news from the lab 2012

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Results 1 - 15 of 15.


Life Sciences - 08.11.2012
Differentiating Groups of Flies with Fluorescence
Differentiating Groups of Flies with Fluorescence
FBI, a camera system to recognize the genetic identity of fruit flies and track their movements will revolutionize the study of their behavior. An article on this advance is being published today in PLOS ONE. A genuine star of the laboratory, for several decades now the fruit fly has been the model organism for research, particularly in the field of genetics and development.

Life Sciences - 26.10.2012
How do disinfectants kill viruses?
How do disinfectants kill viruses?
We use bleach, pasteurization, and UV radiation to purify water and food, without really understanding how they work. A laboratory has discovered the effect these common disinfectants have on viruses. Boiling water, chlorinating a swimming pool, bleaching your bathroom - everyone's familiar with common disinfection methods.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.09.2012
The effects of droughts on mountain pastures
The effects of droughts on mountain pastures
Researchers simulate an arid climate using greenhouse tunnels to study the effects of increased dryness on forage grown on mountain pastures.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.08.2012
Genetic observation reveals a bone-weakening mechanism
Genetic observation reveals a bone-weakening mechanism
A research team has used a novel method to identify a gene involved in bone building. "Real life genetics" works. This research method involves observing physiological traits or metabolic disease in a large population of "wild-type" mice (those which have not been genetically modified), and then isolating the genes that could be responsible.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.07.2012
Demystifying the immortality of cancer cells
Demystifying the immortality of cancer cells
In cancer cells, normal mechanisms governing the cellular life cycle have gone haywire. Cancer cells continue to divide indefinitely, without ever dying off, thus creating rapidly growing tumors.

Agronomy / Food Science - Life Sciences - 06.06.2012
A miracle molecule hiding in milk
A miracle molecule hiding in milk
A research team has identified a molecule naturally present in milk and other foods, nicotinamide riboside, that has extraordinary health benefits. Their findings indicate it could play an important role in preventing weight gain and diabetes and improving muscular performance. Many natural foods, including milk and perhaps even beer, contain a molecule whose effects on metabolism are nothing short of astonishing.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 31.05.2012
Walking Again After Spinal Cord Injury
Walking Again After Spinal Cord Injury
Scientists wake up a dormant spinal column and restore voluntary lower body movement when stimulated. Rats with spinal cord injuries and severe paralysis are now walking (and running) thanks to researchers at EPFL. Published in the June 1, 2012 issue of Science, the results show that a severed section of the spinal cord can make a comeback when its own innate intelligence and regenerative capacity is awakened.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.05.2012
Light is good for our brains
Light is good for our brains
Scientists have proven that light intensity influences our cognitive performance and how alert we feel, and that these positive effects last until early evening. Tests conducted at EPFL have confirmed the hypothesis that light influences our subjective feeling of sleepiness. The research team, led by Mirjam Münch, also showed that the effects of light exposure last until the early evening, and that light intensity has an impact on cognitive mechanisms.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 02.05.2012
Biological roots to domestic violence?
Biological roots to domestic violence?
In an experiment carried out with rats, it was observed that aggressive behavior passed from one generation to the other, even without any between the parent and its offspring. Researchers are exploring several approaches to explain the results. Childhood traumas alone do not explain the development of domestic violence - at least in the case of rats.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.04.2012
Wo unsere Schwalben den Winter verbringen
Seit Ende März werden es täglich mehr: Die Rückkehr der Schwalben ist jetzt in vollem Gang. Wo die Vögel den Winter verbracht haben, war bisher unbekannt.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.04.2012
Under a warm blanket of snow
Under a warm blanket of snow
Researchers are studying the effects of climate change on the degradation of organic matter in the soil. First results underline the importance of the thermal insulation provided by an intact layer of snow on the dynamics of soil microorganisms. You'd think that during the winter, all life trapped beneath a layer of snow would shut down and wait for warmer days.

Life Sciences - Physics - 10.04.2012
Lethal weapon used by viruses
Lethal weapon used by viruses
It could be the tiniest armor-piercing weapon in the biological universe: Scientists have measured a one-nanometer needle-like tip that viruses use to attack bacteria. Grouped together under the unassuming name φ92, a family of bacteriophage viruses has perfected its specialty: they attack salmonella and coliform bacteria.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.03.2012
Understanding the propagation of Alzheimer's Disease
Understanding the propagation of Alzheimer’s Disease
The connections between neurons might play a role in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In a pioneering approach to studying how neurodegenerative diseases like AD spread within the brain, researchers have developed a novel in vitro experimental method that allows them to connect healthy neurons with “infected” neurons and then observe the results.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.03.2012
Chemical Biology of Parkinson's disease
Chemical Biology of Parkinson’s disease
Elucidating the role of C-terminal post-translational modifications using protein semisynthesis strategies: α-synuclein phosphorylation at tyrosine 125.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 06.03.2012
A Heating System with a Brain
A Heating System with a Brain
A start-up company is putting on the market a thermal regulator that uses neural networks to learn about your house as the seasons change, allowing for savings of up to 65% on fuel.