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Week 42

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Sharing infrastructure for better science: Africa and the EU
      Picture of astronomical telescope in Sutherland, South AfricaResearch infrastructures provide the tools scientists need to understand the world and, in some cases, make it a better place. But these resources - from telescopes to biobanks, and from museum archives to wave energy test sites - cost more than most countries can afford. The EU-funded PAERIP project has started the ball rolling for new partnerships to share resources between Europe and Africa

  • Success Stories
    • Barcodes to stop bugs at borders
      Photo of a Ladybug Insect Plants are increasingly traded across borders. But they don't travel alone - tiny pests can travel with them, some of these are damaging for local crops and other plants. An EU-funded project has made it easier for plant protection agencies to identify pests, stop them spreading and support safer trade.

Monday, 12 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Predicting the safest and tastiest salad recipes
      Picture of happy young people eating healthy salad for lunchAs the popularity of ready-to-eat salads increases, producers are seeking to keep us hungry for more by offering greater choice. But testing each new recipe for safety, quality and shelf life costs time and money for producers - predominantly small companies. EU-funded researchers have developed software that predicts the impact of each production stage on a salad, aiming to reduce costs, and help small food makers become more competitive in this market.

Week 41

Friday, 09 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • An inside look at public sector reform across Europe
      Picture of the people at work in the officeHow have reforms to public administration across Europe affected the delivery of services? An EU-funded project led to one of the largest surveys ever of top civil servants in 20 European countries on public sector reforms. The survey indicates that changes have been patchy. The project's recommendations to policymakers aim to make future reforms more effective and inclusive.

Thursday, 08 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • A giant leap for gamma ray astronomy
      Image of the car interiorThe ability to observe very high energy gamma radiation has opened a new window on the universe, and researchers around the world are keen to seize the new opportunities it offers. As part of an EU-funded project, they have created an international alliance to move beyond current experimental instruments towards a major telescope array for this new type of observation.

Wednesday, 07 October 2015

  • Success Stories
    • Wanted: true justice based on trust and legitimacy
      Photo of a gavel, books and handcuffs Why do people break the law? Are the risks of punishment too low or sentences too lenient? These are the wrong questions, say European researchers studying criminal trends, attitudes towards crime, and the impact of technology and EU mobility on our justice system. Their work is set to have a profound impact on policymaking for 'trust-based' justice in Europe.

Tuesday, 06 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • GEOSS: Global connections
      Image of the internet connection in outer spaceGEOSS is not just a system of systems, it is also a community of communities - a global ecosystem of groups and entities that provide or use earth observation data. An EU-funded project has smoothed the path for new members joining this growing alliance, notably by developing guidance for future contributors and setting up a stakeholder network.

  • Success Stories
    • Widening gap between the rich and poor in European cities
      Photo of people in the street Shrimp heads, crab carapaces, lobster shells - many billion tonnes of shellfish waste are generated globally per year. Very little of it is put to good use. This could be about to change, as EU-funded researchers have developed an innovative way to transform this briny refuse into plastic.

Monday, 05 October 2015

  • Euraxess
    • Commission launches initiative to help refugee scientists and researchers
      The European Commission has launched today the ‘science4refugees’ initiative for asylum-seeking and refugee scientists and researchers. This measure will enable a match-making process between refugees and asylum seekers with a scientific background and the scientific institutions that voluntarily declare themselves as 'refugee-welcoming organisations'.

  • Research Headlines
    • Rethinking the blueprint for African-EU research
      Photo of a ccientist Studying Liquid In FlaskAfrican and EU countries have long worked together on science and technology research. Now the way they collaborate is being rethought for the modern world. An EU-funded project has used a different approach for a more equal, coordinated research partnership between Africa and the EU.

  • Success Stories
    • New bioplastics bring chitin out of its shell
      Photo of an oyster Shrimp heads, crab carapaces, lobster shells - many billion tonnes of shellfish waste are generated globally per year. Very little of it is put to good use. This could be about to change, as EU-funded researchers have developed an innovative way to transform this briny refuse into plastic.

