Press releases

  • 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 naturally by the spined soldier bug, can therefore be used to develop new classes of antibiotics.

  • Exploiting Epigenetic Variation for Plant Breeding

    Epigenetic changes can bring about new traits without altering the sequence of genes. This may allow plants to respond quicker to changes in their environment. Plant biologists at the University of Zurich have now demonstrated that epigenetic variation is also subject to selection and can be inherited. This could expand the possibilities for crop breeding.

  • 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 identify the genetic cause of these effects. Their findings might help to improve crop yield.

  • Zebrafish Larvae Help in Search for Appetite Suppressants

    Researchers at the University of Zurich and Harvard University have developed a new strategy in the search for psychoactive drugs. By analyzing the behavior of larval zebrafish, they can filter out substances with unwanted side effects right from the start. This method has resulted in the discovery of a number of new appetite modulators.

  • Cocaine Adulterant May Cause Brain Damage

    People who regularly take cocaine cut with the animal anti-worming agent levamisole demonstrate impaired cognitive performance and a thinned prefrontal cortex. These findings from two recent studies at the University of Zurich indicate that levamisole could have a toxic effect on the brain. Drug-checking programs should therefore be expanded, argue the researchers.

  • How LSD Changes Perception

    LSD changes the communication patterns between regions of the brain, a new study by researchers of the University of Zurich and Yale University shows. The study also provides insights into how mental health disorders develop and how these could be treated.

  • New Alliance for Sustainability in Finance: California and Switzerland Team Up

    While sustainable policies at many levels have started to be applied worldwide, the role of banking and finance in sustainability has only recently come to the forefront. Now, the University of Zurich, USC Schwarzenegger Institute, and R20 are directly addressing this critical, often determining aspect of building a sustainable world.

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