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Health - Pharmacology - 23.10.2020
School children benefit from preventive malaria treatment
A large study shows that preventive treatment of children with antimalarial drugs reduces clinical malaria and anaemia in sub-Saharan Africa. In several regions affected by the tropical disease malaria there are programmes in schools to preventively treat children with antimalarial drugs. An international consortium of researchers, including Michael Zimmermann, Professor of Human Nutrition at ETH Zurich, has now for the first time analysed the effectiveness of such programmes in a meta-analysis using individual data.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.10.2020
Multiple Sclerosis as the Flip Side of Immune Fitness
About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which - although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus - also attack brain tissue.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.10.2020
How bacteria reinforce their protective shield
How bacteria reinforce their protective shield
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a new mechanism by which bacteria ensure that their outer cell membrane remains intact and functional even under hostile conditions. This mechanism is important for the pathogen's survival in the host. The study provides new insights underlying pathogenic virulence.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.10.2020
Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations
Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations
A study by the Brain Research Institute at UZH reveals that early trauma leads to changes in blood metabolites - similarly in mice and humans. Experiments with mice have show that these potentially harmful effects on health are also passed to the next generation. The researchers have identified a biological mechanism by which traumatic experiences become embedded in germ cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.10.2020
Cells on the run
Cells on the run
Many cells in the body must pass through tissue, which sometimes requires them to get out of tight corners. An international research team co-led by ETH Zurich has now examined how cells recognise and escape from such bottlenecks. Among the results of the team's work are new pointers for how to improve immunotherapy.

Environment - Health - 15.10.2020
Green earplugs
Green earplugs
Cars, trains, planes: For two thirds of the European population, traffic noise is part of everyday life. However, the right environment can have a major impact on this nuisance, as Empa researchers have found out. Green spaces in urban areas help to make road and railroad noise less of a nuisance. Only in the case of aircraft noise does this seem counterproductive: the greener the surroundings, the more disturbing the aircraft noise.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.10.2020
Scientists home in on how cells are protected from premature aging
Scientists home in on how cells are protected from premature aging
A new study by EPFL researchers shows how RNA species called TERRA muster at the tip of chromosomes, where they help to prevent telomere shortening and premature cell aging. Molecules that accumulate at the tip of chromosomes are known to play a key role in preventing damage to our DNA. Now, researchers at EPFL have unraveled how these molecules home in on specific sections of chromosomes-a finding that could help to better understand the processes that regulate cell survival in aging and cancer.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.10.2020
Mechanical forces of biofilms could play role in infections
Studying bacterial biofilms, EPFL scientists have discovered that mechanical forces within them are sufficient to deform the soft material they grow on, e.g. biological tissues, suggesting a -mechanical- mode of bacterial infection. The vast majority of bacteria in the world live on surfaces by forming structures called -biofilms-.

Health - Social Sciences - 10.10.2020
HIV epidemic: Successful use of self-tests in rural Africa
HIV epidemic: Successful use of self-tests in rural Africa
Despite significant progress in prevention and therapy, millions of people still get infected with HIV every year. The main burden of HIV/AIDS falls on Africa. To contain the epidemic, innovative methods are needed to enable early diagnosis of all those affected. A Basel research group has now been able to significantly improve the success of "door-to-door" testing campaigns thanks to HIV self-tests.

Health - Social Sciences - 08.10.2020
HIV Self-Tests: Key Contributor to Ending HIV Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa
HIV Self-Tests: Key Contributor to Ending HIV Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa
HIV continues to be a major global health issue, with 1.7 million new infections in 2019 alone. In Africa, a part of the world that shoulders most of the HIV burden, home-based HIV testing is a promising solution to address the HIV epidemic. In two recent studies published in The Lancet HIV and the Journal of International AIDS Society, Swiss TPH and partners found that HIV self-tests during home-based testing campaigns significantly increased people's awareness of their HIV status, particularly in the most remote regions.

