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  • Tracing Chile’s Indigenous Roots Through Genetics and Linguistics

    An international team has worked to reconstruct the legacy of Chile’s largest indigenous community, the Mapuche, in a quest to strengthen their representation in the history of the continent. It appears the Mapuche long lived in relative isolation but do bear some influences from other populations of the Central Andes and the far south of Chile.
  • Conspiracy Theories

    Nothing As It Seems

    Most conspiracy theories paint an absurd picture of the world. Religious studies scholars at UZH are exploring why people nevertheless believe them. According to philosopher Sebastian Schmidt, they point to a crisis of intellectual confidence.
  • Chemie

    New Class of Antibiotics to Fight Resistant Bacteria

    Health professionals are in urgent need of new antibiotics to tackle resistant bacteria. Researchers at UZH have now modified the chemical structure of naturally occurring peptides to develop antimicrobial molecules that bind to novel targets in the bacteria’s metabolism.
  • Media and Cultural Studies

    World-Weary Youngsters and a World in Crisis

    Coming-of-age stories are filled with young people exploring their identity amid a whirlwind of emotions. Today, this rite of passage is played out against a backdrop of climate change, war and energy crises. Young people suffer from global problems which they cannot solve – and for most, saving the world is not on their agenda.
  • Scientific Integrity

    Researchers Who Cheat

    Science is committed to truth. But there are isolated cases in which researchers rig data, disregard authorship, steal ideas or plagiarize. UZH has an integrity ordinance to tackle potential misconduct.
  • International Collaboration

    UZH and KU Leuven Announce Strategic Partnership

    UZH and KU Leuven have expanded their existing partnership. The two universities signed a strategic partnership agreement to further deepen their collaboration on all levels.
  • Gender Equality

    “Helpful findings”

    A study commissioned by the Executive Board of the University examined the “leaky pipeline”. UZH News interviewed Deputy President Gabriele Siegert and Vice President Elisabeth Stark to find out their views on the matter.
  • Johanna Spyri and Heidi archives included in the Memory of the World Register of UNESCO

    The Johanna Spyri and Heidi archives in Zurich have been added to UNESCO's Memory of the World International Register. The University of Zurich will be working with both institutions to promote the academic study of the collections.
  • Applied Statistics

    Disk or Globe?

    Why is the Earth not flat, but spherical? Scientists at the University of Zurich have developed a new, easy-to-understand statistical method to determine the curvature of the Earth.
  • Media Usage

    Journalism and Social Media Jostling for Position

    More and more young people are turning away from traditional journalism and keeping up-to-date with social media instead. The CheckNews project from UZH aims to promote media literacy in schools.
  • Chemistry

    Electron Dynamics in Real Time

    Making the dynamics of an excited molecule visible is only possible using computationally intensive simulations. Recently, a research team led by Sandra Luber from the University of Zurich has developed a method that speeds up these complex simulations.
  • Energy Shortage

    UZH and ETH join the Winter Reserve

    Working together for greater security of electricity supply: to compensate for a possible power shortage in winter, the University of Zurich and ETH have joined a nationwide pool of emergency power generators. This grouping of emergency generation serves as part of the power reserve for the winter and can provide additional power for Switzerland.
  • Evolution of Language

    Chimpanzees Combine Calls to Communicate New Meaning

    Similar to humans, chimpanzees combine vocalizations into larger communicatively meaningful structures. UZH researchers suggest that this ability might be evolutionarily more ancient than previously thought.
  • What We Believe

    “Digital Trinity”

    Digitalization is taking on certain social functions of religion. Faith in divine decisions is being replaced by our faith in algorithmic selection, says communications researcher Michael Latzer.
  • Physiology

    Main Suppliers of Epo in the Human Body Identified

    Erythropoietin, or Epo for short, is familiar from doping cases. But the body itself also produces this vital hormone. Now, for the first time, an international research team including UZH scientists has been able to identify the main producer of Epo: a subgroup of kidney cells called Norn cells. The findings could lay the foundation for the development of new therapies.
  • 190 Years of the University of Zurich: Honorary Doctorates for Six Women and One Man

    No fewer than six women will receive honorary doctorates at the Dies academicus of the University of Zurich on Saturday. They are anthropologist Birgit Meyer, courtroom sketch artist Linda Graedel, computer scientist Tova Milo, medical ethicist Christine Mitchell, veterinarian Monique Eloit and activist Maude Barlow, with the seventh honor going to the (male) opera singer Christian Gerhaher.
  • Sociology

