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Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria

An antibiotic called thanatin attacks the way the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is built. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that this happens through a previously unknown mechanism. Thanatin, produced...

Small Genetic Differences Turn Plants into Better Teams

Diverse communities of plants and animals typically perform better than monocultures. However, the mechanisms that are responsible for this have so far been a mystery to science. Biologists at the University of Zurich have now been able to...
Moosseesediment

Research into the birth of agriculture in Europe

An interdisciplinary team from the universities of Bern, Oxford and Thessaloniki has been awarded a prestitious grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The team includes researchers from the fields of archeology and biology. Among...
Reis

Reisanbau in der Nordschweiz im Test

Zeitweise überflutete Flächen gelten als weniger wertvolles Ackerland. Sie wurden mittels Bodenaufschüttungen sowie Entwässerungsanlagen «aufgewertet». Viele dieser Anlagen sind heute sanierungsbedürftig. Neue Lösungen sind daher gesucht....
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Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still possible

Sonia Seneviratne and Andreas Fischlin are the two Swiss researchers involved in the new IPCC special report on the impact of 1.5°C warming. In the ETH Zurich Blog they explain that it is possible to restrict global warming to 1.5°C, and...

Cassava with improved starch

Using the famous CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors, plant biotechnologists at ETH Zurich have been able to improve cassava. The new variety produces amylose-free or ‘waxy’ starch, which is preferred for applications. This project was a...

Superpflanzen: Gen-Revolution in der Landwirtschaft

Der Kampf gegen Klimawandel, Dürren und Schädlinge auf dem Acker läuft. Doch wie soll der Mensch die Nahrungspflanzen der Zukunft erschaffen? Mit klassischer Zucht oder Gentechnik? Forscher schwärmen von der neuen, effizienten Genschere...

Natural history collections: the CERN of the natural sciences needs more investment

Treasures from all over the world slumber in the back rooms of Switzerland’s museums. But not even a fifth of them have been digitised, which makes it difficult for researchers to access them. SourceSNSF Horizons Mag,...
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Scientists plea for open access and unrestricted exchange of digital sequence information

The two authors welcome the principles underlying the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol (NP) as laudable, since both underscore that access to genetic resources (e.g. biological material) should also address...

Biodiversity from above

Remote sensing expert Michael Schaepman wants to use a new aerial sensing method to investigate the complex interplay between ecosystems, species and genes. It aims to measure global biodiversity. His research project is supported by the...