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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.

Life Sciences - 23.09.2021
How tactile vibrations create illusions
How tactile vibrations create illusions
Researchers from the University of Geneva and UNIFR decipher how the amplitude and frequency of tactile vibrations can bias how the brain interprets them. Among the traditional five human senses, touch is perhaps the least studied. Yet, it is solicited everywhere, all the time, and even more so in recent years with the widespread daily use of electronic devices that emit vibrations.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2021
How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction
How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction
By identifying the role of serotonin during cocaine use, scientists explain why only one in five persons becomes addicted to this drug. Contrary to common thinking, cocaine triggers an addiction only in 20% of the consumers. But what happens in their brains when they lose control of their consumption? Thanks to a recent experimental method, neuroscientists at the University of Geneva , Switzerland, have revealed a brain mechanism specific to cocaine, which has the particularity of triggering a massive increase in serotonin in addition to the increase in dopamine common to all drugs.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.09.2021
Natural Killer Cells Coordinate Wound Healing
Natural Killer Cells Coordinate Wound Healing
Natural killer cells do not just kill cancer cells or cells infected with viruses, they also mediate a trade-off between wound healing and bacterial defense in skin wounds. If the healing process is accelerated, the immune defense is weakened, researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown. This has relevance in treating skin injuries and in tackling antibiotic-resistant germs.

Life Sciences - 01.09.2021
Highly dynamic sex chromosomes in cichlid fishes
Highly dynamic sex chromosomes in cichlid fishes
The cichlids of Lake Tanganyika in Africa are highly diverse - including with regard to sex chromosomes. These have changed extremely frequently in the course of the evolution of these fish and, depending on the species, can be of the type XY or ZW. This has been reported by a research team from the University of Basel and the Research Museum Koenig in Bonn in the scientific journal Science Advances.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.08.2021
How to produce proteins at the right speed
How to produce proteins at the right speed
Using a dynamic observation technique of protein synthesis, scientists from the University of Geneva have deciphered the genetic mechanisms governing the speed of translation of messenger RNA. In all eukaryotic organisms, genetic material is stored in the cell nucleus in the form of DNA. In order to be used, this DNA is first transcribed into messenger RNA in the cell cytoplasm, then translated into protein with the help of ribosomes, small machines capable of decoding messenger RNA to synthesise the appropriate proteins.

Life Sciences - 27.08.2021
Embryonic development in slow motion
Embryonic development in slow motion
Roe deer are among the few mammals whose embryos go into a particularly long period of dormancy. Using modern molecular methods, researchers have shown for the first time what exactly happens in the embryo during this phase. They have identified signals that control the embryo`s awakening. Everyone is familiar with the roe deer, either from crossword puzzles or from real-life encounters during a jog or a hike in the forest: majestic creatures with elegant big black eyes.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.08.2021
Understanding how elephants use their trunk
Understanding how elephants use their trunk
A multidisciplinary team of scientists from the UNIGE identified how elephants evolved strategies that reduce the biomechanical complexity of their trunk. The elephant proboscis (trunk) exhibits an extraordinary kinematic versatility as it can manipulate a single blade of grass but also carry loads up to 270 kilograms.

Life Sciences - 23.08.2021
Faulty regulation of an architect gene can lead to rare bone disease
Faulty regulation of an architect gene can lead to rare bone disease
Researchers found that, if expressed too early during embryonic development, one of the genes that orchestrate the formation of limbs can lead to a rare disorder of bone growth. Mesomelic dysplasias are a group of rare genetic conditions characterized by extreme shortening of the long bones in the arms and legs.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 20.08.2021
LiftPose3D: Turning 2D images into 3D models
LiftPose3D: Turning 2D images into 3D models
Scientists have developed a deep learning-based method called LiftPose3D, which can reconstruct 3D animal poses using only 2D poses from one camera. This method will have impact in neuroscience and bioinspired robotics. "When people perform experiments in neuroscience they have to make precise measurements of behavior," says Professor Pavan Ramdya at EPFL's School of Life Sciences, who led the study.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.08.2021
Creation of a detailed 'catalogue' of degradation products in cells
Creation of a detailed ’catalogue’ of degradation products in cells
Cells have their own quality control to prevent the production and accumulation of harmful proteins. This quality control is essential for correct embryonic development in all mammals and plays an important role in tumors and genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. A group of researchers from the University of Bern and the University of Basel have now made visible and cataloged for the first time, "blueprints" that give rise to defective proteins and are normally recognized and rapidly degraded in cells.

