Two of the four berths at an EU-funded grid-connected offshore marine-energy test site have now been filled. Wave Hub, located off the Cornish coast in the United Kingdom, is the largest test site of its type in the world. It is supported by EUR 23 million from the European Regional Development Fund under its Convergence objective, which focuses on supporting sustainable integrated economic development and the creation of sustainable jobs.
A growing number of scientists recognises how graphene, an allotrope of carbon, is the next silicon. But they also know graphene is too conductive to be used in computer chips. Now a research team from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom may have found a way to address this problem. Presented in the journal Science, the study demonstrates how a transistor could indeed be the missing link for graphene to become the next silicon. Their discovery opens a third dimension in graphene research
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have a complex inheritance pattern. Despite researchers having identified rare variants in synaptic proteins in patients with ASD, little work has been carried out to determine the effect at the synapse and their interactions with other genetic variations ... until now. A European team of researchers has confirmed that synaptic mutations heightens the risk of ASD. The study, presented in the journal PLoS Genetics, was funded in part by the EUHFAUTISM ('European high-functioning autism network: translational research in a phenotypically well characterised sample') project, a Neuron-ERA-NET funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of almost EUR 370 000.
Have you ever wondered how and why zebras got their stripes? Well, wonder no more: a team of researchers from Hungary and Sweden sheds fresh light on the stripe function and why the stripe pattern has evolved. Presented in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the study was funded in part by the TABANOID ("Trap for the novel control of horseflies on open-air fields") project, which received more than EUR 825 000 in funding under the "Research for the benefit of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)" Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Scientists in Poland have discovered that it is easy to clean and treat polluted water for extraction of valuable chemicals, such as those used in the production of drugs. The upshot of this is that the use of neither plants nor factories is required; only the Sun and a 'magic' powder are needed to get the job done. The study, presented in the journal Bioresource Technology, was funded in part by the PHOTOBIO23JC ('Synthesis of novel nanostructured metal-supported photocatalysts: characterization and promising applications in the production of high value chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass') project, which is backed with a Marie Curie International Reintegration grant worth EUR 100 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Facebook has changed the way we communicate. We use this social networking service to connect with friends and family, participate in games and catch up on daily news. But how long are we spending on Facebook every day? A new study from Sweden has found that 75 minutes is the average daily time commitment for Facebook users, with women spending around 81 minutes, and men about 64 minutes. The data also show that low-educated groups and low-income groups whose members spend more time on Facebook are less happy and less content with their lives.
A new and innovative EU-funded project that aims to develop and test new food products that fill you up quicker has just got underway. Satiety-enhanced food can help control appetite, manage weight and combat obesity, and the SATIN ('SATiety Innovation') project aims to bring together energy intake and weight control experts from academia and industry to produce new food products using the latest processing innovation techniques.
We hear and read a lot about our human carbon footprint but what do we know about our urban footprint? According to a new United Nations (UN) report, this urban footprint will expand by another 1.2 million square kilometres if we fail to make changes to our cities' development patterns. This huge increase is the size of France, Germany and Spain combined. The report's highlights were presented at the recent international science meeting, 'Planet Under Pressure', in London, United Kingdom.
The JRC has published a new edition of the Strategic Energy Technologies review. This "2011 Technology Map" provides a European and worldwide analysis of 15 low-carbon energy technologies, energy efficiency in industry, energy performance of buildings and electricity storage in the power sector.
The study describes the state of the art of the different technologies, current and estimated market penetration, barriers to their large-scale deployment, planned R&D efforts to overcome those barriers and reference values for their operational and economic performance. It provides data covering the whole spectrum of the energy system, allowing policy makers and the research community to identify potential opportunities and gaps to achieve the transition to a low-carbon society. A necessary condition for the timely market roll-out of some of these technologies is an acceleration of their development and demonstration.
An international team of researchers led by the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom has identified a genetic link for coronary artery disease (also called coronary heart disease). The results of the study, presented in the journal The Lancet, demonstrate how a father passes on to his son a common heart disease that kills thousands each year. The study was supported in part by a grant under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
An international team of researchers has discovered that a protein responsible for protecting some of our body's immune cells from the most common and virulent form of HIV succeeds in its quest because it starves the virus of the molecular building blocks it requires to replicate. The study, published in the journal Nature Immunology, was supported in part by a European Research Council (ERC) grant under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The results could help us understand why some anti-HIV drugs are more effective than others.
An international team of scientists has discovered a key molecule that helps the malaria parasite evade the human body's immune system. Partially funded by the EU-backed EVIMALAR ('Towards the establishment of a permanent European virtual institute dedicated to malaria research') project and presented in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the findings of this study could provide fresh insight into how the parasite that triggers disease can dodge the defences built by the immune system. EVIMALAR, meanwhile, is funded under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 12 million.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom have designed an innovative technique to study the underground world of plants. Presented in the journal Plant Physiology, the results of this study will lead to improved breeding techniques for crop varieties, as well as better yields.
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