The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in Italy. The University of Padua is one of Italy’s leading universities and ranks in the first position in all the recent ranking of Italian large universities. In 2010 the university had approximately 65,000 students and in 2009 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students. Wikipedia.
Romero-Gomez M.,University of Seville |
Montagnese S.,University of Padua |
Jalan R.,University College London
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2015
Hepatic encephalopathy in a hospitalized cirrhotic patient is associated with a high mortality rate and its presence adds further to the mortality of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). The exact pathophysiological mechanisms of HE in this group of patients are unclear but hyperammonemia, systemic inflammation (including sepsis, bacterial translocation, and insulin resistance) and oxidative stress, modulated by glutaminase gene alteration, remain as key factors. Moreover, alcohol misuse, hyponatremia, renal insufficiency, and microbiota are actively explored. HE diagnosis requires exclusion of other causes of neurological, metabolic and psychiatric dysfunction. Hospitalization in the ICU should be considered in every patient with overt HE, but particularly if this is associated with ACLF. Precipitating factors should be identified and treated as required. Evidence-based specific management options are limited to bowel cleansing and non-absorbable antibiotics. Ammonia lowering drugs, such as glycerol phenylbutyrate and ornithine phenylacetate show promise but are still in clinical trials. Albumin dialysis may be useful in refractory cases. Antibiotics, prebiotics, and treatment of diabetes reduce systemic inflammation. Where possible and not contraindicated, large portalsystemic shunts may be embolized but liver transplantation is the most definitive step in the management of HE in this setting. HE in patients with ACLF appears to be clinically and pathophysiologically distinct from that of acute decompensation and requires further studies and characterization. © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver.
Plebani M.,University of Padua |
Favaloro E.J.,Westmead Hospital
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2013
The chance that errors might jeopardize the quality of testing is inherently present throughout the total testing process, especially in the preanalytical phase. In the coagulation laboratory, as well as in other areas of diagnostic testing, spurious hemolysis, icteria, and lipemia in test samples represent by far the leading diagnostic challenges. Interference in hemostasis testing due to spurious hemolysis is attributed to both analytical and biologic elements, namely high absorbance of cell-free hemoglobin at wavelengths used by optical instrumentation and release of both cytoplasmatic and plasma membrane molecules (e.g., tissue factor, proteases, phospholipids, and ADP) that can spuriously activate blood coagulation and platelets. The interference attributable to hyperbilirubinemia is mostly due to spectral overlap, whereas that of hypertriglyceridemia mainly reflects elements of light scatter and volume displacement as well as direct interference of lipid particles with hemostasis. In practical terms, spurious hemolysis reflects a more generalized process of endothelial and blood cell damage, so that test results on spuriously hemolyzed specimens should be systematically suppressed. The bias attributable to hyperbilirubinemia is less significant using modern coagulometers equipped with dedicated wavelengths (i.e., with readings at 650 nm or above), so that test results in samples with a bilirubin concentration up to 20 mg/dL can still be analytically reliable. The interference observed in lipemic samples is most evident with readings using wavelengths lower than 500 nm and can hence be prevented with readings at 650 nm or above, and/or using higher dilutions of the test sample, or can be abated in high hypertriglyceridemic specimens (i.e., > 1,000 mg/dL) using high speed microcentrifugation or lipid extraction with organic solvents such as fluorine-chlorinated hydrocarbon, or lipid-clearing agents such as LipoClear (StatSpin Inc., Norwood, MA) and n-hexane. Copyright © 2013 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
Nanni L.,University of Padua |
Brahnam S.,Missouri State University |
Lumini A.,University of Bologna
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012
Motivation: The microarray report measures the expressions of tens of thousands of genes, producing a feature vector that is high in dimensionality and that contains much irrelevant information. This dimensionality degrades classification performance. Moreover, datasets typically contain few samples for training, leading to the 'curse of dimensionality' problem. It is essential, therefore, to find good methods for reducing the size of the feature set. Results: In this article, we propose a method for gene microarray classification that combines different feature reduction approaches for improving classification performance. Using a support vector machine (SVM) as our classifier, we examine an SVM trained using a set of selected genes; an SVM trained using the feature set obtained by Neighborhood Preserving Embedding feature transform; a set of SVMs trained using a set of orthogonal wavelet coefficients of different wavelet mothers; a set of SVMs trained using texture descriptors extracted from the microarray, considering it as an image; and an ensemble that combines the best feature extraction methods listed above. The positive results reported offer confirmation that combining different features extraction methods greatly enhances system performance. The experiments were performed using several different datasets, and our results [expressed as both accuracy and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve] show the goodness of the proposed approach with respect to the state of the art. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Dalle Zotte A.,University of Padua |
Szendro Z.,University of Kaposvár
Meat Science | Year: 2011
Increasing consumer knowledge of the link between diet and health has raised the awareness and demand for functional food ingredients. Meat and its derivatives may be considered functional foods to the extent that they contain numerous compounds thought to be functional. This review will attempt to outline the excellent nutritional and dietetic properties of rabbit meat and offer an overview of the studies performed on the strategies adopted to improve the functional value of rabbit meat. Dietary manipulation has been seen to be very effective in increasing the levels of essential FA, EPA, DHA, CLA, branched chain FA, vitamin E, and selenium in rabbit meat. Dietary fortification with vitamin E or natural products such as oregano essential oil, chia seed oil, and Spirulina platensis microalga seem promising in improving the oxidative stability of rabbit meat while also adding functional ingredients. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Pasqualetti F.,University of California at Riverside |
Zampieri S.,University of Padua |
Bullo F.,University of California at Santa Barbara
IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems | Year: 2014
This paper studies the problem of controlling complex networks, i.e., the joint problem of selecting a set of control nodes and of designing a control input to steer a network to a target state. For this problem, 1) we propose a metric to quantify the difficulty of the control problem as a function of the required control energy, 2) we derive bounds based on the system dynamics (network topology and weights) to characterize the tradeoff between the control energy and the number of control nodes, and 3) we propose an open-loop control strategy with performance guarantees. In our strategy, we select control nodes by relying on network partitioning, and we design the control input by leveraging optimal and distributed control techniques. Our findings show several control limitations and properties. For instance, for Schur stable and symmetric networks: 1) if the number of control nodes is constant, then the control energy increases exponentially with the number of network nodes; 2) if the number of control nodes is a fixed fraction of the network nodes, then certain networks can be controlled with constant energy independently of the network dimension; and 3) clustered networks may be easier to control because, for sufficiently many control nodes, the control energy depends only on the controllability properties of the clusters and on their coupling strength. We validate our results with examples from power networks, social networks and epidemics spreading. © 2014 IEEE.
