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Physics - 13.05.2020
Speeding up long-range coherent LiDAR
Speeding up long-range coherent LiDAR
LiDAR is a technique used for measuring distances with laser light. In a study published in Nature, researchers at EPFL show a new way to speed up a type of LiDAR engine by using photonic circuits. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) comprised an array of techniques using laser light to measure distances by multiplying the time delay between transmitted and received optical signals with the speed of light.

Life Sciences - 12.05.2020
A novel pathway ensuring chromosome stability in early mice embryo
A novel pathway ensuring chromosome stability in early mice embryo
The Peters group studies chromatin formation and regulation in mammalian germ cells and during early embryonic development. Now researchers from the group identified a novel pathway that is essential for maintaining the integrity of heterochromatin, and therefore for securing chromosome stability. Chromatin - made up of DNA wrapped up around histone proteins - plays a major role in gene regulation by modulating the accessibility of transcription factors to their target sequences in the genome.

Physics - 12.05.2020
Transistor sets a new standard for energy efficiency
Transistor sets a new standard for energy efficiency
Researchers at EPFL's Nanoelectronic Devices Laboratory (Nanolab), working under Professor Adrian Ionescu, have designed and demonstrated a new type of technology based on 2D semiconducting materials that's almost as energy-efficient as the human brain. Smartphones, laptops and smartwatches consume vast quantities of energy, yet only around half of this energy is actually used to power important functions.

Health - Environment - 11.05.2020
From STI to Swiss TPH: 2009-2019
From STI to Swiss TPH: 2009-2019
Ten years ago, the former Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) within the University of Basel's Faculty of Medicine was integrated into the Swiss Tropical Institute (STI). Since then, topics such as air pollution, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have been high on the agenda at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), as it is called today.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 11.05.2020
Peptides that can be taken as a pill
Peptides that can be taken as a pill
Peptides represent a billion-dollar market in the pharmaceutical industry, but they can generally only be taken as injections to avoid degradation by stomach enzymes. Scientists at EPFL have now developed a method to generate peptides that resist enzymatic degradation and can be taken orally. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that occur in our body, in plants or bacteria to control diverse functions.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.05.2020
Lighting the path for cells
Lighting the path for cells
ETH researchers have developed a new method in which they use light to draw patterns of molecules that guide living cells. The approach allows for a closer look at the development of multicellular organisms - and in the future may even play a part in novel therapies.   Highly complex organisms can arise from a single cell, which is one of the true miracles of nature.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.05.2020
IOR researchers suggest that androgen-deprivation treatments for prostate cancer could protect men from COVID-19
The so-called "androgen-deprivation" treatments used in prostate cancer therapy may have a protective effect against COVID-19. A study conducted by the Istitute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated to USI) based on health data obtained from the Veneto region in Italy has observed a lower risk of developing the coronavirus disease for men subject to this type of therapy.

Environment - Innovation - 11.05.2020
Urban water management: Ways to a flexible future
Urban water management: Ways to a flexible future
In Switzerland, fresh drinking water springs from the tap whenever it is needed. After use, it flows through the sewage system into the central wastewater treatment plants, where it is cleaned and reintroduced into the water cycle. This system has proven itself over many decades. But growing cities, climate change, environmental protection and scarce resources pose new challenges for urban water management.

Health - Environment - 11.05.2020
10 Years Swiss TPH: Integration of the ISPM into the Former Swiss Tropical Institute
10 Years Swiss TPH: Integration of the ISPM into the Former Swiss Tropical Institute
Ten years ago, the former Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) within the University of Basel's Faculty of Medicine was integrated into the Swiss Tropical Institute (STI). Since then, topics such as air pollution, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have been high on the agenda at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), as it is called today.

Career - 11.05.2020
USI enters into an agreement with Elsevier for open access scientific publications
USI enters into an agreement with Elsevier for open access scientific publications
After lengthy negotiations conducted by swissuniversities , an agreement was reached with the publisher Elsevier to allow researchers at Swiss universities to publish free Open Access (OA) articles in the world's leading medical and scientific journals. This agreement, which covers also the University libraries of USI, applies to all Elsevier journals, including Gold OA, but excluding The Cell Press, The Lancet e several society journals .

