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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Microtechnics - Materials Science - 14.06.2024
Robots au chocolat for dessert?
Robots au chocolat for dessert?
A fully edible robot could soon end up on our plate if we overcome some technical hurdles, say scientists involved in RoboFood - an project which aims to marry robots and food. Robots and food have long been distant worlds: Robots are inorganic, bulky, and non-disposable; food is organic, soft, and biodegradable.

Physics - Innovation - 13.06.2024
Miniaturizing a laser on a photonic chip
Miniaturizing a laser on a photonic chip
Scientists at EPFL have successfully miniaturized a powerful erbium-based biber laser on a silicon-nitride photonic chip. Since typical erbium-based fiber lasers are large and difficult to scale down, the breakthrough promises major advances in optical communications and sensing technologies. Lasers have revolutionized the world since the 60's and are now indispensable in modern applications, from cutting-edge surgery and precise manufacturing to data transmission across optical fibers.

Life Sciences - 12.06.2024
Fruit fly brain shows how simple commands turn into complex behaviors
Fruit fly brain shows how simple commands turn into complex behaviors
Researchers at EPFL have discovered how networks of neurons in fruit flies transform simple brain signals into coordinated actions. This sheds light on the neural mechanisms underlying complex behaviors for potential application in robotics. Understanding how animals, including humans, transform brain signals into coordinated movements is a fundamental question in neuroscience.

Health - Pharmacology - 03.06.2024
Antibody-peptide inhibitor conjugates: a new path for cancer therapy
Antibody-peptide inhibitor conjugates: a new path for cancer therapy
Cancer treatments often struggle with balancing efficacy and side effects. A new study by scientists offers a promising solution using antibody-peptide inhibitor conjugates to target specific cell types and block the activity of cancer-promoting enzymes called cathepsins. Tumor cells often hijack normal physiological processes to support their growth, exploiting proteins that are in charge of essential cell functions.

Environment - 31.05.2024
Scientists map biodiversity changes in the world's forests
Scientists map biodiversity changes in the world's forests
A group of EPFL and scientists have mapped the biodiversity in forests worldwide. Their data, when combined with climate projections, reveal trends that could support ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts. According to the latest figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, forests cover just over 4 billion hectares of the Earth's surface, or one-third of its total land.

Life Sciences - 29.05.2024
A key protein preserves motor ability during aging
A new study by scientists shows that age-related decline in motor ability can be countered in fruit flies by enhancing the expression of the protein Trio, suggesting potential treatments for age-related movement decline. As we age, we suffer a noticeable decline in motor ability, which affects our quality of life and independence.

Life Sciences - 27.05.2024
How and why different cell division strategies evolve
How and why different cell division strategies evolve
Scientists, in collaboration with researchers at EMBL Heidelberg, have discovered that a group of marine protists (eukaryotic organisms) closely related to animals use open or closed mitosis based on their life cycle stages, suggesting that the way animal cells perform cell division evolved long before animals themselves.

Physics - 22.05.2024
Gamma-ray method monitors nuclear reactors safely and quickly
Gamma-ray method monitors nuclear reactors safely and quickly
Scientists at EPFL have devised and tested out a new, gamma-noise method for monitoring nuclear reactors non-invasively and from a distance. The new method, tested out on EPFL's CROCUS nuclear reactor, can improve nuclear safety and treaty compliance. Monitoring nuclear reactors around the world to ensure that they comply with international treaties is essential for safety.

Chemistry - 21.05.2024
An AI leap into chemical synthesis
An AI leap into chemical synthesis
Scientists introduce ChemCrow, a large language model-based AI system that revolutionizes chemistry by integrating 18 advanced tools for tasks like organic synthesis and drug discovery. ChemCrow streamlines complex processes in chemical research, making it more efficient for experts and novices alike.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 20.05.2024
Machine learning accelerates discovery of solar-cell perovskites
Machine learning accelerates discovery of solar-cell perovskites
An EPFL research project has developed a method based on machine-learning to quickly and accurately search large databases, leading to the discovery of 14 new materials for solar cells. As we integrate solar energy into our daily lives, it has become important to find materials that efficiently convert sunlight into electricity.

