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Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 08.06.2020
First global map of rockfalls on the Moon
First global map of rockfalls on the Moon
A research team from ETH Zurich and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen counted over 136,000 rockfalls on the moon caused by asteroid impacts. Even billions of years old landscapes are still changing. In October 2015, a spectacular rockfall occurred in the Swiss Alps: in the late morning hours, a large, snow-covered block with a volume of more than 1500 cubic meters suddenly detached from the summit of Mel de la Niva.

Chemistry - Health - 08.06.2020
Standardizing organoid growth through controlled guidance systems
A recent innovation from an EPFL laboratory will enable, for the first time, mass production of standardized organoids. This breakthrough was achieved thanks to a customized guidance system that ensures homogenous cell culturing. Described in an article published today in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the technique paves the way for industrial uses, such as screening new drugs.

Chemistry - Health - 08.06.2020
Standardizing organoid growth through controlled cell culturing
A recent innovation from an EPFL laboratory will enable, for the first time, mass production of standardized organoids. This breakthrough was achieved thanks to a customized guidance system that ensures homogenous cell culturing. Described in an article published today in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the technique paves the way for industrial uses, such as screening new drugs.

Life Sciences - 08.06.2020
Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants
Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants
Producing less sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study led by the University of Zurich identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture.

Social Sciences - 08.06.2020
Giving chance a helping hand
Giving chance a helping hand
New research from ETH Zurich shows that holding events for new students before they enter university is an investment that pays off. Incoming students benefit from the chance to meet, mingle and form friendships at orientation events, which contributes to their long-term academic success. When students are able to form friendships and build strong networks during their time at university, they benefit in deep ways both during their studies and later in life.

Health - Pharmacology - 05.06.2020
Gene therapy to reverse vision loss in macular degeneration
Gene therapy to reverse vision loss in macular degeneration
Researchers have developed a strategy that has the potential to improve vision in patients with macular degeneration in the future. Using a gene therapy, they sensitized blind retinas of mice and human organ donors to near-infrared light. The team based at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) has published its results .

Health - Life Sciences - 04.06.2020
Deadly bacterial infection in pigs deciphered
Deadly bacterial infection in pigs deciphered
New-born piglets often die painfully from infection with an intestinal bacterium. A team of researchers from 3 faculties at the University of Bern has now discovered how the bacterium causes fatal intestinal bleeding.

Environment - Materials Science - 04.06.2020
A recipe for eco-concrete
A recipe for eco-concrete
Cement production has to drastically reduce its environmental footprint. Empa researchers are, therefore working on alternative cement recipes that cause significantly fewer emissions or can even bind the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. It is the most widely used product in the world. Cement is indispensable yet its reputation has become quite tainted in the course of the ongoing climate debate.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.06.2020
How bacteria fertilise soya
How bacteria fertilise soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable.

Environment - 03.06.2020
The health of ecosystems based on the ground beetle
The health of ecosystems based on the ground beetle
EPFL scientists just published an open tool for predicting the dynamics of ground beetle populations - important bioindicators for sustainable park management and for monitoring ecosystems - in Italy's Gran Paradiso National Park. The tool incorporates satellite and other remote sensing data. Ground beetles may be creepy, but their presence is usually a sign of a healthy ecosystem and is appreciated for pest control in agriculture.

Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
FloChiP, a new tool optimizing gene-regulation studies
FloChiP, a new tool optimizing gene-regulation studies
EPFL scientists have developed FloChip, a new microfluidic take on the widely used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technique. By automating and cutting the cost of ChIP and sequential-ChIP, FloChIP has the potential to become a widely used tool for the study of chromatin biology and gene regulation.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
A better model for neutrophil-related diseases
Neutrophils are critical immune cells for antimicrobial defense, but they can exacerbate a number of diseases, perhaps including COVID-19. The traditional approaches to study neutrophils in animal models are limited in specificity and effectiveness. EPFL scientists have now identified the problem and have developed a new, optimized model for studying the role of neutrophils in the context of disease.

Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
A genome-scale map of DNA methylation kinetics
While the first genome-wide DNA methylation map in mammalian cells was established over 10 years ago, such maps only provide snapshots and do not inform about the actual dynamics of this epigenetic mark. Researchers from the Schübeler group now quantified actual rates of methylation and demethylation for 860,404 individual CpGs in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Physics - Materials Science - 02.06.2020
Joined nano-triangles pave the way to magnetic carbon materials
Joined nano-triangles pave the way to magnetic carbon materials
Graphene triangles with an edge length of only a few atoms behave like peculiar quantum magnets. When two of these nano-triangles are joined, a "quantum entanglement" of their magnetic moments takes place: the structure becomes antiferromagnetic. This could be a breakthrough for future magnetic materials, and another step towards spintronics.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 01.06.2020
Smart textiles powered by soft transmission lines
Smart textiles powered by soft transmission lines
EPFL researchers have developed electronic fibers that, when embedded in textiles, can collect a wealth of information about our bodies by measuring subtle and complex fabrics deformations. Their technology relies on transmission line theory and offers a host of applications, such as in health care and robotics.

Computer Science - 29.05.2020
USB software security tool catches 26 bugs across operating systems
USB software security tool catches 26 bugs across operating systems
EPFL researchers have developed a new tool called USBFuzz, which they have already used to detect 26 vulnerabilities in the USB driver stacks of widely used operating systems including Linux, Windows, and macOS. USB driver stacks are components that help computers communicate with external devices via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection.

Materials Science - Environment - 29.05.2020
Platinum keeps Fruit fresh
Platinum keeps Fruit fresh
If different types of vegetables and fruits are stored together, they influence each other in the ripening process. This is due to ethylene, which is emitted by some plant-based foodstuff and accelerates ripening. To prevent excessive food waste due to accelerated ripening Empa and ETH Zurich researchers are developing a new catalyst that degrades ethylene into water and carbon dioxide.

Materials Science - Health - 29.05.2020
Wearable Health
Wearable Health
There is more than cool looks about hip clothing for top performance: Thanks to a variety of smart technologies, high-tech clothing today is capable of analyzing body functions or actively optimizing the microclimate. The basis of these novel textiles are "smart" fibers and biocompatible composites that also contribute to innovations in biomedical research such as sensors, drug delivery systems or tissue engineering.

Materials Science - 29.05.2020
When Concrete learns to pre-stress itself
When Concrete learns to pre-stress itself
Concrete is by far the most widely used building material in the world - and the trend is rising. Using a new type of concrete formula, an Empa team has succeeded in producing self-prestressed concrete elements. This innovation makes it possible to build lean structures much more cost-effectively - and save material at the same time.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.05.2020
The Transistor out of the Printer
The Transistor out of the Printer
A new revolution in the production of electronic circuits is on the way: Empa researchers are working on electronics that come out of printers. This makes it possible to produce the circuits on all sorts of substrates, such as paper or plastic film - but there are still some hurdles to overcome. Imagine being able to easily print electronics on any surface.
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