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Life Sciences - Health - 18.09.2020
Bile acids boost gut regeneration
Bile acids boost gut regeneration
Researchers at EPFL have made a surprising discovery about how bile acids act as signaling molecules to boost intestinal regeneration. The discovery sheds light on the role of bile acids as hormone-like molecules and opens new ways for regenerative therapies of the gut. Intestinal stem cells replenish the cells lining the gut epithelium, which usually renews itself every week.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 16.09.2020
Anti-reflective coating inspired by fly eyes
Anti-reflective coating inspired by fly eyes
A team from the University of Geneva has artificially reproduced a nanoscale coating on different types of surfaces that usually covers the eyes of fruit flies, and which provides anti-reflective, anti-adhesive properties. The eyes of many insects, including the fruit fly, are covered by a thin and transparent coating made up of tiny protuberances with anti-reflective, anti-adhesive properties.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.09.2020
Next-gen organoids grow and function like real tissues
Bioengineers at EPFL have created miniature intestines in a dish that match up anatomically and functionally to the real thing better than any other lab-grown tissue models. The biological complexity and longevity of the new organoid technology is an important step towards enabling drug testing, personalized medicine, and perhaps, one day, transplantations.

Life Sciences - 16.09.2020
Reprogramming Brain Cells Enables Flexible Decision-Making
Reprogramming Brain Cells Enables Flexible Decision-Making
Humans, like other animals, have the ability to constantly adapt to new situations. Researchers at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich have utilized a mouse model to reveal which neurons in the brain are in command in guiding adaptive behavior. Their new study contributes to our understanding of decision-making processes in healthy and infirm people.

Life Sciences - 14.09.2020
Embryos taking shape via buckling
Embryos taking shape via buckling
Scientists have demonstrated that cellular tissues are deformed by buckling (or bending under the action of compression), a phenomenon that could lie behind embryo morphogenesis. The embryo of an animal first looks like a hollow sphere. Invaginations then appear at different stages of development, which will give rise to the body's structures (the brain, digestive tract, etc.).

Life Sciences - Health - 14.09.2020
Mechanism discovered how the coronavirus hijacks the cell
Mechanism discovered how the coronavirus hijacks the cell
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the corona virus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the corona virus. Like a pirate hijacking a ship, a virus takes control of an infected cell because every virus depends on the resources and molecular machines of the cell to multiply.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 11.09.2020
Mapping the depths of the genome
Mapping the depths of the genome
Using algorithms to analyse the whole-genome sequence of a tumour can make treatment more successful - and can even help determine how cells become cancerous. Detailed genetic analysis of tumour tissue samples has become standard practice at a small number of the world's leading hospitals specialising in cancer treatment.

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.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.09.2020
Stronger bones thanks to heat and microbiota
Stronger bones thanks to heat and microbiota
UNIGE Scientists demonstrate that warmth exposure improves bone strength, and decipher the role of gut microbiota in this phenomenon. This gives rise to innovative perspectives in the treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, a bone disease linked to ageing, is characterised by a loss of bone density, micro-architectural deterioration of the bones and an increased risk of fractures.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.09.2020
Restless nature of human spinal cord, non-invasive imaging reveals
Restless nature of human spinal cord, non-invasive imaging reveals
Scientists have developed a non-invasive technique for unraveling the complex dynamics generated by spinal cord circuits to unprecedented detail, a first in functional magnetic resonance imaging that may one day help diagnose spinal cord dysfunction or injury. The spinal cord roughly looks like a long tube, with a diameter of only 1.5 cm, and yet this crucial part of the nervous system is essential for controlling how our arms and legs move, for giving us our sense of touch as well as a notion of where our bodies are in space.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2020
Brain stimulation reduces dyslexia deficits
Brain stimulation reduces dyslexia deficits
Reading difficulties can be improved with non-invasive brain electrical stimulation, a hope for people suffering from dyslexia. Dyslexia is a frequent disorder of reading acquisition that affects up to 10% of the population, and is characterised by lifelong difficulties with written material. Although several possible causes have been proposed for dyslexia, the predominant one is a phonological deficit, a difficulty in processing language sounds.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.09.2020
Muscle aging: Stronger for longer
Muscle aging: Stronger for longer
With life expectancy increasing, age-related diseases are also on the rise, including sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass due to aging. Researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum have demonstrated that a well-known drug can delay the progression of age-related muscle weakness. The findings were recently published in -Nature Communications-.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 03.09.2020
New model explains when the brain becomes aware of information
New model explains when the brain becomes aware of information
Scientists propose that periods of unconscious processing-during which the brain integrates information-precede brief moments of consciousness. When we watch a movie or hear an orchestra playing, it seems that we perceive images and sounds as a continuous stream of information. But a new study suggests that the brain makes information conscious only at certain moments of time, which are preceded by intervals of unconscious processing that can last up to half a second.

Life Sciences - Physics - 31.08.2020
A universal structural deformation in all heme proteins
Chemists and physicists from Switzerland and Germany have shown that the typical deformation of respiratory heme proteins also occurs in heme proteins not involved in the respiratory function. Image: A model of heme, which is an organic ring molecule surrounding an atom of iron and is a major component of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.08.2020
"Jumping" DNA regulates human neurons
"Jumping" sequences of DNA, known as transposable elements, partner up with evolutionarily recent proteins to influence the differentiation and physiological functioning of human neurons. The human genome contains over 4.5 million sequences of DNA called "transposable elements", these virus-like entities that "jump" around and help regulate gene expression.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.08.2020
How bacteria adhere to fiber in the gut
How bacteria adhere to fiber in the gut
Researchers have revealed a new molecular mechanism by which bacteria adhere to cellulose fibers in the human gut. Thanks to two different binding modes, they can withstand the shear forces in the body. Scientists of the University of Basel and ETH Zurich published their results in the journal "Nature Communications".

Life Sciences - 27.08.2020
Microbes working together multiply biomass conversion possibilities
Microbes working together multiply biomass conversion possibilities
Non-edible plants are a promising alternative to crude oil, but their heterogenous composition can be a challenge to producing high yields of useful products. Scientists from EPFL, the University of Cambridge, and the Bern University of Applied Sciences have developed a platform that combines different microorganisms that can make a dramatic difference.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 27.08.2020
Binding sites for protein-making machinery
Binding sites for protein-making machinery
ETH Zurich researchers can predict how tightly a cell's protein synthesis machinery will bind to RNA sequences - even when dealing with many billions of different RNA sequences. This binding plays a key role in determining how much of a specific protein is produced. The scientists are developing their prediction model using a combination of synthetic biology experiments and machine learning algorithms.

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.08.2020
Explosive diversification explained by network analysis
Explosive diversification explained by network analysis
Using genomic analyses of 100 cichlid species, scientists from Eawag and the University Bern, together with co-workers in Australia, the UK, Tanzania, Uganda and the US, have investigated the striking variation observed in cichlid fish speciation rates. Their findings show that exchanges of genetic variants between existing species dramatically accelerate the development of new species - given favourable ecological conditions.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.08.2020
How Plants Close their Gates when Microbes Attack
Like humans, plants protect themselves against pathogens. An international consortium under the lead of UZH professor Cyril Zipfel has now identified a long sought-after factor of this plant immune system: The calcium channel triggers the closure of stomata upon contact with microbes such as bacteria.
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