Perry C.,Swinburne University of Technology |
Ziegler J.C.,Aix - Marseille University |
Zorzi M.,University of Padua
Cognitive Psychology | Year: 2010
Most words in English have more than one syllable, yet the most influential computational models of reading aloud are restricted to processing monosyllabic words. Here, we present CDP++, a new version of the Connectionist Dual Process model (Perry, Ziegler, & Zorzi, 2007). CDP++ is able to simulate the reading aloud of mono- and disyllabic words and nonwords, and learns to assign stress in exactly the same way as it learns to associate graphemes with phonemes. CDP++ is able to simulate the monosyllabic benchmark effects its predecessor could, and therefore shows full backwards compatibility. CDP++ also accounts for a number of novel effects specific to disyllabic words, including the effects of stress regularity and syllable number. In terms of database performance, CDP++ accounts for over 49% of the reaction time variance on items selected from the English Lexicon Project, a very large database of several thousand of words. With its lexicon of over 32,000 words, CDP++ is therefore a notable example of the successful scaling-up of a connectionist model to a size that more realistically approximates the human lexical system. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Fusco G.,University of Padua |
Fusco G.,University of California at Riverside
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014
In many arthropods, there is a change in relative segment size during post-embryonic development, but how segment differential growth is produced is little known. A new dataset of the highest quality specimens of the 429 Myr old trilobite Aulacopleura koninckii provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate segment growth dynamics and its control in an early arthropod. Morphometric analysis across nine post-embryonic stages revealed a growth gradient in the trunk of A. koninckii. We contrastively tested different growth models referable to two distinct hypotheses of growth control for the developing trunk: (i) a segment-specific control, with individual segments having differential autonomous growth progression, and (ii) a regional control, with segment growth depending on their relative position along the main axis. We show that the trunk growth pattern of A. koninckii was consistent with a regional growth control producing a continuous growth gradient that was stable across all developmental stages investigated. The specific posterior-to-anterior decaying shape of the growth gradient suggests it deriving from the linear transduction of a graded signal, similar to those commonly provided by morphogens. A growth control depending on a form of positional specification, possibly realized through the linear interpretation of a graded signal, may represent the primitive condition for arthropod differential growth along the main body axis, from which the diverse and generally more complex forms of growth control in subsequent arthropods have evolved.
University of Padua | Date: 2012-03-23
A method (400) controls the delivery of insulin in a diabetic patient (P) based on data (d) representative of at least a fraction of a meal (m(k+i)) that the patient (P) will consume. The method provides from a block (R) representative of conventional therapy or open loop rule that the patient (P) is subject to, based on the data (d) representative of at least a fraction of the meal (m(k+i)), a reference insulin value (u_(0)). The method is also based on data representative of the difference between input data (), a reference glycemic level, and feedback data (y^(CGM)) representative of the glycemic level detected in the patient (P). A control module (301; 401) provides a value of insulin (i) to be delivered to the patient (P) based on the various representative data.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 175.50K | Year: 2015
The PROTINUS proposal assembles a multi-disciplinary team to combine advanced, applied and theoretical research to create a new standard in imaging, analysing, modelling and predicting the interactions between soil structure and soil functions. Soil structure impacts a whole range of services soil renders to ecosystems, including for example contaminant filtering, carbon storage, root growth, and microbiological diversity. By using modern imaging, image analysis and modelling techniques, we will develop an integrated approach to perform experiments in soil physics, bio-chemistry, to reconstruct soil structure in 3D and to model soil processes. The evaluated models will be used for predicting the different services soil renders to ecosystems in a dynamic way and for testing classical theory, where soil structure is not directly taken into account. To do so we will bring together the theoretical and practical expertise of the involved researchers, infrastructure of the partnering institutes, soil samples and databases. The first stage will investigate todays best practise in experimental soil science and imaging, data analysis and modelling. Our findings will enable our second stage approach where synergies between the different disciplines will be explored. The third stage will provide the cornerstone of a new unified methodology meant to modify practise and outcomes of current experimental/imaging, analysis and modelling approaches. Our final stage will look at the changes brought to each of the specific research areas practises and how it impacts the understanding of soil structure and its functions. It is expected that our proposal will foster bilateral collaborations within Europe and with our overseas partners through local and international funding, shared database and infrastructure management, and lead to the creation of a sustainable international network of researchers, infrastructure and institutes.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-08 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2011
The two core objectives of BIVALIFE are (i) to provide innovative knowledge related to pathogens infecting oysters and mussels and (ii) to develop practical approaches for the control of infectious diseases and resulting mortality outbreaks these pathogens induce. The project will address the major issue identified by the European commission (i.e. detection and management of infectious diseases in oysters and mussels) at the EU level since the increase in international and intra EU trade and exchanges of animals increases the risk of pathogen transfer and infectious disease outbreak occurrence. In this context, the specific objective of BIVALIFE are: (i) transfer and validate existing methods for detection and identification of oyster and mussel pathogens; (ii) improve the characterisation of oyster and mussel pathogens and develop innovative complementary diagnostic approaches; (iii) characterise culture sites in Europe regarding presence of oyster and mussel pathogens in relation to the presence or absence of mortality; (iv) investigate the life cycle, mechanisms allowing oyster and mussel pathogens to survive outside the host and their original source; (v) identify pathogen intrinsic virulence factors and effects on host defence mechanisms; (vi) assess the relationship between the presence of oyster and mussel pathogens and their role in observed mortality; (vii) develop methods and recommendations for pathogen control and eradication in Europe. The project will focus on three mollusc species, namely the Pacific cupped oyster Crassostrea gigas and two mussel species Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis, the most important species in terms of European production. Interestingly, Pacific oysters and mussels display different levels of susceptibility to diseases. The targeted pathogens will be the virus OsHV-1, Vibrio species including V. splendidus and V. aestuarianus, as well as the parasite Marteilia refringens and the bacterium Nocardia crassostreae.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.10 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2010
The Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA will be the first open facility for gamma-ray astronomy in the very-high-energy domain, with a performance which is dramatically improved over existing instruments in terms of sensitivity, energy coverage, survey capability and flexibility. CTA will probe non-thermal phenomena in the Universe known to have comparable energy content to other forms of energy such as thermal radiation both in our own Galaxy and at cosmological distances, addressing questions in astrophysics, astroparticle physics, particle physics, plasma physics, cosmology, and fundamental physics. The CTA preparatory phase CTA-PP will address a number of crucial prerequisites for the approval, construction and operation of CTA: > the set-up of a Project Office offering means for electronic communication as well as data storage and handling for documents of the whole consortium > the legal framework, governance schemes, and financial regulations for the following phases of CTA (pre-construction, construction and operation) > assuring funding for the pre-construction phase after termination of CTA-PP > the preparation of funding agreements between potential funding agencies > the preparation of negotiations with potential host countries for the CTA instrument > the detailed technical design and costing of the CTA observatory > the selection of sites for deployment negotiations, and detailing and cost-estimation of the required site infrastructure > the schemes for procurement and industry involvement in the technical design and construction of CTA > the required linking with relevant science communities regarding the detailed definition of the science program, the corresponding final optimisation of the observatory layout, and the definition of user services and data access. For CTA-PP, support is sought primarily for work on the legal, governance and financial issues, for the installation of a project office coordinating and supporting management of CTA-PP as well as the design of CTA and the planning of the implementation, and for studies regarding the optimisation and production of CTA components by industry. The ultimate delivery of CTA-PP will be a detailed implementation plan for the CTA infrastructure.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.1 | Award Amount: 3.52M | Year: 2011
