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Life Sciences - Health - 26.09.2022
Genetic Defects Lead to Enamel Malformations
Genetic Defects Lead to Enamel Malformations
Mutations in a certain molecule result in severe damage in the structure and mineral composition of tooth enamel in mice, according to a study conducted at the UZH Center of Dental Medicine. The researchers combined genetic, molecular and imaging techniques. Enamel is the hardest organic tissue found in nature.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.09.2022
Alpine plants respond to climate change
Alpine plants respond to climate change
Researchers from ETH Zurich are studying how alpine vegetation is responding to a warming climate - and how some plant communities are continuing to stand firm against newcomers from lower elevations. A glance down the vertiginous slope is enough to create a dizzying sensation of being airborne. Far below is the city of Chur, with tiny cars beetling among toy houses.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.09.2022
Protein scissors for more effective cancer treatment
Biologist Daniel Richter has developed a method that enables proteins to be linked to a drug molecule or biomarker with a high level of stability. He plans to use this method in the future to identify tumor cells and open the door to more effective cancer drugs. White surfaces, brightly colored liquids in glass containers and appliances that wouldn't look out of place in the average kitchen.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.09.2022
How nanoplastics enter the aquatic food web
How nanoplastics enter the aquatic food web
The smallest of all plastic particles have remained largely unexplored until now, because they could not be detected in the environment. Now researchers at Eawag show: Nanoplastics stick to slimy biofilms, which can for example be found on stones in streams or rivers. When freshwater snails feed on the slime, the nanoplastics are taken up.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.09.2022
Researchers turn cancer cells into less harmful cell types
Researchers turn cancer cells into less harmful cell types
Cancer cells resemble stem cells in being extremely adaptable. University of Basel researchers have identified compounds that artificially mature breast cancer cells of the highly aggressive triple negative subtype and convert them to a state that resembles normal cells. Cancer occurs when cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other organs in the body.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.09.2022
Genetics and diet influence bile acid homeostasis
Genetics and diet influence bile acid homeostasis
Scientists have used a systems genetics approach to unravel novel genetic and environmental modulators of bile acid homeostasis. Their findings provide new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of bile acid homeostasis and may have implications for the treatment of metabolic diseases. Image: Circos plot summarizing the bile acid species quantified in different biological compartments, their changes, correlation and associations with quantitative trait loci in two different diets.

Life Sciences - 19.09.2022
Cilia in 3D: Miniature train station discovered
Cilia in 3D: Miniature train station discovered
Cilia are small hair-like organelles that extend from cells and perform many functions, including motility and signaling. Researchers have now revealed that cilia have a specialized transport hub at their base, where trains and cargos are assembled for transport throughout the cilia. Since defects in this cilia transport system can lead to e.g. cystic kidneys or blindness, the results published in Science also provide new insights into molecular basis for a variety of diseases.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.09.2022
Awakening 'dormant' cells to fight cancer
Awakening ’dormant’ cells to fight cancer
A team from the UNIGE and the HUG has succeeded in identifying a drug-targetable mechanism whose blockage reduces the capacity of melanoma cells to adapt and resist to treatment. The advent of small-molecule targeted therapies, a decade ago, revolutionized the treatment of metastatic melanoma, provided that the tumors carry the mutations to respond to these treatments.

