Evolution in action: A new plant species in the Swiss Alps

A new plant species named Cardamine insueta appeared in the region of Urnerboden in the Swiss alps, after the land has changed from forest to grassland over the last 150 years. The inheritance of two key traits from its parent ...

New Guinea has the world's richest island flora

New Guinea is the most floristically diverse island in the world, an international collaboration led by the University of Zurich has shown. The study presents a list of almost 14,000 plant species, compiled from online catalogs ...

Predicting the biodiversity of rivers

Biodiversity is severely threatened both in Switzerland and worldwide, and numerous organisms are facing massive declines—particularly in freshwater ecosystems. All the species living in rivers—including fish, bacteria ...

How Venus flytraps snap

Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University ...

Human presence weakens social relationships of giraffes

The effects of human presence on the social relationships of wild animals have rarely been studied. Even if the animals are not hunted or killed, increasing contact with humans could have profound indirect impacts. This is ...

Newly identified gene reduces pollen number of plants

Producing fewer sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study led by the University of Zurich identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the amount of pollen. In addition ...

Increased usability and precision in vascular imaging

Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent. The contrast agent is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This ...

Lipid metabolism controls brain development

Neural stem cells are not only responsible for early brain development—they remain active for an entire lifetime. They divide and continually generate new nerve cells and enable the brain to constantly adapt to new demands. ...

Predators help prey adapt to an uncertain future

What effect does extinction of species have on the evolution of surviving species? Evolutionary biologists have investigated this question by conducting a field experiment with a leaf galling fly and its predatory enemies. ...

page 3 from 21