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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETHZ


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Agronomy / Food Science - Health - 21.05.2024
Chocolate that harnesses the full potential of the cocoa fruit
Chocolate that harnesses the full potential of the cocoa fruit
Researchers at ETH Zurich have teamed up with the food industry to produce a whole-fruit variety of chocolate. This helps increase the value creation of cocoa farming - and is healthier. For many people, chocolate is a sweet delight: its main components are cocoa mass and cocoa butter, which are extracted from the cocoa fruit.

Environment - Innovation - 15.05.2024
Using solar energy to generate heat at high temperatures
Using solar energy to generate heat at high temperatures
Instead of burning coal or oil to produce cement or steel, in the future solar energy could be used for this purpose. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a thermal trap that can absorb concentrated sunlight and deliver heat at over thousand degrees Celsius. The production of cement, metals and many chemical commodities requires extremely high temperatures of over a thousand degrees Celsius.

Transport - Innovation - 15.05.2024
Researchers outsmarted EasyRide function on Swiss travel app
Researchers outsmarted EasyRide function on Swiss travel app
Experiments by ETH Zurich computer security researchers showed that smartphones can be manipulated to allow the owner to ride Swiss trains for free. The researchers also highlighted ways of curbing such misuse. It makes travelling by train, bus and tram super easy: instead of buying a conventional ticket, people using the EasyRide function in the SBB app can start their journey with a single swipe on their smartphone.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 14.05.2024
Mosaic grassland landscapes are the most beneficial
Mosaic grassland landscapes are the most beneficial
Like forests, grassland provides numerous ecological, economic and social benefits. Researchers in the Swiss canton of Solothurn have investigated ways to maintain and improve these benefits. Grass, clover and herbs are the foundation of Swiss agriculture: two-thirds of Switzerland's agricultural land is grassland, much of which is barely suitable for arable farming.

Health - Physics - 13.05.2024
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
New gel breaks down alcohol in the body
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a protein-based gel that breaks down alcohol in the gastrointestinal tract without harming the body. In the future, people who take the gel could reduce the harmful and intoxicating effects of alcohol. Most alcohol enters the bloodstream via the mucous membrane layer of the stomach and the intestines.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.05.2024
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Electron vortices in graphene detected
Researchers at ETH Zurich have, for the first time, made visible how electrons form vortices in a material at room temperature. Their experiment used a quantum sensing microscope with an extremely high resolution. When an ordinary electrical conductor - such as a metal wire - is connected to a battery, the electrons in the conductor are accelerated by the electric field created by the battery.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.05.2024
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
Solving physics puzzles with coloured dots
By analysing images made of coloured dots created by quantum simulators, researchers have studied a special kind of magnetism. In the future this method could also be used to solve other physics puzzles, for instance in superconductivity. Up close it looks like lots of coloured dots, but from a distance one sees a complex picture rich in detail: Using the technique of pointillism, in 1886 George Seurat created the masterpiece ,,A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte".

Health - Innovation - 02.05.2024
Blood diagnostics modelled on leeches
Blood diagnostics modelled on leeches
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a safe and inexpensive device for reliable blood measurements. It works using a suction cup and could also be employed to diagnose the tropical disease malaria - even by non-medical personnel. Many people are afraid of needles, and having a doctor take a blood sample from their arm makes them uncomfortable.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 30.04.2024
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
In order to understand the Earth's resilience, researchers at ETH Zurich are modelling climate changes from times long past. And they show: Plants are not simply victims of circumstances, but have helped to shape climate conditions on Earth. Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, Earth has lived through a series of climatic shifts, shaping the planet as we know it today.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 24.04.2024
AI designs new drugs based on protein structures
AI designs new drugs based on protein structures
A new computer process developed by chemists at ETH Zurich makes it possible to generate active pharmaceutical ingredients quickly and easily based on a protein's three-dimensional surface. The new process could revolutionise drug research. "It's a real breakthrough for drug discovery," says Gisbert Schneider, Professor at ETH Zurich's Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences.