    Misconceptions Put Women Off STEM Subjects

    Young women seem to be less drawn to degrees in science or technology. But what is putting them off? A sociological study at UZH has revealed that outdated gender stereotypes – such as supposed differences in analytical thinking – play a major role.
  • Fake news

    Thinking More Slowly

    Fake news is everywhere and achieving a new level of quality thanks to artificial intelligence. Safeguarding ourselves against it isn’t easy, as many people prefer to believe plausible misinformation rather than complicated facts.
  • 1 Million for Chemistry Project

    Boost for Sustainable Use of Resources

    Initial funding of 1 million: thanks to the Werner Siemens-Stiftung, UZH chemistry professors Greta Patzke, David Tilley, Stefan Seeger and Kathrin Fenner and their teams will be able to develop their project idea for a research into technologies for sustainable resource use. If successful, 100 million and the creation of a new WSS research center awaits.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 6: International teaching

    Share Your Mountain Landscapes

    How are mountain regions dealing with migration and climate change? A collaborative seminar at UZH and Tbilisi State University explores the challenges faced by both the Alps and the Caucasus region – with the help of a custom-developed app.
  • Commissions

    Having a Voice at UZH

    Commissions at higher education institutions ensure that a diverse range of voices are represented in university proceedings and decision-making processes. To guarantee fair representation for all, UZH is standardizing the composition of its core commissions.
  • Chatbots and teaching

    “Responsibility lies with the human being, not artificial intelligence”

    Chatbots pose a challenge to university teaching: where can they be helpful, where not? Thomas Hidber, Head of Educational Development at UZH, advocates a selective approach to their usage – to relieve students of routine work, for example. However, it’s all the more important that the use of AI systems is made transparent.
  • Leadership at UZH

    “Communicate clearly”

    Good leadership is important for the future viability of UZH, which is why leadership aspects in the 2022 employee survey have been analyzed in closer detail.
  • Sustainability

    Infrequent Flyers

    UZH aims to reduce its emissions from air travel by at least 53 percent by 2030. The faculties have now announced how they plan to achieve this goal.
  • Climate Crisis

    Fleeing Climate Disasters

    All over the world, extreme climatic events are causing people to lose their homes and livelihoods, forcing them to start over elsewhere. The interdisciplinary research project RE-TRANS identifies which regions are particularly under threat and analyzes how to best manage mass relocations.
  • UZH Corporate Website

    Clear Orientation

    UZH’s revamped website not only looks fresher, but also has a new content structure. This provides students, employees and prospective students with a better overview and easier access to information.
  • Russian disinformation

    Putin’s Politics of Propaganda

    Millions of Russians live in a world of make-believe, hoodwinked by state propaganda. Alternative realities are the opium of the people and allow the elites to hold on to power, as shown by a look at history with Slavonic studies scholar Sylvia Sasse and historian Jeronim Perović.
  • FAN Awards

    Heart Attacks, Science Fiction and Lessons from Organic Agriculture

    Three UZH junior researchers are honored with a FAN Award for their original work: Florian Wenzl for his research on personalized heart attack treatment, Jessica Imbach for her study of Chinese science fiction and Emilio Dal Re for revealing the unintended consequences of organic agriculture.
  • Digital Religion(s)

    Praying With Alexa

    With God-like artificial intelligence and online spirituality, digital technology is changing the face of religion and faith. Religious thinking also influences how we perceive new technologies.
  • Neuroscience

    Scallop eyes as inspiration for new microscope objectives

    Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich have developed innovative objectives for light microscopy by using mirrors to produce images. Their design finds correspondence in mirror telescopes used in astronomy on the one hand and the eyes of scallops on the other. The new objectives enable high-resolution imaging of tissues and organs in a much wider variety of immersion media than with conventional microscope lenses.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 4: Individualized Teaching

    From Lab Bench to Sofa

    The 2.0 app enables medical students to use their computers or smartphones to conduct microscope examinations of pathology tissue samples. This helps them understand the connections between cell structure and organ dysfunction.
  • Sustainable Digitalization

    “We’re not at the mercy of the future”

    Digital technologies make many systems and processes more efficient. Lorenz Hilty, professor of informatics, is researching how the digital transformation can also be harnessed for sustainable development.

    The Meeting Place

    The FORUM UZH will create urgently needed space for the teaching and research of the future. It brings a fresh energy not just to academic learning, but also to the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Climate change threatens lemurs on Madagascar

    Mouse lemurs give birth to their offspring during the five-month rainy season and build up fat reserves to survive the dry season when food is scarce. But what happens when the rainy season becomes drier and the dry season warmer? Researchers show that climate changes destabilize mouse lemur populations and increase the risk of extinction.
  • Cancer Research

    A Targeted Method to Combat Cancer

    By analyzing tumors in unprecedented depth, the Tumor Profiler project represents an important step along the road toward personalized cancer treatments. And the team have already recorded initial successes: in a study focusing on skin cancer, tumors shrank in about one third of patients.

