How dangerous are new mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? An international team involving researchers from the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office BLV and the University of Bern (Switzerland), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), and the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (Germany), has developed an approach that can accurately assess the transmissibility of new virus mutants.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the partner institute Empa have started a joint initiative called SynFuels. The goal is to develop a process for producing kerosene from renewable resources. In this way liquid fuel mixtures of the highest quality, which would allow the most residue-free combustion possible and thus be suitable for aircraft propulsion, should be obtainable using carbon dioxide and hydrogen from renewable resources.
Copepods (minute crustaceans with paddle-like feet) can differentiate between disturbances in water generated by nearby organisms and turbulence caused by wind or waves - an ability which helps them to find mates. It had previously been assumed that turbulent conditions would impede the quest for mates.
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From a research hypothesis in experimental biology to the possible application in the field of anticancer therapies, through computer simulations. This is the essential course of an interdisciplinary and international research project that has identified the mechanisms by which particular peptides can penetrate cell membranes and contribute to the elimination of tumors.
Contrary to earlier concerns, a UNIGE study has shown that people who met their partners on dating applications have often stronger long-term relationship goals, and that these new ways of meeting people encourage socio-educational and geographical mixing. Mobile apps have revolutionised the way people meet in Switzerland and elsewhere in recent years.
Scientists have invented a technique to navigate electronic devices that are smaller than human hair inside blood vessels and reach arterioles. The next step will be conducting in vivo tests. The cardiovascular system is astonishing. It uses the blood that circulates in our veins and arteries to transport oxygen and nutrients to every tissue in the body.
Modified CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors are enabling researchers at UZH to make alterations to the genetic material of single-cell organisms that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. This method is making it possible to develop a (harmless) experimental live vaccine for the widespread parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
How stars form in galaxies remains a major open question in astrophysics. A new UZH study sheds new light on this topic with the help of a data-driven re-analysis of observational measurements. The star-formation activity of typical, nearby galaxies is found to scale proportionally with the amount of gas present in these galaxies.
Since 1970 a worldwide unique test has been running in the Empa testing hall in Dübendorf, in which the long-term behaviour of bonded steel reinforcements on a concrete beam is being investigated. Investigations such as these have contributed to the fact that adhesive-bonded reinforcement is now state of the art as a strengthening method and that engineers have confidence in this retrofitting method.
A team of ETH researchers led by Karsten Weis has developed a method that allows them to study the assembly process for large protein complexes in detail for the first time. As their case study, the biologists chose one of the largest cellular complexes: the nuclear pore complex in yeast cells. Cells produce a great number of different protein complexes, each of which is made up of many individual proteins.
Scientists from EPFL, MIT, and CEA Saclay demonstrate a state of vibration that exists simultaneously at two different times. They evidence this quantum superposition by measuring the strongest class of quantum correlations between light beams that interact with the vibration. An especially counter-intuitive feature of quantum mechanics is that a single event can exist in a state of superposition - happening bothhere andthere , or bothtoday andtomorrow .
For the first time, scientists at the University of Zurich have been able to observe stem cells in the adult mouse brain that divide over the course of several months to create new nerve cells. The study shows that brain stem cells are active over a long period, and thus provides new insights for stem cell research.
To do this, Baud collaborated with Vikram Rao, neurologist at UCSF, to obtain neuronal activity data collected over several years using devices implanted long-term in the brains of patients with epilepsy. After confirming that there were indeed cycles of cerebral epileptic activity, the scientists turned their attention to statistical analysis.
Europe still has barely any downstream passage facilities that guide fish past the turbines of run-of-river power stations unharmed. Now, an interdisciplinary team of engineers from ETH Zurich and fish biologists from Eawag have developed a rack that uses pressure and flow differences to guide fish out of the main flow and into the safe fish passage.
Short-term disturbances caused by aircraft noise at night can lead to cardiovascular death within hours. This is shown in analyses by a team of researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Empa. The researchers used a dataset covering the years 2000 to 2015 to investigate how mortality rates in the Zurich airport area are related to acute nighttime aircraft noise exposure; they recently published their findings in the European Heart Journal.
When it gets warmer, organisms rise higher from the lowlands. Researchers from ETH and WSL investigated what could happen to plant communities on alpine grasslands if grasshoppers from lower elevations settled there. The world is getting warmer and warmer - and many organisms native to lower latitudes or elevations are moving higher.
Under a cross-disciplinary program spearheaded by EPFL, scientists will develop an AI-based system that can predict whether Covid-19 patients will develop severe cardiovascular complications and, in the longer term, detect the likely onset of inflammatory disease. Covid-19 comes with a range of symptoms - from a sore throat and the loss of taste to more serious ones like lung failure.
An international research team led by the University of Bern has discovered an exotic binary system composed of two young planet-like objects, orbiting around each other from a very large distance. Although these objects look like giant exoplanets, they formed in the same way as stars, proving that the mechanisms driving star formation can produce rogue worlds in unusual systems deprived of a Sun.
Skyrmions are small magnetic objects that could revolutionize the data storage industry and also enable new computer architectures. However, before they can be utilized in such applications, there are still a number of challenges that need to be overcome. A team of Empa researchers has now succeeded for the first time in producing a tunable multilayer system in which two different types of skyrmions - the future bits for "0" and "1" - can exist at room temperature, as they recently reported in the renowned .
Just like people, cells get stressed too. A sudden drop in oxygen, overheating, or toxins can trigger a cascade of molecular changes that lead cells to stop growing, produce stress-protective factors, and form stress granules - proteins and RNA molecules huddled together into membrane-less organelles.
Bioengineers at EPFL have developed a nanopore-based system that can read data encoded into synthetic macromolecules with higher accuracy and resolution than similar methods on the market. The system is also potentially cheaper and longer-lasting, and overcomes limitations that prevent us from moving away from conventional data storage devices that are rapidly maxing out in capacity and endurance.
A study performed in Ticino between Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC), USI Università della Svizzera italiana and Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (UniSR, Milan, Italy) has shown how drugs against hypertension can reduce by more than 60% the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients. The multidisciplinary study concerned 576 patients admitted to the EOC during the first wave of the epidemic, and was published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Behavioral scientists at EPFL introduce DeepLabCut-Live!, a deep-learning tool that can enable real-time feedback studies on animal movement and posture. The software features "maker-less" real-time motion capture, can interface with lab hardware for neurological analysis, and is now available open source for use by researchers.