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Environment - Earth Sciences - 05.12.2022
Chip lets scientists study biocement formation in real-time
Chip lets scientists study biocement formation in real-time
Scientists from EPFL and the University of Lausanne have used a chip that was originally designed for environmental science to study the properties of biocement formation. This material has the potential to replace traditional cement binders in certain civil engineering applications. The chip has the size of a credit card and its surface is engraved with a flow channel measuring one meter from end to end and as thick as a human hair.

Environment - 30.11.2022
Reliable planning tool for the emissions path to achieving the Paris temperature goal
Reliable planning tool for the emissions path to achieving the Paris temperature goal
Researchers at the University of Bern have developed a new method for the successive calculation of the emission reductions which are necessary for achieving temperature targets, such as the 2C goal. The calculation method is based solely on observation rather than models and scenarios. According to the study, international climate policy has to become even more ambitious.

Economics / Business - Environment - 24.11.2022
Smartphone banks compete with traditional banks for business
Smartphone banks compete with traditional banks for business
One in ten people in Switzerland already uses a smartphone bank. Although such neo-banks have so far only been used as secondary and third-party banks, they could also challenge the established banks' status as principal bankers in the future. This is the result of a study by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts on the Swiss retail banking market.

Environment - 24.11.2022
Pollution of the Glatt by trace substances is decreasing
Pollution of the Glatt by trace substances is decreasing
Together with the Canton of St. Gallen, Eawag has been investigating the impact of the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant at Flawil to include a stage for the removal of micropollutants on water quality in the River Glatt. Initial results now show a very positive picture. The expansion of the Oberglatt WWTP in Flawil with an additional treatment stage to remove micropollutants is having an effect.

Environment - Chemistry - 24.11.2022
Unraveling the secrets of microplastics released by tires
Unraveling the secrets of microplastics released by tires
In Switzerland, tire and road wear particles are one of the biggest sources of microplastics released into the environment, yet the chemical compounds contained in those particles - and their effects - remain largely a mystery. To remedy that knowledge gap, scientists at EPFL and two other Swiss research institutes are conducting a study of the toxicity of tire-particle compounds and how readily they're absorbed by living organisms.

Chemistry - Environment - 22.11.2022
Chemicals could undercut global plastics treaty
Chemicals could undercut global plastics treaty
Next week the UN intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) on plastic pollution will meet in Uruguay to develop an international legally binding instrument against plastic pollution. There is concern among scientists that the negotiations will overlook the diversity and complexity of chemicals present in plastics.

Innovation - Environment - 22.11.2022
The Swiss water turnaround: wait and see or take a proactive approach?
The Swiss water turnaround: wait and see or take a proactive approach?
New technologies in the water sector can contribute to the flexible and sustainable development of urban water management and the sustainable utilisation of water as a resource. In a recent article in the journal Aqua & Gas, a team of researchers from the aquatic research institute Eawag shows what opportunities and risks are associated with this.

Environment - Transport - 16.11.2022
Lake Geneva consumers surveyed as part of a study on climate change
Lake Geneva consumers surveyed as part of a study on climate change
Over 10,000 people in both the French and Swiss parts of the Lake Geneva region have been surveyed on their transportation habits, as the first element of a broader EPFL study on consumer lifestyles and behavior. The study is being spearheaded by EPFL's School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), working in association with the Canton of Vaud, the Canton of Geneva and Greater Geneva.

