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How mercury gets into the sea

Chemical fingerprint reveals origin

04-Oct-2021

Mercury released into the atmosphere by industry enters the sea and from there makes its way into the food chain. Now, an analysis by the University of Basel has revealed how the harmful substance enters seawater in the first place. This is not primarily via rainfall, as previously assumed, but ...

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Manganese could make luminescent materials and the conversion of sunlight more sustainable

06-Aug-2021

University of Basel researchers have reached an important milestone in their quest to produce more sustainable luminescent materials and catalysts for converting sunlight into other forms of energy. Based on the cheap metal manganese, they have developed a new class of compounds with promising ...

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Stretching changes the electronic properties of graphene

The electronic properties of graphene can be specifically modified by stretching the material evenly

05-Jul-2021

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The material is very flexible and has excellent electronic properties, making it attractive for numerous applications – electronic components in particular. Researchers led by Professor Christian Schönenberger at ...

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New class of substances for redox reactions

Pyrazinacenes can be reversibly oxidized and reduced

17-Mar-2021

An interdisciplinary, multinational research team presents a new class of chemical compounds that can be reversibly oxidized and reduced. The compounds known as 'pyrazinacenes' are simple, stable compounds that consist of a series of connected nitrogen-containing carbon rings. They are suitable ...

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An artificial cell on a chip

Efficient microfluidic technology produces tailor-made enzyme-loaded vesicles

29-Oct-2020

Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. Using microfluidic technology, they produce miniature polymeric reaction containers equipped with the desired properties. This “cell on a chip” is useful not ...

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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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Acetate regulates immune cells for a precisely orchestrated immune defense

Similar to a pressure valve, which prevents the pressure from rising to critical levels, the regulation of immune cells by acetate prevents the immune reaction from overshooting

07-Aug-2020

The concentration of acetate increases particularly sharply at the site of an infection in the body. As reported in the journal Cell Metabolism by a team of researchers from the University of Basel and colleagues, acetate supports the function of certain immune cells and thus helps to eliminate ...

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Protective shield: How pathogens withstand acidic environments in the body

Cell wall as a therapeutic target for the treatment of dangerous MRSA infections

07-May-2020

Certain bacteria, including the dangerous nosocomial pathogen MRSA, can protect themselves from acidic conditions in our body and thus ensure their survival. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have now elucidated an important mechanism in this process. A transport protein ...

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Perturbation-free studies of single molecules

New applications in the fields of quantum science, spectroscopy and chemistry

16-Mar-2020

Researchers of the University of Basel have developed a new method with which individual isolated molecules can be studied precisely – without destroying the molecule or even influencing its quantum state. This highly sensitive technique for probing molecules is widely applicable and paves the ...

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Virtual screening for active substances against the coronavirus

11-Mar-2020

The University of Basel is part of the global search for a drug to fight the rampant coronavirus. Researchers in the Computational Pharmacy group have so far virtually tested almost 700 million substances, targeting a specific site on the virus – with the aim of inhibiting its multiplication. Due ...

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