news 2020

Life Sciences - Oct 28
Life Sciences
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. Using microfluidic technology, they produce miniature polymeric reaction containers equipped with the desired properties. This "cell on a chip" is useful not only for studying processes in cells, but also for the development of new synthetic pathways for chemical applications or for biological active substances in medicine.
Life Sciences - Oct 27
Life Sciences

Until today neurorehabilitation is the only approach that promotes recovery after stroke. Researchers at the Neurology Department of the University of Bern and Inselspital have provided first evidence that sleep could be targeted to improve post-stroke recovery.

Astronomy - Oct 27
Astronomy

The galaxies in the early universe are much more mature than astrophysicists first thought: their existence at such an early stage is due to their interactions with the cosmos.

Life Sciences - Oct 27
Life Sciences

Building the driving machinery of bacteria, the flagella, requires numerous proteins to be assembled. Adding sugar and the presence of a control point are two key steps identified by UNIGE scientists.

Environment - Oct 26
Environment

Hot and humid: Using minerals from ancient soils, ETH researchers are reconstructing the climate that prevailed on Earth some 55 million years ago. Their findings will help them to better assess how our climate might look in the future.


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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 28.10.2020
An artificial cell on a chip
An artificial cell on a chip
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. Using microfluidic technology, they produce miniature polymeric reaction containers equipped with the desired properties. This "cell on a chip" is useful not only for studying processes in cells, but also for the development of new synthetic pathways for chemical applications or for biological active substances in medicine.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.10.2020
Bern researchers identify sleep as possible target to improve recovery after ischemic stroke
Bern researchers identify sleep as possible target to improve recovery after ischemic stroke
Until today neurorehabilitation is the only approach that promotes recovery after stroke. Researchers at the Neurology Department of the University of Bern and Inselspital have provided first evidence that sleep could be targeted to improve post-stroke recovery. espite spending nearly one-third of our life asleep, many of the biological mechanisms and functions of sleep remain a mystery to modern neuroscience.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.10.2020
The sweet spot of flagellar assembly
The sweet spot of flagellar assembly
Building the driving machinery of bacteria, the flagella, requires numerous proteins to be assembled. Adding sugar and the presence of a control point are two key steps identified by UNIGE scientists. To build the machinery that enables bacteria to swim, over 50 proteins have to be assembled according to a logic and well-defined order to form the flagellum, the cellular equivalent of an offshore engine of a boat.

Astronomy / Space Science - 27.10.2020
The cosmic network feeds early galaxies
The cosmic network feeds early galaxies
The galaxies in the early universe are much more mature than astrophysicists first thought: their existence at such an early stage is due to their interactions with the cosmos. The first galaxies were formed 200 million years after the birth of the universe. These galaxies accumulated the vast majority of the stars, dust particles and metals they consist of between one and three billion years after the Big Bang, a crucial period for our understanding of how the galaxies were formed.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.10.2020
Back to the future of climate
Back to the future of climate
Hot and humid: Using minerals from ancient soils, ETH researchers are reconstructing the climate that prevailed on Earth some 55 million years ago. Their findings will help them to better assess how our climate might look in the future. Between 57 and 55 million years ago, the geological epoch known as the Paleocene ended and gave way to the Eocene.

Life Sciences - 26.10.2020
A step closer to mapping the rodent brain
A step closer to mapping the rodent brain
The rodent Hippocampal formation is one of the most exhaustively studied regions in the mammalian brain but until now, there has not been a comprehensive knowledge base of its synaptic physiology. In a front cover paper published in the journal Hippocampus , researchers at EPFL's Blue Brain Project present a data-driven approach to integrate the current knowledge on the hippocampal CA1 region using an open-access, comprehensive resource.

Health - 26.10.2020
Coronavirus volunteers: greater satisfaction thanks to online platforms
Coronavirus volunteers: greater satisfaction thanks to online platforms
Shortly after the lockdown began, a huge number of volunteers signed up to help people in coronavirus risk groups - primarily via online platforms. A study by the University of Basel has found that websites such as these can have a positive impact with regard to the mobilization, willingness and satisfaction of volunteers, including in the longer term.

