news from the lab 2017

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Health - Life Sciences - 27.12.2017
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication in "Cell Reports", Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death.

Health - Innovation / Technology - 21.12.2017
Sensor-enhanced surgical robot enables highly precise and safe spinal operations
Sensor-enhanced surgical robot enables highly precise and safe spinal operations
Researchers from the University of Bern, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology develop a high-precision, sensor-based surgical robot for spinal operations together with industry partners. Their project is being funded with two million Swiss francs, sponsored by the "BRIDGE" programme of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Commission for Technology and Innovation.

Health - Veterinary Science - 20.12.2017
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, together with European and African collaborators, carried out a mass dog vaccination in Chad and determined its effect on human rabies exposure. The study employed a bio-mathematical method for estimating the transmission dynamics of rabies. The researchers conclude that with political will and the necessary funding, elimination of rabies is possible in Africa.

Health - 20.12.2017
New software can model natural light from the occupants' perspective
New software can model natural light from the occupants' perspective
OCUVIS, a visualization software developed by a soon-to-be-launched EPFL spin-off, lets architects simulate 3D building models to assess the performance of natural light indoors. After specifying the ambient conditions, architects can view the visual and non-visual characteristics of the resulting natural light in their designs.

Health - Veterinary Science - 20.12.2017
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
Feasibility of Eliminating Rabies in Africa
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, together with European and African collaborators, carried out a mass dog vaccination in Chad and determined its effect on human rabies exposure. The study employed a bio-mathematical method for estimating the transmission dynamics of rabies. The researchers conclude that with political will and the necessary funding, elimination of rabies is possible in Africa.

Health - Pharmacology - 18.12.2017
Using gold nanoparticles to destroy viruses
Using gold nanoparticles to destroy viruses
EPFL researchers have created nanoparticles that attract viruses and, using the pressure resulting from the binding process, destroy them. This revolutionary approach could lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs. HIV, dengue, papillomavirus, herpes and Ebola - these are just some of the many viruses that kill millions of people every year, mostly children in developing countries.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.12.2017
The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them
The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them
EPFL scientists have discovered that neutrophils, a type of immune cell, can actually help lung tumors grow. The work is published in Cell Reports, and has enormous implications for cancer immunotherapy. Neutrophils inside lung adenocarcinoma tumors. On the left, neutrophils inside a mouse tumor are stained brown; on the right, neutrophils inside a human tumor are stained red (credit: E. Meylan/EPFL).

Life Sciences - Health - 13.12.2017
Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease
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.

Health - Pharmacology - 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

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2017
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
Lipid, also known as fat, is an optimal energy source and an important cell component. Much is required for the rapid and uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and from the University of Geneva have now discovered that the protein mTOR stimulates the production of lipids in liver tumors to satisfy the increased nutrient turnover and energy needs of cancer cells among other functions.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.12.2017

Life Sciences - Health - 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.

Computer Science / Telecom - Health - 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 - Health - 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 - Health - 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 - Health - 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.

Health - 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.

Life Sciences - Health - 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.

Health - Pharmacology - 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.

Health - 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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