news 2020

« BACK

Life Sciences



Results 61 - 80 of 113.


Life Sciences - Environment - 04.05.2020
Predators Help Prey Adapt to an Uncertain Future
Predators Help Prey Adapt to an Uncertain Future
What effect does extinction of species have on the evolution of surviving species' Evolutionary biologists have investigated this question by conducting a field experiment with a leaf galling fly and its predatory enemies. They found that losing its natural enemies could make it more difficult for the prey to adapt to future environments.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.04.2020
Why does COVID-19 affect old people more than young people?
Why does COVID-19 affect old people more than young people?
As we age, our lung tissue becomes stiffer - and this is a phenomenon that SARS-CoV-2 may be exploiting. Caroline Uhler and G. V. Shivashankar outline their hypothesis. The new coronavirus strikes both young and old. But the more severe cases and the higher rates of death are among the elderly.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.04.2020
Dramatic Loss of Food Plants for Insects
Dramatic Loss of Food Plants for Insects
The diversity of food plants for insects in the canton of Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years or so.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.04.2020
Rapid evolution in fish: genomic changes within a generation
Rapid evolution in fish: genomic changes within a generation
Researchers from Basel have identified the genetic basis of rapid adaptation using a native fish species. They compared threespine stickleback fish from different habitats in the Lake Constance region. Their study reveals that changes in the genome can be observed within a single generation. The results were published Communications.

Life Sciences - 24.04.2020
RNA degradation contributes to gene silencing in higher eukaryotes
RNA degradation contributes to gene silencing in higher eukaryotes
The Gasser group discovered that silencing of heterochromatic regions - and more specifically of hundreds of Polycomb-target genes enriched for H3K27me3 - can occur through selective RNA degradation, and not only through transcriptional repression. The study links the epigenetics state of a gene with the fate of its RNA transcript.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.04.2020
Following the insect meltdown, numbers of orb web spiders have drastically declined
Following the insect meltdown, numbers of orb web spiders have drastically declined
The abundance of large orb web spiders in the Swiss midland has declined drastically over the last 40 years. The main reason for this is the shrinking food supply available to these insectivorous animals. This is demonstrated in a study conducted by researchers from the University of Basel and Ghent University (Belgium), as reported in the scientific journal Insects.

Life Sciences - Environment - 21.04.2020
Pest Control with Genetically Modified Insects
Pest Control with Genetically Modified Insects
To control pests without pesticides, genetically modified organisms of the same species could be used. The latter carry a gene that is passed on with above-average frequency via sexual reproduction. This gene possesses traits that directly weaken the pest, or prevent pathogens from being transmitted.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.04.2020
A new biosensor for the COVID-19 virus
A new biosensor for the COVID-19 virus
A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.04.2020
Analyses for getting to grips with the pandemic
Analyses for getting to grips with the pandemic
ETH researchers are developing and improving methods to detect the pandemic virus or virus-specific antibodies. With the help of such tests, the scientists are also investigating the details of how the pathogen is spreading. A project overview. Even though the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed its peak in Switzerland, coronavirus diagnostic procedures are as important as ever.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.04.2020
Certain immune cells have different jobs depending on the organ
Certain immune cells have different jobs depending on the organ
Group 3 innate lymphoid cells are immune cells that function differently depending on the organ: in the intestines, they prevent certain immune responses, whereas in the spleen they stimulate them. Researchers from the University of Basel have discovered how signals from the surrounding tissue control this.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.04.2020
Controlled genome editing moves a step closer
Controlled genome editing moves a step closer
Scientists at EPFL have developed an artificial protein that can keep the CRISPR genome-editing tool on its tracks. The research appears in a paper Chemical Biology A team at EPFL's Laboratory of Protein Design & Immunoengineering (LDPI), led by Professor Bruno Correia, working with Dominik Niopek's lab at Heidelberg University Hospital and the BioQuant Center, Heidelberg, Germany, have designed a protein (AcrX in short), using computational approaches, that can control CRISPR genome-editing in human cells.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.04.2020
A new approach to improve biological control agents of agricultural pests
A new approach to improve biological control agents of agricultural pests
In a new study, researchers from the University of Bern developed an experimental approach that may be used to improve a wide range of organisms that rely on microbial symbionts to control insect pests. This approach opens up a new avenue for the improvement of biological control strategies towards a more sustainable, pesticide-free agriculture.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 10.04.2020
How artificial intelligence can help to design new drugs
How artificial intelligence can help to design new drugs
Traditional methods for predicting interactions between proteins and other molecules rely on complex supercomputer simulations. Instead, a group of researchers from EPFL and USI developed a new artificial intelligence system that analyzes the 3D structure of protein surfaces. The new method MaSIF (Molecular Surface Interaction Fingerprinting) is a collaboration between the EPFL Protein Design & Immunoengineering lab (headed by Prof. Bruno Correia) and the group of Michael Bronstein , professor at USI and Imperial College of London, and head of research in Graph Learning at Twitter.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.04.2020
A novel molecular target for particularly aggressive cancers
A novel molecular target for particularly aggressive cancers
By deciphering how the FKBP10 protein facilitates lung cancer progression, UNIGE scientists are proposing an original therapeutic strategy.   Three-dimensional lung (green) and tumors (red) and corresponding X-ray scans (black and white) at weeks 0, 6, and 12 after tumour onset (left: mouse with intact FKBP10; right: mouse with inhibition of FKBP10).

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 07.04.2020
How wallflowers evolved a complementary pair of plant defenses
How wallflowers evolved a complementary pair of plant defenses
A new study led by Tobias Züst from the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Bern shows that a pair of complementary chemical defenses evolved independently in wallflowers, shaped by co-evolution with local insects. A pair of chemicals used by wallflowers and their kin to ward off predators have evolved to complement each other, with one targeting generalist herbivores and the other targeting specialized herbivores that have become resistant to the generalist defense.

Life Sciences - Environment - 01.04.2020
About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet
About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet
Large open-water fish predators such as tunas or sharks hunt for prey more intensively in the temperate zone than near the equator. With this result, a study headed by Marius Roesti of the University of Bern is challenging a long-standing explanation for the distribution of biodiversity on our planet.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.04.2020
Blocking the Iron Transport Could Stop Tuberculosis
Blocking the Iron Transport Could Stop Tuberculosis
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.

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.