News 2019

Health - Aug 23
Health
Researchers from EPFL and the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands have developed an extremely fast optical method for sculpting complex shapes in stem-cell-laden hydrogels and then vascularizing the resulting tissue. Their groundbreaking technique stands to change the field of tissue engineering.
Environment - Aug 23
Environment

A solar façade developed at ETH Zurich combines electricity production with intelligent shading to achieve optimal energy balance.

Life Sciences - Aug 22
Life Sciences

How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos' Researchers at the EPFL Blue Brain Project have found the answer to this long-standing question by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other while submerged in a sea of noise and chaos.

Pharmacology - Aug 22
Pharmacology

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step towards the development of an agent against the metastasis of certain cancers.

Physics - Aug 22
Physics

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method with which strong magnetic fields can be precisely measured.


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Health - 23.08.2019
Bioprinting complex living tissue in just a few seconds
Bioprinting complex living tissue in just a few seconds
Researchers from EPFL and the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands have developed an extremely fast optical method for sculpting complex shapes in stem-cell-laden hydrogels and then vascularizing the resulting tissue. Their groundbreaking technique stands to change the field of tissue engineering.

Environment - Innovation / Technology - 23.08.2019
Energising buildings
Energising buildings
A solar façade developed at ETH Zurich combines electricity production with intelligent shading to achieve optimal energy balance. Heating or cooling internal spaces requires energy. More intelligent building façades could save much of that energy. A system developed at ETH Zurich uses movable solar panels to generate electricity while at the same time allowing the right amount of sunshine or shade to suit weather conditions and internal use.

Pharmacology - Health - 22.08.2019
Preventing tumour metastasis
Preventing tumour metastasis
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step towards the development of an agent against the metastasis of certain cancers. Using the Swiss Light Source, they deciphered the structure of a receptor that plays a crucial role in the migration of cancer cells.

Life Sciences - 22.08.2019
Brain finds order amidst chaos
Brain finds order amidst chaos
How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos' Researchers at the EPFL Blue Brain Project have found the answer to this long-standing question by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other while submerged in a sea of noise and chaos. In a paper published , they found that by working as a team, cortical neurons can respond even to weak input against the backdrop of noise and chaos, allowing the brain to find order.

Physics - 22.08.2019
Visualising strong magnetic fields with neutrons
Visualising strong magnetic fields with neutrons
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method with which strong magnetic fields can be precisely measured. They use neutrons obtained from the SINQ spallation source. In the future, it will therefore be possible to measure the fields of magnets that are already installed in devices and thus are inaccessible by other probing techniques.

Physics - Chemistry - 21.08.2019
Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
Chemists funded by the SNSF have created a new compound for flexible drug delivery that specifically targets prostate cancer cells. Incorporating four different molecules, the compound prevents tumour cells from multiplying, can be detected by medical imaging and has staying power in the bloodstream.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.08.2019
Methods for reducing the risks of melting glaciers
Methods for reducing the risks of melting glaciers
Under a pilot project being spearheaded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a team of experts - including civil and environmental engineers from EPFL - are studying methods to help protect a region of the Andes Mountains threatened by glacial retreat. The testing phase of the pilot project will conclude at the end of the month.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.08.2019
Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind
Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind
EPFL scientists are investigating new ways to provide visual signals to the blind by directly stimulating the optic nerve. Their preliminary study on animals uses a new type of neural electrode and provides distinct signals. Scientists from EPFL in Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy are developing technology for the blind that bypasses the eyeball entirely and sends messages to the brain.

