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Mechanism discovered how the coronavirus hijacks the cell

A starting point for vaccine and drug development

15-Sep-2020

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the corona virus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the corona virus. Like a pirate hijacking a ship, a virus takes control ...

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How bacteria adhere to fiber in the gut

Two binding modes allow bacteria to stick to surfaces under flow

01-Sep-2020

Researchers have revealed a new molecular mechanism by which bacteria adhere to cellulose fibers in the human gut. Thanks to two different binding modes, they can withstand the shear forces in the body. Scientists of the University of Basel and ETH Zurich published their results in the journal ...

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Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion

“Electron movements are the key events in chemical reactions”

24-Aug-2020

Electrons are able to move within molecules, for example when they are excited from outside or in the course of a chemical reaction. For the first time, scientists have now succeeded in studying the first few dozen attoseconds of this electron movement in a liquid. To understand how chemical ...

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"Simulation microscope" examines transistors of the future

"We have created one of the largest databases of transistor materials"

12-Aug-2020

Since the discovery of graphene, two-​dimensional materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could be used to build tiny, high-​performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials ...

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The amazing travels of small RNAs

Short double-​stranded RNA fragments “transmits” RNA interference

29-Jul-2020

Biologists have known for some time that RNA interference can silence genes in far-​off cells. They suspected that a messenger substance “transmits” RNA interference. Now, ETH researchers have definitively shown that these messengers in plants are short double-​stranded RNA fragments. In most ...

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Growing polymers with different lengths

How the dispersity of a plastic can be completely controlled by mixing two catalysts

25-Jun-2020

ETH researchers have developed a new method for producing polymers with different lengths. This paves the way for new classes of polymer materials to be used in previously inconceivable applications. It is hard to imagine everyday life without materials made of synthetic polymers. Clothes, car ...

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Using electrical stimulus to regulate genes

Basis for medical implants that can be switched on and off using electronic devices outside the body

02-Jun-2020

A team of researchers led by ETH professor Martin Fussenegger has succeeded in using an electric current to directly control gene expression for the first time. Their work provides the basis for medical implants that can be switched on and off using electronic devices outside the body. This is ...

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Lighting the path for cells

Instructing cells to grow in a particular direction is a long-cherished dream

13-May-2020

ETH researchers have developed a new method in which they use light to draw patterns of molecules that guide living cells. The approach allows for a closer look at the development of multicellular organisms – and in the future may even play a part in novel therapies. Highly complex organisms can ...

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A new biosensor for the COVID-19 virus

Detection in the environment

23-Apr-2020

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or ...

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Printing complex cellulose-based objects

27-Mar-2020

Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have set a new world record: they 3D printed complex objects with higher cellulose content than that of any other additively manufactured cellulose-​based parts. To achieve this, they used a ...

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