The following are the articles abstracts prepared by RELATE project participants. Not all of them have been published already !
If you are an editor and your are interested in any of the articles below, please contact the author.
Estrogen to multiply the stem cells
Chiara Veronesi, who spent a week in the Bilkent University labs in Ankara (Turkey), publised her article in the science news platform Galileo. Il Giornale di Scienza.
Author: Chiara Veronesi
Article’s date: 30/05/2011
From farm to fridge: The importance of cold chain maintenance
In this context of economic recession we run the risk of losing interest in the food quality aspect in favor of the money aspect. It can be especially dangerous if we do not consider qualitative aspects that may have harmful effects on our health. One of the essential factors of the product quality level and, consequently, of its salubriousness, is the maintenance of cold chain throughout the distribution process, from production to consumption. The break of the cold chain may be the result of ignorance, which generates bad practices on the conservation of refrigeration temperatures by consumers or intermediaries. Another reason may be the lack of adequate cooling systems. CEMAGREF institute is working through FRISBEE project (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, consumers’ Benefit Environmental impact and Energy optimisation along the cold chain in Europe) on improving refrigeration technologies. Based on a pioneering study on the cold chain throughout Europe, the project will propose developed cooling systems, with an optimum maintenance of the refrigeration temperatures, less polluting and with a lower level of energy consumption.
Author: Laura Pardo
Article’s date: 07/01/2011
Astronomy in the eyes of the general public and astronomy behind what the general public can see. How the majority of people see the astronomy and why? Do the people need another direction of thinking about astronomy? What is the importance of astronomy and why it is essential for us to ensure its development. How can the journalism help this happen. This article intends to show some insight view of the astronomy and to answer the questions above.
Author: Georgi Rumenov
Article’s date: 05/01/2011
Bloody healthy Mary?
We all enjoy our cocktails as a guilty pleasure, but it now seems to be actually healthy to drink a Bloody Mary from time to time. This holiday season-friendly discovery was made by Italian researcher Lorenzo Nissen of the University of Bologna, when he investigated one of the components of Tabasco, a key ingredient of the Bloody Mary cocktail. The Tabasco component, capsaicin, is observed to have antimicrobial activity against some of our major food pathogens: the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli – and it’s performing better than our current antibiotics. Read on if you want to find out more about the workings of E. coli & friends, whether this cocktail is really the magic potion your bowel needs, or how this discovery could be made more concrete using suggestions made by academic nutritionist Liesbeth Smit.
Author: Stephan Van Duin
Article’s date: 13/12/2010
The cancer treatment does not have to be painful anymore thank to Brachytherapy.
This article deals with Brachytherapy and its advantages over the other methods of radiotherapy and treating the cancer. This method is used in a lot of hospitals but people are not very aware of what Brachytherapy is. This article explains exactly what is this method about and how does it work. Polish doctors are answering the question of the advantages of Brachytherapy and its popularity. They are saying that is mostly used in treating the prostate cancer and cervix cancer. Thank to the new HDR method now the radiation last only for 7 minutes instead of before 7 hours. Mrs. Dr. Maria Pia Toni – coordinator of the project at ENEA says ” In case of the tumor of the prostate it is very increasing therapy because in comparison with the chirurgical treatments this treatment avoids all the secondary effects that chirurgy may cause and it is also more precise” The article attempts to show in which type of cancers the Brachytherapy is mostly used and most importantly what are its advantages.
Author: Ewelina Kawczynska
Article’s date: 10/12/2010
The pathologies, better identified using brain signals
The brain signals are the indicators of human pathologies meaning that they are picked up, analysed and processed. The bioengineers from the ARCES laboratory (Advanced Research Center on Electronic Systems for Information and Communication) are working at a project whome the main purpose is to identify which part of the brain is mostly active at a certain moment. It will be easier to diagnose and to treat human pathologies such as Epilepsy or Alzheimer.
Author: Daniela Bularda
Article’s date: 10/12/2010
Science as the sun rising in the west
In times of crisis, governments around the world cut their budgets for science and research. That was why I decided to make comparison. In this article you can learn more about the scientific work of researchers from ENEA, for their broad thematic scope, their funding and the Italian vision about the science future and climate change. This article is a comparison between the development of science in Bulgaria and the development of science in Italy, or more precisely which activities carrys The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development – ENEA, the equivalent of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the Mediterranean country.
Author: Greta Petrova
Article’s date: 05/12/2010
Climate change and human rights
My article is about relation between climate change and human rights. At first I’m trying to explain what concept “human rights” means. And then I’m explaining what means concept “climate change” from scientific point of view. Later, I’m describing and commenting two very important United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions: 7/23 and 10/4 “Human rights and climate change”. I also described examples of violations of human rights because of climate change. At the end I’m presenting what a great importance is in hands of researchers and journalists. Conclusion: we should think global to solve problem of violations of human rights because of climate change.
Author: Agnieszka Adamska
Article’s date: 05/12/2010
Let There Be Light
The article is based both on science and journalism. A fictional interview with light. It’’s about journalists who fall into an incidental conversation with a talking picture of light objects. The interview is more an attempt on a side view to scientist’’s work and to the basic insufficiency of astronomical research.
Author: Angel Petrov
Article’s date: 04/12/2010
Laser horns – optical tweezers
Optical tweezers help scientists, researchers and doctors get a thorough insight into the human body and its functioning. With the help of laser beams scientists are now able to grab and hold a cell, shorten it or scrutinise its chemical structure by the use of Raman spectroscopy. Light and nanoscale structures are more and more present in medicine and reserch – nanoparticles of gold can serve as transporters of antibodies that trace and destroy cancer. In the future these developments will probably enter the clinical phase. Who knows, maybe in 10 years time from now, lab tests will be conducted at home? Who would not like to have their own nanoscale analytic laboratory?
