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Life Sciences - Health - 20.11.2020
Gut-brain axis influences multiple sclerosis
Gut-brain axis influences multiple sclerosis
A Basel-led international research team has discovered a connection between the intestinal flora and sites of inflammation in the central nervous system in multiple sclerosis. A specific class of immune cell plays a central role in this newly identified gut-brain axis. The discovery could pave the way for new treatments for MS that target the intestinal flora.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 20.11.2020
A biochemical random number
A biochemical random number
Scientists have generated a huge true random number using DNA synthesis. It is the first time that a number of this magnitude has been created by biochemical means. True random numbers are required in fields as diverse as slot machines and data encryption. These numbers need to be truly random, such that they cannot even be predicted by people with detailed knowledge of the method used to generate them.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2020
Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of -explosive speciation- and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal -Nature-.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 18.11.2020
Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth
Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth
Some, if not all, early sharks that lived 300 to 400 million years ago not only dropped their lower jaws downward but rotated them outwards when opening their mouths. This enabled them to make the best of their largest, sharpest and inward-facing teeth when catching prey, paleontologists at the Universities of Zurich and Chicago have now shown using CT scanning and 3D printing.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.11.2020
Link between Alzheimer's disease and gut microbiota is confirmed
Link between Alzheimer’s disease and gut microbiota is confirmed
Swiss and Italian scientists prove a correlation between gut microbiota and the appearance of amyloid plaques in the brain, typical of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Still incurable, it directly affects nearly one million people in Europe, and indirectly millions of family members as well as society as a whole.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.11.2020
Viruses that heal
At its annual event yesterday, the University Medicine Zurich initiative presented its new flagship project ImmunoPhage: a groundbreaking endeavor that aims to develop bacteriophages for treating urinary tract infections. Bacteriophages are highly specialized viruses that attack and destroy bacteria.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.11.2020
Applying environmental genomics to coral conservation
Applying environmental genomics to coral conservation
Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to temperature, making them particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But some corals seem able to adapt. Researchers from EPFL and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) studied a reef in New Caledonia, combining approaches from environmental science and genomics to characterize their adaptive potential and develop targeted conservation strategies.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.11.2020
Internal clocks drive beta cell regeneration
Internal clocks drive beta cell regeneration
Scientists from the University of Geneva and HUG identify the essential role of circadian clocks in the regeneration of insulin-producing cells. Certain parts of our body, such as the skin or liver, can repair themselves after a damage. Known as cell regeneration, this phenomenon describes how cells that are still functional start to proliferate to compensate for the loss.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.11.2020
Organoids produce embryonic heart
Organoids produce embryonic heart
Bioengineers at EPFL have used organoids - tiny lab-grown organs - to mimic the early development of the heart in the mouse embryo. The work is another step towards future bioartificial organs for research and transplants. There was a time when the idea of growing organs in the lab was the stuff of science fiction.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.11.2020
Shedding new light on the origin of metastases
Shedding new light on the origin of metastases
Research can now target metastases more effectively thanks to a new approach that takes into account the enormous heterogeneity and phenotypes of tumour cells, with a team from the University of Geneva pinpointing a gene that prevents their development. Before an effective treatment can be devised, we have to be able to understand the specific effect of an anti-cancer substance on the cell type, or even the cell, that produces metastases in the enormous cellular heterogeneity of tumours.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.11.2020
Yin and Yang: Two signaling molecules control growth and behavior in bacteria
Yin and Yang: Two signaling molecules control growth and behavior in bacteria
Bacteria are considered to be true experts in survival. Their rapid adaptive response to changing environmental conditions is based, among other things, on two competing signaling molecules. As the "Yin and Yang" of metabolic control they decide on the lifestyle of bacteria, as reported by researchers from the University of Basel.

Life Sciences - 06.11.2020
Salamanders provide a model for spinal-cord regeneration
Salamanders provide a model for spinal-cord regeneration
Salamanders have a unique superpower - they can regenerate their spinal cords and regain full functionality. Scientists are working under a cross-disciplinary research project to uncover the mechanisms behind this restorative capability. "Salamanders are unique because they are one of the only tetrapods able to regrow spinal cords with full functionality," says Auke Ijspeert, the head of EPFL's Biorobotics Laboratory.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.11.2020
Host Genetic Factors Shape Composition of Virus Communities
Host Genetic Factors Shape Composition of Virus Communities
Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts.

Life Sciences - 05.11.2020
Listening or lip-reading? It's down to brainwaves
Listening or lip-reading? It’s down to brainwaves
Researchers supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation have discovered that neural oscillations determine whether the brain chooses eyes or ears to interpret speech. To decipher what a person is telling us, we rely on what we hear as well as on what we see by observing lip movements and facial expressions.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.11.2020
A malformation illustrates the incredible plasticity of the brain
A malformation illustrates the incredible plasticity of the brain
People born without a corpus callosum do not have a bridge between the two cerebral hemispheres. Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva have shown how the brain manages to adapt. One in 4,000 people is born without a corpus callosum, a brain structure consisting of neural fibres that are used to transfer information from one hemisphere to the other.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.11.2020
Understanding mutations at different levels of the cell
Understanding mutations at different levels of the cell
Researchers from ETHZ have demonstrated how mutations in a gene influence the structure, function and interaction network of a protein complex. Their work lays a key foundation for personalised medicine. In the wake of proclaiming the "Age of the Genome" in the 1990s, scientists mapped the DNA of many organisms, building block by building block.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.10.2020
Spread of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant across Europe in summer 2020
Spread of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant across Europe in summer 2020
A research team led by the University of Basel and ETH Zurich has identified a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant that has spread widely across Europe in recent months, according to an un-peer-reviewed preprint released this week In Europe alone, hundreds of different variants of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are currently circulating, distinguished by mutations in their genomes.

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.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.10.2020
Bern researchers identify sleep as possible target to improve recovery after ischemic stroke
Bern researchers identify sleep as possible target to improve recovery after ischemic stroke
Until today neurorehabilitation is the only approach that promotes recovery after stroke. Researchers at the Neurology Department of the University of Bern and Inselspital have provided first evidence that sleep could be targeted to improve post-stroke recovery. espite spending nearly one-third of our life asleep, many of the biological mechanisms and functions of sleep remain a mystery to modern neuroscience.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.10.2020
The sweet spot of flagellar assembly
The sweet spot of flagellar assembly
Building the driving machinery of bacteria, the flagella, requires numerous proteins to be assembled. Adding sugar and the presence of a control point are two key steps identified by UNIGE scientists. To build the machinery that enables bacteria to swim, over 50 proteins have to be assembled according to a logic and well-defined order to form the flagellum, the cellular equivalent of an offshore engine of a boat.
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