news 2021

Life Sciences - Apr 19
Life Sciences
The spatial organization of the genome is fundamental for the regulation of our genes and has to be established de novo during early embryogenesis. By combining powerful Drosophila genetics with 3D chromosome modelling, a collaboration between the Giorgetti group at the FMI and the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg revealed a critical role of the epigenetic regulator HP1 in the establishment of 3D genome organization in the early Drosophila embryo.
Environment - Apr 19
Environment

Many plant and animal species depend on habitats shaped by agriculture. Where and with what frequency do which species occur in the agricultural landscape? What is the state of their habitats? How effective are the measures taken to increase biodiversity? Agroscope's biodiversity monitoring programme 'ALL-EMA' records species and habitat diversity in the Swiss agricultural landscape.

Environment - Apr 16
Environment

Scientists have found that streams and rivers - or "running waters" - emit on average four times more CO2 at night than during the day.

Environment - Apr 19
Environment

The condition of Swiss lakes has improved thanks to stricter protection measures, but less than expected.

Environment - Apr 16
Environment

Snow cover in the Alps has been melting almost three days earlier per decade since the 1960s. This trend is temperature-related and cannot be compensated by heavier snowfall.


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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.04.2021
The architect of genome folding
The architect of genome folding
The spatial organization of the genome is fundamental for the regulation of our genes and has to be established de novo during early embryogenesis. By combining powerful Drosophila genetics with 3D chromosome modelling, a collaboration between the Giorgetti group at the FMI and the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg revealed a critical role of the epigenetic regulator HP1 in the establishment of 3D genome organization in the early Drosophila embryo.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 19.04.2021
Biodiversity on Swiss Farmland Recorded Nationwide for the First Time
Biodiversity on Swiss Farmland Recorded Nationwide for the First Time
Many plant and animal species depend on habitats shaped by agriculture. Where and with what frequency do which species occur in the agricultural landscape? What is the state of their habitats? How effective are the measures taken to increase biodiversity? Agroscope's biodiversity monitoring programme 'ALL-EMA' records species and habitat diversity in the Swiss agricultural landscape.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.04.2021
Biomass production in lakes becomes easier to de-termine
Biomass production in lakes becomes easier to de-termine
The condition of Swiss lakes has improved thanks to stricter protection measures, but less than expected. A new method developed by Eawag for calculating biomass production in lakes provides explanations and a basis for further water protection measures. "No bathing" rules were still imposed on many Swiss lakeshores until the 1980s.

Environment - 16.04.2021
Rivers and streams emit much more CO2 at night than during the day
Rivers and streams emit much more CO2 at night than during the day
Scientists have found that streams and rivers - or "running waters" - emit on average four times more CO2 at night than during the day. That matters because most estimates of global CO2 emissions are made using measurements taken during the day, thereby introducing a potential bias into the calculation of the global carbon cycle.

Environment - 16.04.2021
Alpine plants are losing their white
Alpine plants are losing their white "protective coat"
Snow cover in the Alps has been melting almost three days earlier per decade since the 1960s. This trend is temperature-related and cannot be compensated by heavier snowfall. By the end of the century, snow cover at 2,500 meters could disappear a month earlier than today, as simulations by environmental scientists at the University of Basel demonstrate.

Physics - 16.04.2021
Water and quantum magnets share critical physics
Water can freeze from liquid to solid ice or boil into a gas. In the kitchen these "phase transitions" aren't smooth, but their discontinuous nature is smoothed out at high pressure. An international team of physicists led by EPFL has now discovered the same behavior in certain quantum magnets, which may have consequences for the technology of qubits.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.04.2021
Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry
Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry
Most antibiotics need to penetrate their target bacteria. But Darobactin, a newly discovered compound, is much too large to do so. Nonetheless, it kills many antibiotic-resistant pathogens - by exploiting a tiny weak spot on their surface. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have now revealed the amazing mechanism at play and thereby opened the door to developing completely new medicines.

