Table of Contents

Dossier

  • ©CNRS Photothèque/Laurence Medard

    Emerging viruses

    Science on alert
    SARS, avian flu, chikungunya… Scientists have moved into the breach to defend us against new threats from so-called emerging viruses. Status report on European research in this field.

    One move ahead?
    The Vizier structural genomics project is gathering data with which to develop new antiviral drugs.

    SARS, four years on
    The Sino-European SEPSDA project has set out to discover 50 compounds that are potentially effective against the coronavirus responsible for SARS.

    The challenge of dengue
    Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue is today the least understood and most prolific of viral diseases and is spreading uncontrolled. A therapeutic challenge, the absence of treatment is also a challenge for science, taken on by researchers in the Denco and Denframe projects.

    Virgil: virus resistance watch
    16 European countries have joined forces in the Virgil network to develop strategies to overcome antiviral drug resistance in hepatitis B and C and flu. We meet project coordinator Fabien Zoulim.


  • ©Josef Settele/UFZ

    Environment

    Biodiversity the heart of ecosystems

    Close-up of the Alarm project, in which natural scientists and sociologists have joined forces to analyse the threat of extinction facing large numbers of animal and plant species, and to provide decision-making tools in this field.


  • ©ESRF

    European Research Area

    Breaking conventional mindsets

    The ERA - a mitigated success so far: interview with Bertil Andersson, departing director of the European Science Foundation and former vice-chair of EURAB.


  • ©European Commission

    European Research Area

    The debate on relaunching ERA

    Summary of the European Commission’s proposals in the debate with research players.


  • Michal Lavidor

    Portrait

    Spellbound

    Fascinated by the relationship between language and the human brain, Michal Lavidor, an Israeli scientist, founded the RTN-LAB (Language and Brain) which networks ten universities from six European countries. Her initiative has won her a Marie Curie prize.


  • ICTs

    The speech machines

    Computer translation is slowly making progress with written texts. Direct “word-to-word" interpreting is a much tougher nut to crack. Which has not stopped certain projects, including the European TC-Star consortium, from tackling it.


  • ©Reaction engine

    Aviation

    Concorde’s grandchildren

    14 partners from six countries have assumed the enormous challenge of breaking the hypersonic barrier for civil air transport and building an aircraft able to link Europe to Australia in four hours at over 5 000 km/h (3107 mph).


  • ©NASA

    Space

    Six months above the Earth

    What makes you become an astronaut? What’s life like on an International Space Station? What scientific experiments are carried out there? We meet German astronaut Thomas Reiter on his return to earth.


  • Genes, the updated 2007 model

    Molecular biology

    Genes, the updated 2007 model

    Sequencing the human genome was a colossal project but the sequential analysis is far more arduous and has only just begun. The international consortium Encode has just got going, with some surprising results; notably it has updated our vision of what a gene is.


  • Political sciences

    The frontiers of crime

    Is corruption understood everywhere in the same way? Researchers in the Crime and Culture project are trying to spotlight the socio-cultural difference of this phenomenon in seven European countries. Knowing these, they aim to propose relevant prevention policies.


  • ©Gallimard

    Audiovisual

    Curtain up for researchers

    France’s CRNS and publisher Gallimard are launching a new DVD collection in which researchers take the stage. The films focus on passionate, fascinating scientific personalities, who have the gift of presenting difficult subjects in clear language and of communicating their love of research.


  • ©ESO

    Image of science

    Our closest cousin, 20 light years away

    One of the most recent “earth-like” exoplanets revealed by VLT (Very Large Telescope), on which water may be present.


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