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Physics - Chemistry - 13.07.2023
New Superconductors Can Be Built Atom by Atom
New Superconductors Can Be Built Atom by Atom
The future of electronics will be based on novel kinds of materials. Sometimes, however, the naturally occurring topology of atoms makes it difficult for new physical effects to be created. To tackle this problem, researchers at the University of Zurich have now successfully designed superconductors one atom at a time, creating new states of matter.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 06.07.2023
Cracking the
Cracking the "tubulin code"
Tubulins are the building blocks of microtubules, which make up the cell's skeleton. A new method enables the detailed study of their role in diseases, including cancer. Tubulin is a protein that plays a crucial role in the structure and function of cells. It is the main component of microtubules, which are long, hollow fibers that provide structural support, help the cell divide, give it its shape, and act as tracks for moving molecular cargo around inside the cell.

Physics - Chemistry - 28.06.2023
A 'magnifying glass' to observe the appearance of life on Earth
A ’magnifying glass’ to observe the appearance of life on Earth
Thanks to a new technique for observing chemical reactions in liquids, UNIGE and ETH are shedding light on one of the hypotheses about the chemical origins of life. What processes led to the appearance of life on our planet? Some scientists believe that urea played a key role. After being enriched in warm puddles, this small molecule is thought to have been exposed to cosmic rays to produce malonic acid, the source of RNA and DNA.

Environment - Chemistry - 14.06.2023
Climate Change Releases Carbon Stocks Deep Underground
Climate Change Releases Carbon Stocks Deep Underground
Subsoils are the largest storehouses for carbon, as well as one of the most important sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Global warming is accelerating the decomposition of soil humus. It is also affecting the waxy and woody compounds which help plants store carbon in their leaves and roots and were previously thought to be stable.

Environment - Chemistry - 06.06.2023
Traces in the water
Traces in the water
How we are contaminating our waters with microplastics and a multitude of chemicals. A plastic sandwich wrapper bobs in the water where the Limmat River flows out of Lake Zurich. The current carries it downstream through Zurich's historic centre before eventually depositing it on the bank of Werd island.

Physics - Chemistry - 05.06.2023
Slow electrons for more efficient reactions
Slow electrons for more efficient reactions
Researchers have managed to produce slow electrons in a solution. In the future, such electrons could help make certain chemical reactions more efficient. What the international team of researchers actually set out to do was to detect a mysterious chemical object: a dielectron in solution. A dielectron is made up of two electrons, but unlike an atom, it has no nucleus.

Environment - Chemistry - 10.05.2023
Climate change leads to disproportionately high pollutant absorption
Climate change leads to disproportionately high pollutant absorption
Pesticides and other chemicals harm biodiversity, and climate change is also threatening many habitats. With his study, Eawag researcher Johannes Raths has shown that these two challenges for our society may even worsen. Amphipods absorbed pollutants faster as water temperatures rose. The researcher has received an award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for his paper on the toxicokinetics of amphipods in combination with increased water temperatures.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.05.2023
PeSTo: a new AI tool for predicting protein interactions
PeSTo: a new AI tool for predicting protein interactions
Scientists at EPFL have developed PeSTo, an AI model for predicting protein binding interfaces with proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, ions, and small molecules with high confidence. The model's low computational cost enables the processing large amounts of structural data, opening up opportunities for discovering new biology.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 24.04.2023
Cryo-imaging lifts the lid on fuel cell catalyst layers
Thanks to a novel combination of cryogenic transmission electron tomography and deep learning, researchers have provided a first look at the nanostructure of platinum catalyst layers, revealing how they could be optimized for fuel cell efficiency. Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), which are being developed for use in electric vehicles, rely on nanoparticles called catalysts to trigger electricity-producing reactions between hydrogen and oxygen.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 24.04.2023
Progress in alternative battery technology
Progress in alternative battery technology
It is not easy to make batteries cheap, efficient, durable, safe and environmentally friendly at the same time. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now succeeded in uniting all of these characteristics in zinc metal batteries. The world needs cheap and powerful batteries that can store sustainably produced electricity from wind or sunlight so that we can use it whenever we need it, even when it's dark outside or there's no wind blowing.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.04.2023
Fat quantum cats
Fat quantum cats
Researchers at ETH Zurich have created the heaviest Schrödinger cat to date by putting a crystal in a superposition of two oscillation states. Their results could lead to more robust quantum bits and help to explain why quantum superpositions are not observed in everyday life. Even if you are not a quantum physicist, you will most likely have heard of Schrödinger's famous cat.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.04.2023
A solar hydrogen system that co-generates heat and oxygen
A solar hydrogen system that co-generates heat and oxygen
Researchers have built a pilot-scale solar reactor that produces usable heat and oxygen, in addition to generating hydrogen with unprecedented efficiency for its size. A parabolic dish on the EPFL campus is easily overlooked, resembling a satellite dish or other telecommunications infrastructure. But this dish is special, because it works like an artificial tree.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 13.04.2023
How drugs get into the blood
Computer simulations have helped researchers understand in detail how pharmaceutically active substances cross cell membranes. These findings can now be used to discover new drug candidates more efficiently. Abstract Cyclic peptides are chemical compounds suitable as potential drugs. Scientists now know in detail how these compounds enter cells.

