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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.

Materials Science - Innovation - 04.04.2024
Airy cellulose from a 3D printer
Airy cellulose from a 3D printer
Ultra-light, thermally insulating and biodegradable: Cellulose-based aerogels are versatile. researchers have succeeded in 3D printing the natural material into complex shapes that could one day serve as precision insulation in microelectronics or as personalized medical implants. At first glance, biodegradable materials, inks for 3D printing and aerogels don't seem to have much in common.

Innovation - Physics - 27.03.2024
New process for the production of semiconductors
New process for the production of semiconductors
The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Finnish company PiBond to collaborate in the commercialization of advanced EUVásemiconductor lithography products.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 18.03.2024
Two artificial intelligences talk to each other
Two artificial intelligences talk to each other
A team from the University of Geneva has developed an AI capable of learning a task solely on the basis of verbal instructions. And to do the same with a 'sister' AI. Performing a new task based solely on verbal or written instructions, and then describing it to others so that they can reproduce it, is a cornerstone of human communication that still resists artificial intelligence (AI).

Environment - Innovation - 04.03.2024
Cost of direct air carbon capture to remain higher than hoped
Cost of direct air carbon capture to remain higher than hoped
The cost of removing large quantities of CO2 from the air will fall in the medium term, but not as much as previously hoped. This is the conclusion reached by researchers on the basis of new calculations. Efforts to reduce carbon emissions should therefore continue at pace, says the research team. Switzerland plans to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by no later than 2050.

Materials Science - Innovation - 01.03.2024
Turning waste into gold
Turning waste into gold
Researchers have recovered the precious metal from electronic waste. Their highly sustainable new method is based on a protein fibril sponge, which the scientists derive from whey, a food industry byproduct. Transforming base materials into gold was one of the elusive goals of the alchemists of yore.

Health - Innovation - 27.02.2024
Finding and blocking infection routes in hospitals
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals often became hubs of infection. Researchers from ETH Zurich, EPFL and the ISI Foundation are developing a wearable tracking system for healthcare facilities that can identify the risks of infections. Initial tests in Switzerland and Africa show its potential. Hospital-acquired infections are an immense problem.

Computer Science - Innovation - 22.02.2024
AI-driven method helps improve quality assurance for wind turbines
An international collaboration between EPFL and the University of Glasgow has led to an advanced machine-learning algorithm to effectively detect concealed manufacturing defects in wind turbine composite blades - before turbines are put into service. Faulty wind turbine blades can incur huge costs for the companies that operate them, especially if the defects go unnoticed until it's too late.

Materials Science - Innovation - 09.02.2024
Innovative coating prevents limescale formation
Innovative coating prevents limescale formation
Wherever hot water flows, limescale is never far away. In households, this is a nuisance; in thermal power stations, it's an expensive problem. Now researchers at ETH Zurich have found an answer. Hot water tanks, washing machines, kettles: limescale forms in every domestic appliance that comes into contact with (hot) water - especially in areas where the water is hard, meaning high in calcium.

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.