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Environment - Chemistry - 18.01.2022
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
For the elimination of trace substances at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), granular activated carbon (GAC) is also available as an alternative treatment option to ozonation and the powdered activated carbon process (PAC). In contrast to the high energy consumption in ozonation (electrical energy to generate ozone and liquid oxygen), the energy-intensive production and CO2-footprint of carbon (starting raw materials, process energy) have an impact on activated carbon treatment.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.01.2022
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists have observed how catalysts behave at the particle level during water electrolysis. Catalysts play a crucial role in this reaction, in which water splits into hydrogen and oxygen. By shedding light on the underlying mechanism of the functional role of catalysts during the reaction, the scientists have made an important discovery for the design of renewable-energy storage systems.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 12.01.2022
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Organoids are miniature lab-grown tissue structures that can mimic real organs. But guiding stem cells to grow an organoid of defined shape and size is difficult. Now, EPFL bioengineers have developed new methods for successfully guiding the stem cells to grow into intestinal tissues with real-life 3D structure and function.

Chemistry - Physics - 11.01.2022
Increasing efficiency in artificial photosynthesis
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a new approach to artificial photosynthesis, a method for harvesting solar energy that produces hydrogen as a clean fuel from water. -Artificial photosynthesis is the holy grail of all chemists,- says Astrid Olaya, a chemical engineer at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC).

Chemistry - Environment - 10.01.2022
It all comes down to the first electron
It all comes down to the first electron
Every living thing requires energy. This is also true of microorganisms. This energy is frequently generated in the cells by respiration, that is by the combustion of organic compounds, in other words: food. During this process, electrons are released which the microorganisms then need to get rid of.

Physics - Chemistry - 23.12.2021
Integrated photonics meet electron microscopy
Integrated photonics meet electron microscopy
Scientists in Switzerland and Germany have achieved efficient electron-beam modulation using integrated photonics - circuits that guide light on a chip. The experiments could lead to entirely new quantum measurement schemes in electron microscopy. The transmission electron microscope (TEM) can image molecular structures at the atomic scale by using electrons instead of light, and has revolutionized materials science and structural biology.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 06.12.2021
Discovering new drugs with Darwin
Discovering new drugs with Darwin
Chemists at the University of Geneva have developed a new technique for selecting assemblies of molecules, making it possible to find the best combinations for each protein to be combated quickly and cheaply. Our body must constantly defend itself against bacteria and viruses. It generates millions of different antibodies, which are selected to recognise the enemy and trigger the best possible immune response.

Physics - Chemistry - 03.12.2021
Molecular device turns infrared into visible light
Molecular device turns infrared into visible light
Researchers at EPFL, China, Spain and the Netherlands have built a micro-device that uses vibrating molecules to transform invisible mid-infrared light into visible light. The breakthrough ushers in a new class of compact sensors for thermal imaging and chemical or biological analysis. Image: Artistic view of the nanoparticle-in-groove plasmonic cavities.

Health - Chemistry - 02.12.2021
Uterine atlas can lead to better models of the womb, provide insights into diseases
Uterine atlas can lead to better models of the womb, provide insights into diseases
In the quest to study the womb and its role in reproductive health, researchers in the Turco lab and their collaborators have generated a cellular map of the human uterus and of endometrial organoids — lab-grown models of the womb's lining. The atlas, which is the most detailed of its kind, will help scientists to develop better models of the womb.

Environment - Chemistry - 26.10.2021
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters
When fish ingest microplastics, they often also ingest progesterone. This compound is subsequently released into the digestive tract through chemical reactions with the fish's digestive fluids. That's the key finding of a study carried out jointly by scientists from EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Peking University in Beijing, and Oklahoma State University, and appearing in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

Physics - Chemistry - 01.10.2021
Extending the power of attosecond spectroscopy
Extending the power of attosecond spectroscopy
Scientists at EPFL have shown that the powerful transient absorption spectroscopy technique can unravel ultrafast motion of electrons and nuclei in a molecule in real time and with atomic spatial resolution. The last few decades have seen impressive progress in laser-based technologies, which have led to significant advancements in atomic and molecular physics.

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.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.09.2021
The whole is the truth
Quantum physics opens our eyes to the holistic nature of reality. Nothing can be observed in isolation - and everything is governed by chance. We generally assume that the objects around us exist independently of us and of other objects. We can observe a glass as a well-defined object and investigate its chemical or physical properties in the lab.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 13.09.2021
New immunotherapy method turns activated specifically in tumor
New immunotherapy method turns activated specifically in tumor
Scientists have developed a chemical method for targeting the effects of cancer-fighting immunotherapy drugs only to the tumor tissue, making the drugs less toxic to the rest of the human body. Immunotherapy drugs are promising new weapons in the fight against cancer, but they are so strong that they can be toxic to the rest of the human body.

Chemistry - Physics - 10.09.2021
The mystery of the flexible shell
The mystery of the flexible shell
An international research team with participation of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI has revealed a secret about a marine animal's shell: The researchers have deciphered why the protective cover of the brachiopod Discinisca tenuis becomes extremely soft in water and gets hard again in the air. The study appears today .

Chemistry - Physics - 30.08.2021
Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage
Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage
Scientists have developed a new system that addresses two top priorities of the energy transition: clean hydrogen production and large-scale energy storage. Their technology could be particularly useful in transportation applications. The need for reliable renewable energy is growing fast, as countries around the world - including Switzerland - step up their efforts to fight climate change, find alternatives to fossil fuels and reach the energy-transition targets set by their governments.

Physics - Chemistry - 26.08.2021
Light-matter interactions propel quantum technologies forward
Light-matter interactions propel quantum technologies forward
Physicists at EPFL have found a way to get photons to interact with pairs of atoms for the first time. The breakthrough is important for the field of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED), a cutting-edge field leading the way to quantum technologies. Image:A collection of atom pairs inside an optical cavity formed by a pair of mirrors facing each other.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 20.08.2021
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Researchers have developed a new type of laminate that changes colour as soon as the material is deformed. This way, the materials researchers can kill two birds with one stone: a lightweight composite material that inspects itself. Lightweight construction has found its way into many areas, especially automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding and aircraft construction.

Physics - Chemistry - 05.08.2021
A promising breakthrough: Nanocrystals made of amalgam
A promising breakthrough: Nanocrystals made of amalgam
Researchers at ETH have managed to produce nanocrystals made of two different metals using an amalgamation process whereby a liquid metal penetrates a solid one. This new and surprisingly intuitive technique makes it possible to produce a vast array of intermetallic nanocrystals with tailored properties for diverse applications. Nanocrystals are nanometre-sized spheres consisting of regularly arranged atoms.

Chemistry - 04.08.2021
Illuminating tissue formation
Illuminating tissue formation
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a molecule that fluoresces where new tissue is forming in the body. Alongside helping to detect tumours, the molecule could play a significant role in research of wound healing disorders. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It makes up a third of protein content and single strands assemble to form stable fibres that give structure to connective tissue such as skin, tendons, cartilage and bones.
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