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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.

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.

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.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 08.04.2021
Modern Human Brain Originated in Africa Around 1.7 Million Years Ago
Modern Human Brain Originated in Africa Around 1.7 Million Years Ago
The human brain as we know it today is relatively young. It evolved about 1.7 million years ago when the culture of stone tools in Africa became increasingly complex. A short time later, the new Homo populations spread to Southeast Asia, researchers from the University of Zurich have now shown using computed tomography analyses of fossilized skulls.

Physics - Life Sciences - 07.04.2021
Artificial intelligence to explore the biomolecular world
Artificial intelligence to explore the biomolecular world
Scientists have developed AI-powered nanosensors that let researchers track various kinds of biological molecules without disturbing them.  The tiny world of biomolecules is rich in fascinating interactions between a plethora of different agents such as intricate nanomachines (proteins), shape-shifting vessels (lipid complexes), chains of vital information (DNA) and energy fuel (carbohydrates).

Life Sciences - 06.04.2021
How the fly selects its reproductive male
How the fly selects its reproductive male
Researchers from the University of Geneva have discovered a very small protein in Drosophila that plays a key role in how females select the semen that will fertilize its eggs when it mates with several males. Even a well-characterized genome, such as that of the Drosophila the so-called fruit fly, still holds surprises.

Life Sciences - 31.03.2021
Study contributes to our understanding of how cocaine withdrawal affects brain circuits
Study contributes to our understanding of how cocaine withdrawal affects brain circuits
The results could help clinicians understand addiction and enable people to better manage substance withdrawal Geneva & Lausanne, Switzerland - Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that, in the long term, can have adverse effects on health and wellbeing. There are around 18 million cocaine users globally, according to a UN report.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.03.2021
Precisely determining toxic concentrations
Precisely determining toxic concentrations
Ecotoxicological tests need to be extremely accurate - which often poses challenges in research and practice. Eawag has now developed a computer model that enables even more accurate testing at high throughput; the model is simple, widely applicable and saves resources. How dangerous are chemicals that enter water bodies for aquatic life' To answer this question, tests are needed on organisms - or as is increasingly the case - on isolated cells, which can replace tests on organisms.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.03.2021
Cells rely on their crampons to avoid slipping
Cells rely on their crampons to avoid slipping
Researchers from the University of Geneva identified a new function for a protein that helps cells to sense their environment and dock at their proper place in the body. Each human being is made of billions of cells. In order to ensure his survival, cells must coordinate with each other and attach in the right place to perform their tasks.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.03.2021
Study suggests a promising future for soft bioelectronic interfaces in clinical settings
Study suggests a promising future for soft bioelectronic interfaces in clinical settings
Results demonstrate MRI compatibility, good surgical handling and reliable recording in bioelectronic interfaces that conform to the nervous system Geneva, Switzerland - A new study published in Advanced Science by researchers from the Laboratory of Soft BioElectronics Interfaces (LSBI) at EPFL, led by Prof. Stéphanie P. Lacour , has demonstrated MRI compatibility in their soft electrode arrays - a crucial step in translation to the clinic.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.03.2021
Lung cancer resistance: the key is glucose
Lung cancer resistance: the key is glucose
Lung tumors are home to immune cells that affect their growth and resistance to treatment. Looking at neutrophils, scientists led by EPFL have discovered that the key might lie in the cells' ability to metabolize glucose, opening an entirely new target for improving radiotherapy. Cancers are not only made of tumor cells.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.03.2021
Revealing the way a critical enzyme works in the cell
Revealing the way a critical enzyme works in the cell
Combining structural biology, molecular simulations, mutagenesis, and in vivo assays, EPFL scientists have made the first extensive study of the mode of action of the enzyme acyl thioesterase, which regulates deacylation, one of the most critical functions of the cell. S'acylation is the process of chemically linking a lipid to protein via a thioester bond.

Life Sciences - 18.03.2021
Scaled, armoured or naked: how does the skin of fish evolve?
Scaled, armoured or naked: how does the skin of fish evolve?
Researchers at the UNIGE have traced the family tree of ray-finned fish in order to reconstruct the evolution of the protective structures of their skin. Usually scaled, the skin of fish can also be naked or made up of bony plates that form an armour, sometimes even covered with teeth. But how has this skin evolved over the ages? To answer this question, researchers at the University of Geneva , Switzerland, have reconstructed the evolution of the protective skin structures in fish, going back to the common ancestor of ray-finned fish, more than 420 million years ago.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.03.2021
Artificial Light Affects Plant Pollination Even During the Daytime
Artificial Light Affects Plant Pollination Even During the Daytime
Streetlights alter the number of flower visits by insects not just at night, but also during the daytime. Artificial light at night thus indirectly affects the entire plant-pollinator community, with unknown consequences for functioning of the ecosystem, as researchers from the University of Zurich and Agroscope have proven for the first time.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.03.2021
Shining a light on neurodegenerative disorders
Could a ray of light stop rogue proteins in their tracks and slow the spread of neurodegenerative disease in the brain? EPFL and the Wyss Center are set to find out. GENEVA AND LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - The Wyss Center and the Lashuel lab at EPFL announced today a collaboration to explore the potential of using light as a therapy for Parkinson's disease and dementia.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.03.2021
Cells as computers
Scientists at ETH Zurich are working to develop information-processing switching systems in biological cells. Now, for the first time, they have developed an OR switch in human cells that reacts to different signals. Biological cells might one day be equipped with artificial genetic programs that work in much the same way as electronic systems.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 05.03.2021
Tracking proteins in the heart of cells
Tracking proteins in the heart of cells
For the first time, a team from the University of Geneva has been able to follow precisely the path taken by a protein within the cell, paving the way for the study of the transport and distribution network of vital elements necessary for its survival. In order to stay alive, the cell must provide its various organelles with all the energy elements they need, which are formed in the Golgi apparatus, its centre of maturation and redistribution of lipids and proteins.

Life Sciences - 05.03.2021
Researchers crack a puzzle of bacterial evolution
Researchers crack a puzzle of bacterial evolution
Phylogenetic trees map the evolution and ancestral relationships of organisms. At least that is the theory. Researchers at the University of Basel have now revealed that for many bacteria this theory is based on mistaken assumptions. These phylogenies are not a reliable indicator of common ancestry but rather reflect how extensively different bacteria have exchanged genes with each other.

Environment - Life Sciences - 04.03.2021
Invasiveness facilitated by a large gene pool
Invasiveness facilitated by a large gene pool
In Lake Constance, sticklebacks are occupying increasingly varied habitat types - in recent years even including the open and deep waters of the lake. In an Eawag review undertaken as part of the "SeeWandel" project, these uniquely diverse ecological adaptations are explained in terms of renewed contact between three stickleback lineages - including one originating from the Baltic region, whose genetic material is as yet rarely observed in other Swiss lakes.
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