Author: Dominika Jędrzejczyk
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
PYMES and Nanotechnology, an advisable marriage
Nowadays, Europe heads to obtain a knowledge based economy, through the research, the technological development and the innovation. In that way, an advanced technology which is the Nanotechnology could help us to reach that goal before. In the same way, the Framework Programmes seems to be the most appropriate vehicle to obtain it. Within 7PM, the NanoHex project is a good example of international cooperation, aiming for a common objective: to develop and optimize safe processes for the production of high performance nanofluid coolants, for use in industrial heat management. The Laboratory for Spectroscopy on Functional Materials in the Casaccia Research Center, belonging to ENEA, with Dr. Mauro Falconieri as the researcher in charge, is in the middle of research process, studying which kind of nanoparticles are more suitable and what parameters are important to obtain the ‘perfect’ nanofluid coolant. In addition, it is important to evaluate in detail the security and the possible impact for the health and the environment of the cooling fluids, in any of its applications; this is called Life Cycle Assessment. The increase of Nanotechnology also has been felt in Spain. Multitude of firms, foundations and research groups, dedicated to the promotion and development of this research area, have their seat in the Spanish territory. Nowadays, it is in the PYMES where a greater opportunity for the new investors exists, taking advantage of the opportunity to base our economy on research and development.
Author: Inmaculada Luque Galán
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
Brachytherpay for the future
Cancer is one of the leading causes of illness and death in Europe. Under the Italian National Agency for new Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development – ENEA, researchers are setting new standards in measuring radiation from treatments with brachytherapy. Brachytherapy is ionizing radiation treatment of cancer where radiaton source is delivered in human body, minimizing a healthy tissue exposure. The goal of project is to lower measuring uncertainty of radiation from 8% to 5%. The project is part of Seventh Framework Programme co-funded by European Commision.
Author: Elvir Mesanovic
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
In search of carbon-friendly concrete
Swiss student voyages to the nanoscale to explore “green” cement alternatives The article describes aims and first results of a Master Degree Final Thesis about CAC and CSA cements. The focus is on the expansion phenomena in these cements and gives an overall idea of the environmental impact reduction. The article has been wrtitten by shadowing researchers in the Laboratory of Construction Materials (LMC) in Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
Author: Ubaldo Spina
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
Nanofluids, an investment in the future of cooling refrigerants
The present article explains the investigation ongoing in ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment, on nanofluids as cooling refrigerants. But so to start, is basic to understand the meaning of nanotechnology and nanoparticles. This science studies the materials in a nanometre scale (a billionth part of a metre) so, for this reason scientists can go into the detail of the atom and molecules. The Nanohex project studies the thermal properties of determinate kind of nanoparticles that can be used in cooling fluids for industrial use. In ENEA, there are 2 laboratories involved in this project (but globally there are 12 institutions among with ENEA): the laboratory of spectroscopy on functional materials and the laboratory of thermofluidsdynamics applied on energetic systems. The first one, is studying with laser spectroscopy the thermal properties of titanium nanoparticles. These have proved to improve the heat exchange and have good thermal diffusion so that’s why these nanoparticles can be used as refrigerants, because they are more efficient and fast. In the other laboratory they compare simultaneously the nanofluids and water, so they can study and give data why these nanofluids are better than the conventional refrigerants used in industrial equipment. This investigation has already two potential clients, and they are interested on applying the refrigerants in data centres and electronic devices for trains. The nanotechnology and specially the nanofluids are being studied worldwide due to their excellent properties. Even tough is soon to affirm it they are proving to be better in the efficiency than normal refrigerants, so that’s why these project is so ambitious. In the end they could end up with a better system, that help to the sustainability, the energy saving and also the reduction of toxic emissions. Thanks to the large amount of institutions collaborating in this project, Nanohex pretends to have results by next year.
Author: Yolanda Alamillo Jordá
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
Laser nanosurgery, scars of only 0.0003 mm
The risks faced by patients who have surgery and the long recovery days might be a thing of the past, in 10 or 20 years. Researchers at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona work on a technology that could radically change medicine. With the latest generation of microscopes and the laser beams, they managed to perform surgery with incisions of only 0.0003 mm, so far on worms, but their system can be adapted for humans in the near future. The Spanish researchers\’ method would be two thousand times more efficient than laparoscopy, which involves abdominal incisions of a size between 0.5 and 1.5 cm, most of the times. The new research would allow doctors to do much finer cuts and burn only certain parts of the cells, which would reduce the recovery time of the patient. Such interventions are currently experimental.
Author: Andrada Fiscutean
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
ALMA – A Look In The Future
ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the world\’s most productive astronomical observatory. It takes a crucial part in the development of astronomical research. One of the biggest and most ambitious astronomical projects today is ALMA – The Atacama Large Milllimeter/submillimiter Array. This a state-of-art telescope, as it\’s creators call it, is a result of successful partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA\’s construction began in 2003 and will be completed around 2012. Still early scienific observations with a partial array will begin around 2011.
Author: Marina Novacheva
Article’s date: 03/12/2010
Our world of concrete – Pollution, climate change and building more homes
Most of us don’t think that much about concrete, we take it for granted in many ways. In general, we know it to be a strong and durable building material. Roads made of concrete wind through our cities. Our homes are often built with cement foundations. The place where we work is likely to be made entirely of concrete. But nothing lasts forever and our ignorance must stop because new and new issues related to this building material are discovered. It is very easy to make concrete. All you need to have is cement, water and some aggregates. And if you want a strong concrete that could last for centuries, you need to add some reinforcement: steel bars, glass fiber, etc. But precisely because it is so easy to use, the material is made everywhere in the world and now it poses big environmental problems. Every tone of cement leads to the emission of almost 900 kg CO2. This is because the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) releases carbon dioxide on heating (CaCO3 → CaO + CO2). Today, the cement industry is one of two primary producers of carbon dioxide, creating up to 8% of worldwide man-made emissions of this gas, of which 50% is from the chemical process, and 40% from burning fuel. As of 2010, more than 3 billion tonnes of cement were produced in the whole world and China now accounts for almost half of it. So, in terms of pollution, over 2,5 billion tonnes of CO2 are released in the air every year because of cement. And the forecast is getting worst. The projection is that by 2050 these figures will double, with demand growing rapidly not in China, but in other developing countries. Apparently, these data are very satisfying for a concrete hater who advocates for reduction of its use. But, although these figures look very grey, concrete is in fact our savior.