    Green Light for New Main Building

    The Government Council of the Canton of Zurich has approved the budget request for the new education and research center FORUM UZH. The new building can be realized as planned and is expected to be completed by the end of 2029.
  • Sexual Harassment Awareness Day on 23 March

    Universities Unite Against Sexism

    Sexual Harassment Awareness Day takes place on 23 March. In this interview, legal scholars Brigitte Tag and Sina Staudinger explain what UZH is doing to protect its staff and students against sexual harassment.
  • Webdesign

    A Fresh Look for UZH’s Website

    UZH is updating the design of its website on 12 April 2023. Thanks to its user-friendly navigation, generous layout and easy-to-read font, the new website looks fresh and inviting – especially on mobile devices.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 3: Engaged Teaching

    Pitch Perfect

    How do interdisciplinary teams develop ideas that are in touch with the world outside of university? In various innovation courses at UZH, students learn how they can translate their ideas into business solutions – including a reality check by industry experts.
  • Evolutionary Anthropolgy

    Genetics as Conservation Tool for Endangered Chimpanzees

    The western chimpanzees of Guinea are threatened by mining activities. Using a novel genetic approach, UZH researchers and an international team have collected information on population size and community structure of the endangered species. These data provide an important baseline to assess the impact of mining.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 3: Goal-Oriented Teaching

    Programming and Reflecting

    A cross-faculty lecture series addresses the basic principles, applications and implications of machine learning. Students are introduced to the use of algorithms in the world of work and in research, and gain awareness of the risks of digitalization and the accompanying ethical issues.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 5: Transdisciplinary

    “Reality is much more complex”

    In the interdisciplinary lecture series “Sustainability Now!”, Right Livelihood Award recipients talk about how they have been able to initiate sustainable developments, from peacebuilding to preserving biodiversity. The lectures are presented and chaired by students who want to learn how to translate academic learning into practice.
  • LINA testing facility

    Flying Toward the Future

    A new testing facility at Dübendorf Airport enables researchers to develop autonomous systems such as drones from idea to marketable product. The facility was conceived thanks to the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions.
  • International Collaboration

    Kyoto Symposium

    How can artificial intelligence help improve medical diagnoses? This was one of the topics of the joint symposium of UZH and Kyoto University, which ended successfully yesterday.
  • Equality of Opportunity

    Preventing Social Decline

    Income inequality is increasing. According to economist David Dorn, this is causing wider demographic groups to turn their back on the established system – most notably in the US, but also elsewhere. We talk to Dorn about redistribution of salaries, temporary protective tariffs and the future of work.
  • UZH Teaching Fund – Part 1: Research-based teaching

    Taking the Plunge into Research

    In the Research Cycle in Genomics block course, students experience research firsthand, by formulating their own research questions based on experimental data and then investigating them. In addition to getting undergraduates motivated, this freedom can lead to some amazing results.
  • Exhibition

    Looted Cultural Heritage Objects from Imperial-Era China

    The 1900/01 Boxer Rebellion in China resulted in countless looted objects that eventually ended up in museums and collections across the West. A new workspace exhibition at the Ethnographic Museum now shines a light on these objects.
  • Portrait

    Tenacious Virtuoso

    Kerstin Noëlle Vokinger has doctorates in law and medicine, was admitted to the bar, has a Master’s degree from Harvard and is a professor at only 34 years old. And yet she doesn’t see herself as a high flier.
  • Big Data

    Fighting back

    Google and Facebook sell our personal data and earn billions worth of profits by doing that. Economist Gregory Crawford and philosopher Francis Cheneval think that they ought to share the money with us and that we should have ownership rights over our personal data.
  • Global Challenges

    Democracy and solidarity

    We are experiencing a moment of world history in which many certainties are being questioned and the ground under our feet feels shaky. But instead of wallowing in pessimism, we need to mobilize positive forces and face the problems head on, say legal scholar Matthias Mahlmann and political scientist Stefanie Walter.
  • Medicine

    Unlocking the Data Treasure Chest

    The LOOP Zurich research center is creating a central platform to exchange health data between UZH, ETH Zurich and the four university hospitals in Zurich, making it possible to quickly and easily use this information for the benefit of patients.
  • CommUNIty Campaign

