Most recent news releases
85 out of every 100 people in Switzerland have access to the internet. Internet usage is on the rise, with even 70 percent of senior citizens going online. However, the concerns about using the internet are still substantial ─ for example with regard to companies monitoring the data. In general, young people are less worried and women are more concerned about protecting their privacy. These are the results of a study carried out by the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research (IPMZ) at the University of Zurich.
Babies born with a congenital heart defect may face long-term neurodevelopmental impairments. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital Zurich revealed that adolescents may exhibit a smaller brain volume many years after cardiac surgery compared to their peers. Moreover, they are also more likely to have learning or motor difficulties.
Nov 25, 2013 New immuno-therapy for malignant brain tumors
Glioblastoma is one of the most ominous brain tumors. Despite aggressive surgery, radiation and chemotherapy the outcome of this disease is almost always fatal. A UZH research team has now achieved success with a novel form of treatment that involves encouraging the body’s own immune system to recognise and eliminate cancer cells in the brain.
Nov 14, 2013 One in seven students has dabbled in “smart” drugs
One in seven Swiss students has already tried to enhance his or her performance with prescription medication or drugs. Besides psychostimulants like Ritalin, students also consume sedatives, alcohol or cannabis. These substances are mostly only taken during the exam preparation period. Only a narrow majority of polled students reported the desired effects, as a representative study conducted by researchers at the universities of Zurich and Basel reveals.
Oct 29, 2013 Child sexual abuse via the Internet on the rise
Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is widespread in Switzerland, experienced by almost two in five girls and one in six boys. The majority of victims are abused by juvenile perpetrators and do not disclose the abuse. Today, the most frequently reported form of sexual abuse is sexual harassment via the Internet. Compared to a decade ago, more severe forms of abuse have not increased, as confirmed by a representative study by researchers at the University of Zurich, Zurich University Children’s Hospital, and University Hospital Zurich.
Oct 23, 2013 Swiss private banking in clinch with high cost level
Internationally as well as in Switzerland, the assets under management of private banks increased in 2012. The cost/income ratio at Swiss private banks remains critical. Given the high costs at some smaller, personnel intensive banks, some consolidation is looming in the long run. Future business models need to cater to tax-compliant and performance-sensitive clients. These are the conclusions from the latest International Private Banking Study published by the Department of Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich.
Paleoanthropologists from the University of Zurich have uncovered the intact skull of an early Homo individual in Dmanisi, Georgia. This find is forcing a change in perspective in the field of paleoanthropology: human species diversity two million years ago was much smaller than presumed thus far. However, diversity within the «Homo erectus», the first global species of human, was as great as in humans today.
Oct 16, 2013 Tracking viral DNA in the Cell
Cell biologists and chemists from the University of Zurich reveal how viral DNA traffics in human cells. They have developed a new method to generate virus particles containing labeled viral DNA genomes. This allowed them to visualize, for the first time, single viral genomes in the cytoplasm and the nucleus by using fluorescence microscopy in regular or superresolution mode. The new findings enhance our understanding of how viral disease occurs, and how cells respond to infections.
The elongated body of some present-day fish evolved in different ways. Paleontologists from the University of Zurich have now discovered a new mode of body elongation based on a discovery in an exceptionally preserved fossilfish from Southern Ticino. In Saurichthys curionii, an early ray-finned fish, the vertebral arches of the axial skeleton doubled, resulting in the elongation of its body and giving it a needlefish-like appearance. The 240-million-year-old fossil find from Switzerland also revealed that this primitive fish was not as flexible as today’s eels, nor could it swim as fast or untiringly as a tuna.
Biologists of the University of Zurich have developed a method to visualize the activity of genes in single cells. The method is so efficient that, for the first time, a thousand genes can be studied in parallel in ten thousand single human cells. Applications lie in fields of basic research and medical diagnostics. The new method shows that the activity of genes, and the spatial organization of the resulting transcript molecules, strongly vary between single cells.
Neuroeconomists at the University of Zurich have identified a specific brain region that controls compliance with social norms. They discovered that norm compliance is independent of knowledge about the norm and can be increased by means of brain stimulation.
Drilling cores from Switzerland have revealed the oldest known fossils of direct ancestors of flowering plants. These beautifully preserved 240-million-year-old pollen grains are evidence that flowering plants evolved 100 million years earlier than previously thought, according to Rsearchers from the University of Zurich.
Small children also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders after a serious accident. With the aid of a new test, children with an increased risk can already be identified in the space of a few days. The test devised by scientists from the University of Zurich and the University Children’s Hospital Zurich helps to treat traumatized small children at an early stage.
Male orangutans plan their travel route up to one day in advance and communicate it to other members of their species. In order to attract females and repel male rivals, they call in the direction in which they are going to travel. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have found that not only captive, but also wild-living orangutans make use of their planning ability.
The East Antarctic Ice Sheet seems to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than previously thought. For the first time, an international research team from the Universities of Durham and Zurich has studied the long-term development of outlet glaciers using satellite images, revealing that the advance and retreat of the 175 glaciers studied are closely linked to climatic changes.
Aug 27, 2013 Anti-cancer molecule a perfect fit
How does a cancer drug reach its intended target in the body, where it can have the desired effect? Researchers from the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Zurich have come one step closer to this goal. For the first time, they were able to show that a cylindrical anti-tumor metal complex recognizes a specific site in ribonucleic acid.
Aug 12, 2013 Young beer-drinkers binge-drink more frequently
Beer is the favorite alcoholic beverage among young Swiss men. Those who prefer beer display riskier drinking patterns and consume cannabis or other illicit substances more frequently than people who do not have a preference for a particular alcoholic drink. Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich and Lausanne University Hospital also reveal that binge and volume drinkers tend to consume other substances and become involved in accidents, arguments or brawls more frequently.
For decades, there has been no answer to the question of why the altered prion protein is poisonous to brain cells. Neuropathologists from the University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich have now shown that it is the flexible tail of the prion protein that triggers cell death. These findings have far-reaching consequences: only those antibodies that target the tail of the prion protein are suitable as potential drugs for combating prion diseases.
Online psychotherapy is just as efficient as conventional therapy. Three months after the end of the therapy, patients given online treatment even displayed fewer symptoms. For the first time, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich provide scientific evidence of the equal value of internet-based psychotherapy.
Jul 29, 2013 Young cannabis-smokers aware of the health risks
Young Swiss men who drink alcohol and smoke tobacco or cannabis read up on addictive substances more frequently than their abstinent peers. They report their knowledge of the health risks as very good whereas abstainers rate themselves as poorer in this respect. Preventive measures that are solely based on providing information come up short for informed young consumers. These insights were gained by researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich.