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Life Sciences - 29.05.2024 - Today
A key protein preserves motor ability during aging
A new study by scientists shows that age-related decline in motor ability can be countered in fruit flies by enhancing the expression of the protein Trio, suggesting potential treatments for age-related movement decline. As we age, we suffer a noticeable decline in motor ability, which affects our quality of life and independence.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.05.2024
Better archiving of genetic data
Better archiving of genetic data
Every year, researchers upload vast amounts of genetic information to publicly accessible databases.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 27.05.2024
Cultural Networks of Central African Hunter-Gatherers Have Ancient Origin
Cultural Networks of Central African Hunter-Gatherers Have Ancient Origin
Extensive social networks between different hunter-gatherer groups in the Congo Basin existed long before agriculture arrived in the region. This continent-wide exchange preserved a cultural diversity that evolved thousands of years ago, as researchers from the University of Zurich show based on musical instruments, specialized vocabulary and genetic information.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.05.2024
Alzheimer’s disease risk: hyperactivation of memory circuits
By exploring the effects of sport on memory, scientists from the University of Geneva have discovered compensatory mechanisms in the brains of young individuals at genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The benefits of physical activity on health are widely accepted, and those on cognitive capacity are increasingly well known.

Life Sciences - 27.05.2024
How and why different cell division strategies evolve
How and why different cell division strategies evolve
Scientists, in collaboration with researchers at EMBL Heidelberg, have discovered that a group of marine protists (eukaryotic organisms) closely related to animals use open or closed mitosis based on their life cycle stages, suggesting that the way animal cells perform cell division evolved long before animals themselves.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 22.05.2024
The double face of fentanyl: the neuronal basis of opioid addiction
The double face of fentanyl: the neuronal basis of opioid addiction
Scientists from the University of Geneva have discovered that fentanyl leads to the activation of two distinct cell populations in the brain, first when the drug is taken and then during withdrawal, suggesting a novel model for opioid addiction. Fentanyl is a particularly powerful synthetic opioid. Diverted from its original medical use, it has become a deadly drug responsible for three-quarters of overdose deaths in the United States.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.05.2024
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
When cells become tumor cells, their metabolism changes fundamentally. Researchers at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel have now demonstrated that this change leaves traces that could provide targets for cancer immunotherapies. Cancer cells function in turbo mode: Their metabolism is programmed for rapid proliferation, whereby their genetic material is also constantly copied and translated into proteins.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
A new statistical approach published in the journal PNAS reveals a major advance in the measurement of inbreeding. Under the direction of Jérôme Goudet, professor at the University of Lausanne and group leader at the SIB, the authors have developed a promising method for studying endangered species.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.05.2024
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
In EPFL's GenoRobotics project, a cross-disciplinary team of students is developing a novel method for identifying plant DNA - one that's faster, cheaper and less energy-intensive than the conventional one. The team hopes their new protocol, designed for use out in the field, will make it easier to categorize plants and ultimately help protect biodiversity.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 14.05.2024
A bionanomachine for green chemistry
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have for the first time precisely characterised the enzyme styrene oxide isomerase, which can be used to produce valuable chemicals and drug precursors in an environmentally friendly manner. The study appears today in the journal Nature Chemistry . Enzymes are powerful biomolecules that can be used to produce many substances at ambient conditions.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.05.2024
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Freshwater bacteria with small genomes frequently undergo prolonged periods of adaptive stagnation. Based on genomic analyses of samples from Lake Zurich and other European lakes, researchers at the University of Zurich uncovered specific evolutionary strategies that shape these bacteria's lifestyles.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 06.05.2024
Field reality reshapes robotic design
Field reality reshapes robotic design
In 2016, the BBC commissioned two reptilian robots from the BioRob laboratory for a documentary on the African wilderness. The scientists never imagined how testing the devices in the wild would change their approach to robotic design. Auke Ijspeert and his team at the Laboratory of Biorobotics ( BioRob ) in EPFL's Faculty of Engineering had already tested their bio-informed robots in the wild.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 03.05.2024
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Researchers at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich have been able to prove that British squirrels carried leprosy bacteria as early as the Middle Ages. Further results revealed a link between the pathogens found in the medieval rodents and those in the local human population during that period.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
A four-legged robot trained with machine learning by researchers has learned to avoid falls by spontaneously switching between walking, trotting, and pronking - a milestone for roboticists as well as biologists interested in animal locomotion. With the help of a form of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning (DRL), the EPFL robot notably learned to transition from trotting to pronking - a leaping, arch-backed gait used by animals like springbok and gazelles - to navigate a challenging terrain with gaps ranging from 14-30cm.

Life Sciences - Economics - 29.04.2024
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Before the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 in 2012, precise genome modification was a complex process requiring heavy investment. Simple and fast, this revolutionary technology enables scientists to cut the DNA of plants, animals and humans at precise points, opening up previously unimaginable opportunities, such as the creation of disease-resistant plants or the treatment of diseases of genetic origin .

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.04.2024
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Cichlid fishes exhibit differing degrees of curiosity. The cause for this lies in their genes, as reported by researchers from the Universities of Bern and Basel in the journal Science. This trait influences the cichlids' ability to adapt to new habitats. Exploratory behavior is one of the fundamental personality traits of animals - and these traits influence their probability of survival, among other things.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
When the digestive system influences a child's sleep
When the digestive system influences a child’s sleep
Sleep cycles and neurological development in children are closely linked to interactions between the brain and the gut. Two researchers from the University of Fribourg, in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zurich and Lucerne Children's Hospital, have just been awarded a 2.4 million SNSF grant to better understand these mechanisms, which are fundamental to the health of toddlers .

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
Mini-colons revolutionize colorectal cancer research
In a breakthrough for cancer research, scientists at EPFL have created lab-grown mini-colons that can accurately mimic the development of colorectal tumors, offering a powerful new tool for studying and testing treatments for the disease. As our battle against cancer rages on, the quest for more sophisticated and realistic models to study tumor development has never been more critical.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 23.04.2024
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
Regenerating damaged tissues or organs has been a dream of scientists for decades. Now, researchers at the FMI and Novartis Biomedical Research have discovered a new molecule that activates a protein involved in regeneration. The tool holds promise for advancing our understanding of how organisms repair damaged tissue.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 22.04.2024
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Apoptotic cell death is a crucial mechanism that contributes to tissue homeostasis and prevents the onset of several diseases. However, this phenomenon is challenging to identify within microscopy movies that can encompass thousands of cells. Led by Santiago Gonzalez, the recent study carried at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, affiliated with USI, introduces ADeS, an innovative approach based on artificial intelligence for the automatic detection of apoptotic cells in microscopy movies.
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