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Chemistry - Environment - 27.06.2022
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
Scientists have developed a new, PET-like plastic that is easily made from the non-edible parts of plants. The plastic is tough, heat-resistant, and a good barrier to gases like oxygen, making it a promising candidate for food packaging. Due to its structure, the new plastic can also be chemically recycled and degrade back to harmless sugars in the environment.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 24.06.2022
Climate warming causes new rivers to form on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet
Climate warming causes new rivers to form on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet
Using more than 25'000 satellite images, Andrew Tedstone and Horst Machguth, two researchers from the University of Freiburg, have observed that the runoff of water from the melting of the Greenland ice sheet has increased significantly in recent years. This phenomenon, caused by global warming, contributes to a 1 mm rise in sea level each year .

Life Sciences - Environment - 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 from ETH and Eawag have examined seawater to find not only new species of bacteria, but also previously unknown natural products that may one day prove beneficial as they report today. The oceans are teeming with countless forms of life, from the world's largest creature - the blue whale - to miniscule microorganisms.

Health - Environment - 20.06.2022
European map of aerosol pollution
European map of aerosol pollution
Researchers have measured the composition of fine dust at 22 locations in Europe. The result of this international study, led by the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, is a European map of the most important aerosol sources. The researchers have now published their findings in the journal Environment International .

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 16.06.2022
Responses to climate change: Carefully weigh up the consequences for water bodies
Responses to climate change: Carefully weigh up the consequences for water bodies
It is no secret that climate change has a serious impact on the quality and ecology of aquatic environments. Researchers at Eawag have revealed that human responses to climate change are just as impactful on our water systems - for example, in the areas of agriculture and hydropower. When thermometers in California recorded scorching temperatures in the summer of 2000, even the salmon in Klamath River felt the effects.

Microtechnics - Environment - 14.06.2022
A drone that can both fly and dive
A drone that can both fly and dive
A new dual drone can both fly and land on water to take aquatic samples and monitor water quality, for example. The drone was developed by researchers at Imperial College London and Empa and recently tested together with researchers at the aquatic research institute Eawag for the first time on Lake Zurich.

Environment - 09.06.2022
Drought-Exposure History Improves Recovery of Grassland Communities from Subsequent Drought
Drought-Exposure History Improves Recovery of Grassland Communities from Subsequent Drought
When a plant community is exposed to drought, the different species undergo evolutionary changes. An international study with UZH participation now shows that this leads to improved resilience to future drought stress over time. The exposure to drought during previous generations in the field increases complementarity between offspring of different grassland species and thus makes them more resilient to subsequent drought.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.06.2022
Scientists compile an inventory of endangered microorganisms
Scientists compile an inventory of endangered microorganisms
Cryospheric ecosystems are some of the oldest on the planet. scientists have found that the microorganisms living in them have a unique genetic signature. They performed an inventory of the microorganisms in these ecosystems and complied the information into a database, which will be a useful resource for future studies on climate change microbiology.

Environment - Economics / Business - 02.06.2022
New tool for emergency planning during extreme floods
New tool for emergency planning during extreme floods
The Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risks of the University of Bern shows that far greater floods are possible in Switzerland than previously assumed. These extreme events underscore the importance of supra-regional emergency planning. A new modeling tool is designed to help manage large floods. Even experts could not have imagined the extent of these floods: Nobody had expected the devastating storms of summer 2021 in Germany.

