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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Chemistry - Environment - 27.06.2022
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
Scientists have developed a new, PET-like plastic that is easily made from the non-edible parts of plants. The plastic is tough, heat-resistant, and a good barrier to gases like oxygen, making it a promising candidate for food packaging. Due to its structure, the new plastic can also be chemically recycled and degrade back to harmless sugars in the environment.

Linguistics / Literature - History / Archeology - 24.06.2022
Scientists apply genetic methods to linguistics
Scientists apply genetic methods to linguistics
Scientists have produced a series of maps showing historical migration events, including the migration of mountain farmers native to Upper Valais who began to settle in German-speaking Switzerland in the 13th century, by applying methods from population genetics - but using linguistic data rather than genes.

Architecture - History / Archeology - 22.06.2022
Renovating 19th-century buildings without losing their character
Renovating 19th-century buildings without losing their character
Researcher and architect Catarina Wall Gago has published a guide to renovation best practices, drawing on a study of historic housing in Lisbon, Oporto and Geneva.

Physics - Electroengineering - 17.06.2022
Boosting light power revolutionizes communications and autopilot
Boosting light power revolutionizes communications and autopilot
Scientists have built a compact waveguide amplifier by successfully incorporating rare-earth ions into integrated photonic circuits. The device produces record output power compared to commercial fiber amplifiers, a first in the development of integrated photonics over the last decades. Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) are devices that can provide gain to the optical signal power in optical fibers, often used in long-distance communication fiber optic cables and fiber-based lasers.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.06.2022
Breakthrough study of hormone 'crosstalk' in breast cancer
Breakthrough study of hormone ’crosstalk’ in breast cancer
Scientists led by EPFL have successfully engrafted breast cancer cells on mice, allowing them to study in vivo the cross-talk between the estrogen and progesterone receptors that hampers hormone therapies. Their findings suggest that endocrine therapy may need to be personalized, and that abrogating progesterone receptor expression can be a therapeutic option.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.06.2022
Streamlining stem cells to treat macular degeneration
Streamlining stem cells to treat macular degeneration
Scientists at EPFL and the Karolinska Institute have tested and confirmed a protocol for growing human embryonic stem cells into retina cells to treat eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. As we age, so do our eyes; most commonly, this involves changes to our vision and new glasses, but there are more severe forms of age-related eye problems.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 13.06.2022
An anti-cancer drug acts as an epigenetic memory aid, scientists find
An anti-cancer drug acts as an epigenetic memory aid, scientists find
Scientists have discovered how an anti-cancer drug could be repurposed to improve memory. It does so by supporting the cell's ability to read the very genes that are important for learning. The epigenetic mechanism of the drug is shown in mice. If you are scared of spiders, you may soon benefit from a drug to enhance your ability to unlearn your arachnophobia, without any undesirable side-effects.

Innovation - 10.06.2022
Modeling to new heights
Modeling to new heights
EPFL's Platform of Hydraulic Constructions has been commissioned to model a future hydropower plant in Australia. As part of its work, the team has built an outsize replica on campus. In the modeling world, 1:25 is an extremely useful scale factor. It's what lets you display your favorite toy cars or tin soldiers in your living-room window.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.06.2022
Scientists compile an inventory of endangered microorganisms
Scientists compile an inventory of endangered microorganisms
Cryospheric ecosystems are some of the oldest on the planet. scientists have found that the microorganisms living in them have a unique genetic signature. They performed an inventory of the microorganisms in these ecosystems and complied the information into a database, which will be a useful resource for future studies on climate change microbiology.

Materials Science - Innovation - 23.05.2022
Objects can now be 3D-printed in opaque resin
Objects can now be 3D-printed in opaque resin
A team of EPFL engineers has developed a 3D-printing method that uses light to make objects out of opaque resin in a matter of seconds. Their breakthrough could have promising applications in the biomedical industry, such as to make artificial arteries. Back in 2017, engineers at EPFL's Laboratory of Applied Photonic Devices (LAPD), within the School of Engineering, designed a 3D printer capable of fabricating objects almost instantaneously.

