11,686 Works

GMO regulations and their interpretation: how EFSA's guidance on risk assessments of GMOs is bound to fail

Angelika Hilbeck, Hartmut Meyer, Brian Wynne & Erik Millstone
We identify the origins, and key characteristics, of the current regulatory framework for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union (EU). We focus on the approach of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to assessing GMO risks to public and environmental health. An historical account informs our critical appraisal of the current practices of EFSA’s GMO panel, and helps to explain how and why it fails to satisfy the objectives of the EU’s GMO...

Energetic electron precipitation and their atmospheric effect

Irina Mironova, Miriam Sinnhuber & Eugene Rozanov
Energetic particle precipitation induces ionization of the atmosphere which initiates a chain of reaction cycles affecting atmospheric composition and dynamics potentially down to surface weather systems. Ionization rates are retrieved based on yield functions or pre-calculated monoenergetic electron flux and energy spectra of precipitated energetic particles. Usually, information about energy spectra is obtained from satellites, balloons, and various ground-based observations. In all cases, some assumptions about spectral distribution for the entire energy range have to...

The Genetic Architecture of Emerging Fungicide Resistance in Populations of a Global Wheat Pathogen

Danilo Pereira, Bruce McDonald & Daniel Croll
Containing fungal diseases often depends on the application of fungicidal compounds. Fungicides can rapidly lose effectiveness due to the rise of resistant individuals in populations. However, the lack of knowledge about resistance mutations beyond known target genes challenges investigations into pathways to resistance. We used whole-genome sequencing data and association mapping to reveal the multilocus genetic architecture of fungicide resistance in a global panel of 159 isolates of Parastagonospora nodorum, an important fungal pathogen of...

Projection of Net Benefits for Companies in the Dual VET-Apprenticeship Programme in Nepal

Thomas Bolli, Johanna Mirka Bolli-Kemper, Mahesh N. Parajuli, Ursula Renold & Binayak Krishna Thapa
This project analyses the Dual VET-Apprenticeship programme in Nepal that is supported by the Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE) project. This new technical and vocational education and training (TVET)4 programme lasts for two years, combines workplace training with classroom education and leads to a formal degree equivalent to a Technical School Leaving Certificate (TSLC). This working paper presents the results of structured surveys among participating companies and applicants of the first Dual...

Perceptive Whole Body Planning for Multi-legged Robots in Confined Spaces

Russell Buchanan, Lorenz Wellhausen, Marko Bjelonic, Tirthankar Bandyopadhyay, Navinda Kottege & Marco Hutter
Journal of Field Robotics

The apple REFPOP – a multi-environment reference population for genomics-assisted breeding in apple

Michaela Jung, Morgane Roth, Maria Jose Aranzana, Annemarie Auwerkerken, Marco Bink, Caroline Denance, Christian Dujak, Charles-Eric Durel, Walter Guerra, Nicholas P. Howard, Mariusz Lewandowski, Matthew Ordidge, Marijn Rymenants, Bruno Studer, Edward Zurawicz, François Laurens, Andrea Patocchi & Hélène Muranty

Generalized spin mapping for quantum-classical dynamics

Johan E. Runeson & Jeremy O. Richardson
The Journal of Chemical Physics, 152 (8)

Is active sitting on a dynamic office chair controlled by the trunk muscles?

Roman Peter Kuster, Christoph Michael Bauer & Daniel Baumgartner
Today’s office chairs are not known to promote active sitting or to activate the lumbar trunk muscles, both of which functions are ergonomically recommended. This study investigated a newly developed dynamic office chair with a moveable seat, specifically designed to promote trunk muscle controlled active sitting. The study aimed to determine the means by which the seat movement was controlled during active sitting. This was accomplished by quantifying trunk and thigh muscular activity and body...

Ambitious Mobility Policies and Public Opinion: Doomed to Fail?

Michael Wicki
Globalisation and a significant drop in transportation costs have been associated with a vast increase in passenger transport. The resulting individual mobility has become a prerequisite for economic development, leading to various benefits for residents. Conversely, this vast increase in mobility comes with numerous externalities and various challenges, such as noise and environmental pollution but also accident- and congestion-induced costs. As a result, policymakers all around the world face issues stemming from a growing passenger...

