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Maldi-MSI imaging method visualises cocaine accumulation in zebrafish.
September 29, 2016

A study by Eawag and Zurich University researchers using a new imaging method has revealed that, surprisingly, cocaine accumulates in the eyes of zebrafish. The findings indicate that chemicals – especially psychoactive drugs – need to be assessed quite differently with waterborne exposure than, for example, when pharmaceutical substances are tested in mice. In particular, the uptake mechanisms and effects of cocaine in fish cannot simply be transferred to mammals or humans. Read more

Abb. 1: Während sechs Tagen arbeiteten die Studierenden in 18 interdisziplinären Gruppen an ihrer Problemdefinition und praktischen Lösungsansätzen. (Foto: ETH Zürich / Alessandro Della Bella)
September 27, 2016

Together with Eawag, the ETH organized at the beginning of September 2016 the second ETH Week. More than 180 students from 20 countries and all 16 departments accepted the challenge of formulating problems on the theme “Challenging Water” and searching for sustainable solutions. Read more

Fig. 1: The diverse demands placed on lakes were reflected by the wide variety of topics discussed at Eawag’s Info Day in Lucerne. (Photo: Peter Penicka)
September 16, 2016

Switzerland’s lakes are not only diverse ecosystems, but also recreation sites, fishing grounds and energy sources. At this year’s Info Day, the tensions between these competing interests were explored. It was concluded that sustainable management calls for an understanding of the complex interactions occurring in lakes – which in turn requires scientific data and appropriate methods of observation. Read more

Fig. 1: Gammarus alpinus preserved in alcohol: the distinctive morphological features of this amphipod species are only apparent under the microscope. (Photo: Roman Alther)
September 8, 2016

Biologists at Eawag have described a new amphipod species which is endemic to the Alps. While alpine lakes provide relatively undisturbed habitats for Gammarus alpinus, this species is being displaced by an invasive amphipod in Lake Constance. Read more

Scientist looking in the lake with an aquascope. Photo: Eawag, Aldo Todaro
September 6, 2016

Lakes are major ecosystems. Their secrets have been investigated in Switzerland for more than 100 years. Nonetheless, scientists and their partners at the federal and cantonal specialist departments can still be surprised. For example, a fish in Lake Constance that had been declared extinct, or the results of Roman forest clearing around Lake Murten or concentrated antibiotic-resistant genes in the vicinity of wastewater discharges in Lake Geneva. Read more

Bailed sample for DNA analysis (Photo: Eawag)
August 30, 2016

“We should soon be able to monitor biodiversity just as we can now assess water chemistry,” says Florian Altermatt of the Aquatic Ecology department. Genetic material is known to be continuously released into the environment (eDNA) – e.g. in faeces or skin cells – and the biologists now demonstrated the practicability of this approach. In one litre water from the Glatt river (Canton Zurich), they identified numerous species ranging from the mayfly to the beaver. The method can be automated. Read more

Current approaches often focus on the protection of rare or endangered species like the Kingfisher.  Photo: plainpicture/NaturePL
August 23, 2016

Despite extensive conservation efforts, the global loss of biodiversity is continuing. According to an article by biologists at Eawag and Zurich University, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, this is partly due to the inadequacy of existing conservation measures. Read more

Fig. 1: Are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump less far apart politically than they might believe? At Trump’s wedding in 2005, at any rate, there was no sign of the bitter rivalry that now divides the two US presidential candidates.
August 17, 2016

Political actors tend to perceive their opponents as more influential than they really are, and to overestimate the differences between opposing groups. As a result, policy‑making and the search for feasible compromises become more difficult. This phenomenon, as Eawag political scientists have now shown, is apparent even in a consensus-based democracy like Switzerland. Read more

In the Umwelt Arena Eawag can show, how reusable substances from wastewater can be put back into the nutrient cycle.
August 15, 2016

The VUNA recycling process, which recovers nutrients from urine, recently had its own display as part of an exhibition at the “Umwelt Arena” (Environment Arena) in Spreitenbach. Eawag’s exhibit was designed to raise awareness amongst visitors to the exhibition of the fact that wastewater also contains reusable substances, which can be used, for instance, for making fertilizers. Read more

Ole Seehausen has been researching the speciation of the cichlid for 25 years.
August 11, 2016

Ole Seehausen, Head of the Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution at Eawag in Kastanienbaum and Professor of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Bern has been awarded the “Kilham Memorial Award” by the International Society of Limnology (SIL). Last week, at the 33rd SIL Congress, he gave the Kilham Memorial Lecture in Turin. Read more

(LTR): Rik Eggen (Deputy Director Eawag), Marcel Stoll (Project leader 3 FI Construction section), Thomas Lichtensteiger (Head Eco-Team Eawag), Andreas Müller (Architect), Rainer Bendel (General contractor, Helbling Beratung + Bauplanung)
July 12, 2016

The new laboratory and experiments building the “Aquatikum” on the grounds of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, in Dübendorf is the first laboratory building in all of Switzerland to receive the Minergie P-Eco Certificate. This commendation honours not only an especially sustainable use of energy, but also the care exercised in choosing building materials and procedures that are both ecologically sound and conforming to health and safety standards. Read more

Photo: Aldo Todaro
June 29, 2016

In recent decades, Swiss water protection efforts have focused on reducing nutrient inputs; today, one of the main concerns is controlling micropollutants. Read more

June 23, 2016

When water enters a new plumbing system for the first time, microorganisms will immediately start to colonize the pipes. Read more

June 22, 2016

The rain poured down on the day, but it was outdone by the large numbers of people streaming into Eawag’s open house in Kastanienbaum. Read more