REWIRE develops, integrates and field tests an innovative virtual reality based rehabilitation platform, which allows patients, discharged from the hospital, to continue intensive rehabilitation at home under remote monitoring by the hospital itself. The main idea is to assemble off the shelf components in a robust and reliable way to get a platform system that can be to be deployed massively at the patients homes. The platform is constituted of three hierarchical components: a patient station (PS), deployed installed at home, a hospital station (HS) and a networking station (NS) at a the health provider site. The PS is based on video-based tracking (through a mix of 2D and 3D cameras) and virtual reality. The patient sees on the display himself or an avatar moving and interacting in real-time with a virtual game with his movements tracked in real-time. Game variety of scenarios, balanced scoring system, quantitative exercise evaluation, audio-visual feed-back aims at maximum patients motivation. A robust and reliable auto-calibration and spatial synchronization with the graphics is developed. Patients daily activity is monitored by a Body Sensor Networks and his activity is profiled through eigenbehaviors. Environmental, physiological and motion data are combined to tune the rehabilitation exercise level, to assess potential risks and advice clinicians on the therapy. The HS main role is the definition and monitoring of the treatment. Data mining in the NS discovers common features and trends of rehabilitation treatment among hospitals and regions. A virtual community is setup to educate and motivate patients. A pilot is designed both for the clinical evaluation of effectiveness and suitability of REWIRE, and the study of the most appropriate model to seamlessly connect long-term at home rehabilitation to that at hospital, appropriate service settings and adequate business models. Using advanced DTI imaging it is tested whether REWIRE meets the rationale of rehabilitation, that it triggers brain adaptations that mediate recovery.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-2.2-02 | Award Amount: 4.87M | Year: 2008
The objective of the research program is to design, optimize and develop a space plasma thruster based on helicon-radio-frequency technology and its application to a nano-satellite for attitude and position control. Moreover a detailed feasibility study will be also conducted to evaluate the possibility of using the plasma thruster to heat and decompose a secondary propellant. The feasibility study will asses the possibility of building up a combined-two-mode-thruster able to operate in the low-thrust high-efficiency plasma-mode and high-thrust low-efficiency secondary-propellant-plasma-enhanced mode. Only the plasma thruster will be developed and fully tested during this study. The main characteristics of the thruster are: Power 50 W Weight within 1.5 kg Thrust >1.5 mN Specific Impulse (Isp) >1200 s The program will develop thought the following steps: a) Deep numerical-theoretical investigation through dedicated plasma-simulation tools. b) Extensive experimental campaign to validate codes, to investigate the physics phenomena involved and to proof thruster performance. c) The development of a thruster-prototype to be mounted on board of a mini-satellite to demonstrate technology feasibility, d)The study of all the critical issues related to the application to a mini-satellite e) the design and manufacturing of the mini-satellite mock up including all critical components f) analysis of scaling law to lower and higher power. As a final results of the project, a detailed analysis will be conducted in order to evaluate the possible application of the thruster in space missions requiring low thrust accurate attitude and position control.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.3 | Award Amount: 18.32M | Year: 2010
There has been much hype about the so-called Internet of Things. The idea of such a globally interconnected continuum emerged with the RFID technology, and this concept has considerably been extended to the current vision that envisages a plethora of heterogeneous objects interacting with the physical environment.Today, a large number of different means are used to enable communication between heterogeneous devices. We see these as Intranet of things, representing vertical silos that do not support interoperability. However, this balkanisation of efforts will lead to a predictable slowdown in devising a viable global solution. Furthermore, existing solutions do not address the scalability requirements for a future Internet of Things, they provide inappropriate models of governance and fundamentally neglect privacy and security in their design.IoT-A, the Internet-of-Things Architecture, proposes the creation of an architectural reference model together with the definition of an initial set of key building blocks. Together they are envisioned as crucial foundations for fostering a future Internet of Things. Using an experimental paradigm, IoT-A will combine top-down reasoning about architectural principles and design guidelines with simulation and prototyping to explore the technical consequences of architectural design choices.IoT-A will lead to the following tangible outcomes: 1) architectural reference model for the interoperability of Internet-of-Things systems, outlining principles and guidelines for the technical design of its protocols, interfaces, and algorithms; 2) corresponding mechanism for its efficient integration into the service layer of the Future Internet; 3) novel resolution infrastructure, allowing scalable look up and discovery of Internet-of-Things resources, entities of the real world, and their associations; 4) novel platform components; 5) implementation of real-life use cases demonstrating the benefits of the developed architecture.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2009-2 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2010
In order to avoid an irreversible situation for Mediterranean forests in MPCs, a coordinated approach throughout the Mediterranean basin to improve forest management and policy-making based on reliable information and tools is required . AGORA will update and enlarged the scientific knowledge on the sustainable management of forests in selected MPCs through scientific cooperation and networking and targeted capacity building that uses efficiently the existing multidisciplinary knowledge and resources available in different European forest research institutions of the Mediterranean region. Coordinated forest research partnerships between centres of excellence (located in EU and an associated country) and MPCs entities with the highest research potential will be developed. This will be realised by improving scientific relationships, networking and exchanging of know-how and experience as well as by upgrading the research capacities of the MPCs forest research entities. In addition, the forest scientific strategies of the MPCs research entities will be adjusted based on upgraded capacities.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2014
Water and water-related services are major components of the human wellbeing, and as such are major factors of socio-economic development in Europe; yet freshwater systems are under threat by a variety of stressors (organic and inorganic pollution, geomorphological alterations, land cover change, water abstraction, invasive species and pathogens. Some stressors, such as water scarcity, can be a stressor on its own because of its structural character, and drive the effects of other stressors. The relevance of water scarcity as a stressor is more important in semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean basin, which are characterized by highly variable river flows and the occurrence of low flows. This has resulted in increases in frequency and magnitude of extreme flow events. Furthermore, in other European regions such as eastern Germany, western Poland and England, water demand exceeds water availability and water scarcity has become an important management issue. Water scarcity is most commonly associated with inappropriate water management, with resulting river flow reductions. It has become one of the most important drivers of change in freshwater ecosystems. Conjoint occurrence of a myriad of stressors (chemical, geomorphological, biological) under water scarcity will produce novel and unfamiliar synergies and most likely very pronounced effects. Within this context, GLOBAQUA has assembled a multidisciplinary team of leading scientists in the fields of hydrology, chemistry, ecology, ecotoxicology, economy, sociology, engineering and modeling in order to study the interaction of multiple stressors within the frame of strong pressure on water resources. The aim is to achieve a better understanding how current management practices and policies could be improved by identifying the main drawbacks and alternatives.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-2;HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-7 | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2008
The overall objective of this proposal is the development of one or more nanosystems loaded with Foscan and conjugated to cancer cell specific ligands for improving the efficacy and selectivity of photodynamic therapy (PDT) and optimise a fluorescence-based tumour imaging approach. At present, PDT with Foscan can be very effective but is not selective because Foscan accumulates in the tumour tissue as well as in healthy ones. A great improvement of the therapy can only come from the availability of a carrier able to seek cancer cells and deliver Foscan selectively to them. Three types of nanosystems, namely, liposomes, silica nanoparticles or poly(lactide-co-glycolide) copolymer nanoparticles, have been selected as potential nanocarriers for the selective delivery of Foscan. The selection was mainly based on the different chemical nature of these systems, which can affect biocompatibility. During the first part of the project each type of nanosystem will be optimised through in vitro and in vivo tests and leader nanocarriers will be selected and conjugated to cancer cells specific ligands for increasing the selective delivery of Foscan. The ligands we will use (folic acid, EGF, and antibodies) for targeting the nanosystems find their corresponding receptor over-expressed on the surface of cancer cells, therefore allowing a selective delivery of drugs in these cells. In vitro and in vivo investigations will be carried to demonstrate the validity of our approach and deliver, at project conclusion, a final product which can then be tested clinically. Because of the red fluorescence emitted by Foscan, once it is selectively accumulated in cancer cells fluorescence based technique can be used for tumour imaging and diagnosis. Therefore we expect to develop a Foscan loaded nanosystem/s which can be used for improving both therapeutic and tumour imaging approaches.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-2-06 | Award Amount: 4.06M | Year: 2009
