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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 25.01.2024
'Mini-placentas' shed light on early events that are key for a successful pregnancy
’Mini-placentas’ shed light on early events that are key for a successful pregnancy
The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby, but its early interactions with a mother's uterus remain an enigma.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 22.01.2024
New agent blocks stress response
New agent blocks stress response
If the body's natural stress response gets knocked off balance, it can result in physical and mental health disorders. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed an agent capable of selectively inhibiting this response. Stress isn't merely an oppressive feeling we experience when we're overwhelmed; it's the body's natural reaction to acute or persistent strain.

Environment - Chemistry - 12.01.2024
Capturing greenhouse gases with the help of light
Capturing greenhouse gases with the help of light
Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing a new method to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. It involves molecules that become acidic when exposed to light. Their new process requires much less energy than conventional technologies. If we want to slow down global warming, we need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Chemistry - Agronomy / Food Science - 05.12.2023
How to identify vintage wines by their chemical signature
How to identify vintage wines by their chemical signature
A team of researchers has revealed how to find the exact origin of a wine based solely on its chemical components. Does every wine carry its own chemical signature and, if so, can this be used to identify its origin? Many specialists have tried to solve this mystery, without fully succeeding.

Physics - Chemistry - 04.12.2023
Watching electrons at work
Watching electrons at work
Researchers from ETH Zurich, Empa and Stanford have taken snapshots of the crystal structure of perovskite nanocrystals as it was deformed by excited electrons. To their surprise, the deformation straightened out the skewed crystal structure rather than making it more disordered. Many a scientific and technical problem could be solved easily if it were possible to look inside a material and watch its atoms and electrons wiggle about in real time.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.11.2023
Molecular cooperation at the threshold of life
Molecular cooperation at the threshold of life
Protein-like aggregates known as amyloids can bind to molecules of genetic material. It is possible that these two types of molecules stabilised each other during the development of life - and that this might even have paved the way for the genetic code. How organisms develop from inanimate matter is one of the biggest questions in science.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 23.11.2023
Artificial intelligence finds ways to develop new drugs
Artificial intelligence finds ways to develop new drugs
A new AI model developed by chemists at ETH Zurich can not only predict where a pharmaceutically active molecule can be chemically modified, but also how best to do it. This makes it possible to identify new pharmaceutical ingredients more quickly and improve existing ones in a targeted manner. New active pharmaceutical ingredients lay the foundations for innovative and better medical treatments.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 17.11.2023
A Bandpass Filter for Synthetic Biology
A Bandpass Filter for Synthetic Biology
Scientists have crafted a biological system that mimics an electronic bandpass filter, a novel sensor that could revolutionize self-regulated biological mechanisms in synthetic biology. Synthetic biology holds the promise of enhancing and modifying biological systems into innumerable new technologies for the benefit of society.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.11.2023
The incredible architectural complexity of plants
The incredible architectural complexity of plants
Ensuring growth and development, sometimes sustained, without risking fragility. This is the delicate balance facing plants.

Chemistry - Environment - 24.10.2023
New design solves stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells
New design solves stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells
Researchers at EPFL and Northwestern University unveil a groundbreaking design for perovskite solar cells, creating one of the most stable PSCs with a power-conversion efficiency above 25%, paving the way for future commercialization. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) stand at the forefront of solar energy innovation, and have drawn a lot of attention for their power-conversion efficiency and cost-effective manufacturing.

Environment - Chemistry - 20.10.2023
Generating clean electricity with chicken feathers
Generating clean electricity with chicken feathers
Turning unused waste from food production into clean energy: Researchers at ETH Zurich and Nanyang Technological University Singapore are using chicken feathers to make fuel cells more cost-effective and sustainable. The food industry generates enormous amounts of waste and by-products, including from poultry production.

Chemistry - Physics - 12.10.2023
An electrical switch to control chemical reactions
An electrical switch to control chemical reactions
A team from the University of Geneva has developed an electrical device that makes it easy to activate chemical reactions in a 'greener' way. New pharmaceuticals, cleaner fuels, biodegradable plastics: in order to meet society's needs, chemists have to develop new synthesis methods to obtain new products that do not exist in their natural state.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.10.2023
Ultrathin films achieve record hydrogen separation
Ultrathin films achieve record hydrogen separation
Scientists at EPFL have synthesized the first ever metal-organic frameworks membrane with thickness of just one unit cell. The ultrathin film yields record-high separation performance of hydrogen-nitrogen. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of materials that contain nano-sized pores. These pores give MOFs record-breaking internal surface areas, which make them extremely versatile for a number of applications: separating petrochemicals and gases , mimicking DNA , producing hydrogen , and removing heavy metals , fluoride anions , and even gold from water are just a few examples.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.10.2023
Ultrathin films achieve record hydrogen-nitrogen separation
Ultrathin films achieve record hydrogen-nitrogen separation
Scientists at EPFL have synthesized the first ever metal-organic frameworks membrane with thickness of just one unit cell. The ultrathin film yields record-high separation performance of hydrogen. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of materials that contain nano-sized pores. These pores give MOFs record-breaking internal surface areas, which make them extremely versatile for a number of applications: separating petrochemicals and gases , mimicking DNA , producing hydrogen , and removing heavy metals , fluoride anions , and even gold from water are just a few examples.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 13.09.2023
A human model for autism
A human model for autism
The CRISPR-Cas gene scissors enable researchers to study the genetic and cellular causes of autism in the lab - directly on human tissue. How does autism develop? Which genes and cells in the human brain contribute to it? A new brain organoid model allows researchers from the Department of Biosystems at ETH Zurich in Basel and colleagues from Vienna to investigate these questions in human cells.

Environment - Chemistry - 08.09.2023
How trees influence cloud formation
How trees influence cloud formation
As part of the international CLOUD project at the nuclear research centre CERN, researchers at PSI have identified so-called sesquiterpenes - gaseous hydrocarbons that are released by plants - as being a major factor in cloud formation. This finding could reduce uncertainties in climate models and help make more accurate predictions.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 22.08.2023
New epoxy resin resists flames and reduces waste
New epoxy resin resists flames and reduces waste
Researchers have developed an epoxy resin that can be repaired and recycled, in addition to being flame-retardant and mechanically strong. Potential applications range from coating for wooden flooring to composites in aerospace and railways. Epoxy resins are tough and versatile polymers. In combination with glass or carbon fibers, they are used, for example, to manufacture components for aircraft, cars, trains, ships and wind turbines.

Chemistry - Environment - 17.08.2023
Collecting clean water from fog
Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated the use of a specially coated metal mesh to harvest water from fog and simultaneously remove pollutants. People living in dry but foggy areas should benefit from this technology. In countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Chile, it's not uncommon for people who live in foggy areas to hang up nets to catch droplets of water.

Physics - Chemistry - 15.08.2023
Carbon-based quantum technology
Carbon-based quantum technology
Quantum technology is promising, but also perplexing. In the coming decades, it is expected to provide us with various technological breakthroughs: smaller and more precise sensors, highly secure communication networks, and powerful computers that can help develop new drugs and materials, control financial markets, and predict the weather much faster than current computing technology ever could.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.08.2023
Chromium replaces rare and expensive noble metals
Chromium replaces rare and expensive noble metals
Expensive noble metals often play a vital role in illuminating screens or converting solar energy into fuels. Now, chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in replacing these rare elements with a significantly cheaper metal. In terms of their properties, the new materials are very similar to those used in the past.