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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Health - 02.02.2023
A microfluidic for detecting SARS-CoV-2
A microfluidic for detecting SARS-CoV-2
A new microfluidic device developed by scientists in Switzerland can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus with high accuracy and speed, using a unique DNA/RNA duplex technology. The device can prove to be a game-changer in the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for ways to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus quickly, accurately and on a massive scale in order to control its spread.

Transport - Microtechnics - 31.01.2023
Autonomous steering system keeps human drivers engaged
Autonomous steering system keeps human drivers engaged
Researchers from EPFL and JTEKT Corporation have developed an automated driving system based on the concept of 'collaborative steering', which aims to increase transportation safety, efficiency, and comfort by encouraging active interaction between autonomous vehicles and their human drivers. Autonomous driving technologies have already been integrated into many mass-produced vehicles, providing human drivers with steering assistance in tasks like centering a vehicle in its lane.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 30.01.2023
A neuro-chip to manage brain disorders
A neuro-chip to manage brain disorders
Researchers have combined low-power chip design, machine learning algorithms, and soft implantable electrodes to produce a neural interface that can identify and suppress symptoms of various neurological disorders. Mahsa Shoaran of the Integrated Neurotechnologies Laboratory in the School of Engineering collaborated with Stéphanie Lacour in the Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces to develop NeuralTree: a closed-loop neuromodulation system-on-chip that can detect and alleviate disease symptoms.

Physics - 27.01.2023
Ultrafast control of spins in a microscope
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new technique that can visualize and control the rotation of a handful of spins arranged in a vortex-like texture at the fastest speed ever achieved. The breakthrough can advance "spintronics", a technology that includes new types of computer memory, logic gates, and high-precision sensors.

Health - Innovation - 26.01.2023
Producing blood platelets on demand
Producing blood platelets on demand
Blood platelets can be stored for only up to a week, and hospitals often run short of this life-saving resource.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.01.2023
Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle
Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle
In a new journal article, EPFL professor Tom Battin reviews our current understanding of carbon fluxes in the world's river networks. He demonstrates their central role in the global carbon cycle and argues for the creation of a global River Observation System. Until recently, our understanding of the global carbon cycle was largely limited to the world's oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 17.01.2023
Improving perovskite solar cell resistance to degradation
Improving perovskite solar cell resistance to degradation
Despite their huge potential, the way perovskite solar cells respond to external stimuli - such as heat or moisture - has a considerable impact on their stability. Researchers at EPFL have identified the cause of degradation and developed a technique to improve stability, bringing us closer to widespread adoption of these cost-effective and efficient solar cells.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.01.2023
Drug combo breaks down cancer resistance to immunotherapy
By combining a checkpoint inhibitor with a new immunocytokine, scientists at EPFL, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, CHUV and Roche have made a breakthrough in fighting against immunotherapy-resistant cancers. Immunotherapy is a way of treating cancer by reprogramming the patient's immune system to attack their tumor.

Physics - Computer Science - 12.01.2023
Integrated photonic circuits could help close the 'terahertz gap'
Integrated photonic circuits could help close the 'terahertz gap'
Researchers have collaborated with those at Harvard and ETH Zurich on a new thin-film circuit that, when connected to a laser beam, produces finely tailorable terahertz-frequency waves. The device opens up a world of potential applications in optics and telecommunications. Researchers led by Cristina Benea-Chelmus in the Laboratory of Hybrid Photonics ( HYLAB ) in EPFL's School of Engineering have taken a big step toward successfully exploiting the so-called terahertz gap, which lies between about 300-30,000 gigahertz (0.3 to 30 THz) on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.01.2023
Scientists delve into natural slicks on Lake Geneva
Scientists delve into natural slicks on Lake Geneva
An EPFL researcher has, for the first time, documented slicks - those visually arresting, moving patches of smooth water - and explained what is happening beneath the surface. Natural slicks are a mysterious, intriguing phenomenon for anyone who enjoys looking out over Lake Geneva, including passers-by, commuters - and now local researchers.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 09.01.2023
A robotic microsurgeon reveals how embryos grow
Combining biology and robotics, scientists at EPFL have built a robotic microsurgery platform that can perform high-precision, micrometer-resolution dissections to advance our understanding of how the vertebrate body forms during embryonic development. Understanding the biology behind an embryo's development is crucial not only from a basic science perspective, but also from a medical one.