1. The effect of climate change on forest biodiversity will be evaluated through better understanding of the ecological processes that shape species composition and are particularly sensitive to climate conditions. Forest species composition will correspond to the assemblage of tree species and both symbiotic and antagonistic species that can drive tree species composition. Climate conditions will include both average and extreme values of climatic variables (e.g. temperature, humidity and wind). 2. The relationships between forest biodiversity and functioning will be deciphered through better understanding of the respective role of tree species richness and composition and by focussing on the biotic interactions between species. As the fundamental ecological hypothesis behind the diversity productivity relationship is the optimal use of resources, we will analyse the energy flow (i.e. resources production and consumption) across different trophic levels (trees and symbiotic organisms as producers, herbivores and pathogens as consumers). 3. In a final step we will aggregate the information from the first two steps to predict the effect of climate change on forest productivity through changes in tree species composition. The prediction will be expressed as a risk of dysfunction, in particular the risk of forest productivity loss. Traditionally, the risk for a given system is a function of hazard probability and system vulnerability to this hazard. In this case, hazards will be changes in average and extreme climatic conditions. Vulnerability will be the vulnerability to climate change of forest species that both shape forest composition and are the main drivers of forest biomass productivity. In each step, we will focus on fundamental ecological processes at work so that to deliver more generic scientific outcomes that will allow easier generalization to diverse types of European forest or forest managers expectations than a case by case approach.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 285.60K | Year: 2014
As software becomes ever more ubiquitous in our lives, the need to ensure it runs without error becomes ever more important. Restarting a phone is a simple, if inconvenient task; restarting an aeroplane in mid-flight is not an option! Correct by construction programming offers a revolutionary approach to program verification where programs can contain not just computations as is normal, but also logical proofs of the correctness of these computations. The simple fact that such programs compile provides formal, i.e. mathematical, guarantees of the correctness of the program. In particular, there is no need for post-hoc testing of software etc. Fundamental to the implicit marriage of computation and logic inherent within correct by construction programming is the choice of the right logical systems and concepts upon which programming languages ought to be built. This reflects the symbiotic relationship between logic, programming, and the design of programming languagesany attempt to sever this connection will diminish each component. This proposal brings together internationally leading researchers from both inside Europe and outside Europe to work on exactly what logical structures are needed for correct by construction programming and how those logical structures can then by turned into concrete programming artefacts. In order to produce fundamental work which stands the test of time, we work not with specific programming languages but with mathematical abstractions of them. The recent development of dependently typed programming languages capable of supporting correct by construction programming makes this a very timely proposal, while the billions spent on software every year makes the potential impact of this proposal very significant.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-IA | Phase: ECSEL-02-2014 | Award Amount: 87.61M | Year: 2015
The key objective of PowerBase Enhanced substrates and GaN pilot lines enabling compact power applications is to ensure the availability of Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) for key markets and for addressing societal challenges, aiming at keeping Europe at the forefront of the technology development, bridging the gap between research and exploitation, creating economic and employment growth in the European Union. The project PowerBase aims to contribute to the industrial ambition of value creation in Europe and fully supports this vision by addressing key topics of ECSEL multi annual strategic plan 2014. By positioning PowerBase as innovation action a clear focus on exploitation of the expected result is primary goal. To expand the limits in current power semiconductor technologies the project focuses on setting up a qualified wide band gap GaN technology Pilot line, on expanding the limits of todays silicon based substrate materials for power semiconductors, improving manufacturing efficiency by innovative automation, setting up of a GaN compatible chip embedding pilot line and demonstrating innovation potential in leading compact power application domains. PowerBase is a project proposal with a vertical supply chain involved with contributions from partners in 7 European countries. This spans expertise from raw material research, process innovation, pilot line, assembly innovation and pilot line up to various application domains representing enhanced smart systems. The supporting partners consist of market leaders in their domain, having excellent technological background, which are fully committed to achieve the very challenging project goals. The project PowerBase aims to have significant impact on mart regions. High tech jobs in the area of semiconductor technologies and micro/nano electronics in general are expressed core competences of the regions Austria: Carinthia, Styria, Germany: Sachsen, Bavaria and many other countries/ regions involved.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-15-2015 | Award Amount: 52.36M | Year: 2016
In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of environmental monitoring and Earth observation have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers for supporting key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERA-PLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation to Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and the Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen the European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET will reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart cities and Resilient societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge in different domain of Earth Observation.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES | Award Amount: 208.80K | Year: 2010
The huge number and diversity of the users, the advertising products and services, the rapid growth of online resources have imposed new challenges to the conventional search. Queries are becoming even more broad and complex essentially due to context of the search process (e.g. the system, user, language, the word and action meaning, socio-psychological dimensions, interface and interaction methods). Over the past three decades, the research in IAR had led to various search engine models, such as vector space and probabilistic models. Unfortunately there has been no comprehensive investigation at the theoretical level for effectively integrating elements of context to create advanced search technology. The key issue preventing such research is a lack of a unified theoretical framework to seamlessly integrate the dimensions of context into the search engine models and into the evaluation protocols. This proposal is hinged on the belief that the dimensions of context can be naturally integrated into a generic and fundamental framework. To address the challenges of the dimensions of context in IAR this proposal shows a new vision of the IAR paradigm based on Quantum Theory (QT). This proposal starts from Van Rijsbergens seminal book. QT allows to measure relevance and context via projection, and probability of relevance via the trace, to logically reason through lattice of document structures and links, to change context via unitary operators, to handle correlations dependencies as density operators, to represent composite, entangled documents and features for which classical correlations cannot straightforwardly be used. The work independently done so far for some years by the partners suggest that more effective results can be obtained only if the expertises are exchanged through a network which would allow the partners to work together and exchange a wide range of expertises which is hardly possessed by a single team.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-2-01 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2009
Organic and low-input farming systems have been shown to benefit farmland biodiversity although a generic indicator system to assess these benefits at the European level is lacking. The BIOBIO project will therefore pursue the following objectives: 1. Conceptualization of criteria for a scientifically-based selection of biodiversity indicators for organic/low-input farming systems; 2. Assessment and validation of a set of candidate biodiversity indicators in representative case studies across Europe (and in ICPC countries); 3. Preparation of guidelines for the implementation of biodiversity indicators for organic/low-input farming systems for Europe and beyond. Existing indirect farm management indicators as well as direct indicators for genetic, species and habitat diversity will be assessed for their scientific soundness, practicality, geographic scope and usefulness for stakeholders. Candidate indicators will be tested in a standardised design in twelve case studies across Europe and later in three ICPC countries. Case study regions will include pannonian, alpine, boreal, Atlantic and Mediterranean grassland systems (both organic and/or low-input), rain fed organic farms under temperate and Mediterranean conditions, mixed organic farming, organic special crops and low-input tree/agroforestry systems. Plot, farm and regional scales (where applicable) will be addressed. The investigation will include new agricultural practices, e.g. soil conservation, crop rotation management, seed and crop mixtures and economic issues relating to the costs of indicator measurement and to benefits of biodiversity as perceived by different groups of the population. Stakeholders (farming communities, conservation NGOs, administrators) will be integrated at critical stages of the indicator selection process. A handbook with factsheets will be produced for validated indicators and a sampling design for biodiversity monitoring in organic and low-input farming systems across Europe.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.4.3 | Award Amount: 4.39M | Year: 2010
