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Health - Life Sciences - 02.07.2020
How the body fights off urinary tract infections
How the body fights off urinary tract infections
Some people are better protected than others against urinary tract infections. This may be because their bodies produce more of a protein called uromodulin. An interdisciplinary research team has now found out how this helper protein brings relief when nature calls and how this knowledge might benefit the treatment and prevention of these painful inflammations.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.07.2020
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
Alarming long-term effects of insecticides weaken ant colonies
This week, scientists of the Institute of Bee Health of the University of Bern have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology, which shows how even low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, as they may realistically occur in contaminated soils, adversely affect the development of black garden ants (Lasius niger).

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 25.06.2020
Dolphins Learn in Similar Ways to Great Apes
Dolphins Learn in Similar Ways to Great Apes
Dolphins learn new foraging techniques not just from their mothers, but also from their peers, a study by the University of Zurich has found. More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia were observed over 10 years and found to have cultural behavior that is similar to great apes.

Life Sciences - 24.06.2020
Genetic Malfunction of Brain Astrocytes Triggers Migraine
Genetic Malfunction of Brain Astrocytes Triggers Migraine
Neuroscientists of the University of Zurich shed a new light on the mechanisms responsible for familial migraine: They show that a genetic dysfunction in specific brain cells of the cingulate cortex area strongly influences head pain occurrence. Migraine is one of the most disabling disorders, affecting one in seven people and causing a tremendous social and economic burden.

Life Sciences - 23.06.2020
Blocking sugar metabolism slows lung tumour growth
Blocking sugar metabolism slows lung tumour growth
Treatments that block two sugar-transporting proteins could help slow the growth of lung tumours, new research from EPFL suggests. Blocking a pair of sugar-transporting proteins may be a useful treatment approach for lung cancer, suggests a new study in mice and human cells published today in eLife .

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
EPFL biophysicists have developed a high-throughput super-resolution microscope to probe nanoscale structures and dynamics of mammalian cells, showing in unprecedented detail the twists and turns of an organelle important for cell division. If you want to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular motility and division, then the centriole is the organelle of interest.

Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Building corticocerebellar neural circuits
Building corticocerebellar neural circuits
In a comprehensive study, researchers from the Rijli group found that a single Hox transcription factor expressed in a group of neurons of the pontine nucleus - the cerebral cortex most important brainstem relay to the cerebellum - determines the wiring onto these neurons of somatosensory cortical neurons, while avoiding visual cortical neurons.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 18.06.2020
Nanoresearch without animal experiments
Nanoresearch without animal experiments
In order to reduce the number of animal experiments in research, alternative methods are being sought. This is a particular challenge if the safety of substances that have hardly been studied is to be ensured, for instance, the completely new class of nanomaterials. To accomplish just that, Empa researchers are now combining test tube experiments with mathematical modelling.

Life Sciences - 17.06.2020
A fair reward ensures a good memory
A fair reward ensures a good memory
By deciphering the neural dialogue between the brain's reward and memory networks, neuroscientists from the University of Geneva demonstrate that optimal memory performance requires an intermediate regime of reward delivery. A new finding highly relevant for a variety of learning situations. How does our memory work and how can we optimize its mechanisms on a daily basis? This question is at the heart of many neuroscience research projects.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.06.2020
Aquascope: shedding light on underwater life
Aquascope: shedding light on underwater life
The live images from the Aquascope reveal an amazing underwater world. Lake Greifen is home to a smorgasbord of wonderful creatures - star-shaped, cylindrical, horned or extravagantly coiffed. But as well as stimulating the imagination, the phytoand zooplankton floating in water serves as an indicator of the ecological status of surface waters.

Physics - Life Sciences - 16.06.2020
Multicolor super-resolution imaging made easy
Multicolor super-resolution imaging made easy
Scientists at EPFL have developed robust and easy-to-implement multicolor super-resolution imaging. The approach is based on the simultaneous acquisition of two spectral channels followed by spectral cross-cumulant analysis and unmixing. They exploit fluorophore blinking and spectral crosstalk for the generation of additional color channels with super-resolved images.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 11.06.2020
Solving a Parkinson's disease puzzle through protein design
EPFL researchers, in collaboration with UTSW and UCSD scientists, have developed a computational protein design approach, and used it to obtain the first ever high-resolution structure of an activated dopamine receptor in its natural cell membrane environment. The breakthrough will open up a new dimension in drug discovery for Parkinson's disease and perhaps other disorders.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 09.06.2020
Human Presence Weakens Social Relationships of Giraffes
Human Presence Weakens Social Relationships of Giraffes
Living close to human settlements disturbs the social networks of giraffes. They have weaker bonds with other giraffes and fewer interactions with other members of the species, an international study led by the University of Zurich on the social structure of over 500 female giraffes in Tanzania has shown.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.06.2020
RedHUMAN: Deciphering links between genes and metabolism
RedHUMAN: Deciphering links between genes and metabolism
Scientists at EPFL have developed a new method that simplifies the processing of genetic-metabolic data by picking up changes in metabolism, a hallmark of numerous diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. The new method, named redHUMAN, is robust and features guaranteed predictability. In the last two decades, the life sciences have seen a growing partnership with information technology.

Life Sciences - 08.06.2020
Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants
Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants
Producing less sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study led by the University of Zurich identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.06.2020
Deadly bacterial infection in pigs deciphered
Deadly bacterial infection in pigs deciphered
New-born piglets often die painfully from infection with an intestinal bacterium. A team of researchers from 3 faculties at the University of Bern has now discovered how the bacterium causes fatal intestinal bleeding.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.06.2020
How bacteria fertilise soya
How bacteria fertilise soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable.

Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
FloChiP, a new tool optimizing gene-regulation studies
FloChiP, a new tool optimizing gene-regulation studies
EPFL scientists have developed FloChip, a new microfluidic take on the widely used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technique. By automating and cutting the cost of ChIP and sequential-ChIP, FloChIP has the potential to become a widely used tool for the study of chromatin biology and gene regulation.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
A better model for neutrophil-related diseases
Neutrophils are critical immune cells for antimicrobial defense, but they can exacerbate a number of diseases, perhaps including COVID-19. The traditional approaches to study neutrophils in animal models are limited in specificity and effectiveness. EPFL scientists have now identified the problem and have developed a new, optimized model for studying the role of neutrophils in the context of disease.

Life Sciences - 02.06.2020
A genome-scale map of DNA methylation kinetics
While the first genome-wide DNA methylation map in mammalian cells was established over 10 years ago, such maps only provide snapshots and do not inform about the actual dynamics of this epigenetic mark. Researchers from the Schübeler group now quantified actual rates of methylation and demethylation for 860,404 individual CpGs in mouse embryonic stem cells.
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