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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Environment - Chemistry - 24.11.2022
Unraveling the secrets of microplastics released by tires
Unraveling the secrets of microplastics released by tires
In Switzerland, tire and road wear particles are one of the biggest sources of microplastics released into the environment, yet the chemical compounds contained in those particles - and their effects - remain largely a mystery. To remedy that knowledge gap, scientists at EPFL and two other Swiss research institutes are conducting a study of the toxicity of tire-particle compounds and how readily they're absorbed by living organisms.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.11.2022
Scientists unlock nature's secret to super-selective binding
Scientists unlock nature's secret to super-selective binding
Researchers have discovered that it is not just molecular density, but also pattern and structural rigidity, that control super-selective binding interactions between nanomaterials and protein surfaces. The breakthrough could help optimize existing approaches to virus prevention and cancer detection.

Health - Computer Science - 21.11.2022
Steerable soft robots could enhance medical applications
Steerable soft robots could enhance medical applications
Borrowing from methods used to produce optical fibers, researchers from EPFL and Imperial College have created fiber-based soft robots with advanced motion control that integrate other functionalities, such as electric and optical sensing and targeted delivery of fluids. Over the past decades, catheter-based surgery has transformed medicine, giving doctors a minimally invasive way to do anything from placing stents and targeting tumors to extracting tissue samples and delivering contrast agents for medical imaging.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.11.2022
The protein behind immunotherapy resistance
The protein behind immunotherapy resistance
Scientists at EPFL, Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, and CHUV have identified a key protein that helps tumors evade attacks by the immune system, contributing to poor responses to immunotherapy in the clinic. Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge approach to treating cancer by turning the patient's own immune system against their tumor.

Environment - Transport - 16.11.2022
Lake Geneva consumers surveyed as part of a study on climate change
Lake Geneva consumers surveyed as part of a study on climate change
Over 10,000 people in both the French and Swiss parts of the Lake Geneva region have been surveyed on their transportation habits, as the first element of a broader EPFL study on consumer lifestyles and behavior. The study is being spearheaded by EPFL's School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), working in association with the Canton of Vaud, the Canton of Geneva and Greater Geneva.

Health - Physics - 11.11.2022
Researchers open door to stain-free labeling of cellular components
Researchers open door to stain-free labeling of cellular components
Scientists at EPFL and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the University Federico II, and CEINGE-Biotecnologie avanzate in Naples, Italy, have developed a new method to screen individual cells quickly and reliably without fluorescence labeling. Their work, published in the journal Nature Photonics, opens new avenues in early tumor diagnosis and drug development.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.11.2022
Scientists identify neurons that restore walking after paralysis
A new study by scientists at the.NeuroRestore research center has identified the type of neuron that is activated and remodeled by spinal cord stimulation, allowing patients to stand up, walk and rebuild their muscles - thus improving their quality of life. This discovery, made in nine patients, marks a fundamental, clinical breakthrough.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 08.11.2022
Motivation is affected by oxidative stress, nutrition can help
Motivation is affected by oxidative stress, nutrition can help
Motivation is affected by oxidative stress in the brain, a study by EPFL and Nestlé shows. The findings also suggest motivation can be improved through nutritional interventions. In life, motivation can be the difference between success and failure, goal-setting and aimlessness, well-being and unhappiness.

Health - Innovation - 28.10.2022
A new device for early diagnosis of degenerative eye disorders
A new device for early diagnosis of degenerative eye disorders
Researchers at an EPFL lab have developed an ophthalmological device that can be used to diagnose some degenerative eye disorders long before the onset of the first symptoms. In early clinical trials, the prototype was shown to produce images with a sufficient degree of precision in just five seconds.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 27.10.2022
'Grätzel' solar cells achieve a new record
’Grätzel’ solar cells achieve a new record
Scientists at EPFL have increased the power conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells ("Grätzel cells") beyond 15% in direct sunlight and 30% in ambient light conditions. Mesoscopic dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) were invented in 1990s by Brian O'Regan and Michael Grätzel, taking on the latter's name - the world-famous Grätzel cells.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.10.2022
How a key immune protein is regulated in the cell
How a key immune protein is regulated in the cell
Scientists at EPFL have determined how a protein that is critical in our first line of immune defense is regulated in the cell to prevent autoinflammatory diseases. How does a cell "know" that it's infected? This is a key question for innate immunity, our first line of defense to any infection or injury, made up of cells that quickly identify pathogens, like viral DNA.

