Catastrophic floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002 killed 110 people and caused more than 15 billion euros of damage. A powerful Decision Support System (DSS) promises to minimise the impact of severe flooding in the future.
Developed under the IST programme-funded project Ramflood, which ended in March, the system to assess the risk of flooding and improve emergency management has continued to be used at its two trial sites in Spain and Greece amid plans to extend its implementation to other flood-prone areas across Europe. The Ramflood DSS has also been incorporated into civil engineering training programmes.
“The uptake has surpassed our expectations,” notes project manager Javier Piazzese at CIMNE in Spain. “It is currently being used by the Catalan water management authority ACA, and by SPAP in Attica, an association of 15 municipalities responsible for defining policies to protect the Greek region from natural disasters.”
Tara Morris | alfa
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DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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