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Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.05.2022
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How does a cell balance risk and speed when dividing? scientists have developed and experimentally tested the first mathematical theory that describes the cell's best strategy for dividing safely and efficiently. Cells go through a life cycle that includes growing to the right size, being equipped to perform its functions, and finally dividing into two new cells.

Life Sciences - 13.05.2022
Our cells take their ease in the curves
A team from the University of Geneva shows that cells that make up our tissues increase in volume when tissues bend. A key discovery for the culture of in vitro organs. "Sheet" of curved cells in the form of a tube: the cells initially organized flat were forced to curl. (c) Aurélien Roux How do our cells organize themselves to give their final shape to our organs? The answer lies in morphogenesis, the set of mechanisms that regulate their distribution in space during embryonic development.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.05.2022
When unconscious, the brain is anything but 'silent'
When unconscious, the brain is anything but ’silent’
The cerebral cortex is thought to be the seat of conscious processing in the brain. Rather than being inactivated, specific cells in the cortex show higher spontaneous activity during general anesthesia than when awake, and this activity is synchronized across those cortical cells. Improving our understanding of the neuronal mechanisms of general anesthesia could lead to better anesthetic drugs and improved surgical outcomes.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 12.05.2022
The genetic origins of the world's first farmers clarified
The genetic origins of the world’s first farmers clarified
The genetic origins of the first agriculturalists in the Neolithic period long seemed to lie in the Near East. A new study published in the journal Cell shows that the first farmers actually represented a mixture of Ice Age hunter-gatherer groups, spread from the Near East all the way to south-eastern Europe.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.05.2022
Thwarting cellular enzyme can fight viral infections
Thwarting cellular enzyme can fight viral infections
Researchers from FMI have identified a synthetic protein that dampens the activity of a cellular pathway involved in viral infection. The findings could help to develop drugs that combat viruses such as influenza A and Zika. Influenza A virus affects millions of people worldwide and can have serious complications, including bacterial pneumonia, ear infections and the worsening of long-term medical conditions.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.05.2022
Precision oncology helps prostate cancer patients
Precision oncology helps prostate cancer patients
Researchers at the University of Bern and University Hospital Bern have achieved a breakthrough in a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer. In tissue samples from advanced brain metastases, they were able to establish the genetic profile of the cancer cells. These findings show for the first time that affected patients could benefit from target treatment, from which they have so far not been eligible.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 10.05.2022
Complex Human Childbirth and Cognitive Abilities a Result of Walking Upright
Complex Human Childbirth and Cognitive Abilities a Result of Walking Upright
Childbirth in humans is much more complex and painful than in great apes. It was long believed that this was a result of humans- larger brains and the narrow dimensions of the mother's pelvis. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now used 3D simulations to show that childbirth was also a highly complex process in earlier hominin species that gave birth to relatively small-brained newborns - with important implications for their cognitive development.

