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Chemistry - Innovation - 16.09.2019
Measuring ethanol's deadly twin
Measuring ethanol’s deadly twin
ETH researchers have developed an inexpensive, handheld measuring device that can distinguish between methanol and potable alcohol. It offers a simple, quick method of detecting adulterated or contaminated alcoholic beverages and is able to diagnose methanol poisoning in exhaled breath. Methanol is sometimes referred to as ethanol's deadly twin.

Health - Mathematics - 16.09.2019
Jeanne Calment was indeed the oldest human being
Jeanne Calment was indeed the oldest human being
By combining epidemiology, mathematical modelling and historical investigation, researchers in Geneva, Switzerland and France confirm Jeanne Calment's exceptional longevity, invalidating the conspiracy theories surrounding her. Jeanne Calment, who passed away in 1997 at 122 years and 165 days, still is today the human being who had the longest life.

Health - 12.09.2019
A high-precision instrument for ophthalmologists
A high-precision instrument for ophthalmologists
EPFL scientists have helped develop a microscopic glass device that doctors could use to inject medicine into retinal veins with unprecedented accuracy. Their instrument meets an important need in eye surgery, delivering exceptional stability and precision. A team of researchers presented a breakthrough device for eye surgery at EPFL Neuchâtel's Research Day on 11 September.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.09.2019
Type 2 diabetes is not just about insulin
Type 2 diabetes is not just about insulin
By showing that the liver can produce glucose autonomously, researchers at UNIGE explain how type 2 diabetes can develop in overweight people even without insulin resistance. In Switzerland, more than 400,000 people suffer from type 2 diabetes, a serious metabolic disorder that is constantly increasing.

Environment - Microtechnics - 12.09.2019
"Flying fish" robot can dive and fly
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a propelling gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot had been developed by researchers at Imperial College London. It can travel 26 meters through the air after take-off and could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution, report the team lead by Mirko Kovac, who also heads the joint "Materials and Technology Center of Robotics" at Empa, in the latest issue of "Science Robotics".

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.09.2019
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
The largest glacier in the Alps is visibly suffering the effects of global warming. ETH researchers have now calculated how much of the Aletsch Glacier will still be visible by the end of the century. In the worst-case scenario, a couple patches of ice will be all that's left. Every year, it attracts thousands of visitors from around the world: as the largest ice flow in the Alps, the Great Aletsch Glacier is a major tourism draw in the Swiss region of Upper Valais, second only to the Matterhorn.

Life Sciences - 11.09.2019
Brain: How to optimize decision making?
Brain: How to optimize decision making?
UNIGE researchers demonstrate that our brains do not make decisions based on their inherent value but for what they offer above and beyond other possible propositions. Our brains are constantly faced with different choices: Should I have a chocolate éclair or macaroon? Should I take the bus or go by car? What should I wear: a woollen sweater or one made of cashmere? When the difference in quality between two choices is great, the choice is made very quickly.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.09.2019
Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans
Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans
ETH researchers are involved in the development and implementation of a method to efficiently breed for disease-resistant beans in different regions of the world. Their work will help to improve the livelihood and food security of smallholders in developing countries. For many people in Africa and Latin America, beans are an important staple.

Environment - Social Sciences - 11.09.2019
Global Sustainable Development Report calls for urgent, coordinated action
Global Sustainable Development Report calls for urgent, coordinated action
A world without poverty, in which everyone's well-being is ensured: achieving this goal by 2030 is still possible, but only if the relationship between people and nature is fundamentally changed and social inequalities are reduced. That is the conclusion of the 2019 UN Global Sustainable Development Report, drafted by an independent group of scientists co-chaired by Peter Messerli, University of Bern, and Endah Murniningtyas.

Life Sciences - 10.09.2019
Chromatin looping: CTCF versus ADNP
Chromatin looping: CTCF versus ADNP
The organization of chromatin in the three-dimensional space is complex and requires the help of many proteins, including CTFC. Researchers from the group of Marc Bühler have identified a new player in the process: the transcription factor ADNP. In a recent study, they show that ADNP competes with CTFC, acting as a local modulator of chromatin looping.

