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Physics - Jan 21
Physics
Scientists at EPFL have boosted the efficiency and scalability of perovskite solar cells by replacing their electron-transport layers with a thin layer of quantum dots. Perovskites are hybrid compounds made from metal halides and organic constituents. They show great potential in a range of applications, e.g. LED lights, lasers, and photodetectors, but their major contribution is in solar cells, where they are poised to overtake the market from their silicon counterparts.
Health - Jan 20
Health

Scientists at EPFL and the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) have found the biological mechanism behind the inflammation seen in COVID-19 infections that involve a rise in interferons in the lungs and skin.

Health - Jan 20

The level of magnesium in the blood is an important factor in the immune system's ability to tackle pathogens and cancer cells. Writing in the journal Cell, a research group from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel with Bernese participation have reported that T cells need a sufficient quantity of magnesium in order to operate efficiently. Their findings may have important implications for cancer patients.

Physics - Jan 20
Physics

Researchers at PSI have compared the electron distribution below the oxide layer of two semiconductors. The investigation is part of an effort to develop particularly stable quantum bits -and thus, in turn, particularly efficient quantum computers. They have now published their latest research, which is supported in part by Microsoft, in the scientific journal Advanced Quantum Technologies .

Environment - Jan 20
Environment

Wastewater treatment plants (WTP) place a greater burden on the climate than was previously thought.


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Physics - Materials Science - 21.01.2022
Quantum dots boost perovskite solar cell efficiency and scalability
Quantum dots boost perovskite solar cell efficiency and scalability
Scientists at EPFL have boosted the efficiency and scalability of perovskite solar cells by replacing their electron-transport layers with a thin layer of quantum dots. Perovskites are hybrid compounds made from metal halides and organic constituents. They show great potential in a range of applications, e.g. LED lights, lasers, and photodetectors, but their major contribution is in solar cells, where they are poised to overtake the market from their silicon counterparts.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.01.2022
What lies beneath COVID-19 inflammation
What lies beneath COVID-19 inflammation
Scientists at EPFL and the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) have found the biological mechanism behind the inflammation seen in COVID-19 infections that involve a rise in interferons in the lungs and skin. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, scientists across the world are looking at the pathology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an effort to find effective treatments for patients.

Physics - Computer Science - 20.01.2022
Towards compact quantum computers, thanks to topology
Towards compact quantum computers, thanks to topology
Researchers at PSI have compared the electron distribution below the oxide layer of two semiconductors. The investigation is part of an effort to develop particularly stable quantum bits -and thus, in turn, particularly efficient quantum computers. They have now published their latest research, which is supported in part by Microsoft, in the scientific journal Advanced Quantum Technologies .

Health - 20.01.2022
Magnesium is essential for the immune system, including in the fight against cancer
The level of magnesium in the blood is an important factor in the immune system's ability to tackle pathogens and cancer cells. Writing in the journal Cell, a research group from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel with Bernese participation have reported that T cells need a sufficient quantity of magnesium in order to operate efficiently.

Environment - 20.01.2022
Climate protection in the wastewater treatment arena
Climate protection in the wastewater treatment arena
Wastewater treatment plants (WTP) place a greater burden on the climate than was previously thought. They generate greenhouse gases at various processing stages and, in total, account for over one per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland. In the case of N2O (nitrous oxide), which is particularly harmful to the climate and the ozone layer, they account for a massive 20 per cent or so of total emissions.

Sport - Psychology - 20.01.2022
Exercise aids the development of memory
Exercise aids the development of memory
Our working memory stores information for periods of several seconds and plays an important role in academic performance. According to findings from researchers at the University of Basel and Nagoya University, the development of this component of memory in children and adolescents is benefited by exercise - and particularly by types of exercise that require a lot of coordination.

Environment - Chemistry - 18.01.2022
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
For the elimination of trace substances at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), granular activated carbon (GAC) is also available as an alternative treatment option to ozonation and the powdered activated carbon process (PAC). In contrast to the high energy consumption in ozonation (electrical energy to generate ozone and liquid oxygen), the energy-intensive production and CO2-footprint of carbon (starting raw materials, process energy) have an impact on activated carbon treatment.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.01.2022
Neutral mutants can prevail in gut microbiota, enhancing diversity
Scientists at EPFL and Sorbonne propose a new model of the diversity and evolution of gut bacteria that shows how the gut environment helps neutral mutations become prevalent, with significant potential implications on health and metabolic diseases. -We are used to thinking of evolution as a very slow process, and this is definitely the case for large mammals etc,- says Professor Anne-Florence Bitbol at EPFL's School of Life Sciences.

