news from the lab 2017


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Chemistry - Physics/Materials Science
21.08.2017
Weaving with nanothreads
Weaving with nanothreads
For the first time, ETH researchers have succeeded in applying a millennia-old method for making fabrics to create a completely organic nanoweave.
Civil Engineering/Traffic Engineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
21.08.2017
Urban butterflies under threat of extinction
Urban butterflies under threat of extinction
According to an EPFL study, butterflies living in urban areas face the threat of consanguinity and potential extinction.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
18.08.2017
Bacteria stab amoebae with daggers
Bacteria stab amoebae with daggers
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Vienna have discovered a type of bacteria that uses tiny daggers to prevent itself from being eaten by amoebae. The scientists also resolved the three-dimensional structure of the mechanism that allows the micro-daggers to be shot quickly. Bacteria have to watch out for amoeba.
Life Sciences - Chemistry
17.08.2017
More than just spilling the beans
More than just spilling the beans
Because of their high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds are a popular garden fertilizer. Recycled in this manner, they already contribute to an environmentally friendly waste management. But they have the potential to deliver much more: a new procedure developed at the PSI allows high quality methane to be formed from spent coffee grounds.
Computer Science/Telecom
17.08.2017
Using a camera to spot and track drones
Using a camera to spot and track drones
EPFL researchers have shown that a simple camera can detect and track flying drones. Plus, the lightweight, energy-efficient and inexpensive technology could be installed directly on the drones themselves and enhance safety in the skies. The rising number of drones in air space poses numerous challenges.
Careers/Employment
17.08.2017
Animation made easy
Animation made easy
Researchers from ETH Zurich and Disney Research have developed a software that makes it easier to animate characters in the entertainment industry.
Computer Science/Telecom - Physics/Materials Science
14.08.2017
The right order
The right order
Ingo Scholtes from the Chair of Systems Design has developed an analytical method that takes account of the chronological order of connections within networks. This not only makes it possible to more accurately identify links between topics on the internet, but also makes it easier to predict the spread of epidemics, for example.
Computer Science/Telecom
10.08.2017
Find out how much privacy you compromise with every click
Find out how much privacy you compromise with every click
Does clicking on a link or liking a product have an impact on your privacy and your personal information? An EPFL researcher has come up with a way to browse the internet without revealing too much about yourself and without having to forgo the convenience of online product recommendations. Nowadays it is common for people to buy a book or other product that was recommended to them based on their online profile.
Physics/Materials Science
10.08.2017
Fertility app for parents-to-be
Fertility app for parents-to-be
Since January 2017 a sensor wristband that, according to the manufacturer, is capable of detecting a woman's fertile days in her cycle with 89 percent certainty has been on the market.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
08.08.2017
Multi-nutrient rice against malnutrition
Multi-nutrient rice against malnutrition
ETH researchers have developed a new rice variety that not only has increased levels of the micronutrients iron and zinc in the grains, but also produces beta-carotene as a precursor of vitamin A&per
Physics/Materials Science - Medicine/Pharmacology
07.08.2017
Big issues around small particles
Big issues around small particles
An Empa team has succeeded in developing a new three-dimensional cell model of the human placental barrier. The "model organ" can quickly and reliably deliver new information on the intake of substances, such as nano-particles, by the placental barrier and on any possible toxic effects for the unborn child.
Computer Science/Telecom - Arts and Design
07.08.2017
Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm
Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm
Filming of spectacular action scenes is expensive and the creative possibilities are often limited. An ETH doctoral student has developed an algorithm that allows drones to implement the desired picture compositions independently.
Astronomy
04.08.2017
Possible explanation for the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe
Possible explanation for the dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Neutrinos and antineutrinos, sometimes called ghost particles because difficult to detect, can transform from one type to another. The international T2K Collaboration announces a first indication that the dominance of matter over antimatter may originate from the fact that neutrinos and antineutrinos behave differently during those oscillations.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
04.08.2017
Building a graphene-based nanotube biosensor
Building a graphene-based nanotube biosensor
Summer Series: Edward Honein has joined EPFL's Laboratory of Nanobiotechnology from the American University of Beirut.
Civil Engineering/Traffic Engineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
03.08.2017
When time ravages from within
When time ravages from within
Will the reinforced concrete bridge still be standing for years to come, or has corrosion already set in? ETH scientists have discovered that previous concrete samples were too small to allow a reliable statement on the condition of reinforced concrete. Taminabrücke opened in June this year following four years of construction.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Business/Economics
03.08.2017
Cultural factors account for cost differences at the end of life
Cultural factors account for cost differences at the end of life
In their final year of life, on average men cause more healthcare costs than women. Dying is more expensive in the Frenchand Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland than in the German-speaking part. These are the findings of an analysis of health insurance data that was conducted as part of the National Research Programme "End of life" (NRP 67).
Medicine/Pharmacology
02.08.2017
Fighting dehydration with wearables and big data
Fighting dehydration with wearables and big data
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of death among young children in the developing world - particularly during the hot summer months.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
31.07.2017
Cell senescence is regulated by innate DNA sensing
Cell senescence is regulated by innate DNA sensing
EPFL scientists have made new insights into the control of cell senescence, which is intimately linked to the development of cancer and ageing. Cells in the body or in cultures eventually stop replicating. This phenomenon is called "senescence" and is triggered by shortening of telomeres, oxidative stress or genetic damage to the cells, either acute or simply due to the cell growing "old".
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
31.07.2017
Clarifiying complex chemical processes with quantum computers
Clarifiying complex chemical processes with quantum computers
Science and the IT industry have high hopes for quantum computing, but descriptions of possible applications tend to be vague. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now come up with a concrete example that demonstrates what quantum computers will actually be able to achieve in the future. Specialists expect nothing less than a technological revolution from quantum computers, which they hope will soon allow them to solve problems that are currently too complex for classical supercomputers.
Medicine/Pharmacology
26.07.2017
Body ownership is not impaired in schizophrenia
Body ownership is not impaired in schizophrenia
Answering a long-standing question, EPFL scientists have determined that the sense of body ownership is not affected in schizophrenia patients. Image: In the Full Body Illusion participants view their own backs being stroked, and when the seen and perceived stroking is synchronous a bodily illusion occurs causing them to feel illusory ownership over the viewed body.
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