ETH News

07.06.2017 | News

More concepts, fewer facts

ETH biology lecturers have tested secondary school leavers and students to determine their knowledge of biological concepts. And they have drawn some sobering conclusions: many misunderstand the concepts, such as the importance of chance in biology. Now, the lecturers are taking action. Read more 

02.06.2017 | News

How killer cells take out tumours

The use of immunotherapy to treat cancer is celebrating its first successes – but there are still many knowledge gaps in the underlying mechanisms of action. In a study of mice with soft tissue tumours, ETH researchers have now shown how endogenous killer cells track down the tumours with the help of dormant viruses. Read more 

01.06.2017 | News

New research tools

At the age of 29, biotechnologist Randall Platt has already achieved a lot: more than 1,000 research laboratories around the world use a method that he developed. But he is also the family man who recently took on a professorship at ETH. Read more 

30.05.2017 | Press release | 1 Comment

Focus on microbial communities

A research project by ETH Zurich, MIT with other US universities will receive 15 million US dollars in funding from the New York-based Simons Foundation. Over the next five years, researchers will investigate how microbial communities are organised and function, with a focus on the oceans. Read more 

29.05.2017 | News

Detailed view of a molecular toxin transporter

Transport proteins in the cells of our body protect us from particular toxins. Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Basel have now determined the high-resolution three-dimensional structure of a major human transport protein. In the long term, this could help to develop new medications. Read more 

24.05.2017 | News

Revealing how neurons communicate

The ETH spinoff MaxWell Biosystems AG develops microelectrode platforms for electrophysiological tests on nerve cells, opening up new possibilities for pharmaceutical research. Now, the company received CHF 130,000 in starting capital from the Venture Kick initiative Read more 

18.04.2017 | News

Chaining up diarrhoea pathogens

Researchers have clarified how vaccinations can combat bacterial intestinal diseases: vaccine-induced antibodies in the intestine chain up pathogens as they grow in the intestine, which prevents disease and surprisingly also hinders the spread of antibiotic resistance. Read more 

05.04.2017 | Press release

The ETH department is well established in Basel

Ten years ago, ETH Zurich established its first and only department outside Zurich: the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel. ETH will soon expand its outpost. The construction of a new department building on the Schällemätteli campus will bring it right next to the University of Basel. Read more 

28.03.2017 | News | 1 Comment

Inflammation awakens sleepers

The inflammatory response that is supposed to ward off pathogens that cause intestinal disease makes this even worse. This is because special viruses integrate their genome into Salmonella, which further strengthens the pathogen. Read more 

15.03.2017 | Press release

How plankton cope with turbulence

Microscopic marine plankton are not helplessly adrift in the ocean. They can perceive cues that indicate turbulence, rapidly respond to regulate their behaviour and actively adapt. ETH researchers have demonstrated for the first time how they do this. Read more 

23.02.2017 | News

Rare proteins collapse earlier

Some organisms are able to survive in hot springs, while others can only live at mild temperatures because their proteins aren’t able to withstand such extreme heat. ETH researchers investigated these differences and showed that often only a few key proteins determine the life and heat-induced death of a cell. Read more 

12.01.2017 | News | 1 Comment

Putting chromosomes through the shredder

When a certain human enzyme is left uncontrolled, it breaks up chromosomes into tiny pieces. This is damaging to cells, but useful for killing tumours. ETH researchers have now come to understand the underlying mechanism. Read more 

10.01.2017 | News

In a simple way to great complexity

ETH microbiologists have succeeded in showing that nature produces one of the most complex known bioactive natural products in a staggeringly simple way. The molecule originates from bacteria living in sea sponges. In future, it may be possible to produce the agent very easily using biotechnology, making it an interesting avenue for cancer research. Read more 

06.01.2017 | News | 1 Comment

A highly paid award in the field of medicine

ETH structural biologist Nenad Ban is to be awarded one of Europe’s most highly paid prizes in the field of medicine: he is set to receive the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2017 for his description of the atomic structure of cellular protein production machinery. Read more 

03.01.2017 | Zukunftsblog

Finding Antarctica in our backyard

Antarctica has a new marine reserve, while here in Switzerland voters recently missed the chance to create Parc Adula. While we protect whales we’ll never see, let us not forget the animals and plants in our own unnaturally still woods and fields. Read more 

20.12.2016 | News

More discussions during classes

For students, the end of the autumn semester marks the beginning of an intensive period of lecture revision. New forms of teaching such as flipped classrooms promote independent student learning during the semester. In the Department of Biology, this teaching method is being particularly encouraged. Read more 

07.12.2016 | News

Miraculous proliferation

Bacteria able to shed their cell wall assume new, mostly spherical shapes. ETH researchers have shown that these cells, known as L-forms, are not only viable but that their reproductive mechanisms may even correspond to those of early life forms. Read more 