Life Sciences - Physics - 16.09.2022
Nanotubes illuminate the way to living photovoltaics
Nanotubes illuminate the way to living photovoltaics
Scientists at EPFL have gotten bacteria to spontaneously take up fluorescent carbon nanotubes for the first time. The breakthrough unlocks new biotechnology applications for prokaryotes, such as near-infrared bacteria tracking and "living photovoltaics" - devices that generate energy using light-harvesting bacteria.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.09.2022
Science Publication: SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance in Africa
Science Publication: SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance in Africa
A new study in Science shows how the rapid expansion of genomic surveillance in Africa allowed the continent to describe the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants in African countries. Swiss TPH contributed to these efforts as part of the SARS-CoV-2 surveillance programme in Equatorial Guinea.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.09.2022
Immunotherapy Reduces Lung and Liver Fibrosis in Mice
Immunotherapy Reduces Lung and Liver Fibrosis in Mice
Chronic diseases often lead to fibrosis, a condition in which organ tissue suffers from excessive scarring. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now developed an immunotherapy that specifically targets the cause - activated fibroblasts - while leaving normal connective tissue cells unharmed.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.09.2022
A window into the fruit fly's nervous system
A window into the fruit fly's nervous system
Scientists at EPFL have developed an implantation technique that allows unprecedented optical access to the "spinal cord" of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This work can potentially lead to breakthroughs in the fields of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and bio-inspired robotics. Understanding biological motor control requires the ability to record neural activity while animals are behaving," says Professor Pavan Ramdya at EPFL's School of Life Sciences.

Life Sciences - 11.09.2022
Intelligent microscopes for detecting rare biological events
EPFL biophysicists have developed control software that optimizes how fluorescence microscopes collect data on living samples. Their control loop, used to image mitochondrial and bacterial sites of division in detail, is released as an open source plug-in and could inspire a new generation of intelligent microscopes.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.09.2022
Stressed mitochondria help cells survive respiratory infections
Stressed mitochondria help cells survive respiratory infections
Mildly stressing mitochondria with an antibiotic can increase tolerance against respiratory infections, shows a study by scientists at EPFL. Many respiratory infections, such as influenza or COVID-19 add significant stress to cells and organs, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which itself can eventually cause death in aged or sensitive individuals.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 06.09.2022
New reaction facilitates drug discovery
Chemists at ETH Zurich have found a facile method that allows a commonly used building block to be directly converted into other types of important compounds. This expands the possibilities of chemical synthesis and facilitates the search for new pharmaceutically active ingredients. Medications are continuously becoming more precise and efficient.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.09.2022
Challenging the standard paradigm of schizophrenia research
Challenging the standard paradigm of schizophrenia research
Analyzing EEG measurements of almost two hundred schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, researchers at EPFL now challenge the standard paradigm underlying research in the field. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that impairs a person's ability to think, feel, and behave, often making them seem that they have "lost touch with reality".

Life Sciences - 01.09.2022
Strawberries 'Remember' Heat and Other Stress
Strawberries ’Remember’ Heat and Other Stress
No memory without a brain? That's not quite true, as shown by an Agroscope study of woodland strawberry: heat and other stress situations influence the DNA of the plants. The resulting changes can help forearm strawberries against subsequent stress situations - they -remember-. With ongoing climate change, plants are faced by stress situations more frequently and at shorter intervals: heat, drought, intense precipitation events, but also cold and altered soil salinity.

Environment - Life Sciences - 31.08.2022
Determining why the Arctic is turning ever greener
Determining why the Arctic is turning ever greener
A research team from ETH Zurich and WSL travelled to Spitsbergen this summer to take a closer look at the phenomenon of Arctic greening. Project manager Sebastian Dötterl discusses research in the face of polar bears, strikes and war. Coronavirus, war and a pilots' strike First, the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the project by more than a year.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.08.2022
Genetic Testing Before Pregnancy Detects up to Half of the Risk
Genetic Testing Before Pregnancy Detects up to Half of the Risk
Are would-be parents carrying a genetic risk of serious illnesses that they could potentially pass on to their children? In the USA, doctors recommend that couples have genetic screening before trying to conceive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown that a maximal variant of this test detects the risk in 44 percent of couples who are related by blood, and in just 5 percent of other couples.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.08.2022
Insufficient insulin processing leads to overweight
Insufficient insulin processing leads to overweight
Overweight increases the risk of an imbalance in sugar metabolism and even of diabetes. A research group at the University of Basel has now shown the opposite is true as well: deficits in the body's insulin production contribute to overweight. Poor nutrition, too little movement and too many pounds on the scale - lifestyle influences the risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes.