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Health - Life Sciences - 21.06.2021
Microscopy Deep Learning Predicts Viral Infections
Microscopy Deep Learning Predicts Viral Infections
When viruses infect cells, changes in the cell nucleus occur, and these can be observed through fluorescence microscopy. Using fluoresence images from live cells, researchers at the University of Zurich have trained an artificial neural network to reliably recognize cells that are infected by adenoviruses or herpes viruses.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.06.2021
Pathogenic bacteria rendered almost harmless
Pathogenic bacteria rendered almost harmless
By identifying one of the mechanisms regulating the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a team from the University of Geneva is proposing a new strategy to combat this bacterium, which is resistant to many common antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogenic bacterium present in many ecological niches, such as plant roots, stagnant water or even the pipes of our homes.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 21.06.2021
A check-up for the ground
A check-up for the ground
Intense agricultural use is causing soil degradation in many areas. Now researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a rapid test for measuring soil quality on site. This should allow farmers to monitor the health of their land themselves in the future. Many of us pay hardly any attention to the ground and simply stride across it unseeing.

Life Sciences - 21.06.2021
’On your marks. Get set. Go!’ Mapping delayed responses in the brain
Neuroscientists at EPFL identify the brain mechanism that we use to prepare a timely action while suppressing premature execution. In some ways, we can think of the brain as an input/output machine; it receives signals from the environment and the body through peripheral and sends back appropriate responses.

Life Sciences - 21.06.2021
Mini-guts reveal crucial forces that shape the intestinal lining
Mini-guts reveal crucial forces that shape the intestinal lining
Using miniature guts grown in a dish and 3D biophysical modelling, FMI researchers and their collaborators have uncovered the forces that give the intestinal wall its classic brushlike appearance. The findings can help to understand how the gut takes form during development — and how this process goes awry in disease.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.06.2021
Silent witnesses
Silent witnesses
Once of interest only to enthusiasts, ETH Zurich's Entomological Collection now offers researchers a treasure trove of hidden knowledge.   Four tightly closed doors protect the Entomological Collection of ETH Zurich from heat and daylight. The cold, dry air is the perfect environment for the two million insects that call these specimen drawers home - although it's not particularly comfortable for their human keepers.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.06.2021
Next-generation implants will be biodegradable and non-invasive
Next-generation implants will be biodegradable and non-invasive
EPFL engineers have developed a neural interface that disappears harmlessly in the body after several months and allows natural tissue to grow back. What's more, it can be implanted in a patient's blood vessel rather than inside the brain, thereby avoiding the need for invasive surgery. Some implants like pacemakers can last for years, while others wear out quickly due to technical weaknesses.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.06.2021
Slowed cell division causes microcephaly
Slowed cell division causes microcephaly
Scientists from the University of Geneva demonstrate how the mutation of a single gene can slow down cell division and lead to an abnormally small brain. The birth of a human being requires billions of cell divisions to go from a fertilised egg to a baby. At each of these divisions, the genetic material of the mother cell duplicates itself to be equally distributed between the two new cells.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.06.2021
Detoxifiers from the landfill
Detoxifiers from the landfill
Bacteria from an Indian landfill could help eliminate contaminated chemicals. The focus is on pesticides such as lindane or brominated flame retardants, which accumulate in nature and in food chains. Researchers at Empa and Eawag used these bacteria to generate enzymes that can break down these dangerous chemicals.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.06.2021
Excess nitrogen puts butterflies at risk
Excess nitrogen puts butterflies at risk
Nitrogen from agriculture, vehicle emissions and industry is endangering butterflies in Switzerland. The element is deposited in the soil via the air and has an impact on vegetation - to the detriment of the butterflies, as researchers at the University of Basel have discovered. More than half of butterfly species in Switzerland are considered to be at risk or potentially at risk.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.06.2021
Tailored optical stimulation for the blind
Tailored optical stimulation for the blind
Scientists in a European collaboration propose a personalized protocol for optimizing stimulation of optic nerve fibers, for the blind, which takes into account feedback from the viewer's brain. The protocol has been tested on artificial neural networks known to simulate the physiology of the entire visual system, from the eye to the visual cortex.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.06.2021
New glial cells discovered in the brain: Implications for brain repair
New glial cells discovered in the brain: Implications for brain repair
Neurons, nerve cells in the brain, are central players in brain function. However, a key role for glia, long considered support cells, is emerging. A research group at the University of Basel has now discovered two new types of glial cells in the brain, by unleashing adult stem cells from their quiescent state.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.06.2021
Understanding the evolution of viruses
Understanding the evolution of viruses
Researchers at ETH Zurich have recreated a key step in the evolutionary history of viruses in a laboratory experiment. They succeeded in remodeling a natural protein to create capsids capable of storing genetic material. Viruses have always had a major influence on life. They emerged a few billion years ago, precisely when is difficult to estimate.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.06.2021
Luring bacteria into a trap
Luring bacteria into a trap
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Basel have developed a vaccine that protects animals from Salmonella . These bacteria often escape the effects of vaccination by genetically modifying their protective coat. The researchers have succeeded in manipulating this process to lure the bacteria into an evolutionary trap.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.06.2021
Microbial biodiversity has a new dimension
Microbial biodiversity has a new dimension
Microbes self-organise to grow into fascinating and complex patterns. The diversity of these patterns depends on a previously unknown factor, as researchers at Eawag have discovered. This might re-define how we view the concept of microbial biodiversity. The microbes in our gut help us digest food, and help us to defend against pathogens.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 01.06.2021
Protecting the IQ of people at risk for psychosis
Protecting the IQ of people at risk for psychosis
A team from the University of Geneva has found that a class of drugs can protect the development of intellectual abilities in people at risk of psychosis, if prescribed before adolescence. One person in 2000 suffers from a microdeletion of chromosome 22 that can lead to the development of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, in adolescence.

Life Sciences - Physics - 28.05.2021
A deep dive into the brain
A deep dive into the brain
Researchers from ETH Zurich and University of Zurich have developed a new microscopy technique that lights up the brain with high resolution imagery. This allows neuroscientists to study brain functions and ailments more closely and non-invasively.   The way the human brain works remains, to a great extent, a topic of controversy.

Environment - Life Sciences - 28.05.2021
Online biomonitoring of WWTP wastewater
Online biomonitoring of WWTP wastewater
Treated wastewater can be continuously monitored online with the use of organisms. This gives operators of wastewater treatment plants and discharging industrial companies the ability to respond to acute pollution quickly. The Swiss Waters Protection Ordinance stipulates that substances that pollute water bodies as a result of human activity may not have any deleterious effects on the plants, animals and microorganisms living there or on how the water bodies are used.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.05.2021
Artificial Neurons Recognize Biosignals in Real Time
Researchers have developed a compact, energy-efficient device made from artificial neurons that is capable of decoding brainwaves. The chip uses data recorded from the brainwaves of epilepsy patients to identify which regions of the brain cause epileptic seizures. This opens up new perspectives for treatment.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.05.2021
Engineered protein gives an energetic boost to cancer-fighting cells
Engineered protein gives an energetic boost to cancer-fighting cells
Scientists have discovered that an engineered interleukin-10-Fc fusion protein can boost the effectiveness of exhausted T lymphocytes - our body's immune cells for fighting cancer, by reprograming their metabolism.  One of the many treatment options available for cancer today is immunotherapy, which involves stimulating a patient's immune system to produce lymphocytes (such as T cells) that go on to kill the tumor.
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