The selection was severe: of 300 proposals the EC received only 15 were funded; of them, the only one dealing with on musculoskeletal apparatus was submitted by the international consortium VPHOP, coordinated by the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute (Bologna, Italy).
“The VPHOP project” – says Marco Viceconti, coordinator of this international initiative “in the next four years will develop the next generation of technology for diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, one of the most serious diseases which may affect the musculoskeletal apparatus, nowadays”.
In 2007 about four million osteoporotic bone fractures costed the European health system more than € 30 billions. This figure could double by 2050, if we do not improve the current standards of care. (Source: International Osteoporosis Foundation http://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-and-statistics.html).
“The first generation of computer models is currently entering in clinical use; the main companies in this sector are investing in the instrumentation for the evaluation of bone risk fracture based on technologies that the research laboratories developed in the past years. Meanwhile, VPHOP will develop, validate and deploy the next generation of technologies for 100% personalised healthcare”.
The 19 public and private organisations that form the VPHOP consortium, such as Philips Healthcare or the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, gathered for the project kick-off at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute last Sept 8th-9th. 60 experts in informatics, bioengineering, medical physics, and medical research met to plan this ambitious project.
“Each of the partner organisations has already a technology prototype that represents the worldwide excellence in that particular domain. The aim of the project is to create, with all these technologies, an integrated solution to be used in the clinical practice and through which it will be possible to gather all available patient information (life-style, physical activity level, neuromotor condition, bone type and shape, status of the diseased tissue, cellular activity, presence of specific molecules) into a unifying computer model capable of predicting on one side the fracture risk with an excellent accuracy, on the other one the effects that the various treatment options will have on that particular patient”.
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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...
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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.
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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,...
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