Most recent Press Releases

  • Post-Lockdown: No Clustering of Coronavirus Infections in Zurich Schools prior to Summer Break

    The University of Zurich tested 2,500 schoolchildren in the Canton of Zurich to determine if they were infected during the period between the onset of the novel coronavirus and early June 2020. The preliminary results show that in the first stage of testing prior to the summer break, there was no clustering of coronavirus infections in schools in the Canton of Zurich. Moreover, children presenting typical COVID-19 symptoms did not test positive for antibodies more frequently than children without such symptoms did.

  • Reprogramming Brain Cells Enables Flexible Decision-Making

    Humans, like other animals, have the ability to constantly adapt to new situations. Researchers at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich have utilized a mouse model to reveal which neurons in the brain are in command in guiding adaptive behavior. Their new study contributes to our understanding of decision-making processes in healthy and infirm people.

  • Swiss Dinosaur Skeleton to Become Museum’s Latest Showpiece

    The University of Zurich’s Zoological and Paleontological Museum will soon be home to a new attraction that literally cannot be missed: A nearly eight-meter-long plateosaurus will greet visitors to the museum starting on 15 September. The fossil, which dates back over 200 million years, was excavated in the town of Frick in 2018. The skeleton will be accompanied by a detailed reconstruction of the creature in its original size.

  • More Online Teaching for More Students at UZH

    In the upcoming Fall Semester around 28,100 students will be matriculated at the University of Zurich. The numbers have increased for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. Courses will be delivered with a mix of online and on-site classes.

  • Young Researchers Win 4.5 Million Euros in Funding

    Three scholars from the University of Zurich will receive support from the European Union’s valuable ERC Starting Grants. The three young researchers will thus have the funds to carry out their ground-breaking projects on motherhood and the labor market, on visualization of neurotransmitter dynamics in the brain, and on the role of religious art in the early modern age of globalization.

  • How Plants Close their Gates when Microbes Attack

    Like humans, plants protect themselves against pathogens. An international consortium under the lead of UZH professor Cyril Zipfel has now identified a long sought-after factor of this plant immune system: The calcium channel triggers the closure of stomata upon contact with microbes such as bacteria. This innate defense mechanism could help to engineer crop plants that are resistant to pathogens.

  • UZH Introduces Five New University Research Priority Programs

    The University of Zurich is introducing five new University Research Priority Programs focusing on equal opportunities, human reproduction, rare diseases, digital religions and basic principles of learning. With these programs, UZH is opening new avenues for innovative research in areas relevant to our society.

  • Syphilis May Have Spread through Europe before Columbus

    Columbus brought syphilis to Europe – or did he? A recent study conducted at the University of Zurich now indicates that Europeans could already have been infected with this sexually transmitted disease before the 15th century. In addition, researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown pathogen causing a related disease. The predecessor of syphilis and its related diseases could be over 2,500 years old.

  • Trustful Collaboration Critical for Outcome of Therapy

    A trusting therapeutic relationship and outcome-oriented collaboration between therapist and patient are critical for the successful treatment of mental illness. And it pays to start early in therapy, a series of meta-studies by a task force of the American Psychological Association (APA) led by UZH psychology professor Christoph Flückiger shows.

  • Long Neck Helped Reptile Hunt Underwater

    Its neck was three times as long as its torso, but had only thirteen extremely elongated vertebrae: "Tanystropheus", a bizarre giraffe-necked reptile which lived 242 million years ago, is a paleontological absurdity. A new study led by the University of Zurich has now shown that the creature lived in water and was surprisingly adaptable.

  • New Guinea Has the World’s Richest Island Flora

    New Guinea is the most floristically diverse island in the world, an international collaboration led by the University of Zurich has shown. The study presents a list of almost 14,000 plant species, compiled from online catalogues and verified by plant experts. The results are invaluable for research and conservation, and also underline the importance of expert knowledge in the digital era.

  • Relatively High-Quality Reporting on Coronavirus Pandemic

    In times of crisis, the media plays a particularly important role. Reporting was of a relatively high quality during the coronavirus pandemic, a study by the University of Zurich has shown. Some deficits, however, were found in the use of figures and statistics. In addition, many media outlets were not critical enough during the sensitive phase before the lockdown.

  • Hedonism Leads to Happiness

    Relaxing on the sofa or savoring a delicious meal: Enjoying short-term pleasurable activities that don’t lead to long-term goals contributes at least as much to a happy life as self-control, according to new research from the University of Zurich and Radboud University in the Netherlands. The researchers therefore argue for a greater appreciation of hedonism in psychology.

  • Big Brains and Dexterous Hands

    Primates with large brains can master more complex hand movements than those with smaller brains. However, fine motor skills such as using tools can take time to learn, and humans take the longest of all. Large-brained species such as humans and great apes do not actually learn more slowly than other primates but instead start later, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown.

  • Predicting the Biodiversity of Rivers

    Biodiversity and thus the state of river ecosystems can now be predicted by combining environmental DNA with hydrological methods, researchers from the University of Zurich and Eawag have found. Using the river Thur as an example, the approach allows areas requiring conservation to be identified in order to initiate protective measures.

  • Blueprint of Oxytocin Receptor Facilitates Development of New Autism Drugs

    Oxytocin plays a role in various mental health and sexual reproduction disorders. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now determined the three-dimensional structure of the oxytocin receptor to which the hormone binds. This knowledge could promote the development of novel drugs to treat a variety of diseases.

  • Bird Diversity in the Swiss Alps in Decline

    The diversity of bird communities in the Swiss Alps is declining more and more, a joint study of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Ornithological Institute has found. An analysis of data from the past two decades has revealed a loss of functional and compositional diversity in Alpine bird communities. This trend is likely connected to rising temperatures and changes in land use.

  • How Venus Flytraps Snap

    Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University of Zurich has now shown that a single slow touch also triggers trap closure – probably to catch slow-moving larvae and snails.

  • Restoring Vision Through Electrical Stimulation

    In a project under Horizon 2020, researchers from seven European organizations will examine how the vision of visually impaired people can be restored using electrical stimulation of the brain. The project is being coordinated by the University of Zurich and supported by the European Union with funding of 4 million euros.

  • 1.5 Billion People Will Depend on Water from Mountains

    Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions. In 30 years, almost a quarter of the world’s lowland population will strongly depend on runoff from the mountains. Only sustainable development can ensure the important function of mountain areas as Earth’s “water towers”.