Environment - 19.08.2019
Cows Influence Plant Composition of Pastures
Cows Influence Plant Composition of Pastures
Angus, or Scottish Highland: not all cows are the same when it comes to a preference for different shrub, herbaceous and grass species. Research work carried out by Agroscope with the Universities of Heidelberg and Göttingen in Germany shows that cattle breed influences the botanical composition of pasture.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.08.2019
When liver disease affects the brain
When liver disease affects the brain
Scientists have demonstrated how chronic liver diseases cause molecular changes in the brain. They carried out their research using the 9.4 Tesla high-magnetic-field MRI machine at the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM) at EPFL. The liver plays a vital role as a filter in the human body.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.08.2019
When a diseased liver disrupts the brain
When a diseased liver disrupts the brain
Researchers from UNIGE, CHUV, EPFL, CIBM, HUG and UNIL have demonstrated how chronic liver diseases cause molecular changes in the brain. The liver plays a vital role as a filter in the human body.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.08.2019
Smart interaction between proteins
Smart interaction between proteins
Very little was known till now about DNA repair by homologous recombination, which is fundamental for human health. Now an ETH research group has for the first time isolated and studied all the key proteins involved in this process, laying the foundation for investigating many diseases. Within our body, the process of cell division is constantly creating new cells to replace old or damaged ones.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.08.2019
Humans May Have Had Key Role in Cave Bear Extinction
Humans May Have Had Key Role in Cave Bear Extinction
Humans may have played a substantial role in the extinction of the European cave bear at the end of the last ice age. These findings of a study with the involvement of the University of Zurich suggest a drastic cave bear population decline starting around 40,000 years ago. Where in Europe did different populations of cave bears live and how they did they migrate during the Late Pleistocene? This is the topic that Verena Schünemann from the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich and a team of researchers investigated.

Health - Environment - 15.08.2019
Heatwaves Increase Emergency Admissions to Swiss Hospitals
Heatwaves Increase Emergency Admissions to Swiss Hospitals
Numerous studies have shown that heat increases mortality rates. 1,2 In Switzerland, for example, the hot summer of 2015 caused around 800 additional deaths. 3 Only a few studies, however, have investigated the effects of heatwaves on morbidity and hospital admissions. Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) recently conducted a detailed analysis of emergency hospital admissions in Switzerland during the three heatwaves between June and August 2015 in a study commissioned by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 14.08.2019
A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots
A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots
Scientists at EPFL have developed a tiny pump that could play a big role in the development of autonomous soft robots, lightweight exoskeletons and smart clothing. Flexible, silent and weighing only one gram, it is poised to replace the rigid, noisy and bulky pumps currently used. The scientists' work has just been published in Nature.

Life Sciences - 14.08.2019
Revolutionising the CRISPR method
Revolutionising the CRISPR method
Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously. Everyone's talking about CRISPR-Cas. This biotechnological method offers a relatively quick and easy way to manipulate single genes in cells, meaning they can be precisely deleted, replaced or modified.

Earth Sciences - Computer Science / Telecom - 13.08.2019
Monitoring the Matterhorn with millions of data points
Monitoring the Matterhorn with millions of data points
A unique project is linking in-situ measurements with natural hazards research. For the past ten years, a network of wireless sensors on the Matterhorn's Hörnli ridge has been constantly streaming measurement data on the condition of steep rock faces, permafrost and prevailing climate. The project leader, Jan Beutel, reviews progress to date.

Life Sciences - 13.08.2019
How our biological clocks are locked in sync
Scientists from EPFL's Institute of Bioengineering have discovered that our circadian clock and our cell-cycle are in fact, synchronized. Nothing in biology is static; everything is fluid, dynamic and ever-moving. Often, this movement occurs in repeating patterns - regular, measurable cycles that tick just like "clocks".

Computer Science / Telecom - 09.08.2019
An algorithm to detect outside influences on the media
An algorithm to detect outside influences on the media
EPFL researchers recently developed an algorithm that maps out the media landscape and reveals biases and hidden influences in the news industry. News consumers may not be aware that the way their local media outlet selects and presents news stories can be affected by the media group that owns it. At a time of rampant disinformation, it is just this sort of outside influence on the media that people should know about.

Microtechnics - 08.08.2019
The world's smallest stent
The world’s smallest stent
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new method for producing malleable microstructures ' for instance, vascular stents that are 40 times smaller than previously possible. In the future, such stents could be used to help to widen life-threatening constrictions of the urinary tract in foetuses in the womb.
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