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A new synthetic rubber developed by EU-unded researchers repairs itself. That means longer-lasting components, plus reduced maintenance costs and waste. The rubber will initially be used for reducing rail and traffic noise, with many more applications to follow.
Published: 16 July 2014
Around one quarter of all prescribed pharmaceuticals in the developed world are derived from plants, including well-known drugs such as morphine and codeine. Harvesting plants to derive such medicines can be slow, wasteful and very expensive, yet often no synthetic alternative exists.
Published: 26 May 2014
Reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is a key priority facing the world today as it attempts to mitigate the scale and effects of climate change. EUROCHAR, a European research project, is developing a technique which not only promises to help tackle this priority, but also offers additional benefits in the form of environmentally-friendly energy production and enhanced soil fertility.
Published: 4 April 2014
Published: 17 February 2014
As the world focuses its efforts on the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the impact of global warming, one significant part of the solution could be the greater use of wood in the construction industry in place of other, less environmentally-friendly materials such as metal or plastic.
Published: 10 February 2014
Tomato ketchup may have been commonly used in low-budget movies to simulate blood, but the two substances actually have more in common than might first appear. Both are fundamentally affected in the way they behave by the actions of complex sugar molecules. That link may seem technical and obscure, but it points the way to a potentially vast range of benefits for human society - if only science could better understand and harness the capabilities of these molecules.
Published: 7 February 2013
Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom recently discovered a novel material that could be used by sophisticated technologies to fight global warming. The study was funded in part by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million, awarded to Professor Martin Schröder for the COORDSPACE ('Chemistry of coordination space: extraction, storage, activation and catalysis') project, under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The results, recently presented in the journal Nature Chemistry, demonstrate that this material, called NOTT-300, could substitute for carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption.
Published: 25 October 2012
Researchers must be able to recognise how proteins work so that they can understand the related biological processes that occur at the molecular level. They get this information by labelling proteins with fluorescent substances. The problem with this method, however, is that it alters the proteins and influences the biological processes under investigation. A new study from Germany has pioneered a novel method able to observe individual proteins. Presented in the journal Nano Letters, the research was funded in part by the SINGLESENS ('Single metal nanoparticles as molecular sensors') project, led by Professor Carsten Sönnichsen, who in 2010 received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant worth EUR 1.5 million under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 4 April 2012
Scientists in Poland have discovered that it is easy to clean and treat polluted water for extraction of valuable chemicals, such as those used in the production of drugs. The upshot of this is that the use of neither plants nor factories is required; only the Sun and a 'magic' powder are needed to get the job done. The study, presented in the journal Bioresource Technology, was funded in part by the PHOTOBIO23JC ('Synthesis of novel nanostructured metal-supported photocatalysts: characterization and promising applications in the production of high value chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass') project, which is backed with a Marie Curie International Reintegration grant worth EUR 100 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 23 February 2012
Scientists in Austria and Germany have discovered a genetic switch that regulates the formation of flight muscles in flies, creatures with very small wings in relation to their bodies. The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that spalt proteins switch myofibres from tubular to fibrillar fate during development. This function is potentially conserved in the heart of vertebrates: the stretch-stimulated muscle resembles the muscle used for insect flight.
Published: 12 December 2011