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Mathematics - 14.06.2021
Modeling the friction between pages in a book
Modeling the friction between pages in a book
Engineers at EPFL and École Polytechnique in France analyzed the friction between pages in a book and the mechanical force needed to bend them. Drawing on their experiments, they developed a new theoretical model for predicting the elasto-frictional behavior of stacked layers. It all started with a shaky washing machine.

Environment - 14.06.2021
When hydropower plants emit carbon dioxide
When hydropower plants emit carbon dioxide
Hydropower is considered to be CO2-neutral, but certain power plants in tropical regions produce large quantities of greenhouse gases. Researchers at Eawag have now studied how much carbon dioxide escapes into the atmosphere below the Kariba Dam in southern Africa. Such previously ignored emissions must be taken into account by future carbon budgets.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.06.2021
New glial cells discovered in the brain: Implications for brain repair
New glial cells discovered in the brain: Implications for brain repair
Neurons, nerve cells in the brain, are central players in brain function. However, a key role for glia, long considered support cells, is emerging. A research group at the University of Basel has now discovered two new types of glial cells in the brain, by unleashing adult stem cells from their quiescent state.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.06.2021
Understanding the evolution of viruses
Understanding the evolution of viruses
Researchers at ETH Zurich have recreated a key step in the evolutionary history of viruses in a laboratory experiment. They succeeded in remodeling a natural protein to create capsids capable of storing genetic material. Viruses have always had a major influence on life. They emerged a few billion years ago, precisely when is difficult to estimate.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.06.2021
Chamoli Disaster Could Happen Again
Chamoli Disaster Could Happen Again
Some four months ago, a devastating flood ravaged the Chamoli district in the Indian Himalayas, killing over 200 people. The flood was caused by a massive landslide, which also involved a glacier. Researchers at the University of Zurich, the WSL and ETH Zurich have now analyzed the causes, scope and impact of the disaster as part of an international collaboration.

Social Sciences - 09.06.2021
Language Extinction Triggers Loss of Unique Medicinal Knowledge
Language Extinction Triggers Loss of Unique Medicinal Knowledge
Indigenous peoples pass on their knowledge of medicinal plants orally. If their languages go extinct, valuable medical knowledge will be lost. A study by the University of Zurich estimates that 75 percent of the world's medicinal plant applications are only known in one language. Language is one of our species' most important skills, as it has enabled us to occupy nearly every corner of the planet.

Physics - 09.06.2021
Microscope reveals the secrets of a material's structure
Microscope reveals the secrets of a material's structure
Scientists have made an important discovery about the structure of barium titanate, a material used in everyday objects. Their findings refute existing theories on the displacement of the material's atoms.  Barium titanate is a ferroelectric material used in nearly all electronic devices - computers, smartphones and even electric cars.

Innovation - Career - 09.06.2021
Innovation projects can reinvent the UN
Innovation projects can reinvent the UN
A study conducted by researchers suggests innovative projects carried out within UN entities can drive institutional change and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the entire organization. Researchers at the University of Geneva demonstrate that innovative projects spearheaded by United Nations (UN) country offices are remodeling the institution and expanding its role.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.06.2021
Expanding the limits of ferroelectrics
Chiara Gattinoni, a materials theorist and Marie Curie Fellow at ETH Zurich, uses the "Piz Daint" supercomputer at CSCS to investigate a special class of materials: ferroelectrics. In the future, these materials could constitute the heart of low-energy-consuming, miniaturised data storage in electrical devices.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.06.2021
Research efforts to reduce pesticide contamination
Research efforts to reduce pesticide contamination
With the latest analytical methods, potentially toxic substances can be detected even at very low concentrations. However, the aim of research is not merely to document such contamination but also to understand how it occurs in streams and groundwater, and to propose mitigation measures. In agricultural areas, large volumes of water from fields, roads and paths enter streams via manholes or other artificial drainage systems.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.06.2021
How catalysts age
How catalysts age
PSI researchers have developed a new tomography method with which they can measure chemical properties inside catalyst materials in 3-D extremely precisely and faster than before. The application is equally important for science and industry. The researchers published their results today in the journal Science Advances .

