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Life Sciences - 24.03.2020
Brain or muscles, what do we lose first?
Brain or muscles, what do we lose first?
Researchers have shown that the decline in cognitive abilities after 50 years of age results in a decline in physical activity, and that - contrary to what has been suggested by the literature to date - the inverse relationship is much weaker. Someone dies somewhere in the world every 10 seconds owing to physical inactivity - 3.2 million people a year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Life Sciences - Health - 23.03.2020
Stem Cells and Nerves Interact in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer Progression
Stem Cells and Nerves Interact in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer Progression
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.03.2020
A new tool for identifying climate-adaptive coral reefs
A new tool for identifying climate-adaptive coral reefs
Climate change is threatening the world's coral reefs, and saving them all will prove impossible. A team from EPFL has developed a method for identifying corals with the greatest adaptive potential to heat stress. The research, published in the journal Evolutionary Applications, should support improved and better-targeted marine biodiversity conservation strategies.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.03.2020
Loss of Protein Disturbs Intestinal Homeostasis and Can Drive Cancer
Loss of Protein Disturbs Intestinal Homeostasis and Can Drive Cancer
An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development - independent of bacterial-driven inflammation.

Life Sciences - 16.03.2020
Ancient Hornwort Genomes Could Lead to Crop Improvement
Ancient Hornwort Genomes Could Lead to Crop Improvement
An international research team led by the University of Zurich and the Boyce Thompson Institute illuminate the origin of land plants by analyzing the first hornwort genomes. In this ancient group of land plants, they discovered genes that could help crops grow more efficiently with less synthetic fertilizer.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.03.2020
The importance of gene position for muscle development and integrity
The importance of gene position for muscle development and integrity
Mutations in the nuclear structural protein lamin A produce rare, tissue-specific diseases called laminopathies. To study these diseases, researchers from the Gasser group introduced a mutation inducing a human laminopathy in C. elegans and monitored its effect on chromatin. Not only did they understand the molecular basis of the disease, they found a way to counteract the dominant defects of the mutation, suggesting a novel therapeutic pathway.

Life Sciences - 12.03.2020
New universal carrier ink for 3D printing
New universal carrier ink for 3D printing
Researchers at ETH have produced a gel from cellulose fibres and biodegradable nanoparticles that liquifies when pressed through the nozzle of a 3D printer, but then quickly returns to its original shape. Their invention paves the way for personalised biomaterial implants. In the same way that medicine has seen a trend towards precision medicine - where treatment is tailored to the genetic make-up of the patient - in recent years, materials scientists are increasingly turning their attention to precision biomaterials.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.03.2020
Gold nanoparticles uncover amyloid fibrils
EPFL scientists have developed powerful tools to unmask the diversity of amyloid fibrils, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The scientists made the breakthrough by developing gold nanoparticles that combine with cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, to provide rapid and unprecedented images of fibrils.

