Most recent Press Releases

  • How to Keep Drones Flying When a Motor Fails

    Robotics researchers at the University of Zurich show how onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably – even without GPS.

  • Genetic Engineering without Unwanted Side-Effects Helps Fight Parasites

    Modified CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors are enabling researchers at UZH to make alterations to the genetic material of single-cell organisms that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. This method is making it possible to develop a (harmless) experimental live vaccine for the widespread parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

  • How Nearby Galaxies Form Their Stars

    How stars form in galaxies remains a major open question in astrophysics. A new UZH study sheds new light on this topic with the help of a data-driven re-analysis of observational measurements. The star-formation activity of typical, nearby galaxies is found to scale proportionally with the amount of gas present in these galaxies. This points to the net gas supply from cosmic distances as the main driver of galactic star formation.

  • Brain Stem Cells Divide over Months

    For the first time, scientists at the University of Zurich have been able to observe stem cells in the adult mouse brain that divide over the course of several months to create new nerve cells. The study shows that brain stem cells are active over a long period, and thus provides new insights for stem cell research.

  • Female Language Style Promotes Visibility and Influence Online

    A female-typical language style promotes the popularity of talks in the digital context and turns out to be an underappreciated but highly effective tool for social influence. This was shown by UZH psychologists in an international study in which they analyzed 1,100 TED Talks.

  • COVID-19 Edition of the Science Barometer Switzerland: People Seek Stronger Voice for Science on Pandemic Issues

    The people of Switzerland have confirmed their faith in science in the present COVID-19 pandemic. They would like to see scientists contributing their expertise more vigorously to the public and political debate. And most of them believe that political decisions on dealing with the pandemic should be based on scientific findings and foundations. The views are reflected in the COVID-19 edition of the Science Barometer Switzerland, which is produced by UZH’s Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) in collaboration with the University of Münster, Germany.

  • ERC Consolidator Grants: Four Million Euros for UZH Researchers

    Two researchers from the University of Zurich have been awarded lucrative Consolidator Grants. The European Research Council has awarded funds to Prof. Judith Burkart for her research on interdependence between humans and apes during human evolution. Equally awarded is Prof. Jason P. Holland for his project that will harness photochemical reactions to make new combinations of drugs.

  • Natural Selection also Increases the Adaptability of Organism

    Natural selection causes organisms to adapt continuously. Researchers at the University of Zurich now show for the first time that proteins in bacteria develop a new property more rapidly when the selection pressure is high. Natural selection can thus also increase the evolutionary capacity itself.

  • Wheat Diversity Due to Cross-Hybridization with Wild Grasses

    Bread wheat can grow in highly diverse regional environments. An important reason for its great genetic variety is the cross-hybridization with many chromosome fragments from wild grasses. This is shown by the genome sequences of 10 wheat varieties from four continents, which an international consortium including researchers from the University of Zurich has now decoded.

  • Honey – Staple Food and Indigenous Cultural Asset

    A new exhibition in the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich delves into the recent history of the Ayoréode, a nomadic people in the forests of Bolivia, who have had to adapt to settled life for decades. How are they preserving their knowledge of wild bees that is passed down orally? How are they developing their skills in their new living environment? Everyday artifacts and voices from the indigenous community shine a light on what happens when two very different world views and ways of life collide.

  • Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth

    Some, if not all, early sharks that lived 300 to 400 million years ago not only dropped their lower jaws downward but rotated them outwards when opening their mouths. This enabled them to make the best of their largest, sharpest and inward-facing teeth when catching prey, paleontologists at the Universities of Zurich and Chicago have now shown using CT scanning and 3D printing.

  • The Rise of Emil Bührle as an Industrialist and Art Collector

    A new study by UZH professor Matthieu Leimgruber, commissioned by the City and Canton of Zurich, charts the rise of Emil Bührle to become an industrialist, international art collector and member of the Zurich elite. It is the first time that the links between arms, money and art have been studied together.

  • Vitamin D and Omega-3s Bolster Health in Some Active Older People

    The DO-HEALTH study led by Zurich-based geriatrician Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari has examined the effects of simple measures on the health of healthy adults aged 70 or older. Initial analyses suggest that vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and strength-training exercises do not significantly improve bone health, leg function and memory. Nevertheless, certain groups of people could still benefit from these measures.

  • Host Genetic Factors Shape Composition of Virus Communities

    Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction.

  • Swiss Fatalism Protects Against Negative Feelings in the Pandemic

    Trust or disappointment in government crisis management is an important factor for the general mood, shows a study by the University of Zurich based on surveys in Israel and Switzerland. At the end of April, Israelis were twice as disappointed with their government institutions during the pandemic as Swiss citizens. In Switzerland, a certain fatalism made for less negative feelings.

  • Corona Crisis Increases Media Usage, Reduces Revenues

    In times of uncertainty, people increasingly return to traditional news media. This increased usage has not, however, resulted in additional revenues. On the contrary, advertising budgets have plummeted and people’s willingness to pay for online news remains low. New payment models are required and direct subsidies for the media industry seem to be inevitable, according to the Yearbook Quality of the Media 2020 published by the UZH Research Center for the Public Sphere and Society (fög).

  • Multiple Sclerosis as the Flip Side of Immune Fitness

    About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which – although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus – also attack brain tissue.

  • Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years

    Humans are not the only beings that can identify rules in complex language-like constructions – monkeys and great apes can do so, too, a study at the University of Zurich has shown. Researchers at the Department of Comparative Language Science of UZH used a series of experiments based on an ‘artificial grammar’ to conclude that this ability can be traced back to our ancient primate ancestors.

  • Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations

    A study by the Brain Research Institute at UZH reveals that early trauma leads to changes in blood metabolites – similarly in mice and humans. Experiments with mice have show that these potentially harmful effects on health are also passed to the next generation. The researchers have identified a biological mechanism by which traumatic experiences become embedded in germ cells.

  • Central Asian Horse Riders Played Ball Games 3,000 Years Ago

    UZH researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China. According to the international research team, they are around 3,000 years old, making them the oldest balls in Eurasia. The find suggests amongst others that the mounted warriors of Central Asia played ball games to keep themselves fit.