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Environment - Life Sciences - 15.10.2021
Plankton head polewards
Ocean warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions will prompt many species of marine plankton to seek out new habitats, in some cases as a matter of sur-vival. researchers expect many organisms to head to the poles and form new communities - with unforeseeable consequences for marine food webs.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.10.2021
A cryptography game-changer for biomedical research at scale
Personalized medicine is set to revolutionize healthcare, yet large-scale research studies towards better diagnoses and targeted therapies are currently hampered by data privacy and security concerns. New global collaborative research has developed a solution to these challenges, described. Predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory medicine, known as P4, is the healthcare of the future.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.10.2021
War in the gut: How human microbiota resist the cholera bacterium
War in the gut: How human microbiota resist the cholera bacterium
Bacteria in the human gut go to war in order to protect themselves against attacks of the "spear-wielding" cholera bacterium Vibrio cholerae or other pathogens, an EPFL study has found. Image: V. cholerae's growth and competition on natural surfaces (left). The framed area is zoomed-in on the right and shows the killing of a bacterium (indicated by the red arrow) by the two V. cholerae cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.10.2021
Simultaneous optical and electrical tracking of heart activity
Simultaneous optical and electrical tracking of heart activity
It is still elusive to what extent interactions between different cell types of the heart influence the normal heart rhythm and possibly trigger life-threatening arrhythmias. A new measurement method developed at the University of Bern combines for the first time optical and electrical recording of cardiac ventricular activation which, in conjunction with optogenetics, will permit finding comprehensive answers to these questions.

Environment - Life Sciences - 05.10.2021
The role of adaptive evolution in ecosystem collapse and recovery
The role of adaptive evolution in ecosystem collapse and recovery
Evolution plays a crucial role in ecosystem tipping points, as shown in two recently published studies by researchers. If this influence is taken into account, ecosystem collapses can be better predicted in the future. At the same time, the studies reveal how the risk of ecosystem collapse can be reduced and the chances of recovery increased.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.10.2021
A single gene can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle
A single gene can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle
A team from the University of Geneva has identified a gene that is essential for regulating the sleep-wake cycles of Drosophila. All living organisms are subject to an internal biological rhythm, which controls many physiological processes. In humans in particular, this internal clock follows a 24-hour cycle and occurs even in the absence of external triggers, such as changes in light or temperature.

Computer Science - Life Sciences - 01.10.2021
Deep-learning-based image analysis is now just a click away
Deep-learning-based image analysis is now just a click away
Under an initiative by EPFL's Center for Imaging, a team of engineers from EPFL and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed a plugin that makes it easier to incorporate artificial intelligence into image analysis for life-science research. The plugin, called deepImageJ, is described in a paper appearing today.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 01.10.2021
A tool to interrogate a new class of drugs
Reactive electrophilic drugs like Tecfidera, approved for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis, show a lot of potential but are also mystery. Their effects are notoriously difficult to study, which hampers progress testing and approving them. scientists have now used an innovative chemical method to uncover the biological mechanisms of Tecfidera, providing a powerful tool for exploring other reactive electrophilic drugs.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 30.09.2021
Relieving pain by mapping its biological signatures
Relieving pain by mapping its biological signatures
Researchers at the University of Geneva and the Clinique romande de réadaptation in Sion have mapped the biomarkers of different types of pain to categorise and better treat them in the future. Many people are confronted with chronic pain that can last for months or even years. How to best treat chronic pain? First, pain must be categorized for the right treatment to be prescribed.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.09.2021
New photoelectric implant controls the activity of spinal neurons
New photoelectric implant controls the activity of spinal neurons
A revolutionary implant developed at EPFL allows neuroscientists to activate or inhibit specific spinal-cord neurons by applying light at a specific wavelength. It will give researchers insight into how the nervous system works and the chance to develop new ways of treating neurological disorders. Grégoire Courtine doesn't hesitate to use the word "revolutionary" when describing the emerging field of optogenetics - a technology that uses pulses of light to control individual neural activity - and what it could mean for neuroscience.

