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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

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Physics and Astronomy

Practical 3D tracking at record-breaking speeds

With speeds over 200 times faster than traditional methods, new technology could benefit autonomous driving, industrial inspection and security applications. Researchers have developed a new 3D method that can be…

Astronomers see a massive black hole awaken in real time

In late 2019 the previously unremarkable galaxy SDSS1335+0728 suddenly started shining brighter than ever before. To understand why, astronomers have used data from several space and ground-based observatories, including the…

Cosmic blast hunter SVOM to launch with optimal optics from Leicester

Mission to find gamma ray bursts is latest to use technology from University of Leicester in X-ray optics. A satellite telescope designed to rapidly hunt down the universe’s biggest explosions…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

‘Invisible’ protein keeps cancer at bay

Scientists in Germany have revealed how an unstructured protein traps cancer-promoting molecules. Each second of our lives, cells in our body grow and divide to ensure we stay healthy. However,…

Hidden partners: Symbiodolus bacteria found in various insect orders

The endosymbiont Symbiodolus clandestinus, living inside insect cells, has remained undiscovered until now. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology report its discovery in at least six insect…

A Railroad of Cells – Computer simulations explain cell movement

Looking under the microscope, a group of cells slowly moves forward in a line, like a train on the tracks. The cells navigate through complex environments. A new approach by…

Materials Sciences

Electrifying insights into how catalysts work at the atomic level

An approach developed by materials scientists is already yielding discoveries that could improve the efficiency and durability of metallic catalysts used in a variety of processes. A team led by…

Watching energy materials as they form

Eyes glued to a live transmission from inside a reaction vessel, LMU researchers watch chemical reactions at work. Their results will improve the manufacture of the next generation of energy…

New class of materials called ‘glassy gels’

Researchers have created a new class of materials called “glassy gels” that are very hard and difficult to break despite containing more than 50% liquid. Coupled with the fact that…

Information Technology

Breakthrough may clear major hurdle for quantum computers

The potential of quantum computers is currently thwarted by a trade-off problem. Quantum systems that can carry out complex operations are less tolerant to errors and noise, while systems that…

Researchers leverage shadows to model 3D scenes

…including objects blocked from view. This technique could lead to safer autonomous vehicles, more efficient AR/VR headsets, or faster warehouse robots. Imagine driving through a tunnel in an autonomous vehicle,…

LIST launches pioneering nanosatellite experiment

…to demonstrate energy harvesting innovation in space. The mission entails sending technologies developed at LIST into space for testing with an aim to achieve flight heritage. The Luxembourg Institute of…