Criminology / Forensics - Social Sciences - 08.05.2020
Sadistic sexual murders involving child victims: insights for police
Sadistic sexual murders involving child victims: insights for police
Researchers supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation analysed how sadistic sexual murderers assaulting child victims commit their crimes and discovered a number of specific patterns. A better understanding of these crimes may help police in their investigations. Sexual homicides involving children are often highly publicised.

Environment - 08.05.2020
Restoring rivers and streams: Effective outcome evaluation
Restoring rivers and streams: Effective outcome evaluation
Canalisation, sewage disposal and hydropower exploitation - rivers are among the most heavily impacted ecosystems worldwide. At the same time, rivers and streams are highly dynamic systems of exceptional biological diversity and social importance. In this area of conflict between protection and exploitation, Switzerland will implement numerous restoration and mitigation projects in the coming decades.

Physics - Materials Science - 07.05.2020
Laser loop couples quantum systems over a distance
Laser loop couples quantum systems over a distance
For the first time, researchers have succeeded in creating strong coupling between quantum systems over a greater distance. They accomplished this with a novel method in which a laser loop connects the systems, enabling nearly lossless exchange of information and strong interaction between them. In the scientific journal Science, the physicists from the University of Basel and University of Hanover reported that the new method opens up new possibilities in quantum networks and quantum sensor technology.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.05.2020
Lipid Metabolism Controls Brain Development
Lipid Metabolism Controls Brain Development
A lipid metabolism enzyme controls brain stem cell activity and lifelong brain development. If the enzyme does not work correctly, it causes learning and memory deficits in humans and mice, as researchers at the University of Zurich have discovered. Regulating stem cell activity via lipid metabolism could lead to new treatments for brain diseases.

Health - Pharmacology - 07.05.2020
Prostate cancer treatment may protect from COVID-19
Androgen-deprivation therapy could protect against infection with SARS-CoV-2 and against severe disease progression. This is suggested by a study led by a professor from the Università della Svizzera Italiana and ETH Zurich. Male cancer patients have a 1.8-fold increased risk of COVID-19 infection compared to the whole male population and develop a more severe disease.

Environment - Materials Science - 06.05.2020
Filtering out toxic chromium from water
EPFL chemists have developed sponges to capture various target substances, like gold, mercury and lead, dissolved in solution. The sponges are actually porous crystals called metal organic frameworks, and now one exists for capturing toxic hexavalent chromium from water. Hexavalent chromium continues to contaminate water sources around the world, with one US company fined just this February for having put employees at risk.

Environment - Materials Science - 06.05.2020
Going against the trend
Going against the trend
Global warming has affected the entire planet's surface, except for one particular area of the ocean, which has bucked the trend. A research team comprising scientists from ETH Zurich and Princeton University has unravelled the causes of this conundrum. Climate and marine scientists are observing pervasive warming of the ocean and the land surfaces across the globe.

Career - Health - 06.05.2020
Workers Happy despite Crisis and Uncertainty
Workers Happy despite Crisis and Uncertainty
In general, workers in Switzerland and Germany are coping well with the Covid-19 crisis and the associated social disruption. They are feeling happier and finding it easier to unwind and balance work and private life. They are also more engaged at work than last year, a survey among 600 participants carried out by researchers of the University of Zurich shows.

Environment - Economics / Business - 05.05.2020
Long-term developments of energy pricing and consumption in industry
Long-term developments of energy pricing and consumption in industry
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have collaborated with British economists to study how energy consumption by Swiss industry develops depending on energy pricing. To this end, they examined in particular the prices and consumption of both electricity and natural gas over the past decades.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.05.2020
Bacterial behaviour influences cloud formation
Bacterial behaviour influences cloud formation
ETH researchers have analysed individual marine bacterial cells to show that metabolic processes inside them determine the amount of gas they release, which is involved in cloud formation. Meteorologists have known for almost 50 years that the proverbial flapping of a butterfly's wings can trigger a hurricane in a completely different location.
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