Measuring is a key to scientific progress. This is particularly true for research concerning complex systems, whether natural or human-built. Multilingual and multimedia information systems are increasingly complex: they need to satisfy diverse user needs and support challenging tasks. Their development calls for proper evaluation methodologies to ensure that they meet the expected user requirements and provide the desired effectiveness.\nLarge-scale worldwide experimental evaluations provide fundamental contributions to the advancement of state-of-the-art techniques through common evaluation procedures, regular and systematic evaluation cycles, comparison and benchmarking of the adopted approaches, and spreading of knowledge. In the process, vast amounts of experimental data are generated that beg for analysis tools to enable interpretation and thereby facilitate scientific and technological progress.\nPROMISE will provide a virtual laboratory for conducting participative research and experimentation to carry out, advance and bring automation into the evaluation and benchmarking of such complex information systems, by facilitating management and offering access, curation, preservation, re-use, analysis, visualization, and mining of the collected experimental data. PROMISE will: foster the adoption of regular experimental evaluation activities; bring automation into the experimental evaluation process; promote collaboration and re-use over the acquired knowledge-base; stimulate knowledge transfer and uptake.\nEurope is unique: a powerful economic community that politically and culturally strives for equality in its languages and an appreciation of diversity in its citizens. New Internet paradigms are continually extending the media and the task where multiple language based interaction must be supported. PROMISE will direct a world-wide research community to track these changes and deliver solutions so that Europe can achieve one of its most cherished goals.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.8.2 | Award Amount: 4.36M | Year: 2013
CultAR will provide a mobile platform that 1) actively increases users awareness of their cultural surroundings with advanced, adaptable and personalized interfaces, 2) increase users social engagement with culture via a leap in social media technologies and contextual inference methods. To reach these goals, CultAR will advance the State of the Art in mobile 3D, augmented reality and tactile technologies, combining them into a completely new mobile experience interface. The CultAR platform achieves personalised and engaging digital cultural experiences through enhanced representation, hybrid space mediation, social engagement and awareness.\nAdaptability and context awareness will be enhanced through dynamic 3D models of urban environments with an ability to control all aspects of the representation, including dynamic content such as the presence of other users (real and virtual) and user created Culture Ghosts, applying various emphasis methods that draw the attention of the user to potentially interesting cultural content.\nA user-centric approach is applied throughout the development. During the first phase, scenarios are designed together with cultural stakeholders. Application design is iterative, where end user input is directly taken into the development loop. Cultural stakeholders will provide content and expert users for CultAR.\nAdvances in technology are verified and analyzed not just by technical benchmarking, but with both specialist analysis and on-location field experiments in Padua, Italy and Aalborg, Denmark. Methodology in measuring user experiences is developed with thorough monitoring using eye trackers, physiological sensors, gesture tracking and gesture recognition in pursue of inferring emotional states quantitatively.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2014
Project Slndil will demonstrate a cost-effective and ethically-correct way in which social media information can be used by an emergency management system. The social media landscape consists of a range of digitized documents in a variety of formats, updated by a diverse and geographically distributed people and organisations. During an emergency, authorities use websites and the population, empowered by social media systems, can broadcast for help or to inform others of their well-being. The burden of search and interpretation in the social media space, however, is largely on the end-users that is the authorities and the citizens. Information obtained during emergencies may contain personal details and the details may or not be correct there are no protocols for dealing with the ethical and factual provenance of such data. Social media users deploy different modalities of communications, including language, visual icons, and associated meta data. Human beings integrate the information in different modality seamlessly to infer meaning and to make decisions. There are no systems that (a) could aggregate the information in different modalities, and (b) deal with multi-lingual communications during an emergency. Project Slndil is collaboration of emergency operatives, academics, ethics- and security-oriented NGO and four SMEs. Their common purpose is to make maximum ethical use of the information available in the social media to enhance the performance of emergency management systems. The Project will undertake research in text and image analysis, in ethical and factual provenance of data, together with SMes specialising in selling systems for social media monitoring and for emergency monitoring. There are experts in human multi-lingual human communication working in the team. This is an Irish-led, Italian, German and British collaboration which will deliver next generation of emergency management systems.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2015
BIOPOL is an interdisciplinary European training network at the interface of cell biology, physics and engineering. BIOPOL aims specifically at the understanding of fundamental mechanochemical principles guiding cellular behaviour and function and their relevance to human disease. A new supra-disciplinary research field is emerging bringing together the fields of molecular cell biology, physics and engineering aiming at an in depth understanding of fundamental cellular mechanochemical principles. BIOPOL combines exactly this required expertise in one joint training program for young researchers. BIOPOL has assembled a unique multidisciplinary consortium bringing together top scientists from the fields of molecular/developmental cell biology, membrane physics, engineering as well as specialists from the private sector. The scientific objectives focus on understanding of fundamental mechanisms of cellular mechanosensing in health and disease, the role of external forces in cell division and mechanochemical regulation of cell polarity including tissue formation. Finally, part of BIOPOLs research program is the further development of cutting edge technologies like advanced atomic force microscopy, novel photonic tools like optical stretcher or innovative organ on a chip technology, exploiting physical cellular properties. BIOPOLs collaborative cutting edge research program is integral part of its training program provided to early stage researcher and is further translated into seven state of the art experimental training stations representing the consortiums expertise. In addition, BIOPOL has developed a 3 years modular curriculum including workshops, summerschools, Business plan competitions and conferences with a specific agenda of transferable skill training elements highly relevant for scientific communication, translational research and in particular entrepreneurship.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISSI-5-2015 | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2016
The RRI-Practice project will bring together a unique group of international experts in RRI to understand the barriers and drivers to the successful implementation of RRI both in European and global contexts; to promote reflection on organisational structures and cultures of research conducting and research funding organisations; and to identify and support best practices to facilitate the uptake of RRI in organisations and research programmes. The project will review RRI related work in 22 research conducting and research funding organisations and will develop RRI Outlooks outlining RRI objectives, targets and indicators for each organisation. It will involve comparative analysis of the five EC keys of RRI locating these within broader, evolving discourses on RRI. Within each identified RRI dimension the project will analyse how the topic has developed in particular social and institutional contexts, how the RRI concept and configuration meshes, overlaps and challenges existing organisational practices and cultures, leading to an analysis of the barriers and drivers associated with operationalising and implementing RRI. 12 national case studies will allow for in depth studies of, and dialogue with, the included organisations, and will form the basis for systematic analysis and comparison of drivers, barriers and best practices on each dimension of RRI. The project design also allows analysis of such drivers, barriers and best practices related to national and organisational characteristics, safeguarding the need to take into account diversity and pluralism in regional RRI programs. These analyses will ultimately end up in recommendations to the EC about effective, efficient and targeted strategies for increasing RRI uptake in different kinds of organisations and national cultures, in Europe and in selected major S&T intensive economies worldwide. The project will also develop user-friendly guidance aimed directly at research and funding organisations themselves.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-30-2015 | Award Amount: 6.87M | Year: 2016
