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.
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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