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Physics - Materials Science - 19.04.2024
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Energy scientists unravel the mystery of gold's glow
Researchers have developed the first comprehensive model of the quantum-mechanical effects behind photoluminescence in thin gold films; a discovery that could drive the development of solar fuels and batteries. Luminescence, or the emission of photons by a substance exposed to light, has been known to occur in semiconductor materials like silicon for hundreds of years.

Physics - 18.04.2024
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Researchers at ETH Zurich have studied topological effects in an artificial solid, making surprising observations. The new insights into topological pumping could be used for quantum technologies in the future. In principle, one shouldn't compare apples to oranges. However, in topology, which is a branch of mathematics, one has to do just that.

Psychology - Health - 18.04.2024
Happily ever after
Happily ever after
Many people aspire to a successful partnership. But is this success determined by destiny, or does it result from working on the relationship? Researchers from the University of Basel have investigated the role of people's inner convictions on how they approach a relationship and how satisfaction develops over time.

Economics - Health - 18.04.2024
CEOs' Human Concern Translates into Higher Stock Price
CEOs’ Human Concern Translates into Higher Stock Price
Compassionate leadership has tangible benefits: CEOs' expressions of empathy correlate with positive stock performance, a study led by the University of Zurich shows. The researchers analyzed data from conference calls between CEOs and financial analysts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unprecedented financial crisis.

Life Sciences - 18.04.2024
Perfect balance: How the brain fine-tunes its sensitivity
Perfect balance: How the brain fine-tunes its sensitivity
A sensitive perception of the environment is crucial for guiding our behavior. However, an overly sensitive response of the brain's neural circuits to stimuli can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy. University of Basel researchers report in the journal Nature how neuronal networks in the mouse brain are fine-tuned.

History / Archeology - Religions - 18.04.2024
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
On behalf of Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, researchers examined the beginnings of the Raiffeisen movement in Switzerland. Their focus was on antisemitism as well as Raiffeisen during National Socialism. Raiffeisen Group in Switzerland today has 219 cooperative Raiffeisen banks. It is based on the cooperative movement started by F.W. Raiffeisen in Germany around 1860.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 18.04.2024
An ink for 3D-printing flexible devices without mechanical joints
An ink for 3D-printing flexible devices without mechanical joints
Researchers are targeting the next generation of soft actuators and robots with an elastomer-based ink for 3D printing objects with locally changing mechanical properties, eliminating the need for cumbersome mechanical joints. For engineers working on soft robotics or wearable devices, keeping things light is a constant challenge: heavier materials require more energy to move around, and - in the case of wearables or prostheses - cause discomfort.

Environment - 17.04.2024
Understanding carbon release from the tundra
Understanding carbon release from the tundra
The warming climate shifts the dynamics of tundra environments and makes them release trapped carbon, according to a new study published in Nature. These changes could transform tundras from carbon sinks into a carbon source, exacerbating the effects of climate change. Open-top chambers (OTCs) in Latnjajaure, Sweden provide a controlled environment to study simulated warming of the tundra ecosystem.

Health - 17.04.2024
How data provided by fitness trackers and smartphones can help people with MS
How data provided by fitness trackers and smartphones can help people with MS
Monitoring and treating a case of multiple sclerosis requires reliable and long-term data on how the disease is progressing in the person in question. Fitness trackers and smartphones can supply this data, as a research team led by ETH Zurich has now shown. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an insidious disease.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 16.04.2024
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
Gaia spots a large dormant black hole in our Galaxy
A high-mass stellar black hole has been discovered in preliminary data from the Gaia satellite by an international team led by astronomers from the University of Geneva. Wading through the inestimable wealth of data from ESA's Gaia mission, a team of scientists, including astronomers from the University of Geneva , uncovered a ''sleeping'' giant.

Materials Science - Health - 16.04.2024
Finally friendly fibers
Finally friendly fibers
Rain jackets, swimming trunks or upholstery fabrics: Textiles with water-repellent properties require chemical impregnation. Although fluorine-containing PFAS chemicals are effective, they are also harmful to human health and accumulate in the environment. researchers are now developing a process with alternative substances that can be used to produce environmentally friendly water-repellent textile fibers.

Life Sciences - 16.04.2024
Twisted pollen tubes induce infertility
Twisted pollen tubes induce infertility
Plants with multiple sets of chromosomes have advantages over their relatives with a double set. But why they often start out infertile was only partially understood. Biologists at ETH Zurich have now discovered a new reason for the initial difficulties. Most mammals and humans have a double set of chromosomes - and as a rule, plants do, too: one set comes from the father, the other from the mother.

Astronomy / Space - 15.04.2024
How Pluto got its heart
How Pluto got its heart
The mystery of how Pluto got a giant heart-shaped feature on its surface has finally been solved by an international team of astrophysicists led by the University of Bern. The team is the first to successfully reproduce the unusual shape with numerical simulations, attributing it to a giant and slow oblique-angle impact.

Environment - 15.04.2024
Tropical forests can't recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Tropical forests can’t recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Natural forest regeneration is hailed as a cost-effective way to restore biodiversity and sequester carbon. However, the fragmentation of tropical forests has restricted the movement of large birds limiting their capacity to disperse seeds and restore healthy forests. New research from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich illustrates a critical barrier to natural regeneration of tropical forests.

Innovation - Research Management - 15.04.2024
Research has lost none of its innovative drive
Research has lost none of its innovative drive
A high-profile study made headlines in 2023 stating that the scientific and innovation system is producing less and less completely new knowledge. Researchers at the University of Basel are now refuting this claim, at least for patents: It is based on a measurement error. The discovery of mRNA in the 1960s was groundbreaking.

Chemistry - Environment - 12.04.2024
Will plastics soon be easier to degrade?
Will plastics soon be easier to degrade?
A research team has developed a new type of polymer, the main component of plastics, which is more easily degradable than conventional materials. Mechanical treatment such as grinding, combined with the use of an alkaline solution, is all that's needed to facilitate chemical recycling and reduce environmental impact .

Health - Life Sciences - 11.04.2024
A new tool for tracing the family trees of cells
A new tool for tracing the family trees of cells
Researchers have developed GEMLI, a pioneering tool that could democratize and vastly improve how we study the journey of cells from their embryonic state through to specialized roles in the body, as well as their changes in cancer and other diseases. In the intricate dance of life, where cells multiply and diversify to form the different parts of organisms, understanding each cell's origin can be crucial.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.04.2024
The genesis of our cellular skeleton, image by image
The genesis of our cellular skeleton, image by image
Scientists have reconstructed for the first time a film of the assembly of the human centriole, one of the essential structures that constitute our cells. Cells contain various specialised structures - such as the nucleus, mitochondria or peroxisomes - known as "organelles''. Tracing their genesis and determining their structure is fundamental to understanding cell function and the pathologies linked to their dysfunction.

Environment - Architecture - 10.04.2024
What can cities do to promote acceptance of densification?
What can cities do to promote acceptance of densification?
Swiss cities are more likely to accept densification when densification projects provide affordable housing and green spaces compared to densification that is implemented through reduced regulations for housing construction. By prioritizing a socio-ecological densification, extensive planning procedures and delays might be minimized.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.04.2024
Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere
Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere
Microplastic particles can be found in the most remote ocean regions on earth. In Antarctica, pollution levels are even higher than previously assumed. This is one finding of a recent study involving researchers from the University of Basel. It's not the first study on microplastics in Antarctica that researchers from the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute (AWI) have conducted.
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