news 2018

Life Sciences - Sep 23
Life Sciences
Most recreational fishermen do not take notice of the little threespine stickleback fish - it is too small and spiny to make a good meal. In Lake Constance however, the professional fishermen involuntarily became acquainted with it a few years ago. That's because the stickleback population has exploded in the lake, resulting in half of the fish biomass belonging to this species and them often clogging the fishermen's gill nets.
Environment - Sep 23
Environment

A pioneering study carried out at EPFL shows that the amount of daylight in a room can influence our thermal comfort and how well we tolerate heat or cold.

Life Sciences - Sep 19
Life Sciences

An international team of researchers led by ETH has shown that antimicrobial-resistant infections are rapidly increasing in animals in low and middle income countries.

Life Sciences - Sep 20
Life Sciences

UNIGE researchers have demonstrated how the harsh sounds used in alarm systems hold the brain's attention by stimulating its aversion networks.

Health - Sep 19
Health

A fast and reliable machine learning tool, developed by the ARTORG Center, University of Bern and the Department of Ophthalmology, Inselspital brings Artificial Intelligence (AI) closer to clinical use in Ophthalmology.


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Health - Life Sciences - 20.12.2018
Bacteria rely on classic business model
Bacteria rely on classic business model
The pneumonia causing pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has developed a twin-track strategy to colonize its host. It generates two different cells - motile spreaders and virulent stickers. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have now elucidated how the germ attaches to tissue within seconds and consecutively spreads.

Environment - Social Sciences - 19.12.2018
Gaming route leads to solid results
Gaming route leads to solid results
Should a wind farm be built in a particular region, or is the integrity of the landscape a more important consideration? How should the wastewater infrastructure be designed in the future? Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a recognised tool for weighing up such environmental questions, and an important stage of the methodology is to ascertain the preferences of those involved: What is important to them when making their decision? What g

Health - Pharmacology - 18.12.2018
Buruli Ulcer: Promising New Drug Candidate Against a Forgotten Disease
Buruli Ulcer: Promising New Drug Candidate Against a Forgotten Disease
Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) resulting in debilitating skin lesions, disabilities and stigmatisation. The current antibiotic treatment is long and has severe adverse side effects. Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) together with colleagues from Singapore have discovered a highly effective compound against Buruli ulcer which has the potential to become a powerful alternative to the existing treatment options.

Pharmacology - Health - 18.12.2018
Buruli ulcer: New drug against a forgotten disease
Buruli ulcer: New drug against a forgotten disease
Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) resulting in debilitating skin lesions and disabilities. The current antibiotic treatment is long and has severe adverse side effects. Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), which is associated with the University of Basel, together with colleagues from Singapore have discovered a highly effective compound against Buruli ulcer.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.12.2018
How liquid droplets grow in cells
How liquid droplets grow in cells
For more than 100 years, biologists have known that cells contain various kinds of membraneless organelles and conjectured what organizing principles underlie them. During the past decade, liquid-liquid phase separation has emerged as one of the concepts that can explain these cellular structures. Phase separation has become an increasingly hot topic, as it can be related to pathologies such as neurodegenerative diseases.

Physics - 17.12.2018
Data storage using individual molecules
Data storage using individual molecules
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal small, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Innovation / Technology - Materials Science - 17.12.2018
Top-notch research is the basis for a successful technology transfer
Top-notch research is the basis for a successful technology transfer
In such a highly competitive environment as scientific research, it is a good idea to ask yourself on a regular basis just how well you fare by international comparison. With this in mind, Empa conducted a peer review last October: eleven international experts from all of Empa's areas of activity scrutinized the institute's output in research and innovation and compared it with the rest of the world.