Richard Vollenweider and Heinrich Wolff in the laboratory around 1950
June 9, 2016

The hydrobiological laboratory in Kastanienbaum, today part of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is celebrating its 100-year jubilee with an opening ceremony for invited guests today and an open house for everyone during the weekend of 18/19 June. Read more

June 3, 2016

Head of the Environmental Social Sciences department, Bernhard Truffer gave his inaugural lecture at the University of Utrecht on 20 May, 2016. Read more

Bouziane Outiti receives the Energy Globe Award 2015. Photo: Raoul Schaffner
June 2, 2016

On 1 June, Bouziane Outiti of Eawag received an Energy Globe Award for his wastewater treatment project in Morocco. The Energy Globe Awards, presented annually, honour innovative environmental sustainability projects around the world. Read more

Irrigated fields in the Utah desert. Photo: Aufwind-Luftbilder / Visum
May 31, 2016

In the future, water requirements for global crop production could be reduced as a result of climate change. This is the conclusion of a study by an international research team which included Eawag scientists. Read more

May 27, 2016

At its meeting on 25 and 26 May , the ETH Board appointed Nathalie Dubois from the Surface Waters Research and Management Department as an Assistant Professor of Paleolimnology at ETH Zurich. Read more

Biofilms – the slimy layer of microorganisms covering the bottom of streams – serve important ecosystem functions. Photo: Jörg Hemmer
May 25, 2016

Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms such as bacteria or algae. In aquatic ecosystems, they serve essential functions, e.g. as a food resource. They also play an important role in wastewater treatment and in biofuel production. Read more

NEST: building of the future is up and running (Picture: Roman Keller)
May 23, 2016

A unique research and innovation platform has opened its doors: on 23 May 2016, the modular experimental building NEST was inaugurated on the Dübendorf campus of the two research institutes Empa and Eawag. Read more

Conventional systems for water supply and wastewater management do not represent a sustainable solution for the future. Photo: Max Maurer
May 20, 2016

Ageing infrastructure, global population growth and increasing urbanization call for new approaches in the water supply and wastewater management sector. Read more

Single K. oxytoca cells. This images, generated using a NanoSIMS, shows the enrichment of the cells with heavy nitrogen (15N) after being fed with it. (Copyright: Frank Schreiber)
May 9, 2016

No two bacteria are identical – even when they are genetically the same. A new study reveals the conditions under which bacteria become individualists and how they help their colony grow when times get tough. Read more

Weltweit beziehen 300 Millionen Menschen ihr Wasser aus Grundwasservorräten, die stark mit Arsen oder Fluorid belastet sind.
April 28, 2016

The interactive and free available Groundwater Assessment Platform (GAP) is now online. Over 300 million people worldwide use groundwater contaminated with arsenic or fluoride as a source of drinking water. Researchers in the Department of Water Resources & Drinking Water have developed a method whereby the risk of contamination in a given area can be estimated using geological, topographical and other environmental data without having to test samples from every single groundwater resource. Read more

Fig. 1: The NEST experimental building provides accommodation for guests, as well as office space used on a daily basis. When individual projects have been completed, the modular units are to be removed and replaced by new ones. (Photo: Empa)
April 28, 2016

In the modular experimental building known as NEST, Eawag and Empa – together with industrial and scientific partners – are investigating new forms of living and working, innovative construction methods and energy-efficient technologies. Read more

Sample of Corbicula fluminea from the Lake Constance. Photo: Madleina Gerecke, Eawag / ETHZ
April 28, 2016

The filter-feeding Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), an invasive species which entered Europe in the 1980s and was not recorded in Lake Constance until after 2000, has now colonized the eastern part of this lake. The extent of the invasion is shown by an ETH Zurich Environmental Sciences student’s Bachelor thesis, supervised at Eawag: densities of up to 900 clams per square metre were found in the lake. Read more

Fig. 1: Juvenile whitefish prior to their release from a hatchery into Lake Thun. (Photo: Emanuel Ammon, Ex-Press)
April 21, 2016

In the last century, the natural reproduction of whitefish and Arctic char in several Swiss lakes was adversely affected by high levels of nutrient inputs. So far, stocking measures have been implemented in efforts to support fish populations and maintain yields. The effectiveness of these measures varies according to the particular species and lake. Read more

© Eawag (Photo: Jürg Siegrist)
April 13, 2016

The pipe material used for shower hoses or tap connections influences the type and amount of bacterial growth. This was shown by an Eawag study in which the microbiological impact of six commonly used plastic pipe materials was compared in a shower simulator over an eight-month period. Read more

To obtain more reliable estimates of illicit drug use based on wastewater analysis, Christoph Ort and Ann-Kathrin McCall are studying the stability of drug residues in sewers. The detection of these substances in wastewater is a complete task.  G. Pasquin
April 6, 2016

Environmental engineer Christoph Ort is one of the Eawag scientists whose work has been particularly widely covered in the media over the last few years. His research field – drugs in wastewater – is a magnet for journalists. Read more

March 22, 2016

Researchers at Eawag have brought daphnia back to life that were more than 40 years old. They then tested the organisms’ varying reactions to lead pollution. Read more

Experimental set-up with the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus in microfluidic chips: each chip comprises eight channels, with a bacterial population growing in each channel (Graphic: Stephanie Stutz)
March 7, 2016

Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS. Read more

Nathalie Dubois (Photo: Eawag)
March 1, 2016

Nathalie Dubois from the Surface Waters Research and Management Department has received a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) professorship. She plans to use the professorship to research what effects early human activity had on ecosystems in previously uninhabited eastern Pacific islands. Read more