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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 23.09.2021
Cells, cylinders and a vision of the future
Cells, cylinders and a vision of the future
The "gene scissors" CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to precisely modify genes in order to study their function in an organism. A researcher at Eawag has now succeeded for the first time in establishing the gene scissors for a fish cell line of rainbow trout. This means that, as of now, genetically modified cell lines can be produced.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.09.2021
The whole is the truth
Quantum physics opens our eyes to the holistic nature of reality. Nothing can be observed in isolation - and everything is governed by chance. We generally assume that the objects around us exist independently of us and of other objects. We can observe a glass as a well-defined object and investigate its chemical or physical properties in the lab.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 13.09.2021
New immunotherapy method turns activated specifically in tumor
New immunotherapy method turns activated specifically in tumor
Scientists have developed a chemical method for targeting the effects of cancer-fighting immunotherapy drugs only to the tumor tissue, making the drugs less toxic to the rest of the human body. Immunotherapy drugs are promising new weapons in the fight against cancer, but they are so strong that they can be toxic to the rest of the human body.

Chemistry - Physics - 10.09.2021
The mystery of the flexible shell
The mystery of the flexible shell
An international research team with participation of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI has revealed a secret about a marine animal's shell: The researchers have deciphered why the protective cover of the brachiopod Discinisca tenuis becomes extremely soft in water and gets hard again in the air. The study appears today .

Chemistry - Physics - 30.08.2021
Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage
Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage
Scientists have developed a new system that addresses two top priorities of the energy transition: clean hydrogen production and large-scale energy storage. Their technology could be particularly useful in transportation applications. The need for reliable renewable energy is growing fast, as countries around the world - including Switzerland - step up their efforts to fight climate change, find alternatives to fossil fuels and reach the energy-transition targets set by their governments.

Physics - Chemistry - 26.08.2021
Light-matter interactions propel quantum technologies forward
Light-matter interactions propel quantum technologies forward
Physicists at EPFL have found a way to get photons to interact with pairs of atoms for the first time. The breakthrough is important for the field of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED), a cutting-edge field leading the way to quantum technologies. Image:A collection of atom pairs inside an optical cavity formed by a pair of mirrors facing each other.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 20.08.2021
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Researchers have developed a new type of laminate that changes colour as soon as the material is deformed. This way, the materials researchers can kill two birds with one stone: a lightweight composite material that inspects itself. Lightweight construction has found its way into many areas, especially automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding and aircraft construction.

Physics - Chemistry - 05.08.2021
A promising breakthrough: Nanocrystals made of amalgam
A promising breakthrough: Nanocrystals made of amalgam
Researchers at ETH have managed to produce nanocrystals made of two different metals using an amalgamation process whereby a liquid metal penetrates a solid one. This new and surprisingly intuitive technique makes it possible to produce a vast array of intermetallic nanocrystals with tailored properties for diverse applications. Nanocrystals are nanometre-sized spheres consisting of regularly arranged atoms.

Chemistry - 04.08.2021
Illuminating tissue formation
Illuminating tissue formation
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a molecule that fluoresces where new tissue is forming in the body. Alongside helping to detect tumours, the molecule could play a significant role in research of wound healing disorders. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It makes up a third of protein content and single strands assemble to form stable fibres that give structure to connective tissue such as skin, tendons, cartilage and bones.

Physics - Chemistry - 29.07.2021
High-precision frequency measurement
High-precision frequency measurement
Many scientific experiments require highly precise time measurements with the help of a clearly defined frequency. Now, a new approach allows the direct comparison of frequency measurements in the lab with the atomic clock in Bern, Switzerland. For many scientific experiments, today's researchers require a precise reference frequency that allows them to calibrate the time measurements made by their equipment.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.07.2021
Laser improves the time resolution of CryoEM
Scientists have devised a new method that can speed up the real-time observation capabilities of cryo-electron microscopy. In 2017, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contributions to cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM), an imaging technique that can capture pictures of biomolecules such as proteins with atomic precision.

Physics - Chemistry - 14.07.2021
Nanosphere at the quantum limit
Nanosphere at the quantum limit
Researchers at ETH Zurich have trapped a tiny sphere measuring a hundred nanometres using laser light and slowed down its motion to the lowest quantum mechanical state. Based on this, one can study quantum effects in macroscopic objects and build extremely sensitive sensors. Why can atoms or elementary particles behave like waves according to quantum physics, which allows them to be in several places at the same time?

Physics - Chemistry - 13.07.2021
Molecules in collective ecstasy
Molecules in collective ecstasy
When fluorescent dye molecules nestle perfectly together, something completely new is created: an excited state distributed over many molecules. Such collective excitations can be used in a variety of ways - for organic solar panels, in sensors, for ultrafast data transmission or in microscopy, for example.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 07.07.2021
Harnessing AI to discover new drugs inspired by nature
Artificial intelligence (AI) is able to recognise the biological activity of natural products in a targeted manner, as researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated. Moreover, AI helps to find molecules that have the same effect as a natural substance but are easier to manufacture. This opens up huge possibilities for drug discovery, which also have potential to rewrite the rulebook for pharmaceutical research.

Chemistry - Physics - 05.07.2021
Machine learning cracks the oxidation states of crystal structures
Machine learning cracks the oxidation states of crystal structures
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a machine-learning model that can predict a compound's oxidation state, a property that is so essential that many chemists argue it must be included in the periodic table. Chemical elements make up pretty much everything in the physical world. As of 2016, we know of 118 elements, all of which can be found categorized in the famous periodic table that hangs in every chemistry lab and classroom.

Chemistry - 24.06.2021
An artificial leaf made from semiconducting polymers
An artificial leaf made from semiconducting polymers
Scientists are generating oxygen from sunlight, water and semiconducting polymers. They present a promising way towards economical and scalable solar fuel production. Natural photosynthesis evolved to covert water and sunlight into oxygen (O2) and stored chemical energy. In plants this process is not very efficient, however the possibility to convert sunlight into chemical fuel in an economical and globally scalable manner is a very attractive method for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Chemistry - Environment - 22.06.2021
Worrying insights into the chemicals in plastics
Researchers examined chemicals in plastics worldwide. They found an unexpectedly high number of substances of potential concern intentionally used in everyday plastic products. A lack of transparency limits management of these chemicals. Plastic is practical, cheap and incredibly popular. Every year, more than 350 million tonnes are produced worldwide.

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.

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.

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 .
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