news from the lab 2013




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Health - Dec 6
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by the University of Zurich now shows that this measure is recommended too often, as current guidelines fail to take into account the risks of side effects. Even healthy people who don't suffer from a cardiovascular disease are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, if they meet certain risk criteria.
Life Sciences - Dec 5

In a study published in Neuron, researchers have demonstrated how functional ultrasound imaging can yield high-resolution, unbiased, brain-wide activity maps of behaving mice.

Environment - Dec 3
Environment

The water in Swiss streams is contaminated with numerous micropollutants. However, very little research has been carried out to determine how these trace substances affect organisms in bodies of water.

Business - Dec 4
Business

Farmers in developing countries often rely heavily on their yearly harvest to feed their families. A bad crop can have severe consequences for their livelihood.

Environment - Nov 29
Environment

A new study found two types of climatic connection between the North Atlantic and Antarctica. One is a rapid atmospheric channel and the other a much slower connection through the ocean.


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Physics - 22.12.2013
Superconductivity switched on by magnetic field
Superconductivity switched on by magnetic field
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.

Physics - 05.12.2013
Ten Times More Throughput on Optic Fibers
Ten Times More Throughput on Optic Fibers
Two EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.11.2013
New malaria target identified
New malaria target identified
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.

Physics - Electroengineering - 12.11.2013
Electrons with a split personality
Electrons with a split personality
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.

Environment - Business / Economics - 14.10.2013
A glimpse at the future of global energy supply
A glimpse at the future of global energy supply
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?

Chemistry - Physics - 08.08.2013
Fuel cells could become economically more attractive
Fuel cells could become economically more attractive
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.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.08.2013
New drugs to find the right target to fight Alzheimer's disease
New drugs to find the right target to fight Alzheimer's disease
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.

Physics - 08.05.2013
First observations of short-lived pear-shaped atomic nuclei
First observations of short-lived pear-shaped atomic nuclei
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.

Physics - Earth Sciences - 05.05.2013
Tiny Magnets as a Model System
Tiny Magnets as a Model System
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.

Physics - 24.04.2013
LHCb experiment observes new matter-antimatter difference
LHCb experiment observes new matter-antimatter difference
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.