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Physicists Measure van der Waals Forces of Individual Atoms for the First Time

17-May-2016

Physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the very weak van der Waals forces between individual atoms for the first time. To do this, they fixed individual noble gas atoms within a molecular network and determined the interactions with a ...

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Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

04-May-2016

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article ...

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The gates of serotonin

Cracking the workings of a notorious receptor

25-Apr-2016

EPFL scientists have elucidated for the first time how a notoriously elusive serotonin receptor functions with atom-level detail. The receptor transmits electrical signals in neurons and is involved in various disorders, meaning that the discovery opens the way for new treatments. Serotonin is a ...

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A portable device for rapid and highly sensitive diagnostics

23-Feb-2016

When remote regions with limited health facilities experience an epidemic, they need portable diagnostic equipment that functions outside the hospital. As demand for such equipment grows, EPFL researchers have developed a low-cost and portable microfluidic diagnostic device. It has been tested on ...

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More detailed analysis of how cells react to stress

09-Feb-2016

Stress in the body’s cells is both the cause and consequence of inflammatory diseases or cancer. The cells react to stress to protect themselves. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now developed a new technique that allows studying a fundamental response to stress in much more detail ...

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New insights into the function of the main class of drug targets

05-Feb-2016

About thirty percent of all medical drugs such as beta-blockers or antidepressants interact with certain types of cell surface proteins called G protein coupled receptors. In collaboration with researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute, the group of Prof. Stephan Grzesiek at the Biozentrum of ...

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The device with the fine nose

02-Feb-2016

When it comes to measuring the smallest traces of volatile chemical compounds in the air, the analysis devices in Pablo Sinues' laboratory are among the most sensitive in the world. They can find the proverbial needle in a haystack: the detection limit for airborne volatile compounds is around a ...

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Architecture of mTOR Protein Complex Solved

22-Dec-2015

For a long time it has been known that the protein TOR – Target of Rapamycin – controls cell growth and is involved in the development of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Researchers at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum together with scientists from ETH Zurich have now examined the ...

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Diagnostics with birefringence

15-Dec-2015

Nothing could be simpler: a drop of blood is placed on a special carrier substance; after a wait of a few minutes, the slide is placed on a device that emits polarised light thanks to an inexpensive polarisation filter. It is covered with a lid containing a second polarisation filter, which ...

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Using light-force to study single molecules

Scientists at EPFL show how to amplify the sensitivity and resolution of Raman scattering

25-Nov-2015

When it comes to studying single molecules, scientists use a powerful technique called "surface-enhanced Raman scattering" (SERS). An extremely sensitive tool, SERS detects the vibrations within the atoms of the illuminated molecule as a change in light color. But the sensitivity of SERS is ...

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