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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Health - Life Sciences - 04.07.2023
Flowing fluids shape the social life of gut microbes
Flowing fluids shape the social life of gut microbes
A groundbreaking study reveals that the flow of fluids influences the spatial organization of bacterial communities that inhabit our intestines, revealing an overlooked factor potentially mediating our microbiome and gut health. Our gut is home to a diverse community of bacteria known as the gut microbiota.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.06.2023
An early predictor of cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease
An early predictor of cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease
EPFL neuroscientists say that early hallucinations disease indicate a greater risk of cognitive decline when there is a diagnosis of Parkinson's. Have you ever felt the strong sensation that someone is behind you, so intense that you turn around, only to see that no-one is there? This is a 'presence hallucination'.

Environment - 28.06.2023
EPFL spin-off closes the loop on PET recycling
EPFL spin-off closes the loop on PET recycling
EPFL spin-off DePoly has developed a method for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) at ambient temperature, even when it's dirty or mixed with other plastics.

Microtechnics - 23.06.2023
Mori3: a polygon shapeshifting robot for space travel
Mori3: a polygon shapeshifting robot for space travel
Jamie Paik and her team of researchers at EPFL's School of Engineering have created an origami-like robot that can change shape, move around and interact with objects and people. By combining inspiration from the digital world of polygon meshing and the biological world of swarm behavior, the Mori3 robot can morph from 2D triangles into almost any 3D object.

Environment - Innovation - 21.06.2023
The 2°C warming target remains in sight
The 2°C warming target remains in sight
Can the 120 countries that signed the Glasgow Climate Pact keep to the pledges they made for 2100? Researchers at EPFL have developed detailed models for calculating long-term CO2 emissions-reduction trajectories and analyzing their impact on global warming. Their findings offer a glimmer of hope. The study by EPFL's Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics (LEURE) has sounded a rare note of optimism amid an otherwise bleak climate outlook.

Life Sciences - 20.06.2023
Embryoids shed light on a complex genetic mechanism
Embryoids shed light on a complex genetic mechanism
Researchers from EPFL and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have gained new insights into a mechanism regulating the early-stage development of mouse embryos. Instead of using an animal model, the team carried out their research on pseudo-embryos grown in the lab from stem cells. Cold cases aren't just the preserve of criminology.

Physics - Life Sciences - 19.06.2023
Researchers control individual molecules for precision sensing
By combining two cutting-edge biological research methods, researchers have achieved near-perfect control over the manipulation of individual molecules, allowing them to be identified and characterized with unprecedented precision. Aleksandra Radenovic, head of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology in the School of Engineering, has worked for years to improve nanopore technology, which involves passing a molecule like DNA through a tiny pore in a membrane to measure an ionic current.

Mechanical Engineering - Health - 16.06.2023
Mechanics of the ideal surgical knot
Researchers have published a first study on the mechanics of surgical knots, with results that could be used to train surgeons to tie stronger, safer sutures - a skill that usually requires years of practice to master. Think about the last time you tied your shoe: maybe you tied it tightly, or tied multiple knots to ensure the laces wouldn't come undone.

Physics - Computer Science - 15.06.2023
Schrödinger's cat makes better qubits
Schrödinger's cat makes better qubits
Drawing from Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, scientists at EPFL have built a "critical cat code" qubit that uses bosons to store and process information in a way that is more reliable and resistant to errors than previous qubit designs. Quantum computing uses the principles of quantum mechanics to encode and elaborate data, meaning that it could one day solve computational problems that are intractable with current computers.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 14.06.2023
First Chat-GPT-designed robot
First Chat-GPT-designed robot
Researchers have used Chat-GPT-3 to develop a robotic gripper for harvesting tomatoes, in a first demonstration of the artificial intelligence tool's potential for collaborating with humans on robot design. With their ability to process vast amounts of text data, and to use this information to answer prompts, neural networks known as large language models (LLMs) like Chat-GPT have been making headlines for their potential to change the way we write, learn, and even make art.

