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Environment - Life Sciences - 15.02.2017
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation
If degraded and logged areas of tropical forests are left to nature, the populations of certain endangered tree species are not able to recover. This applies in particular to trees with large fruit where the seeds are distributed by birds, as ETH scientists have shown in a rainforest in India. In order to restore tropical rainforests, it is not enough to simply set up protected areas and leave them to their own devices.

Environment - 13.02.2017
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Tapping into underground urban heat islands
Cities are heat islands - not only above ground but below ground too, and therein lies the enormous potential to better harness this energy through geothermal heat exchangers.

Life Sciences - Environment - 10.02.2017
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
Explosion in species diversity due to hybridization
No less than 500 new species of cichlids, brightly coloured perch-like fish, evolved in Lake Victoria (East Africa) over the past 15,000 years - a record in the animal and plant world.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.01.2017
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Early onset of winter triggers evolution towards smaller snow voles in Graubünden
Adaptive evolution, i.e. genetic change via natural selection, plays a central role in how plant and animal populations guarantee their long-term survival. Although this process is well understood in breeding conditions and in the lab, it is still largely unclear how often and how rapidly it takes place under natural conditions.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.01.2017
Around Antarctica: ACE expedition completed its first leg
Around Antarctica: ACE expedition completed its first leg
The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) arrived yesterday in Australia after 30 days at sea.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.01.2017
Mapping the urban underground
Mapping the urban underground
An EPFL researcher has taken a methodology designed to improve underground urban planning around the world one step further.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.12.2016
Global warming disrupts fish stocks
Global warming disrupts fish stocks
The global catches of fishes would largely benefit from achieving the 1.5°C global warming target.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.12.2016
Intensification of Land Use Leads to the Same Species Everywhere
Intensification of Land Use Leads to the Same Species Everywhere
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) Intensive use of grasslands by humans reduces species diversity and makes the landscape more monotonous, so that the same species end up everywhere. Nature is then no longer able to provide us with many essential 'services', which range from soil formation for food production to pest control.

Environment - Physics - 29.11.2016
Simulations for More Efficient Power Stations
Simulations for More Efficient Power Stations
In most cases, electricity is produced when water is heated and transformed into vapour. Vapour bubbles in the water play a decisive role in this process by collecting in a layer at a heated wall.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.11.2016
Antarctic Snowscapes for Predicting the Weather
Antarctic Snowscapes for Predicting the Weather
EPFL scientists measured for the first time - at centimeter resolutions - how the snowscape of Antarctic ice in the sea changed, before and after a blizzard. This data will help build better weather models for the South Pole and the world's climate. EPFL scientists provided the first detailed measurements of how a blizzard affects snow cover on an Antarctic ice floe.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 24.10.2016
Preferentially Earth-sized planets with lots of water
Preferentially Earth-sized planets with lots of water
Computer simulations by astrophysicists at the University of Bern of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of low mass stars such as Proxima Centauri show that these planets are most likely to be roughly the size of the Earth and to contain large amounts of water.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.10.2016
Researching phytoplankton in zero gravity
Researching phytoplankton in zero gravity
Swiss researchers have used a parabolic flight to investigate the effects of weightlessness on biological and physical processes. On board was an experiment from ETH Zurich designed to understand the influence of gravity on the migratory behaviour of aquatic microorganisms. A high-flying and unusual experiment: 'We were able to test an important hypothesis: changes in relative gravity, which routinely occur in aquatic environments due to turbulence, have a significant impact on the behaviour of microorganisms,' reports Roman Stocker after the second Swiss zero-g research flight.

Environment - 19.10.2016
From trees to paper: how Swiss wood impacts the environment
From trees to paper: how Swiss wood impacts the environment
Wood has a largely favourable environmental effect. A study of the National Research Programme "Resource Wood" recommends using wood more widely as a source of energy and as a building material.

Life Sciences - Environment - 05.10.2016
Hydraulics is a key driver of microbial life in streams and rivers
Hydraulics is a key driver of microbial life in streams and rivers
A new study has found that hydraulics determines microbial lifestyles along streams and rivers, with important implications for river health, biodiversity, and water quality. In streams and rivers, bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms form tight-knit communities that feed the ecosystem, drive its biodiversity, and purify its water.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 29.09.2016
Swiss space research reaches for the sky
Swiss space research reaches for the sky
The Rosetta mission is coming to an end, but the next expeditions across our solar system are ready for lift-off, carrying with them a number of state-of-the-art devices made in Switzerland.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.09.2016
Fish Against Monster Worms
Fish Against Monster Worms
Eunice aphroditois, also known as the Bobbit worm, buries its long body deep in the sand, leaving only its powerful jaws protruding above the surface. It uses these to grab hold of unsuspecting prey and drag it down into its burrow within a fraction of a second. Biologists from Basel University have taken a closer look at the gruesome hunter and its prey and noticed a fascinating behavioral pattern: prey fish defend themselves against the monstrous worm by attacking it with water jets and forcing it to retreat.

Life Sciences - Environment - 12.09.2016
Ground squirrels use the sun to hide food
Ground squirrels use the sun to hide food
Jamie Samson and Marta Manser from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental 1Studies at UZH studied colonies of Cape ground squirrels ( Xerus inauris ) in the wild at the Kalahari Research Center in South Africa. The diurnal rodents temporarily store their food reserves in several hiding places.

Environment - 05.09.2016
New simulations of wind power generation
New simulations of wind power generation
ETH researcher Stefan Pfenninger and his colleague Iain Staffell from Imperial College London have developed new multi-decade simulations of wind power production in Europe. In doing so, they have uncovered significant distortions in the data used in the past, and have produced fresh simulations of wind power output with country-specific corrections.

Environment - Physics - 25.08.2016
An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy
An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy
25.08.16 - Solar energy can be stored by converting it into hydrogen. But current methods are too expensive and don't last long. Using commercially available solar cells and none of the usual rare metals, researchers at EPFL and CSEM have now designed a device that outperforms in stability, efficiency and cost.

Health - Environment - 10.08.2016
A Breakthrough in Combating Malaria with Odour-Baited Trap for Mosquitoes
A Breakthrough in Combating Malaria with Odour-Baited Trap for Mosquitoes
The use of a newly-developed mosquito trap incorporating human odour has resulted in a 70% decline in the population of the most significant malaria mosquito on the Kenyan island of Rusinga. In the following, the number of malaria infections declined by 30% according to a «Lancet»-study published today.