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News releases

Mar 31, 2015 Discovery of two new species of primitive fishes discovered

abstract

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»

Abstract

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.

Feb 4, 2015 Antibodies in the lab: higher quality through DNA technology

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.