In 2010 a severe outbreak of West Nile Fever in Greece left 34 dead and hundreds of persons were seriously affected. An increasing number of cases over the last years is also reported from Russia, Israel, Turkey and other mediterranean countries. Furthermore, West Nile Virus was recently identified in birds in Austria and England.
The Virus primarily infects birds but can be transmitted to humans and other mammals by mosquito bites. Usually influenza-like symptoms are associated with this zoonotic infection, however, in some cases severe neurological complications are reported. Especially for older and immunocompromised people the virus can be dangerous. Due to the occurrence of trans-mitting mosquito species an emergence of the virus in Germany and other parts of Europe can not be excluded.
To date there is no vaccine which can protect humans against a West Nile Virus infection. In addition, an accurate diagnosis is complicated by the fact that existing methods often show cross reactivity with related viruses.
The European Union reacts to the need for the development of effective con-trol measures by funding the collaborative research project “West Nile Inte-grated Shield Project” (WINGS) with three million euros. Dr. Sebastian Ulbert, coordinator and project manager at the Fraunhofer IZI, summarizes the goals of the project: “Our aim is to use novel and secure technologies for the devel-opment of an efficient vaccine and an improved detection system. These can be rapidly adjusted to emerging variants of the virus. Additionally we want to analyze the spread of West Nile Virus in Europe.” He will be coordinating the nine partner institutions from Europe and the USA to achieve these goals within the next three years.
On February 8, 2011, the project started with a kick-off meeting in Leipzig. All participating partners came together to discuss research strategies and work plans.
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30.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.
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The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
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30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
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