How can you be sure your on-line transactions are secure, and find out if anybody has been siphoning off money from your credit card? The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed a way of handling electronic information to protect the rights of cyberspace users and guard against fraud when buying on the Internet.
The EU Cyber Tools On-Line Search for Evidence (CTOSE) project helps identify, secure, integrate and present electronic evidence on on-line criminal offences. It meets the challenge of clearly establishing what happens during an e-crime, or even a simple on-line transaction. The new approach developed in this project enables investigators to use “computer forensic tools” to gather evidence which will stand up in court or tribunal proceedings throughout Europe. EU researchers, in co-operation with European computer and security specialists, have developed new standardised procedures for this purpose.
“Cybercrime hides behind our computer screen, and in the wires of global communication networks and services,” says European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Business is a prime target – but public authorities and even individuals are vulnerable, too. Millions of e-mail inboxes and networks have recently been crippled by computer viruses. This innovative methodology, developed by the Commission, will not only help combat cybercrime, it will also increase user confidence in carrying out secure transactions in everyday life.”
Berta Duane | European Commission
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
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Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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