Bild: © Keystone
Bild: © Keystone
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Local News Summary of June, 13th

  • Centre for electro mobility with 280 charging points planned
  • Driver escapes collision between train and car in Niederdorf
  • University Hospital Basel holds strong position in immunotherapy

Centre for electro mobility with 280 charging points planned 

A multi-million franc plan to build Europe’s «biggest charging station» for electric cars was yesterday (Tuesday) announced for Pratteln.

A total of 280 charging points for electric vehicles will be the heart of the innovation centre for electro mobility, which will be named the «Swiss E-Mobility Hub» and be built near the A2 motorway in Pratteln. The centre will be operated by the Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland (EBL).

The charging points, including 60 speed chargers, will be placed in a new 30-metre-long building in the Salina Raurica area, EBL said in a statement. They claim it will be the «biggest electro charging station in Europe».

Construction work is expected to start in mid-2021, with the opening planned for 2023. Currently the costs for the investment are estimated at 50–70 million francs.

The location is said to be «ideal» according to EBL. The nearby motorway is used by 130,000 vehicles every day. The nine storeys of the new building will also house vehicle manufacturers’ shops as well as space for research and office space.

The surface size of the premises will be 23,000 square metres. A team from the University for Applied Sciences North Western Switzerland (FHNW) will help establish the centre.

The building land in the Salina Raurica cantonal development area will be bought from the canton of Baselland. The operational concept is expected to be finalised in the coming months.

Energy comes from local sources

According to estimates, the «Swiss E-Mobility Hub» will use 20,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year which is the equivalent of the consumption of 5,000 households. It is hoped that the power required can be sourced only from local suppliers.

The energy concept contains a cooperation with the entire area. Solar panels will feature on the roof and on the façades of the new building, as well as on the existing Coop buildings nearby. A plan to establish a solar folding roof over the basin of the sewage plant in Pratteln is also on the table.

The wood heating power station run by EBL in Pratteln, and the Rhine hydroelectric, power plant in Augst are also expected to be used for the project. A large battery storage unit will also be built in the basement of the building as a back up.

Driver escapes collision between train and car in Niederdorf

A young driver had a lucky escape when the car she was driving was hit by a train in Niederdorf last Monday night.

Baselland police say the 19-year-old female driver had intended to turn right towards Liestal at around 10pm when she crossed the railway line at Chänelweg. She apparently disregarded a red warning signal and drove across the track, where she became trapped by the closing barriers. 

The driver quickly got out of the car seconds before it was hit on the front and the side by a Waldenburgerbahn train.

An ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution. However, neither the car driver nor passengers on the train were injured.

The Waldenburgerbahn timetable was suspended during the recovery and the clearing work. Replacement buses were in operation. There was a substantial amount of damage caused to the car. 

University Hospital Basel holds strong position in immunotherapy 

A ground-breaking study into immunotherapy carried out at the University Hospital Basel has revealed progress in the treatment of lung cancer.

The study evaluates the effects of immune cells on lung tumours and focuses on finding out which preconditions can help immune cells to successfully fight cancer. The study, by an international research group, was carried out by the department for bio-medicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital in Basel. Its results were recently published in the journal «Nature Medicine».

In recent years, the University Hospital (USB) has expanded immunotherapy in the fight against cancer. This included founding a competence network for immunotherapy against tumour cells in 2015. Oncological immunotherapies mobilise endogenous immune cells against cancer cells. This insight revolutionised cancer therapy and as a result, several kinds of tumours can be treated with this therapy.

A significant success in this field was achieved by an international research group under Alfred Zippelius, professor for translational oncology at the University of Basel and deputy chief physician oncology at USB. The recently published study shows how it can better predicted which patients respond well to immunaotherapy. A significant role is played by the protein PD-1, which is located on the surface of immune cells. Cancer cells can attach themselves to this protein and paralyse immune cells, protecting themselves from the immune system. When immunotherapy blocks the docking site, immune cells can resume the fight against cancer.

Higher success rate

Researchers found out that immune cells containing a lot of PD-1 proteins are more suitable for destroying a tumour, and attract further immune cells to support them in their fight against cancer. Thus patients with immune cells rich in protein PD-1 have better chances of responding to immunotherapy. «When we can say in advance where therapy can be effective, we can raise the success rate and reduce side effects and costs at the same time», Dr Zippelius said.

In a next step, this biomarker must be validated in large-scale studies. Suitable immune cells can be cultivated in labs to give them to patients. In so-called cellular immunotherapy, research is carried out at the USB and the University Hospital in Lausanne.

The study, supported by the Swiss Research Foundation, was led by the department of biomedicine at the University of Basel and the USB, the units for oncology and thorax surgery at the USB, the unit for pathology at the cantonal hospital Baselland, the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, and the Roche Innovation Centre.