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Most recent news releases

Dec 15, 2014 A yardstick to measure the malignancy of prostate cancer

A protein that influences the epigenetic characteristics of tumor cells is directly linked to the grade of malignancy of prostate cancer. This key discovery has been made by a team of scientists from the University of Zurich, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital, Heidelberg University, and other institutes in a study of 7,700 samples of tumor tissue. The detection of this biomarker may serve as an indicator of the likelihood that the disease may take an aggressive course, and may thus be helpful in choosing an appropriate treatment.

Dec 12, 2014 ETH and University of Zurich launch Wyss Translational Center Zurich

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ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are founding a new translational research centre at the interface of medicine, science and engineering: the Wyss Translational Center Zurich. A USD 120 million donation from Dr. h.c. mult. Hansjörg Wyss to the two Zurich universities is making this possible. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the new centre aims to accelerate the development and application of innovative medical therapies and groundbreaking robotic systems.

Dec 10, 2014 Anyone who is good at German learns English better

Your literacy skills in your first language heavily influence the learning of a foreign language. Thus, anyone who reads and writes German well is likely to transfer this advantage to English – regardless of the age of onset of foreign language learning. Foreign language lessons at an early age, however, pay off less than was previously assumed. In fact, they can even have a negative impact on the first language in the short run, as a linguist from the University of Zurich reveals in her long-term study involving 200 Zurich high-school children.

Dec 4, 2014 The innate immune system condemns weak cells to their death

In cell competition the strong eliminate the weak, thereby ensuring optimal tissue fitness. Molecular biologists at the University of Zurich and Columbia University have now demonstrated that the innate immune system plays a key role in this important mechanism. However, cancer cells also make use of this: they can cause cells that are important for healthy tissue to die.

Dec 1, 2014 Mass extinction led to many new species of bony fish

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With over 30,000 species worldwide, the ray fins are currently the largest group of fish. These bony fish were not always as numerous, however. Losses of other fish species, such as cartilaginous fish, helped them to spread successfully. As paleontologists from the University of Zurich together with international researchers reveal, a series of serious extinction events between 300 to 200 million years ago played a central role in the development of today’s fish fauna.

Nov 26, 2014 DNA survives critical entry into Earth’s atmosphere

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere – and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission.

Nov 26, 2014 How various brain areas interact in decisions

Our decisions can be pictured in the brain. Scientists at the University of Zurich were able to show in a recent study which areas are most active in decision making. Often the so-called prefrontal cortex not only apparently shows increased activity during decisions that require self-control, but in general during decision making. The results could be of use in promoting decision skills in difficult decisions.

Nov 19, 2014 Business culture in banking industry favors dishonest behavior

Bank employees are not more dishonest than employees in other industries. However, the business culture in the banking industry implicitly favors dishonest behavior, as an economic study at the University of Zurich indicates. A change in norms would thus be important in order to improve the battered image of the industry.

Nov 13, 2014 Architecture of a lipid transport protein revealed

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For the first time, the complex architecture of a protein that controls the transport of lipids between the two layers of a cell membrane has been described. With this structure, Biochemists from the University of Zurich have now gained insight into processes that trigger blood coagulation.

Nov 7, 2014 Turtles use muscle power to breathe due to rigid shell

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Turtle shells are unique in the animal kingdom. In order to be able to breathe in this inflexible casing, tortoises have a muscle sling which is attached to the shell to ventilate the lung. A team of researchers including paleontologist Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich can now reveal that the turtle's ancestor Eunotosaurus africanus already breathed with the aid of such a sling – even though it did not yet have a solid shell. The muscle sling was thus the anatomical prerequisite for the development of the rigid turtle shell.

Nov 5, 2014 Swiss employees craft their own jobs

Four out of five employees in Switzerland actively shape their own jobs. Through what is known as job crafting, employees seek to positively influence their work situation. This was one of the results of the Swiss HR Barometer 2014, which was carried out by the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The study recommends that employers promote job crafting by granting employees greater involvement and influence over their jobs.

Oct 30, 2014 European salamanders and newts vulnerable to fungal disease from Asia

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A skin-eating fungal disease brought to Europe by humans now poses a major threat to native salamanders and newts, scientists of the Universities of Zurich and Ghent University have warned. They say nations need to urgently consider appropriate biosecurity measures to stop the further spread of this pathogen.

Oct 27, 2014 Harvard's Wyss Institute and University of Zurich announce partnership

Collaboration will speed clinical translation of cardiovascular tissue engineering technologies for repairing and regenerating the diseased heart.

Oct 20, 2014 Structure of an iron-transport protein revealed

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For the first time, the three dimensional structure of the protein that is essential for iron import into cells, has been elucidated. Biochemists of the University of Zurich have paved the way towards a better understanding of iron metabolism. The results also provide a basis for novel approaches to treat iron-related metabolic diseases.

Oct 16, 2014 Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures

Diverse plant communities are more successful and enable higher crop yields than pure monocultures, a European research team headed by ecologists from the University of Zurich has discovered. The scientists are convinced that the cultivation of crop mixtures in agriculture and forestry will play a key role in food safety in the future.

Sep 16, 2014 The University of Zurich Moves Up 21 Places

In this year's QS World University Rankings, the University of Zurich has made a large jump forward and is now ranked 57th among the world's leading universities ‒ 21 places better than last year's standing. In Switzerland, UZH is overall the third-best university, and is number 1 in the area Arts & Humanities.

Sep 5, 2014 New centre for biomedical imaging

ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are pooling their expertise in biomedical imaging technologies. Their new competence centre EXCITE Zurich aims to efficiently translate new ideas from basic research into clinical practice. The centre will be inaugurated on Saturday.

Aug 27, 2014 The roots of human altruism

Apes hardly ever act selflessly without being solicited by others; humans often do. What has caused this curious divergence, which is arguably the secret to our species’ unparalleled success? A team headed by an anthropologist from the University of Zurich now reveals that cooperative care for the young was the evolutionary precondition for the emergence of spontaneous altruistic behavior.

Aug 21, 2014 ADHD children make poor decisions due to less differentiated learning processes

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among school children. Pupils with ADHD often make poorer decisions than their unaffected classmates. Researchers from the University of Zurich now discovered that different learning and decision-making mechanisms are responsible for these behaviors, and localized the underlying impairments in the brain.

Jul 8, 2014 A healthy lifestyle adds years to life

Live longer thanks to fruit, an active lifestyle, limited alcohol and no cigarettes. This is the conclusion of a study by public health physicians at the University of Zurich who documented for the first time the impact of behavioural factors on life expectancy in numbers. The results are to be taken over into prevention and health counselling in primary care.