Chemistry - Innovation - 12.04.2023
Luminous Molecules
Luminous Molecules
Twisted molecules play an important role in the development of organic light-emitting diodes. A team of chemists has managed to create these compounds with exactly the three-dimensional structure that they wanted. In so doing, they are smoothing the path for new and better light sources. They flash as a warning, glow red on standby mode, and light up your dinner table; light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have become indispensable in our daily lives.

Chemistry - Health - 27.03.2023
Accurate rapid tests made from smart graphene paper
Accurate rapid tests made from smart graphene paper
A team led by ETH Zurich chemical engineers Chih-Jen Shih and Andrew deMello have developed a rapid test system made of smart graphene paper. It only costs a few Swiss Rappen per test strip, is easy to use but is as accurate as lab measurements. The approach will impact more than just disease monitoring.

Chemistry - 14.03.2023
New AI model transforms research on metal-organic frameworks
New AI model transforms research on metal-organic frameworks
Researchers at EPFL and KAIST have developed a new AI model that significantly improves the understanding of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), promising materials for hydrogen storage and other applications. How does an iPhone predict the next word you're going to type in your messages? The technology behind this, and also at the core of many AI applications, is called a transformer; a deep-learning algorithm that detects patterns in datasets.

Chemistry - Environment - 13.03.2023
Extreme nighttime pollution in New Delhi air explained
Extreme nighttime pollution in New Delhi air explained
In a major joint project with top Indian scientists, PSI researchers have determined why smog forms at night in the Indian capital New Delhi, contrary to all the rules of atmospheric chemistry. Their results have now been published in the journal Nature Geoscience . For the past three years, New Delhi has been ranked the world's most polluted capital.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 03.03.2023
How plants communicate at a distance
How plants communicate at a distance
Plants have a powerful warning system in case of attack, based on a sophisticated communication mode. In a study published in the journal "Cell", the group of Prof. Edward Farmer of the University of Lausanne details the mechanism of propagation of the electrical signal essential to this defense process .

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 23.02.2023
Where do toxins from tobacco attack DNA?
Where do toxins from tobacco attack DNA?
It is known that toxins in tobacco smoke can change our DNA - but where exactly in the genome they do this has been a mystery. A new approach developed by researchers at ETH Zurich now brings light into the darkness. In the future, this could make it easier than ever to determine the safety of many chemical substances.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 21.02.2023
New corrosion protection that repairs itself
New corrosion protection that repairs itself
Researchers have developed an extraordinary protection against corrosion after a chance discovery. It glows in places where it is not damaged, repairs itself - and can be reused multiple times. Skyscrapers, bridges, ships, aeroplanes, cars - everything humans make or build sooner or later decays. The ravages of time are known as corrosion; nothing is safe from it.