Health - 07.10.2020
Artificial lung helps investigate how COVID-19 causes blood clots
Artificial lung helps investigate how COVID-19 causes blood clots
Scientists at EPFL are using technology to better understand how coronavirus causes blood clots in some patients. They have developed a simplified model of a lung that lets them observe, for the first time, how the virus attacks the cells lining blood vessels. COVID-19 sometimes causes blood clots, although the exact incidence remains a mystery.

Pharmacology - Health - 06.10.2020
Colorectal cancer treatment: the winning combinations
Colorectal cancer treatment: the winning combinations
A technique developed by scientists from the University of Geneva and HUG has made it possible to identify in vitro and validate in vivo, an optimised combination of anticancer drugs that are more effective than chemotherapy and that do not have side effects. A schematic drawing of colon and colorectal carcinoma.

Health - Social Sciences - 01.10.2020
COVID-19: social dilemmas about protective measures
COVID-19: social dilemmas about protective measures
The psychosocial profile of people who resist adopting suitable protective behaviours against the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus provides valuable information about preventing epidemics. Preventive measures are spontaneously adopted by a large section of the population, but pockets of resistance do exist.

Materials Science - Health - 30.09.2020
How local forces deform the lipid membranes
How local forces deform the lipid membranes
ETH Zurich researchers have been able to show why biological cells can take on such an astonishing variety of shapes: it has to do with how the number and strength of  local forces acting on the cell membrane from within. This knowledge feeds into the development of better minimal model systems and artificial cells.

Health - Pharmacology - 30.09.2020
New research from Ticino on the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2
New research from Ticino on the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2
After the announcement, in May, of the first results of serological tests carried out on healthcare personnel in Ticino [ www.usi.ch/en/feeds/13622 ], significant data on the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 is now available, thanks to the analysis carried out - among others - by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, affiliated to USI) and Humabs BioMed (subsidiary of Vir Biotechnology), in close collaboration with hospitals and COVID-19 centers in Ticino (Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale EOC and Clinica Luganese Moncucco).

Health - Pharmacology - 28.09.2020
New technique for ultrafast tumour therapy
New technique for ultrafast tumour therapy
For the first time, researchers at the Centre for Proton Therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland have tested ultrafast, high-dose irradiation with protons. This new, experimental FLASH technique could revolutionise radiation therapy for cancer and save patients many weeks of treatment.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.09.2020
Recording thousands of nerve cell impulses at high resolution
Recording thousands of nerve cell impulses at high resolution
Researchers have developed a new generation of microelectrode-array chips for measuring nerve impulses, enabling studies of how thousands of nerve cells interact with each other. For over 15 years, ETH Professor Andreas Hierlemann and his group have been developing microelectrode-array chips that can be used to precisely excite nerve cells in cell cultures and to measure electrical cell activity.

Health - Social Sciences - 24.09.2020
Post-Lockdown: No Clustering of Coronavirus Infections in Zurich Schools prior to Summer Break
Post-Lockdown: No Clustering of Coronavirus Infections in Zurich Schools prior to Summer Break
The University of Zurich tested 2,500 schoolchildren in the Canton of Zurich to determine if they were infected during the period between the onset of the novel coronavirus and early June 2020. The preliminary results show that in the first stage of testing prior to the summer break, there was no clustering of coronavirus infections in schools in the Canton of Zurich.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2020
Researchers develop new method to print tiny, functional organs
Researchers develop new method to print tiny, functional organs
Researchers at EPFL have developed an approach to print tiny tissues that look and function almost like their full-sized counterpart. Measuring just a few centimeters across, the mini-tissues could allow scientists to study biological processes-and even test new treatment approaches-in ways that were previously not possible.

Environment - Health - 23.09.2020
Viruses could become harder to kill
Viruses could become harder to kill
A recent EPFL study shows that pathogenic viruses may be able to develop resistance to warm temperatures and some types of disinfectant. That - combined with global warming and more frequent and longer heat waves - could make it even harder to keep them from spreading.  We could soon see the day when people have to think twice before taking a swim in lakes hitherto considered healthy.