Author: Claudiu Creanga
Article’s date: 02/12/2010
The photovoltaic can provide the energetic self- sufficiency
The current article tries to show what the work at ENEA photovoltaic’s lab is and to present the photovoltaic like a solution for the energetic self-sufficiency. It starts with an explanation of one of the lab devices: the solar simulator. After, it explains what a photovoltaic cell is. Once this clear, the article goes deeply in the two line of research in the lab: the silicon and new materials. It explains the difference between the several kinds of silicon (amorphous, mono and multi-crystalline) and the opportunities of the new materials such as copper with a note about the market of the photovoltaic and the grid parity. To better understand what the importance of the efficiency is, the article explains in simple words what the efficiency measures and which good values are. The end of the report is dedicated to the future: how photovoltaic can achieve the smart grid and the energetic self-sufficiency. There is also a small part that speaks about the researchers and their precarious situation. And it speaks also about the role of the public investment in research like a way of obtaining this self-sufficiency.
Author: Antonia Ceballos
Article’s date: 30/11/2010
Acidic seas threaten coral reefs
A volcanic crater that recently emerged in the Mediterranean Sea has made it possible to experiment on how corals will be affected as the oceans become more acidic from carbon dioxide. An Italian group will present their preliminary findings in Wageningen, Netherlands at the “Reefs in a Changing Environnment” Symposium (13-17 December) organised by the International Society for Reef Studies. Preliminary results show that corals exposed to lower pH levels suffer higher mortality than corals at current pH levels.
Author: Mico Tatalovic
Article’s date: 29/11/2010
The science is helping the EU to restore its architectural heritage
Thanks to the trans-European research project ROCARE in the near future will be made an extremely innovative and economical as a value construction material by which Europe can restore and save its historical and architectural heritage.
Author: Valentin Todorov
Article’s date: 27/11/2010
Switzerland. That’s what I saw with my eyes. Perhaps there is more
The plane mounted a few hundred meters up. I can see ugly multi-story apartment buildings through the window. Everything is covered in grayish fog. Smog. In a few minutes there comes to my sight a huge industrial complex. It has the perfect structure; you can see the streets, the separate buildings. It looks like a sadly impressive proof of industrial progress. It is covered by red dust. It brings to mind the analogy of the aftermath of atomic warfare. It reminds me of the scary scenes that can be seen in movies of similar theme. This is Kremikovtsi. The largest Bulgarian metallurgic works. An enterprise locked up inside tons of iron, which the government wonders how to sell. I leave Bulgaria. Two hours later. I am supposed to be landing in Zurich in a few minutes. It’s dark outside. I don’t understand. Where is Zurich? Down below one can only see small groups of lights surrounded by black space. They look like small villages situated very close to each other. Later I found out that the black spaces seen in the night are actually the green areas and small forests around the residential districts seen in the daytime. Switzerland is an interesting country. I thought it had great technical progress? I thought it was one of the most competitive economies in the world? I thought it had the highest standard of living in Europe? Then where are the skyscrapers, where are the smoking chimneys of the factories? Why is the air so clean, the construction so low-level, and why are the cows instead of being penned up by ten thousands in cow farms, walking freely on green lush meadows?
Author: Iva Borisova Doncheva
Article’s date: 22/11/2010
Tracks to look after the immunodeficiency
In Bilkent university in Ankara, scientists are trying to control the immune system response. For immune deficiency, they are stimulating the immune system. The immune system should be balanced. If it’s not active enough, it’s the immune deficiency. There are differents pattern recognition receptors (PRR), proteins expressed by cells of the innate immune system to identify pathogen-associated molecular patterns, or PAMPs. The most important PRR are Toll like receptors (TLR). TLR9 recognizes bacterial DNA, then stimulates an immune response. They can make the immune system more active with the motif on the bacterial DNA, the CpG unmethlyated DNA. They act as immunostimulants. The lab is trying to find new sequences of CpG DNA. This research is first a way to cure infections, cancer, but could also be used by production companies.
Author: Marie-Laurance Fleitour
Article’s date: 22/11/2010
Journalists in the lab: the experiment
In mid-November I read this headline in Twitter: “Doñana Biological Station and the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona will receive european journalists for the week of 15 to 19 November.” Ii took my attention because I had just been in Bilkent University in Ankara with the same program. This is RELATE (Research Labs for Teaching Journalists), an initiative funded by the European Union to promote the communication of science through a very simple strategy in its approach, although less so in execution. RELATE opens the doors of several European laboratories for a group of journalists to break into the routine of a research team for five days of job.
Author: Esperanza García Molina
Article’s date: 18/11/2010
Clean Air: Valuable as Gold
Until recently, researchers have tended to overlook the properties of gold as a catalytic converter. However, gold can be a key agent in fighting environmental pollution in the XXI century. The increasingly strict European regulations relating to motor vehicles’ emissions, have led scientists to pursue the hard task of designing new materials and investigating new methods to reduce and eliminate, in a not too distant future, the emission of such gases.
Author: Laura Batalla Adam
Article’s date: 22/11/2010
Language: English/ Spanish
Surface science: only surface-deep, but not shallow
Surface science is a research area that is often underestimated. Since its application goals in everyday life are not always obvious, its importance is sometimes neglected. However, surface science could be called quite fundamental, as it often leads to the starting points needed for other research areas. One of the breaking-edge research tools used in surface science is X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), which makes it possible to retrieve highly sensitive information off the surface of samples. This article discusses how XPS works, which information it provides and its goals in surface science.
