what are they actually doing there?
In these pages, we would like to present the Paul Scherrer Institute to an interested public in a generally comprehensible way. Here you can learn more about the research topics we are working on and the unique large research facilities we are using to find answers to a variety of scientific questions.
At the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the second beamline is currently being put into operation. With Athos, researchers want to understand how catalysts work or how biomolecules cause hereditary diseases.
Measurements at the Swiss Light Source SLS have helped to understand how the only known natural protein-mineral crystal is formed. It is part of the fascinating glass skeleton of sponges.
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Paul Scherrer Institute changed to the extraordinary situation in spring 2020. By then, only a maximum of 20 percent of all PSI employees work at PSI. Five pictures show how research and operations at PSI nevertheless continued.
The composition of particulate matter can influence its harmfulness to human health just as much as the amount, PSI researchers show in a newly published study. Experiments and computational modelling showed that in Europe high concentrations of particulate matter harmful to human health occur mainly in metropolitan areas.
The European Research Council (ERC) is funding an interdisciplinary collaborative project with 10 million euros for the structural and biophysical analysis of selected photoreceptors and their development into "OptoGPCRs", light-controlled molecular switches with a wide range of applications in biology and medicine.
PSI researchers have set up camp at a biogas plant near Lucerne. Between meadows and gigantic fermenters, they are investigating how they can remove impurities from the biogas to make this energy source even more usable.
For the construction of the SwissFEL facility in 2013, around five hectares of forest were cleared and transformed into a new habitat for flora and fauna. Biologists and forest engineers have now assessed the results of the renaturization project and are excited about the progress to date.
At PSI, researchers decipher the structure of the proteins in bacteria and viruses. This knowledge can aid, for example, in the development of drugs against infectious diseases. But before the investigation can begin, an extremely tricky problem has to be solved: the crystallisation of the molecules.
Researchers have coaxed a secret out of the vital protein cytochrome c that it kept well-hidden up to now. Measurements at the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL reveal structural changes that science had previously ruled out for this kind of biomolecule.
PSI congratulates Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna on winning this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS in 2013 made it possible to elucidate the structure of the protein complex CRISPR-Cas9.
PSI researchers have found a more effective treatment for a form of thyroid cancer – and with fewer side effects – by increasing the uptake of the cancer drug in tumour cells. The results have been published in the medical journal Theranostics.
An international team of scientists has identified a novel driver of new aerosol particle formation in the Arctic: iodic acid, a chemical compound, which had not previously been observed in the region.
An international expedition with the participation of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI discovers advanced glacial melting at an elevation of more than 4,000 metres on the Grand Combin in Valais. In the Alps, it may almost be too late for the Ice Memory project, which aims to save ice cores as a climate archive for future generations of researchers.
The world of microbes and viruses is extremely old and exceedingly diverse. With the large research facilities at PSI, researchers are peering deep inside this alien cosmos and investigating, above all, the proteins of these exotic beings.
For the first time, researchers at the Centre for Proton Therapy at PSI have tested ultrafast, high-dose irradiation with protons. The new, experimental FLASH technique could revolutionise radiation therapy for cancer.