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First European trial for new breast cancer vaccine

European clinical trials are under way in Denmark and the UK testing a new breast cancer vaccine targeted against the HER-2 growth factor.

HER-2 is overexpressed in about a quarter of all breast cancers and has become a key target for new treatments, such as the monoclonal antibody therapy Herceptin.

But, the development of a vaccine by Danish pharmaceutical company Pharmexa represents an entirely novel treatment paradigm, according to Pharmexa’s manager of preclinical development a

Commission kicks off action plan for Global Monitoring of Environment and Security

Philippe Busquin, Research Commissioner and responsible for space policy, opened the first meeting of the GMES Steering Committee in Brussels today. This meeting gathered, for the first time, the users and suppliers of GMES services and technologies. The steering committee will assist in the implementation of the EU’s Action Plan on Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES). The goal set by the European Union is to develop by 2008 an operational and autonomous European global monitoring ca

European and Canadian space agencies announce communications contract for International Space Station

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have announced a call to communication companies who are interested in undertaking a contract for brand communication services related to the International Space Station (ISS).

The contract is a significant move for ESA and CSA who want to heighten the profile of the ISS within Europe and Canada to help meet the commercial objectives of the Space Station.

The two organisations want to hear expressions of interest

Smallpox pill promising

New drug could soon thwart smallpox outbreaks

An anti-smallpox pill could be on the way if a new compound that shows promise in animal tests proves safe and effective in humans. Such a pill could provide the best method for controlling an unforeseen smallpox outbreak, its developers claim.

The need for new ways to treat smallpox has only become an issue in recent years as the threat of a deliberate release of the virus intensifies. Smallpox – a highly contagious and often let

Safe decay detector developed by dentists and textile experts

Tooth decay could soon be detected without resorting to potentially harmful X-rays – by using a novel electrical technique developed by dental researchers at the University of Dundee in an unusual partnership with textile experts at Heriot Watt University.

Laboratory tests show the device, which measures the electrical resistance of teeth, is twice as accurate as current examination techniques and detects decay in its earliest stages when preventive treatment is still possible.

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EMBO gets US$ 2 Million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support young scientists

Grant Supports Young Researchers in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland Heidelberg, Germany – The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) announces that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has joined the organization in supporting young scientists from Central Europe, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The HHMI provides $ 2 Mio for the next four years to the EMBO Young Investigator Programme. Each year six scientists can be supported with Euro 30 000 per year for a durat

Stable silicon layer makes flat-panel display cheaper

In a joint project between the Technology Foundation STW and the energy agency Novem at Utrecht University, researchers have developed new silicon layers which are more stable and cheaper than the present amorphous silicon layers. The electronic properties of the present layers in laptop screens and solar cells deteriorate if the material is under ‘stress’, for example due to sunshine or a voltage.

Flat-panel displays and solar cells have a substrate of glass or plastic, which is coated with

Satellite spies on doomed Antarctic ice shelf

Satellite images have revealed the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula fulfilling predictions made by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists. The collapse of the 3250 km2 ice shelf is the latest drama in a region of Antarctica that has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years.

Earlier this month Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado alerted BAS glaciologists David Vaughan and Chris Doake to images from the NASA MODIS satellite. Meanwhile, in Antar

Selection of the fittest

A new study shows that schools and many education programmes are failing to provide students with a basic understanding of evolution.

It is famously difficult to explain evolutionary principles without resorting to anthropomorphic or figurative language. Evolution ‘selects’ the fittest individuals; species ‘adapt’ to change. Both of these phrases are commonplace when explaining the very complex processes involved in evolution. However, this use of language implies that there is an agency o

Was adolescent galaxy a gang member?

Light bending reveals clumps of matter around early galaxy.

European astronomers have got their first glimpse of the soup of matter that surrounded a galaxy in the early Universe, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Their results provide clues as to how this matter got together, which is crucial to understanding why the Universe looks the way it does today 1 .

The 12-billion-year-old galaxy is called MS 1512-cB58. It is not the earliest galaxy known, but

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Physics and Astronomy

Constraining quantum measurement

The quantum world and our everyday world are very different places. In a publication that appeared as the “Editor’s Suggestion” in Physical Review A this week, UvA physicists Jasper van…

Planetary scientists discover brief presence of water in Arabia Terra on Mars

Team studied thermal inertia to understand how rock layers were formed. As part of a team of collaborators from Northern Arizona University and Johns Hopkins University, NAU PhD candidate Ari…

Strong winds power electric fields in the upper atmosphere

What happens on Earth doesn’t stay on Earth. Using observations from NASA’s ICON mission, scientists presented the first direct measurements of Earth’s long-theorized dynamo on the edge of space: a wind-driven electrical…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

Synthetic tissue can repair hearts, muscles, and vocal cords

Scientists from McGill University develop new biomaterial for wound repair. Combining knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering, scientists from McGill University develop a biomaterial tough enough to repair the…

Ancient lineage of algae found to include five “cryptic” species

Research team led by Göttingen University use genomic data to discover five species hidden in rare alga. All land plants originated from a single evolutionary event when freshwater algae got…

Scientists capture electron transfer image in electrocatalysis process

The involvement between electron transfer (ET) and catalytic reaction at electrocatalyst surface makes electrochemical process challenging to understand and control. How to experimentally determine ET process occurring at nanoscale is…

Materials Sciences

A new topological magnet with colossal angular magnetoresistance

Trillion percent change of resistance can be achieved in the new material by simply rotating the direction of spin. While electrons are well known to carry both charge and spin,…

Mystery of high performing novel solar cell materials revealed in stunning clarity

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have used a suite of correlative, multimodal microscopy methods to visualise, for the first time, why perovskite materials are seemingly so tolerant of defects in…

Accurate analysis of 3D-printed components

Together with scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), X-ray specialists from Empa are now providing their industrial partners with access to state-of-the-art material analysis of 3D-printed work pieces and…

Information Technology

Quantum computers getting connected

Research team with participation of the University of Stuttgart succeeds in integrating color centers into nanophotonic silicon carbide structures. A promising route towards larger quantum computers is to orchestrate multiple…

New computational approach predicts chemical reactions at high temperatures

Method combines quantum mechanics with machine learning to accurately predict oxide reactions at high temperatures when no experimental data is available; could be used to design clean carbon-neutral processes for…

Researchers shrink camera to the size of a salt grain

Micro-sized cameras have great potential to spot problems in the human body and enable sensing for super-small robots, but past approaches captured fuzzy, distorted images with limited fields of view….