Author: Kim van de Perre
Article’s date: 21/11/2010
Stem cells, when strength is in the quantity
Stem cells seem to be a real, new promise for the treatment of many diseases. But the use of these cells, as well as the possibility of making some research activities on them, is often related to some ethical problems, due to their origin. Stem cells, in fact, are originated by embryos. But there are also some other types of useful cells, called Mesenchymal stem cells, whose origin is from adult organisms, and whose use seems to be really promising. Here\’s how a group of researchers at Bilkent University in Ankara is working to solve the most important problem connected with their use; their fewness.
Author: Chiara Veronesi
Article’s date: 18/11/2010
Also the birds dye themselves
The birds dye themselves, to discover it was a group of researchers at the Donana Biological Station (Seville), who showed in a study published on Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology how the Phoenicopterus roseus to intensify the color of the feathers applies on these the carotenoids, pigments that it produces through a gland called the “uropigio”, above the tail. The researchers determined that this behavior is closely related to courtship, infact the flamingo more coloured are the most desirable as partner.
Author: Caterina Ferrara
Article’s date: 22/11/2010
Cancer research-a long way to go
Luciana’s article is about the anti-cancer drug development process, with a focus on invitro liver cancer drug screening. Bilkent University’s Molecular Biology labs and researchers, as well as their scientific procedures, are also “unveiled” to the great public.
Author: Luciana Grosu
Article’s date: 12/11/2010
No need to change the lightbulb – we already have
Nanophotonics: painting the lighting of the future. First came fire. Cavemen rubbed sticks together and there it was, a source of ‘artificial’ heat and light, giving us freedom from the night and control over our days. Torches, candles, lanterns and kerosene lamps have each played their part in the evolution of human-controlled light over the last two millennia. In some respects though, the problems with the ways in which the world gets its light, haven’t changed since ancient times.
Author: Smitha Mundasad
Article’s date: 19/10/2010
Swarmanoids to the Rescue: New Eyes, Ears and Hands for Disaster Zones
On 11 September 2001, only hours after the attack on the World Trade Centre, a group of researchers from various universities arrived at the scene armed with several rescue robots. Among the debris, they aimed to search for victims in places that no human or rescue dog could reach; but when they entered the collapsed buildings, the robots fell short of expectations…. Robotics research groups at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland aim to develop innovative solutions to the diverse problems encountered on the days following 9/11. Now, almost nine years after the attack, the prototypes are built, some of the projects are coming to an end and it is time to consider whether these new types of robots may one day really provide new eyes, ears and hands for disaster zones.
Author: Jana Witt
Article’s date: 4/05/2010
Green tea to face spring time
Although its low popularity, green tea contains bioactive components which can be really healthful, specially its antioxidant effect. Green tea production potential is very high in Turkey, even though black tea is still the most consumed. The aim of a group in the Food Institute of Tübitak (Gebze) is to determine these bioactive compounds, also known as catechins, so as to increase its presence in the Turkish green tea, and therefore, popularise this healthy beverage across Turkey
Author: Xavier Sorinas
Article’s date: 26/04/2010
Ultracold gases research: why do we need?
Every taxpayer has a right to wonder about how allocated money enriched their quality of life. Fundamental science is a specific issue: no one can predict final result before actual doing it. But in spite of this “vision impossible” researchers do their work and invent useful things. Let us come closer to physicists, who research a particular subject of ultracold gases …
Author: Anna Korolyuk
Article’s date: 26/04/2010
The Future of Solar Energy
The radio piece covers the future use and production of solar energy in two fields. In the field of photovoltaics, it discusses the use of thin film solar cells in clothes, the advantages of integrated PV buildings and the future of nano technology. In the field of \”Solar Thermodynamic Energy\”, it discusses the use of these applications in isolated communities in northern Africa and the possibilities of huge projects like \”Desertec\”. The radio piece was published at detektor.fm – a very well received journalistic web radio station in Germany. It is supplemented with an online article and a slide show.
Author: Sven Knobloch
Article’s date: 25/03/2010
The fusion between culture and science
In this article you will find out about the importance of the fusion between culture and science can conserve and preserve cultural heritage. Through this report we can see how the laser works for the Department of Art of LENS and you will be closer to the idiosyncrasies of this center. LENS, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy in Florence, covers a broad spectrum of specialties, such as atomic physics, photochemistry, biochemistry, biophysics and has its own doctoral course in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, and a Post Doctoral Fellowship Program. In addition, you can also see that many scientists in Florence or Valencia (Spain) are responsible for studying the molecular hundreds of works of art to carry out restoration and keep “contemporaneous.” The lack of investment in research is the handicap, but the passion and dedication that cast this large group of professionals in their projects far outweigh any obstacle. The goal: the conservation and preservation of our cultural heritage.
Author: Vicente Balbastre Tio
Article’s date: 16/04/2010
The Boza, a Turkish benefactor beverage conquering Europe
This traditional turkish drink has survived the centuries thanks to its health benefits. Often compared to milk, it is based on cereals and strengthens the natural defenses. The Tubitak laboratory in Turkey has developed a formula to transform boza in powder. It would be better than milk products and easier to digest. The EU and a turkish company believed in the project. Boza is on its way to conquer Western Europe.
Author: Aurore Peignois
Article’s date: 15/04/2010
Turkey to open Europe’s first excellence center on hybrid vehicles
In Gebze, a small town some 50 km from Istanbul, there is nothing really worth visiting for tourists. There will be, however, a particularly interesting place to go for car manifacturers: the first excellence center in Europe to fully test and develop hybrid vehicles.
In this article, I analysed the strengths and weaknesses of the idea of this center and, more in general, the contribution that such vehicles can make towards a sustainable transports and the state of the art of Turkey with regard to investments in research and automotive industry.
Author: Maurizio Molinari
Article’s date: 14/04/2010
A Bug’s Eye View of the World?
