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Physics - Chemistry - 23.12.2021
Integrated photonics meet electron microscopy
Integrated photonics meet electron microscopy
Scientists in Switzerland and Germany have achieved efficient electron-beam modulation using integrated photonics - circuits that guide light on a chip. The experiments could lead to entirely new quantum measurement schemes in electron microscopy. The transmission electron microscope (TEM) can image molecular structures at the atomic scale by using electrons instead of light, and has revolutionized materials science and structural biology.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 06.12.2021
Discovering new drugs with Darwin
Discovering new drugs with Darwin
Chemists at the University of Geneva have developed a new technique for selecting assemblies of molecules, making it possible to find the best combinations for each protein to be combated quickly and cheaply. Our body must constantly defend itself against bacteria and viruses. It generates millions of different antibodies, which are selected to recognise the enemy and trigger the best possible immune response.

Physics - Chemistry - 03.12.2021
Molecular device turns infrared into visible light
Molecular device turns infrared into visible light
Researchers at EPFL, China, Spain and the Netherlands have built a micro-device that uses vibrating molecules to transform invisible mid-infrared light into visible light. The breakthrough ushers in a new class of compact sensors for thermal imaging and chemical or biological analysis. Image: Artistic view of the nanoparticle-in-groove plasmonic cavities.

Health - Chemistry - 02.12.2021
Uterine atlas can lead to better models of the womb, provide insights into diseases
Uterine atlas can lead to better models of the womb, provide insights into diseases
In the quest to study the womb and its role in reproductive health, researchers in the Turco lab and their collaborators have generated a cellular map of the human uterus and of endometrial organoids — lab-grown models of the womb's lining. The atlas, which is the most detailed of its kind, will help scientists to develop better models of the womb.

Environment - Chemistry - 26.10.2021
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
When fish ingest microplastics, they often also ingest progesterone. This compound is subsequently released into the digestive tract through chemical reactions with the fish's digestive fluids. That's the key finding of a study carried out jointly by scientists from EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Peking University in Beijing, and Oklahoma State University, and appearing in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

Physics - Chemistry - 01.10.2021
Extending the power of attosecond spectroscopy
Extending the power of attosecond spectroscopy
Scientists at EPFL have shown that the powerful transient absorption spectroscopy technique can unravel ultrafast motion of electrons and nuclei in a molecule in real time and with atomic spatial resolution. The last few decades have seen impressive progress in laser-based technologies, which have led to significant advancements in atomic and molecular physics.

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.

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.
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