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Number 36
February 2003

  RTD info
    News in Brief, Publications, New on the Web
     
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Feature The promise of superconductivity
   
  In Europe, a major multidisciplinary research effort has been generated to master the potential applications of 'high temperature' superconductivity. A review of the long saga behind superconductivity, a phenomenon which could bring about a technological revolution.

A dream about to come true
Discovered in 1911 by the Dutch physicist Heike Kammerlingh Onnes, superconductivity – or the total elimination of resistance to the passage of an electric current in certain materials – is a truly exceptional phenomenon. In a sense, it is the realisation of the age-old human dream of perpetual motion.

The stakes
What would a world be like where superconductive applications were commonplace?

The long and winding road
Until the 1986 milestone discovery of High Temperature Superconductors (HTS), scientific and technological progress on 'low temperature' superconductivity had followed a long and winding road – one that can offer insights into the challenges facing today's researchers.

How to turn powder into 'wire'
Changing powder into ‘wire’ is the simple yet infuriating puzzle that hundreds of high-tech laboratories worldwide have been grappling with for more than a decade.

Europe in the race
Dozens of European academic and industrial laboratories have been working together for more than a decade on the challenges of HTS superconductors. The EU actively supports these joint efforts. Takis P. A. Ageladarakis, who is responsible for superconductive materials at Research DG, explains the thinking behind this choice of priorities.

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  Graphic element Migration
Getting to the core of migration
Integration and exclusion, work and unemployment, the specific problems of young generations… Seventeen groups of researchers have been taking a close look at immigration across the Union.
   
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  Graphic element Ideas
An outsider speaks out
Hans-Olaf Henkel, former head of IBM Europe and of the German employers' federation, today presides over the 72 research bodies which make up the Leibniz Association. An interview with an industrialist who is passionately interested in science.
   
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  Graphic element Health safety
How one idea can lead to another
Starting with an (unrealistic) idea for Aids prevention, the Biomedical Gloves project developed a new concept of a glove designed to protect surgeons and healthcare staff from the risks of viral contamination.
   
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  Graphic element Environment and health
Tracking down the endocrine disrupters
A mass of difficult-to-identify chemicals and organic substances seem to be interfering with the normal hormonal functioning of living organisms. Research is being carried out to assess and understand a threat which could also affect man.
   
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  Graphic element Portrait
A man of dialogue
A brilliant specialist in molecular neurobiology, Jean-Pierre Changeux has been investigating the brain for the past 40 years. A meeting with a scientist and humanist seeking to reveal the 'physiology' of human thought and conscience.
   
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  Graphic element Environment
Tropical forests: measuring the damage
How can the undeniable damage being done to the 'Earth's lungs' be assessed? On the basis of a careful analysis of satellite data, researchers at the JRC in Ispra offer the first reliable diagnosis.
   
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  Graphic element Conserving our heritage
A monumental task
Scientists are proposing new diagnostic approaches and concrete remedies to break the never-ending cycle of damage to historical buildings.
   
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RTD info 35
 

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