Psychology - Health - 23.10.2020
Workplace interruptions lead to physical stress
Workplace interruptions lead to physical stress
Using an experiment conducted in a simulated group office environment, ETH researchers have proved for the first time that repeated workplace interruptions cause the body to increase the release of stress hormones. And they do so to a higher degree than the perceived psychological stress. According to the Job Stress Index 2020 compiled by Stiftung Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz, a Swiss health foundation, almost one-third of the Swiss workforce experience work-related stress.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.10.2020
School children benefit from preventive malaria treatment
A large study shows that preventive treatment of children with antimalarial drugs reduces clinical malaria and anaemia in sub-Saharan Africa. In several regions affected by the tropical disease malaria there are programmes in schools to preventively treat children with antimalarial drugs. An international consortium of researchers, including Michael Zimmermann, Professor of Human Nutrition at ETH Zurich, has now for the first time analysed the effectiveness of such programmes in a meta-analysis using individual data.

Environment - 22.10.2020
Lake Kivu: Danger of a lethal gas eruption is not increasing
Lake Kivu: Danger of a lethal gas eruption is not increasing
The findings of a new measurement campaign on Lake Kivu in Africa show that, contrary to previous assumptions, the methane concentration in the water is relatively stable or increasing only very slowly. Therefore, the risk of a sudden gas eruption from the lake is currently not increasing. Photo story of the measurement campaign in March 2018 on Lake Kivu, East Africa.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.10.2020
Multiple Sclerosis as the Flip Side of Immune Fitness
About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which - although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus - also attack brain tissue.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.10.2020
How bacteria reinforce their protective shield
How bacteria reinforce their protective shield
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a new mechanism by which bacteria ensure that their outer cell membrane remains intact and functional even under hostile conditions. This mechanism is important for the pathogen's survival in the host. The study provides new insights underlying pathogenic virulence.

Life Sciences - 21.10.2020
Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years
Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years
Humans are not the only beings that can identify rules in complex language-like constructions - monkeys and great apes can do so, too, a study at the University of Zurich has shown. Researchers at the Department of Comparative Language Science of UZH used a series of experiments based on an -artificial grammar- to conclude that this ability can be traced back to our ancient primate ancestors.

Social Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 21.10.2020
Bronze Age herders were less mobile than previously thought
Bronze Age herders were less mobile than previously thought
Bronze Age pastoralists in what is now southern Russia apparently covered shorter distances than previously thought. It is believed that the Indo-European languages may have originated from this region, and these findings raise new questions about how technical and agricultural innovations spread to Europe.

Physics - 21.10.2020
Optical wiring for large quantum computers
Optical wiring for large quantum computers
Researchers at ETH have demonstrated a new technique for carrying out sensitive quantum operations on atoms. In this technique, the control laser light is delivered directly inside a chip. This should make it possible to build large-scale quantum computers based on trapped atoms. Hitting a specific point on a screen with a laser pointer during a presentation isn't easy - even the tiniest nervous shaking of the hand becomes one big scrawl at a distance.

Earth Sciences - 21.10.2020
A new way of looking at the Earth's interior
A new way of looking at the Earth’s interior
Current understanding is that the chemical composition of the Earth's mantle is relatively homogeneous. But experiments conducted by ETH researchers now show that this view is too simplistic. Their results solve a key problem facing the geosciences - and raise some new questions. There are places that will always be beyond our reach.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 18.10.2020
Malice leaves a nasty smell
Malice leaves a nasty smell
Bad attitudes lead to moral judgments rooted in our basic survival mechanisms. And scientists from the University of Geneva have demonstrated that they are linked to foul smells. Unhealthy behaviours trigger moral judgments that are similar to the basic emotions that contribute to our ability to survive.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.10.2020
Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations
Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations
A study by the Brain Research Institute at UZH reveals that early trauma leads to changes in blood metabolites - similarly in mice and humans. Experiments with mice have show that these potentially harmful effects on health are also passed to the next generation. The researchers have identified a biological mechanism by which traumatic experiences become embedded in germ cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.10.2020
Cells on the run
Cells on the run
Many cells in the body must pass through tissue, which sometimes requires them to get out of tight corners. An international research team co-led by ETH Zurich has now examined how cells recognise and escape from such bottlenecks. Among the results of the team's work are new pointers for how to improve immunotherapy.

Environment - Health - 15.10.2020
Green earplugs
Green earplugs
Cars, trains, planes: For two thirds of the European population, traffic noise is part of everyday life. However, the right environment can have a major impact on this nuisance, as Empa researchers have found out. Green spaces in urban areas help to make road and railroad noise less of a nuisance. Only in the case of aircraft noise does this seem counterproductive: the greener the surroundings, the more disturbing the aircraft noise.
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