Environment - 10.09.2019
Treating more wastewater with less energy
Treating more wastewater with less energy
More and more people are moving to cities and agglomerations in Switzerland, which is putting extreme pressure on some wastewater treatment plants: Because they are having to treat greater volumes of wastewater, their energy consumption is skyrocketing. And some WTPs are close to reaching capacity. Together with various project partners from industry, Eawag has now been testing out a new kind of technology for the past six months at the Sihltal WTP.

Pharmacology - Health - 10.09.2019
Multiple sclerosis therapy: scientists identify the Achilles' heel of a therapeutic antibody and find a solution to avoid the problem
Multiple sclerosis therapy: scientists identify the Achilles’ heel of a therapeutic antibody and find a solution to avoid the problem
An international research team led by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, affiliated to the Università della Svizzera italiana, has discovered why some patients with multiple sclerosis make an immune reaction that curtails the effectiveness of natalizumab, a therapeutic antibody used for the treatment of the disease and used this information to engineer a new version of the antibody that avoids this problem.

Music - 09.09.2019
Building Blocks of Bird Babble Identified
Building Blocks of Bird Babble Identified
A new study by an international team headed by the University of Zurich sheds light on whether animal vocalizations, like human words, are constructed from smaller building blocks. By analyzing calls of the Australian chestnut-crowned babbler, the researchers have for the first time identified the meaning-generating building blocks of a non-human communication system.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.09.2019
Feeling legs again improves amputees’ health
Two volunteers are the first above-knee amputees in the world to feel their prosthetic foot and knee in real time. Their bionic prosthesis, which was developed by an international team of researchers, features sensors that connect to residual nerves in the thigh. The resulting neurofeedback greatly reduces physical and mental strain for users of the prosthesis.

Environment - Innovation - 09.09.2019
Interest rates are a decisive factor for competitive renewables
Renewable energy has become competitive - and one often-overlooked reason is the reduced cost of financing. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have modelled different scenarios in order to investigate the impact of rising interest rates on renewable energy.

Physics - 09.09.2019
Making and controlling crystals of light
Making and controlling crystals of light
EPFL scientists have shown how light inside optical on-chip microresonators can be crystallized in a form of periodic pulse trains that can boost the performance of optical communication links or endow ultrafast LiDAR with sub-micron precision. Optical microresonators convert laser light into ultrashort pulses travelling around the resonator's circumference.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.09.2019
The birth of vision, from the retina to the brain
The birth of vision, from the retina to the brain
By decoding the genetic mechanisms that control the neurons of the visual system, researchers at UNIGE are unveiling the first steps in the construction of vision, paving the way for regenerative eye medicine.

Innovation - 09.09.2019
Jewelry uses new technology to turn light into words
Jewelry uses new technology to turn light into words
Local startup Rayform has developed a collection of unique, stylish rings that employ technology developed at EPFL (Switzerland). The surface of each ring is structured so as to create messages out of reflected light. look like normal pieces of jewelry. But shine light on them, and you'll see they are in fact extraordinary.

Environment - 09.09.2019
Human influence on groundwater quality
Human influence on groundwater quality
Eawag researchers have identified the major anthropogenic threats and their chief origins in a review article. Intensive agriculture, urban sprawl, the pharmaceutical industry, poor wastewater infrastructure, lack of water-quality data as well as lack of awareness of the meaning of groundwater as a renewable resource are among the most urgent problems.

Life Sciences - 06.09.2019
Audition: How our brain filters sounds
Audition: How our brain filters sounds
Researchers at UNIGE have demonstrated that the brain adjusts the attention it gives to identical sounds as soon as they are perceived in the brainstem, a capacity that is lacking in schizophrenics. Our sound environment is extremely dense, which is why the brain has to adapt and implement filtering mechanisms that allow it to hold its attention on the most important elements and save energy.
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