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Environment - Life Sciences - 10.08.2022
How best to promote biodiversity in vineyards
How best to promote biodiversity in vineyards
Researchers at the University of Bern have investigated how organic, biodynamic and conventional management in vineyards affects insect fauna. They were able to show that organic - and to a lesser extent biodynamic - management provides better habitat conditions for insects than conventionally managed vineyards.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.08.2022
Hydrogel keeps vaccines alive
Hydrogel keeps vaccines alive
Most vaccines require constant refrigeration during shipment to remain effective. An international research team led by ETH Zurich has now developed a special hydrogel that vastly improves the shelf life of vaccines, even without refrigeration. The development could save many lives and lower the cost of cold chains.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.08.2022
Low addiction risk with medical use of ketamine
Low addiction risk with medical use of ketamine
By demonstrating that ketamine induces only a brief increase in dopamine and does not alter neuronal communication, a team from the UNIGE suggests that its therapeutic use may be safe. Commonly used in medicine as an anaesthetic, ketamine is also increasingly prescribed to relieve depressive symptoms.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.08.2022
First map of immune system connections reveals new therapeutic opportunities
First map of immune system connections reveals new therapeutic opportunities
Researchers of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and ETH Zurich have created the first full connectivity map of the human immune system, showing how immune cells communicate with each other and ways to modulate these pathways in disease. The immune system is made up of specialised cells, some of which individually travel through the body to scan for signs of injury or disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.08.2022
Improved COVID-19 vector vaccine candidate
Improved COVID-19 vector vaccine candidate
Scientists at the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) and the University of Bern report on a Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV)-vectored COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Their work shows that intramuscular immunization of mice with VSV-vectored COVID-19 vaccines is inducing strong antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein if the vector has been complemented with a specific protein.

Life Sciences - 27.07.2022
Brain stimulation improves motor skill learning at older age
Brain stimulation improves motor skill learning at older age
Non-invasive brain stimulation can restore optimal motor skill acquisition in people with diminished learning capabilities, e.g. due to age. The study was carried out by scientists at EPFL. Even though we don't think about it, every movement we make in our daily life essentially consists of a sequence of smaller actions in a specific order.

Life Sciences - Environment - 21.07.2022
High-speed storage of CO2 discovered in bacteria
High-speed storage of CO2 discovered in bacteria
The steadily worsening climate crisis caused by the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere makes the search for ideas to store CO2 increasingly important. Prof. Ben Engel's team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel together with colleagues from the Universities of Frankfurt and Marburg, has now shed light on the structure of an enzyme that reveals a new way of storing CO2.

Life Sciences - 19.07.2022
Cells Are Smarter Than Thought
Cells Are Smarter Than Thought
Humans make decisions based on various sensory information which is integrated into a holistic percept by the brain. But how do single cells make decisions? Much more autonomously than previously thought, as researchers from the University of Zurich have now shown. Cells base their decisions not only on outside signals like growth factors, but also on information they receive from inside the cell.

Life Sciences - 19.07.2022
Computer genetic metrics of fly brain reveal sex differences
Computer genetic metrics of fly brain reveal sex differences
Thanks to genetic tools that allow computers to accurately count neurons from microscopy images, researchers have estimated with unprecedented accuracy the number of neurons and other types of cells in the brain of fruit fly larvae-and discovered that females have substantially more neurons than males.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.07.2022
Virtual fish instead of animal testing
Virtual fish instead of animal testing
As part of a new national research programme that aims to replace animal experiments in research, the National Science Foundation is supporting a project at Eawag. This opens up new possibilities for determining the toxicity of chemical substances based solely on tests with cultured cells and computer models.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.07.2022
Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 mutations thanks to wastewater sampling and bioinformatics
A study published today in Nature Microbiology highlights the great advantage of wastewater monitoring as being rapid, unbiased and cost-effective: the detection of genomic variants of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater offers an early alert and can be based on fewer samples as compared to clinical samples. The bioinformatics tool developed by the groups of Niko Beerenwinkel and Tanja Stadler (ETH, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering) in collaboration with Eawag and EPFL identifies variants of concern even at low abundance.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.07.2022
Diabetes: a step closer to a life without insulin
Diabetes: a step closer to a life without insulin
A team from the University of Geneva reveals how the S100A9 protein improves metabolism of insulin-dependent diabetics by avoiding the deleterious effects of insulin. People with a severe form of diabetes, where the beta cells of the pancreas do not produce or no longer produce enough insulin, have no choice but to inject themselves regularly with artificial insulin in order to survive.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.07.2022
Also dogs develop malignant lymphoma
Also dogs develop malignant lymphoma
A study conducted by scientists at the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated with USI and a member of Bios+) in collaboration with researchers specialized in veterinary oncology at the Universities of Turin and Bologna, identified the most frequent mutations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), one of the most frequent tumors in both humans and dogs, opening new therapeutic opportunities.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.07.2022
Severe flu risk as immune cells swap with age
Severe flu risk as immune cells swap with age
Researchers found that in mice, long-lived embryonic macrophages in the lungs die upon aging and during infection and are replaced by inflammatory bone marrow-derived macrophages. This causes severe disease progression when infected with viral flu. Lung infections with the influenza virus or a coronavirus more frequently result in severe disease progression in older people.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.07.2022
Copper leads to protein aggregation
Copper leads to protein aggregation
Copper exposure in the environment and the protein alpha-synuclein in the human brain could play an important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. A team from Empa and the University of Limerick was able to show how the protein takes on an unusual shape when exposed to large amounts of copper ions.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.07.2022
Making CRISPR hype more of a reality
The latest CRISPR-based genome editing systems function more like molecular taxis rather than a pair of molecular scissors. This makes them much safer for patients who will soon benefit from gene therapies, as Eric Aird explains. This year we celebrate 10 years of genome editing with CRISPR. The system is often referred to as molecular scissors, and this designation is quite accurate for its first applications.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.07.2022
The beauty and benefits of biodiversity
The beauty and benefits of biodiversity
Biodiversity is beautiful, but it-s also vitally important. researchers are getting to the heart of how species diversity and genetic diversity evolve - and why we must fight to preserve them. Spring is synonymous with bright yellow dandelions, lush green fields and cloudless blue skies, a captivating combination of colours that sends many people into raptures of delight.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.06.2022
With a hydrogel against black skin cancer
With a hydrogel against black skin cancer
Researchers at the University of Bern have developed a therapy option that activates the body's own defense system against black skin cancer. Components of a bacterium are embedded in gel and applied directly to the area of the tumor. In the model, the gel was shown to reduce tumor growth, inhibit its spread to other organs and thereby prolong survival.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 22.06.2022
Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products
Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products
Using DNA data, researchers have examined seawater to find not only new species of bacteria, but also previously unknown natural products that may one day prove beneficial. The oceans are teeming with countless forms of life, from the world's largest creature - the blue whale - to miniscule microorganisms.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.06.2022
Neutralizing antibodies control bacterial infection
Neutralizing antibodies control bacterial infection
University of Basel researchers have discovered neutralizing antibodies which prevent bacterial infection or bring them to a halt. Only changes in the antibody docking sites on the bacterial cell surface enables the pathogen to evade this effective immune defense. Bartonella are bacteria that are transmitted from blood-sucking insects to mammals, including humans.
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