2021
Artificial intelligence helps speed up ecological surveys
Artificial intelligence helps speed up ecological surveys
Scientists at EPFL, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Wageningen University & Research have developed a new deep-learning model for counting the number of seals in aerial photos that is considerably faster than doing it by hand. With this new method, valuable time and resources could be saved which can be used to further study and protect endangered species.

Health - Environment - 30.11.2021
Personen mit niedrigem Einkommen stärker von Pandemie belastet
The COVCO-Basel study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) has been investigating the health-related and societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year. New results from the study have shown that people coming from low-income households are more severely affected by the pandemic, and that rates of depression among this population group have risen.

Environment - 29.11.2021
Tracking down microplastics in Antarctica
Tracking down microplastics in Antarctica
Microplastics are everywhere, even in the most remote places. Where do these tiny pieces of plastic come from? Researchers from the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute have shown that it takes precise analysis to answer this question. Microplastics are an environmental problem since organisms ingest these tiny particles and can be harmed by them.

Environment - Health - 29.11.2021
Ozone causes our skin to emit tiny airborne particles
Ozone causes our skin to emit tiny airborne particles
An international research team including scientists has found that whenever we encounter ozone, it reacts with lipids in our skin to create nanoparticles. Air pollution is responsible for seven million of premature deaths around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. That's roughly the same number of people who die from smoking or malnutrition.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.11.2021
Network records Europe's greenhouse gas emissions
Network records Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions
An article in the scientific journal "Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society" describes for the first time how the European ICOS network ("Integrated Carbon Observation System") helps to better understand the function of carbon sinks and to assess the effects of climate change on them. Half of the carbon emissions released to the atmosphere by fossil fuel use are re-captured by the ocean and land ecosystems.

Materials Science - Environment - 16.11.2021
An ironclad future
An ironclad future
Solar energy plays an important role in the fight against climate change as a substitute for fossil fuels. Dye-sensitized solar cells promise to be a low-cost supplement to the photovoltaic systems we know today. Their key feature is the dye sensitizers attached to their surface. Researchers at the University of Basel continue to improve the performance with sensitizers using iron - a commonly available and environmentally friendly metal.

Environment - Transport - 09.11.2021
How electric cars help to reduce electricity imports
How electric cars help to reduce electricity imports
Swiss electricity generation has a very low carbon footprint. However, this is often not the case for imports. Researchers from the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Automation, led by Empa researcher Loris di Natale, investigated how electric cars could help reduce the need for energy imports from fossil fuels.

Environment - 09.11.2021
Transport pricing in practice
In the largest worldwide pricing experiment to date, researchers from the University of Basel, ETH Zurich and ZHAW have demonstrated that road users change their behavior when they must pay for the social and environmental effects of their transportation. The study took place in urban agglomerations in Frenchand German-speaking Switzerland.

Environment - Health - 09.11.2021
A Decline in Air Pollution Levels in Europe Still Fall Short of WHO Guidelines, According to New Study
For the first time, a new study by Swiss TPH used robust spatio-temporal methodology to show the reduction in air pollution across Europe from 2006-2019 and found that while exposure rates have significantly declined across Europe the past 14 years, there are large parts of the continent where the WHO guidelines on air pollution are still not met.

Environment - 04.11.2021
First full-year study of turbulent mixing in Lake Geneva
First full-year study of turbulent mixing in Lake Geneva
Changing temperatures and varying winds over the seasons cause great fluctuations in Lake Geneva. The LéXPLORE research platform monitored the movement of water within the lake for a year to learn more about how natural factors influence the lake's mixing. The resulting analysis now paints a fuller picture of mixing in large lakes, which had previously only been studied over shorter time periods.

Life Sciences - Environment - 03.11.2021
A natural CO2-sink thanks to symbiotic bacteria
A natural CO2-sink thanks to symbiotic bacteria
Like many land plants, seagrasses live in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Eawag now show that seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea lives in symbiosis with bacteria that reside in their roots and provide the nitrogen necessary for growth.

Environment - Life Sciences - 02.11.2021
Discover the underwater world
Discover the underwater world
Our lakes, rivers and streams are teeming with the smallest creatures, plants and bacteria that are barely visible to the naked eye, if at all. An underwater camera makes it possible to observe and identify the species of these creatures in real time. "Wow, that's so beautiful!" - Children and adults were audibly enthralled by images from the Eawag underwater camera Aquascope during the "Science City 2019 Meeting Point" exhibition at the ETH Zurich.

Environment - Politics - 29.10.2021
Why biodiversity policy has yet to get off the ground
Why biodiversity policy has yet to get off the ground
Whether a hydroelectric power plant is built, a pesticide is banned or a moor is placed under protection - a wide variety of political decisions have an impact on biodiversity. But does biodiversity play any role at all in such decisions? Researchers at Eawag and WSL have investigated this question and examined Swiss policy over the past 20 years.

Environment - Chemistry - 26.10.2021
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
Microplastics, owing to their chemical properties, can carry micropollutants into a fish's digestive system where they are subsequently released through the action of its gastric and intestinal fluids. Scientists of EPFL and Eawag, working in association with other research institutes, have studied this process by looking specifically at progesterone - often pointed to as an endocrine disrupter.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.10.2021
Fossil rivers of the Sahara tell of the threat of warming
Fossil rivers of the Sahara tell of the threat of warming
A UNIGE-led team has studied the fossil rivers of the Egyptian Sahara to reconstruct the region's rainfall rates that led to a major migration of people away from the Nile valley 10,000 years ago. Why did the people living near the Nile river migrate to central Egypt 10,000 years ago, when the Egyptian Sahara was still green? Geologists led by the University of Geneva , Switzerland, have studied the fossil rivers north of Lake Nasser in Egypt in order to reconstruct the palaeo-hydrology of the region and to determine the rainfall rate of this African humid period.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.10.2021
Plankton head polewards
Ocean warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions will prompt many species of marine plankton to seek out new habitats, in some cases as a matter of sur-vival. researchers expect many organisms to head to the poles and form new communities - with unforeseeable consequences for marine food webs.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.10.2021
Social media and AI can measure the aesthetic quality of landscapes
Social media and AI can measure the aesthetic quality of landscapes
To measure an ecosystem's beauty and the well-being it produces for people can help inform public environmental policy. Scientists at EPFL and Wageningen University in the Netherlands have developed a novel modeling approach for ecosystem assessments based on deep learning and millions of Flickr photos.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 14.10.2021
Sustainable farming: There's no one solution
Sustainable farming: There’s no one solution
Sustainable agriculture will not be achieved by one universal solution. A meta-analysis by the University of Basel shows that the current focus on no-till farming does not achieve the desired results. A sustainable system of agriculture must be designed for local needs and in dialog with local farmers.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 13.10.2021
Did Venus, Earth's twin sister, ever have oceans?
Did Venus, Earth’s twin sister, ever have oceans?
Astrophysicists led by the UNIGE and the NCCR PlanetS have investigated the past of Venus to find out whether Earth's sister planet once had oceans. The planet Venus can be seen as the Earth's evil twin. At first sight, it is of comparable mass and size as our home planet, similarly consists mostly of rocky material, holds some water and has an atmosphere.

Environment - 12.10.2021
The underground as a haven for biodiversity
The underground as a haven for biodiversity
Europe has relatively low biodiversity compared to most other continents because many species became extinct during the ice ages. In subterranean ecosystems, however, which were shielded from climatic turbulences, a great diversity of ancient species were able to survive. This is the conclusion of a study on the amphipod genus Niphargus.
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