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Environment - Social Sciences - 29.11.2023
Small apartments have potential in Switzerland
Small apartments have potential in Switzerland
There is a high level of interest in small forms of housing among the Swiss population. However, there are clear differences between those who already live or have lived in such a form of housing and those who can imagine doing so in principle. These are the findings of a study conducted by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Environment - 29.11.2023
Experts revive ancient techniques to make concrete more sustainable
Experts revive ancient techniques to make concrete more sustainable
A team of experts from EPFL, ETH Zurich and a Geneva-based architecture firm has developed a new type of non-reinforced concrete made from stone offcuts. Their method, which reduces the use of carbon-intensive cement-based binders, draws on ancient techniques uncovered in historical archives. Some walls could easily be built without reinforced concrete, a material that accounts for a large share of the construction industry's carbon footprint.

Environment - Life Sciences - 28.11.2023
Protection of Highly Threatened Sharks and Rays Inadequate
Paleontology Sharks, rays and skates are the ocean's most threatened vertebrate group. Research led by the University of Zurich into their functional diversity has now revealed previously overlooked, critical conservation priorities, thereby underscoring the urgent need for targeted action to safeguard the threatened species.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.11.2023
How plants determine where light comes from
How plants determine where light comes from
With no visual organs, how can a plant know where light is coming from? In an original study combining biological and engineering expertise, the team led by Prof. Christian Fankhauser at the University of Lausanne, in collaboration with colleagues at EPFL, has deciphered a novel mechanism using the interface between air and water to generate a gradient of light "visible" to the plant.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.11.2023
Scientists explore hidden dynamics in peat under mosses and shrubs
Scientists explore hidden dynamics in peat under mosses and shrubs
Global warming is causing extensive changes to peatland vegetation in Europe and Western Siberia, with consequences for soil composition and the peatlands' ability to sequester carbon. An EPFL-led study has examined the mechanisms behind these complex processes. Peatlands are significant carbon sinks, meaning they're potential time bombs when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment - Social Sciences - 22.11.2023
Durability: young people use their phones longer
Durability: young people use their phones longer
Young Swiss use their smartphones for almost three years before replacing them. That's almost a year longer than in 2016, according to the latest JAMESfocus report from ZHAW and Swisscom. While technical features and price remain central for young people when buying a cell phone, sustainability criteria are also gaining in importance .

Environment - Innovation - 21.11.2023
New technology can collect CO2 from a truck's exhaust pipe
New technology can collect CO2 from a truck's exhaust pipe
EPFL spin-off Qaptis has developed a system that can cut freight trucks' carbon emissions by up to 90%.

Civil Engineering - Environment - 20.11.2023
The future of construction with more sustainable cement
The future of construction with more sustainable cement
A new material developed at EPFL could change how we make cement forever - and cut 500 million tons of emissions by 2030.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.11.2023
Quagga mussel: prognosis for affected lakes
Quagga mussel: prognosis for affected lakes
A comparison of three Swiss lakes with the Great Lakes of North America show for the first time that the invasive quagga mussel is spreading on both continents with a similar dynamic.

Environment - 15.11.2023
Natural coasts protect against tropical cyclones
Natural coasts protect against tropical cyclones
People living on the in low-lying coastal areas will be at even greater risk from cyclones in the future. Natural ecosystems offer protection, but this protection has decreased in recent years and is expected to continue to decline. This is a finding of a model study by an international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich.

Environment - 14.11.2023
The quagga mussel threatens to upset Lake Geneva ecosystem
The quagga mussel threatens to upset Lake Geneva ecosystem
A team from UNIGE, Eawag and the University of Konstanz has compared the spread of this invasive species in Switzerland and the United States. The result is a better understanding of the threats facing Lake Geneva. Invasive species are one of the main causes of human induced changes to ecosystems. The quagga mussel ( Dreissena rostriformis ) is one of them.

Environment - Social Sciences - 13.11.2023
Diverse forests hold huge carbon potential, as long as we cut emissions
Diverse forests hold huge carbon potential, as long as we cut emissions
New study estimates that natural forest recovery could capture approximately 226 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon, but only if we also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving these results requires community-driven efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity. Research results published in the journal, external page Nature call_made , show that realistic global forest carbon potential is approximately 226 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon.

Environment - 10.11.2023
Green change in a grey industry
Researchers are developing a low-carbon cement with a significantly lower embodied CO2 content than traditional cement.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.11.2023
Poison dart frogs: Personality determines reproductive strategies
Poison dart frogs: Personality determines reproductive strategies
Unlike their relatives, individuals of the poison frog Allobates femoralis are not poisonous but are captivating due to their different behavioral profiles: They successfully reproduce with different strategies depending on whether they are bold, aggressive or explorative. In addition, certain character traits are already present in this species at the tadpole stage.

Environment - Innovation - 06.11.2023
Energy transition: a super-model to guide policy makers
Energy transition: a super-model to guide policy makers
A team from the University of Geneva has modelled projections for the spread of green energy at local level. Switzerland will have to step up its efforts to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050. How can we ensure that an energy policy will achieve its objectives? To find out, scientists and public authorities can rely on computer models of varying degrees of accuracy.

Health - Environment - 01.11.2023
Mobile phone use may affect semen quality
Mobile phone use may affect semen quality
A team from the University of Geneva and Swiss TPH has published a large study covering more than a decade of data on the effects of mobile phones on semen quality of young men. Does electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones affect semen quality? While various environmental and lifestyle factors have been proposed to explain the decline in semen quality observed over the last fifty years, the role of mobile phones has yet to be demonstrated.

Environment - 31.10.2023
Douglas firs with frost damage and new enemies
Douglas firs with frost damage and new enemies
The Douglas firs in Switzerland had a bad year: starting in mid-April 2023, foresters noticed conspicuously red-coloured needles. Investigations show that this is probably frost damage. Moreover, with the first discovery of invasive gall midges from North America in summer 2022, the list of Douglas fir pests has been extended further.

Environment - 26.10.2023
Global warming threatens soil micro-organisms
Global warming threatens soil micro-organisms
A major international study conducted mainly at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) has revealed that the Apodera vas shell amoeba is found almost exclusively in regions originating from Gondwana, the supercontinent that gave rise to some of today's continents. The study also highlights the threat posed by global warming to the biodiversity of soil micro-organisms, of which this amoeba is one.

Environment - Economics - 26.10.2023
This bottle makes sparkling water on the go
Sparkling water on the go at the touch of a button and entirely plastic-free. The new water bottle by ETH spin-off bottleplus makes this possible. by Nicole Davidson and Karin Kelly Like many other people, former ETH students Christian Käser and Linus Lingg love to drink sparkling water. There are dozens of convenient and well-designed reusable bottles for transporting tap water.

Chemistry - Environment - 24.10.2023
New design solves stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells
New design solves stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells
Researchers at EPFL and Northwestern University unveil a groundbreaking design for perovskite solar cells, creating one of the most stable PSCs with a power-conversion efficiency above 25%, paving the way for future commercialization. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) stand at the forefront of solar energy innovation, and have drawn a lot of attention for their power-conversion efficiency and cost-effective manufacturing.