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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.

Chemistry - Environment - 13.10.2020
Using electric current to stabilize low-permeability soils
Using electric current to stabilize low-permeability soils
Scientists have developed a new approach to stabilizing clay soils. The method involves using a battery-like system to apply electric current to carbonate and calcium ions in order to promote soil consolidation. Their findings were published yesterday in Scientific Reports. According to figures released by the UN yesterday, natural disasters have killed more than 1.2 million people since 2000 and cost nearly $ 3 trillion.These pressing threats bring into sharp focus the need for new answers to the problem of soil stabilization.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 08.10.2020
Intestinal regeneration: lessons from organoid research
Intestinal regeneration: lessons from organoid research
Intestinal organoids recapitulate not only the structure of intestinal epithelium but also its ability to regenerate following damage. Using this research tool, the group of Prisca Liberali unraveled mechanisms orchestrating organoid formation and intestinal regeneration with a unique image-based screening approach.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 08.10.2020
Making disorder for an ideal battery
Making disorder for an ideal battery
Manufacturing safer, more powerful batteries that use geopolitically stable resources requires solid electrolytes and replacing lithium with sodium. A chemical solution is now being offered to battery developers. The lithium batteries that power our electronic devices and electric vehicles have a number of drawbacks.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 01.10.2020
Chemical innovation stabilizes best-performing perovskite formulation
Chemical innovation stabilizes best-performing perovskite formulation
Researchers have successfully overcome a limiting problem with stabilizing the best-performing formulation of metal-halide perovskite films, a key player in a range of applications, including solar cells. Perovskites are a class of materials made up of organic materials bound to a metal. Their fascinating structure and properties have propelled perovskites into the forefront of materials' research, where they are studied for use in a wide range of applications.

Chemistry - Environment - 21.09.2020
Better catalysts for a sustainable bioeconomy
Better catalysts for a sustainable bioeconomy
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and from ETH Zurich want to make so-called zeolites more efficient. Today, these compounds are already indispensable additives in the chemical industry and have been used as catalysts in oil refineries since the 1960s. Now, , the researchers advocate paying more attention to the classic zeolites.

Physics - Chemistry - 17.09.2020
Lighting the way to infrared detection
Lighting the way to infrared detection
Physicists propose a new path to detect infrared radiation with outstanding sensitivity, allowing detection of signals as low as that of a single quantum of light. When using our webcam or cell phone camera, we experience the tremendous capabilities of cheap and compact sensors developed in the past decades for the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 17.09.2020
Computational pharmacology ’made in USI’ scores again
Another important result for research in computational pharmacology "made in USI": Prof. Vittorio Limongelli of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and his PhD candidate Stefano Raniolo have developed a protocol that allows to simulate accurately the interaction between a drug and its molecular "target".

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.09.2020
Let there be light and the process stops
Let there be light and the process stops
Researchers have discovered that they can use light-sensitive molecules to switch genetic networks on and off as required. Their finding gives rise to an easy method for dynamically controlling biotechnological substance production. Tetracycline (Tc), an antibiotic, and its derivative anhydrotetracycline (aTc) enjoy widespread use in biotechnology and synthetic biology.

Physics - Chemistry - 04.09.2020
A step towards a better understanding of molecular dynamics
A step towards a better understanding of molecular dynamics
Researchers, working at the boundary between classical and quantum physics, have developed a method for quickly spotting molecules with particularly interesting electron properties. Laser technology is giving scientists an ever-closer look into molecular structures, and this sometimes leads to very interesting surprises.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.08.2020
Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting
Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting
An international research team led by the University of Bern has succeeded in developing an electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells which, in contrast to the catalysts commonly used today, does not require a carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable. The new process is industrially applicable and can be used to further optimize fuel cell powered vehicles without CO2 emissions.

Chemistry - Physics - 20.08.2020
Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion
Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion
Electrons are able to move within molecules, for example when they are excited from outside or in the course of a chemical reaction. For the first time, scientists have now succeeded in studying the first few dozen attoseconds of this electron movement in a liquid. To understand how chemical reactions begin, chemists have been using super-slow motion experiments for years to study the very first moments of a reaction.

Chemistry - Physics - 18.08.2020
Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration
Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration
Physicists from Switzerland, Japan and Germany have unveiled the mechanism by which the first event of respiration takes place in heme proteins. Respiration is a fundamental process of all living things, allowing them to produce energy, stay healthy, and survive. In cells, respiration involves what are known as "respiratory proteins", e.g. hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscles.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.08.2020
RNA as a future cure for hereditary diseases
RNA as a future cure for hereditary diseases
ETH Zurich scientists have developed an RNA molecule that can be used in bone marrow cells to correct genetic errors that affect protein production. Patients suffering from a rare hereditary disease that causes a painful hypersensitivity to sunlight could benefit in future. Short RNA molecules can be used as medication.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 31.07.2020
Towards faster drug design
Towards faster drug design
A powerful new computational tool to identify the most promising pharmacological compounds and thus allow a much faster "screening". That is what has been developed thanks to the research carried out by Prof. Vittorio Limongelli's group of USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with Prof. Siewert Marrink's group of University of Groningen (Netherlands).

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.07.2020
The amazing travels of small RNAs
Biologists have known for some time that RNA interference can silence genes in far-off cells. They suspected that a messenger substance "transmits" RNA interference. Now, ETH researchers have definitively shown that these messengers in plants are short double-stranded RNA fragments. In most organisms, small bits of RNA play a key role in gene regulation by silencing gene expression.

Physics - Chemistry - 08.07.2020
Porous nitrogen-doped graphene ribbons for future electronics
Porous nitrogen-doped graphene ribbons for future electronics
A team of physicists and chemists has produced the first porous graphene ribbons in which specific carbon atoms in the crystal lattice are replaced with nitrogen atoms. These ribbons have semiconducting properties that make them attractive for applications in electronics and quantum computing, as reported by researchers from the Universities of Basel, Bern, Lancaster and Warwick in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 06.07.2020
Structural insights into Fe-S protein biogenesis
Structural insights into Fe-S protein biogenesis
The cytosolic iron sulfur assembly (CIA) pathway is required for the insertion of Fe-S clusters into proteins, including many DNA replication and repair factors. Despite its essential cellular function, this pathway remains enigmatic. A new integrative structural and biochemical study from the Thomä group now provides detailed insights into the mechanisms of Fe-S protein biogenesis.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 23.06.2020
Growing polymers with different lengths
Growing polymers with different lengths
ETH researchers have developed a new method for producing polymers with different lengths. This paves the way for new classes of polymer materials to be used in previously inconceivable applications. It is hard to imagine everyday life without materials made of synthetic polymers. Clothes, car parts, computers or packaging - they all consist of polymer materials.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.06.2020
Researchers cut atom-sized patterns into 2D materials
Researchers cut atom-sized patterns into 2D materials
EPFL researchers have developed a high-precision technology that enables them to carve nanometric patterns into two-dimensional materials. With their pioneering nanotechnology, EPFL researchers have achieved the impossible. They can now use heat to break the links between atoms with a miniature scalpel.
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