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University of Zurich

When it comes to concerns about the widespread use of drones, one of the big ones is the worry that the things will crash on peoples' heads. That's why researchers at the University of Zurich have created a system to keep that from happening. Their technology allows a drone to regain stable flight after losing control, and to autonomously land in a "safe" area in the event of mechanical or battery failure. Read More
It may sound like the first chapter of a Quatermass thriller, but scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered that DNA can survive not only a flight through space, but also re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, and still remain active. The findings are based on suborbital rocket flights and could have considerable impact on questions about the origins of life on Earth and the problems of terrestrial space probes contaminating other planets. Read More
Lots of people make their own robots, and in all sorts of ways, but have you ever heard of anyone baking one in an oven? Researchers at MIT have demonstrated how to create self-assembling bodies that fold together when baked, as well as showing how a similar technique can be used to generate electronic components to control them. Read More
Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have designed a sophisticated computer system that is comparable in size, speed and energy consumption to the human brain. Based on the development of neuromorphic microchips that mimic the properties of biological neurons, the research is seen as an important step in understanding how the human brain processes information and opens the door to fast, extremely low-power electronic systems that can assimilate sensory input and perform user-defined tasks in real time. Read More
If robots are going to be part of our everyday lives, they’ll need to fit into our homes rather than the factory floor. Few people would be comfortable living with a metal spider on tank treads, so the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) is building a robot toddler called “Roboy.” Using “soft robotics” technology that mimics the human body, the 1.2 meter (3 ft, 11 in) tall humanoid robot is part of an effort to make robots that people are more comfortable with in day-to-day situations. Read More
By turning off an immune system transmitter in mice with an Alzheimer’s-like condition, scientists have been able to greatly reduce the accumulation of an abnormal protein known as amyloid-ß in the animals’ brains. Previous studies have shown that the protein plays a central role in Alzheimer’s disease. It is hoped that the research may ultimately point the way towards a method of preventing or treating the disease in humans. Read More
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