Health - Innovation - 21.10.2022
Flexible surgical needle offers enhanced precision
Flexible surgical needle offers enhanced precision
Engineers from EPFL and the University of Strasbourg have developed an innovative surgical needle whose trajectory can be corrected on the fly, thanks to a flexible tip controlled with a simple button. Intended for use in image-guided surgery, the needle offers greater precision in surgeon's movements and reduces the risk for patients.

Chemistry - Computer Science - 18.10.2022
Machine learning predicts heat capacities of MOFs
Machine learning predicts heat capacities of MOFs
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a machine-learning model that can accurately predict the heat capacity of the versatile metal-organic framework materials. The work shows that the overall energy costs of carbon-capture processes could be much lower than expected. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of materials that contain nano-sized pores.

Psychology - 14.10.2022
Too much motivation affects our decision-making
Too much motivation affects our decision-making
A team from the UNIGE, in collaboration with EPFL, reveals how motivation influences the neural circuits of perception and impacts decision-making. In a good or a bad mood, focused or distracted, in dire or no need: our internal states directly influence our perceptions and decision-making. While the role of motivation on the performance of behavioural tasks has been known for more than a century - thanks to the work of psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dilligham Dodson - its precise effect on the brain remains unclear.

Life Sciences - 13.10.2022
When dangerous toxins teach fundamental biology
Exploring the mechanics of anthrax infection, scientists at EPFL have discovered two proteins that are involved in controlling the levels of cholesterol in the membrane of our cells. "What our work shows is how a complex in the center of the cell, the ER-Golgi interaction region, controls plasma membrane cholesterol, which is essential for many cellular functions, if not essential for multicellular life," says Professor Gisou van der Goot at EPFL's School of Life Sciences.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.10.2022
How genes, sex, growth and age impact lifespan
How genes, sex, growth and age impact lifespan
Scientists led by groups at EPFL and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) explore the elaborate interplay between genes, sex, growth, and age and how they influence variation in longevity. Their results point at fundamental processes of aging that help in improving human healthspan.

Career - Social Sciences - 10.10.2022
The days of the generalist are gone. Long live the specialist!
In science, specialization pays off - at least when it comes to career impact. That's the finding of a team of researchers who looked specifically at this subject. Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist? Gaétan de Rassenfosse, who holds the Chair of Innovation and IP Policy at EPFL, set about answering this question by digging through data on more than 30,000 biomedical researchers.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.10.2022
Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics
Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics
Physicists at EPFL have developed a formulation to solve the longstanding problem of electron self-interaction when studying polarons - quasiparticles produced by electron-phonon interactions in materials. The work can lead to unprecedented calculations of polarons in large systems, systematic studies of large sets of materials, and molecular dynamics evolving over long time periods.

Innovation - Economics / Business - 05.10.2022
Lightweight, ultra-connected seaborne containers
Lightweight, ultra-connected seaborne containers
The composite containers developed by AELER, an EPFL startup, deliver better performance across the board: they're stronger, have a bigger payload, are better insulated, allow for enhanced tracking and can help cut carbon emissions.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 28.09.2022
Better understanding of cellular metabolism with the help of AI
Better understanding of cellular metabolism with the help of AI
Metabolism is essential to all living organisms, and modeling the chemical reactions that sustain life is no easy task. Now, scientists have released REKINDLE, paving the way for more efficient and accurate modeling of metabolic processes thanks to deep-learning. The way an organism metabolizes nutrients is a complex process.
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