Astronomy / Space - 13.06.2023
Measuring the mass of quasar host galaxies
Measuring the mass of quasar host galaxies
Scientists have managed to weigh - more precisely than any other technique - a galaxy hosting a quasar, thanks to the fact that it acts as a gravitational lens. Detection of strong gravitational lensing quasars is expected to multiply with the launch of Euclid this summer. A team of researchers from EPFL have found a way to use the phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing to determine with precision - about 3 times more precise than any other technique - the mass of a galaxy containing a quasar, as well as their evolution in cosmic time.

Health - Computer Science - 12.06.2023
DeepBreath: Using deep learning to identify respiratory disease
DeepBreath: Using deep learning to identify respiratory disease
A new AI algorithm developed at EPFL and University Hospital Geneva (HUG) will power an intelligent stethoscope - Pneumoscope - with the potential to improve the management of respiratory disease in low-resource and remote settings. As air passes through the labyrinth of small passageways in our lungs, it makes a distinctive whooshing sound.

Physics - Life Sciences - 07.06.2023
Scientists unlock new horizons for cryogenic microscopy
Scientists unlock new horizons for cryogenic microscopy
Scientists have developed a new research instrument for observing biological tissue samples prepared using a method discovered about forty years ago by Nobel Prize winner Jacques Dubochet, emeritus professor at the University of Lausanne. Their instrument - the only one of its kind in the world - opens up promising new avenues of research.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.06.2023
How a highly unstable protein may lead to neurodegeneration
How a highly unstable protein may lead to neurodegeneration
Scientists reproduce key features of pathological protein aggregates found in the brain of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease and other neurological diseases, providing insight into the underlying mechanism and offering promising avenues for new therapies. Several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's Disease aka Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are caused by proteins that go stray and start to aggregate into fibrils that accumulate in specific brain regions.

Environment - Innovation - 01.06.2023
Swiss energy system could be independent and carbon-neutral by 2050
Swiss energy system could be independent and carbon-neutral by 2050
Researchers from EPFL and HES-SO Valais have modeled the Swiss energy system under the hypothetical constraints of carbon neutrality and energy independence by 2050. The results show that these two constraints could be met while reducing energy system costs by about 30% compared to 2020. A carbon-neutral and independent Swiss energy system in 2050 is theoretically achievable using the currently untapped local renewable energy resources.

Physics - 31.05.2023
Actively reducing noise by ionizing air
Actively reducing noise by ionizing air
Scientists show that a thin layer of plasma, created by ionizing air, could be promising as an active sound absorber, with applications in noise control and room acoustics. Did you know that wires can be used to ionize air to make a loudspeaker? Simply put, it's possible to generate sound by creating an electric field in a set of parallel wires, aka a plasma transducer, strong enough to ionize the air particles.

Physics - 30.05.2023
Breaking the ice over a 40-year problem of supercooled water
Breaking the ice over a 40-year problem of supercooled water
Researchers at EPFL have found a way to study water in "no man's land," a subzero temperature range where water crystallizes rapidly. Historically, the inability to access "no man's land" has prevented researchers from unriddling the anomalous nature of water, but the breakthrough method can now change that.

Computer Science - 26.05.2023
Safe Aid: Protecting privacy in humanitarian operations
Safe Aid: Protecting privacy in humanitarian operations
Researchers have worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to develop a first of its kind, digital system to support humanitarian aid distribution. The design uses tokens to decentralize the storage and processing of recipients information, reducing the risk of harm, and uses advanced cryptography to enable accountability.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.05.2023
Thought-controlled walking again after spinal cord injury
Thought-controlled walking again after spinal cord injury
Neuroscientists and neurosurgeons from EPFL/CHUV/UNIL and CEA/CHUGA/UGA report in the journal Nature that they have re-established the communication between the brain and spinal cord with a wireless digital bridge, allowing a paralyzed person to walk again naturally "We have created a wireless interface between the brain and the spinal cord using brain-computer interface (BCI) technology that transforms thought into action.", summarizes Grégoire Courtine, Professor of Neuroscience at EPFL, CHUV and UNIL.

Health - 24.05.2023
Designing synthetic receptors for precise cell control
Designing synthetic receptors for precise cell control
Scientists at EPFL have developed a groundbreaking new technique for engineering biosensors that respond sensitively to specific biomolecules, enhancing cell migration and targeting in cancer treatment. The findings could lead to more precise control over cellular processes for a wide range of therapeutic applications.
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