Imagine a world where flying robots automatically navigate their way around your house, blind people wear clothes that help them to avoid obstacles, and your furniture lights up and even moves as you enter a room. It might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), are trying to achieve just that by developing a new type of vision technology. Working with partner institutions in France and Germany, the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL is working to develop an artificial compound eye. Dr. Ramon Pericet-Camara believes the new project ‘has the potential to change a lot of things in the way the world works’ with applications in all sorts of products.
Author: Nathan Gray
Article’s date: 13/04/2010
Will there ever be Robots amongst us?
Envision a future: a robot in every household helping to prepare our food, look after our children, and fulfill our every need. Whether this is your fantasy or nightmare, the field of robotics has long captured the writers and filmakers imagination. But what role do the experts see robots having in our future? At a Swiss research institute, there is no limit to the imagination as intelligent furniture and robotic glasses are on the agenda.
Author: Jasmine Fox-Skelly
Article’s date: 11/04/2010
Science and Journalism: Professions at Odds?
Current events, such as the Singh case, highlight some of the difficulties for the science writer. Tubitak research centre, Turkey, provides a backdrop upon which the relationship between the scientist and journalist is commented upon. Scientists at the research centre were interviewed, identifying and looking at the source of problems that can arise during science reporting. The differences in approach of the scientist and the journalist are highlighted, providing argument for the need for a middle-ground, which may come in the form of a dedicated science writer.
Author: Greg Dash
Article’s date: 11/04/2010
Robotics, Evolution and the Dance of Honeybees – Where is the common denominator?
This article provides the description of the ongoing research related to the evolution of communication at the EPFL Lausanne, based on interviews with the involved researchers. The projects covered in the article involve three main aspects: the evolution of communication and cooperation in single groups; the changing of communication patterns in two competing population, and the elaboration of an evolutionary algorhythm based on the dance of honeybees. The article examines the theoretical background of these projects and shows how evolutionary robotics can be used to model these hypotheses, including a summery of the main findings of these experiments. Finally, the article gives an overview about the future implementation of the research results in the everyday life, as well as of the possible usage of these models in the explanation of basic patterns of human communication.
Author: Anna Deme
Article’s date: 11/04/2010
Eye of the TyGRE
Some of the earliest forms of recycling were practised in Southwest Turkey during the Byzantine era, where blue and yellow glass was melted to create green. Today, glass has been traded in for tyres at the Tubitak Marmara Research Centre in Gebze, 63 km southeast of Istanbul. The centre, one of two institutes run by the national research council Tubitak, is a collaborator on the High added value materials from waste tyre gasification residues, or TyGRE, project. Launched last September, TyGRE is a European Union-funded project studying the gasification of waste tyres to produce silicon carbide, a highly useful material in industrial applications.
Author: Tiffany Stecker
Article’s date: 10/04/2010
Click here for an extensive version of her article, published in The Economist on 9th August 2010.
Research labs- for the better future
James Roberts, Phd student of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) constructed his first plane, controlled by radio connection, when he was nine years old. At the moment he is constructing an eye-bot, which could be used rescuing people after various nature’s disasters. As EPFL professor Francesco Mondada said, scientists must have fun in addition to hard work. This article discloses specifics of serious inventions and bio-robots, based on insects locomotion, but at the same time allows readers to feel the everyday life of scientists and understand why they spare no effort to improve existing robots and to create new ones.
Author: Gintare Miceviciute
Article’s date: 09/04/2010
Download here the full article published on “Lietuvos rytas” on 13 April Research labs- for the better future
Robots are helping patients on rehabilitation
When we think about robots what usually comes to our minds are those humanoids that we use to see in movies. Actually, unlike the coletive imaginary, most of researches in robotics are not focus on creating this kind of criatures. What many of them are trying to do is to develop or improve robotic tecnologies in a way they could have applications in many different areas, including medicine. The use of robotics in rehabilitation therapies is something that has shown exciting results. In the begging of march, Brasil received the first Lokomat. The robotic sistem is already being used at Associação de Assistência a Criança Deficiente, in São Paulo, to treat patients with neurological injuries. However, robotic researches are still trying to improve this kind of tecnology. The challenge now is to develop models that permit more interaction between pacient and robot. Witch means that the patient would not be doing the exercises in a passive way. The use of virtual games is also an strategy to make therapy a little more atractive.
Author: Cecilia Valenza
Article’s date: 08/04/2010
Recently published on: Gazeta do Povo on line
Communication Intelligence Model of Humanoid and Sociable Robots
This paper focuses on the role of emotion and expressive behavior in regulating social interaction between humans and expressive anthropomorphic robots, either in communicative or teaching scenarios. Presenting of the scientific basis underlying the humanoid robot ’s emotion models and expressive behavior, and then show how these scientific viewpoints have been adapted to the current implementation. The research is to develop Communication Intelligence Modules for creating friendly human-robot interaction in public places through the use of high efficient sensing technology.When using communication in multi-robot systems it’s often not desirable to choose an abstract form of communication that separates the messages from the physical environment in which they have meaning. If the messages are separated from the environment localization information has to be encoded into the messages in order for the receiver to be able to situate the content of the messages. Here is pointed out that if instead used a situated form of communication that exploits the physical properties of the signal transferring the message localization information is not needed. This idea is demonstrated by showing how an extremely simple control system that uses short range communication robots together in a group. It’s also discussed how this idea can be extended to make it possible to simplify path planning in multi-robot systems.
Author: Serda Semerci
Article’s date: 05/04/2010
The Lights are on because Nano’s Home
Sometimes it is not possible to see in order to believe. Scientists researching nanotechnology – science and engineering on the scale of single atoms – rely on powerful microscopes to take images of their work. The nanoscale is around 1 billion times smaller than 1 metre so the materials being worked with are around 50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. But could these minuscule particles help combat the massive and pressing issue of global warming?
Author: Charlotte King
Article’s date: 05/04/2010
Europe studying BOND. A project to create the “artificial nose”
Our nose is the witness of the world around us and the only responsible for the odors detection. For this reason an European research team is strongly working on a project, the BOND, that aims to develop an “artificial nose” with the same characteristics of the animal one. The researchers aim to find the best olfactory receptors for some specific odorants and put these into an “artificial nose”, to create a perfect device with the best characteristics of the natural one. This is will be useful in the detection of some odorants, especially in the field of food safety and medical applications.