Week 40

Friday, 02 October 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • High-tech electronics helps the search for space life
      Photo of a space satellite over the earthThe TeraComp project has developed a state-of-the-art 'terahertz receiver' that may help detect traces of life in space. The technology could be used in a 'sub-millimetre spectrometer' for measuring wavelengths of light during the first ESA mission to Jupiter's moons, planned for launch in 2022.

Thursday, 01 October 2015

  • Success Stories
    • Finding the genetic causes of breast cancer
      Photo of a woman making the heart symbol Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, with more than one million cases diagnosed in the world every year. The EU-funded BASIS project has reached a major milestone in characterising the different genetic mutations that lie behind this disease - defining the range of possibilities for drug development.

    • From blue ocean to icy clouds
      Photo of cloud reflecting on water We know that clouds in the Earth's atmosphere are made of liquid water droplets, ice particles or a mixture of both. Still, our basic understanding on the nature of these ice particles, how they form and their role in climate continue to be poor. The results of Dr Benjamin Murray's ERC research, published today in Nature, add a new piece to the atmospheric puzzle.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Back from the depths of Whittard Submarine Canyon
      Picture underwater life in the oceanA team of 28 scientists and engineers led by ERC grantee Dr Veerle Huvenne has just returned from a successful 5-week expedition on board the RRS James Cook. They used tailored marine equipment to provide some of the first detailed acoustic maps of the fauna inhabiting the vertical cliffs of the Whittard Submarine Canyon. In this interview, Dr Huvenne shares her impressions on an extraordinary scientific journey.

  • Success Stories
    • More lupin beans, less cholesterol?
      Photo of an ice cream Juicy burgers, spicy kebabs, creamy chocolate shakes - limiting your intake of animal protein doesn't mean you have to forego such treats. Products as varied as meat-free steaks and non-dairy ice cream can, for example, be made from lupin seeds. An EU-funded project has helped to optimise such foods and studied potential health benefits.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

  • Success Stories
    • 3D city modelling for smarter parking
      Photo of a row of parked cars Tired of endlessly looking for a parking spot? Dreaming of having a bird's-eye view to locate free spaces in a congested city? ERC grantee Prof Luc Van Gool is a research leader in the area of computer vision. With his project 'VarCity', he works to innovate existing 3D city modelling by using object class recognition methods and crowd generated data. To apply his idea, Prof. Van Gool received an additional ERC Proof of Concept grant and created a spin-off that commercialises a video-based smart.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Week 39

Friday, 25 September 2015

  • Success Stories
    • Root cause: making crop plants better at sourcing water and nutrients
      Photo of a researcher at the lab Increasing a plant's ability to locate and absorb water and nutrients through its roots could potentially lead to bigger and better crop yields. That is the theory underlying an EU-supported research project at the University of Nottingham in England. Researchers there have been growing wheat and other crop plants in soils with different nutrients and water contents.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Getting a grip on epilepsy
      Picture of small girl during EEGRoughly six million people in Europe suffer from epilepsy. Although treatment is widely available, 30% of patients still experience uncontrolled seizures. Hoping to change their lives for the better, the EU-funded project EpiMiRNA is looking to improve our understanding of the underlying causes of the condition, and to open up new diagnostic and therapeutic pathways focusing on the role of microRNAs.

  • Success Stories
    • Better ways to cook up food policy
      Photo of a woman shopping fresh produce Can too many cooks spoil the broth? Not if they find the right way to work together. An EU-funded project explored new methods for researchers, policy-makers and civil society groups to collaborate to make food sustainable - for both people and the planet.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • What's in it for the legumes?
      Picture of soil in woman handsLegumes fix nitrogen in the soil, helping other plants to thrive. But do they get anything in return? Indeed they do, says EU-funded research, if they're combined with suitable non-leguminous crops.

  • Success Stories
    • Foreseeing the cities of the future?
      Photo of Cairo To confront the current challenge of managing a city of 20 million, the Egyptian government has revealed plans earlier this year (2015) to build a new capital city, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. The ambitious project tackles growth over the next 50 years and has been set to adapt to future challenges, including population density and land constraints. Like Cairo, many other metropolises are currently under pressure.

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