TagItSmart sets out to redefine the way we think of everyday mass-market objects not normally considered as part of an IoT ecosystem. These new smarter objects will dynamically change their status in response to a variety of factors and be seamlessly tracked during their lifecycle. This will change the way users-to-things interactions are viewed. Combining the power of functional inks with the pervasiveness of digital (e.g. QR-codes) and electronic (e.g. NFC tags) markers, zillions of objects will embed cheap sensing capabilities thus being able to capture new contextual information. Beside this, the ubiquitous presence of smartphones with their cameras and NFC readers will create the perfect bridge between everyday users and their objects. This will create a completely new flow of crowdsourced information, which extracted from the objects and enriched with user data, can be exploited by new services. TagItSmart will create an open, interoperable cloud-based platform with all the tools and enabling technologies, which will address the challenges related to the lifecycle management of new innovative services capitalizing on objects sensorization. TagItSmart will empower all steps involved from creating smart markers, Functional Codes (FCs), to supporting secure and reliable acquisition and consumption of such contextual data, while preserving user privacy, to the provision of generic functionalities and a service composition platform which will allow even inexperienced users to create and deploy their FCs based services while maintaining system efficiency. To boost the platform adoption, a set of industrial use cases will be used as a baseline for development, while additional stakeholders will be engaged through a co-creation Open Call approach. A carefully planned engagement activity will ensure the establishment and sustainable expansion of the TagItSmart ecosystem fostering long term innovation and exploitation capabilities well beyond the project duration.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-01;SST-2007-4.1-02 | Award Amount: 5.28M | Year: 2009
Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) users are greatly over-involved in serious and fatal crashes. They have between 5 and 25 times the risk of having a fatal crash compared to car drivers, depending on the country. The number of PTWs on European roads has more than doubled over the last two decades. The recent MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study) study of PTW crashes in Europe found that behavioural and ergonomic issues were major contributing factors to PTW crashes: the primary accident cause for PTW crashes was the failure of drivers to perceive two-wheelers; and human error was a major contributing factor to most crashes, for both PTW and car drivers. The majority of PTW crashes involved a collision with a car. Many large-scale research programs have been undertaken to understand the behavioural and ergonomic factors that contribute to crashes involving 4-wheeled vehicles. These have been effective in informing countermeasure development, which has led to significant reductions in crashes. To our knowledge, no comparable human factors and behavioural research programs have been initiated in the PTW domain, in Europe or elsewhere. The high rate of motorcycle-related deaths and injuries calls for new and refined countermeasures, deriving from solid behavioural and ergonomics research. In this proposal we outline an innovative program of research, involving partners from Europe, Israel and Australia, that directly targets those behavioural and ergonomic factors cited in the MAIDS study as contributing to PTW crashes. This includes research on crash causes and human error, the worlds first naturalistic riding study involving instrumented PTWs, research on motorcycle rider risk awareness and perception, the development of new research tools to support the research program, in-depth research on the factors that underlie driver failures to see PTWs and their riders, and the development of recommendations for practical countermeasures for enhancing PTW rider safety.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF-ICT-2011.7.1 | Award Amount: 9.30M | Year: 2012
High Pressure Die Casting (HPDC) of light alloys and Plastic Injection Molding (PIM) are two of the most representative large-scale production-line in manufacturing field, which are strategic for the EU-industry largely dominated by SMEs. Due to the high number of process variables involved and to the non-sinchronisation of the process control units, HPDC and PIM are most defect-generating and energy-consumption processes in EU industry. In both, sustainability issue imposes that machines/systems are able to efficiently and ecologically support the production with higher quality, faster delivery times, and shorter times between successive generations of products. The MUSIC is strongly aimed at leading EU-HPDC/PIM factories to cost-based competitive advantage through the necessary transition to a demand-driven industry with lower waste generation, efficiency, robustness and minimum energy consumption. The development and integration of a completely new ICT tool, based on innovative Control and Cognitive system linked to real time monitoring, that allow an active control of quality, avoiding the presence of defects or over-cost by directly acting on the process-machine variables optimization or equipment boundary conditions. The Intelligent Manufacturing approach will work at machine-mold project level to optimise/adapt the production of the specific product and can be extended at factory level to select/plan the appropriated production line. The sensors calibration and quality control of measurements will be the pre-requisite of Intelligent Sensor Network to monitor the real-time production and specific focus will be also devoted to Standardization issues. The challenge of MUSIC is to transform a production-rate-dominated manufacturing field into a quality/efficiency-driven and integration-oriented one to exploit the enormous (and still underestimated) potential of HPDC/PIM through collaborative research and technological development, along the value chain.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.7 | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2008
Revolutionary developments in microelectronics over the past decades have led to the production of cheap yet powerful devices that communicate with one another, sense and act on their environment and are deployed in large numbers to deliver an abundance of data. Such devices and the networks they form (wireless sensor networks) bring together communication, computation, sensing and control and have enabled monitoring and automation at an unprecedented scale. Specially challenging in this context are networked control systems, where feedback control loops are closed over networked. To take full advantage of this technology novel design methods are necessary to transcend the traditional borders between disciplines, to apply the principles of feedback to complex, interconnected systems. The objective of the FEEDNETBACK project is to generate precisely such a co-design framework, to integrate architectural constraints and performance trade-offs from control, communication, computation, complexity and energy management. This will allow the development of more efficient, robust and affordable networked control technologies that scale and adapt with changing application demands. By focusing on wirelessly connected networks, we will study networked control from a fundamental point of view. We will extend the current scientific state-of-the-art in networked control and will develop a software tool set to support our co-design framework. To demonstrate and evaluate this framework, we will apply it to two industrial case studies: a smart camera network for surveillance and motion capture, and an underwater inspection system that comprises autonomous surface and underwater vehicles In addition to the impact in these two application areas, the new technologies in FEEDNETBACK will be disseminated through an ambitious program led by an innovation accelerator company, with the objective of linking the projects research advances to market opportunities.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2009
A coherent classification and species checklist of the worlds plants, animals, fungi and microbes is fundamental for accessing information about biodiversity. The Catalogue of Life provides the world with a unique service: a dynamically updated global index of validated scientific names, synonyms and common names integrated within a single taxonomic hierarchy.The Catalogue of Life was initiated as a European Scientific Infrastructure under FP5 and has a distributed knowledge architecture. Its federated e-compendium of the worlds organisms grows rapidly (now covering well over one million species), and has established a formidable user base, including major global biodiversity portals as well as national biodiversity resources and individual users worldwide.Joint Research Activities in this 4D4Life Project will establish the Catalogue of Life as a state of the art e-science facility based on an enhanced service-based distributed architecture. This will make it available for integration into analytical and synthetic distributed networks such as those developing in conservation, climate change, invasive species, molecular biodiversity and regulatory domains. User-driven enhancements in the presentation of distribution data and bio-data will be made.In its Networking Activities 4D4Life will strengthen the development of Global Species Databases that provide the core of the service, and extend the geographical reach of the programme beyond Europe by realizing a Multi-Hub Network integrating data from China, New Zealand, Australia, N. America and Brazil.Service Activities, the largest part of 4D4Life, will create new electronic taxonomy services, including synonymy server, taxon name-change, and download services, plus new educational and popular services, for instance for hand-held devices.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS-2010-18.104.22.168 | Award Amount: 1.48M | Year: 2010
EPOCH aims both to broaden and deepen knowledge of the role of ethics in the governance of science and technology, focusing on ethical aspects of new and emerging bio-, neuro- and nanotechnologies and specifically related to the topic of human enhancement (i.e. any modification of the human body aimed at improving performance and realized by scientific-technological means). On the basis of comparative analyses of current governance and normative frameworks at European and national level (including non-EU countries), a comprehensive approach to the governance of contentious developments in science, technology and society will be outlined. It will include guidance and strategic options for governance activities in Europe, but also specific proposals regarding public policies on selected enhancement technologies, focusing on physical enhancement in sport. The research will cover (i) academic, policy and public discourses; (ii) the institutional landscape of ethical policy advice; (iii) the multi-disciplinary expertise involved in it; (iv) procedures and mechanisms for a participatory, socially inclusive, and reflexive governance of science and technology; and (v) specific ethical and governance challenges raised by the use of new technologies for human enhancement. EPOCH aims to generate new insights into the role of ethical expertise in European policy making on science and technology, coherent with national and other European projects. The comprehensive governance approach adopted will facilitate the integration of emerging technologies in an open, effective and democratic knowledge-based society. It will have a strong and critical participatory element, embedded in a broader multidisciplinary and reflexive governance framework. It will also include suggestions on how to foster, in the European Union and beyond, cross-national reflection and well-informed discussions on ethically contentious scientific and technological developments.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-4-01 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2010
