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Health - Life Sciences - 06.02.2024
A machine learning framework that encodes images like a retina
A machine learning framework that encodes images like a retina
Researchers have developed a machine learning approach to compressing image data with greater accuracy than learning-free computation methods, with applications for retinal implants and other sensory prostheses. A major challenge to developing better neural prostheses is sensory encoding: transforming information captured from the environment by sensors into neural signals that can be interpreted by the nervous system.

Life Sciences - 06.02.2024
Spiky insight: How red blood cells deform
Spiky insight: How red blood cells deform
Researchers have observed living red blood cells transforming into spiky "echinocytes" in real time when treated with high concentrations of ibuprofen using holotomographic microscopy and displayed them in 3D renderings. Blood is indeed "a juice of rarest quality." What the poet and natural scientist Goethe already suspected can now actually be visualized using innovative imaging techniques.

Physics - Health - 05.02.2024
Visualising multiple sclerosis with a new MRI procedure
Visualising multiple sclerosis with a new MRI procedure
The loss of myelin sheaths in the brain is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed an MRI method that maps the condition of this nerve insulation layer more accurately than before. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that usually leads to permanent disabilities.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 02.02.2024
Scientists successfully simulate protein complex that initiates fertilisation
Scientists successfully simulate protein complex that initiates fertilisation
Researchers at ETH Zurich recently developed highly realistic simulations of the proteins on sperm and egg cells coupling together before they fuse. These findings enabled the research team to solve several mysteries of fertilisation at once, which could help to accelerate development of more targeted infertility treatments.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.02.2024
Resistant bacteria can remain in the body for years
Resistant bacteria can remain in the body for years
Fighting disease-causing bacteria becomes more difficult when antibiotics stop working. People with pre-existing conditions in particular can carry resistant germs and suffer from repeated infections for years, according to a study by the University and University Hospital of Basel. Pneumonia, urinary tract infections, sepsis: diseases like these can become fatal without antibiotics.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.02.2024
'Genomic time machine' reveals secrets of our DNA
’Genomic time machine’ reveals secrets of our DNA
Researchers reveal a novel method to uncover bits of our genetic blueprint that come from ancient genetic parasites, offering fresh insights into human evolution and health. The human genome, an intricate tapestry of genetic information for life, has proven to be a treasure trove of strange features.

Physics - Chemistry - 31.01.2024
How to make bright quantum dots even brighter
How to make bright quantum dots even brighter
Researchers at Empa and ETH have developed methods for making perovskite quantum dots faster and more efficient emitters, thereby significantly improving their brightness. This is relevant for applications in displays as well as in quantum technologies. Quantum dots are a kind of artificial atom: just a few nanometres in size and made of semiconductor materials, they can emit light of a specific colour or even single photons, which is important for quantum technologies.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.01.2024
Firing Nerve Fibers in the Brain Are Supplied with Energy on Demand
Firing Nerve Fibers in the Brain Are Supplied with Energy on Demand
To rapidly transmit electrical signals in the brain, the long nerve fibers are insulated by specialized cells called oligodendrocytes. These cells also respond to the electrical signals of active nerve fibers and provide them with energy on demand, as researchers have discovered. If this process, regulated by potassium, is disabled in mice, the nerve fibers are severely damaged as the animals age - resembling the defects of neurodegenerative diseases.

Health - 31.01.2024
COVID-19: How effective was contact tracing?
COVID-19: How effective was contact tracing?
Based on data from Geneva, Switzerland, a team from the University of Geneva and the HUG assessed the effectiveness of contact tracing in controlling the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland, like many other countries, relied on contact tracing to identify people likely to have been contaminated by an infected acquaintance.

Microtechnics - Environment - 30.01.2024
Robot swings its way to unexplored treetops
Robot swings its way to unexplored treetops
It abseils from a height and swings around obstacles: robot Avocado will one day manoeuvre through the canopy of the rainforest and collect data for researchers about this hard-to-reach habitat. It's called Avocado and does actually look a bit like one: currently being developed by researcher on, the innovative robot has a robust housing similar in shape to the green fruit.

Electroengineering - Microtechnics - 30.01.2024
Artificial muscles - lighter, safer, more robust
Artificial muscles - lighter, safer, more robust
Researchers at ETH Zurich have recently developed artificial muscles for robot motion. Their solution offers several advantages over previous technologies: it can be used wherever robots need to be soft rather than rigid or where they need more sensitivity when interacting with their environment. Many roboticists dream of building robots that are not just a combination of metal or other hard materials and motors but also softer and more adaptable.

Health - 29.01.2024
Reducing Health Inequities in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Reducing Health Inequities in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Women living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are six times more likely to develop cervical cancer than those who are HIV negative. To tackle this issue, Swiss TPH together with partners developed the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Care Cascade - a framework to enhance cervical cancer screening programmes for women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Materials Science - Innovation - 29.01.2024
Sound-powered sensors stand to save millions of batteries
Sound-powered sensors stand to save millions of batteries
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a sensor that utilises energy from sound waves to control electronic devices. This could one day save millions of batteries. Sensors that monitor infrastructure, such as bridges or buildings, or are used in medical devices, such as prostheses for the deaf, require a constant supply of power.

Physics - 29.01.2024
Turning glass into a 'transparent' light-energy harvester
Turning glass into a ’transparent' light-energy harvester
Physicists propose a novel way to create photoconductive circuits, where the circuit is directly patterned onto a glass surface with femtosecond laser light. The new technology may one day be useful for harvesting energy, while remaining transparent to light and using a single material. What happens when you expose tellurite glass to femtosecond laser light?

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.01.2024
Glacier melting destroys important climate data archive
Glacier melting destroys important climate data archive
As part of the Ice Memory initiative, PSI researchers, with colleagues from the University of Fribourg and Ca' Foscari University of Venice as well as the Institute of Polar Sciences of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), analysed ice cores drilled in 2018 and 2020 from the Corbassière glacier at Grand Combin in the canton of Valais.

Environment - History / Archeology - 26.01.2024
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone stresses European forests
Ozone causes visible damage to the foliage of European deciduous trees, as shown by a large-scale study led by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. The researchers found that some plants under certain environmental condition react particularly sensitively to ozone, which is toxic at ground level.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 25.01.2024
'Mini-placentas' shed light on early events that are key for a successful pregnancy
’Mini-placentas’ shed light on early events that are key for a successful pregnancy
The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby, but its early interactions with a mother's uterus remain an enigma.

Computer Science - 25.01.2024
Video game disorders: how to identify at-risk gamers?
Video game disorders: how to identify at-risk gamers?
Researchers from the Universities of Bordeaux and Lausanne have just published a study showing that the time spent playing video games has no influence on the quality of life of adult gamers.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.01.2024
How gases travel laterally through a lake
How gases travel laterally through a lake
At night or during cold winter days, lake water cools faster near the shore than in the middle of the lake. This creates a current that connects the shallow shore region with the deeper part of the lake. An international team led by researchers were able to show for the first time that this horizontal circulation transports gases such as oxygen and methane.

Pharmacology - Health - 24.01.2024
Innovative dengue vaccine successfully tested
Innovative dengue vaccine successfully tested
Unisanté (University of Lausanne) has conducted a clinical study on a new type of vaccine that induces cellular immunity to combat dengue fever. The results have just been published in The Lancet eBioMedicine. They are positive and encourage further investigation. This approach is also promising for other diseases.
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