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Health - Life Sciences - 21.05.2024
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
When cells become tumor cells, their metabolism changes fundamentally. Researchers at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel have now demonstrated that this change leaves traces that could provide targets for cancer immunotherapies. Cancer cells function in turbo mode: Their metabolism is programmed for rapid proliferation, whereby their genetic material is also constantly copied and translated into proteins.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
A new statistical approach published in the journal PNAS reveals a major advance in the measurement of inbreeding. Under the direction of Jérôme Goudet, professor at the University of Lausanne and group leader at the SIB, the authors have developed a promising method for studying endangered species.

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.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.05.2024
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Limited Adaptability Makes Freshwater Bacteria Vulnerable to Climate Change
Freshwater bacteria with small genomes frequently undergo prolonged periods of adaptive stagnation. Based on genomic analyses of samples from Lake Zurich and other European lakes, researchers at the University of Zurich uncovered specific evolutionary strategies that shape these bacteria's lifestyles.

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.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 03.05.2024
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Leprosy in the Middle Ages: New Insights on Transmission Pathways through Squirrels
Researchers at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich have been able to prove that British squirrels carried leprosy bacteria as early as the Middle Ages. Further results revealed a link between the pathogens found in the medieval rodents and those in the local human population during that period.

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.

Life Sciences - Economics - 29.04.2024
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Genome editing: huge potential in Africa
Before the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 in 2012, precise genome modification was a complex process requiring heavy investment. Simple and fast, this revolutionary technology enables scientists to cut the DNA of plants, animals and humans at precise points, opening up previously unimaginable opportunities, such as the creation of disease-resistant plants or the treatment of diseases of genetic origin .

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.04.2024
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Curiosity promotes biodiversity
Cichlid fishes exhibit differing degrees of curiosity. The cause for this lies in their genes, as reported by researchers from the Universities of Bern and Basel in the journal Science. This trait influences the cichlids' ability to adapt to new habitats. Exploratory behavior is one of the fundamental personality traits of animals - and these traits influence their probability of survival, among other things.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.04.2024
When the digestive system influences a child's sleep
When the digestive system influences a child’s sleep
Sleep cycles and neurological development in children are closely linked to interactions between the brain and the gut. Two researchers from the University of Fribourg, in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zurich and Lucerne Children's Hospital, have just been awarded a 2.4 million SNSF grant to better understand these mechanisms, which are fundamental to the health of toddlers .

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.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 23.04.2024
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
New small molecule helps scientists study regeneration
Regenerating damaged tissues or organs has been a dream of scientists for decades. Now, researchers at the FMI and Novartis Biomedical Research have discovered a new molecule that activates a protein involved in regeneration. The tool holds promise for advancing our understanding of how organisms repair damaged tissue.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 22.04.2024
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Spatial-temporal detection of apoptotic cell death in live-cell imaging
Apoptotic cell death is a crucial mechanism that contributes to tissue homeostasis and prevents the onset of several diseases. However, this phenomenon is challenging to identify within microscopy movies that can encompass thousands of cells. Led by Santiago Gonzalez, the recent study carried at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, affiliated with USI, introduces ADeS, an innovative approach based on artificial intelligence for the automatic detection of apoptotic cells in microscopy movies.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.04.2024
Understanding muscle regeneration with zebrafish
Understanding muscle regeneration with zebrafish
In humans, muscles can only regenerate from small injuries, such as those resulting from sporting activities. After an accident or combat injury, large wounds often cause deep damage to muscles, which fail to regenerate and scar. Some animals, on the other hand, replace injured body parts perfectly.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.04.2024
The enemy within: How pathogens spread unrecognized in the body
The enemy within: How pathogens spread unrecognized in the body
Some pathogens hide inside human cells to enhance their survival. Researchers at the University of Basel, have uncovered a unique tactic certain bacteria use to spread in the body without being detected by the immune system. In their study, they reveal the crucial role of a bacterial nanomachine in this infection process.

Life Sciences - 18.04.2024
Perfect balance: How the brain fine-tunes its sensitivity
Perfect balance: How the brain fine-tunes its sensitivity
A sensitive perception of the environment is crucial for guiding our behavior. However, an overly sensitive response of the brain's neural circuits to stimuli can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy. University of Basel researchers report in the journal Nature how neuronal networks in the mouse brain are fine-tuned.

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.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.04.2024
A new tool for tracing the family trees of cells
A new tool for tracing the family trees of cells
Researchers have developed GEMLI, a pioneering tool that could democratize and vastly improve how we study the journey of cells from their embryonic state through to specialized roles in the body, as well as their changes in cancer and other diseases. In the intricate dance of life, where cells multiply and diversify to form the different parts of organisms, understanding each cell's origin can be crucial.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.04.2024
The genesis of our cellular skeleton, image by image
The genesis of our cellular skeleton, image by image
Scientists have reconstructed for the first time a film of the assembly of the human centriole, one of the essential structures that constitute our cells. Cells contain various specialised structures - such as the nucleus, mitochondria or peroxisomes - known as "organelles''. Tracing their genesis and determining their structure is fundamental to understanding cell function and the pathologies linked to their dysfunction.

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.
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