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New artificial neural network model bests MaxEnt in inverse problem example

NCCR MARVEL researchers at EPFL's Chair of Computational Condensed Matter Physics (C3MP) and colleagues have developed an artificial neural network (ANN) model that may serve as a basis for solving inverse problems. Their approach reaches the same level of accuracy as the now commonly used maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method for low-noise data, performs significantly better than this standard technique when the noise strength increases, and features a reduction in computational cost by orders of mag...
Tags: Science, EPFL


3D Printers Are Finally Starting to Work More Like Star Trek's Replicators

Transporters? Spaceships that can travel at the speed of light? Star Trek introduced us to many fantastical technologies that have us looking forward to the 23rd century. But we might not have to wait that long for all the tech Captain Kirk had to play with, as 3D printing has taken another big step toward making…Read more...
Tags: Science, Research, Star Trek, 3d Printing, 3d Printers, Kirk, EPFL, Replicators


Researchers find a way to 3D print whole objects in seconds

When you think of 3D printing, you probably imagine a structure being created layer by layer, from the bottom up. Now, researchers from Switzerland's Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) say they have developed a completely new way of creating 3D objects that offer remarkable resolution "in record time."
Tags: Science, Switzerland, Lausanne, EPFL


A novel formulation to explain heat propagation

Researchers at EPFL and MARVEL have developed a novel formulation that describes how heat spreads within crystalline materials. This can explain why and under which conditions heat propagation becomes fluid-like rather than diffusive. Their equations will make it easier to design next-generation electronic devices at the nanoscale, in which these phenomena can become prevalent.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Personalized cancer vaccines

The only therapeutic cancer vaccine available on the market has so far showed very limited efficacy in clinical trials. EPFL researchers are currently working on an alternative. They have developed a platform that allows a cancer vaccine to be delivered to a precise location and stimulate the immune system in a safe way -- thereby overcoming one of the two obstacles to creating an effective vaccine.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Breathing may change your mind about free will

Is free will just an illusion? For decades, a signal from the brain called the 'readiness potential' has been interpreted to mean that free will may be an illusion. Backed by signals from the brain and lungs, EPFL scientists have discovered that the readiness potential is in fact coupled to breathing and that acts of free will happen as you exhale -- providing an unexpected perspective on free will.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster

EPFL researchers have developed a highly sensitive and portable optical biosensor that stands to accelerate the diagnosis of fatal conditions like sepsis. It could be used by ambulances and hospitals to improve the triage process and save lives.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Why we differ in our ability to fight off gut infections

Scientists at EPFL have published two papers showing how genetics affects the ability of different individuals to fight off gut infections.
Tags: Science, EPFL


A new model of metabolism draws from thermodynamics and 'omics'

Scientists at EPFL have developed an algorithm that can model biochemical reactions from metabolism down to RNA synthesis with unprecedented accuracy.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Visualizing chemical reactions, e.g. from H2 and CO2 to synthetic natural gas

Scientists at EPFL have designed a reactor that can use IR thermography to visualize dynamic surface reactions and correlate it with other rapid gas analysis methods to obtain a holistic understanding of the reaction in rapidly changing conditions.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Capturing CO2 from trucks and reducing their emissions by 90%

Researchers at EPFL have patented a new concept that could cut trucks' CO2 emissions by almost 90%. It involves capturing CO2 within the exhaust system, converting it into a liquid and storing it on the vehicle. The liquid CO2 would then be delivered to a service station and where it will be turned back into fuel using renewable energy.
Tags: Science, EPFL


This tiny, soft robo-bug scoots with smarts and survives swats

Nature is a good source of inspiration for roboticists, but it’s rare that nature’s elegance and genius can be replicated in any real way. Still, we’re getting closer. This tiny insect-like robot is made of soft materials and weighs less than a gram, yet can move quickly and with some intelligence — and is robust enough to survive a pounding from a fly swatter. For the most part, tiny robots like this are compromises. For instance, they can move quickly, but only with external power. Or they can...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Robotics, Soft Robotics, EPFL, Xiaobin Ji, Matthias Imboden, EPFL s Soft Transducers Laboratory


A soft robotic insect that survives being flattened by a fly swatter

Researchers at EPFL have developed an ultra-light robotic insect that uses its soft artificial muscles to move at 3 cm per second across different types of terrain. It can be folded or crushed and yet continue to move.
Tags: Science, EPFL


When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable

Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral, according to a new study by EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). These findings, based on measurements of 56-year-old palm tree plantations in Colombia, suggest we may be able to find sustainable alternatives to deforestation for the production of palm oil -- a practice currently under fire by environmentalists.
Tags: Science, Colombia, EPFL


EPFL researchers crack an enduring physics enigma

Researchers from EPFL have found the mechanism that lies behind a mysterious physics phenomenon in fluid mechanics: the fact that turbulence in fluids spontaneously self-organizes into parallel patterns of oblique turbulent bands -- an example of order emerging spontaneously from chaos. In so doing, they solved a problem that had stumped generations of physicists.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis

Researchers at EPFL are working on a technology to exploit osmotic energy -- a source of power that's naturally available at estuaries, where fresh water comes into contact with seawater. In a laboratory experiment, the team reproduced the real-world conditions that occur where rivers meet the sea (pH and salt concentration) and showed that, by shining light on a system comprising salt, water and a membrane three atoms thick, it was possible to optimize electricity production.
Tags: Science, EPFL


The insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain

Neuroscientists at EPFL have discovered an area of the brain, the insular cortex, that processes painful experiences and thereby drives learning from aversive events.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Taming the genome's 'jumping' sequences

EPFL scientists have discovered how a family of proteins that regulates the activity of transposable elements in the genome allows them to make inheritable changes to the growing fetus.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Light and peptides: New method diversifies natural building blocks of life

EPFL chemists have developed a new, light-based method for modifying peptides at the C-terminal position. The method introduces the structural diversity needed for drug design in this class of bioactive compounds.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Turning an old enemy into a helpful friend

A protein complex that had originally evolved to repress the invasion of foreign DNA sequences in our genome took up a completely new function in directing the formation of fat cells, EPFL scientists have found.
Tags: Science, EPFL


New biologically derived metal-organic framework mimics DNA

Chemical engineers at EPFL have synthesized a biologically-derived metal-organic framework on which the hydrogen bonding that forms the DNA double helix can be mimicked and studied like never before.
Tags: Science, EPFL


How understanding animal behavior can support wildlife conservation

Researchers from EPFL and the University of Zurich have developed a model that uses data from sensors worn by meerkats to gain a more detailed picture of how animals behave in the wild.
Tags: Science, EPFL, University of Zurich


Harnessing photonics for at-home disease detection

With nothing more than a photonic chip and an ordinary camera, EPFL researchers have managed to count biomolecules one by one in a small sample and determine their position. Their tiny device -- a marriage of optics and smart image analysis -- is even able to detect a graphene sheet only a single atom thick. This type of sensor could one day play a key role in personalized medicine.
Tags: Science, EPFL


BridgIT, a new tool for orphan and novel enzyme reactions

Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed an online tool that can accurately assign genes and proteins to unknown 'orphan' reactions, which are a major headache for biotechnology, drug development, and even medicine.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Engineering cellular function without living cells

EPFL scientists have come up with a systematic method for studying and even predicting gene expression - without using cells. Using their innovative, quantitative approach, they measured important parameters governing gene regulation. This allowed them to design and construct a synthetic biological logic gate, which could one day be used to introduce new functions into cells. Their research has just been published in PNAS.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Researchers Found a Way to Extract Detailed Slo-Mo Videos From a Single Blurry Photo

The Phantom high-speed cameras used by YouTube channels like The Slow Mo Guys to capture mesmerizing slow-motion footage are obscenely expensive. But soon, thanks to a new technique that can extract slo-mo videos from a single photo, the smartphone in your pocket could outperform even a high-speed camera that costs…Read more...
Tags: Photography, Science, Research, Smartphones, Harvard, Slow Motion, High Speed Photography, EPFL, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Slo Mo, Virtual Frame Technique


EPFL researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear

Using high-performance computer simulations, EPFL researchers were able to observe how surface roughness changes when two materials rub together. Their findings, which provide insight into friction and wear mechanisms, have implications for areas ranging from engineering to the study of tectonic faults.
Tags: Science, EPFL


Vitamin B3 analogue boosts production of blood cells

Scientists from EPFL and the UNIL/Ludwig Cancer Research have found that supplementing diet with nicotinamide riboside, an analogue of vitamin B3, boosts the production of blood cells by improving the function of their stem cells. This can help overcome problems in stem cell-based therapies that treat leukemia and aggressive lymphomas.
Tags: Science, EPFL, UNIL Ludwig Cancer Research


Prototype prosthesis proffers proper proprioceptive properties

Researchers have created a prosthetic hand that offers its users the ability to feel where it is and how the fingers are positioned — a sense known as proprioception. The headline may be in jest, but the advance is real and may help amputees more effectively and naturally use their prostheses. Prosthesis rejection is a real problem for amputees, and many choose to simply live without these devices, electronic or mechanical, since they can complicate as much as they simplify. Part of that is the ...
Tags: Health, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Microsoft, Tech, Robotics, Prosthetics, Medtech, Lausanne, EPFL, Amputees, Prosthesis, Artificial Limbs, Silvestro Micera


CRISPR reveals the secret life of antimicrobial peptides

Using CRISPR, scientists at EPFL have carried out extensive work on a little-known yet effective weapon of the innate immune system, antimicrobial peptides.
Tags: Science, EPFL



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