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Life Sciences - Innovation - 15.07.2020
Data-driven resistance training against muscular atrophy
Data-driven resistance training against muscular atrophy
Researchers at ETH Zurich and ZHAW present a simple method to precisely map resistance exercise on machines and record missing comparative figures. This could help to develop optimised training strategies in the future, such as for age-associated muscular atrophy. Muscles play a critical role in life.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.07.2020
Bird Diversity in the Swiss Alps in Decline
Bird Diversity in the Swiss Alps in Decline
The diversity of bird communities in the Swiss Alps is declining more and more, a joint study of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Ornithological Institute has found. An analysis of data from the past two decades has revealed a loss of functional and compositional diversity in Alpine bird communities.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.07.2020
Brain 'signature' could help to diagnose schizophrenia
Brain ’signature' could help to diagnose schizophrenia
People with schizophrenia and their healthy siblings share patterns of brain activity that are different from those seen in individuals with no family history of the disorder, scientists from EPFL have found. Because the siblings do not show schizophrenia symptoms, this brain 'signature' could serve as a marker for the early diagnosis of the disorder.

Physics - Life Sciences - 13.07.2020
Tiny fish under a giant camera
Tiny fish under a giant camera
Metal-based nanoparticles are a promising tool in medicine - as a contrast agent, transporter of active substances, or to thermally kill tumor cells. Up to now, it has been hardly possible to study their distribution inside an organism. Researchers at the University of Basel have used a three-dimensional imaging method to take high-resolution captures inside zebrafish embryos.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.07.2020
Cystic fibrosis: why so many respiratory complications?
Cystic fibrosis: why so many respiratory complications?
By demonstrating the key role of Vav3 protein, UNIGE researchers highlight how the protein Vav3 creates bacterial docking stations to facilitate lung infections in cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis, one of the most common genetic diseases in Switzerland, causes severe respiratory and digestive disorders.

Life Sciences - 10.07.2020
How Venus Flytraps also Snap
How Venus Flytraps also Snap
Venus flytraps are known for the fact that their catching leaves close in a flash when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice in a row. A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich has now discovered a new snap mechanism. The Venus flytrap ( Dionaea muscipula ) is perhaps the most well-known carnivorous plant.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.07.2020
Transplantable lab-grown organs move a step closer
Transplantable lab-grown organs move a step closer
A liver organoid developed at EPFL offers new promise in transplantation and the study of liver disease. Biologists and bioengineers at EPFL have designed a new method for growing simplified human mini-livers. Their process is a potentially important breakthrough in the quest for transplantable lab-grown tissues.

Life Sciences - 10.07.2020
How Venus Flytraps Snap
How Venus Flytraps Snap
Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University of Zurich has now shown that a single slow touch also triggers trap closure - probably to catch slow-moving larvae and snails.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.07.2020
The IRB discovers the activation mechanism of the "police patrol" cells of our immune system
Nearly 200 billion naïve T cells continuously patrol the human body in a dormant state, prepared to respond to potential threats. An international group of researchers, led by Dr. Roger Geiger of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, affiliated to USI), demonstrated how these cells sustain a constant state of preparedness.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.07.2020
Evolutionary physiology and adaptation in the moor frog
Evolutionary physiology and adaptation in the moor frog
Organisms exposed to challenging environments face evolutionary pressure to adapt, which could lead to modifications in a variety of traits, such as morphology, physiology and behaviour. Katja Räsänen from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Eawag holds a deep interest in mechanisms of adaptation in natural populations.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.07.2020
Age-related impairments reversed in animal model
Age-related impairments reversed in animal model
Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers from the University of Bern and the University Hospital Bern now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a novel cell-based therapeutic approach. Elderly people are more prone to infectious diseases as the function of their immune system continuously declines with progression of age.

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.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.07.2020
How the body fights off urinary tract infections
How the body fights off urinary tract infections
Some people are better protected than others against urinary tract infections. This may be because their bodies produce more of a protein called uromodulin. An interdisciplinary research team has now found out how this helper protein brings relief when nature calls and how this knowledge might benefit the treatment and prevention of these painful inflammations.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.07.2020
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
This week, scientists of the Institute of Bee Health of the University of Bern have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology, which shows how even low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, as they may realistically occur in contaminated soils, adversely affect the development of black garden ants (Lasius niger).

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 25.06.2020
Dolphins Learn in Similar Ways to Great Apes
Dolphins Learn in Similar Ways to Great Apes
Dolphins learn new foraging techniques not just from their mothers, but also from their peers, a study by the University of Zurich has found. More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia were observed over 10 years and found to have cultural behavior that is similar to great apes.

Life Sciences - 24.06.2020
Genetic Malfunction of Brain Astrocytes Triggers Migraine
Genetic Malfunction of Brain Astrocytes Triggers Migraine
Neuroscientists of the University of Zurich shed a new light on the mechanisms responsible for familial migraine: They show that a genetic dysfunction in specific brain cells of the cingulate cortex area strongly influences head pain occurrence. Migraine is one of the most disabling disorders, affecting one in seven people and causing a tremendous social and economic burden.

Life Sciences - 23.06.2020
Blocking sugar metabolism slows lung tumour growth
Blocking sugar metabolism slows lung tumour growth
Treatments that block two sugar-transporting proteins could help slow the growth of lung tumours, new research from EPFL suggests. Blocking a pair of sugar-transporting proteins may be a useful treatment approach for lung cancer, suggests a new study in mice and human cells published today in eLife .

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
EPFL biophysicists have developed a high-throughput super-resolution microscope to probe nanoscale structures and dynamics of mammalian cells, showing in unprecedented detail the twists and turns of an organelle important for cell division. If you want to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular motility and division, then the centriole is the organelle of interest.

Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Building corticocerebellar neural circuits
Building corticocerebellar neural circuits
In a comprehensive study, researchers from the Rijli group found that a single Hox transcription factor expressed in a group of neurons of the pontine nucleus - the cerebral cortex most important brainstem relay to the cerebellum - determines the wiring onto these neurons of somatosensory cortical neurons, while avoiding visual cortical neurons.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 18.06.2020
Nanoresearch without animal experiments
Nanoresearch without animal experiments
In order to reduce the number of animal experiments in research, alternative methods are being sought. This is a particular challenge if the safety of substances that have hardly been studied is to be ensured, for instance, the completely new class of nanomaterials. To accomplish just that, Empa researchers are now combining test tube experiments with mathematical modelling.
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