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Transport - Health - 17.12.2020
Nighttime aircraft noise can be fatal
Nighttime aircraft noise can be fatal
Short-term disturbances caused by aircraft noise at night can lead to cardiovascular death within hours. This is shown in analyses by a team of researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Empa. The researchers used a dataset covering the years 2000 to 2015 to investigate how mortality rates in the Zurich airport area are related to acute nighttime aircraft noise exposure; they recently published their findings in the European Heart Journal.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.12.2020
Digipredict digital twin will predict the evolution of Covid-19
Digipredict digital twin will predict the evolution of Covid-19
Under a cross-disciplinary program spearheaded by EPFL, scientists will develop an AI-based system that can predict whether Covid-19 patients will develop severe cardiovascular complications and, in the longer term, detect the likely onset of inflammatory disease. Covid-19 comes with a range of symptoms - from a sore throat and the loss of taste to more serious ones like lung failure.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2020
A data-driven approach to identify risk profiles and protective drugs in COVID-19
A study performed in Ticino between Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC), USI Universitą della Svizzera italiana and Universitą Vita-Salute San Raffaele (UniSR, Milan, Italy) has shown how drugs against hypertension can reduce by more than 60% the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients. The multidisciplinary study concerned 576 patients admitted to the EOC during the first wave of the epidemic, and was published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Health - Economics / Business - 09.12.2020
Grasping exponential growth
Grasping exponential growth
Most people underestimate exponential growth, including when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus. The ability to grasp the magnitude of exponential growth depends on the way in which it is communicated. Using the right framing helps to understand the benefit of mitigation measures. The coronavirus outbreak offered the public a crash course in statistics, with terms like doubling time, logarithmic scales, R factor, rolling averages, and excess mortality now on everyone's tongue.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2020
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
A number of types of cancer are prone to adapt to targeted treatment, enabling resistance. Prof. Mark Rubin, Department for BioMedical Research and Bern Center for Precision Medicine, together with colleagues from the Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Manchester have now published a 'Perspective' in the journal Molecular Cell.

Health - 08.12.2020
Digital data reveal new pandemic dynamics in 17th-century Venice
Digital data reveal new pandemic dynamics in 17th-century Venice
Researchers at EPFL have used digitized historical records to provide novel insights into the spread of the bubonic plague in Venice, Italy. The COVID-19 pandemic has been characterized by a great deal of fear and uncertainty, as reliable data required to make key healthcare and policy decisions are often difficult and costly to obtain.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Lung bacteria defend against pneumonia
Lung bacteria defend against pneumonia
Commensal bacteria confer a prominent protective role against invading bacterial in mucosal surfaces, the major entry port for microbial pathogens. A research team of UNIGE shows that probiotics could be an alternative to antibiotics for treating respiratory illnesses. In healthy organisms, commensal bacteria, which live inside the host without harming it, provide a competitive barrier against invading bacterial pathogens.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Magnetic bacteria as micropumps
Magnetic bacteria as micropumps
Scientists use magnetic bacteria to control liquids at the micro level. They are already thinking about using them in the human bloodstream for precision delivery of cancer drugs to a tumour. Cancer drugs have side effects, so for many years, scientists have been exploring ways to transport the active substances to a tumour in the body as precisely as possible.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.12.2020
Seventeen genetic abnormalities that cause brain aneurysms
Seventeen genetic abnormalities that cause brain aneurysms
By studying the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people, scientists from UNIGE, HUG and the University of Utrecht discovered the genetic basis of intracranial aneurysms.  Nearly three percent of the world's population is at risk of developing an intracranial aneurysm, a localized dilation of a blood vessel forming a fragile pocket.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.12.2020
Quick and sensitive identification of multidrug-resistant germs
Quick and sensitive identification of multidrug-resistant germs
Researchers from the University of Basel have developed a sensitive testing system that allows the rapid and reliable detection of resistance in bacteria. The system is based on tiny, functionalized cantilevers that bend due to binding of sample material. In the analyses, the system was able to detect resistance in a sample quantity equivalent to 1-10 bacteria.

