Materials Science - Nov 22
Materials Science
A protective membrane for cardiac pacemakers developed at ETH Zurich has proved successful in animal trials in reducing the undesirable build-up of fibrotic tissue around the implant. The next step is to test the protective membrane in patients. ETH scientists have developed a special protective membrane made of cellulose that significantly reduces the build-up of fibrotic tissue around cardiac pacemaker implants, as reported in the current issue of the journal Biomaterials.
Environment - Nov 20
Environment

Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral, according to a new study by EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Health - Nov 19
Health

Killer cells of the immune system detect and kill infected cells or cancer cells. Researchers at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern have now discovered that the mechanism by which certain immune cells kill their target cells can also be used to control the killer cells themselves.

Earth Sciences - Nov 20
Earth Sciences

EPFL spin-off Medusoil has successfully tested its ground-stabilization process on cliffs subject to surface erosion.

Transport - Nov 19
Transport

ETH researchers have shown that we can use the structure of urban road networks to predict their traffic capacity.


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Materials Science - Health - 22.11.2019
Protection for pacemakers
Protection for pacemakers
A protective membrane for cardiac pacemakers developed at ETH Zurich has proved successful in animal trials in reducing the undesirable build-up of fibrotic tissue around the implant. The next step is to test the protective membrane in patients. ETH scientists have developed a special protective membrane made of cellulose that significantly reduces the build-up of fibrotic tissue around cardiac pacemaker implants, as reported in the current issue of the journal Biomaterials.

Environment - 20.11.2019
When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable
When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable
Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral, according to a new study by EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Earth Sciences - Physics - 20.11.2019
Stabilizing a cliff using biomineral binders
Stabilizing a cliff using biomineral binders
EPFL spin-off Medusoil has successfully tested its ground-stabilization process on cliffs subject to surface erosion. The company's biomineral-based solution can be used to stabilize sandy and gravelly subsoils to safeguard surrounding infrastructure. It is a long-lasting and easy-to-use alternative to industrial fluids - the production and use of which can be harmful to the environment.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2019
A new pathway to
A new pathway to "reprogram" killer cells
Killer cells of the immune system detect and kill infected cells or cancer cells. Researchers at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern have now discovered that the mechanism by which certain immune cells kill their target cells can also be used to control the killer cells themselves. This finding may be relevant to cancer immunotherapy.

Transport - 19.11.2019
How the road network determines traffic capacity
How the road network determines traffic capacity
ETH researchers have shown that we can use the structure of urban road networks to predict their traffic capacity. This information enables urban and transportation planners to quantify how changes will influence traffic volumes. People who commute by car will have an idea of what "traffic capacity" means, drawn from their own experience: as a stream of cars heads into a city early in the morning, the flow of traffic initially increases - until a critical point is reached in terms of the number of vehicles on the roads.

Environment - Innovation - 15.11.2019
EPFL creates a solar cooker with solid potential in Switzerland
EPFL creates a solar cooker with solid potential in Switzerland
EPFL scientists have developed a glass-paneled solar cooker that delivers exceptional performance. Their patented design can operate an average of 155 days a year in Switzerland's cloudiest regions and up to 240 days in its sunniest.  Solar cookers - or solar-powered ovens - can be used to cook foods at low temperatures (60-120°C) for anywhere from 30 minutes up to four hours.

Health - Environment - 15.11.2019
During epidemics, access to GPS data from smartphones can be crucial
During epidemics, access to GPS data from smartphones can be crucial
A new EPFL and MIT study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data - information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.  Researchers from EPFL and MIT have shown that human mobility is a major factor in the spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue even over short intra-city distances.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 15.11.2019
How nematodes outsmart the defenses of pests
How nematodes outsmart the defenses of pests
The western corn rootworm, one of the world's most damaging maize pests, can use plant defense compounds to defend itself against its own natural enemies, so-called entomopathogenic nematodes. However, the nematodes can become immune against these compounds in turn, which enhances their ability to fight the western corn rootworm, as researchers at the University of Bern show.

