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ETH Zurich

Taking inspiration from the way fossilized bones can preserve genetic material for hundreds of thousands of years, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a "synthetic fossil" by writing digital information on DNA and then encapsulating it in a protective layer of glass. Read More
The batteries inside our smartphones and laptops are fighting a losing battle when it comes to keeping these devices juiced up, but researchers from ETH Zurich have discovered a new type of glass material that could make a major difference: vanadate-borate glass. The glass can be used as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries to almost double the amount of time they last between charges. Read More
Cuttlefish are fascinating animals, in that they use a pair of undulating fins to move forward and backward, turn on the spot, or hover in place. If you wanted to make an underwater robot that was highly maneuverable yet quiet and immune to tangled propellers, then the cuttlefish would be a good creature to copy. Well, a group of mechanical engineering students from Switzerland's ETH Zurich have done just that – plus they gave it an extra set of fins, allowing it to also move straight up and down. Read More
Wouldn't it be great if there were implants that detected the brainwaves associated with conditions such as chronic headaches or epilepsy, and then responded by triggering genes in the patient's body to produce a protein that treated the condition? Well, scientists at the ETH Zurich research institute are on their way to making it happen. They've developed an implant that causes genetically-modified cells to express a specific protein, and the device is indeed activated by brain waves. Read More
Students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have claimed a new world record for electric car acceleration. Piloting their EV dubbed "Grimsel" from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 1.785 seconds in less than 30 meters, the students smashed the previous record of 2.134 seconds set by the Delft University of Technology in 2013. Read More
While touch screens have enabled smartphone manufacturers to increase screen real estate by ditching physical keyboards and other buttons, they do have a downside, with fingers often obscuring the display. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new app that overcomes this problem by bringing gesture control to mobile devices using their existing built-in camera. Read More
Fans of the Disney classic Fantasia will no doubt remember the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of that film, in which a hapless Mickey Mouse accidentally brings an army of mops to life. Well, Cirque du Soleil has teamed up with ETH Zurich and spinoff group Verity Studios to create a somewhat similar video entitled Sparked – instead of mops, however, it features a fleet of lampshade-clad quadcopters. Read More
If you work somewhere such as a factory, warehouse, or restaurant kitchen, then you'll know how tiring it can be to stand for several hours at a time. Unfortunately, however, it isn't always practical or safe to carry a stool around with you wherever you go. That's why Swiss start-up noonee has created the Chairless Chair. Worn as an exoskeleton on the back of the legs, it lets you walk or even run as needed, but can be locked into a supporting structure when you go into a sitting position. Read More
Tops, yo-yos, and other spinning toys are amongst the oldest playthings created by man, with the earliest examples dating back to 3,500 BC. Paradoxically, they’re not very easy to make with their design requiring a lot of trial and error. One mistake and, instead of a pirouetting plaything, you get a clattering paperweight. That’s why spinning toys tend to be symmetrical – until now. In a blow for symmetry, Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich have developed a computer algorithm that can take any shape, no matter how cock-eyed, and make it spin like a top. Read More
While advances have been made in treating rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease causing inflammation of joints in the body, scientists are yet to develop a cure for the disease. But researchers from ETH Zurich, Switzerland have developed a new therapy that has shown to fully cure the condition in mice, leaving the team hopeful of commencing human trials as early as 2015. Read More
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