Deformation patterns of upper Quaternary strata and their relation to active tectonics, Po Basin, Italy

Alessandro Amorosi, Luigi Bruno, Bruno Campo, Bianca Costagli, Wan Hong, Vincenzo Picotti & Stefano C. Vaiani
Despite increased application of subsurface datasets below the limits of seismic resolution, reconstructing near-surface deformation of shallow key stratigraphic markers beneath modern alluvial and coastal plains through sediment core analysis has received little attention. Highly resolved stratigraphy of Upper Pleistocene to Holocene (Marine Isotope Stage 5e to Marine Isotope Stage 1) alluvial, deltaic and coastal depositional systems across the southern Po Plain, down to 150 m depth, provides an unambiguous documentation on the deformation of...

Big Data, Biomedical Research, and Ethics Review: New Challenges for IRBs

Agata Ferretti, Marcello Ienca, Samia Hurst & Effy Vayena
The increased use of big data in the medical field has shifted the way in which biomedical research is designed and carried out. The novelty of techniques and methods brought by big data research brings new challenges to institutional review boards (IRBs). Yet it is unclear if IRBs should be the responsible oversight bodies for big data research and, if so, which criteria they should use. A large but heterogenous set of ethics guidelines and...

Nanometre-scale spectroscopic visualization of catalytic sites during a hydrogenation reaction on a Pd/Au bimetallic catalyst

Hao Yin, Liqing Zheng, Wei Fang, Hung-Lai Lai, Nikolaus Porenta, Guillaume Goubert, Hua Zhang, Hai-Sheng Su, Bin Ren, Jeremy O. Richardson, Jian-Feng Li & Renato Zenobi
Nature Catalysis

Heavy-Ion Microbeam Studies of Single-Event Leakage Current Mechanism in SiC VD-MOSFETs

Corinna Martinella, Thomas Ziemann, Roger Stark, Alexander Tsibizov, Kay O. Voss, Ruben G. Alia, Yacine Kadi, Ulrike Grossner & Arto Javanainen
Heavy-ion microbeams are employed for probing the radiation-sensitive regions in commercial silicon carbide (SiC) vertical double-diffused power (VD)-MOSFETs with micrometer accuracy. By scanning the beam spot over the die, a spatial periodicity was observed in the leakage current degradation, reflecting the striped structure of the power MOSFET investigated. Two different mechanisms were observed for degradation. At low drain bias (gate and source grounded), only the gate-oxide (at the JFET or neck region) is contributing in...

Current Challenges in Atlas Cartography

René Sieber & Eric Losang
After decades of prosperity, atlas producers are faced with a serious number of challenges. Those challenges are both external and internal, either due to shifted external conditions or because of internal shortcomings. Internal challenges include, inter alia, the missing Web presence and PR, traditional atlas concepts, static GUI design, an overload of atlas features, default atlas contents, and repetitive visualization, whereas external influences, such as user behaviour, technological advancement and content that reflects new ideas...

Systematic Optimization of a Fragment-Based Force Field against Experimental Pure-Liquid Properties Considering Large Compound Families: Application to Saturated Haloalkanes

Marina P. Oliveira, Maurice Andrey, Salomé R. Rieder, Leyla Kern, David F. Hahn, Sereina Riniker, Bruno A.C. Horta & Philippe H. Hünenberger
Direct optimization against experimental condensed-phase properties concerning small organic molecules still represents the most reliable way to calibrate the empirical parameters of a force field. However, compared to a corresponding calibration against quantum-mechanical (QM) calculations concerning isolated molecules, this approach is typically very tedious and time-consuming. The present article describes an integrated scheme for the automated refinement of force-field parameters against experimental condensed-phase data, considering entire classes of organic molecules constructed using a fragment library...

Epithelial inflammasomes in the defense against Salmonella gut infection

Stefan A. Fattinger, Mikael E. Sellin & Wolf-Dietrich Hardt
The gut epithelium prevents bacterial access to the host's tissues and coordinates a number of mucosal defenses. Here, we review the function of epithelial inflammasomes in the infected host and focus on their role in defense against Salmonella Typhimurium. This pathogen employs flagella to swim towards the epithelium and a type III secretion system (TTSS) to dock and invade intestinal epithelial cells. Flagella and TTSS components are recognized by the canonical NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome, while LPS...

Small molecule inhibitors provide insights into the relevance of LAT1 and LAT2 in materno-foetal amino acid transport

Jonas Zaugg, Xiao Huang, Fabian Ziegler, Matthias Rubin, Julien Graff, Jennifer Müller, Ruedi Moser-Hässig, Theresa Powell, Jürg Gertsch, Karl-Heinz Altmann & Christiane Albrecht
The placenta supplies the foetus with critical nutrients such as essential amino acids (AA, eg leucine) for development and growth. It also represents a cellular barrier which is formed by a polarized, differentiated syncytiotrophoblast (STB) monolayer. Active Na+-independent leucine transport across the placenta is mainly attributed to the System L transporters LAT1/SLC7A5 and LAT2/SLC7A8. This study explored the influence of trophoblast differentiation on the activity of LAT1/LAT2 and the relevance of LAT1/LAT2 in leucine uptake...

