Academics on social media: some call it a trivialization of science, others an opportunity for direct dialogue with the public. In reality, there is much more to this trend than a simple dichotomy. Three scientists at the University of Basel show that communicating about research can not only be complicated or trivial, but also humorous and relatable. With several thousand followers, they have successfully established themselves as micro-influencers on various social networks.
Blood vessel formation relies on the ability of vascular cells to move while remaining firmly connected to each other. This enables the vessels to grow and sprout without leaking any blood. In the current issue of “Nature Communications”, scientists from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel describe how this works.
Silvia Arber and Botond Roska, both professors at the University of Basel, have been selected as co-recipients of the 2018 W. Alden Spencer Award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to understanding developmental and functional mechanisms of motor and visual system circuitry respectively.
Between April and August this year, Switzerland and central Europe have experienced the driest summer season since 1864. Especially the forest seems to suffer from this dry spell: As early as August, trees began to turn brown this year. A current study by the University of Basel indicates now that native forest trees can cope much better with the drought than previously expected. It is, however, too early to give the all-clear as a consistently warmer and dryer climate might still put our native forests at risk.
Physicists at the University of Basel are working on using the spin of an electron confined in a semiconductor nanostructure as a unit of information for future quantum computers. For the first time, they have now been able to experimentally demonstrate a mechanism of electron spin relaxation that was predicted 15 years ago. The scientists also succeeded in keeping the direction of the electron spin fixed for almost a minute – a new record.
Scientists have demonstrated that the motor cortex is necessary for the execution of corrective movements in response to unexpected changes of sensory input but not when the same movements are executed spontaneously. Signatures of differential neuronal usage in the cortex accompany these two phenomena.
If more phosphate is consumed with food, blood pressure and pulse rate increase in healthy young adults. These findings were shown by a study led by the University of Basel and published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Professor Sebastian Hiller from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has been awarded the Founder’s Medal of the International Council on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMRBS). He receives the medal for his groundbreaking work on the elucidation of the structure and function of proteins.
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Jan Gründemann one of the coveted ERC Starting Grants. The junior scientist from the University and University Hospital Basel will receive approx. 1.5 million euros over the next five years for his research project in the fields of neurophysiology and brain research.