news from the lab 2017


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Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
13.12.2017
Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease
Autophagy refers to a fundamental recycling process of cells that occurs in yeast, fungi, plants, as well as animals and humans. This process allows cells to degrade their own components and thus activate energy resources to be able to adapt to nutritional needs. In addition, autophagy plays a central role in steering an organism's immune response.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
11.12.2017
Novartis drug crizanlizumab shown to prolong time to patients’ first sickle cell pain crisis in subgroup analysis of SUSTAIN study
Investigational therapy crizanlizumab (SEG101, formerly SelG1) approximately doubled the time to first on-treatment sickle cell pain crisis, according to new subgroup analysis of Phase II SUSTAIN data Results were consistent across patient subgroups despite differences in disease severity, genotype or background therapy New findings for crizanlizumab, a potential disease-modifying, preventive treatment option for patients with sickle cell diseas
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
08.12.2017
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19% for 1000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market's next generation of photovoltaics.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Physics/Materials Science
08.12.2017
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
07.12.2017
First experiment at SwissFEL carried out successfully
First experiment at SwissFEL carried out successfully
The years of careful planning and construction have paid off: At the newest large-scale research facility of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI - the free-electron X-ray laser SwissFEL - the first experiment has been carried out successfully. With that, two goals have been achieved: First, a new scientific result is already expected.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
06.12.2017
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's
Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's
Using a bioinformatics and experimental approach, scientists at EPFL have found that rendering mitochondria resistant to damage can halt diseases caused by amyloid toxicity, such as Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called beta-amyloid inside neurons.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
06.12.2017
The quantum waltz of electrons hints at the next generation of chips
The quantum waltz of electrons hints at the next generation of chips
EPFL researchers have successfully measured some of the quantum properties of electrons in two-dimensional semiconductors. This work in the field of spintronics could one day lead to chips that are not only smaller but that also generate less heat. A group of spintronics researchers at EPFL is using new materials to reveal more of the many capabilities of electrons.
Chemistry - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
05.12.2017
Warmed up and raring to go
Warmed up and raring to go
During cold-start, a car engine emits far more particulate matter and other pollutants than during warm conditions. This is because a cold catalytic converter is much less efficient at low exhaust gas temperatures. So what's the answer? Preheat the cat with microwaves. Empa scientists have developed the first microwave converter heating for passenger car applications.
Physics/Materials Science - Innovation/Technology
05.12.2017
Chemistry - Physics/Materials Science
04.12.2017
Humidity switches molecular diode off and on
Humidity switches molecular diode off and on
Molecular electronics is a growing research area where scientists study electrical properties of the molecules with a chemically programmed function. Molecules can function as diodes, switches and transistors, all with a typical length of few nanometers. An international group of scientists from University of Bern, Leiden University, Delft University of Technology, and Chuo University has developed the first switchable molecular diode.
Computer Science/Telecom
01.12.2017
How can humans keep the upper hand on artificial intelligence?
How can humans keep the upper hand on artificial intelligence?
EPFL researchers have shown how human operators can maintain control over a system comprising several agents that are guided by artificial intelligence. In artificial intelligence (AI), machines carry out specific actions, observe the outcome, adapt their behavior accordingly, observe the new outcome, adapt their behavior once again, and so on, learning from this iterative process.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
01.12.2017
3D-printed minifactories
3D-printed minifactories
ETH researchers have developed a biocompatible ink for 3D printing using living bacteria. This makes it possible to produce biological materials capable of breaking down toxic substances or producing high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications. There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
29.11.2017
A Big Data tool begins new era for biology and personalized medicine
A Big Data tool begins new era for biology and personalized medicine
Researchers from EPFL have developed a novel series of systems genetics tools to identify new links between genes and phenotypes. The work, a hallmark of EPFL's endeavors into the advancement of open science, brings biology to the cloud and sets the stage for the development of precision medicine. The study is published in Cell Systems.
Life Sciences - Chemistry
28.11.2017
Maize pest exploits plant defense compounds to protect itself
Maize pest exploits plant defense compounds to protect itself
A new study by the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Bern and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology shows how the Western corn rootworm puts the maize plants' defense strategies out of action. The results explain why biological control of the crop pest has not been efficient. The Western corn rootworm continues to be on the rise in Europe.
Life Sciences
27.11.2017
Tracking Down Genetic Influences on Brain Disorders
Tracking Down Genetic Influences on Brain Disorders
New findings will help to identify the genetic causes of brain disorders: researchers at the Universities of Basel, Bonn and Cologne have presented a systematic catalog of specific variable locations in the genome that influence gene activity in the human hippocampus, as they report Communications. Individual differences in gene regulation contribute to the development of numerous multifactorial disorders.
Media
27.11.2017
Bringing social media to unconnected areas
Bringing social media to unconnected areas
The number of connected devices may be on the rise, but large swaths of the global population still live in areas without telecom infrastructure or a reliable internet connection.
Earth Sciences - Chemistry
24.11.2017
Are our lakes on the brink of suffocation?
Are our lakes on the brink of suffocation?
In order to gain insight into how lakes breathe, EPFL scientists have studied oxygen depletion in the depths of Lake Geneva - the first time such research has been carried out. By collecting key data, they were able to enhance their understanding of the lake's ecosystem and how it is likely to evolve over time.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
22.11.2017
Alzheimer's Tau protein forms toxic complexes with cell membranes
Alzheimer's disease is caused by tangles in the brain made up of malfunctioning aggregated Tau proteins. Scientists at EPFL have discovered a new toxic form of Tau that forms as a result of its interaction with cell membranes. The research is published and provides novel insights into possible mechanisms by which this protein moves in the brain and kills neurons.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Careers/Employment
21.11.2017
Dying in Switzerland: responding to the individual's every need
Dying in Switzerland: responding to the individual’s every need
Most people in Switzerland die in hospitals and nursing homes. Their specific needs are often not adequately met.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
21.11.2017
Pneumonia: Treatment with Vaccines instead of Antibiotics
Pneumonia: Treatment with Vaccines instead of Antibiotics
Mycoplasma bacteria are one of the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia in children. It is still unclear how the disease develops.
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