Environment - 02.06.2022
The consequences of climate change in the Alps are visible from space
The consequences of climate change in the Alps are visible from space
Global warming has a particularly pronounced impact on the Alpine region. Like the Arctic, this European mountain range is becoming greener. Writing , researchers from the University of Lausanne and the University of Basel have now used satellite data to show that vegetation above the tree line has increased in nearly 80% of the Alps.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 31.05.2022
Water treatment plants would be ready for the removal of nanoplastics
Water treatment plants would be ready for the removal of nanoplastics
The biologically active, slow-flow sand filters of lake water treatment would remove nanoplastics from the raw water very efficiently. This was shown both in the laboratory and in larger, realistic tests and modelling. It's a hot topic, at least on social media: tiny plastic particles allegedly end up not only in oceans and lakes, but also in drinking water - and, yes, even in bottled mineral water.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.05.2022
Unselfish behavior has evolutionary reasons
Unselfish behavior has evolutionary reasons
Altruistic behavior is often seen as an exclusively human characteristic. However, behavioral research has uncovered numerous examples of altruistic behavior in the animal kingdom. In a new study, researchers at the University of Bern show that animals that help others -selflessly- to raise their young generate an evolutionary advantage.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 24.05.2022
Tracking Down the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus
Tracking Down the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus
Changins/Wädenswil, 24. The tomato brown rugose fruit virus poses a new threat to Swiss agriculture - especially to tomatoes and peppers. Agroscope is playing a key role in controlling this quarantine organism in Switzerland. A newly created research group diagnoses submitted plant samples in the quarantine laboratory via a PCR test.

Environment - Microtechnics - 19.05.2022
A drone for ultrafast transitions between air and water
A drone for ultrafast transitions between air and water
A new robot is capable of switching from an underwater drone to an aerial vehicle in less than one second. The robot also features a suction disc inspired by the remora fish, which enables it to hitchhike on wet or dry moving objects to significantly reduce its power consumption. It is designed for biological and environmental monitoring in marine ecosystems such as surveying ocean pollution in the open sea as the scientist of Beihang University, Imperial College London and Empa point out in a new study published in Science Robotics.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 19.05.2022
Satellite Monitoring of Biodiversity Moves Within Reach
Satellite Monitoring of Biodiversity Moves Within Reach
Global biodiversity assessments require the collection of data on changes in plant biodiversity on an ongoing basis. Researchers from the universities of Zurich and Montréal have now shown that plant communities can be reliably monitored using imaging spectroscopy, which in the future will be possible via satellite.

Transport - Environment - 19.05.2022
How a cognitive bias is blocking the rise of electric cars
How a cognitive bias is blocking the rise of electric cars
A team from the University of Geneva shows that underestimating battery autonomy is a major psychological barrier to buying an electric car. What are the barriers to the adoption of electric cars? Although the main financial and technological obstacles have been removed, their market share still needs to increase.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 17.05.2022
New findings on the global cooling of 1627 BC
New findings on the global cooling of 1627 BC
An interdisciplinary study, in which the University of Bern played a major role, sheds new light on two extreme volcanic events and a subsequent global cooling in antiquity. With the help of a highly precise analysis of volcanic ash and sulphur in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, it became clear that the global cooling around 1627 BC was not attributable to the Thera volcano in Santorini, as previously assumed, but to a volcano in distant Alaska.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.05.2022
Failed eruptions are at the origin of copper deposits
Failed eruptions are at the origin of copper deposits
Scientists reveal a surprising mechanism in the formation of copper deposits, an essential metal for the energy transition. Copper is one of the most widely used metals on the planet today due to its electrical and thermal conduction properties. The greatest natural resources of this metal are the so-called "porphyry" deposits that come from magmas deep in the Earth.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.05.2022
Assess and predict the quality of drinking water
Assess and predict the quality of drinking water
Oliver Schilling is newly appointed Professor of Hydrogeology at the University of Basel, where he is setting up a research group that is also associated with the Eawag Water Resources and Drinking Water Department in Dübendorf. This dual affiliation is perfect, says Schilling. Oliver Schilling spends most of his working time at the University of Basel, where he has been gathering his research group around him as a new assistant professor of hydrogeology since the beginning of March.

Chemistry - Environment - 04.05.2022
Urine treatment: from trial and error to exciting innovation
Urine treatment: from trial and error to exciting innovation
What has been a purification process in wastewater treatment plants for decades can also be used decentrally or semi-centrally as a recycling process for nutrients. Early separation of "solid and liquid" plays a key role here. It allows for flexible solutions in terms of process technology, especially in the treatment of urine.
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