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Astronomy - Life Sciences
28.02.2017
Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity
Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity
Mammalian cells are optimally adapted to gravity. But what happens in the microgravity environment of space if the earth‘s pull disappears' Previously, many experiments exhibited cell changes – after hours or even days in zero gravity. Astronauts, however, returned to Earth without any severe health problems after long missions in space, which begs the question as to how capable cells are of adapting to changes in gravity.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
23.02.2017
Rare proteins collapse earlier
Rare proteins collapse earlier
Some organisms are able to survive in hot springs, while others can only live at mild temperatures because their proteins aren't able to withstand such extreme heat. ETH researchers investigated these differences and showed that often only a few key proteins determine the life and heat-induced death of a cell.
Life Sciences - Architecture
21.02.2017
New computer model shows how proteins are controlled
New computer model shows how proteins are controlled "at a distance"
EPFL scientists have created a new computer model that can help better design of allosteric drugs, which control proteins ‘at a distance'. Enzymes are large proteins that are involved in virtually every biological process, facilitating a multitude of biochemical reactions in our cells. Because of this, one of the biggest efforts in drug design today aims to control enzymes without interfering with their so-called active sites - the part of the enzyme where the biochemical reaction takes place.
Environment/Sustainable Development - 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.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
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 - Medicine/Pharmacology
07.02.2017
Genetic defects in tooth enamel conducive to development of caries
Why do some people develop caries even though they always brush their teeth carefully while others are less stringent regarding dental hygiene yet do not have any holes' Ultimately, both have bacteria on the surface of their teeth which can attack the enamel. Enamel forms via the mineralization of specific enamel proteins.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
30.01.2017
Not necessarily harmful: Protein aggregates in the brain
Not necessarily harmful: Protein aggregates in the brain
Protein aggregates in neurons are characteristic for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
27.01.2017
New study into leukemia offers clearer understanding of its biology
New study into leukemia offers clearer understanding of its biology
EPFL scientists have made an extensive study in the cause of leukemia that could greatly improve the way we treat the disease. Leukemia affects 350,000 people worldwide. It is a cancer of the white blood cells, which are the cells of the immune system and are produced by stem cells in the bone marrow. There are two types of chronic and two types of acute leukemia.
Life Sciences
26.01.2017
Switching between Freezing and Flight
Switching between Freezing and Flight
Researchers from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) and the University of Basel have identified two types of neurons in the amygdala, each of which generates a distinct fear response - freezing or flight.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
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.
Chemistry - Life Sciences
24.01.2017
New discovery: nanometric imprinting on fiber
New discovery: nanometric imprinting on fiber
Researchers at EPFL have come up with a way of imprinting nanometric patterns on the inside and outside of polymer fibers. These fibers could prove useful in guiding nerve regeneration and producing optical effects, for example, as well as in eventually creating artificial tissue and smart bandages.
Environment/Sustainable Development - 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.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
18.01.2017
Unveiling the biology behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Unveiling the biology behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
EPFL scientists have discovered a new biological mechanism behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease covers a range of diseases that result from fat accumulation in the liver, but not as a result of alcohol abuse. Fat buildup can lead to liver inflammation, scarring and irreversible damage, such as cirrhosis and liver failure.
Medicine/Pharmacology - Life Sciences
17.01.2017
On track to heal leukaemia
On track to heal leukaemia
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) The first clinical studies for a new type of immunotherapy for leukaemia are beginning at Bern's University Hospital and the Department of Clinical Research (DCR) of the University of Bern. Antibodies discovered in the laboratory should inhibit the growth of tumour cells.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
16.01.2017
Using microfluidics to improve genetics research
Using microfluidics to improve genetics research
Scientists at EPFL have developed a technique that can be a game-changer for genetics by making the characterization of DNA-binding proteins much faster, more accurate, and efficient.  Genes hold the DNA code for producing all the proteins of the cell. To begin this process, genes require a huge family of DNA-binding proteins called transcription factors, which are of enormous interest to biologists today.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
12.01.2017
Putting chromosomes through the shredder
Putting chromosomes through the shredder
When a certain human enzyme is left uncontrolled, it breaks up chromosomes into tiny pieces. This is damaging to cells, but useful for killing tumours. ETH researchers have now come to understand the underlying mechanism. Our cells contain the enzyme MUS81; this is called on in emergencies, for example, when cells are unable to replicate because the DNA-replication machinery gets tangled up in strands of DNA.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
10.01.2017
In a simple way to great complexity
In a simple way to great complexity
ETH microbiologists have succeeded in showing that nature produces one of the most complex known bioactive natural products in a staggeringly simple way.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
03.01.2017
From photosynthesis to new compounds for eye diseases
From photosynthesis to new compounds for eye diseases
Researchers have succeeded in using X-rays to minutely observe a photosynthesis reaction and produce a movie of the event. The findings will aid understanding of similar processes in the human eye. Plants and algae are not alone in undergoing photosynthesis. Some bacteria also use energy from sunlight to grow and reproduce.
Environment/Sustainable Development - 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.
Life Sciences - Medicine/Pharmacology
22.12.2016
Forces at play: A new infection route for bacteria
Forces at play: A new infection route for bacteria
Snapshots from a Molecular Dynamics simulation of a single shigella toxin particle binding to its lipid partners in the vesicle membrane (side and top views).
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