23.11.2016 | News

Starch from yeast

Researchers at ETH Zurich have produced starch in yeast - the first time this has been achieved in a non-plant organism. The new model system now makes it easier for them to investigate how starch is formed and what role is played by the enzymes involved. In future, it may be possible to use yeast to trial specific modifications of starch. Read more 

03.11.2016 | News

Award for innovative cell culture technology

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new cell culture method, which may very well enable to forgo certain tests on animals in the future. The scientists were awarded an international prize for more humane treatment of laboratory animals. Read more 

11.10.2016 | News

Treating the inflammation in lymphedema

ETH researchers have discovered that certain cells in the immune system suppress the development of lymphedema. Anti-inflammatory therapies could therefore be the key to treating this previously incurable condition. Read more 

07.10.2016 | News | 2 Comments

Zurich aims to extend high profile research on skin

A new interdisciplinary, large-scale project from the "Hochschulmedizin Zürich" network focuses on skin research in Zurich. This will help the city to become a world-leading centre of research in this field. Read more 

29.09.2016 | News

Cellular test of strength

Biological cells can expand, contract and interact with neighbouring cells. With an advancement in a microscopy technique, ETH Zurich researchers can now readily, directly, and accurately determine which forces are at work during cell motion and where. The technique is used in areas such as cancer research. Read more 

27.09.2016 | News

Vigilin, the lock keeper

ETH researchers have discovered a molecule in liver cells that controls the release of fat into the bloodstream. This “lock keeper” is present in large quantities in overweight people and leads indirectly to vascular narrowing. Read more 

26.09.2016 | News

Ultrafast processes in the blink of an eye

Ultrafast processes beyond the human imagination occur in nature, but basic research has been able to measure and explore them only since the turn of the millennium. A book and an exhibition by the National Centre of Competence in Research Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology (NCCR MUST) now connect this to everyday life by inviting you on a journey into time. Read more 

12.09.2016 | News

Protein-like structures from the primordial soup

Experiments performed by ETH scientists have shown that it is remarkably easy for protein-like, two-dimensional structures – amyloids – to form from basic building blocks. This discovery supports the researchers’ hypothesis that primal life could have evolved from amyloids such as these. Read more 

23.08.2016 | News

A patent for oxidised fat

ETH researchers have synthesised fatty acids in the laboratory that result from oxidative stress in the body. The laboratory variants turned out to be more potent anti-inflammatories than the natural ones, and have now been patented. Read more 

27.07.2016 | News

Monitoring cell fates

An international team of researchers led by ETH scientists has been studying the factors influencing the development of different blood cells. Their research shows that certain molecular mechanisms are not as relevant as previously assumed. This finding helps to improve our understanding of diseases such as leukaemia and anaemia. Read more 

14.07.2016 | News

Extracting the content of single living cells

Biologists are increasingly interested in the behaviour of individual cells, rather than the one of an entire cell population. A new method developed at ETH could revolutionise single cell analysis. The technology uses the world’s smallest syringe to sample the content of individual cells for molecular analyses. Read more 

10.06.2016 | News

Proteome of an entire family

Based on comprehensive protein data on mice, researchers at ETH Zurich and EPFL have gained new insights into the mechanism of metabolic disorders. A key factor in their success was the data compiled by the scientists on several different but closely related animals. Read more 

22.05.2016 | News

Pauli Lectures devoted to cell logistics

Cells use a sophisticated parcel service to transport biomolecules to their destination. James E. Rothman discovered the cellular transport system, winning the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 2013 for his work. Next week, he will give this year’s Pauli Lectures at ETH Zurich. Read more 

06.05.2016 | News | 2 Comments

Continental drift created biologically diverse coral reefs

An international research team has studied the geographical pattern of the evolution of corals and reef fish. Their findings show that today's geographical distribution of tropical marine diversity is the result of 100 million years of Earth history and the continental drifts that shifted the position of shallow reef habitats. Read more 

22.03.2016 | News

Support for diagnostics researcher

Proteins are important indicators in diagnosing diseases. A young ETH researcher has developed a method by which it is possible to test minute amounts of blood for different proteins in parallel. He has received an ETH Zurich Pioneer Fellowship for his work. Together with a fellow student, he wants to turn his test into a marketable product. Read more 

16.03.2016 | News

“In collaborative work like this, trust and respect are essential.”

