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ETH Zurich articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 31

Complete music album to be stored on DNA

Complete music album to be stored on DNA
The digital audio of an entire music album is to be stored in the form of genetic information for the first time, using technology developed at ETH Zurich. Coded in DNA molecules and poured into tiny glass beads, an album by Massive Attack will be preserved – practically for eternity. The British band Massive Attack are considered pioneers of trip hop, an atmospheric style of electronic music featuring laid-back beats.
20th April 2018

Artificial mole presents an early warning sign

Artificial mole presents an early warning sign
ETH researchers working with Martin Fussenegger have developed an early warning system for the four most common types of cancer. Should a tumour develop, a visible mole will appear on the skin. Alongside cardiovascular disease, cancer has become the top cause of death in industrialised countries. Many of those affected are diagnosed only after the tumour has developed extensively.
20th April 2018

Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system ensure thick insulation

Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system ensure thick insulation
  ETH researchers have revealed that Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system largely produce their own fatty acids in order to create electrical insulation for nerve fibres. This process relies on an enzyme whose absence leads to defective insulation and impaired motor function.
9th March 2018


Time heals all wounds, but we can improve wound healing!

Time heals all wounds, but we can improve wound healing!
Time heals all wounds – or so the saying goes. But our ability to heal damaged organs or tissues, such as the skin, is by no means perfect and results in formation of a scar. Scars are more fragile and less elastic than undamaged skin, and they lack hair follicles, sebaceous glands and sweat glands as these do not regenerate. In particular, large wounds like those caused by burns can lead to serious functional and cosmetic impairments. By Sabine Werner
28th February 2018

Breaking new ground in medical training

Breaking new ground in medical training
With plenty of anticipation, ETH Zurich welcomed the first 100 students to its new Bachelor’s degree in human medicine last autumn. The experiences of the first semester have resulted in a lot of enthusiasm – from the lecturers as well as the students. It’s a memorable image: medical students practising stitching wounds on bananas. And it's a perfect example of the new direction that ETH is taking with its medicine programme.
12th February 2018

Measurement can prove effectiveness of medications

Measurement can prove effectiveness of medications
Science now has a new “omics” – an interactomics, which deals with the interactions between proteins and small molecules. Having previously focused on genomics or proteomics, system biologists can now add protein-metabolite interactomics to the mix. Genomics is concerned with the systematic analysis of all of an organism’s genes, while proteomics deals with the entire set of proteins within a biological unit.
1st February 2018

Technique evaluates the effect of drugs on the brain

Technique evaluates the effect of drugs on the brain
An international team led by ETH researchers has developed a technique that uses electrical brain signals to more precisely evaluate the effect of drugs on the brain. It could be of particular use in the early development phase of anti-epilepsy medication. There are still comparatively few treatments available for brain diseases. Among other reasons, this is due to the difficulty of developing new drugs, as it is not easy to establish the effects and side effects of a substance on the brain.
30th January 2018

Grasshoppers inspire health-monitoring electrode

Grasshoppers inspire health-monitoring electrode
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new type of health-monitoring electrode that exhibits optimum adhesion to skin and can record high quality signals. Two young spin-off founders want to turn it into a marketable product as early as this year. Anyone who has ever had an electrocardiogram – for example, to check their heart fitness – will be familiar with the electrodes that the doctor attaches to the chest.
15th January 2018

Biocompatible ink for 3D printing makes use of living bacteria

Biocompatible ink for 3D printing makes use of living bacteria
A group of ETH researchers led by Professor André Studart, Head of the Laboratory for Complex Materials, has now introduced a 3D printing platform that works using living matter. The researchers developed a bacteria-containing ink that makes it possible to print mini biochemical factories with certain properties, depending on which species of bacteria the scientists put in the ink.
5th December 2017

Method could be used in targeted cancer therapeutics

Inspired by white blood cells rolling on endovascular walls before transmigrating to the disease site, scientists at ETH Zurich have succeeded in getting particles to move along the walls of microscopic, three-dimensional vessels. This method could be used in targeted cancer therapeutics. When white blood cells are summoned to combat invasive bacteria, they move along blood vessels in a specific fashion, i.e., like a ball propelled by the wind, they roll along the vascular wall to reach their point of deployment.
29th November 2017

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension
  Engineers at ETH Zurich have discovered that soft biological tissue deforms very differently under tension than previously assumed. Their findings are already being put to use in medical research projects.
20th November 2017

Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer

Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer
ETH researchers have reprogrammed normal human cells to create designer immune cells capable of detecting and destroying cancer cells. T-cells are one of the immune system’s major weapons. They detect the body’s cells infected with a virus and trigger their ablation, effectively killing the virus. T-cells cannot do the same with cancer cells, however, as they do not recognise them as foreign cells and are therefore unable to eliminate them.
14th November 2017

Transforming fibrils into crystals

Transforming fibrils into crystals
Amyloid fibrils are infamous for the role they play in serious neurological diseases in humans, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. One trigger for Alzheimer’s disease is the misfolding and aggregation of proteins such as tau and ABeta. This causes the formation of tiny fibrils that then accumulate in the brain. Specialists refer to these fibres as amyloid fibrils.
7th November 2017

How much does life weigh?

How much does life weigh?
From earthworms and sunflowers to human beings, we are all made up of cells, so it’s no surprise that researchers are hard at work investigating these building blocks of life. They have already discovered many of their secrets, but until now, it has not been possible to measure the weight of living cells and how it changes in real time, as no suitable method of measurement has existed.
26th October 2017

Sensor measures lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations

Sensor measures lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations
Experts advise anyone looking to shed extra kilos to eat less and exercise more. One way is with endurance training, during which the body burns not only carbohydrates such as sugar, but also fat. When exactly the body begins burning fat can now be determined by analysing, for example, biomarkers in the blood or urine. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now developed a method for the highly convenient, real-time monitoring of lipolysis by testing a person’s exhalations during exercise.
16th October 2017

Clumps as temporary storage

Clumps as temporary storage
Protein aggregates have a bad reputation. A number of human diseases, especially those of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are due to the clumping of degenerate proteins in nerve cells, creating aggregates that the cells cannot dissolve. This causes the cells to die. Now, researchers led by ETH Professor Matthias Peter and Reinhard Dechant have shed new light on protein aggregates in a study involving yeast cells.
4th October 2017

Regulator improves liver regeneration

Regulator improves liver regeneration
By performing large-scale proteomics analysis of liver proteins, ETH researchers have discovered a protein that is essential for liver regeneration. They have also figured out the mechanism of the protein’s function. The liver is a wonderful thing: it’s the only organ able to fully regenerate with no scar tissue formation, even after major injury. In the case of organ donation, it is therefore generally possible to remove part of the donor’s liver and implant it into another patient.
26th September 2017

Battling dehydration with wearables and big data

Battling dehydration with wearables and big data
  Dehydration is one of the most common causes of death among young children in the developing world – particularly during the hot summer months. ETH Professor Walter Karlen and his team of researchers have developed an inexpensive mobile device that could be used by laypeople to more effectively treat dehydration.
3rd August 2017

Silicone heart beats almost like a human heart

Silicone heart beats almost like a human heart
  ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works.
13th July 2017

Robot gives injections for elderly with retinal disease

Robot gives injections for elderly with retinal disease
  Patients with age-related retinal disease need regular injections in the eye. At the moment, these must be given by specially trained medical doctors, but a robot may well handle this task in the near future.
22nd June 2017


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