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Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 09.03.2022
Connecting stress, weight, and social anxiety in early adolescence
Scientists at EPFL have found a biological connection explaining why there is an increased predisposition to develop obesity and being less sociable in individuals that have experienced stress during early puberty. Between the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence, there is a critical window of time referred to as -peripuberty-.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.03.2022
Origins of metastasis
Origins of metastasis
Researchers at the University of Geneva show that the experience of impending cell death within a primary  tumour can lead to the development of «pro-metastatic» cells. Metastatic cells form in a primary tumour and then break away from it, migrate to other organs, attach to them and form new tumours.

Life Sciences - 07.03.2022
Microbial cleaning crew scours sewage plants
Microbial cleaning crew scours sewage plants
Ciliates and rotifers are the 'cleaners' in sewage treatment plants. That is the result of a study by Jule Freudenthal and Kenneth Dumack from the University of Cologne's Institute of Zoology, together with their Swiss colleagues Feng Ju and Helmut Bürgmann from the aquatic research institute Eawag.

Economics / Business - 07.03.2022
Skill, scale, and value creation in the mutual fund industry
When investors shop for mutual funds, they typically focus on performance, which is generally measured by the level of returns (compared to a given benchmark). However, far less is known about value creation, i.e. whether funds, or rather the fund managers, are capable of extracting genuine value from capital markets through their investment decisions.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.03.2022
Astrocyte Networks in the Mouse Brain Control Spatial Learning and Memory
Astrocyte Networks in the Mouse Brain Control Spatial Learning and Memory
Astrocytes form large networks of interconnected cells in the central nervous system. When these cell-to-cell couplings are disrupted in the brain of adult mice, the animals are no longer able to store spatial information. The astrocytes network is thus essential for spatial learning and memory formation, as neuroscientists of the University of Zurich now show.

Life Sciences - Physics - 07.03.2022
Physics and biology explore together the mechanisms of life
Physics and biology explore together the mechanisms of life
Researchers created a model to disentangle how proteins are unevenly distributed in cells, a process at the very basis of the development of living beings. Each of our cells contains about 40 million proteins that together perform all the tasks the cell needs to survive. For a smooth action, the right proteins must be concentrated in specific amounts, at a specific time and at a specific location.

Innovation - 04.03.2022
Smartwatches may aid future diagnosis and treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
Smartwatches may aid future diagnosis and treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
Technological devices have become constant companions in our daily lives. For the first time, researchers at the University of Basel have now collected data to investigate whether smartwatches can be used to help with compulsive hand washing. Initial results are -cautiously promising. Regular hand washing is important.

Innovation - Life Sciences - 04.03.2022
EPFL spin-off develops protein to boost immunotherapy
EPFL spin-off develops protein to boost immunotherapy
EPFL spin-off Leman Biotech has developed a protein that can improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs used to treat some types of cancer. The firm has just completed its first funding round, in the amount of $11 million. Immunotherapy is a promising new weapon in the fight against some types of cancer.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.03.2022
Communication defect in psychotic disorders
Communication defect in psychotic disorders
Scientists at the University of Geneva demonstrate how a defect in communication between brain areas is linked to the onset of psychotic disorders. Deficits in the maturation of the gamma response to auditory stimulation in childhood and adolescence are predictive of the risk of developing psychotic disorders.

History / Archeology - 02.03.2022
7,000-year-old grains hints at origin of Swiss pile dwellings
7,000-year-old grains hints at origin of Swiss pile dwellings
There is no other place where so many Neolithic pile dwellings have been uncovered as around the Alps. It is a mystery, however, how this -building boom- came to be. Researchers at the University of Basel have now uncovered new clues, and say that settlers at Lake Varese in northern Italy may have played a leading role.

