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Career - 20.01.2021
How recruiters discriminate on employment websites
How recruiters discriminate on employment websites
Researcher on conducted a large-scale study of discrimination on an online recruitment platform. The findings showed that, depending on the occupation, both men and women suffer from discrimination, and that discrimination against foreigners depends, among other things, on the time of day. Discrimination in hiring is a major societal problem.

Social Sciences - 20.01.2021
How clicks on a job platform can reveal bias
How clicks on a job platform can reveal bias
Scientists at ETH Zurich have leveraged big data from recruitment platforms and machine learning to study hiring discrimination. They show that discrimination against immigrants depends, among other things, on the time of day; and that both men and women face discrimination. Education, professional skills and experience are the essential criteria for filling a position - or at least that is the expectation.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.01.2021
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method.

Music - Computer Science - 19.01.2021
Machine learning helps retrace evolution of classical music
Machine learning helps retrace evolution of classical music
Researchers in EPFL's Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab in the College of Humanities used an unsupervised machine learning model to 'listen to' and categorize more than 13,000 pieces of Western classical music, revealing how modes - such as major and minor - have changed throughout history. Many people may not be able to define what a minor mode is in music, but most would almost certainly recognize a piece played in a minor key.

Life Sciences - 18.01.2021
Snap-freezing reveals a truer structure of brain connections
Snap-freezing reveals a truer structure of brain connections
Scientists at EPFL have used a snap-freezing method to reveal the true structure of the connections that join neurons together in the adult brain. Most synaptic connections in the adult brain are situated on dendritic spines; small, micrometer-long, protrusions extending from the neurons' surface. The spines' exact size and shape determine how well signals are passed from one neuron to another.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.01.2021
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests. An international team of scientists led by ETH Zurich used geological samples to estimate ocean oxygen during a period of global warming 56 million years ago - and found limited expansion of seafloor anoxia (absence of oxygen).

Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
Protecting the genome from transposon activation
Protecting the genome from transposon activation
Transposons are foreign DNA elements capable of random insertion into the genome, an event that can be very dangerous for a cell. Their activity must be silenced to maintain genomic integrity, which is primarily achieved by H3K9me3-mediated repression. Researchers from the Gasser group identified two parallel pathways that are essential for H3K9me3- mediated transcriptional repression and thus for protecting the genome from toxic transposon activation.

Chemistry - 14.01.2021
How aerosols are formed
How aerosols are formed
ETH Zurich researchers conducted an experiment to investigate the initial steps in the formation of aerosols. Their findings are now aiding efforts to better understand and model that process - for example, the formation of clouds in the atmosphere. Aerosols are suspensions of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas.

Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
How the circadian clock regulates liver genes in time and space
How the circadian clock regulates liver genes in time and space
Scientists have carried out the first comprehensive study of how genes in the liver perform their metabolic functions in both space and time of day. Monitoring almost 5000 genes at the level of the individual cell across a 24-hour period, the researchers have modelled how the circadian clock and liver functions crosstalk throughout the day in sync with the feeding-fasting cycle.

Microtechnics - 13.01.2021
How to Keep Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
How to Keep Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
Robotics researchers at the University of Zurich show how onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably - even without GPS. As anxious passengers are often reassured, commercial aircrafts can easily continue to fly even if one of the engines stops working. But for drones with four propellers - also known as quadcopters - the failure of one motor is a bigger problem.

Environment - Chemistry - 13.01.2021
How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?
They emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. It is politically agreed and necessary for climate protection reasons that our entire economy becomes climate-neutral in the coming decades - and that applies to air travel, too.

Health - Agronomy / Food Science - 12.01.2021
Airtight corn sacks help fight hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic
Airtight corn sacks help fight hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic
Optimised on-farm grain storage boosts food security in sub-Saharan Africa, as an ETH study in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic shows. As the end of the lean season approaches, things get tricky for many smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. It's the time of year between harvests - the last one was a long time ago, but the next one is not yet due.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.01.2021
Immune cells discovered in the lungs improve virus defense
Immune cells discovered in the lungs improve virus defense
A research team at the University of Basel has discovered immune cells resident in the lungs that persist long after a bout of flu. Experiments with mice have shown that these helper cells improve the immune response to reinfection by a different strain of the flu virus. The discovery could yield approaches to developing longer-lasting vaccinations against quickly-mutating viruses.

Physics - Electroengineering - 11.01.2021
Electrically switchable qubit can tune between storage and fast calculation modes
Electrically switchable qubit can tune between storage and fast calculation modes
To perform calculations, quantum computers need qubits to act as elementary building blocks that process and store information. Now, physicists have produced a new type of qubit that can be switched from a stable idle mode to a fast calculation mode. The concept would also allow a large number of qubits to be combined into a powerful quantum computer, as researchers from the University of Basel and TU Eindhoven have reported in the journal -Nature Nanotechnology-.

Computer Science - 08.01.2021
Light-based processors boost machine-learning processing
Light-based processors boost machine-learning processing
An international team of scientists have developed a photonic processor that uses rays of light inside silicon chips to process information much faster than conventional electronic chips. The exponential growth of data traffic in our digital age poses some real challenges on processing power. And with the advent of machine learning and AI in, for example, self-driving vehicles and speech recognition, the upward trend is set to continue.

Life Sciences - 08.01.2021
Goats enjoy mental gymnastics
Goats enjoy mental gymnastics
A study on shows that goats like to earn a reward by 'working' for it, even if they can get the same reward without making any effort. This finding could benefit humane husbandry. Goats respond positively to challenges rather than just turning away. In a project funded jointly by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG), two breeding lines - dairy goats and dwarf goats - were offered a choice of two types of reward.

Life Sciences - 07.01.2021
Perceiving prosthesis as lighter thanks to neurofeedback
Perceiving prosthesis as lighter thanks to neurofeedback
Transmitting sensory signals from prostheses to the nervous system helps leg amputees to perceive prosthesis as part of their body. While amputees generally perceive their prostheses as heavy, this feedback helps them to perceive the prostheses as significantly lighter, ETH researchers have shown. Leg amputees are often not satisfied with their prosthesis, even though the sophisticated prostheses are becoming available.

Health - Career - 07.01.2021
Effectiveness of protective measures in hospitals in Ticino
A study performed in Ticino in Spring 2020, on data of SARS-CoV-2 serological tests run on healthcare workers, shows that COVID-19 antibodies are detectable in up to 10% of the participants. Such a result are comparable with the ones of the Corona Immunitas study conducted on the Ticino population. More importantly, it shows that healthcare workers with exposure to COVID-19 patients have only a slightly higher absolute risk of seropositivity than those without, suggesting that the use of protective measures in hospitals aiming at reducing nosocomial viral transmission are effective.

Health - Psychology - 07.01.2021
How to mitigate the impact of a lockdown on mental health
How to mitigate the impact of a lockdown on mental health
The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting people's mental health. But what helps and hinders people in getting through a lockdown? A new study led by researchers at the University of Basel addressed this question using data from 78 countries across the world. The results hint at the pivots and hinges on which the individual's psyche rests in the pandemic.

Environment - 07.01.2021
Packaging database for fact-checking sustainability promises
Packaging database for fact-checking sustainability promises
Researchers have created a database of over 3,000 primary and secondary packaging items from the range of the retailer Denner as a basis for ensuring more environmentally friendly packaging. The presents are unwrapped, the takeaway is eaten and the latest online order has arrived - and now there is packaging everywhere.
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