Computer Science - Physics - 08.06.2021
Early endeavours on the path to reliable quantum machine learning
Early endeavours on the path to reliable quantum machine learning
The future quantum computers should be capable of super-fast and reliable computation. Today, this is still a major challenge. Now, computer scientists led by ETH Zurich conduct an early exploration for reliable quantum machine learning. Anyone who collects mushrooms knows that it is better to keep the poisonous and the non-poisonous ones apart.

Health - Physics - 08.06.2021
Using light to monitor cancer
Using light to monitor cancer
Researchers at EPFL have developed a technology based on nanophotonics and data science to detect and monitor cancer biomarkers at an early stage. Their research is published. Medical doctors examine body fluids of their patients, such as blood, urine, saliva, or nasal swabs, for diagnostics. This is because substances in such biofluids may provide vital information about one's health state.

Health - 07.06.2021
Controlling insulin production with a smartwatch
Controlling insulin production with a smartwatch
ETH Zurich researchers have developed a gene switch that can be operated with the green LED light emitted by commercial smartwatches. This revolutionary approach could be used to treat diabetes in the future. Many modern fitness trackers and smartwatches feature integrated LEDs. The green light emitted, whether continuous or pulsed, penetrates the skin and can be used to measure the wearer's heart rate during physical activity or while at rest.

Environment - 07.06.2021
Researchers as bridge builders in water policy
Researchers as bridge builders in water policy
From flood protection and drinking water supply to the revitalisation of water bodies and hydropower production - water policy in Switzerland takes place in a wide variety of sectors. However, the exchange of information between politically divided players is often difficult. Science plays an important role as a bridge builder between the camps.

Environment - Health - 04.06.2021
More than a Third of Heat Deaths Are Linked to Climate Change
More than a Third of Heat Deaths Are Linked to Climate Change
Between 1991 and 2018, more than a third of all deaths in which heat played a role were attributable to human-induced global warming, according to a new study in the Nature Climate Change journal. The study, the largest of its kind, was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Bern with partners including Swiss TPH.

Social Sciences - 03.06.2021
Bilingualism as a natural therapy for autistic children
Bilingualism as a natural therapy for autistic children
An international team led by UNIGE demonstrates that the characteristics of bilingualism allow autistic children to compensate for certain fundamental deficits. Affecting more than one in a hundred children, autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. It has a particular impact on social interaction, including difficulties in understanding other people's perspectives, beliefs, desires and emotions, known as 'theory of mind'.

Materials Science - Health - 03.06.2021
Filter membrane renders viruses harmless
Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing a new filter membrane that is highly efficient at filtering and inactivating a wide variety of air-borne and water-borne viruses. Made from ecologically sound materials, the membrane has an appropriately good environmental footprint. Viruses can spread not only via droplets or aerosols like the new coronavirus, but in water, too.

Environment - 02.06.2021
Plastic waste in the sea mainly drifts near the coast
Plastic waste in the sea mainly drifts near the coast
A study conducted at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern provides new insights into the pollution of the world's oceans with plastic waste. The modelling shows that most of the plastic does not end up in the open ocean, but beaches or drifts in the water near the coast.

Chemistry - 02.06.2021
Cutting-edge modelling methods from USI help unlock the secrets of porous material
Cutting-edge modelling methods from USI help unlock the secrets of porous material
Most materials have a seemingly smooth surface, but under high magnification, they reveal to be full of tiny holes or pores. Zeolites, in particular, have pores in different sizes that allow them to be used in a range of different applications like catalysis, the branch of chemistry that studies how to accelerate chemical reactions, a fundamental pillar for the chemical industry. However, many fundamental questions remain about what actually happens inside the pores of a zeolite and, more precisely, how water influences the overall behaviour of the system.
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