Physics - 15.11.2019
A super-fast
A super-fast "light switch" for future cars and computers
Switching light beams quickly is important in many technological applications. Researchers at ETH have now developed an "electro-opto-mechanical" switch for light beams that is considerably smaller and faster than current models. This is relevant for applications such as self-driving cars and optical quantum technologies.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.11.2019
Breakthrough in malaria research
Breakthrough in malaria research
An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the Umeå University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.11.2019
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
An international research consortium with ETH participation demonstrates that marine plankton is more diverse in warm oceans than in polar seas, both in terms of species count and the biological activities of the plankton communities. Climate change could lead to a redistribution of plankton in the world's oceans.

Health - 14.11.2019
Place of residence and sodas, an explosive cocktail
In a groundbreaking study published today, scientists used precision geospatial analysis techniques to show that obesity and the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are more prevalent in some parts of Geneva than others. The study, a collaboration between HUG, EPFL, UNIGE and CHUV, is the first of its kind to establish a link between place of residence, SSB consumption and high body mass index (BMI).

Chemistry - Physics - 14.11.2019
Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time
Chiral molecules - compounds that are mirror images of each other - play an important role in biological processes and in chemical synthesis. Chemists at ETH Zurich have now succeeded for the first time in using ultrafast laser pulses to observe changes in chirality during a chemical reaction in real time.

Environment - 14.11.2019
Rubber in the environment
Rubber in the environment
The tread on the tyre is worn out, new tyres are needed. Everyday life for many drivers. But where do these lost centimetres of tyre tread "disappear" to? As micro-rubbers, they mainly end up in soil and water and, to a small extent, in the air. And the amount of these particles in our environment is anything but small, as Empa researchers have now calculated.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.11.2019
Large storage potential in future ice-free glacier basins
Large storage potential in future ice-free glacier basins
Glaciologists at ETH Zurich and WSL assessed the global water storage and hydropower potential that could be freed up in future as glaciers melt in response to climate change. Global warming will cause substantial glacier retreat for the majority of the world's glaciers over the next few decades. This will not only spell the end for some magnificent natural monuments, but also importantly affect the water cycle.

Materials Science - History / Archeology - 13.11.2019
Finest handwork
Finest handwork
In autumn 2017, the archaeological service of the Canton of Berne was amazed when two private individuals delivered a crusted lump of metal. The bronze hand of Prêles, decorated with a ribbon of gold, turned out to be the oldest bronze sculpture of a human body part in Central Europe. But where did the metals of the sensational find come from? Empa researchers were involved in the investigation.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.11.2019
Amoebas to replace laboratory mice
Amoebas to replace laboratory mice
The University of Geneva awards its 3R Prize to research that reduces the number of animals in experimentation through better selection of the compounds to be tested. Minimize the number of anti-infective compounds to be tested in an animal model by first selecting them on infected amoebas to retain only the most effective ones.

Life Sciences - Environment - 13.11.2019
Opportunity makes species
Opportunity makes species
"The people who live around the Eqaluit River in the south-west of Greenland do know that there are char living in the river and its lakes", explains the evolutionary and fish biologist Carmela Dönz. "But they prefer to eat sea fish and take very little notice of the fish stocks in fresh water - which is one of the reasons why the fish appear to have little fear of people." Outside the region, the rivers and lakes along the coastline created by the retreating Greenland glaciers after the last ice age remain largely unknown.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 12.11.2019
A cheaper way to scale up atomic layer deposition
A cheaper way to scale up atomic layer deposition
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a new method for atomic layer deposition, a technique commonly used in high-quality microelectronics. The new method can be used in materials with larger surfaces much more cheaply than current approaches, while preserving quality and efficiency. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) involves stacking layers of atoms on top of each other like pancakes.

Materials Science - 12.11.2019
A fast and precise look into fibre-reinforced composites
A fast and precise look into fibre-reinforced composites
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have improved a method for small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to such an extent that it can now be used in the development or quality control of novel fibre-reinforced composites. This means that in the future, such materials can be investigated not only with X-rays from especially powerful sources such as the Swiss Light Source SLS, but also with those from conventional X-ray tubes.
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