Tag Archives: eth zurich

Dust in the wind drove iron fertilization during ice age

Researchers from Princeton University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Techonology in Zurich have confirmed that during the last ice age iron fertilization caused plankton to thrive in a region of the Southern Ocean.

The study published in Science confirms a longstanding hypothesis that wind-borne dust carried iron to the region of the globe north of Antarctica, driving plankton growth and eventually leading to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (more…)

Read More

Scientists “Burst” Supercomputing Record with Bubble Collapse Simulation; Could Lead to Advances in Healthcare and Industrial Technology

– 15,000 bubbles are simulated using IBM BlueGene/Q “Sequoia” at 14.4 Petaflop of sustained performance, a 150-fold improvement over current state-of-the-art
– Destructive capabilities of collapsing bubbles are increasingly being studied in areas ranging from treating kidney stones and cancer to high pressure fuel injectors
– Research team named as a Finalist for the 2013 Gordon Bell Prize (more…)

Read More

Study of the machinery of cells reveals clues to neurological disorder

Investigation by researchers from the University of Exeter and ETH Zurich has shed new light on a protein which is linked to a common neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

The team has discovered that a protein previously identified on mitochondria – the energy factories of the cell – is also found on the fat-metabolising organelles peroxisomes, suggesting a closer link between the two organelles.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is currently incurable and affects around one in every 2,500 people in the UK, meaning that it is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, thus understanding the molecular basis of the disease is of great importance. Symptoms can range from tremors and loss of touch sensation in the feet and legs to difficulties with breathing, swallowing, speaking, hearing and vision. (more…)

Read More

Mutant Champions Save Imperiled Species from Almost-Certain Extinction

Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. Populations of disease-causing bacteria evolve, for example, as doctors flood their “environment,” the human body, with antibiotics. Insects, animals and plants can make evolutionary adaptations in response to pesticides, heavy metals and overfishing.

Previous studies have shown that the more gradual the change, the better the chances for “evolutionary rescue” – the process of mutations occurring fast enough to allow a population to avoid extinction in changing environments. One obvious reason is that more individuals remain alive when change is gradual or moderate, meaning there are more opportunities for a winning mutation to emerge. (more…)

Read More

Invading Species Can Extinguish Native Plants Despite Recent Reports

TORONTO, ON – Ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) have found that, given time, invading exotic plants will likely eliminate native plants growing in the wild despite recent reports to the contrary.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that recent statements that invasive plants are not problematic are often based on incomplete information, with insufficient time having passed to observe the full effect of invasions on native biodiversity. (more…)

Read More

Derek Nowrouzezahrai’s CGI Research Used in Walt Disney productions

In 1985, a computer science team at Université de Montréal made animated film history by creating one of the first ever digital characters, named Tony de Peltrie. Their six-minute film, which received a standing ovation by computer graphics designers at a festival in San Francisco, marked a turning point in computer-generated imagery (CGI). The film’s creators were able to produce a human face that, although rudimentary, was able to communicate emotions to the audience in a convincing manner.

In retrospect, Tony seems rather crude. Today, CGI can result in images with startling reality, which is precisely were Derek Nowrouzezahrai steps in. “My work focuses on creating the most realistic computer-generated images possible, specifically in the simulation of how light reflects and diffuses in a scene, how fluids realistically interact with their environment, and how shadows are formed,” he said. Nowrouzezahrai joined Université de Montréal’s Department of Computer Science and Operations Research as an assistant professor in January 2012. His work is an equal mix of computer programming, mathematics, physics and art. (more…)

Read More

Astronomers Find Bounty of Failed Stars

*One youngster only six times heftier than Jupiter*

TORONTO, ON – A University of Toronto-led team of astronomers has discovered over two dozen new free-floating brown dwarfs, including a lightweight youngster only about six times heftier than Jupiter, that reside in two young star clusters. What’s more, one cluster contains a surprising surplus of them, harbouring half as many of these astronomical oddballs as normal stars.

“Our findings suggest once again that objects not much bigger than Jupiter could form the same way as stars do. In other words, nature appears to have more than one trick up its sleeve for producing planetary mass objects,” says Professor Ray Jayawardhana, Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto and leader of the international team that made the discovery. (more…)

Read More

Made in IBM Labs: Researchers Unveil Nanotechnology Circuits for Wireless Devices

*Scientists Build the First Wafer-Scale Graphene Integrated Circuit Smaller than a Pinhead*

Yorktown Heights, NY – 10 Jun 2011: Today, IBM Research scientists announced that they have achieved a milestone in creating a building block for the future of wireless devices. In a paper published yesterday in the magazine Science, IBM researchers announced the first integrated circuit fabricated from wafer-size graphene, and demonstrated a broadband frequency mixer operating at frequencies up to 10 gigahertz (10 billion cycles/second).

Designed for wireless communications, this graphene-based analog integrated circuit could improve today’s wireless devices and points to the potential for a new set of appli-cations. At today’s conventional frequencies, cell phone and transceiver signals could be improved, potentially allowing phones to work where they can’t today while, at much higher frequencies, military and medical personnel could see concealed weapons or conduct medical imaging without the same radiation dangers of X-rays. (more…)

Read More