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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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
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17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses