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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL


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Environment - Life Sciences - 01.03.2024
Glacier shrinkage is causing a 'green transition'
Glacier shrinkage is causing a ’green transition’
Glacier-fed streams are undergoing a process of profound change, according to scientists in a paper appearing in Nature Geoscience. This conclusion is based on the expeditions to the world's major mountain ranges by members of the Vanishing Glaciers project. Microbial life will flourish in mountain streams because of ongoing glacier shrinkage.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.02.2024
The 'switch' that keeps the immune system from attacking the body
The ’switch’ that keeps the immune system from attacking the body
Scientists at EPFL uncover the mechanism by which cells mark the protein cGAS for degradation, which is critical in preventing the immune system from mistakenly attacking the body's own tissues. A microscopic battle rages in our bodies, as our cells constantly fend off invaders through our immune system, a complex system of cells and proteins designed to protect us from harmful pathogens.

Health - Physics - 27.02.2024
Nanotweezers accelerate phage therapy
Nanotweezers accelerate phage therapy
Scientists at EPFL have developed a game-changing technique that uses light to manipulate and identify individual bacteriophages without the need for chemical labels or bioreceptors, potentially accelerating and revolutionizing phage-based therapies that can treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Health - Pedagogy - 26.02.2024
Anything-in-anything-out: a new modular AI model
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new, uniquely modular machine learning model for flexible decision-making. It is able to input any mode of text, video, image, sound, and time-series and then output any number, or combination, of predictions. We've all'heard of Large Language Models, or LLMs - massive scale deep learning models trained on huge amounts of text that form the basis for chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Computer Science - Innovation - 22.02.2024
AI-driven method helps improve quality assurance for wind turbines
An international collaboration between EPFL and the University of Glasgow has led to an advanced machine-learning algorithm to effectively detect concealed manufacturing defects in wind turbine composite blades - before turbines are put into service. Faulty wind turbine blades can incur huge costs for the companies that operate them, especially if the defects go unnoticed until it's too late.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.02.2024
Protein modifications key influencers in neurodegenerative diseases
Protein modifications key influencers in neurodegenerative diseases
Exploring the post-translational modifications of a key protein in Parkinson's disease, researchers at EPFL and USC uncover potential pathways for future therapies in neurodegenerative diseases in general. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, present a significant health challenge, affecting over 50 million people globally.

Physics - Mechanical Engineering - 15.02.2024
A 'quantum leap' at room temperature
A ’quantum leap’ at room temperature
Scientists have achieved a milestone by controlling quantum phenomena at room temperature. Image: Conceptual art of the operating device, consisting of a nanopillar-loaded drum sandwiched by two periodically segmented mirrors, allowing the laser light to strongly interact with the drum quantum mechanically at room temperature.

Chemistry - Computer Science - 07.02.2024
GPT-3 transforms chemical research
GPT-3 transforms chemical research
Scientists at EPFL demonstrate how GPT-3 can transform chemical analysis, making it faster and more user-friendly. Artificial intelligence is growing into a pivotal tool in chemical research, offering novel methods to tackle complex challenges that traditional approaches struggle with. One subtype of artificial intelligence that has seen increasing use in chemistry is machine learning, which uses algorithms and statistical models to make decisions based on data and perform tasks that it has not been explicitly programmed for.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.02.2024
A machine learning framework that encodes images like a retina
A machine learning framework that encodes images like a retina
Researchers have developed a machine learning approach to compressing image data with greater accuracy than learning-free computation methods, with applications for retinal implants and other sensory prostheses. A major challenge to developing better neural prostheses is sensory encoding: transforming information captured from the environment by sensors into neural signals that can be interpreted by the nervous system.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.02.2024
'Genomic time machine' reveals secrets of our DNA
’Genomic time machine’ reveals secrets of our DNA
Researchers reveal a novel method to uncover bits of our genetic blueprint that come from ancient genetic parasites, offering fresh insights into human evolution and health. The human genome, an intricate tapestry of genetic information for life, has proven to be a treasure trove of strange features.

