Publication date: 2011-08-05
With summer vacations progressing apace, CORDIS Express brings a selection of recent studies, results and news from the worlds of EU-funded science and research. A new EU-supported website for the cancer community has been launched. Research scientists and graduate students have an opportunity to study and exchange ideas on genome biology in Portugal. The 'Women Innovator Prize' has been launched by the European Commission, encouraging women in the development of innovative enterprises in research and science. Squeezing information data onto just four square centimetres may be a thing of the past, as a new method for storing data has been developed by scientists from Spain and France. The identification of genetic risk factors for restless legs syndrome could result in new treatment methods. The discovery of four new jewel beetles has brought the total number of species belong to the genus Philanthaxia to 65. In Finally and Briefly, find out why video games could be good for you.
News - Top Stories
A new hub of information for those affected by cancer has just been launched, providing an open-access, integrated approach to providing the whole cancer community with high-quality and trustworthy information. The product of two years' work as part of the 'Establishing an efficient network for cancer communication in Europe' (EUROCANCERCOMS) project, which was boosted by more than EUR 1.2 million of funding under the 'Science in Society' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), 'ecancerHub' brings together information from major European cancer organisations in one easy-to-use site.
This summer, international students and leading scientists will be heading to Portugal where a prestigious summer school in genome biology and evolution is about to get under way. From 1 to 18 August, the European Campus of Excellence (ECE) Genome Biology and Evolution summer school will be held in Portugal's Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC); this is the first visit to the Iberian Peninsula for the summer school. The aim of the event is to bring together talented European graduate students and Europe's top scientists. The decade-long effort to sequence the human genome that came to an end in 2000 changed how scientists study biomedicine and biotechnology; it paved the way to unravelling the genetic bases of complex diseases and to a new, personalised medicine.
Women continue to prove their prowess on Europe's research scene, developing, managing and commercialising the results of myriad studies that impact sectors across the continent. Despite their successes, however, a vacuum in the development of innovative enterprises still exists. Europe, and the world at large, needs women to stay at the top of their game and lead groundbreaking studies that could potentially resolve, or at least mitigate the growing concerns for some of the planet's biggest headaches: global warming, energy and resource efficiency, transport safety and health. A strong proponent of women and their role in research and industry is the European Commission, offering diverse incentives to help further their involvement in science, research and industry. The latest initiative for encouraging and fuelling the participation of women in innovative enterprises is the European Union Women Innovators prize.
These articles have been taken from CORDIS News, a daily news service updated every weekday lunchtime. For more research and innovation headlines, go to the CORDIS News homepage.
Focus on Innovation
The computer files we use every day for both work and leisure are nothing more than streams of digital data made-up of zeros and ones. These zeros and ones are found on a thin magnetic layer on a computer's hard disk, where magnetic domains pointing upwards represent a one and magnetic domains pointing down the way represent a zero. The size of these magnetic domains has now reached a few tens of nanometres, meaning we can squeeze a terabyte of data into the space of just four square centimetres. Whilst it sounds impressive, this 'miniaturisation' poses numerous problems for physicists and engineers. The fast-paced and ever-expanding information technology industry now demands that each piece of information is written on these tiny magnetic bits one at a time, and as quickly and energy efficiently as possible.
Future of Research
An international research team has discovered the genetic risk factors for restless legs syndrome (RLS), a disorder that triggers unpleasant sensations in people's legs at night. The study, presented in the journal PLoS Genetics, highlights how carriers of risk variants have a stronger chance of developing RLS. Researchers say the findings could help fuel more investigations on this disorder, potentially leading to new and improved treatment methods. Restless legs syndrome is a sensorimotor disorder that affects up to 10% of the general population aged 65 and over. While less common, children are also affected by the disease. Besides the unpleasant sensations affecting the lower limbs of their bodies, sufferers have the urge to move when they are resting in the evening or at night. The paraesthesia includes tingling, prickling and numbness.