Life Sciences - 29.09.2021
Robust gene networks from the depths of our evolutionary history
A sophisticated system guides the development of our limbs. Researchers at University of Basel have shed new light on the genetic toolkit used during evolution to create a range of different extremities such as fins, wings, hooves, toes and fingers. Much can go wrong when a fertilized egg develops into an embryo and ultimately gives rise to a newborn as mutations in the genome that affect development are relatively common.

Life Sciences - Physics - 28.09.2021
Protein distancing
Protein distancing
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI are the first to have joined two proteins together by means of a free-standing, rigid link. The structural element holds the two protein molecules together at a defined distance and angle, much the way a barbell handle connects two weights. This type of linkage could help, for example, to develop so-called virus-like particles for vaccines.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.09.2021
The defensive arsenal of plant roots
The defensive arsenal of plant roots
A team from the University of Geneva has discovered the mechanisms that regulate the formation of the protective layer of plant roots. Plants adapt to their nutritional needs by modifying the permeability of their roots through the production or degradation of a cork-like layer called suberin. By studying the regulation of this protective layer in Arabidopsis thaliana , an international team, led by scientists from the University of Geneva , Switzerland, has discovered four molecular factors responsible for the genetic activation of suberin.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.09.2021
Detecting dementia in the blood
Detecting dementia in the blood
Empa researcher Peter Nirmalraj wants to image proteins with unprecedented precision - and thus gain insights into the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's. This should pave the way for an earlier diagnosis of the dementia disorder via a simple blood test. Together with neurologists from the Kantonsspital St.Gallen, a successful pilot study has now been completed.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 23.09.2021
Cells, cylinders and a vision of the future
Cells, cylinders and a vision of the future
The "gene scissors" CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to precisely modify genes in order to study their function in an organism. A researcher at Eawag has now succeeded for the first time in establishing the gene scissors for a fish cell line of rainbow trout. This means that, as of now, genetically modified cell lines can be produced.

Life Sciences - 23.09.2021
How tactile vibrations create illusions
How tactile vibrations create illusions
Researchers from the University of Geneva and UNIFR decipher how the amplitude and frequency of tactile vibrations can bias how the brain interprets them. Among the traditional five human senses, touch is perhaps the least studied. Yet, it is solicited everywhere, all the time, and even more so in recent years with the widespread daily use of electronic devices that emit vibrations.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.09.2021
A Glimpse into the ocean's biological carbon pump
A Glimpse into the ocean’s biological carbon pump
Oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through microscopic algae that carry out photosynthesis and then sink to the deep sea when they die. This sinking enhances the degradation processes, as researchers have now discovered. Oceans play a key role in the global carbon dioxide balance. This is because billions of tiny algae live there, absorbing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and incorporating it into their biomass.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2021
How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction
How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction
By identifying the role of serotonin during cocaine use, scientists explain why only one in five persons becomes addicted to this drug. Contrary to common thinking, cocaine triggers an addiction only in 20% of the consumers. But what happens in their brains when they lose control of their consumption? Thanks to a recent experimental method, neuroscientists at the University of Geneva , Switzerland, have revealed a brain mechanism specific to cocaine, which has the particularity of triggering a massive increase in serotonin in addition to the increase in dopamine common to all drugs.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.09.2021
Natural Killer Cells Coordinate Wound Healing
Natural Killer Cells Coordinate Wound Healing
Natural killer cells do not just kill cancer cells or cells infected with viruses, they also mediate a trade-off between wound healing and bacterial defense in skin wounds. If the healing process is accelerated, the immune defense is weakened, researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown. This has relevance in treating skin injuries and in tackling antibiotic-resistant germs.

Life Sciences - 01.09.2021
Highly dynamic sex chromosomes in cichlid fishes
Highly dynamic sex chromosomes in cichlid fishes
The cichlids of Lake Tanganyika in Africa are highly diverse - including with regard to sex chromosomes. These have changed extremely frequently in the course of the evolution of these fish and, depending on the species, can be of the type XY or ZW. This has been reported by a research team from the University of Basel and the Research Museum Koenig in Bonn in the scientific journal Science Advances.
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