Swiss National Science Foundation

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is a science research support organization mandated by the Swiss Federal Government. The SNSF was established under private law by physicist and medical doctor Alexander von Muralt in 1952. The SNSF consists of three main bodies: Foundation Council, National Research Council and Administrative Offices. The Foundation Council is the highest authority and makes strategic decisions. The National Research Council is composed of distinguished researchers who mostly work at Swiss institutions of higher education. They assess research proposals submitted to the SNSF and make funding decisions. The National Research Council comprises up to 100 members and is subdivided into four divisions: The divisions work together with local Research Commissions, which are based at institutions of higher education. These commissions act as a link to the SNSF and they offer a local perspective on applications emanating from their institution. The Administrative Offices support and coordinate the activities of the Foundation Council, the Research Council and the Research Commissions.

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Better assessment of decision-making capacity

Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. This is shown by a study conducted within the scope of the National Research Programme "End of ...

Nov 25, 2014
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Establishing the basis of humour

The act of laughing at a joke is the result of a two-stage process in the brain, first detecting an incongruity before then resolving it with an expression of mirth. The brain actions involved in understanding humour ...

Dec 11, 2013
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Untreated HIV carriers transmit resistant viruses

Around one in every ten newly infected HIV carriers in Switzerland has viruses that are resistant to at least one of the three classes of drugs used to treat AIDS. Contrary to previously held assumptions, resistant viruses ...

Nov 18, 2013
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Fear feeds the pain

People suffering from lumbago do not move as healthy people do. The pain and the fear of it change their way of moving. This partially explains how acute lumbago can in some cases become chronic. A researcher supported by ...

Oct 17, 2013
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Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists

Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective ...

Oct 03, 2013
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Caffeine consumption slows down brain development

Humans and other mammals show particularly intensive sleeping patterns during puberty. The brain also matures fastest in this period. But when pubescent rats are administered caffeine, the maturing processes in their brains ...

Sep 24, 2013
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When flying leads to stomach pain

Patients with a chronic intestinal inflammation often experience bouts of inflammation after a journey. The main cause of this is not the stress of travelling, but the lack of oxygen experienced in an aircraft or during high ...

Sep 16, 2013
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Why smokers gain weight when they quit smoking

Most smokers put on a couple of kilos when they quit smoking. This is not due to an increased calorie intake, but to a change in the composition of the intestinal flora after quitting smoking, as a study supported ...

Aug 29, 2013
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When AIDS viruses are transmitted despite treatment

While antiretroviral drugs offer an efficient means of preventing the replication of HIV in the blood, shedding of HIV may occur in semen, so that other persons can become infected during unprotected sexual ...

Jun 24, 2013
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Strimmers are worse than motorway traffic

Motorway maintenance workers are exposed to various harmful emissions. Surprisingly, motorised hand-held tools such as strimmers and chainsaws, rather than motorway traffic, are responsible for the highest emissions of particulate ...

May 30, 2013
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