Detection methods are the first tools used by national plant protection organisations (NPPO) and inspection services in order to find incursions of quarantine plant pathogens or pests (Q-pests) across a border, a crucial step to implement Council Directive 2000/29/EC. This is often done visually in the first instance, with support from a laboratory for confirmatory testing and subsequent monitoring. Reliance on laboratory testing causes significant delays when action is only taken on the return of results from the laboratory to which the samples were sent. Thus, there is a real need for rapid, simple and robust detection methods that can be deployed by NPPOs in the field with inspection services to enable early detection of Q-pests. The Q-detect consortium aims to develop detection methods based on biochemical (detecting volatile organic compounds [VOC] and nucleic acid), acoustic (including resonance), remote imaging (incorporating spectral and automated data analysis) and pest trapping (insect pests and pathogen vectors) techniques. The careful selection of traded products (primarily potato and forestry/trees) ensures the methods will be developed on high priority targets for the EU such as the pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), potato brown rot (Ralstonia solanacearum) and potato ring rot (Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. Sepedonicus), Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) and a range of whitefly transmitted viruses. The diversity of targets enables the Q-detect consortium to work on suites of complementary techniques; this is of particular importance since the diverse range of targets listed in Directive 2000/29/EC means no single detection method will be suitable for all Q-pests. Critically, NPPOs and third country institutes are partners, which will enable testing, and validation of methods at real outbreak sites where these are absent in the EU. SME partners ensure access to technology and routes for exploitation after the project ends.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2017
Quantum Information Access and Retrieval Theory We aim to establish an European Training Network (ETN) on QUantum information Access and Retrieval Theory (QUARTZ). Towards a new approach to Information Access and Retrieval (IAR) addressing the challenges of the dynamic and multimodal nature of the data and user interaction context, QUARTZ aims to educate its Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to adopt a novel theoretically and empirically motivated approach to IAR based on the quantum mechanical framework that gives up the notions of unimodal features and classical ranking models disconnected from context. Each ESR will be aware that the current state of the art of IAR is not sufficient to address the challenges of a dynamic, adaptive and context-aware user-machine interaction and to make a major breakthrough in the overall effectiveness of retrieval systems, and that a genuine theoretical breakthrough is on the contrary necessary. We believe that this breakthrough can be provided by quantum theory which can integrate abstract vector spaces, probability spaces and logic in a single theoretical framework which extend and generalize the classical vector, probability and logic spaces utilised in IAR. QUARTZ will consist of training activities and ESR research projects which investigate theoretical issues and evaluate methods and prototypes for adaptive IAR systems managing large data collections and meeting the end users information needs in a dynamic context.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2016
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a fastgrowing sector with the ability to evoke a revolution in manufacturing due to its almost unlimited design freedom and its capability to produce personalised parts locally and with efficient material use. AM companies however still face technological challenges such as limited precision due to shrinkage and buildin stresses and limited process stability and robustness. Moreover often postprocessing is needed due to the high roughness and remaining porosity. In addition qualified, trained personnel is hard to find. This ITN project will address both the technological and people challenges. To quality assure the parts produced, PAM will, through a close collaboration between industry and academia, address each of the various process stages of AM with a view to implementing good precision engineering practice. To ensure the availability of trained personnel, ESRs will, next to their individual research and complementary skills training, be immersed in the whole AM production chain through handson workshops where they will design, model, fabricate, measure and assess a specific product. The expected impact of PAM thus is: 1. The availability of intersectoral and interdisciplinary trained professionals in an industrial field thats very important for the future of Europe, both enhancing the ESR future career perspectives and advancing European industry. 2. The availability of high precision AM processes through improved layout rules with better use of AM possibilities, better modelling tools for firsttime right processing, possibility for insitu quality control ensuring process stability and, if still needed, optimised postprocessing routes 3. As a result of 1: an increased market acceptance and penetration of AM. 4. Through the early involvement of European industry: a growing importance of the European industrial players in this fastgrowing field. This will help Europe reach its target of 20% manufacturing share of GDP.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2016
Empirically informing a European theory of justice is a complex and challenging endeavour, however the emergence of current social crisis, and the resulting inequalities and unfairness, bring about the need to revise the premises that facilitate translation of the theory into concrete guidance to effective social policies and coherent programs and practices. To respond to this challenge, a trans-disciplinary Consortium has been organized to provide a comprehensive series of empirical data, in different ecological levels, in order to understand differences in perceptions of inequality. Through a case study on an extreme expression of inequality and unfairness - LONG-TERM HOMELESSNESS organized in a multi-method and convergent design, HOME_EU is focused on understanding: a) How much inequality do EU Citizens accept regarding Homelessness; b) How the people with a lived-experience of Homelessness (both present and past) perceive the opportunities, choices and capability gains with the services and the existing social policies; c) What strategies consider the service providers to be more effective in reversing Homelessness; d) How social policies and policy key stakeholders contribute to effectively reverse Homelessness; and e) Develop a generalizable indicator (correlating the different ecological levels of analysis) based on the data gathered by each partner country on the key elements of policy and program efficacy. We believe that with this journey into an extreme situation, we are able to generate translational knowledge about the ecology of long-term Homelessness and contribute towards the advancement of an empirically based EU theory & practice of justice as fairness.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2017
MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stag ebiotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.2 | Award Amount: 5.57M | Year: 2011
Highly efficient power electronics is needed for low volume and low weight future power conversion systems. The proposed project aims for the exploitation of novel gallium nitride (GaN) transistors for advanced switched power supplies. High voltage normally-off GaN power devices on Si substrates in vertical device architecture will be developed and its technology transferred to an European industrial environment. The devices are planned to reliably operate at elevated junction temperatures up to 225C. The project covers the full value added chain from substrate technology and epitaxy to complete power electronic system prototypes. It brings together experienced partners in automotive technology, power electronic system and circuit design, power semiconductor technology, high temperature packaging technologies, GaN power device technology including GaN on Si epitaxy as well as sophisticated device characterization and reliability evaluation techniques. Therefore very good prospects for a successful realization of the project targets and for a competitive implementation of the new devices in an industrial environment are seen.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.1.5.2 | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2010
With regard to the objectives specified in ENV-2009.1.1.5.2, modeling capabilities must be improved and appropriate tools developed to advance the capability to assess climate effects on water resources and uses. The project consortium will employ a combination of novel field monitoring concepts, remote sensing techniques, integrated hydrologic (and biophysical) modeling and socioeconomic factor analyses to reduce existing uncertainties in climate change impact analysis and to create an integrated quantitative risk and vulnerability assessment tool. Together, these will provide the necessary information to design appropriate adaptive water resources management instruments and select suitable agricultural practices under climate change conditions. The integrated risk and vulnerability analysis tool will also enable assessment of risks for conflict-inducing actions, e.g. migration. The improved models, new assessment tools, and their results will be evaluated against current methodologies. Improvements will be communicated to stakeholders and decision makers in a transparent, easy-to-understand form, enabling them to utilize the new findings in regional water resource and agricultural management initiatives as well as in the design of mechanisms to reduce potential for conflict (linkage to SSH-2009.4.2.1).
