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Latest ETH Zurich Stories

2014-04-14 14:11:21

The phenomenon has long been known in psychology: traumatic experiences can induce behavioral disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next. It is only recently that scientists have begun to understand the physiological processes underlying hereditary trauma. "There are diseases such as bipolar disorder, that run in families but can't be traced back to a particular gene", explains Isabelle Mansuy, professor at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. With her research group...

Mitochondrial Ribosome Deciphered
2014-01-24 13:37:28

ETH Zurich Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have deciphered the structure of part of the ribosome found in mitochondria, the power plants of the cell. The scientists were able to benefit from advancements in the field of electron microscopy and capture images of the mitochondrial ribosome at a level of resolution never achieved before. The ribosome can be thought of as a decryption device housed within the cell. It is able to decipher the genetic...

Peaceful Bumblebee Invades South America
2013-12-09 10:12:21

ETH Zurich Bumblebees look cute. They have a thick fur, fly somewhat clumsily and are less aggressive than honeybees or wasps. They are very much appreciated by farmers as keen pollen collectors. Particularly in the context of the crisis-stricken honeybee populations, the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, is being bred on an industrial scale for the pollination of fruit and vegetable crops both inside and outside greenhouses. It was hoped that these insects would take over these...

New Material Gets Into Shape
2013-04-16 14:24:08

ETH Life Inspired by plant components that respond to external stimuli, material scientists from ETH Zurich have devised a new method for producing composite materials from a variety of materials that adopt a pre-programmed shape autonomously. Plant components that bend, roll or twist in response to external stimuli such as temperature or moisture are fairly commonplace in nature and often play a role in the dispersal of seeds. Pine cones, for instance, close their scales when wet and...

Fingerprinting A Person's Breath
2013-04-04 11:15:39

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Doctors routinely use blood or urine samples to test for signs of illness or disease and a new study from a group of Swiss researchers indicates that a person´s breath could soon be added to that list. According to the study, which appeared in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, the researchers were also able to discriminate between individual breath signatures as if they were fingerprints. Previous research has shown that...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'