news 2018

Environment - Nov 16
Environment
The scene may be familiar from natural history documentaries - a migrating herd of wildebeest attempt to cross a raging river, with many of the creatures drowning in the process - but what viewers do not generally notice is that large amounts of carbon are thereby transported from a grassland to an aquatic ecosystem.
Health - Nov 16
Health

Thanks to sensors attached to their shoes, long-distance runners can harness the power of algorithms to analyze their stride.

Health - Nov 13

EPFL scientists have discovered how a dysfunction in the immune system can cause an overload of a gut bacterium.

Life Sciences - Nov 14
Life Sciences

An antibiotic called thanatin attacks the way the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is built.

Psychology - Nov 13
Psychology

Researchers have developed an emotional intelligence test for the workplace that can be used to assess and predict an employee's abilities in interpersonal relations and leadership capabilities.


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Environment - Life Sciences - 16.11.2018
Flows of carbon between ecosystems
Flows of carbon between ecosystems
The scene may be familiar from natural history documentaries - a migrating herd of wildebeest attempt to cross a raging river, with many of the creatures drowning in the process - but what viewers do not generally notice is that large amounts of carbon are thereby transported from a grassland to an aquatic ecosystem.

Health - Innovation / Technology - 16.11.2018
Science is keeping pace with marathoners
Science is keeping pace with marathoners
Thanks to sensors attached to their shoes, long-distance runners can harness the power of algorithms to analyze their stride. The algorithms, developed by EPFL spin-off Gait Up and tested in the Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement (LMAM), are unmatched in terms of precision and the range of parameters measured, such as objective fatigue, cadence, strike angle and foot impact.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.11.2018
Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria
Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria
An antibiotic called thanatin attacks the way the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is built. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that this happens through a previously unknown mechanism. Thanatin, produced naturally by the spined soldier bug, can therefore be used to develop new classes of antibiotics.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.11.2018
Immunity connects gut bacteria and aging
EPFL scientists have discovered how a dysfunction in the immune system can cause an overload of a gut bacterium. The bacterium produces excess lactic acid, which in turn triggers the production of reactive oxygen species that cause damage to cells and many age-related pathologies. There is no doubt that gut bacteria have become one of the most important focuses of biological and medical research today.

Psychology - Careers / Employment - 13.11.2018
Emotional intelligence: a new criterion for hiring
Emotional intelligence: a new criterion for hiring
Researchers have developed an emotional intelligence test for the workplace that can be used to assess and predict an employee's abilities in interpersonal relations and leadership capabilities.

Environment - Administration - 13.11.2018
Climate Scenarios CH2018: the warming continues
Climate Scenarios CH2018: the warming continues
Switzerland is becoming drier, hotter and less snowy, and will struggle with heavier rainfall in the future - these are the conclusions reached by climate researchers from MeteoSwiss and ETH Zurich.

Music - Innovation / Technology - 13.11.2018

Health - 13.11.2018
A new model calculates infection risks from water
A new model calculates infection risks from water
Again and again it happens that humans fall ill with diarrhoea or have to vomit because they have come into contact with virus-contaminated liquids.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.11.2018
Hidden estrogen receptors in the breast epithelium
Hidden estrogen receptors in the breast epithelium
Scientists have uncovered that next to estrogen receptor positive and negative there are cells with very low amounts of the receptor protein. The discovery has significant implications for the role of the receptor in the growth and development of the breast and breast cancer development. Estrogens are hormones that play central roles in the development and the physiology of the breast, but also are involved in breast cancer.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.11.2018
Biodiversity: Does the dispersion of species always follow the same rules?
Biodiversity: Does the dispersion of species always follow the same rules?
It is common among many species for individuals to move around during their lifetime in order to settle in better adapted habitats, a process known as dispersion by ecologists. In order to improve scientific predictions of the future of biodiversity in the face of global changes (such as climate change, landscape fragmentation and biological invasions) it is very important to understand the mechanisms of dispersion, which modulates the adaptation of species to their environment.

Innovation / Technology - 08.11.2018
BFH doctorands enable paralysed persons to cycle
Researchers at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Performance Technology IRPT have developed novel systems that allow people paralysed by spinal cord injury to activate their muscles and propel a tricycle. The innovative work of two young IRPT researchers was recently rewarded through successful defence of their PhD theses.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.11.2018
Exploiting Epigenetic Variation for Plant Breeding
Exploiting Epigenetic Variation for Plant Breeding
Epigenetic changes can bring about new traits without altering the sequence of genes. This may allow plants to respond quicker to changes in their environment. Plant biologists at the University of Zurich have now demonstrated that epigenetic variation is also subject to selection and can be inherited.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.11.2018
DNA fragments reveal the variety of species in rivers
DNA fragments reveal the variety of species in rivers
Bits of genetic material in rivers make it possible to detect the organisms living in them - without having to collect these and examine them under the microscope. Researchers at Eawag, the ETH and the EPFL have now developed a computer model that with the help of single DNA measurements even simulates exactly where and how often the species are present in bodies of water.

Physics / Materials Science - 07.11.2018
A burst of
A burst of "synchronous" light
Excited photo-emitters can cooperate and radiate simultaneously, a phenomenon called superfluorescence. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich, together with colleagues from IBM Research Zurich, have recently been able to create this effect with long-range ordered nanocrystal superlattices. This discovery could enable future developments in LED lighting, quantum sensing, quantum communication and future quantum computing.

Innovation / Technology - 06.11.2018
TWIICE One exoskeleton is a step towards independence
TWIICE One exoskeleton is a step towards independence
The new version of the TWIICE walking-assistance system is not only lighter, more comfortable and more powerful, but patients can also put it on and use it themselves - giving them greater independence. It has been tested by handcycling champion Silke Pan. Silke Pan - a former acrobat who lost the use of her legs after a trapeze accident - arrives at the lab in a wheelchair.

Environment - 06.11.2018
Tracking an ozone killer
Tracking an ozone killer
35,000 tons of undeclared carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ) are released into our atmosphere every year - although applications in which this substance is released into the environment have been officially banned by the Montreal Protocol since 2010. So where does this environmental pollutant come from? Empa researchers tracked down carbon tetrachloride and found the possible sources.

Environment - 06.11.2018
DNA fragments reveal the variety of species in rivers
DNA fragments reveal the variety of species in rivers
Every living thing leaves behind tiny traces of its genetic material, for example in the form of dead skin cells or excrement. If one now takes water samples and decodes the environmental DNA (also known as eDNA) therein, one knows which species cavort in which waters. One thus discovers rare species that literally fall through the net during normal testing.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.11.2018
Small Genetic Differences Turn Plants into Better Teams
Small Genetic Differences Turn Plants into Better Teams
Diverse communities of plants and animals typically perform better than monocultures. However, the mechanisms that are responsible for this have so far been a mystery to science. Biologists have now been able to identify the genetic cause of these effects. Their findings might help to improve crop yield.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 05.11.2018
New material cleans and splits water
New material cleans and splits water
Researchers at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering have developed a photocatalytic system based on a material in the class of metal-organic frameworks. The system can be used to degrade pollutants present in water while simultaneously producing hydrogen that can be captured and used further.

Physics / Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 05.11.2018
How to certify a quantum computer
Researchers have developed a protocol for checking that quantum computer components function as they should. That's a critical step in making the promise of quantum computing - including unprecedented computing power - a reality. Quantum computers are being developed by teams working not only at universities but also at Google, IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, a start-up company.
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