A two-man research team in the Czech Republic has found four new species of jewel beetles (Buprestidae). Presented in the journal ZooKeys, the study reveals how the genus Philanthaxia, which was first described by Deyrolle in 1864 with Philanthaxia curta and later revised by Czech scientist Svatopluk Bílý in 1997, is primarily Oriental in distribution except for a couple of species whose reach touches the Australasian region. Because of their discovery, the total number of species belonging to the genus Philanthaxia now stands at 65.
The 34th International Conference on Telecommunications and Signal Processing will take place from 18 to 20 August 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.Research into telecommunications and signal processing covers a wide range of areas, including satellite and terrestrial wireless system, channel coding, modulation and synchronisation techniques; statistical communications and information theory. Popular before the rise of the internet, these fields have seen increased attention in recent years. The event will bring together young academics, researchers and developers from different branches of telecommunication technology and signal processing and all those interested in collecting new ideas and establish new cooperation between research groups.
An event entitled 'Understanding extreme geohazards: the science of the disaster risk management cycle' will take place from 27 November to 2 December 2011 in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain. Extreme geohazards can cause major disasters. In fact, most of the lives and property lost to disasters caused by geohazards are due to extreme events. Although infrequent and restricted to certain geographical regions, their potential impact is huge and of global scale. At the same time, the potential impact on civilization of any such rare event tends to be ignored in land use and infrastructure planning. Understanding the full spectrum of extreme geohazards is a prerequisite for disaster risk management and increased global resilience to these events.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission has published a call for the development of Water Information System for Europe (WISE)-Marine for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires Member States to develop marine strategies in order to maintain or achieve good environmental status by 2020 and ensure the sustainable use of marine goods and services. Like the Water Framework Directive (WFD), it provides a comprehensive and long-term management process of the environmental issues affecting the aquatic environment, in this case the marine environment under Member States' sovereignty or jurisdiction.
The Malta Industrial Innovation Research Center for Small to Medium-sized Enterprises is looking for partners in the field of tidal hydroelectric engineering. The project aim is to determine the optimum use of tidal flows for electrical generation. The combination of tidal irrigation and electrical system (TIES) makes use of both the sun and the sea. Similar to a hydroelectric dam, TIES can generate power based on the difference between high and low tide. However, where a hydroelectric dam has a set amount of power available to be generated, TIES generates energy based on the area of an artificial atoll multiplied by the difference between high and low tide. This system of construction is proportionally more efficient.
The CORDIS Partners Service helps you to find research collaborators in order to benefit from EU or other funding. You can also search by profile type, programme and/or country to Find project partners for FP6 and FP7.
Food waste constitutes around 20% of the domestic waste stream in the EU, with equal quantities arising from food manufacturing and catering outlets. The ’Valorisation of food waste to biogas’ (VALORGAS) project is exploring ways in which the energy potential of this waste can be realised via biochemical conversion, effective collection, pre-processing and optimisation of fuel conversion technology. VALORGAS is also looking into methods of upgrading gaseous fuel product to extend the range of end-user applications. Project research combines the techniques of waste audit, laboratory scientific investigation, technical-scale trials, plant monitoring, process modelling, life cycle assessment and energy footprint in order to deliver a second-generation biofuel.
The CORDIS FP6 Find a Project section offers factsheets and contact details for projects funded under the Sixth Framework Programme. You can also browse the FP5 projects section (archived) to see what kinds of research proposals have been chosen for European funding in the past.
Finally and Briefly
If you see your friends or family playing just a little bit too long on the computer than you think is good for them, don't worry. Blasting aliens to smithereens, rescuing the princess for the 256th time or running an imaginary railroad may have a positive side.
New research led by scientists at the University of Essex in the UK, in cooperation with colleagues in Germany and the United States, looked at why people find video games fun. After all, estimates say that gamers spend 3 billion hours a week playing, and the budgets of some recent releases surpass those of movies.