Life Sciences - 06.05.2022
The role of surface tension in biological symmetry
The role of surface tension in biological symmetry
Researchers have discovered that symmetry in the human body is influenced by surface tension, the same mechanical phenomenon that allows lightweight insects to walk on water. A paper discussing this surprising finding, which is akin to a form of natural self-correction, has been published. In vertebrates, the arms, legs, fins and wings are neatly aligned on either side of the torso.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.04.2022
A new mutation behind synucleinopathies
A new mutation behind synucleinopathies
Scientists at EPFL have carried out an extensive study of a newly discovered mutation that can uncover new insights into the molecular basis of pathology formation in a family of disorders that includes Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia belong to a family of neurodegenerative disorders called synucleinopathies because they are caused by the pathological accumulation of protein alpha-synuclein into structures called Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in the brain.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.04.2022
Breakthroughs at IOR in the search for anti-metastatic therapies
Breakthroughs at IOR in the search for anti-metastatic therapies
The Molecular Oncology research group at USI has identified, through the use of bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, a new way to selectively identify and kill a specific type of cells involved in metastasis dissemination. The problem Metastasis, the spreading of tumor cells from a primary site to their progressive outgrowth at a distant organ, is ultimately what kills almost 90% patients with cancer.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.04.2022
Climate warming alters glacier-fed stream ecosystems worldwide
Climate warming alters glacier-fed stream ecosystems worldwide
According to two recent studies carried out as part of the Vanishing Glaciers Project, the ecosystems of glacier-fed streams are undergoing profound change around the world. That could have major repercussions on the food chain and the natural carbon cycle. The ecosystems of glacier-fed streams have survived nutrient-poor and harsh environmental conditions over the course of thousands of years, yet they are now being transformed by climate change at unprecedented pace.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.04.2022
Palmitoylation, a new target for anti-cancer drugs
Palmitoylation, a new target for anti-cancer drugs
By developing a tool to visualize the membrane association and activation status of normal and oncogenic proteins, scientists at the University of Geneva have established the basis for innovative drug discovery. Peripheral membrane proteins have the particularity of temporarily binding to cell membranes, a necessary step for them to be able to fulfil their biological function.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.04.2022
Structural insights into the assembly of cilia
Cilia, the little "hairs" attached to almost all cells of the human body, play a role in various cellular functions and cause diseases called ciliopathies when they are defective. Researchers from the group of Patrick Matthias and the FMI Structural Biology platform determined the structure, at near atomic resolution, of a protein complex that plays an essential role in the assembly of cilia - and causes ciliopathies when it is mutated.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.04.2022
Breast cancer: why metastasis spreads to the bone
A team of biologists led by UNIGE has discovered, for breast cancer, a factor that explains the spread of metastases to the bones. 3D image showing the invasion of breast cancer cells (green) expressing ZEB1 into mouse bone tissue (red). (c) Didier Picard When cancer cells break away from a primary tumor and migrate to other organs, this is called 'metastatic cancer'.

Life Sciences - 13.04.2022
Blood vessel formation: how the vascular cells respond to blood pressure
Blood vessel formation: how the vascular cells respond to blood pressure
Our blood vessels must remain sealed to prevent blood leakage. During blood vessel formation vascular cells are able to reinforce their cell junctions by employing a specific protein when exposed to great forces, University of Basel scientists report. Throughout our body there is a dense, widely ramified network of blood vessels.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.04.2022
The origins and ID of pancreatic endocrine cells
UNIGE Scientists show that endocrine stem cells in the pancreas disappear after birth, and detail the genetic identity of the different types of pancreatic hormone-producing cells. Pedro Herrera's team reports new discoveries in the knowledge of the mechanisms of pancreatic cell formation, as well as in the gene expression profile defining the identity of the different types of endocrine cells of the pancreas.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.04.2022
Enhancer-promoter interactions - distance matters
Enhancer-promoter interactions - distance matters
When and where a gene is transcribed in a living organism often depends on its physical interactions with distal genomic regulatory regions called enhancers. Researchers in the group of Luca Giorgetti have thrown light on how such interactions control transcription thanks to a novel ingenious experimental approach combined with mathematical modelling.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 12.04.2022
How to find anti-cancer agents
How to find anti-cancer agents
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Italian Institute of Technology IIT have developed a novel substance that disables a protein in the cell skeleton, leading to cell death. In this way, substances of this type can prevent, for example, the growth of tumours. To accomplish this, the researchers combined a structural biological method with the computational design of active agents.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.04.2022
Two DNA defense systems behind resilience of 7th cholera pandemic
Two DNA defense systems behind resilience of 7th cholera pandemic
Two DNA defense systems protect the bacterial strains responsible for the ongoing seventh cholera pandemic from potentially harmful genetic material and viruses, scientists have found. Their study also shows that the defense systems may have been key in the evolution and success of these strains. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae , a waterborne pathogen that infects the gut of humans through contaminated water and food.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.04.2022
Getting up again with a severe neurodegenerative disease
Getting up again with a severe neurodegenerative disease
Electronic implant reactivates spinal-cord nerves of a patient with a neurodegenerative disease that causes dramatic blood pressure drops. A patient suffering from a debilitating neurodegenerative disease was able to get up and walk again after being bedridden for over a year, thanks to an innovative system developed by a team of scientists at the NeuroRestore research center headed by Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and Professor at University of Lausanne UNIL, and Grégoire Courtine, an EPFL professor in neuroscience.
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