Earth Sciences - Innovation - 20.05.2022
The missing piece to faster, cheaper and more accurate 3D mapping
The missing piece to faster, cheaper and more accurate 3D mapping
Engineers at EPFL and the University of Geneva believe they hold the key to automated drone mapping. By combining artificial intelligence with a new algorithm, their method promises to considerably reduce the time and resources needed to accurately scan complex landscapes. Three-dimensional (3D) mapping is a very useful tool, such as for monitoring construction sites, tracking the effects of climate change on ecosystems and verifying the safety of roads and bridges.

Physics - 17.05.2022
A new calculation for predicting fusion energy
A new calculation for predicting fusion energy
Physicists at EPFL, within a large European collaboration, have revised one of the fundamental laws that has been foundational to plasma and fusion research for over three decades, even governing the design of megaprojects like ITER. The update shows that we can actually safely use more hydrogen fuel in fusion reactors, and therefore obtain more energy than previously thought.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 16.05.2022
NeuroMechFly: a digital twin of Drosophila
NeuroMechFly: a digital twin of Drosophila
Scientists have developed a digital model of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which realistically simulates the movements of the animal. The twin is a big step towards reverse engineering the neuromechanical control of animal behavior, and developing bioinspired robots. "We used two kinds of data to build NeuroMechFly," says Professor Pavan Ramdya at EPFL's School of Life Sciences.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.05.2022
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How does a cell balance risk and speed when dividing? scientists have developed and experimentally tested the first mathematical theory that describes the cell's best strategy for dividing safely and efficiently. Cells go through a life cycle that includes growing to the right size, being equipped to perform its functions, and finally dividing into two new cells.

Life Sciences - 06.05.2022
The role of surface tension in biological symmetry
The role of surface tension in biological symmetry
Researchers have discovered that symmetry in the human body is influenced by surface tension, the same mechanical phenomenon that allows lightweight insects to walk on water. A paper discussing this surprising finding, which is akin to a form of natural self-correction, has been published. In vertebrates, the arms, legs, fins and wings are neatly aligned on either side of the torso.

Physics - Innovation - 05.05.2022
Single photon emitter takes a step closer to quantum tech
Single photon emitter takes a step closer to quantum tech
To get closer to quantum technology we need to develop non-classical light sources that can emit a single photon at a time and do so on demand.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.05.2022
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Scientists led by EPFL have developed a new method to measure chemical kinetics by imaging progress of a reaction at a liquid-liquid interface embedded in a laminar-flow liquid microjet. This method is ideal for studies of dynamics on the sub-millisecond timescale, which is very difficult to do with current applications.

Materials Science - 03.05.2022
A solution to perovskite solar cell scalability problems
A solution to perovskite solar cell scalability problems
Scientists at EPFL have found a way to overcome power loss and the manufacturing complexity of scaling up perovskite solar cells. Perovskites are hybrid materials made from metal halides and organic compounds. They have attracted a lot of interest in the field of solar energy because of their light-harvesting capacities combined with a low cost of manufacturing, making them prime candidates for overtake the market from their silicon counterparts.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.04.2022
Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells
Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells
Scientists in Neuchâtel have developed a tandem solar cell that can deliver a certified efficiency of 29. This achievement was made possible by combining a perovskite solar cell with a textured silicon solar cell. Solar cells made of silicon are used widely but have limited power-conversion yields. These yields will likely top out at around 27% in the foreseeable future, owing to fundamental thermodynamic limitations.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.04.2022
A new mutation behind synucleinopathies
A new mutation behind synucleinopathies
Scientists at EPFL have carried out an extensive study of a newly discovered mutation that can uncover new insights into the molecular basis of pathology formation in a family of disorders that includes Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia belong to a family of neurodegenerative disorders called synucleinopathies because they are caused by the pathological accumulation of protein alpha-synuclein into structures called Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in the brain.
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