    Look Up – Speak Up – Step Up

    UZH has launched a new campaign to combat discrimination and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation. Deputy President Gabriele Siegert introduces the campaign and gives tips on resolving conflict.
  • BVK

    Lower Interest Rates on Savings Balances

    The pension fund BVK is lowering the interest rate on policyholders’ savings balances to the statutory minimum of 1% as of July 2023. We sat down with BVK Chief Executive Thomas R. Schönbächler to ask why.
  • Self-Regulation Training

    Hurdy shows the way

    Today, economics is a universal behavioral science, says Ernst Fehr. In an experiment at schools, the economist showed that young students who can regulate themselves well learn better. This ability can be trained.
  • Economics

    Out of the Cocoa Fields

    In Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi, many children don’t attend school because they have to work on cocoa plantations or are married off at an early age. UZH economist Guilherme Lichand is using innovative experiments to explore solutions to this problem.
  • Provenance research at the Ethnographic Museum

    "Benin Bronzes" in the Spotlight

    Eight Swiss museums, including UZH’s Ethnographic Museum, have come together under the Swiss Benin Initiative (BIS) to work with Nigeria in investigating the provenance of their holdings from the historical kingdom of Benin. Alexis Malefakis, who curates the museum’s African collection, discusses the project, the limitations of provenance research, and the restitution of looted artefacts.
  • Artificial Intelligence Improves Efficiency of Genome Editing

    Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to predict the efficacy of various genome editing repair options. Unintentional errors in the correction of DNA mutations of genetic diseases can thus be reduced.
  • Sustainable assets

    Green Investing

    Investors can contribute to the sustainable development of the economy, says economist Falko Paetzold. Supporting innovative start-ups is the most high-impact way of doing so.
  • Digital Society Initiative

    UZH to Expand Digital Expertise

    UZH is creating seven new assistant professorships and stepping up its research and teaching activities in the field of digital transformation. This brings the total number of professorships created as part of the Digital Society Initiative to over 30.
  • Sociology

    Men Are Leaving Feminizing Occupations

    Many women and men still work in sex-typed occupations. One important reason for this is that men are selectively leaving occupations that are increasingly taken up by women, a recent study from the University of Zurich has shown. This could explain swings in the sex compositions of jobs and why some specializations within occupations become female or male-dominated.
  • Grassland Ecosystems Become More Resilient with Age

    A long-term experiment now shows that grassland plant communities with multiple species need about 10 years to adjust to each other and produce an even amount of biomass again.
  • Remote sensing

    The Oracle of Leaves

    Two UZH researchers are harnessing the light reflections from leaves to learn more about biodiversity and the characteristics of plants. Analyzing spectral data is revolutionizing not only the way in which we research ecosystems but also allows us to protect them more effectively.
  • Diamond Open Access

    Flourishing Journals

    There are now 186 journals in Switzerland providing Diamond Open Access, meaning scientific articles can be published and read free of charge. A new PLATO study has collected data about the open access journals and highlighted the sometimes difficult working and publishing conditions.
  • In Memoriam

    Swimming Against the Current

    In 1986, UZH physicist and IBM Fellow K. Alex Müller and J. Georg Bednorz revolutionized solid-state physics with the discovery of the first high-temperature superconductor. In the following year, 1987, the two researchers were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. K. Alex Müller has now died in Zurich at the age of 95.
  • UZH Postdoc Team Award

    Checking the Pulse of Society

    The newly established Postdoc Team Award allows UZH to recognize outstanding interdisciplinary research. The inaugural award has gone to two teams, both of which are developing innovative approaches in healthcare research, such as linking pupil size to stress resilience or exploring what tweets can reveal about our mental health.
  • Jurisprudence

    Taking Climate to Court

    Over a dozen climate-related lawsuits are pending at the European Court of Human Rights, putting legal processes at the institution to the test. Two UZH lawyers are investigating how courts can reach fair and judicious decisions in climate cases.
  • UZH Spin-Offs in 2022

    Entrepreneurial Milestones in Life Sciences

    Three new spin-offs were founded at UZH in 2022, transferring scientific findings into industry practice. The business ventures explore new perspectives in the fight against cancer, space factories to produce human tissue, and ways to accelerate the development of novel drugs.
  • Top of the Press Pops 2022

    Donated Livers, Dolphin Apothecaries and Dangerous Dishwashers

    Evolution, health, and animal and human behavior were among the topics of the most popular 10 media releases from the University of Zurich in 2022. The communiqué with the greatest reach was about a damaged liver successfully treated outside of the human body and then used in a donor organ transplant.

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