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Health - Pharmacology - 28.03.2019
Breast cancer: the promises of old recipes
Breast cancer: the promises of old recipes
Researchers from UNIGE and UNIL demonstrate the efficacy of a well-known antibiotic in treating a particularly fatal form of breast cancer, offering hope for targeted therapy. Of the three major subtypes of breast cancer, the «triple negative» is the most lethal: half of all breast cancer deaths are attributed to it, whereas it accounts for only about 15% of incidences of breast cancer.

Life Sciences - 27.03.2019
Lying, Sitting or Standing: Resting Postures Determined by Animals' Size
Lying, Sitting or Standing: Resting Postures Determined by Animals’ Size
Cows always lie on their chests so that their digestion is not impaired. Rodents sometimes rest sitting down, while kangaroos sometimes lie on their backs. The larger the animal, the less often it lies down, and when it does, it is more likely to lie on its side - but there are exceptions. A team from UZH investigated the resting postures of mammals.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 27.03.2019
An old neuroscience problem
An old neuroscience problem
Researchers from EPFL explain how the shapes of neurons can be classified using mathematical methods from the field of algebraic topology. Neuroscientists can now start building a formal catalogue for all the types of cells in the brain. Onto this catalogue of cells, they can systematically map the function and role in disease of each type of neuron in the brain.

Environment - 26.03.2019
Hurricanes going astray make for heavy rainfall in Europe
Hurricanes going astray make for heavy rainfall in Europe
Tropical storms that move poleward influence the weather in Europe much more than previously supposed. A study from the Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risks at the University of Bern shows that the probability of heavy rainfall is twice as high when mid-latitude weather is disrupted by cyclones. These findings could ensure better extreme weather forecasts in the future.

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.03.2019
Seeds inherit memories from their mother
Seeds inherit memories from their mother
UNIGE researchers demonstrate that maternal and environmental control of seed dormancy is carried out through novel epigenetic mechanisms. Seeds remain in a dormant state - a temporary blockage of their germination - as long as environmental conditions are not ideal for germination. The depth of this sleep, which is influenced by various factors, is inherited from their mother, as researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, had previously shown.

Health - 26.03.2019
Combating fatigue with a smartwatch application
Combating fatigue with a smartwatch application
Scientists from EPFL, UNIL and local startup be.care have developed a system that uses heart rate variability to detect fatigue and identify what kind it is. The system then uses the results to suggest lifestyle changes that can make a difference. An initial test has been carried out on university students under real-world conditions.

Environment - 26.03.2019
Getting into murky waters: Blue-green algae produce toxic cocktail
Getting into murky waters: Blue-green algae produce toxic cocktail
Between spring and autumn, when the lakes warm up and the concentration of nutrients increases, all around the world blue-green algae are proliferating en masse. Switzerland is no exception, with the algae occurring in lakes such as the Baldeggersee or Greifensee. This may be problematical, as some blue-green algae, known scientifically as cyanobacteria, produce toxic substances.

Environment - 26.03.2019
Getting into murky waters: Blue-green algae produce cocktail of potential toxins
Getting into murky waters: Blue-green algae produce cocktail of potential toxins
Between spring and autumn, when the lakes warm up and the concentration of nutrients increases, all around the world blue-green algae are proliferating en masse. Switzerland is no exception, with the algae occurring in lakes such as the Baldeggersee or Greifensee. This may be problematical, as some blue-green algae, known scientifically as cyanobacteria, produce toxic substances.

Physics - 25.03.2019
In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet
In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet
Physicists at EPFL propose a new "quantum simulator": a laser-based device that can be used to study a wide range of quantum systems. Studying it, the researchers have found that photons can behave like magnetic dipoles at temperatures close to absolute zero, following the laws of quantum mechanics.

Life Sciences - 25.03.2019
A key player in the maturation of sexual organs
A key player in the maturation of sexual organs
Puberty is a period of extensive changes of body morphology and function. As much as we are familiar with these life-altering changes, relatively little is known about what sets the whole process in motion. Thanks to studies in the tiny worm C. elegans , the group of Helge Grosshans is getting closer to understanding how the onset of puberty is genetically controlled.