Environment - 06.01.2023
Using machine learning to forecast amine emissions
Using machine learning to forecast amine emissions
Scientists at EPFL and Heriot-Watt University have developed a machine learning approach to accurately predict potentially harmful amine emissions from carbon-capturing plants. Global warming is partly due to the vast amount of carbon dioxide that we release, mostly from power generation and industrial processes, such as making steel and cement.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.01.2023
A step towards solar fuels out of thin air
A step towards solar fuels out of thin air
EPFL chemical engineers have invented a solar-powered artificial leaf, built on a novel electrode which is transparent and porous, capable of harvesting water from the air for conversion into hydrogen fuel. The semiconductor-based technology is scalable and easy to prepare. A device that can harvest water from the air and provide hydrogen fuel-entirely powered by solar energy-has been a dream for researchers for decades.

Physics - Electroengineering - 26.12.2022
Optomechanics simulates graphene lattices
Optomechanics simulates graphene lattices
Scientists at EPFL have overcome the scaling challenges of quantum optomechanical systems and realized the first superconducting circuit optomechanical graphene lattice. The precise control of micro-mechanical oscillators is fundamental to many contemporary technologies, from sensing and timing to radiofrequency filters in smartphones.

Microtechnics - Environment - 19.12.2022
Winged robot that can land like a bird
Winged robot that can land like a bird
Researchers have developed a method that allows a flapping-wing robot to land autonomously on a horizontal perch using a claw-like mechanism. The innovation could significantly expand the scope of robot-assisted tasks. A bird landing on a branch makes the maneuver look like the easiest thing in the world, but in fact, the act of perching involves an extremely delicate balance of timing, high-impact forces, speed, and precision.

Environment - Innovation - 18.12.2022
UrbanTwin: seeing double for sustainability
A consortium of Swiss research institutes has begun working on UrbanTwin to make an AI driven, ecologically sensitive model of the energy, water and waste systems the town of Aigle to help boost sustainability. Twins are a fascinating phenomenon: observing how identical twins, even those separated at birth, can resemble each other in appearance, character, ability, and personal taste is astounding.

Computer Science - 12.12.2022
AI enables more effective humanitarian action
AI enables more effective humanitarian action
Researchers from EPFL and ETH Zurich, working together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Bin Khalifa Unversity (Qatar), have developed a program that can generate population density estimates with unparalleled precision, and only needs a rough estimate at the regional level to learn.

Innovation - Pedagogy - 09.12.2022
Powering vocational education and training with technology
Powering vocational education and training with technology
For more than 15 years, researchers have been exploring ways to improve training for apprentices. The findings are summarized in a recently published book and a website for teachers, and new educational technologies are currently being developed. Switzerland is known for its fondue, its punctual trains and its watchmaking industry.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 06.12.2022
Locomotion modeling evolves with brain-inspired neural networks
Locomotion modeling evolves with brain-inspired neural networks
A team of scientists at EPFL have built a new neural network system that can help understand how animals adapt their movement to changes in their own body and to create more powerful artificial intelligence systems. Deep learning has been fueled by artificial neural networks, which stack simple computational elements on top of each other, to create powerful learning systems.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 05.12.2022
Chip lets scientists study biocement formation in real-time
Chip lets scientists study biocement formation in real-time
Scientists from EPFL and the University of Lausanne have used a chip that was originally designed for environmental science to study the properties of biocement formation. This material has the potential to replace traditional cement binders in certain civil engineering applications. The chip has the size of a credit card and its surface is engraved with a flow channel measuring one meter from end to end and as thick as a human hair.
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