Author: Elena Roda
Article’s date: 04/04/2010
Published on La Scienza in Rete
Recently published on Newton
The light bulb is history
The humble light bulb is damaging the Earth. In the majority of homes today hang traditional incandescent bulbs. These bulbs are grossly inefficient. Most of the electricity supplied to them is converted into unwanted heat with only 10 percent used to make the desired product – visible light. With most of this electricity being made by burning fossil fuels, millions of tones of harmful carbon dioxide are released each year to light our homes. Researchers at Bilkent University, Turkey, are working to revolutionize the way we get our light. Using nanocrystals, they show that light can be made in a much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.
Author: Smitha Mundasad
Article’s date: 03/04/2010
Smart Nose Knows All
Don’t underrate your olfactory system. That’s your sense of smell. As part of an EU project, scientists from INRA are using mammalian smell receptors to create an intelligent detector, called BOND. This device will aid the agricultural industry by ‘smelling’ the best breeding times, the food industry by sensing contamination and could help security by detecting explosives and illegal drugs. Most innovatively, these intelligent noses can act as non-intrusive diagnosis tools. By ‘smelling’ urine or other bodily fluids, the bioelectronic nose will be able to detect a range of pathologies, including many cancers. Unlike previous e-noses based on physical and chemical changes, this basis on receptor-binding allows greater sensitivity, specificity, reliability and gives instant results. Can you smell the future?
Author: Lucy Holmes
Article’s date: 02/04/2010
For love or money: recruiting the scientists of tomorrow
Amidst damning reports last week of science teachers shelving experiments, there is praise for British teaching from our continental neighbours. But are exciting science lessons enough to retain Britain’s engineering prowess?
A pat on the back to our army of hard working, long-suffering British school teachers. Despite the recent poll showing that 96 per cent of teachers asked said they cut back on experiments, news comes from across the water that Europe looks up to our science teaching.
The EU have recently awarded funding for a new programme called REStARTS, which aims to make the teaching of physics (and in particular aeronautics) more exciting and relevant in schools in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania. Because of the UK’s respected didactic methods in teaching science, our contribution to this new initiative is the educational analysis of the programme before it is rolled out more widely across Europe. The analysis is to be completed by the University of Leicester.
“In the UK, you do experiments,” explains REStARTS Coordinator Patricia Corieri, “but here in Europe, we learn from black and white books, it’s just boring.”
Author: Hannah Lucy King
Article’s date: 31/03/2010
Watch the related video on ” Times on line” (available only for suscribers)
Our disappearing hazelnut trees
This year is the year of biodiversity. The FAO and the EU both handling this matter as an important one for the present and for the future generations. The SAFENUT project (coordinated by Dr. Loretta Bacchetta and Dr. Barbara Di Giovanni in ENEA, Rome) focuses on the wildley used and endangered varieties of plants like hazelnut and almond. When somebody say to you, that hazelnut and almond are endangered species, you probably look surprised. But actually it is true, because for instance when we say hazelnut we actually talking about 190 genetic variations, with different nutrition and vitamin content. On the other hand the food industry concentrates on the 2-3 more easily cultivatable variations. In the last 100 years as a result of industrial revolution and human presence in nature, new cultivation methods, 73% of this genetic resources are already disappeared, most of them can’t be recreated. This process called genetic erosion. SAFENUT project fights against genetic erosion. On a long term effect of genetic erosion can be distinction of varieties and species and the loss of agro-biodiversity and much more poor landscapes. The 3 level research’s main steps are plant characterization, preservation and utilization. On the characterization level biogenetic researchers analyses the samples from all over the world and with the help of SSR molecular markers they mapping the different genetic variations in this two species. As a result they find new variations or find that two variations are practically the same. On the next step they take and preserve the samples in one organized gene bank, and they publish the genetic details in a well structured online databank. Preservation can also be made ex situ and in situ. In situ means to protect the plants on the original places where they can be still found. Ex situ can mean the gene banks and special fields for endangered variations. Utilization refers both to the actual use of the rare but useful variations and refers to re-finding old practical cultivation methods and finding new ones. And as a result wider possibilities on the markets. But still some extra work has to be done: expand consumer\’s averseness about these local varieties and re-discover them in everyday life.
Author: Szilvia Drescher
Article’s date: 26/03/2010
Küresel Isınmanın Resmi: İklim Modelleme
The article is about, climate modeling studies. It is aimed to show the areas being studied in climate studies and express climate modeling as one of them. After explaining the process of data observations; greenhouse gases, sea surface temperature and land surface measurements, the modeling process was explained. And as an example the Circe Project was described. As a result, it aimed to make the public science literate about climate changes because the importance of climate changes is increasing day by day and it is becoming an important problem both politically and economically. So, if the future of the universe is in question then it’ s important for public to become science literate and realize if the decisions made by policy makers are right or not; at the same time, it’ s important for public to become more sensible about the environment and climate changes because it is not only scientist’ s or policy makers problem, it is also the human’ s own problem.
Author: Ayse Bihter Celik
Article’s date: 24/03/2010
The recipe for remediation
Old mining sites full of heavy metal-left overs can be found all over Europe. Highly toxic they\’re a threat to the environment, animals and possibly even humans. To help find a remedy for disaster researchers from six different EU-countries now join forces. Led, zinc, cadmium, chromium and copper are all highly toxic substances which can be found in old mining sites. The metals known to us in daily life as heavy metals are characterized by being very active and can easily form chemical compounds with other elements. This makes them both unpredictable and extremely hazardous. In a process called bioremediation which best can be described as giving nature a helping hand as it uses the natural ability of microorganisms, or microbes, to absorb and obtain heavy metals scientists are trying to figure out the bacterial cocktail best suited to clean up mining waste land. Within the EU project Umbrella 15 research teams work on six different test sites in Italy, Poland, Germany, Romania, Sweden and England. The management of a multi-partner consortium will provide them with a tool-box for bioremediation as well as guarantee future applicability across Europe.
