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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

News 2019

News list

  • Fading Petunias

    Through heat, saline soil or aridity, the environment can directly influence the activity of genes. As the biologist Ueli Grossniklaus has demonstrated, in plants these epigenetic changes can sometimes be inherited.

  • Mindfulness Meditation Enhances Positive Effects of Psilocybin

    Researchers of the UZH have shown that mindfulness meditation can enhance the positive long-term effects of a single dose of psilocybin.

  • Antibiotics with Novel Mechanism of Action Discovered

    Swiss researchers co-headed by the University of Zurich have now discovered a new class of antibiotics with a unique spectrum of activity and mechanism of action – a major step in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

  • Healthy organelles, healthy cells

    It has recently become clear just how important membraneless organelles are for cells. Now biochemists at ETH Zurich have discovered a novel mechanism that regulates the formation of these organelles. This has laid the foundation for more targeted research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s or ALS.

  • Advanced breeding paves the way for disease-resistant beans

  • Measuring in Ultra-High Precision

    Tuberculosis is the world's most common fatal infectious disease, in particular among people with HIV. Tuberculosis therapy plays an important role in the fight against AIDS. Optimizing this treatment is one of the aims of the research partnership between the University of Zurich and the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda – with a highly developed analytical machine playing a key role.

  • Revolutionising the CRISPR method

    Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously.

  • Telltale Bacteria

    Criminology: DNA tracing has become an indispensable tool when it comes to solving crimes. And now microbes are expanding the possibilities.

  • How trees could save the climate


    Around 0.9 billion hectares of land worldwide would be suitable for reforestation, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions. 

  • New Therapy Promotes Vascular Repair Following Stroke

    Following a stroke, antibodies that inhibit the signaling molecule Nogo-A can help repair blood vessels in the affected brain regions. This also promotes the regaining of motor functions, as researchers at the UZH have shown in a mouse model.

  • Touch me!

    In the Botanical Garden of the UZH there is now a new space with lots of agricultural and medicinal plants. Come and look - and taste, touch and smell! Kids are welcome.

  • Deep inside the brain

    ETH researchers are using brain stimulation to investigate the consequences of stress and to find new therapies for treating stress-related psychiatric diseases. One day it may even be possible to cure brain disorders quite literally in our sleep – without taking pills.

  • Redundancies in T cells

    Researchers at ETH Zurich have discovered redundancies in the biochemical signalling pathways of immune cells. This finding has important implications for advances in cancer immunotherapy, among other areas.

  • Domino Effect of Species Extinctions Also Damages Biodiversity

    The mutual dependencies of many plant species and their pollinators mean that the negative effects of climate change are exacerbated. As UZH researchers show, the total number of species threatened with extinction is therefore considerably higher than predicted in previous models.

  • Chimpanzees Catch and Eat Crabs

    Chimpanzees have a mainly vegetarian diet, but do occasionally eat meat. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown for the first time that chimpanzees also eat crabs. In the rainforest of Guinea, the researchers observed how chimpanzees regularly fish for crabs.

  • Early in vitro testing for adverse effects on embryos

    ETH researchers have combined embryonic cells and liver cells in a new cell culture test. This combination lets them detect adverse effects that new medications may have on embryos early on in the drug development process.

  • Animal Welfare - the 3R principles at UZH

    Paulin Jirkof has been working for around a year as 3R Coordinator for UZH. Her job is to help reduce the number of animal experiments conducted at UZH and to improve the welfare of the animals involved.

  • Interplay of Pollinators and Pests Influences Plant Evolution

    Brassica rapa plants pollinated by bumblebees evolve more attractive flowers. But this evolution is compromised if caterpillars attack the plant at the same time. With the bees pollinating them less effectively, the plants increasingly self-pollinate. In a greenhouse evolution experiment, scientists at the University of Zurich have shown just how much the effects of pollinators and pests influence each other.

  • Showy Primates Have Smaller Testicles

    Well-adorned or well-endowed – but not both. Evolutionary biologists at the University of Zurich have for the first time demonstrated that male primates either have large testicles or showy ornaments. Developing both at the same time may simply take too much energy.

  • Major step towards individual cancer immunotherapy

    Medicine has great hopes for personalised cancer immunotherapy. The idea is to have a vaccine prompt the immune system to fight a tumour. Scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a method that allows them to determine which molecules are suited to patient-specific immunisation.

  • Why Kidneys Form Stones

    Our kidneys filter all the blood in our body 36 times a day. How on earth do the kidneys manage this herculean task? That is the question being researched by the National Center of Competence in Research Kidney.CH, for which UZH is the home institution. On World Kidney Day, we take a brief glimpse behind the scenes of Swiss kidney research.

  • Accelerating Diagnostics of Multi-Resistant Tuberculosis

    UZH molecular biologist Prajwal and a team of researchers have developed a comprehensive rapid diagnostic test for multi-resistant tuberculosis pathogens. He now wants to turn the test into a commercial product with the help of a UZH Entrepreneur Fellowship.

  • ETH Podcast on #CRISPRbabies

    In the new episode of the ETH Podcast, Effy Vayena, Professor of Bioethics, and Hantan Zhao, a Chinese PhD student at ETH Zurich, discuss the ethical implications of the case.

  • Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells

    Researchers at ETH Zurich recently demonstrated that platinum nanoparticles can be used to kill liver cancer cells with greater selectivity than existing cancer drugs.

  • How do proteins become embedded in a cell membrane?

    Many proteins with important biological functions are embedded in a biomembrane in the cells of humans and other living organisms. But how do they get in there in the first place? Researchers in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich investigated the matter.

  • Embracing the Wilderness

    Ecologist Florian Altermatt has presided over the Swiss Biodiversity Forum since the beginning of the year. He’s committed to researching biodiversity and facilitating the cooperation of scientists and policy-makers.

  • Wheat Resistance Gene also Protects Corn and Barley against Fungal Disease

    Plant researchers at the University of Zurich have developed transgenic corn and barley lines with improved resistance against several fungal diseases thanks to the wheat resistance gene Lr34. Following successful tests in the greenhouse, the researchers are now planning to carry out field trials at the Agroscope site in Zurich-Reckenholz.

  • Discovery of bacterial signature of intestinal disease

    Researchers from the University of Bern a the Inselspital Bern, Switzerland, have discovered, also due to a collaboration with the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich,  that changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease affect the severity of the disease and the success of therapy. The advance provides an important basis to improve treatment of these diseases.

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce brown adipose tissue

    ETH Zurich scientists have shown that statins, one of the most commonly prescribed classes of pharmaceuticals, reduce beneficial brown adipose tissue. But this is no reason to demonise these drugs, the researchers insist.