Quantcast

Latest University of Zurich Stories

2011-10-20 22:41:48

Culture is not a trait that is unique to humans. By studying orangutan populations, a team of researchers headed by anthropologist Michael Krützen from the University of Zurich has demonstrated that great apes also have the ability to learn socially and pass them down through a great many generations. The researchers provide the first evidence that culture in humans and great apes has the same evolutionary roots, thus answering the contentious question as to whether variation...

2011-10-03 21:50:45

They have been around since the dawn of time and are a model of evolutionary success: viruses. Viruses are extremely adaptable but they have a problem: They cannot reproduce, so they smuggle their genes into suitable host cells. In the case of some viruses, the viral DNA has to enter the cell nucleus to reproduce. This has been known for almost 50 years. We know, for instance, that the adenovirus disassembles its protein shell in the first step. Just how the DNA is exposed and infiltrates the...

2011-10-03 14:16:45

Harsh living conditions caused by major fluctuations in the carbon content and sea levels, overacidification and oxygen deficiency in the seas triggered the largest mass extinction of all time at the end of the Permian era 252 million years ago. Life on Earth was also anything but easy after the obliteration of over 90 percent of all species: Throughout the entire Early Triassic era, metazoan-dominated reefs were replaced by microbial deposits. Researchers had always assumed it took the Earth...

spacepress-082511-003a
2011-08-25 10:27:56

  For almost 20 years astrophysicists have been trying to recreate the formation of spiral galaxies such as our Milky Way realistically. Now astrophysicists from the University of Zurich present the world's first realistic simulation of the formation of our home galaxy together with astronomers from the University of California at Santa Cruz. The new results were partly calculated on the computer of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS) and show, for instance, that there has...

2011-08-15 00:00:00

ZUG, Switzerland and ZURICH, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SmartGene, a provider of innovative software services for the management and analysis of genetic data, and the Institute of Medical Microbiology ("IMM"), University of Zurich, Switzerland, today announced an expanded collaboration, under which the University of Zurich will make use of the SmartGene platform and its associated reference databases to validate and provide ongoing back-up for mass spectrometry analysis, for the...

2011-07-21 14:13:29

Mucosal epithelia are well-protected against pathogenic germs. However, individual viruses, such as the HI virus, still manage to enter the body via the mucous membrane somehow. Cell biologists from the University of Zurich have now identified a new infection mechanism, demonstrating that the viruses use the body's own scavenger cells for the infection. The new findings are important for cancer-gene therapy and the development of anti-viral medication. Mucosal epithelia do not have any...

7f4cc7702fbfa1c3300518f20273c80b
2011-07-17 06:06:41

Polydactyly is a hereditary anomaly that is relatively common in both humans and animals. Moles also have additional fingers. In their case, however, the irregularity compared to the five-finger formula of land vertebrates is the norm. An international team of researchers headed by paleontologists from the University of Zurich has now uncovered the background to the development of the mole's extra "thumb": A bone develops in the wrist that stretches along the real thumb, giving the paw a...

2011-07-02 02:46:29

Infection with the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori provides reliable protection against allergy-induced asthma, immunologists from the University of Zurich have demonstrated in an animal model together with allergy specialists from the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Their results published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Investigation confirm the hypothesis recently put forward that the dramatic increase in allergic diseases in industrial...

2011-05-31 16:09:27

A large number of illnesses stem from misfolded proteins, molecules composed of amino acids. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now studied protein misfolding using a special spectroscopic technique. Misfolding, as they report in Nature, is more frequent if the sequence of the amino acids in the neighboring protein domains is very similar. Proteins are the main molecular machines in our bodies. They perform a wide range of functions, from digesting and processing nutrients,...

2011-05-31 15:42:35

In flowering plants, the beginning of embryogenesis is almost exclusively governed by maternal gene activity. Maternal factors regulate the development of the embryo and silence paternal genes during early stages of development. This finding "“ obtained using next generation sequencing technology "“ was reported by an international team of researchers including plant geneticists from the University of Zurich. This newly uncovered mechanism may be involved in the maintenance of...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
Related