Life Sciences - 25.03.2019
Engineering cellular function without living cells
Engineering cellular function without living cells
EPFL scientists have come up with a systematic method for studying and even predicting gene expression - without using cells. Using their innovative, quantitative approach, they measured important parameters governing gene regulation. This allowed them to design and construct a synthetic biological logic gate, which could one day be used to introduce new functions into cells.

Administration - 25.03.2019
New perspectives in tax competition: the rise of tax havens in Switzerland
New perspectives in tax competition: the rise of tax havens in Switzerland
How do local tax havens emerge? Is tax competition harmful? Raphaėl Parchet, Assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics of Universitą della Svizzera italiana, addresses these questions in his new project "Sorting, Tax Competition and the Rise of Local Tax Havens", funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), shedding new light on the logic behind the rise of tax havens in Switzerland.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.03.2019
Sound the alarm! How injured plant cells warn their neighbors
Sound the alarm! How injured plant cells warn their neighbors
All organisms can be injured. But what happens when a plant is injured? How can it heal itself and avoid infections' An international research team from the University of Basel and Ghent University has reported on wound reaction mechanisms in plants . Their insights into plant immune systems could be used for new approaches to sustainable crop production.

Earth Sciences - 22.03.2019
How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity
How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity
A young researcher at EPFL has demonstrated that the viscosity of fluids present in faults has a direct effect on the force of earthquakes. Fault zones play a key role in shaping the deformation of the Earth's crust. All of these zones contain fluids, which heavily influence how earthquakes propagate.

Physics - 21.03.2019
LHCb sees a new flavour of matter-antimatter asymmetry
LHCb sees a new flavour of matter-antimatter asymmetry
The LHCb collaboration at CERN 1 has seen, for the first time, the matter-antimatter asymmetry known as CP violation in a particle dubbed the D0 meson. The finding, presented today at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference and in a dedicated CERN seminar , is sure to make it into the textbooks of particle physics.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 21.03.2019
Robots enable bees and fish to talk to each other
Robots enable bees and fish to talk to each other
Through an imaginative experiment, researchers were able to get two extremely different animal species located far apart to interact with each other and reach a shared decision with the help of robots. Bees and fish don't often have the occasion to meet, nor would they have much to say to each other if they did.

Life Sciences - 20.03.2019
How our body «listens» to vibrations
How our body «listens» to vibrations
UNIGE researchers show that, for the brain, sounds and vibrations are ultimately quite similar. This would explain why vibrations are sometimes as unpleasant as noise pollution. We all know the feeling of a mobile phone vibrating in our hands when announcing an incoming call. If we perceive these vibrations so clearly, it is due to specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to our brain.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.03.2019
Precision work for large molecules
Precision work for large molecules
Quantum cascade lasers are able to measure the smallest molecules with high precision. But the technology has failed to measure larger gas molecules - until now! Empa researchers have succeeded in quantifying ethanol, an important organic molecule, with the aid of such a laser. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), a team of researchers has successfully developed a method for determining the concentration of ethanol in a gas mixture with a very high proportion of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.03.2019
A distinct form of epigenetic memory
A distinct form of epigenetic memory
Epigenetic memory of transcriptional gene silencing has been observed in several organisms. However, it was not known whether mechanisms exist that convey transgenerational memory of a silencing “experience”, without silencing the gene permanently. The Bühler group has now found such a phenomenon in a unicellular organism.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 19.03.2019
New test method: Simulating in vitro what happens with proteins in vivo
New test method: Simulating in vitro what happens with proteins in vivo
Take protein - for instance, in the form of skimmed-milk powder - and put a pinch of it in a test tube. To determine how efficiently this dietary protein is converted into endogenous protein, follow the recipe described in the online science step-by-step in the laboratory. And voilą, the value of the protein, i.e. its benefit for humans, is revealed.
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