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Astronomy / Space Science - 28.05.2020
Confirmation of Earth-sized planet around the nearest star
Confirmation of Earth-sized planet around the nearest star
The existence of an Earth-sized planet around the nearest star in the solar system, Proxima Centauri, has been confirmed by an international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Geneva. The results, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, reveal that the planet in question, Proxima b, has a mass of 1.17 Earth masses and is located in the habitable zone of its star, which it circles in 11.2 days.

Environment - 28.05.2020
A tightrope walk for fresh air
A tightrope walk for fresh air
At 3500 meters above sea level, research is sometimes quite adventurous. In order to be able to supply Empa's air analysis station on the Jungfraujoch with "clean" samples, a team of researchers and professional climbers installed a new air intake - 50 meters outside the station on a narrow ridge above the abyss.

Health - Mathematics - 27.05.2020
Estimating the second wave
Estimating the second wave
ETH researchers are using a new mathematical model to calculate a possible second wave of the pandemic in Switzerland. Even though such a wave would probably grow more slowly than the first without overloading hospitals, its death toll may turn out to be significantly higher. Should Switzerland see a second wave of the coro rus pandemic, it would proceed more slowly than the first.

Mathematics - 26.05.2020
Mathematics can save lives at sea
Mathematics can save lives at sea
An international research collaboration led by ETH Zurich and MIT has developed a mathematical method that can speed up search and rescue operations at sea. The new algorithm accurately predicts locations to which objects and people floating in water will drift. Hundreds of people die at sea every year due to vessel and airplane accidents.

Agronomy / Food Science - 26.05.2020
Wild Bees Fly for Research
Wild Bees Fly for Research
What stresses wild bees? Is it certain plant-protection products, the absence of nutrient-rich foods - or a combination of both factors? Together with research partners throughout Europe, Agroscope is investigating these issues. Of the total proceeds from agriculture in Switzerland, around CHF 350 million a year are only generated due to the pollination performance of honeybees and wild bees.

Materials Science - Physics - 26.05.2020
Watching single protons moving at water-solid interfaces
Watching single protons moving at water-solid interfaces
Scientists at EPFL have been able to observe single protons moving at the interface between water and a solid surface. Their research reveals the strong interactions of these charges with surfaces. The H+ proton consists of a single ion of hydrogen, the smallest and lightest of all the chemical elements.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.05.2020
Increased Usability and Precision in Vascular Imaging
Increased Usability and Precision in Vascular Imaging
Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent. The contrast agent is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This reduces the number of animals required in research experiments. Various diseases in humans and animals - such as tumors, strokes or chronic kidney disease - damage the blood vessels.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.05.2020
Even natural products can be harmful for the unborn child
Plant products ingested by pregnant women through their diet are broken down by the intestinal microbiota into chemical substances, some of which can cross the placental barrier and reach the fetus. These foreign substances can harm the unborn child, even if they are of "natural origin". Researchers at the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR) at the University of Bern and Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, therefore warn against underestimating the effects of such substances.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.05.2020
DNA damage and neurodegenerative diseases: a talk with Claudia Magrin and Martina Sola
Claudia Magrin and Martina Sola are two researchers in neuroscience and PhD students at USI. They both work at the Laboratory for biomedical neurosciences of the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, in the research group led by Dr. Paolo Paganetti. They are currently working on a study on the relationship between Tau and P53 proteins in response to DNA damage, published in Communications Biology, one of Nature's scientific journals.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.05.2020
Lossless conduction at the edges
Lossless conduction at the edges
Atomically thin layers of the semimetal tungsten ditelluride conduct electricity losslessly along narrow, one-dimensional channels at the crystal edges. The material is therefore a second-order topological insulator. By obtaining experimental proof of this behavior, physicists from the University of Basel have expanded the pool of candidate materials for topological superconductivity.

Environment - 22.05.2020
Bumblebees speed up flowering
Bumblebees speed up flowering
When pollen is in short supply, bumblebees damage plant leaves in a way that accelerates flower production, as an ETH research team headed up by Consuelo De Moraes and Mark Mescher has demonstrated. Spring has sprung earlier than ever before this year, accompanied by temperatures more typical of early summertime.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.05.2020
Mastocytosis drug improves symptoms and quality of life
Mastocytosis drug improves symptoms and quality of life
From itching, abdominal pain and exhaustion to unconsciousness: the drug midostaurin can help alleviate these symptoms and improve quality of life in patients with mastocytosis. This has been proven by a research group at the University of Basel. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.05.2020
Millions of people drink groundwater contaminated with arsenic
Millions of people drink groundwater contaminated with arsenic
Today, one third of the world's population obtains its drinking water and water for irrigation from groundwater reserves. Global population growth and water scarcity due to climate change mean that the pressure on this resource is continually increasing. However, many wells are contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic.

Life Sciences - Physics - 20.05.2020
Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump
Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in recording, in action, a light-driven sodium pump from bacterial cells. áThe findings promise progress in the development of new methods in neurobiology. The researchers used the new X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL for their investigations.

Health - Social Sciences - 20.05.2020
Dynamic measures against the coronavirus examined
An alternating cycle of suppression interventions and relaxation could offer a pragmatic strategy - particularly for developing countries - to prevent health systems from being overloaded while reducing the economical and societal burden. The coronavirus pandemic has imposed an unprecedented challenge to global healthcare systems, societies and governments.

Architecture - 20.05.2020
How organic architecture can shape dense, diverse cityscapes
How organic architecture can shape dense, diverse cityscapes
In a new book, researchers from EPFL examine the history of organic architecture, complete with telling examples of the genre, from its emergence in the early 20th century to the present day.

Life Sciences - Palaeontology - 20.05.2020
Prehistoric Giant Fish Was a Suspension Feeder
Prehistoric Giant Fish Was a Suspension Feeder
Scientists from the University of Zurich and the University of Bristol have investigated the jaw mechanics of Titanichthys, a giant armored fish that roamed the seas and oceans of the late Devonian period 380 million years ago. New findings suggest that it fed by swimming through water slowly with its mouth open wide to capture high concentrations of plankton - similar to modern-day basking sharks.

Mechanical Engineering - Health - 19.05.2020
Testing ventilator systems
Testing ventilator systems
ETH researchers have set up a test rig to put newly developed ventilator systems through their paces. Around the world, the coronavirus crisis has seen the demand for ventilators soar. Many manufacturers are therefore working at full speed to develop new ventilator systems, primarily for those countries that cannot afford expensive high-tech equipment.

Environment - Health - 19.05.2020
How does an increase in nitrogen application affect grasslands?
How does an increase in nitrogen application affect grasslands?
The "PaNDiv" experiment, established by researchers of the University of Bern on a 3000 m2 field site, is the largest biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment in Switzerland and aims to better understand how increases in nitrogen affect grasslands. The first article from this experiment has just been published in the scientific journal Functional Ecology after more than four years of work.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.05.2020
A deeper connection to hyaline fibromatosis syndrome
EPFL scientists have uncovered the molecular biology behind Hyaline Fibromatosis Syndrome, a severe genetic disease. Hyaline Fibromatosis Syndrome (HFS) is a rare but severe genetic disease that affects babies, children, and adults. Hyaline, a glassy substance, accumulates in the skin and various organs, and causes painful deformities that can lead to an early death.
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