Life Sciences - 03.03.2020
A glitch in the Matrix: Using virtual reality to understand how fish predict the future
A glitch in the Matrix: Using virtual reality to understand how fish predict the future
Scientists from the Friedrich group have developed a new virtual reality system that allows them to manipulate the sensory environment of adult zebrafish at will, while simultaneously analyzing neural activity. This approach can be used to explore how the brain processes complex sensory inputs and how it uses internal models of the world to control behaviors.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.02.2020
Calculating the beginnings of the coronavirus epidemic
Calculating the beginnings of the coronavirus epidemic
Analyses of publicly available genome data provide clues to the beginnings of the coronavirus epidemic in China. Researchers from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel used a statistical model they had developed in recent years. Since the current coronavirus epidemic started, scientists and authorities have determined the genetic fingerprint of virus samples from numerous affected countries.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.02.2020
How enzymes build sugar trees
How enzymes build sugar trees
Researchers have used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate for the first time the structure and function of a very small enzyme embedded in cell membranes. This enzyme builds complex sugar trees that are subsequently attached to other membrane proteins. The findings could accelerate the development of new, protein-based medications.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.02.2020
A scaffold at the center of our cellular skeleton
A scaffold at the center of our cellular skeleton
UNIGE researchers have discovered a new nano-structure that lies at the center of our cellular skeleton. This discovery will allow to better understand how the cell maintains its architecture as well as the pathologies associated with dysfunctions of this structure. All animal cells have an organelle called a centrosome, which is essential to the organization of their cell skeleton.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.02.2020
New insights into the processes that cause Parkinson's disease
New insights into the processes that cause Parkinson's disease
In a breakthrough for Parkinson's disease, scientists at EPFL have reconstructing the process by which Lewy bodies form in the brain of patients. The study offers new insights into how Parkinson's disease begins and evolves, and opens up a set of potential new treatment targets. The brains of patients with Parkinson's disease contain distinct, characteristic structures called 'Lewy bodies', after Friedrich Heinrich Lewy who first reported their discovery in 1912.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.02.2020
From obesity to liver cancer: can we prevent the worst?
From obesity to liver cancer: can we prevent the worst?
By identifying the role of a specific protein in the development of obesity-related liver diseases, UNIGE researchers pave the way for better diagnosis, and potentially better treatment. Hepatocellular carcinoma, a very common liver cancer linked to the presence of fat in the liver, is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide.

Life Sciences - Computer Science / Telecom - 19.02.2020
Using performance modelling for brain tissue simulations
Using performance modelling for brain tissue simulations
Scientists from EPFL (Switzerland) have extended performance modelling techniques to the field of computational brain science. In a paper published in Neuroinformatics, they provide a quantitative appraisal of the performance landscape of brain tissue simulations, and analyze in detail the relationship between an in silico experiment, the underlying neuron and connectivity model, the simulation algorithm and the hardware platform being used.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.02.2020
Fruit flies have a radical strategy for dealing with free radicals
Flies belonging to the genus Drosophila combat oxidative stress by removing excess fat from their blood. This remarkable mechanism proves that evolution has no shortage of answers to a problem that affects all life on Earth. Oxidative stress affects all living organisms, and the damage it causes is believed to play a part in cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and a number of other health conditions.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.02.2020
Printing tiny, high-precision objects in a matter of seconds
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new, high-precision method for 3D-printing small, soft objects. The process, which takes less than 30 seconds from start to finish, has potential applications in a wide range of fields, including 3D bioprinting. It all starts with a translucent liquid. Then, as if by magic, darker spots begin to form in the small, spinning container until, barely half a minute later, the finished product takes shape.

Life Sciences - 12.02.2020
Extinct Giant Turtle Had Horned Shell of up to Three Meters
Extinct Giant Turtle Had Horned Shell of up to Three Meters
Paleobiologists from the University of Zurich have discovered exceptional specimens in Venezuela and Colombia of an extinct giant freshwater turtle called Stupendemys. The carapace of this turtle, which is the largest ever known, measured between 2.4 to almost 3 meters. Moreover, the shell of male Stupendemys had horns ' a rare feature in turtles.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.02.2020
Algorithms for identifying new
Algorithms for identifying new "cancer genes"
It is estimated that the number of cancer cases worldwide will double by 2040. This makes the search for genes that cause cancer even more important. A team of researchers from the University of Bern and Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, has now developed algorithms that massively simplify the hunt for "cancer genes" in a poorly understood part of our genome.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.02.2020
Connecting two important processes in gene expression
Connecting two important processes in gene expression
RNA decay plays a fundamental role in gene expression by controlling the quality and quantity of messenger RNAs. However, it has proved difficult to study and is still shrouded in mystery. Scientists from the Bühler group now uncovered key targets, components and functions of mammalian RNA decay pathways, and found that RNA decay is tightly connected to another crucial stage of gene expression: protein synthesis (translation).