On 10 and 11 March, a delegation of board members and researchers from South Africa visited ETH Zurich. ETH News spoke to two researchers who have been working together for more than 10 years: Jens Kossmann, Director of the Institute for Plant Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University, and Samuel Zeeman, Head of the Group of Plant Biochemistry at ETH Zurich, explain what goes into making a collaboration across 10,000 km successful. Read more 

14.03.2016 | News

Broccoli ingredient has positive influence on drug efficacy

Colon cancer cells that are pretreated with an ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables are more likely to be killed by a cancer drug that is currently in development, found ETH scientists. This is one of only a few examples of a food ingredient that, in moderate amounts, has a positive influence on the efficacy of a cancer drug. Read more 

13.03.2016 | News

Quality control for genetic sequencing

Genetic sequencing is in widespread use today, but until now has not been accurate enough to identify an antibody immune response. Now, thanks to a new control system based on genetic barcodes, the technique is far more reliable – and ready for use in the development of vaccines and antibody drugs. Read more 

08.03.2016 | News

Collective memory in bacteria

Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS. Read more 

07.03.2016 | News

How bacteria nestle in

Nearly every second woman suffers from a bladder infection at some point in her life. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Basel have now discovered how the intestinal bacterium E. coli attaches itself so successfully to the surface of the urinary tract. Read more 

06.03.2016 | Globe magazine

A team effort

More and more fish in Swiss rivers are contracting proliferative kidney diseases. Researchers at ETH Zurich and Eawag are partnering to see how they can stem the tide. Read more 

12.02.2016 | News

Signpost for sentinel cells

Sentinel cells of the immune system can enter the finest lymphatic capillary vessels present in tissues. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now discovered the molecular signpost that guides these cells in the direction of the nearest lymph node. Read more 

30.01.2016 | News

The device with the fine nose

ETH scientists pushed the sensitivity limits of state-of-the-art trace gas analysers. The instruments are now ready for use in medicine, biological research and forensics. Read more 

08.01.2016 | News

In defence of pathogenic proteins

Protein deposits in cells, such as those associated with diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, can also be beneficial – at least for yeast cells –, as biochemists at ETH Zurich have discovered. The researchers found a new form of age-associated deposits in these cells, and they are now asking us to rethink our views on ageing and dementia. Read more 

20.12.2015 | News

A multitool for cells

Cells have an infallible sense of smell that tells them which direction to grow in to move closer to the source of a scent. ETH researchers have now learned how this sense of smell works. Read more 

18.12.2015 | News

Architecture of mTOR protein complex solved

It has long been known that the protein TOR – Target of Rapamycin – controls cell growth and is involved in the development of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Through a collaborative effort scientists from the ETH Zürich and from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have now succeeded in revealing the unique architecture of the mammalian TOR complex 1 (mTORC1) in detail. Their results have been reported in the latest issue of “Science”. Read more 

16.12.2015 | Press release

Implant acts as a countermeasure

Scientists have developed a new, more complex type of genetic circuit, which has enabled them to successfully treat psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, in the mouse model. Read more 

02.12.2015 | News

The first comprehensive collection of plant bacteria

Researchers in Zurich and Cologne have collected a large number of bacterial strains that live on plants. The collection marks the beginning of a promising new field of research. Scientists can now systematically perform targeted laboratory investigations into how bacteria promote the growth and health of plants. Read more 

27.11.2015 | News

How cells create free space

In order to divide, cells in the intestinal wall have to leave their densely packed environment and migrate to the surface. ETH researchers have now discovered how they do this – using a tiny bed of nails. Read more 

30.09.2015 | News

Real-time analysis of metabolic products

Biologists at ETH Zurich have developed a method that, for the first time, makes it possible to measure concentration changes of several hundred metabolic products simultaneously and almost in real time. The technique could inspire basic biological research and the search for new pharmaceutical agents. Read more 

08.09.2015 | News

Molecular bodyguards for immature membrane proteins

During their formation within the cells, many proteins rely on the assistance of protectors, so-called chaperones. They help the proteins to fold correctly and thus ensure the right final structure. The roles of chaperones in membrane protein folding have long remained unclear. Researchers at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, and at ETH Zurich now show how chaperones stabilize an immature bacterial membrane protein and guide it in the right folding direction, thus protecting it from misfolding. Read more 

05.09.2015 | News

MicroRNAs are digested, not absorbed

There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over the issue of whether exogenous microRNA molecules can be absorbed from food and even have a physiological effect. A new study by ETH professor Markus Stoffel using mouse models settles the question by demonstrating that the posited dietary uptake does not take place. This questions the potentially promising concept of creating functional foods based on microRNAs. Read more 

24.08.2015 | News

"Personal contacts are important"

ETH Zurich's Industry Day will take place tomorrow. Over the course of the event, 19 ETH professors and scientists will present their current research to industry R&D representatives. One of them is Petra Dittrich, a Professor of Bioanalytics. In an interview with ETH News, she discusses her expectations for the day, as well as the importance of working with the business community. Read more 

12.08.2015 | News

How lipids are flipped

A team of researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern has succeeded in determining the structure of a lipid flippase at high resolution, which has provided insight into how this membrane protein transports lipids by flipping. Read more 