Author: Katarina Höije
Article’s date: 22/03/2010
My 5-day Journey into Scientism
As the title says – My 5-day Journey into Scientism – my article summarizes my most breath taking, important and interesting experiences, and the edifications of the visiting. I also wrote about the relation between science and journalism, and the necessary changes from my point point of view. In brief, the goal of my article is to accent the importance of scientism and call the attention how exciting and beautiful scientism is.
Author: Annamaria Balogh
Article’s date: 21/03/2010
The bacteria’s super power
In 1968 the Ingurtosu mine, situated in the southwestern part of Sardinia (Italy), finished its activity. Then soil and air were highly contaminated, and plants can not grow anymore. In order to resolve that situation, a group of seven researchers working at the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and The Environment (ENEA) are studying the way of changing that situation through ‘bioremediation’. Their approach aims to find the best bacteria to fight pollution. They are working in a project called ‘Umbrella’, funded by the European Union.
Author: Ana Torres Menárguez
Article’s date: 19/03/2010
Sparbirne, ade! (Goodbye low-energy bulb!)
The unloved low-energy bulbs could be replaced by the next generation of lighting system within a few years already: OLED – organic light-emitting diodes are flexible, cheap, efficient and they offer new lighting techniques which are hardly imaginable today. Shining wallpaper, windows or even T-Shirts – the possibilities seem to be unlimited. The European Union mainly sees a lot of potential for energy saving in the new technology and thats why it invests lots of money in research. At the Institute for Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona OLED research is carried out for seven years now. In January the Institute started an European research network called „nanophotonics for energy efficiency“. Researchers at ICFO work on making OLED more efficient and especially absolutely transparent. And they are pretty sure: „Organic LED will be the lighting system of the future.“
Author: Jonathan Focke
Article’s date: 18/03/2010
Research in Europe – the European way
What is happening with science in Europe? This article looks at the current development of the framework program and the move towards the European Research Area. Starting with a brief history of the framework program, the article looks at what the framework program has achieved, criticism of the current framework before finally looking towards the future of European science.
Author: Henry Lau
Article’s date: 10/03/2010
In November 2009 Swedish media informed that solarium businesses are closing down because of statistics provided by the Swedish Institute and WHO about the increased amount of people suffering from deadly skin cancer type-melanoma. In this context, the article is examining the work done by EPFL towards skin cancer vaccination, which Melody Swartz, the head of the lab, believes is about five years away. The article is looking at the labs novice approach to lymphatic’s as a route for cancer to develop and likewise treat. They are using their previous patent- the nanoparticle platform to find ways to deliver treatment more effectively. The researchers talk about the problems they encounter and the arguments they will be following in their current study.
Author: Paulina Pielichata
Article’s date: 02/02/2010
Vaccines in the endless war against cancer
With no warning, your body’s cells divide uncontrollably and rapidly. They show no mercy to your age, ethnicity, gender or income. More and more cells are formed – some of which may transform into a lump of tissue or a tumour – cells that the body doesn’t need. But yet the immune system doesn’t attack or kill. Well of course it doesn’t; for all it knows they are your own cells. However, little does the immune system know that these abnormally dividing cells are bad and need to be destroyed, as this is the start of the disease known as cancer.
Cancer is continuously the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2004 alone, cancer accounted for about 7.4 million deaths. Experts believe that cancer-related deaths globally will further rise each year. In fact, the WHO estimates that cancer will cause 12 million deaths in 2030. In most developed countries, cancer is the second largest cause of death after heart diseases. Specifically in the UK, every two minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer. Every four minutes another person dies of cancer. So what is being done to defeat this dreadful disease? How can we make our immune system find and attack these tumours?
The answer lies within a ‘cancer vaccine’. Dr Melody Swartz, along with Professor Jeff Hubbell and Dr. Sai Reddy, have made some startling discoveries about vaccination, which could potentially help manage and treat cancer.
Author: Julia-Anna Photopoulos
Article’s date: 27/01/2010
Smaller, lighter but still powerful
Wind turbines in the North Sea, solar panels in Spain and hydroelectric power in Brazil. Worldwide it is being invested in renewable energy. But what to do with the energy when it is created, but is not immediately required for consumption? The simplest and best known form of energy storage is the battery. The Italian Alessandro Volta invented 1800 the first battery. In his home country intensive research in this area is still being carried out. We visited the national research center near the Italian capital.
Author: Efthymia Mourgela
Article’s date: 19/12/2009
How to communicate science
What could a project like RELATE provide to a second year university student studying communication and media studies and lacking advanced scientific background? Well, I took the opportunity and started to observe the researchers and the other young journalists around me, constantly dealing with comunication difficulties. During a week in Lausanne I absorbed information from scientists and participants like me. I was curious about their diverse opinions about the reasons why it is complicated to communicate science. At the end I was able to look at the whole concept in a different way and, finally, found my own aspect to write about.
Author: Zsofia Lenart
Article’s date: 07/12/2009
How many thousand of years do a species of hazelnut live
The inheritance of human is not only the giant and the magnificent structures left behind; not the continuously innovated or developing technology or not the literature past full of striking and infinite beauties of art. One of the greatest inheritances of humanity is agriculture which also distinguishes human from other beings. Among billions of people you can find millions who agree on the taste of apple or orange. Undoubtedly this number is always greater than the number of those who agree on the taste of Italian macaroni or Turkish baklava. ENFA; acting with the consideration that these universal tastes need to be protected, has foused on the researches on the genetic structure of hazelnut and almond in SAFENUT project, within its own body. Many different researchers from many countries are contributing to the researches In SAFENUT Laboratories it is possible to meet many researchers from South Korea to those from Syria.