Life Sciences - Linguistics / Literature - 19.08.2021
What If Our History Was Written In Our Grammar?
What If Our History Was Written In Our Grammar?
Humans have been always on the move, creating a complex history of languages and cultural traditions dispersed over the globe. An international team under UZH's lead has now traced families of related languages over more than 10,000 years by combining data from genetics, linguistics and musicology using novel digital methods.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.08.2021
Recreating biology in computer language
Recreating biology in computer language
Toxic substances in the environment can harm the nervous system of fish embryos. Now, researchers at Eawag have developed a computer model that helps to better understand how the damage occurs. Every day, a large number of synthetic chemicals enter streams, lakes and sometimes even drinking water via various pathways.

Life Sciences - 12.08.2021
Swimming robot gives fresh insight into locomotion and neuroscience
Swimming robot gives fresh insight into locomotion and neuroscience
Thanks to their swimming robot modeled after a lamprey, scientists may have discovered why some vertebrates are able to retain their locomotor capabilities after a spinal cord lesion. The finding could also help improve the performance of swimming robots used for search and rescue missions and for environmental monitoring.

Life Sciences - Veterinary - 12.08.2021
Genetic enigma solved: Inheritance of coat color patterns in dogs
Genetic enigma solved: Inheritance of coat color patterns in dogs
An international team of researchers including scientists from the Institute of Genetics of the University of Bern has unraveled the enigma of inheritance of coat color patterns in dogs. The researchers discovered that a genetic variant responsible for a very light coat in dogs and wolves originated more than two million years ago in a now extinct relative of the modern wolf.

Life Sciences - 06.08.2021
Nitrogen inputs in the ancient ocean - underappreciated bacteria step into the spotlight
Nitrogen inputs in the ancient ocean - underappreciated bacteria step into the spotlight
It was long assumed that cyanobacteria were mainly responsible for fixing nitrogen on early Earth, thus making nitrogen available to the biosphere. In a paper published today in "Nature Communications", a team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland now shows that purple sulfur bacteria could have contributed substantially to nitrogen fixation.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.08.2021
Bacteria navigate on surfaces using a 'sense of touch'
Bacteria navigate on surfaces using a ’sense of touch’
Researchers have characterized a mechanism that allows bacteria to direct their movement in response to the mechanical properties of the surfaces the microbes move on - a finding that could help fight certain pathogens. Many disease-causing bacteria such as Pseudomonasaeruginosa crawl on surfaces through a walk-like motility known as "twitching".

Health - Life Sciences - 02.08.2021
AI reveals how glucose helps the SARS-CoV-2 virus
AI reveals how glucose helps the SARS-CoV-2 virus
Why do some people get sick and die from COVID-19 while others seem to be completely unaffected? EPFL's Blue Brain Project deployed its powerful brain simulation technology and expertise in cellular and molecular biology to try and answer this question. A group in the Blue Brain assembled an AI tool that could read hundreds of thousands of scientific papers, extract the knowledge and assemble the answer - A machine-generated view of the role of blood glucose levels in the severity of COVID-19 was published today by Frontiers in Public Health, Clinical Diabetes.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 02.08.2021
From imaging neurons to measuring their true activity
From imaging neurons to measuring their true activity
Neuroscientists often use calcium imaging to analyze neuronal activity in the intact brain. But this method provides only an indirect and slow measure of action potential firing, creating the need to reliably reconstruct action potentials from calcium signals. Peter Rupprecht, a former PhD candidate in the Friedrich group, developed a novel algorithm based on machine learning that is very effective, easy to use, and highly robust.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.07.2021
Molecular atlas reveals how brain cells develop
Using a combination of powerful sequencing techniques and mathematical methods, researchers have traced the genetic programs that direct the development of each cell in the brain. This molecular map could help researchers to understand how the brain develops and provide insights into a range of conditions, including brain tumors and neurodevelopmental disorders.
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