Media - Linguistics / Literature - 17.05.2024
Orphan articles: the 'dark matter' of Wikipedia
Orphan articles: the ’dark matter’ of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is the largest platform for open and freely accessible knowledge online yet, in a new study, researchers have found that around 15% of the content is effectively invisible to readers browsing within Wikipedia. They have developed a new tool to help overcome this. With 60 million articles in more than 300 language versions, Wikipedia's available content grows continuously at a rate of around 200 thousand new articles each month.

Physics - Computer Science - 15.05.2024
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
A new, low-cost, high-efficiency photonic integrated circuit
Researchers at EPFL have developed scalable photonic integrated circuits, based on lithium tantalate, marking a significant advancement in optical technologies with potential to widespread commercial applications. The rapid advancement in photonic integrated circuits (PICs), whichcombine multiple optical devices and functionalities on a single chip, has revolutionized optical communications and computing systems.

Health - 15.05.2024
New cells could be key to treating obesity
New cells could be key to treating obesity
New cells discovered in human omental adipose tissue inhibit fat cell formation, revealing why 'apple' body shapes may pose higher metabolic health risks. Image: Confocal microscopy fluorescent images of a human omental adipose tissue section (visceral fat), depicting the mesothelial cell layer surrounding lobules of adipocytes.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.05.2024
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
Portable method lets scientists identify plant DNA out in the field
In EPFL's GenoRobotics project, a cross-disciplinary team of students is developing a novel method for identifying plant DNA - one that's faster, cheaper and less energy-intensive than the conventional one. The team hopes their new protocol, designed for use out in the field, will make it easier to categorize plants and ultimately help protect biodiversity.

Environment - Chemistry - 08.05.2024
How rising treelines can affect Alpine lakes
How rising treelines can affect Alpine lakes
An EPFL scientist along with colleagues from universities across Europe have completed the first-ever quantitative study of the changes that soil organic matter from forests can cause in high-altitude and high-latitude lakes once it's dissolved in the water Treelines are rising around the world as a result of global warming.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 06.05.2024
Field reality reshapes robotic design
Field reality reshapes robotic design
In 2016, the BBC commissioned two reptilian robots from the BioRob laboratory for a documentary on the African wilderness. The scientists never imagined how testing the devices in the wild would change their approach to robotic design. Auke Ijspeert and his team at the Laboratory of Biorobotics ( BioRob ) in EPFL's Faculty of Engineering had already tested their bio-informed robots in the wild.

Microtechnics - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions
A four-legged robot trained with machine learning by researchers has learned to avoid falls by spontaneously switching between walking, trotting, and pronking - a milestone for roboticists as well as biologists interested in animal locomotion. With the help of a form of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning (DRL), the EPFL robot notably learned to transition from trotting to pronking - a leaping, arch-backed gait used by animals like springbok and gazelles - to navigate a challenging terrain with gaps ranging from 14-30cm.

Physics - Electroengineering - 26.04.2024
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Scientists capture X-rays from upward positive lightning
Researchers have for the first time recorded X-rays being produced at the beginning of upward positive lightning flashes; an observation that gives important insight into the origins of this rare - and particularly dangerous - form of lightning. Globally, lightning is responsible for over 4,000 fatalities and billions of dollars in damage every year; Switzerland itself weathers up to 150,000 strikes annually.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
Mini-colons revolutionize colorectal cancer research
In a breakthrough for cancer research, scientists at EPFL have created lab-grown mini-colons that can accurately mimic the development of colorectal tumors, offering a powerful new tool for studying and testing treatments for the disease. As our battle against cancer rages on, the quest for more sophisticated and realistic models to study tumor development has never been more critical.

Environment - History / Archeology - 24.04.2024
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
On the trail of pollution in Lausanne
A team of researchers from EPFL, UNIL, and Unisanté have published a report that goes through about the legacy of pollution from a trash incinerator that burned in the Lausanne Vallon neighborhood from 1958 to 2005.
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