Most recent news releases
Jul 27, 2015 New treatment options for a fatal leukemia
In industrialized countries like Switzerland acute lymphoblastic leukemia represents the most frequent type of cancer in children. Together with international researchers, a pediatric oncologist from the University of Zurich has now succeeded in decoding a rare but always fatal subtype of this leukemia and in obtaining pointers for new therapeutic possibilities.
Jul 9, 2015 Cells help viruses during cell entry
Adenoviruses cause numerous diseases, such as eye or respiratory infections, and they are widely used in gene therapy. Researchers from the University of Zurich have now discovered how these viruses penetrate the cells, a key step for infection and gene delivery The cell unwillingly supports virus entry and infection by providing lipids that are normally used to repair damaged membranes.
The world’s first medical professorship for human lactation research is set to be established at the University of Zurich. Initiated and funded by the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation through an endowment of 20 million Swiss francs, the aim of the professorship is to gain new insights into the composition of human milk and its functional properties.
Jun 30, 2015 Monitoring volcanoes with ground-based atomic clocks
An international team led by scientists from the University of Zurich finds that high-precision atomic clocks can be used to monitor volcanoes and potentially improve predictions of future eruptions. In addition, a ground-based network of atomic clocks could monitor the reaction of the Earth’s crust to solid Earth tides.
The transportation of certain molecules into and out of the cell nucleus takes place via nuclear pores. For some time, detailed research has been conducted into how these pores embedded in the nuclear envelope are structured. Now, for the first time, biochemists from the University of Zurich have succeeded in elucidating the structure of the transportation channel inside the nuclear pores in high resolution using high-performance electron microscopes.
Jun 22, 2015 Corporate social responsibility doesn’t pay
For decades, researchers have asserted that corporate social responsibility is financially worthwhile. A sociologist from the University of Zurich now reveals that this positive correlation between corporate social responsibility and a company’s financial success cannot be taken for granted. Instead, it is fueled by the biased publication of positive results.
Three leading researchers at the University of Zurich have been awarded the European Union’s top research award, the “Advanced Grant” of the European Research Council (ERC). The EU will support University of Zurich research projects with a total of approximately 7.9 million Euro.
Eleven subjects in the Top 100, three in the Top 50 and, for the first time, one in the Top 20 in the world: the University of Zurich performed well in the latest subject-specific QS Rankings.
Apr 22, 2015 Evolution makes invading species spread even faster
Today, invasive animals and plants spread all around the globe. Predicting the dynamics of these invasions is of great ecological and socio-economical interest. Yet studying them is fundamentally challenging because of the large spatial and temporal scales involved. Scientists at Eawag and University of Zurich are now using computer simulations and small artificial laboratory worlds, to study how rapid evolution makes invaders spread even faster.
Apr 8, 2015 New Technology Making Drones Safer and Smarter
Researchers at the University of Zurich have unveiled new technology enabling drones to recover stable flight from any position and land autonomously in failure situations. It will even be possible to launch drones by simply tossing them into the air like a baseball or recover stable flight after a system failure. Drones will be safer and smarter, with the ability to identify safe landing sites and land automatically when necessary.
Cancer researchers from the University of Zurich have identified a key signaling pathway in B-cell lymphoma, a malignant type of blood cancer. They demonstrate that the signaling path-way can be blocked using compounds that are already in clinical development. This finding might be extremely important for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of this disease in the future.
Apr 1, 2015 Poses of power are less powerful than we thought
Legs apart, chest thrust forward, shoulders back: these “power poses” are supposed to influence hormone production and willingness to take on risk in accordance with a study that attained global attention. Scientists from the University of Zurich, however, found no support for these assumptions in a large study. “Power poses” do not influence behavior, but they might allow someone to feel more secure.
Mar 31, 2015 Discovery of two new species of primitive fishes
Working with an international team, palaeontologists at the University of Zurich have discovered two new species of Saurichthys. The ~242 million year old predatory fishes were found in the fossil Lagerstätte Monte San Giorgio, in Ticino. They are distinct from previously known Saurichthys species in the shape of the head and body, suggesting different habitats and diet.
Mar 19, 2015 Leadership: Ten Tips for Choosing an Academic Chair
Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say Professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, University of Zurich, and Joseph Deiss, former President of the Swiss Confederation, in a commentary in Nature magazine.
Mar 19, 2015 Spinal cord neurons that control pain and itch
The spinal cord transmits pain signals to the brain, where they are consciously perceived. 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 the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich identified these neurons and their connections. Moreover, they developed means to specifically activate these neurons, which reduces not only pain – but astonishingly also alleviates itch.
Feb 25, 2015 Playful adults preferred in choice of partner
Which characteristics do young adults value in a potential partner for long-term relationships? A new study by researchers at the UZH reveals that, besides friendliness, intelligence and a sense of humor, playfulness is also important – regardless of gender. Playful people also deem humor, a fun tendency, a laid-back attitude and creativity more important in partners than their non-playful counterparts.
Feb 11, 2015 One in five suicides is associated with unemployment
Every year, around 45,000 people take their own lives because they are out of work or someone close to them is affected by unemployment, as a study by the University of Zurich now reveals. It includes data of 63 countries and demonstrates that during the 2008 economic crisis the number of all suicides associated with unemployment was nine times higher than previously believed.
Feb 5, 2015 Chimpanzees learn «food calls»
Chimpanzees living in captivity are capable of learning calls that refer to specific food items. This was shown by an evolutionary biologist from the University of Zurich together with English researchers. They now published a behavioral study suggesting, that great apes are capable of referring to objects and socially learn meaningful calls.
Antibodies are now established as therapeutics and indispensable in the research lab. In con-trast to high-quality therapeutics, commercial antibodies used in research often do not proper-ly function, as an international group of authors around Andreas Plückthun of UZH have warned. They demand that antibodies used in research should be made by recombinant DNA technology — just like therapeutic antibodies.
Researchers Irving L. Weissman and Joan Massagué have won this year’s Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research: Weissman, from Stanford University, for his work on healthy and sick stem cells; Massagué, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, for his research on metastatic spread. The award, which carries CHF 100,000 each in prize money, is to be presented on January 29 during the international symposium on “Breakthroughs in Cancer Research and Therapy” in Zurich.