news from the lab 2013
Phylogenetic trees map the evolution and ancestral relationships of organisms. At least that is the theory. Researchers at the University of Basel have now revealed that for many bacteria this theory is based on mistaken assumptions. These phylogenies are not a reliable indicator of common ancestry but rather reflect how extensively different bacteria have exchanged genes with each other. This finding implies that the theories of how bacterial genomes evolve need to be completely reconsidered.
Hearing sounds that are linked to positive experiences from the past can considerably increase well-being, reduce depressive moods and alleviate behavioral problems in people with memory loss, a study by the University of Zurich in cooperation with clinical partners has found. The work with music and memories also benefits the nursing staff and carers involved.
One thousand newly-minted microrobots created in EPFL labs will soon be deployed at two large-scale telescopes in Chile and the United States. These high-precision instruments, capable of positioning optical fibers to within a micron, will vastly increase the quantity of astrophysics data that can be gathered - and expand our understanding of the Universe.
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008
Superconductivity and magnetic fields are normally seen as rivals - very strong magnetic fields normally destroy the superconducting state. Physicists have now demonstrated that a novel superconducting state is only created in the material CeCoIn 5 when there are strong external magnetic fields. This state can then be manipulated by modifying the field direction.
Two EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers.
Scientists have discovered a new drug target for treating malaria. The discovery a novel experimental antimalarial compound class that inhibits the development of multiple malaria-causing Plasmodium species at each stage of infection in the human host. The on-going research to develop imidazopyrazines as a new treatment for malaria is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Medicines for Malaria Venture.
Some electrons in a superconducting material behave as if they were in a conventional metal, others as in an unconventional one - depending on the direction of their motion. Understanding the origins of high-temperature superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without any resistance and therefore without loss of energy, is one of the most important quests of modern physics.
Media Releases Energy and Environment How will the world secure its energy supply in 2050 and what are the possible economic, ecological and social, implications of different pathways and choices?
Fuel cells that convert hydrogen into power and only produce pure water as a by-product have the potential to lead individual mobility into an environmentally friendly future.
Next-generation drugs designed to fight Alzheimer's disease look very promising. Scientists have unveiled the mechanisms behind two classes of compound currently being tested in clinical trials. They have also identified a likely cause of early-onset hereditary forms of the disease. The future is looking good for drugs designed to combat Alzheimer's disease.
A team has shown that some atomic nuclei can assume asymmetric, "pear" shapes. The observations contradict some existing nuclear theories and will require others to be amended. Most nuclei have the shape of a rugby ball. While state-of-the-art theories are able to predict this behaviour, the same theories have predicted that for some particular combinations of protons and neutrons, nuclei can also assume asymmetric shapes, like a pear.
In the microscopic world, everything is in motion: atoms and molecules vibrate, proteins fold, even glass is a slow flowing liquid. And during each movement there are interactions between the smallest elements - for example, the atoms - and their neighbours. To make these movements visible, scientists have developed a special model system.
The LHCb collaboration at CERN observed the first matter-antimatter asymmetry in the decays of the particle known as the B0 s . It is only the fourth sub-atomic particle known to exhibit such behaviour. Matter and antimatter are thought to have existed in equal amounts at the beginning of the universe , but today the universe appears to be composed essentially of matter.