Environment - Health - 15.11.2022
Monitoring antibiotic resistance in wastewater
Monitoring antibiotic resistance in wastewater
Researchers at Eawag recommend setting up a monitoring system for antibiotic resistance in the synthesis report of the National Research Programme NRP 72 Antimicrobial resistance, similar to the wastewater monitoring for Sars-CoV-2. Antibiotic resistance endangers human and animal health worldwide. In order to be able to introduce effective measures against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, it is important to have detailed knowledge of the current situation and how resistances are spreading in the environment.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.11.2022
Insects are strongly affected by climate change
Insects are strongly affected by climate change
In a study, 70 researchers from 19 countries around the world call for measures to better understand and reduce the impact of climate change on insects. Otherwise, they say, the chance of a sustainable future with healthy ecosystems will be drastically reduced. The researchers also outline ways to help insects in a warming world.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.11.2022
Green and blue food webs are wired differently
Green and blue food webs are wired differently
Terrestrial and aquatic food webs respond differently to changes in the environment. Understanding these differences is fundamental to identifying the species most important to an ecosystem and to effectively protecting biodiversity. This is shown by a study led by the research institutes Eawag and WSL and published in the journal Nature Communications .

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 02.11.2022
A comprehensive view of the world food system
A comprehensive view of the world food system
Agriculture practices that preserve resources? Enough food to make sure that everyone can enjoy a healthy and balanced diet? We still are a long way from that, finds Robert Finger - and outlines the most important fields of action to make the food system more sustainable. Today, the global system that supplies us with food is facing major challenges.

Environment - 31.10.2022
Vegetation Regulates Energy Exchange in the Arctic
Global warming is changing the Arctic by causing permafrost thaw, glacier melt, droughts, fires and changes in vegetation. These developments are strongly linked to the energy exchange between land and the atmosphere. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown that different plant communities in the tundra play a key role in this energy exchange but are not taken into account in climate models.

Environment - 28.10.2022
Brazil on the wrong track
Brazil on the wrong track
To protect tropical forests in Brazil, commodities traders have made voluntary commitments to avoid buying soybeans grown in areas that have recently been deforested. Two new studies reveal just how inadequate these guidelines are in protecting Brazil from deforestation and assess the potential effect of implementing the commitments on a much larger scale.

Environment - Chemistry - 24.10.2022
Accurately tracking how plastic biodegrades
Accurately tracking how plastic biodegrades
Researchers at ETH Zurich and Eawag have developed an approach to accurately record and fully track the biodegradation of plastics in soils. Modern agriculture uses a lot of plastic, especially in the form of mulch film that farmers use to cover field soils. This keeps the soils moist for crops, suppresses weeds and promotes crop growth.

Environment - 19.10.2022
Renewable cellulose-based fillers
Renewable cellulose-based fillers
The substitution of petrochemical materials with those obtained from renewable raw materials is an important step towards increasing sustainability.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.10.2022
How rusting iron removes arsenic from water
How rusting iron removes arsenic from water
In many regions of the world, groundwater is contaminated with arsenic of natural origin. The harmful substance can be filtered out of water with the help of iron. researchers have for the first time made visible exactly what happens in this process in a new type of experimental set-up. When metallic iron corrodes, i.e. rusts, iron oxides are formed that can strongly bind pollutants such as arsenic.

Environment - Chemistry - 12.10.2022
Accurately tracking how plastic biodegrades
Accurately tracking how plastic biodegrades
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed an approach to accurately record and fully track the biodegradation of plastics in soils. Modern agriculture uses a lot of plastic, especially in the form of mulch film that farmers use to cover field soils. This keeps the soils moist for crops, suppresses weeds and promotes crop growth.

Materials Science - Environment - 10.10.2022
Flexible solar cells with record efficiency of 22.2%
Flexible solar cells with record efficiency of 22.2%
One year after announcing an efficiency record, scientists have achieved a new mark of 22.2% for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film. Solar cells of this type are especially suited for applications on buildings, vehicles, satellites, airships, and mobile devices. researchers have - once again - improved the efficiency of CIGS flexible solar cells.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 10.10.2022
Non-native species are also beneficial to the ecosystem
Non-native species are also beneficial to the ecosystem
A team of scientists makes the case for reevaluating maligned non-native species. Awareness of non-native species - often called ''invasive'' - has vastly increased over the past fifty years, to the point where anyone with green conscience has heard of them and their negative effects, whether it is the zebra mussel or ragweed.
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