Health - Computer Science - 03.12.2020
AI now sees and hears COVID in your lungs
AI now sees and hears COVID in your lungs
DeepChest and DeepBreath, new deep learning algorithms developed at EPFL that identify patterns of COVID-19 in lung images and breath sounds, may help in the fight against other respiratory diseases and the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance. For Dr Mary-Anne Hartley, a medical doctor and researcher in EPFL's intelligent Global Health group (iGH), 2020 has been relentless.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.12.2020
Lung-on-chip provides new insight on response to early TB infection
Developing a "lung-on-chip" model, EPFL scientists have uncovered new insights on the body's response to early tuberculosis infections. The findings reveal the early events that take place during tuberculosis infection, and provide a model for future research into respiratory and other infections. Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings published in eLife.

Pharmacology - Health - 30.11.2020
New cancer-fighting method leverages the mechanical force of T cells
New cancer-fighting method leverages the mechanical force of T cells
Scientists have developed a cancer treatment method that destroys tumor cells using the mechanical force of our bodies- own T cells. They have just completed a proof of concept for their novel immunotherapy approach. Immunotherapy is a promising weapon in the fight against cancer. It has proven to be much more effective than chemotherapy and radiotherapy in treatment of some cancers.

Transport - Health - 27.11.2020
Airplane noise at night can trigger cardiovascular death
Airplane noise at night can trigger cardiovascular death
For the first time, a study demonstrated that loud night-time noise from airplanes can trigger a cardiovascular death within two hours. Researchers from the University of Basel, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and partners compared mortality data with acute night-time noise exposure around Zurich airport between 2000 and 2015.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Foreign vs. own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells friend from foe
How do molecules involved in activating our immune system discriminate between our own DNA and foreign pathogens? Researchers from the Thomä group, in collaboration with the EPFL, deciphered the structural and functional basis of a DNA-sensing molecule when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA, providing crucial insights into the recognition of self vs.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2020
Foreign vs own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells the difference
Scientists at EPFL and the Friedrich Miescher Institute have used cryo-electron microscopy to explain how a DNA-sensing biomolecule that is key to our innate immunity response is inactivated when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA. A biomolecule that gained considerable attention over the past few years is cGAS, a "DNA sensor" that is involved in kickstarting immune responses in the body.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.11.2020
Iron Infusion Proves Effective to Treat Anaemia in Rural Africa
Iron Infusion Proves Effective to Treat Anaemia in Rural Africa
Iron-deficiency anaemia is a major concern in low-income settings, especially for women. In a new study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and partners published yesterday in The Lancet Global Health, researchers found that iron infusion was feasible, safe and in contrast to the standard iron-deficiency anaemia treatment of oral iron tablets, highly effective in Tanzania.

Health - Environment - 24.11.2020
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
Temperature inversions or Saharan dust intrusions can favor the presence of fine particles in the air. Their high concentration can aggravate the consequences of COVID-19. The correlation between the high concentration of fine particles and the severity of influenza waves is well known to epidemiologists.

Health - Computer Science - 23.11.2020
Virtual reality helps measure vulnerability to stress
Behavioral scientists at EPFL have developed a virtual reality test that assesses a person's vulnerability to stress while exploring immersive environments. The resulting model offers the field of stress research one of the first such tools that does not rely on subjective evaluations. We all react to stress in different ways.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.11.2020
Gut-brain axis influences multiple sclerosis
Gut-brain axis influences multiple sclerosis
A Basel-led international research team has discovered a connection between the intestinal flora and sites of inflammation in the central nervous system in multiple sclerosis. A specific class of immune cell plays a central role in this newly identified gut-brain axis. The discovery could pave the way for new treatments for MS that target the intestinal flora.