Publication date: 2012-07-06
This week’s CORDIS Express brings you news of some of the
latest achievements and breakthroughs of European researchers. Cyprus takes the reins of the EU
Presidency for the next six months with the aim to work 'Towards a Better Europe'. Scientists may
to have found a subatomic particle resembling the long-elusive Higgs boson, a landmark discovery.
Researchers have created a stable version of ‘trophy molecule’ that has eluded scientists for decades.
New technology found to reduce energy consumption by more than 20% of various ICT devices. Researchers
are making the progress on early detection of resistance to colorectal cancer drugs. An EU project has lead to the development of a new laser system that can cut tissue with unprecedented precision. In Finally and Briefly, read about why taking the tortoise approach to barefoot jogging will take you further down the path.
News - Top Stories
July is typically characterised by long school holidays, balmy evenings and, for the lucky ones,
a few days break from the daily grind. But July also signals the changing of the guard at the Council of the European Union, with a new Member
State taking over the six-month rotating Presidency. And this time it's Cyprus' turn to take the reins, leading and organising the work of
the Council until the end of the year, before in turn handing over the role to another island nation: Ireland. The main objective of the
Cyprus Presidency is to work 'Towards a Better Europe', one that is more relevant to its citizens and closer to its neighbours. The hope
is to both make Europe more efficient and sustainable, at the same time as fostering growth and job creation. Admittedly no mean feat amid
the ongoing economic crisis. To this end a key focus will be on implementing the new enhanced framework of economic governance and reinforcing
budgetary surveillance so as to ensure fiscal stability.
Two teams of scientists claim to have discovered a new particle consistent with
the Higgs boson particle, after a 45-year hunt to explain how matter attains its mass. The claims were made during a seminar
held at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday at which scientists presented
the latest preliminary results from two experiments involved in the search for the long sought Higgs particle. Both experiments
- namely the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and the ATLAS projects, two general purpose detectors - said they had observed a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV. These findings match the elusive Higgs boson..
Researchers have created a stable version of a 'trophy molecule' that has
eluded scientists for decades and could lead to the production of cleaner nuclear energy. Writing in the journal Science,
the team, made up of scientists from the universities of Nottingham and Manchester in the United Kingdom, show that they
can prepare a terminal uranium nitride compound which is stable at room temperature. Moreover, they prove that the compound
can be stored in jars in crystallised or powder form. The study was supported in part by the EU-funded project UNCLE
('Uranium in non-conventional ligand environments'), which received a EUR 999,996 Starting Grant from the European
Research Council (ERC).
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
A team of experts from industry and academia have found a way to slash the energy consumption of
data centres used by information and communications technologies (ICT) by more than 20%. ICT from telephone lines to computers and audio-visual
systems, in short the devices that make our lives easier and more flexible in the 21st century, were responsible for about 2% of global
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2008. This means that CO2 emissions from ICT were just under 1 billion tonnes, a figure equivalent to
the fuel consumption of the aviation sector. But while governments, industry and regulators argue over the need and ways to bring emissions
from aviation under control, much less is heard about the necessity of reducing CO2 from ICT in the fight against climate change.
Future of Research
Mutations in a gene called KRAS are causally associated with acquired resistance to targeted
therapies for colorectal cancers (CRC), according to new findings from EU-funded researchers from Italy and their research
colleagues in the United States. Writing in the journal Nature, the team explain that patients often develop resistance to
colorectal cancer drugs that target epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs). The team show in cell-line models that KRAS
mutations can cause resistance to an anti-EGFR therapy called cetuximab. These mutations can either be acquired during treatment
or may have pre-existed in a small fraction of tumour cells before treatment.
Medical operations have become almost commonplace, but the delicacy of medical procedures involving
the brain and the spinal cord force physicians and patients to consider other alternatives. European researchers, however, could change
this following their development of a laser for minimally invasive brain surgery. The achievement is a result of an interdisciplinary EU
project that involved partners from seven European countries, creating a table-top solid-state laser system that can cut brain tissue
with unprecedented precision. These results are an outcome of the MIRSURG ('Mid-infrared solid-state laser systems for minimally
invasive surgery') project, which secured almost EUR 2.8 million in funding under the 'Information and communications' (ICT) Theme
of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
An event entitled 'European initiatives in the maritime environment - future capabilities,
technologies and civil-military synergies' will take place from 18 to 19 October 2012 in Lefkosia, Cyprus. The conference will help
promote European initiatives in the maritime environment and to continue current efforts for integrated maritime surveillance, and
broader maritime issues. Discussions will focus on the need for a European approach and the identification of civil-military synergies.
The agenda will also include topical capability and research and technology issues and how the naval industry can support European
An event entitled 'Communicable diseases: a cross border health threat' will
take place on 5 July 2012 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Communicable diseases are illnesses caused by organisms such as bacteria,
viruses, fungi and parasites. Sometimes the illness is not due to the organism itself, but rather a toxin that the organism
produces after it has been introduced into a human host. Despite remarkable advances in medical research and treatments during
the 20th century, infectious diseases remain among the leading causes of death worldwide due to the emergence of new infectious
diseases, re-emergence of old infectious diseases and the persistence of intractable infectious diseases.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission has published a call for a study on social
innovation in the Digital Agenda. The work will focus on the innovation enabled by future internet. Of particular
interest is social innovation enabled by the 'network effect' of the internet, new models for co-production and
sharing of content, and open development of apps. The study will include an analysis of how the open innovation
ecosystems can be more fluid for new entrepreneurship and enterprise creation based on societal innovation. The
study will cover a wide range of stakeholders, involving entrepreneurs, academics, students, 'geeks', non-governmental
organisations, volunteers and average users.
The Portuguese Polytechnic Institute of Bragança is looking for partners to
participate in a project that will focus on sustainable apiculture and the conservation of honey bee genetic diversity.
It has been found that sustainability of beekeeping activity is largely dependent on preventing colony losses. The project's aim
will be the development of a biotechnological tool that could control the behaviour of the mite Varroa, that contribute to
bee colony losses and in this way inhibit or even break its life cycle. The research will focus on the chemical signals used
by the Varroa mite and look for potential natural acaricides as a solution to this problem.
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.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Although more
prevalent in the elderly, glaucoma can cause vision loss in infants, youths, and young adults as well. The nervous system
is divided into the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. While damaged peripheral nerves can regenerate,
the parts associated with the central nervous system cannot. The 'Prolonged inhibition of semaphorine3a pathway via a bio-degradable
implant towards a better therapy for visual sensory impairments (VISION) project is developing a way to help this situation. It is
developing a therapeutic approach to stop further death of neural cells by providing prolonged inhibition of the apopototic pathway
of Sema-3A using antibody targeted or a low MW inhibitor of sema3A. The Sema3A inhibitors would constantly be released from a novel
intraocular biodegradable implant.
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
With the Olympics soon to appear on television sets across the world, the airwaves
will be clogged with ads for products that will not only (they say) help you to keep that Olympic spirit, but help you to
perform at your best.
Don't be surprised to see claims like 'Put on the Illudium Pew-36 Explosive Running Shoes and you're off with a bang!' or 'With the
Stink-B-Gone Athletic Deodorant, you can go straight from the sports field to a high class restaurant!' While they might sound dubious,
those sleek ads can be convincing.
According to researchers at Northumbria University in the UK, you might ....