Computer Science - 15.04.2021
Uncovering the secrets of some of the world's first color photographs
Researchers have shed new light on one of the earliest color photography techniques, G. Lippmann's Nobel Prize-winning multispectral imaging method. It is often said that before air travel our skies were bluer yet how, in the 21 st century, could we ever know what light and colors were like one hundred years ago? Recently, a group of researchers from EPFL's Audiovisual Communications Laboratory , in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC), had a unique opportunity to try to find out.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 15.04.2021
From a Tweet to Forbes, The Diplomat and beyond
From a Tweet to Forbes, The Diplomat and beyond
Never did Jagannath Biswakarma think that a Tweet about one of his academic articles would receive attention from world-leading media outlets. Yet, that is exactly what happened and how his work was promoted internationally. Bioavailable iron is essential for all living organisms. Iron deficiency amongst plants influences agricultural production.

Pharmacology - Computer Science - 15.04.2021
Designing better antibody drugs with artificial intelligence
Machine learning methods help to optimise the development of antibody drugs. This leads to active substances with improved properties, also with regard to tolerability in the body. Antibodies are not only produced by our immune cells to fight viruses and other pathogens in the body. For a few decades now, medicine has also been using antibodies produced by biotechnology as drugs.

Environment - 14.04.2021
Ocean temperature reconstructed over the last 700,000 years
Ocean temperature reconstructed over the last 700,000 years
Researchers from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern reconstructed for the first mean ocean temperatures over the last 700,000 years using ice core data. The new knowledge serves to improve our understanding of the climate system. Bern's ice core researchers were already able to demonstrate in 2008 how the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has changed over the past 800,000 years.

Chemistry - Health - 14.04.2021
New hydrogel can repair tears in human tissue
New hydrogel can repair tears in human tissue
Scientists have developed an injectable gel that can attach to various kinds of soft internal tissues and repair tears resulting from an accident or trauma.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 14.04.2021
How microbes influenced the Earth's atmosphere three billion years ago
How microbes influenced the Earth’s atmosphere three billion years ago
For a long time, climate researchers could not explain the high concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere around three billion years ago. Now an international research team with the participation of Hendrik Vogel from the Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern has solved the mystery.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.04.2021
Parkinson's disease: wearable sensors to track symptoms
Scientists have developed algorithms that, combined with wearable sensors, could help clinicians to monitor the progression of Parkinson's disease and assess the effects of medications commonly used by people with this neurodegenerative disorder. Parkinson's disease affects neurons in an area of the brain that controls movement, causing tremors, difficulty walking and other motor problems.

Environment - 13.04.2021
Tree hydraulics and water relations: why trees die as a result of drought
When trees die during a period of drought, they die of thirst. Researchers from the University of Basel have demonstrated in a field study that a rapid collapse in the hydraulic system is responsible for tree death. And they found out that the trees possibly die more rapidly than previously thought.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 13.04.2021
Joyful Screams Perceived More Strongly than Screams of Fear or Anger
The human scream signals more than fear of imminent danger or entanglement in social conflicts. Screaming can also express joy or excitement. For the first time, researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated that non-alarming screams are even perceived and processed by the brain more efficiently than their alarming counterparts.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.04.2021
When two worlds meet: a protease that controls small RNA activity
When two worlds meet: a protease that controls small RNA activity
The protection of genome integrity of germ cells is essential for animal fertility. Researchers from the Grosshans group characterized a defense mechanism against selfish genetic elements in the C. elegans germline. They identified a protein processing mechanism that controls the activity of small RNAs to achieve specific silencing of transposons while sparing endogenous genes.

Pharmacology - Health - 09.04.2021
Fighting dementia with play
Fighting dementia with play
Cognitive motor training helps in the fight against Alzheimer's and dementia, as demonstrated for the first time in a study by an international team of researchers with ETH Zurich involvement. The training platform used was developed by an ETH Zurich spin-off. A dementia diagnosis turns the world upside down, not only for the person affected but also for their relatives, as brain function gradually declines.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.04.2021
Urolithin A shows effective against muscular dystrophy
Urolithin A shows effective against muscular dystrophy
A new study published in Science Translational Medicine by EPFL professor Johan Auwerx and scientists from EPFL start-up Amazentis highlights the effectiveness of mitophagy-stimulating molecule Urolithin A in mice to cure a disease similar to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. And points to a possible treatment for affected people.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.04.2021
Veal calf fattening: it can work with less antibiotics
By adopting a few simple measures, farmers can drastically reduce the use of antibiotics and improve the well-being of their animals without economic disadvantages. This was confirmed in a field trial- the first of its kind in Switzerland - carried out by researchers of the University of Bern based on the specially developed "outdoor veal calf" method.
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