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Physics - Chemistry - 23.11.2016
Capturing an elusive spectrum of light
Capturing an elusive spectrum of light
Researchers led by EPFL have built ultra-high quality optical cavities for the elusive mid-infrared spectral region, paving the way for new chemical and biological sensors, as well as promising technologies. The mid-infrared spectral window, referred to as 'molecular fingerprint region,' includes light wavelengths from 2.5 to 20 'm.

Physics - Chemistry - 01.11.2016
Hot on the heels of quasiparticles
Hot on the heels of quasiparticles
Electrons in a solid can team up to form so-called quasiparticles, which lead to new phenomena. Physicists at ETH in Zurich have now studied previously unidentified quasiparticles in a new class of atomically thin semiconductors.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.10.2016
Ceramics 3D printed from foams
Ceramics 3D printed from foams
ETH researchers have used an additive manufacturing process to print an extremely porous ceramic component. Manufacturing a material of this kind with a 3D printer is a considerable achievement. Doctoral student Carla Minas, from the Complex Materials group led by ETH Professor André Studart, has succeeded in creating a highly porous and yet extremely robust ceramic material, which she 'printed' using an additive manufacturing process.

Chemistry - Innovation - 20.10.2016
Turning biofuel waste into wealth in a single step
Turning biofuel waste into wealth in a single step
Lignin is a bulky chain of molecules found in wood and is usually discarded during biofuel production. But in a new method by EPFL chemists, the simple addition of formaldehyde could turn it into the main focus. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels means turning to plant-derived biofuels and chemicals.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 12.09.2016
Protein-like structures from the primordial soup
Protein-like structures from the primordial soup
Experiments performed by ETH scientists have shown that it is remarkably easy for protein-like, two-dimensional structures - amyloids - to form from basic building blocks. This discovery supports the researchers? hypothesis that primal life could have evolved from amyloids such as these. The story starts at least four billion years ago, when there was no living matter on the planet.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 29.08.2016
Bringing artificial enzymes closer to nature
Bringing artificial enzymes closer to nature
Scientists at the University of Basel, ETH Zurich in Basel, and NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering have developed an artificial metalloenzyme that catalyses a reaction inside of cells without equivalent in nature. This could be a prime example for creating new non-natural metabolic pathways inside living cells, as reported today in Nature.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.08.2016
Researchers Watch Catalysts at Work
Researchers Watch Catalysts at Work
Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in watching a silver catalyst at work for the first time with the aid of an atomic force microscope. The observations made during an Ullmann reaction have allowed the researchers to calculate the energy turnover and, potentially, to optimize the catalysis.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 09.08.2016
Synthetic Biology: Engineering a Chemical Switch into a Light-driven Proton Pump
Synthetic Biology: Engineering a Chemical Switch into a Light-driven Proton Pump
Synthetic biology is an emerging and rapidly evolving engineering discipline.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 21.07.2016
Atmospheric chemistry on paper
Atmospheric chemistry on paper
Normally computers speed up calculations. But with his new pen-and-paper formula Kevin Heng of the University of Bern gets his results thousands of times faster than using conventional computer codes. The astrophysicist calculates the abundances of molecules (known as atmospheric chemistry) in exoplanetary atmospheres.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.07.2016
Computer Simulation Renders Transient Chemical Structures Visible
Computer Simulation Renders Transient Chemical Structures Visible
Chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in using computer simulations to elucidate transient structures in proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers set out how computer simulations of details at the atomic level can be used to understand proteins? modes of action. Using computational chemistry, it is possible to characterize the motion of individual atoms of a molecule.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 06.07.2016
Replacing oil with wood for the production of chemicals
Replacing oil with wood for the production of chemicals
Two research projects of the National Research Programme Resource Wood have developed new processes to replace petroleum with wood for the production of important chemicals.

Chemistry - 24.06.2016
Energy from Sunlight: Further Steps towards Artificial Photosynthesis
Energy from Sunlight: Further Steps towards Artificial Photosynthesis
Chemists from the Universities of Basel and Zurich have come one step closer to generating energy from sunlight: for the first time, they were able to reproduce one of the crucial phases of natural photosynthesis with artificial molecules. Their Green plants are able to temporarily store electric charges after the absorption of sunlight by using a so-called molecular charge accumulator.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.06.2016
Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom
Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom
An international consortium led by researchers at the University of Basel has developed a method to precisely alter the quantum mechanical states of electrons within an array of quantum boxes. The method can be used to investigate the interactions between various types of atoms and electrons, which is essential for future quantum technologies, as the group reports in the journal Small.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 27.05.2016
Rosetta's comet contains ingredients for life
Rosetta’s comet contains ingredients for life
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Ingredients crucial for the origin of life on Earth, including the simple amino acid glycine and phosphorus, key components of DNA and cell membranes, have been discovered at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The possibility that water and organic molecules were brought to the early Earth through impacts of objects like asteroids and comets have long been the subject of important debate.

Physics - Chemistry - 13.05.2016
Physicists Measure van der Waals Forces of Individual Atoms for the First Time
Physicists Measure van der Waals Forces of Individual Atoms for the First Time
Physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the very weak van der Waals forces between individual atoms for the first time. To do this, they fixed individual noble gas atoms within a molecular network and determined the interactions with a single xenon atom that they had positioned at the tip of an atomic force microscope.

Health - Chemistry - 05.05.2016
Intestinal worms boost immune system in a surprising way
Intestinal worms boost immune system in a surprising way
05.05.16 - While studying worm infections, EPFL scientists have discovered a surprising ability of the immune system. In order to fight invading pathogens, the immune system uses "outposts" throughout the body, called lymph nodes. These are small, centimeter-long organs that filter fluids, get rid of waste materials, and trap pathogens, e.g. bacteria or viruses.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.05.2016
Nuclear Pores Captured on Film
Nuclear Pores Captured on Film
Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed "living" nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published , the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular "tentacles" inside the pore.

Physics - Chemistry - 15.04.2016
A single-atom magnet breaks new ground for future data storage
A single-atom magnet breaks new ground for future data storage
15.04.16 - Scientists at EPFL and ETH Zurich have built a single-atom magnet that is the most stable to-date.

Physics - Chemistry - 12.04.2016
Three-way battles in the quantum world
Three-way battles in the quantum world
In phase transitions, for instance between water and water vapour, the motional energy competes with the attractive energy between neighbouring molecules.

Physics - Chemistry - 08.04.2016
A single ion impacts a million water molecules
A single ion impacts a million water molecules
08.04.16 - EPFL researchers have found that water molecules are 10,000 times more responsive to ions than previously thought. Water is simple and complex at the same time. A single water molecule (H2O) is made up of only 3 atoms. Yet the collective behavior of water molecules is unique and continues to amaze us.