Author: Abdulsamet Gunek
Article’s date: 04/12/2009
Nanosensors against ecoevil
Thanks to nanobiosensors we will be able to monitor and diagnose poisons, bacteria and pollutions in water, air, soil and food. Nanobiosensors could be installed for example in air systems for detecting potential bioterrorist attacks or next to entrances to the buildings to find out whether anybody who has flu is entering. Chips in nanoscale will react on endangers thanks to the sensors with biological substances – for example enzymes or antibodies. Analytic part of the sensor would detect the reaction of biological substance on dangerous one and signalize the change starting the alarm. Nowadays biosensors with broad possibilities occupy the whole laboratories. Mobile biosensors are monodiagnostic – for example they check only the level of sugar in the blood of diabetics. – Now it takes a few days to receive results of detections, but it’s a matter of a year to check the efficiency of this method – said Neval Yılmaz, researcher of nanobiosensors form NANOTAM on Bilkent University in Ankara. Nanobiosensors would also help to monitor the presence of explosives, drugs and diagnose the illnesses in the very fist moment of their presence in an organism/body.
Author: Jan Dabkowski
Article’s date: 04/12/2009
In my article I explain how in the field of nanotechnology, Turkey has not only joined the best investigations in Europe, but also given some important contribution. First I explain the concept and importance of this field, taking words from Ekmel Özbay, director of the center. I also introduce an investigation from Nasa in this field, just to show the level we’re talking about when we speak of turkish research. Then I introduce some examples, from tennis balls, to textil tissues, that lead us to some concrete investigations being done in NANOTAM center. First one is about Biosensors, conducted by Nivel, and second one y about cloaking, conducted by Atilla. Small interviews and explanations of their researchs are included in my article, along with applications. For the first one, I explain the experiment for plasmonic nano sensors able to detect the E-coli bacteria using proteins. For the second, I speak about the experiment on cloacking an objecto from polarized microwaves carried out in NANOTAM for the first time in the world.
Author: Miguel Álvarez Peralta
Article’s date: 04/12/2009
Klimawandel auf der Olivenplantage (Climate change in the olive grove)
Times are over when global warming was only politic’s and science’s business. Today it does indeed mean business – for Italy’s energy industry and agriculture, for instance. Italy is one of Europe’s countries that will be hit hardest by climate change. Managers and farmers prepare: With the predicted drought, does it make sense to still build hydropower stations? How frugal will future crops have to be? Climate researchers can give some answers – but they’re not always listened to.
Author: Sophie Stigler
Article’s date: 03/12/2009
You can read more in Science-guide.eu
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: A new era of light – the sun as the future source of all technology
Sun rays are shining over the impressive Coliseum in Rome. They penetrate its arches, creating a spontaneous game of lights and shadows. Sun rays were always a source of awe and a muse for art, but they are also the basis of our human existence. It’s about time we will take our relationship with the sun to a higher level, to the level, in which the human race is so good at – technological advantage. Nothing is new about producing technological energy from the sun; the innovation is that soon it will happen in every home and in every technological device we carry. It won’t be pretentious to declare that oil and charcoal will soon enter – with honor, of course – to the pages of history. After a week visit in a photo-voltaic lab, that produces solar cells, I can say with assurance that the “Black Gold” is not that shiny anymore. The sun is much more.
Author: Netta Ahituv
Article’s date: 03/12/2009
Download here the article published on Achbar Ha-ir Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind_Netta Ahituv
World’s next Topmodel
They design the whole world on their computers. At least that is their goal. Climate modellers are the new stars of science. However, the only thing they know for sure is that they don’t know much.
This article follows climate researchers from Rome’s ENEA lab and Vienna’s ZAMG through their work, struggles and the doubts they have about their own thrustworthiness. Their whole discipline is under critique since recently highly sensible data was hijacked from one of the leading British laboratories. Hereby, I try to explain the many uncertaincies and political controversies that climate modelling has to deal with. Among the more recent and debated ideas: Seasonal forecasts for the World Food Programme to avoid crop failure and famine in Africa.
Author: Christoph Zotter
Article’s date: 29/11/2009
Perfection through asymmetry: chirality research in metamaterials
Metamaterials are materials that do not exist naturally, but that can be created in laboratories by units shaped as desired. Metamaterials containing non-symmetric (chiral) units are the base for creating a perfect lens with unlimited resolution, due to the particular way these materials interact with light waves. The unusual properties of metamaterials open novel possibilities for controlling electromagnetic waves, and challenge basic conceptions on how physics understands the universe. Perfection can be achieved utilizing non-symmetric shapes. The freedom of creating seems unlimited.
Author: Monica Mejia-Chang
Article’s date: 20/11/2009
Harry Potter storms in a woodworker’s atelier, or how things become invisible
‘I didn’t like the first “Harry Potter” movie at all, however, the third part – ‘Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban’ made a huge effect on me. But I’m more of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ guy. But who else could be called a real master of magic if not Ozgur Cakmak? It is he who is trying to make things become invisible daily – and without any wand, just with intelligent calculation of nanotechnology.
I knock on the door of a 28 year old scientist at the agreed time. Silence. I glance through the window of his office – empty. A derisive thought crosses my mind: ‘Has he finally succeeded to achieve whatever he is trying to at his lab? Maybe now he’s invincible?’ After a good half and hour of waiting, unfortunately, the truth disappoints me – it will take some time before humans become invisible – Ozgur apologizes for being late.
Author: Viktorija Rinkevičiūtė
Article’s date: 19/11/2009
Being invisible: an old dream that could become possible through nanotechnologies
Abstract: Talking about invisibility seems to be closer to talking about magic or at least fiction than a scientific matter, but at Bilkent University, in Ankara, a group of researchers, leaded by Professor Ekmel Ozbay, is studying how to make it possible, using nanotechnologies. Our guide, Atilla Ozgur Cakmak, a 29-years-old PhD student at the Turkish university, has led us in the ‘magical world of cloaking with metamaterials’.
Author: Clara Attene
Article’s date: 17/11/2009