University of Zurich

  • New research suggests some asteroids could actually be alien, captured during close flybys with other star systems. These close encounters could also explain objects like Oumuamua and might even provide an alternative to the “Planet Nine” hypothesis.
  • Although quadcopter drones show promise as a means of exploring hazardous environments, they do have one drawback – they're wide, limiting their ability to squeeze through tight spaces. An experimental new drone addresses that problem, by folding into different shapes while in flight.
  • Jupiter may be the largest planet in the solar system, but it experienced growing pains. That's the conclusion of a team of scientists, who say that Jupiter grew in three stages with a two-million-year gap during which it grew very slowly, affecting the development of the rest of the solar system.
  • ​Many of the applications for drones will see them fly high up in open airspace, but safely moving through denser urban areas at street level would be a handy capability, too. Researchers have come up with a control system for drones that enables them to autonomously navigate these busier settings
  • Science
    An international team of scientists has identified a new species of orangutan, living in an isolated part of North Sumatra. Dubbed Pongo Tapanuliensis, comprehensive studies of its genomes and skull confirmed it as a distinct species. And unfortunately, it’s already critically endangered.
  • ​​Back in 2003, the fossilized remains of a supposedly aquatic prehistoric lizard known as Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi were discovered in Italy. Now, however, thanks to a marvellously-complete skeleton found in the Alps of eastern Switzerland, that's no longer thought to be the case.​
  • ​​Rassim Khelifa was standing by a pond collecting insect eggs one day when he noticed something strange. A dragonfly being pursued by another took a dive and crashed to the ground, seemingly dead on the spot, before springing back to life and making a grand escape once the coast was clear.
  • ​The human brain remains an enigma, but neuroscience is beginning to unravel its secrets. To help us navigate the murky waters of peering into the human mind, researchers from Switzerland have proposed four new human rights relating to limitations on how the brain should be read or manipulated.
  • Animal mobbing behavior is an interesting strategy used by the likes of small birds to team up and scare way would-be predators. But researchers have found that there is another motivation behind these cooperative swoops, a desire to impress by-standing females.
  • Scientists are constantly studying every aspect of animal behavior, and there’s still a huge amount of it we don’t understand. Now, a team from UZH has unravelled the mystery of how ground squirrels remember where they’ve stashed their food, using, as it turns out, the position of the sun.
  • A clinical trial of the antibody Aducanumab has yielded positive results, slowing cognitive decline in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Larger-scale trials of the treatment, which attacks the brain plaques central to the condition, are now underway.
  • Generally, water repellent objects and those that attract or absorb water have very different microscopic-level attributes. Now researchers have discovered a way to use a single type of material to perform both functions, switching between the two simply by applying electric current.