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Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2019
A new pathway to
A new pathway to "reprogram" killer cells
Killer cells of the immune system detect and kill infected cells or cancer cells. Researchers at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern have now discovered that the mechanism by which certain immune cells kill their target cells can also be used to control the killer cells themselves. This finding may be relevant to cancer immunotherapy.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 15.11.2019
How nematodes outsmart the defenses of pests
How nematodes outsmart the defenses of pests
The western corn rootworm, one of the world's most damaging maize pests, can use plant defense compounds to defend itself against its own natural enemies, so-called entomopathogenic nematodes. However, the nematodes can become immune against these compounds in turn, which enhances their ability to fight the western corn rootworm, as researchers at the University of Bern show.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.11.2019
Breakthrough in malaria research
Breakthrough in malaria research
An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the Umeĺ University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.11.2019
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
Unevenly distributed plankton activity
An international research consortium with ETH participation demonstrates that marine plankton is more diverse in warm oceans than in polar seas, both in terms of species count and the biological activities of the plankton communities. Climate change could lead to a redistribution of plankton in the world's oceans.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.11.2019
Amoebas to replace laboratory mice
Amoebas to replace laboratory mice
The University of Geneva awards its 3R Prize to research that reduces the number of animals in experimentation through better selection of the compounds to be tested. Minimize the number of anti-infective compounds to be tested in an animal model by first selecting them on infected amoebas to retain only the most effective ones.

Life Sciences - Environment - 13.11.2019
Opportunity makes species
Opportunity makes species
"The people who live around the Eqaluit River in the south-west of Greenland do know that there are char living in the river and its lakes", explains the evolutionary and fish biologist Carmela Dönz. "But they prefer to eat sea fish and take very little notice of the fish stocks in fresh water - which is one of the reasons why the fish appear to have little fear of people." Outside the region, the rivers and lakes along the coastline created by the retreating Greenland glaciers after the last ice age remain largely unknown.

Life Sciences - Environment - 11.11.2019
"Without Bacteria and Fungi, the Earth Would Look Like Mars"
Our soils filter drinking water and produces food. Soils only carry out these services, because they harbour thousands fungal and bacteria species which work together like the wheels in a clock mechanism. These are the conclusions reached by a study published in the renowned by researchers from Agroscope and the University of Zurich.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.11.2019
Synthetic phages with programmable specificity
Synthetic phages with programmable specificity
ETH researchers are using synthetic biology to reprogram bacterial viruses - commonly known as bacteriophages - to expand their natural host range. This technology paves the way for the therapeutic use of standardized, synthetic bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. Bacteriophages ("phages" for short) are viruses that infect bacteria.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.10.2019
Milk from Teeth: Dental Stem Cells Can Generate Milk-Producing Cells
Milk from Teeth: Dental Stem Cells Can Generate Milk-Producing Cells
Stem cells of the teeth can contribute to the regeneration of non-dental organs, namely mammary glands. According to a new study from researchers at the University of Zurich, dental epithelial stem cells from mice can generate mammary ducts and even milk-producing cells when transplanted into mammary glands.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.10.2019
Analyzing gut bacteria more accurately
The microorganisms in our intestines could be linked to certain diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes. Researchers from the AD-gut consortium have developed a novel method - combining optical DNA mapping and statistics - for accurately distinguishing and rapidly identifying the various species in the microbiota.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.10.2019
With a new Artificial Intelligence method, humans and machines can analyse complex biomedical data
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the USI Institute of Computational Sciences (ICS), and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), affiliated to USI, have developed a new Artificial Intelligence method that enables the analysis of complex biomedical data. The results of the research have been published in the renowned scientific journal Science advances .

Life Sciences - Health - 31.10.2019
Analyzing gut bacteria more accurately to make diagnosis
The microorganisms in our intestines could be linked to certain diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes. Researchers from the AD-gut consortium have developed a novel method - combining optical DNA mapping and statistics - for accurately distinguishing and rapidly identifying the various species in the microbiota.

Life Sciences - Physics - 29.10.2019
Turning a dangerous toxin into a biosensor
Turning a dangerous toxin into a biosensor
Some bacteria release a toxin that forms pores on other cells. EPFL scientists have studied the pore-forming toxin aerolysin and genetically engineered it to be used as a high-resolution sensor for biological molecules like DNA and proteins. Image: Molecular simulation of an engineered aerolysin pore (light blue color) embedded into a membrane bilayer (cream color) and translocating DNA (red color).

Life Sciences - Health - 24.10.2019
Bacteria must be
Bacteria must be "stressed out" to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds. A new study from EPFL scientists has found that bacteria use mechanical forces to divide, along with biological factors. The research, led by the groups of John McKinney and Georg Fantner at EPFL, came after recent studies suggested that bacterial division is not only governed by biology, but also by physics.

Life Sciences - 23.10.2019
Marmoset Monkeys can learn a new Dialect
Marmoset Monkeys can learn a new Dialect
Monkeys and other animals communicate through calls that can differ depending on region. The common marmoset is one such animal that communicates using regional dialects. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that they even adapt their dialect when they move to a different area.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 23.10.2019
Antibiotics with Novel Mechanism of Action Discovered
Many life-threatening bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. Swiss researchers co-headed by the University of Zurich have now discovered a new class of antibiotics with a unique spectrum of activity and mechanism of action - a major step in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.10.2019
Special cells contribute to regenerate the heart in Zebrafish
Special cells contribute to regenerate the heart in Zebrafish
It is already known that zebrafish can flexibly regenerate their hearts after injury. An international research group led by Prof. Nadia Mercader of the University of Bern now shows that certain heart muscle cells play a central role in this process. The insights gained could be used to initiate a similar repair process in the human heart.

Life Sciences - 22.10.2019
A fundamental neuronal microcircuit for learning
A fundamental neuronal microcircuit for learning
How does the brain control the mechanisms of memory so that it only remembers major events in a constantly changing environment? The group of Andreas Lüthi has now described a fundamental neuronal microcircuit that allows mice to learn about unexpected important events and adapt their behavior accordingly.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.10.2019
Protein in Blood Protects against Neuronal Damage after Brain Hemorrhage
Protein in Blood Protects against Neuronal Damage after Brain Hemorrhage
Patients who survive a cerebral hemorrhage may suffer delayed severe brain damage caused by free hemoglobin, which comes from red blood cells and damages neurons. Researchers at the University of Zurich and the UniversityHospital Zurich have now discovered a protective protein in the body called haptoglobin, which prevents this effect.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.10.2019
EPFL is developing next-generation soft hearing implants
EPFL is developing next-generation soft hearing implants
Working with clinicians from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, a team of EPFL researchers has developed a conformable electrode implant that will allow people with a dysfunctional inner ear to hear again. This new device could replace existing auditory brainstem implants, which have a number of shortcomings.
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