Uncertainty in Aging and Lifespan Research: Covid-19 as Catalyst for Addressing the Elephant in the Room

Gudela Grote & Julian Pfrombeck
Uncertainty is at the center of debates on how to best cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. In our exploration of the role of uncertainty in current aging and lifespan research, we build on an uncertainty regulation framework that includes both reduction and creation of uncertainty as viable self-regulatory processes. In particular, we propose that future time perspective, a key component in models of successful aging, should be reconceptualized in terms of uncertainty regulation. We argue...

Geometry influences inflammatory host cell response and remodeling in tissue-engineered heart valves in-vivo

Sarah E. Motta, Emanuela S. Fioretta, Valentina Lintas, Petra E. Dijkman, Monika Hilbe, Laura Frese, Nikola Cesarovic, Sandra Loerakker, Frank P. T. Baaijens, Volkmar Falk, Simon P. Hoerstrup & Maximilian Y. Emmert
Regenerative tissue-engineered matrix-based heart valves (TEM-based TEHVs) may become an alternative to currently-used bioprostheses for transcatheter valve replacement. We recently identified TEM-based TEHVs-geometry as one key-factor guiding their remodeling towards successful long-term performance or failure. While our first-generation TEHVs, with a simple, non-physiological valve-geometry, failed over time due to leaflet-wall fusion phenomena, our second-generation TEHVs, with a computational modeling-inspired design, showed native-like remodeling resulting in long-term performance. However, a thorough understanding on how TEHV-geometry impacts...

Stress generation and non-intrusive measurement in virtual environments using eye tracking

Christian Hirt, Marcel Eckard & Andreas Kunz
In real life, it is well understood how stress can be induced and how it is measured. While Virtual Reality (VR) applications can resemble such stress inducers, it is still an open question if and how stress can be measured in a non-intrusive way during VR exposure. Usually, the quality of VR applications is estimated by user acceptance in the form of presence. Presence itself describes the individual’s acceptance of a virtual environment as real...

Powder bed 3D printing with quarry waste

Vera Voney, Pietro Odaglia, Filippo Schenker, Coralie Brumaud, Benjamin Dillenburger & Guillaume Habert
With 3D printing, material consumption can be reduced: It allows to place material only where needed, therefore structurally optimized building parts or formworks can be printed. Currently this technique uses an epoxy based resin to glue layer by layer an inert sand bed. However, this material choice holds a large improvement potential from an environmental and health perspective. It was shown previously, that the organic glue, that releases unhealthy volatile organic compounds, can be replaced...

Tenth International Conference on Near-Field Optics, Nanophotonics and Related Techniques (NFO 10)

Thomas Schmid
The First International Conference on Near-Field Optics (NFO) took place in Arc-et-Senans (France) in 1992, eight years after the first scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) experiments with visible light by Dieter Pohl et al. at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon (Switzerland). Since then this field has been growing and has extended into different new topics, for example apertureless probes, plasmonics, metamaterials, and nanoantennas. The conference is held every two years, at different locations worldwide....

Pulmonary surfactant inhibition of nanoparticle uptake by alveolar epithelial cells

Milad Radiom, M. Sarkis, O. Brookes, Evdokia K. Oikonomou, Armelle Baeza-Squiban & Jean François Berret
Pulmonary surfactant forms a sub-micrometer thick fluid layer that covers the surface of alveolar lumen and inhaled nanoparticles therefore come in to contact with surfactant prior to any interaction with epithelial cells. We investigate the role of the surfactant as a protective physical barrier by modeling the interactions using silica-Curosurf-alveolar epithelial cell system in vitro. Electron microscopy displays that the vesicles are preserved in the presence of nanoparticles while nanoparticle-lipid interaction leads to formation of...

Analysis of rock slope deformation in the Grimsel pass region

Annette Temperli
In this thesis radar remote sensing data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel- 1 mission were analysed to study the slope processes in the Grimsel pass region. Preliminary results have shown surface displacements at Lake Grimsel and Lake Oberaar during summer. The investigation served to assess whether there is a risk of potential slope instabilities. The Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR) technique was considered. For this purpose interferograms spanning the period between 2015...

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