news from the lab 2016
Results 41 - 60 of 90.
Health - Life Sciences - 22.08.2016
Sick animals limit disease transmission by isolating themselves from their peers
Sick wild house mice spend time away from their social groups, leading to a decrease in their potential for disease transmission according to a new study by evolutionary biologists from the University of Zurich in collaboration with the ETH Zurich. The results can improve models focused on predicting the spread of infectious diseases like influenza or Ebola in humans.
Life Sciences - Health - 19.08.2016
Neural Stem Cells Control their own Fate
To date, it has been assumed that the differentiation of stem cells depends on the environment they are embedded in.
Life Sciences - Health - 18.08.2016
Genetic code: Stop does not always mean stop
The genetic code is believed to be strongly conserved through evolution - from the earliest bacteria until today. But researchers from the Institute of Cell Biology of the University of Bern have now found two ciliate species where nature probably can be seen experimenting with the meaning of a codon, the building blocks of genetic communication.
Life Sciences - Paleontology - 09.08.2016
Origin of the turtle shell lies in digging
In today's turtles the shell has a key protective function. The animals can withdraw into it and protect themselves against predators.
Life Sciences - Health - 08.08.2016
Impact of prion proteins on the nerves revealed for the first time
Ever since the prion gene was discovered in 1985, its role and biological impact on the neurons has remained a mystery. "Finally, we can ascribe a clear-cut function to prion proteins and reveal that, combined with particular receptor, they are responsible for the long-term integrity of the nerves," says Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Neuropathological Institute at the University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich.
Life Sciences - 17.07.2016
Flame retardants are invisible assistants in car seats, gasket sealants, furniture and even in aeroplanes. However, their ingredients are not always harmless. Empa researchers developed three innovative flame retardants and tested them for toxicity; not all of them passed the test. Researchers are constantly striving to develop better and safer flame retardants.
Life Sciences - 15.07.2016
Protein Pairs Make Cells Remember
Even single cells are able to remember information if they receive the order from their proteins. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have discovered that proteins form pairs to give the signal for storing information in the cell's memory. The results of the study have now been published in 'Cell Reports'.
Life Sciences - Health - 14.07.2016
Four steps for validating stem cells
Scientists at EPFL and in the US have developed a robust method for characterizing human embryonic stem cells and their potential for medical applications.
Life Sciences - Health - 14.07.2016
Cell Death: How a Protein Drives Immune Cells to Suicide
For some pathogens, attack is the best form of defense - they enter immune cells of the human body. However, if they are detected in their hidden niche, the infected cell kills itself to re-expose the pathogens. In the 'EMBO Journal? a research group at the University of Basel's Biozentrum has reported that a protein called gasdermin forms permeable pores in the cell membrane and thus triggers the suicide of the immune cell.
Life Sciences - Health - 13.07.2016
A toxic quick-change artist
Molecular biologists at the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism which enables a deadly toxin to penetrate and destroy human cells. Their findings can serve a rational framework for the design and development of new anti-toxin drugs. Pathogenic bacteria produce a variety of toxins in order to attack their hosts.
Health - Life Sciences - 11.07.2016
Pomegranate finally reveals its powerful anti-aging secret
Pomegranates have proven their anti-aging potential: intestinal bacteria transform a molecule contained in the fruit with spectacular results. Although tests in humans are still underway, scientists have already published the initial promising results from animal studies Medicine. Are pomegranates really the superfood we've been led to believe will counteract the aging process? Up to now, scientific proof has been fairly weak.
Life Sciences - Environment - 30.06.2016
Jasmonate-deficient tobacco plants attract herbivorous mammals
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Tobacco plants which lack the hormones responsible for nicotine production are feasted on by rabbits and other mammals. Coyote tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) produces a potent neurotoxic substance: nicotine. The production of nicotine is regulated by plant hormones called jasmonates.
Life Sciences - Computer Science - 29.06.2016
A new robot mimics vertebrate motion
29. Based on X-ray videos, EPFL scientists have invented a new robot that mimics the way salamanders walk and swim with unprecedented detail: a tool for understanding the evolution of vertebrate locomotion. EPFL scientists have invented a new robot that mimics the gait of a salamander with unprecedented detail.
Life Sciences - Health - 14.06.2016
A new tool brings personalized medicine closer
14. Scientists from EPFL and ETHZ have developed a powerful tool for exploring and determining the inherent biological differences between individuals, which overcomes a major hurdle for personalized medicine. One of the biggest obstacles in successfully treating metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity, fatty liver etc, is the variation in the way patients respond to medication.
Health - Life Sciences - 24.05.2016
Using cellphone data to study the spread of cholera
24. For the first time, EPFL researchers have used mobile phone records to reconstruct the spread of a cholera epidemic. While cholera has hardly changed over the past centuries, the tools used to study it have not ceased to evolve. Using mobile phone records of 150,000 users, an EPFL-led study has shown to what extent human mobility patterns contributed to the spread of a cholera epidemic in Senegal in 2005.
Life Sciences - 19.05.2016
A new lead in the quest to understand Alzheimer's
19. A consortium of European researchers is pursuing a new and unexpected lead in Alzheimer's research. They are examining the intestinal microbiome and its effect on neurodegeneration. EPFL is coordinating the consortium, which is part of the pan-European Horizon 2020 initiative. Why are some people predisposed to Alzheimer's? A consortium of researchers has recently identified some unexpected and promising leads in the quest to understand the relationship between our intestinal bacteria and Alzheimer's.
Life Sciences - Physics - 18.05.2016
How viruses infect bacteria: a tale of a tail
18. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Using state-of-the-art tools, EPFL scientists have described a million-atom "tail" that bacteriophages use to breach bacterial surfaces. The breakthrough has major implications for science and medicine, as bacteriophages are widely used in research.
Life Sciences - 10.05.2016
Bacterial Individualism: A Survival Strategy for Hard Times
10. No two bacteria are identical - even when they are genetically the same. A new study reveals the conditions under which bacteria become individualists and how they help their group grow when times get tough. Whether you are a human or a bacterium, your environment determines how you can develop.
Health - Life Sciences - 09.05.2016
Diagnosing Alzheimer's earlier rather than later
09. Looking into the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, scientists led by EPFL have found clues that could help doctors diagnose or even treat Alzheimer's disease in its early stages. A hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is the appearance of plaques in the brain. The plaques are gradually made up by the aggregation of a small protein called amyloid-beta or "Abeta".
Life Sciences - Health - 04.05.2016
Your brain suppresses perception of heartbeat, for your own good
04. EPFL researchers have discovered that the human brain suppresses the sensory effects of the heartbeat. They believe that this mechanism prevents internal sensations from interfering with the brain's perception of the external world. This mechanism could also have something to do with anxiety disorders.