Materials Science - Environment - 15.12.2018
The wood magician
The new head of Empa's Cellulose & Wood Materials lab, Gustav Nyström, has taken everyone by surprise by setting unconventional goals. However, paper batteries and nanocellulose sensors have one main objective: to help solve fundamental, socially relevant questions. When Gustav Nyström sees a tree, he sees more than just a biological marvel.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.12.2018
Modelling for New Schistosomiasis Treatment Thresholds
Modelling for New Schistosomiasis Treatment Thresholds
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic worm infection affecting 250 million people globally. The current prevalence thresholds for preventive chemotherapy of intestinal schistosomiasis are based on the Kato-Katz method using stool samples. A new more sensitive point-of-care urine test is now available in particular for settings with low prevalence.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.12.2018
Modelling for New Schistosomiasis Treatment Thresholds
Modelling for New Schistosomiasis Treatment Thresholds
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic worm infection affecting 250 million people globally. The current prevalence thresholds for preventive chemotherapy of intestinal schistosomiasis are based on the Kato-Katz method using stool samples. A new more sensitive point-of-care urine test is now available in particular for settings with low prevalence.

History / Archeology - 13.12.2018
Satellite data expose looting
Satellite data expose looting
Globally archaeological heritage is under threat by looting. The destruction of archaeological sites obliterates the basis for our understanding of ancient cultures and we lose our shared human past. Research at University of Bern shows that satellite data provide a mean to monitor the destruction of archaeological sites.

Microtechnics - 12.12.2018
New foldable drone flies through narrow holes in rescue missions
New foldable drone flies through narrow holes in rescue missions
A research team from the University of Zurich and EPFL have developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters. Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.12.2018
Enrichment of resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants
Enrichment of resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants
Although wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) remove over 95 per cent of human fecal bacteria, many resistant bacteria can still be detected in the final effluent. How is this to be explained? To find out, a group led by microbiologist Helmut Bürgmann investigated the fate and expression of antibacterial resistance genes in the course of treatment at twelve WWTPs.

Pharmacology - Health - 11.12.2018
Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth - this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in "Cell Reports", the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 11.12.2018
Using water molecules to unlock neurons' secrets
EPFL researchers have developed a method to observe the electrical activity of neurons by analyzing the behavior of surrounding water molecules. This simple and non-invasive method, which could eliminate the need for electrodes and fluorophores, can be used to monitor the activity within a single neuron or potentially on an entire region of the brain.

Health - Pharmacology - 06.12.2018
Statins Overprescribed for Primary Prevention
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by the University of Zurich now shows that this measure is recommended too often, as current guidelines fail to take into account the risks of side effects. Even healthy people who don't suffer from a cardiovascular disease are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, if they meet certain risk criteria.

Physics - Career - 06.12.2018
EU grants 14 million to Swiss Researchers
EU grants 14 million to Swiss Researchers
Fuelling the next quantum revolution with the research project HERO An ERC Grant is the most prestigious award for excellent European research projects. A team with three researchers from the ETH Domain had also applied for such a grant. Today, Gabriel Aeppli from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Henrik Rønnow from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL and Nicola Spaldin from ETH Zurich, together with their colleague Alexander Balatsky from Nordita, Stockholm University, received the contract signed by the EU confirming the extraordinary 14 million euro funding.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.12.2018
Whole-brain imaging of mice during behavior
In a study published in Neuron, researchers have demonstrated how functional ultrasound imaging can yield high-resolution, unbiased, brain-wide activity maps of behaving mice. These can lead to a brain-wide understanding of how brain activity relates to specific behavior - in healthy mice and in mouse models of neurologic or psychiatric diseases.

Environment - 05.12.2018
Bringing La Buvette d'Evian back to life
Bringing La Buvette d'Evian back to life
In a new book, EPFL researchers trace the history of La Buvette d'Evian - a former lakeside refreshment area that is also an icon of modern architecture. With some light renovation work, La Buvette could reinvigorate the entire region. The book launch will take place on 6 December at EPFL. For over 40 years, tourists and people with kidney ailments came to La Buvette d'Evian for the healing properties of the region's water.

Business / Economics - 04.12.2018
Increasing Crop Insurances Adoption in Developing Countries
Increasing Crop Insurances Adoption in Developing Countries
Farmers in developing countries often rely heavily on their yearly harvest to feed their families. A bad crop can have severe consequences for their livelihood. Despite the significant advantages crop insurances would offer in alleviating this risk, only a small percentage of farmers insure their crops.
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