Environment - Chemistry - 23.04.2024
Bacteria for climate-neutral chemicals of the future
Bacteria for climate-neutral chemicals of the future
Researchers at ETH Zurich have engineered bacteria in the laboratory to efficiently use methanol. The metabolism of these bacteria can now be tapped into to produce valuable products currently made by the chemical industry from fossil fuels. To produce various chemicals such as plastics, dyes or artificial flavours, the chemical industry currently relies heavily on fossil resources such as crude oil.

Physics - 18.04.2024
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Surprising reversal in quantum systems
Researchers at ETH Zurich have studied topological effects in an artificial solid, making surprising observations. The new insights into topological pumping could be used for quantum technologies in the future. In principle, one shouldn't compare apples to oranges. However, in topology, which is a branch of mathematics, one has to do just that.

History / Archeology - Religions - 18.04.2024
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
Antisemitism in the history of Raiffeisen?
On behalf of Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, researchers examined the beginnings of the Raiffeisen movement in Switzerland. Their focus was on antisemitism as well as Raiffeisen during National Socialism. Raiffeisen Group in Switzerland today has 219 cooperative Raiffeisen banks. It is based on the cooperative movement started by F.W. Raiffeisen in Germany around 1860.

Health - 17.04.2024
How data provided by fitness trackers and smartphones can help people with MS
How data provided by fitness trackers and smartphones can help people with MS
Monitoring and treating a case of multiple sclerosis requires reliable and long-term data on how the disease is progressing in the person in question. Fitness trackers and smartphones can supply this data, as a research team led by ETH Zurich has now shown. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an insidious disease.

Life Sciences - 16.04.2024
Twisted pollen tubes induce infertility
Twisted pollen tubes induce infertility
Plants with multiple sets of chromosomes have advantages over their relatives with a double set. But why they often start out infertile was only partially understood. Biologists at ETH Zurich have now discovered a new reason for the initial difficulties. Most mammals and humans have a double set of chromosomes - and as a rule, plants do, too: one set comes from the father, the other from the mother.

Environment - 15.04.2024
Tropical forests can't recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Tropical forests can’t recover naturally without fruit eating birds
Natural forest regeneration is hailed as a cost-effective way to restore biodiversity and sequester carbon. However, the fragmentation of tropical forests has restricted the movement of large birds limiting their capacity to disperse seeds and restore healthy forests. New research from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich illustrates a critical barrier to natural regeneration of tropical forests.

Environment - Architecture - 10.04.2024
What can cities do to promote acceptance of densification?
What can cities do to promote acceptance of densification?
Swiss cities are more likely to accept densification when densification projects provide affordable housing and green spaces compared to densification that is implemented through reduced regulations for housing construction. By prioritizing a socio-ecological densification, extensive planning procedures and delays might be minimized.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 08.04.2024
Protecting art and passwords with biochemistry
Protecting art and passwords with biochemistry
A new molecular test method helps to prove the authenticity of works of art. The new method could also help to make passwords secure against quantum computers. Security experts fear Q-Day, the day when quantum computers become so powerful that they can crack today's passwords. Some experts estimate that this day will come within the next ten years.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 02.04.2024
Strengthening Swiss hydropower with science
Strengthening Swiss hydropower with science
Researchers at ETH Zurich led by Robert Boes are developing specific solutions to optimise electricity production from Swiss hydropower plants. This will ensure that hydropower remains the backbone of Switzerland's electricity supply in the future. "Although Swiss hydropower is a proven technology, we must constantly work on optimising it.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.03.2024
How micro- and nanoplastics are infiltrating the Arctic ice
How micro- and nanoplastics are infiltrating the Arctic ice
Environmental scientist Alice Pradel cultivates ice cores in the lab to investigate the transport and accumulation of microand nanoplastics. Her aim in doing so is to better understand material flows in the Arctic ice. "Beat the Microbead" is the name of a campaign launched in 2012 with the aim of reducing the use of microplastics in cosmetic products in order to minimise negative effects on the environment and people.
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