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Life Sciences - 15.10.2019
The Brain Does not Follow the Head
The Brain Does not Follow the Head
The human brain is about three times the size of the brains of great apes. This has to do, among other things, with the evolution of novel brain structures that enabled complex behaviors such as language and tool production. A study by anthropologists at the University of Zurich now shows that changes in the brain occurred independent of evolutionary rearrangements of the braincase.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 14.10.2019
Tissue damage caused by a heart attack to be reduced by 30%?
Tissue damage caused by a heart attack to be reduced by 30%?
Scientists from the Universities of Geneva and Lyon have discovered which molecule is held responsible for tissue necrosis due to an infarctus, and how to reduce the tissue damage by 30% in mice. Each year, heart attacks kill almost 10 million people in the world, and more than 6 million die from stroke.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 14.10.2019
"Virtual microscopes" freely accessible, thanks to USI’s contribution
Molecular dynamics simulations represent an increasingly important cornerstone of modern scientific research, thanks to their unparalleled ability to meticulously describe fundamental aspects of complex systems. It is not a coincidence that nowadays molecular simulations are considered a "virtual microscope" from which admire and examine biological processes, as well as confirm through "computational assays" innovative hypotheses which provide the basis for designing new experiments.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 11.10.2019
DeepFly3D: the deep-learning way to design fly-like robots
DeepFly3D: the deep-learning way to design fly-like robots
EPFL scientists have developed a deep-learning based motion-capture software that uses multiple camera views to model the movements of a fly in three dimensions. The ultimate aim is to use this knowledge to design fly-like robots. "Just think about what a fly can do," says Professor Pavan Ramdya, whose lab at EPFL's Brain Mind Institute , with the lab of Professor Pascal Fua at EPFL's Institute for Computer Science, led the study.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.10.2019
Babies burdened by environmental estrogens in mothers' wombs
Babies burdened by environmental estrogens in mothers’ wombs
Early childhood life in the womb is particularly sensitive to the effects of environmental pollutants. A team from Empa and the University of Vienna has now for the first time been able to show how a pollutant from contaminated food - the environmental estrogen zearalenone - spreads in the womb and is metabolized into harmful metabolites.

Life Sciences - 08.10.2019
Complex odors made simple
Complex odors made simple
Animals are able to attach simple ratings to complex objects in their environment to guide behavior. For example, humans can easily tell whether they like a wine or not, which will influence their future choices in the wine store. Similarly, animals can tell whether a complex odor is good or bad in order to decide whether to approach or avoid it.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.10.2019
The cholera bacterium can steal up to 150 genes in one go
The cholera bacterium can steal up to 150 genes in one go
EPFL scientists have discovered that predatory bacteria like the cholera pathogen can steal up to 150 genes in one go from their neighbors. The study sheds light on one of the most fundamental mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer. In 2015, EPFL researchers led by Melanie Blokesch published a seminal paper in Science showing that the bacterium responsible for cholera, Vibrio cholerae , uses a spring-loaded spear to literally stab neighboring bacteria and steal their DNA.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.10.2019
High-speed evolution observed in daphnia
High-speed evolution observed in daphnia
Daphnia, also known as water fleas, play an important role in the food web of lakes: they feed on phytoplankton and are eaten by predators such as fish. Their food resources show marked seasonal variation: in eutrophic waters, the summer is particularly challenging for daphnia, as the phytoplankton community is dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which are of poor nutritional quality and often contain toxins.

Life Sciences - 02.10.2019
Genetic development is influenced by the host-parasite relationship - but not only that!
Genetic development is influenced by the host-parasite relationship - but not only that!
In textbooks on evolution, conceptional and mathematical models explain how a host-parasite relationship affects the genome of both organisms. This is known as coevolution. How this interaction really functions can, on the other hand, be proven in vivo for only a few genes. Studies of the whole genome of both species that also show the progression of this mutual influence over time have never been done before.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 26.09.2019
Healthy organelles, healthy cells
Healthy organelles, healthy cells
It has recently become clear just how important membraneless organelles are for cells. Now biochemists at ETH Zurich have discovered a novel mechanism that regulates the formation of these organelles. This has laid the foundation for more targeted research into diseases such as Alzheimer's or ALS. For a long time, the contents of cells were thought to be fairly unstructured and chaotic: a mixture of proteins, DNA and a multitude of small metabolic molecules.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.09.2019
Cancer: the origin of genetic mutations
Cancer: the origin of genetic mutations
By linking DNA replication failures in cancer cells to their genetic instability, researchers at UNIGE unveil a mutation mechanism that is essential for cancer development. When a cell divides into two daughter cells, it must replicate its DNA according to a very specific scenario. In the presence of some disruptive elements, however, cancer cells are unable to perform this operation optimally; replication then takes place more slowly and less efficiently.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.09.2019
Astonishing diversity of sticklebacks discovered in Lake Constance
Astonishing diversity of sticklebacks discovered in Lake Constance
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.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.09.2019
Origin of the diversity of sticklebacks in Lake Constance deciphered
Origin of the diversity of sticklebacks in Lake Constance deciphered
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.

Life Sciences - 20.09.2019
Why is the brain disturbed by harsh sounds?
Why is the brain disturbed by harsh sounds?
UNIGE researchers have demonstrated how the harsh sounds used in alarm systems hold the brain's attention by stimulating its aversion networks. Why do the harsh sounds emitted by alarms or human shrieks grab our attention? What is going on in the brain when it detects these frequencies' Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Switzerland, have been analysing how people react when they listen to a range of different sounds, the aim being to establish the extent to which repetitive sound frequencies are considered unpleasant.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.09.2019
Antimicrobial resistance is drastically rising
Antimicrobial resistance is drastically rising
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. They produced the first global of resistance rates, and identified regions where interventions are urgently needed. The world is experiencing unprecedented economic growth in lowand middle-income countries.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.09.2019
The path of breast-to-brain cancer metastasis
The path of breast-to-brain cancer metastasis
Scientists at EPFL's Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and University of Bern have discovered a signaling pathway that breast tumors exploit to metastasize to the brain. In 2018, breast cancer was the most common cancer in women worldwide, accounting for about a quarter of all reported cancers.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.09.2019
The path of breast-to-brain cancer metastasis
The path of breast-to-brain cancer metastasis
Scientists at EPFL's Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research have discovered a signaling pathway that breast tumors exploit to metastasize to the brain. Image: Breast cancer cells (blue) associate with glutamate-secreting neurons (red) to stimulate NMDA receptor-mediated signaling (green) of tumor growth (STED super-resolution microscopy).  In 2018, breast cancer was the most common cancer in women worldwide, accounting for about a quarter of all reported cancers.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 16.09.2019
New microscopes to unravel the mysteries of brain organization
New microscopes to unravel the mysteries of brain organization
The secret of capturing exquisite brain images with a new generation of custom-built microscopes is revealed today . The new microscopes, known as mesoSPIMs, can image the minute detail of brain tissue down to individual neurons that are five times thinner than a human hair, and can uncover the 3D anatomy of entire small organs, faster than ever before.

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.

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.