news from the lab 2016

« BACK

Life Sciences



Results 61 - 80 of 89.


Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 22.04.2016
The gates of serotonin: cracking the workings of a notorious receptor
The gates of serotonin: cracking the workings of a notorious receptor
22.04.16 - EPFL scientists have elucidated for the first time how a notoriously elusive serotonin receptor functions with atom-level detail. The receptor transmits electrical signals in neurons and is involved in various disorders, meaning that the discovery opens the way for new treatments.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.04.2016
How effective is fish stocking in Swiss lakes?
How effective is fish stocking in Swiss lakes?
In the last century, the natural reproduction of whitefish and Arctic char in several Swiss lakes was adversely affected by high levels of nutrient inputs. So far, stocking measures have been implemented in efforts to support fish populations and maintain yields. The effectiveness of these measures varies according to the particular species and lake.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 12.04.2016
How the brain produces consciousness in
How the brain produces consciousness in "time slices"
12.04.16 - EPFL scientists propose a new way of understanding of how the brain processes unconscious information into our consciousness. According to the model, consciousness arises only in time intervals of up to 400 milliseconds, with gaps of unconsciousness in between. The driver ahead suddenly stops, and you find yourself stomping on your breaks before you even realize what is going on.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.04.2016
City Moths Avoid the Light
City Moths Avoid the Light
Moths and other nocturnal insects are attracted by artificial light sources. Swiss zoologist study how this behavior differst in animals from areas with high and low light pollution (Image: A. Bieger). The globally increasing light pollution has negative effects on organisms and entire ecosystems.

Life Sciences - 29.03.2016
Predators drive social complexity
Predators drive social complexity
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Variation in social organization and behavior of of highly social animals like cichlids is primarily explained by predation risk and related ecological factors.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.03.2016
Brain to foot: come in, foot!
Brain to foot: come in, foot!
Injuries to the spinal cord partially or completely disrupt the neural pathways between the brain and the limbs. The consequences for the representation of the affected limbs in the brain can be drastic. ETH researchers have now measured how severely this representation is affected. A strange sensation, but familiar to anyone who has ever been given local anaesthesia and watched while a doctor operated on their leg or arm: in that moment, your own body part seems foreign, as if it doesn't belong to your body.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.03.2016
An implant to prevent Alzheimer's
An implant to prevent Alzheimer's
17.03.16 - In a cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's disease, EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule that can turn the patient's immune system against the disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.03.2016
For some, it's an up-hill battle
For some, it’s an up-hill battle
We are not all equal when it comes to viral infections. Some people end up out of action for weeks, whilst others recover spontaneously.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 13.03.2016
Quality control for genetic sequencing
Quality control for genetic sequencing
Genetic sequencing is in widespread use today, but until now has not been accurate enough to identify an antibody immune response. Now, thanks to a new control system based on genetic barcodes, the technique is far more reliable - and ready for use in the development of vaccines and antibody drugs. Researchers in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel have developed a new method that allows them to record the vast range of antibodies in an individual, genetically in one fell swoop.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.03.2016
Collective memory in bacteria
Collective memory in bacteria
Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS. Bacteria exposed to a moderate concentration of salt survive subsequent exposure to a higher concentration better than if there is no warning event.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.03.2016
How bacteria nestle in
How bacteria nestle in
Nearly every second woman suffers from a bladder infection at some point in her life. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Basel have now discovered how the intestinal bacterium E. coli attaches itself so successfully to the surface of the urinary tract. Many women have already experienced how painful a bladder infection can be: a burning pain during urination and a constant urge to urinate are the typical symptoms.

Life Sciences - 03.03.2016
Brain connectivity reveals hidden motives
Brain connectivity reveals hidden motives
Often, it is hard to understand why people behave the way they do, because their true motives remain hidden. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown how peoples' motives can be identified as they are characterized by a specific interplay between different brain regions. They also show how empathy motives increase altruistic behavior in selfish people.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 03.03.2016
Control techniques for cells
Control techniques for cells
ETH researchers develop an integral control loop for living cells extending established tools from control engineering.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.02.2016
Infection-fighting bandages for serious burns
Infection-fighting bandages for serious burns
25.02.16 - A new generation of biological infection-fighting bandages could reduce the death rate among victims of serious burns. This technology, which EPFL helped develop, is the result of close collaboration among Swiss burn specialists. Serious burn victims are immunocompromised and may be missing skin on parts of their body, and this makes them highly vulnerable to bacteria.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 23.02.2016
Tracking prejudices in the brain
Tracking prejudices in the brain
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) We do not always say what we think: we like to hide certain prejudices, sometimes even from ourselves. But unconscious prejudices become visible with tests, because we need a longer time if we must associate unpleasant things with positive terms.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.02.2016
New virus transmission route discovered in pigs
New virus transmission route discovered in pigs
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus causes serious inflammation of the brain in people and fertility problems in pigs. Mosquitoes were previously the only known transmission route. However, the virus can also be spread from pig to pig by direct, and this could enable it to circulate in pigs during the mosquito-free winter season.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 19.02.2016
How a waste product of exercise protects neurons from trauma damage
How a waste product of exercise protects neurons from trauma damage
19.02.16 - Researchers led by EPFL have found how lactate, a waste product of glucose metabolism can protect neurons from damage following acute trauma such as stroke or spinal cord injury. Stroke or spinal cord injury can cause nerve cells to receive excessive stimulation, which ultimately damages and even kills them.

Life Sciences - 17.02.2016
Aggressive cichlids: attack is the best form of defence
Aggressive cichlids: attack is the best form of defence
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Researchers from Bern, England and Australia have observed the "Princess of Lake Tanganyika" cichlid in territorial conflicts and made an astonishing discovery; the conflicts distract the animals from their surrounding environments to such an extent that they notice lurking dangers only very late - yet the fish have a strategy which saves their lives: instead of trying to escape from predators, they defend themselves.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.02.2016
Observing brain diseases in real time
Observing brain diseases in real time
15.02.16 - An innovative tool allows researchers to observe protein aggregation throughout the life of a worm. The development of these aggregates, which play a role in the onset of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, can now be monitored automatically and in real time. This breakthrough was made possible by isolating worms in tiny microfluidic chambers developed at EPFL.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.02.2016
A better model for Parkinson's
A better model for Parkinson's
02.02.16 - Scientists at EPFL solve a longstanding problem with modeling Parkinson's disease in animals. Using newfound insights, they improve both cell and animal models for the disease, which can propel research and drug development. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the appearance of protein clumps within neurons in the brain, called Lewy bodies.