Physics - 02.03.2022
Ring my string: Building silicon nano-strings
Ring my string: Building silicon nano-strings
A team of scientists engineer nanoscale guitar strings that vibrate tens of billions of times when plucked at cryogenic temperatures, with a material originally developed for electronic transistors. Tightening a string, e.g. when tuning a guitar, makes it vibrate faster. But when strings are nano-sized, increased tension also reduces, or -dilutes-, the loss of the string's vibrational modes.

Environment - Chemistry - 01.03.2022
Scientists map Arctic aerosols to better understand regional warming
Scientists map Arctic aerosols to better understand regional warming
Scientists at EPFL and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have studied the chemical composition and origin - whether natural or anthropogenic - of aerosols in a region spanning from Russia to Canada. Their findings provide unique insights for helping researchers better understand climate change in the Arctic and design effective pollution-mitigation measures.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.03.2022
The role of lipids in the development of Alzheimer's disease
The role of lipids in the development of Alzheimer’s disease
A European consortium coordinated by UNIGE shows how a mutation in the APOE protein changes the lipid transport in the brain and could promote the arise of Alzheimer's disease. Neurons in the brain coexist with and rely on many other cell types to function properly. Astrocytes, which take their name from their star shape, ensure the survival of neurons by feeding and detoxifying them with the help of a multifunctional protein, APOE.

Health - 28.02.2022
Pass me the pastries, please
Pass me the pastries, please
A new global study by researchers from EPFL, the University of Fribourg, and Microsoft Research has found there was an overall surge in high calorie foods such as pastries, bread and pies during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with potential implications for public health. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered people's lives around the world.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 28.02.2022
Familiar objects can prevent autism-like behaviors in mouse model
Familiar objects can prevent autism-like behaviors in mouse model
The emergence of autism traits can result from different factors, such as a person's environment and genetic background. FMI researchers and their Novartis collaborators showed that exposing mice with an autism mutation to a new environment can trigger autism-like behaviors — through faulty signaling in the brain.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 25.02.2022
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
The shape of galaxies and how they evolve depend on a web of cosmological filaments that run across the Universe. According to a recent study headed by EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics, this cosmic web plays a much bigger role than previously thought. Across the Universe, galaxies are distributed along what's called the cosmic web, a complex network of filaments made up of ordinary and dark matter.

Health - Mathematics - 25.02.2022
Mathematics helps AI in biomedicine
Mathematics helps AI in biomedicine
"Data is the new oil", it has often been said. Indeed, in the digital age data is the fuel that runs the engines of digital media, advanced informatics (AI, machine learning etc.) and, not least, scientific research. Nevertheless, when facing certain highly complex issues, data-driven approaches may not always be the most effective solutions.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.02.2022
Gut Microbiota Influences Treatment against Parasitic Worms
Gut Microbiota Influences Treatment against Parasitic Worms
Almost a quarter of the world's population is at risk of helminth infections and available treatment options are limited. Therefore, a better understanding of why anti-parasitic drugs fail in certain cases is crucial. A new study by Swiss TPH sheds light on how gut bacteria affect treatment outcomes against parasitic worms.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.02.2022
Legacy of extinct species is retained in genomes of their extant relatives
Legacy of extinct species is retained in genomes of their extant relatives
The carefully labelled paper bags look fairly plain, but they are actually a piece of luck for research. They contain historical scale samples, collected on a regular basis from all Lake Constance whitefish species by fisheries authorities for more than 100 years to determine age and growth rates. David Frei, from Eawag's Fish Ecology and Evolution Department, was able to extract genetic material from these scales collected from whitefish that lived in Lake Constance around 90 years ago.

Materials Science - 22.02.2022
Silence on the tracks
Silence on the tracks
Noise barriers or improved wheel systems and brakes that are less noisy are not the only ways to reduce railway noise for close-by residents. An inconspicuous component under the tracks is a source of hope for a research team including scientists. Railway noise is unhealthy. Hundreds of millions of Swiss francs have already been invested in noise barriers, quieter braking systems and other measures with the goal to protect at least 80 percent of the Swiss population from emissions by the year 2025 - but because railway traffic will continue to increase, a lot remains to be done.
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