Environment - Psychology - 17.01.2022
Inciting instead of coercing, 'nudges' prove their effectiveness
Inciting instead of coercing, ’nudges’ prove their effectiveness
A team from the UNIGE demonstrates that certain soft incentive techniques, known as «nudges», are effective in getting people to change their behaviour. To get through challenges such as the pandemic or the climate change, citizens must change their habits and behaviors. But how can this be achieved without resorting to coercive measures? The answer to this question may be the «nudges» that have been gaining popularity over the last decade.

Pedagogy - 17.01.2022
Improving reading skills through action video games
Improving reading skills through action video games
 An Italian-Swiss team demonstrates children reading skills can be improved through a novel child-friendly action video game.   What if video games, instead of being an obstacle to literacy, could actually help children improve their reading abilities? A team from the University of Geneva has joined forces with scientists from the University of Trento in Italy to test an action video game for children, which would enhance reading skills.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.01.2022
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists have observed how catalysts behave at the particle level during water electrolysis. Catalysts play a crucial role in this reaction, in which water splits into hydrogen and oxygen. By shedding light on the underlying mechanism of the functional role of catalysts during the reaction, the scientists have made an important discovery for the design of renewable-energy storage systems.

Health - Physics - 13.01.2022
The unexpected benefits of fat in type 2 diabetes
The unexpected benefits of fat in type 2 diabetes
Scientists from the University of Geneva have discovered that fat may help the pancreas adapt to excess sugar, thereby slowing down the onset of diabetes. With nearly 10% of the world's population affected, type 2 diabetes is a major public health issue. An excessively sedentary lifestyle and a too-caloric diet encourage the development of this metabolic disease by altering the functioning of pancreatic cells and making blood sugar regulation less effective.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.01.2022
'It may be possible to prevent MS by means of vaccination.'
’It may be possible to prevent MS by means of vaccination.’
A large-scale study in the scientific journal Science reveals that the Epstein-Barr virus responsible for causing glandular fever is involved in the development of multiple sclerosis. Professor Jens Kuhle, who participated in the project, summarizes the results in an interview. Professor Kuhle, almost everyone is infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), usually without symptoms.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 12.01.2022
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Organoids are miniature lab-grown tissue structures that can mimic real organs. But guiding stem cells to grow an organoid of defined shape and size is difficult. Now, EPFL bioengineers have developed new methods for successfully guiding the stem cells to grow into intestinal tissues with real-life 3D structure and function.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.01.2022
Decoding inner language to treat speech disorders
Decoding inner language to treat speech disorders
A research team from the UNIGE and the HUG has succeeded in identifying certain signals produced by our brain when we speak to ourselves. What if it were possible to decode the internal language of individuals deprived of the ability to express themselves? This is the objective of a team of neuroscientists from the University of Geneva and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG).

Astronomy / Space Science - 11.01.2022
CHEOPS reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet
CHEOPS reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet
A research team involving the Universities of Bern and Geneva has identified the strong tidal influence on WASP-103b. With the help of the CHEOPS space telescope, an international team including researchers from the Universities of Bern and Geneva as well as the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was able to detect the deformation of an exoplanet for the first time.

Chemistry - Physics - 11.01.2022
Increasing efficiency in artificial photosynthesis
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a new approach to artificial photosynthesis, a method for harvesting solar energy that produces hydrogen as a clean fuel from water. -Artificial photosynthesis is the holy grail of all chemists,- says Astrid Olaya, a chemical engineer at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC).

Health - Life Sciences - 10.01.2022
Novel method to track precisely prostate cancer progression
In the fight against tumours, how the key driver mutations related to disease progression and metastatic spread regulate gene expression to promote ultimately tumor progression and cancer cell adaptation to therapies have remained largely elusive. Using the gene expression fingerprint of cancer cells, researchers at the Istitute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated to USI Università della Svizzera italiana) in Bellinzona have now developed a novel method to track precisely prostate cancer progression in an unprecedented manner.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 10.01.2022
Improved motor, sensory, and cognitive recovery after stroke
Improved motor, sensory, and cognitive recovery after stroke
Stroke survivors have improved recovery of hand and arm function with the help a new rehabilitation protocol thanks to finely tuned electrostimulation of target muscles in the arm. After lying for a while in a way that puts pressure on a nerve in your arm, it may happen that you no longer feel your arm anymore.

Health - Pharmacology - 10.01.2022
Reasons for rejecting the initiative to ban animal and human experimentation in Switzerland
On 13 February 2022, Swiss citizens will be asked to vote on a popular initiative calling for a complete ban on all animal and human experimentation in Switzerland. The initiative also calls for a ban, from 2024, on all new drugs and medical treatments that have been tested on animals or humans, anywhere in the world.
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