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Environment - Innovation - 06.11.2023
Energy transition: a super-model to guide policy makers
Energy transition: a super-model to guide policy makers
A team from the University of Geneva has modelled projections for the spread of green energy at local level. Switzerland will have to step up its efforts to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050. How can we ensure that an energy policy will achieve its objectives? To find out, scientists and public authorities can rely on computer models of varying degrees of accuracy.

Materials Science - Innovation - 27.10.2023
3D printed reactor core makes solar fuel production more efficient
3D printed reactor core makes solar fuel production more efficient
Using a new 3D printing technique, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed special ceramic structures for a solar reactor. Initial experimental testing show that these structures can boost the production yield of solar fuels. In recent years, engineers at ETH Zurich have developed the technology to produce liquid fuels from sunlight and air.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 26.10.2023
Soft, elephant trunk-like robot for close interaction with humans
Soft, elephant trunk-like robot for close interaction with humans
Researchers have designed a bio-inspired robot with a novel trimmed helicoid structure that allows for a wide range of motion and safe interaction with humans. At EPFL's CREATE lab , under the guidance of Josie Hughes, a breakthrough has been made in the realm of soft robotics. Drawing inspiration from the versatile movement of elephant trunks and octopus tentacles, the team introduced the trimmed helicoid - a novel robotic structure that promises greater compliance and control in robotic designs.

Health - Innovation - 24.10.2023
Better cancer diagnosis thanks to digital 3D images
Better cancer diagnosis thanks to digital 3D images
How to bring a diagnostic process that has endured for 100 years into the digital age? Two researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are developing a robotic platform that enables a more accurate diagnosis of cancer cells by rapidly quantifying tissue samples in their entirety. It all started with an innocuous question at the start of Francesca Catto's doctoral thesis: wouldn't it be nice if tissue samples could be coloured and digitally displayed as a 3D image?

Health - Innovation - 05.10.2023
Increased deep sleep benefits your heart
Increased deep sleep benefits your heart
Stimulating the brain with gentle sounds during deep sleep significantly enhances cardiac function, according to a new study. This discovery could have implications not only for cardiovascular diseases but also for competitive sports, among other areas. Sleep is a vital aspect of human life, with deep sleep being particularly crucial for overall health.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 11.09.2023
Bacteria generate electricity from wastewater
In a breakthrough for the field of bioelectronics, researchers at EPFL have enhanced the ability of E. coli bacteria to generate electricity. The innovative approach only offers a sustainable solution for organic waste processing while outperforming previous state-of-the-art technologies, opening new horizons for versatile microbial electricity production.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 06.09.2023
Analog & digital: best of both worlds in one energy-efficient system
Analog & digital: best of both worlds in one energy-efficient system
The fusion of 2D semiconductors and ferroelectric materials could lead to joint digital and analog information processing, with significant improvement in energy consumption, electronic device performance, and lead to novel functionalities. We live in an analog world of continuous information flow that is both processed and stored by our brains at the same time, but our devices process information digitally in the form of discrete binary code, breaking the information into bits.

Materials Science - Innovation - 29.08.2023
Rechargable revolution
Rechargable revolution
The Empa spin-off BTRY wants to revolutionize rechargeable batteries: Their thin-film batteries are not only safer and longer-lasting than conventional lithium-ion batteries, they are also much more environmentally friendly to manufacture and can be charged and discharged in just one minute. For now, the battery is very small, but the founders have big plans for it.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 21.08.2023
Robotic dog runs (almost) entirely on its own
Robotic dog runs (almost) entirely on its own
For his Master's project at EPFL, Mickaël Achkar compiled data on the movements of dogs to develop a robotic version of the animal that, once set in motion, can run without assistance. Engineers at EPFL's Computational Robot Design & Fabrication Lab (CREATE), headed by Prof. Josie Hughes, are coming up with new ways of building robots possessing never-before-seen capabilities.

Health - Innovation - 18.08.2023
A Lab-on-a-Chip for T cell screening and sorting
A Lab-on-a-Chip for T cell screening and sorting
Using high precision microfabrication and microfluidics, Clémentine Lipp has developed a tool with the potential to automate T cell screening and sorting-an essential task in immunology. Currently, it is a difficult and laborious process to place two cells in contact with each other to examine their binding characteristics.

Environment - Innovation - 30.06.2023
4000 scenarios for a climate turnaround
4000 scenarios for a climate turnaround
Using an extensive computer simulation of the climate, the global economy and the global energy system, researchers at PSI have been analysing different ways of mitigating climate change, together with colleagues from the US, China, Ireland, Finland and Sweden. CO2 emissions from human activities account for about 42 billion tonnes per year.

Innovation - Art and Design - 22.06.2023
How AI technology from ETH animates the fire creatures in the latest Pixar movie
How AI technology from ETH animates the fire creatures in the latest Pixar movie
Today, the latest animated film Elemental from Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studio is released in Swiss cinemas. The film revolves around the fiery Ember, who lives in Element City - a place where fire, water, earth and air beings live. The film is not only made in Hollywood, but also enabled by ETH technology.

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.

Innovation - Materials Science - 20.06.2023
Swim and run without changing
Swim and run without changing
Just in time for summer: The Swiss start-up Swijin is launching a new sportswear category with its SwimRunner - a sports bra together with matching bottoms that works as both swimwear and running gear and dries in no time.

Health - Innovation - 15.06.2023
A 'spy' in the belly
A ’spy’ in the belly
To ensure that wounds remain tightly sealed in the abdomen after surgery, researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich have developed a patch with a sensor function. The polymer patch warns before the occurence of dangerous leaks on sutures in the gastrointestinal tract take hold, while closes the areas on its own.

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.

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.

Microtechnics - Innovation - 23.05.2023
An aviary for drone research
An aviary for drone research
They maintain and repair buildings, observe natural phenomena and transport goods: Drones and robots could play a major role in our lives in the future. With the DroneHub, a kind of aviary is to be created in the NEST research and innovation building on the Empa campus in Dübendorf, where researchers will explore and further develop the interaction of drones, infrastructure and natural habitats together with industrial and academic partners.

Innovation - 19.05.2023
Amputees feel warmth in their missing hand
Amputees feel warmth in their missing hand
An unexpected discovery about temperature feedback has led to new bionic technology that allows amputees to sense the temperature of objects - both hot and cold - directly in the phantom hand. The technology opens up new avenues for non-invasive prosthetics. "When I touch the stump with my hand, I feel tingling in my missing hand, my phantom hand.

Environment - Innovation - 19.04.2023
Wood: A wild card for the energy transition
Wood: A wild card for the energy transition
Wood is a trump card for the energy transition because it is very versatile and easy to store. Compared to today, up to a third more energy could be obtained from wood, not only in the form of heat, but also in the form of electricity and fuels. However, current use is not efficient enough, Swiss bioenergy researchers have shown in a new report.