10.08.2015 | News | 1 Comment

How a female X chromosome is inactivated

In female mammals, one of the two X chromosomes is inactivated. Thanks to research using special stem cells, geneticists at ETH Zurich have been able to provide detailed insight into the molecular mechanism behind this inactivation process. Read more 

13.07.2015 | News

Making it easier to analyse proteins

Less time, fewer errors and simpler to perform. That is what is promised by this new approach to analysing proteins in the lab. Tina Hovestadt received a Pioneer Fellowship from ETH Zurich for this project. Read more 

10.07.2015 | News

6 professors at ETH Zurich appointed

At its meeting of 8/9 July 2015, the ETH Board appointed six professors at ETH Zurich in accordance with the application submitted by ETH Zurich President Lino Guzzella. Read more 

19.06.2015 | News | 1 Comment

Fructose powers a vicious circle

ETH researchers have found a hitherto unknown molecular mechanism that is driven by fructose and can lead to cardiac enlargement and heart failure. Read more 

19.05.2015 | News

Chameleon proteins make individual cells visible

Researchers discovered a new mechanism of how fluorescent proteins can change colour. It enables the microscopic visualization of individual cells in their three-dimensional environment in living organisms. Read more 

19.05.2015 | News | 1 Comment

The life and death of beta cells

ETH researchers studying microRNA – tiny strands of ribonucleic acid – in beta cells have found a type that plays a key role in cell death under stress. Read more 

27.04.2015 | News

Bumblebee genome mapped

A research collaboration spearheaded by ETH Zurich has shed light on the genome of two commercially important species of bumblebees. The findings provide unexpected insights into the ecology and evolution of bumblebees and honeybees. Read more 

08.04.2015 | News

Ironing out oxidative stress

Oxidative stress damages the immune system. Manfred Kopf and his team of ETH research scientists have now shown for the first time that higher doses of vitamin E can reduce the stress on immune cells. Read more 

02.04.2015 | News

Ribosome mapped at high resolution

Researchers have succeeded in achieving a high-resolution three-dimensional map of a comparatively large, complex and rare molecule: the complete ribosome (the protein-producing machinery) in the mitochondria (the intracellular powerhouse) of mammals. Read more 

31.03.2015 | News

From tobacco to cyberwood

Scientists from ETH Zurich have developed a thermometer that is at least 100 times more sensitive than previous temperature sensors. It consists of a bio-synthetic hybrid material of tobacco cells and nanotubes. Read more 

27.03.2015 | News

ScopeM: Magnifying the minuscule

Need an optical or electron microscope for your research? Look no further than ScopeM. The Hönggerberg campus has been home to this technology platform since 2014. Read more 

19.03.2015 | News

Spinal cord neurons that control pain and itch

The spinal cord transmits pain signals to the brain. But not all the impulses arrive at their destination: Certain neurons act as checkpoints and determine whether a pain signal is relayed or not. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich identified these neurons. Moreover, they developed means to specifically activate these neurons, which reduces not only pain – but astonishingly also alleviates itch. Read more 

06.03.2015 | News

Personalising medicine with proteins

Ruedi Aebersold, Professor of Systems Biology, is one of the world’s leading researchers in proteomics. In the last few years, he has developed the proteomics method together with a team of international researchers to such an extent that doctors and clinical researchers can now use this technique as a tool. In an interview with ETH News, the professor at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich explains how information from proteins can advance what is commonly known as personalised medicine. Read more 

25.02.2015 | News

A taxi ride to starch granules

Plant scientists at ETH have discovered a specific protein that significantly influences the formation of starch in plant cells. The findings may be useful in the food and packaging industries. Read more 

17.02.2015 | News | 2 Comments

Voltage tester for beating cardiac cells

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in recording the current in membrane channels of contracting cardiac cells. To do this, the scientists combined an atomic force microscope with a widely used method for measuring electrical signals in cells. Read more 

11.12.2014 | News

Why tumours exhibit fatty degeneration

In cases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma – the most common type of renal cell carcinoma – the cancer cells become fatty. The reasons for this were long unclear, but ETH researchers have now found the cause: important cell structures in lipometabolism degrade more rapidly. Read more 

08.12.2014 | News

Polybahn Pitch feat. Annette Oxenius

Science short and sweet: During a Polybahn journey from Zurich Central to ETH Zurich, ETH-scientists have about 100 seconds to inspire the audience with their research. Today: Annette Oxenius, Professor for Immunology at ETH Zurich. Read more 

30.04.2014 | News

Learning from the fins of the tuna fish

Michael Triantafyllou is a pioneer in the development of robots inspired by fish and other marine life. The MIT professor will present the Aurel Stodola Lecture this coming Monday in Zurich. Read more 

 
 
Page URL: https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news.html
23.07.2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich