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Media - Linguistics / Literature - 17.05.2024
Orphan articles: the 'dark matter' of Wikipedia
Orphan articles: the ’dark matter’ of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is the largest platform for open and freely accessible knowledge online yet, in a new study, researchers have found that around 15% of the content is effectively invisible to readers browsing within Wikipedia. They have developed a new tool to help overcome this. With 60 million articles in more than 300 language versions, Wikipedia's available content grows continuously at a rate of around 200 thousand new articles each month.

Physics - Innovation - 16.05.2024
Artificial intelligence calculates phase diagrams
Artificial intelligence calculates phase diagrams
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a new method for calculating phase diagrams of physical systems that works similarly to ChatGPT. This artificial intelligence could even automate scientific experiments in the future. A year and a half ago, ChatGPT was released, and ever since, there has been hardly anything that cannot be created with this new form of artificial intelligence: texts, images, videos, and even music.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.05.2024
At the right time for tumours
By examining the immune modulations of tumours during the day, scientists from the University of Geneva and the LMU Munich are demonstrating their impact on the diagnosis and management of patients. The currently most promising anti-tumour treatments are immunotherapies, which aim to boost the action of the patients' immune system to fight cancer.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
A new statistical approach published in the journal PNAS reveals a major advance in the measurement of inbreeding. Under the direction of Jérôme Goudet, professor at the University of Lausanne and group leader at the SIB, the authors have developed a promising method for studying endangered species.

Environment - Innovation - 15.05.2024
Using solar energy to generate heat at high temperatures
Using solar energy to generate heat at high temperatures
Instead of burning coal or oil to produce cement or steel, in the future solar energy could be used for this purpose. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a thermal trap that can absorb concentrated sunlight and deliver heat at over thousand degrees Celsius. The production of cement, metals and many chemical commodities requires extremely high temperatures of over a thousand degrees Celsius.

Physics - Computer Science - 15.05.2024
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
Researchers at EPFL have developed scalable photonic integrated circuits, based on lithium tantalate, marking a significant advancement in optical technologies with potential to widespread commercial applications. The rapid advancement in photonic integrated circuits (PICs), whichcombine multiple optical devices and functionalities on a single chip, has revolutionized optical communications and computing systems.

Transport - Innovation - 15.05.2024
Researchers outsmarted EasyRide function on Swiss travel app
Researchers outsmarted EasyRide function on Swiss travel app
Experiments by ETH Zurich computer security researchers showed that smartphones can be manipulated to allow the owner to ride Swiss trains for free. The researchers also highlighted ways of curbing such misuse. It makes travelling by train, bus and tram super easy: instead of buying a conventional ticket, people using the EasyRide function in the SBB app can start their journey with a single swipe on their smartphone.

Health - 15.05.2024
New cells could be key to treating obesity
New cells could be key to treating obesity
New cells discovered in human omental adipose tissue inhibit fat cell formation, revealing why 'apple' body shapes may pose higher metabolic health risks. Image: Confocal microscopy fluorescent images of a human omental adipose tissue section (visceral fat), depicting the mesothelial cell layer surrounding lobules of adipocytes.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.05.2024
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
In EPFL's GenoRobotics project, a cross-disciplinary team of students is developing a novel method for identifying plant DNA - one that's faster, cheaper and less energy-intensive than the conventional one. The team hopes their new protocol, designed for use out in the field, will make it easier to categorize plants and ultimately help protect biodiversity.

Astronomy / Space - 14.05.2024
Discovery of a planet around an ultra-cool star
Artist's concept of the exoplanet SPECULOOS-3 b orbiting its ultra-cool red dwarf star. The planet is as big as Earth, while its star is slightly larger than Jupiter, but much more massive. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech An international team of astronomers - including members of the NCCR PlanetS , the University of Geneva and the University of Bern (UNIBE) - has discovered, for only the second time, an Earth-sized exoplanet (SPECULOOS-3 b) around an ultra-cool Red Dwarf star.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 14.05.2024
Mosaic grassland landscapes are the most beneficial
Mosaic grassland landscapes are the most beneficial
Like forests, grassland provides numerous ecological, economic and social benefits. Researchers in the Swiss canton of Solothurn have investigated ways to maintain and improve these benefits. Grass, clover and herbs are the foundation of Swiss agriculture: two-thirds of Switzerland's agricultural land is grassland, much of which is barely suitable for arable farming.

Health - Physics - 13.05.2024
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a protein-based gel that breaks down alcohol in the gastrointestinal tract without harming the body. In the future, people who take the gel could reduce the harmful and intoxicating effects of alcohol. Most alcohol enters the bloodstream via the mucous membrane layer of the stomach and the intestines.

Environment - Chemistry - 13.05.2024
Reaction of trees to heat unravelled
Reaction of trees to heat unravelled
At temperatures above 30°C, water loss through transpiration increases in trees, while CO2 uptake decreases - even when there is enough CO2 in the atmosphere. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL were able to show this in a study conducted using a new high-tech facility.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.05.2024
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Researchers at ETH Zurich have, for the first time, made visible how electrons form vortices in a material at room temperature. Their experiment used a quantum sensing microscope with an extremely high resolution. When an ordinary electrical conductor - such as a metal wire - is connected to a battery, the electrons in the conductor are accelerated by the electric field created by the battery.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.05.2024
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
By analysing images made of coloured dots created by quantum simulators, researchers have studied a special kind of magnetism. In the future this method could also be used to solve other physics puzzles, for instance in superconductivity. Up close it looks like lots of coloured dots, but from a distance one sees a complex picture rich in detail: Using the technique of pointillism, in 1886 George Seurat created the masterpiece ,,A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte".

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.05.2024
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Freshwater bacteria with small genomes frequently undergo prolonged periods of adaptive stagnation. Based on genomic analyses of samples from Lake Zurich and other European lakes, researchers at the University of Zurich uncovered specific evolutionary strategies that shape these bacteria's lifestyles.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 08.05.2024
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Researchers using NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope may have detected an atmosphere surrounding 55 Cancri e, a rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth. This is the best evidence to date for a rocky planet atmosphere outside our solar system. Brice-Olivier Demory, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Bern and member of the the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was part of the international research team that just published the results in Nature.

Environment - Chemistry - 08.05.2024
How rising treelines can affect Alpine lakes
How rising treelines can affect Alpine lakes
An EPFL scientist along with colleagues from universities across Europe have completed the first-ever quantitative study of the changes that soil organic matter from forests can cause in high-altitude and high-latitude lakes once it's dissolved in the water Treelines are rising around the world as a result of global warming.

Physics - 06.05.2024
Experiment opens door for millions of qubits on one chip
Experiment opens door for millions of qubits on one chip
Researchers from the University of Basel and the NCCR SPIN have achieved the first controllable interaction between two hole spin qubits in a conventional silicon transistor. The breakthrough opens up the possibility of integrating millions of these qubits on a single chip using mature manufacturing processes.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 06.05.2024
Field reality reshapes robotic design
Field reality reshapes robotic design
In 2016, the BBC commissioned two reptilian robots from the BioRob laboratory for a documentary on the African wilderness. The scientists never imagined how testing the devices in the wild would change their approach to robotic design. Auke Ijspeert and his team at the Laboratory of Biorobotics ( BioRob ) in EPFL's Faculty of Engineering had already tested their bio-informed robots in the wild.