Physics - 29.01.2024
Turning glass into a 'transparent' light-energy harvester
Turning glass into a ’transparent' light-energy harvester
Physicists propose a novel way to create photoconductive circuits, where the circuit is directly patterned onto a glass surface with femtosecond laser light. The new technology may one day be useful for harvesting energy, while remaining transparent to light and using a single material. What happens when you expose tellurite glass to femtosecond laser light?

Physics - Electroengineering - 24.01.2024
A new state in a quantum material
A new state in a quantum material
Scientists at EPFL break new ground in quantum physics, revealing a mysterious and unique behavior in a quantum magnetic material and hinting at future tech breakthroughs. In the mysterious world of quantum materials, things don't always behave as we expect. These materials have unique properties governed by the rules of quantum mechanics, which often means that they can perform tasks in ways traditional materials cannot - like conducting electricity without loss - or having magnetic properties that may prove useful in advanced technologies.

Health - Environment - 23.01.2024
Heat islands have an impact on health costs
Heat islands have an impact on health costs
A new study has produced the first cost estimate of the impact that urban heat islands have on human health. The study looked at 85 European cities over the course of three full years, meaning it also took into account the protection that heat islands offer in winter - an aspect that has been little studied until now.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.01.2024
Nanopores and deep learning change disease diagnostics
Nanopores and deep learning change disease diagnostics
Scientists unveil a groundbreaking method using biological nanopores and deep learning to detect protein modifications, offering new avenues in disease diagnostics. Proteins, the workhorses of the cell, undergo various modifications after their synthesis. Because they can profoundly affect how a protein operates in the cell, these "post-translational modifications", or PTMs, are key in numerous biological processes.

Computer Science - Environment - 16.01.2024
AI program classifies objects in satellite images faster
An AI program can train neural networks, using just a handful of images, to rapidly characterize in satellite and drone data new objects like ocean debris, deforestation zones, urban areas and more. Images taken by drones and satellites give scientists a wealth of information. These snapshots provide crucial insight into the changes taking place on the Earth's surface, such as in animal populations, vegetation, debris floating on the ocean surface and glacier coverage.

Physics - Computer Science - 15.01.2024
Bridging light and electrons
Bridging light and electrons
Researchers at EPFL and Max Plank have merged nonlinear optics with electron microscopy, unlocking new capabilities in material studies and the control of electron beams. When light goes through a material, it often behaves in unpredictable ways. This phenomenon is the subject of an entire field of study called "nonlinear optics", which is now integral to technological and scientific advances from laser development and optical frequency metrology, to gravitational wave astronomy and quantum information science.

Physics - Materials Science - 11.01.2024
Laser additive manufacturing: listening for defects as they happen
Laser additive manufacturing: listening for defects as they happen
Researchers from EPFL have resolved a long-standing debate surrounding laser additive manufacturing processes with a pioneering approach to defect detection. The progression of laser additive manufacturing - which involves 3D printing of metallic objects using powders and lasers - has often been hindered by unexpected defects.

Pharmacology - Health - 09.01.2024
Oral peptides: A new era in drug development
Oral peptides: A new era in drug development
Scientists at EPFL have developed stable orally available cyclic peptides with a much higher bioavailability than current ones, virtually creating a generation of drugs that can target previously untreatable diseases like certain types of cancer. For decades, a substantial number of proteins, vital for treating various diseases, have remained elusive to oral drug therapy.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.01.2024
Supercharging CAR-T Cells for Cancer Treatment
Supercharging CAR-T Cells for Cancer Treatment
Transformative research at EPFL introduces CAR-T cells that flourish in tumor environments, paving the way for unparalleled advancements in cancer immunotherapy. At EPFL's School of Engineering, Professor Li Tang's Laboratory of Biomaterials for Immunoengineering has made significant strides in cancer treatment research.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.12.2023
Permafrost: a ticking time bomb beneath our feet
Permafrost: a ticking time bomb beneath our feet
Nearly a quarter of the Earth's land surface is permanently frozen. These areas, known as permafrost, are found in northern polar regions and at high altitudes.
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