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-23-2015 | Award Amount: 4.98M | Year: 2016
To date, three way catalytic converters (TWCs) have been established as the most effective engine exhaust after-treatment system. However, TWCs not only fail to address the issue of particulate matter (PM) emissions but are also the main industrial consumer of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) mainly Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) and Rare Earth elements (REEs), with the automotive industry accounting for 65%-80% of total EU PGMs demand. The enforcement of new limits on PM emissions (EURO 6c/7) will require higher TWC performance, hence leading to further increase the CRMs content in autocatalysts. Addressing the necessity of CRMs reduction in catalysis, PARTIAL-PGMs proposes an integrated approach for the rational design of innovative nanostructured materials of low/zero PGMs/REEs content for a hybrid TWC/Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) for automotive emissions after-treatment with continuous particulates combustion also focusing on identifying and fine-tuning the parameters involved in their preparation, characterization and performance evaluation under realistic conditions. PARTIAL-PGMs approach is broad, covering multiscale modeling, synthesis and nanomaterials characterization, performance evaluation under realistic conditions as well as recyclability, health impact analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. The rational synthesis of nanomaterials to be used in these hybrid systems will allow for a reduction of more than 35% in PGMs and 20% in REEs content, either by increasing performance or by their replacement with transition metals. The compact nature of the new hybrid system not only will allow its accommodation in smaller cars but will also reduce cold start emissions and light-off times with performance aiming to anticipate both future emission control regulations and new advances in engines technology. Such R&D progress in autocatalysts is expected to pave the way to the widespread use of such low CRMs content materials in other catalytic applications.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.67M | Year: 2009
Movement is vital to all living organisms, from the transport of single molecules in cells to the movement of entire organisms. Sarcomeres are the smallest cellular unit behind the operation of skeletal and heart muscles. Furthermore, dysfunctional sarcomeres are responsible for a long list of diseases that reduce the quality of life and burden the health care sector throughout the world. Understanding the function of sarcomere Z-disk the focus of MUZIC - requires knowledge ranging from cellular dynamics to structural details of individual molecules and complexes. Such knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms, in healthy and diseased muscle cells, should lead to novel treatments of muscle diseases. Generating such knowledge - at the interface between cellular and structural biology - requires research workers with a much broader training than is currently available. To provide this, a unique blend of cellular and structural biology laboratories with a focus on muscle research, united in the MUZIC network, will aim to: Bridge the gap between cellular and structural biology by training young researchers as Cellular Structural Biologists. A training program will be created that meshes these disciplines and provides young researchers with a unique set of skills in methods, management and communication. Mentoring will play a crucial role in the training process Critically advance knowledge of the molecular components and the cellular mechanisms involved in the function, dynamics and regulation of the muscle Z-disk. This will be achieved by studying the Z-disk at different levels of complexity, from atomic structure to physiological function, by combining molecular and cell biology approaches, together with investigation of the molecular structures Through training a new type of scientist with a unique set of skills, and through studies on muscles in both health and disease, this network shall have a profound impact on and future research in this area.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.11.2 | Award Amount: 4.76M | Year: 2014
Memory institutions are facing increasing transfers of electronic documents and other media content for long term preservation. Preservation models are often inspired by ISO 14721:2003, known as the OAIS model, where transfers and preservation are built on information packages containing both data and metadata. \n\nData are normally stored in specific file formats for documents, images, sound, video etc. that are produced by software from different vendors. Even if the transferred files are in standard formats, the implementation of standards cannot be guaranteed. The software implementing standards for the production of the electronic files is not in control neither by the institutions that produces them nor by the memory institutions. Conformance tests of transfers are done, but are not totally reliable. This poses problems in long-term preservation. Data objects meant for preservation, passing through an uncontrolled generative process, can jeopardise the whole preservation exercise.\n\nThe overall intention of PREFORMA project is to research critical factors in the quality of standard implementation in order to establish a long-term sustainable ecosystem around developed tools with a variety of stakeholder groups. The tools should be innovative and provide a reference implementation of the most common file format standards for the assessment of the collections to be archived and for the correction of the collections.\n\nPREFORMA will target a wide digital preservation community, by providing specifications and feedback to developers, standard bodies and memory institutions.\n\nThe pre-commercial-procurement (PCP), following the rules for tenders in public sector, will match the memory institutions professional knowledge and the suppliers skills in development and promotion of products and create a win-win situation. Joint procurement will enable PREFORMA to build a sustainable network of common interest, where the public procurers can remain in contact and cooperate beyond the EC funding period.\n\nResults will be broadly disseminated during the projects life time and summed up at a final conference.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-18-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016
PULSE (Participatory Urban Living for Sustainable Environments) will leverage diverse data sources and big data analytics to transform public health from a reactive to a predictive system, and from a system focused on surveillance to an inclusive and collaborative system supporting health equity. Working within five global cities, PULSE will harvest open city data, and data from health systems, urban and remote sensors, personal devices and social media to enable evidence-driven and timely management of public health events and processes. The clinical focus of the project will be respiratory diseases (asthma) and metabolic diseases (Type 2 Diabetes) in adult populations. The project will develop risk stratification models based on modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors in each urban location, taking account of biological, behavioural, social and environmental risk factors. Following the recommendations of WHO Europe (2015), the project will also focus on the development of metrics, and data-driven approaches, to community resilience and well-being in cities. Deploying a Health in All Policies (HiAP) perspective, and a whole-of-city model, the project will integrate and analyze data from the health, environment, planning and transport sectors in each city. PULSE will pioneer the development and testing of dynamic spatio-temporal health impact assessments using geolocated population-based data. PULSE will also develop simulation models of potential policy scenarios to allow decision-makers, citizens and businesses to ascertain the impact of proposed policies. The project will culminate in the establishment of Public Health Observatories in each urban location. These observatories will serve as linked hubs that utilize knowledge-driven processes and big data to shape intersectoral public policy and service provision, support citizen health, and encourage entrepreneurship in the fields of data science and mobile health.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-10b-2015 | Award Amount: 5.41M | Year: 2016
The overarching goal of VIVALDI is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry by improving the understanding of bivalve diseases and by developing innovative solutions and tools for the prevention, control and mitigation of the major pathogens affecting the main European farmed shellfish species: Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), mussels (Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis), European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), clams (Venerupis philipinarum) and scallops (Pecten maximus ). The project addresses the most harmful pathogens affecting either one or more of these shellfish species: the virus OsHV-1, Vibrio species including V. aestuarianus, V. splendidus, V. harveyi and V. tapetis, as well as the parasite Bonamia ostreae. The project is committed to provide practical solutions based on the most advanced knowledge. VIVALDI will dissect the disease mechanisms associated with pathogen virulence and pathogenesis and host immune responses, develop in vivo and in vitro models, and apply omic approaches that will help the development of diagnostic tools and drugs against pathogen targets, and breeding programmes in a collaborative effort with industrial partners. The proposal will include a global shellfish health approach, recognising that cultured bivalves are often exposed to several pathogens simultaneously, and that disease outbreaks can be due to the combined effect of two or more pathogens. The proposal will also investigate advantages and risks of the used of disease-resistant selected animals in order to improve consumer confidence and safety. VIVALDI will be both multi- and trans-disciplinary. In order to cover both basic and applied levels from molecules to farm, the proposal will integrate partners with a broad range of complementary expertises in pathology and animal health, epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, genomics and food safety.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2017
The joint research in this programme will study important aspectsboth theoretical as well as appliedof computing with infinite objects. A central aim is laying the grounds for the generation of efficient and verified software in engineering applications. A prime example for infinite data is provided by the real numbers, most commonly conceived as infinite sequences of digits. While most applications in science and engineering substitute the reals with floating point numbers of fixed finite precision and thus have to deal with truncation and rounding errors, the approach in this project is different: exact real numbers are taken as first-class citizens and while any computation can only exploit a finite portion of its input in finite time, increased precision is always available by continuing the computation process. This project aims to bring together the expertise of specialists in mathematics, logic, and computer science to push the frontiers of our theoretical and practical understanding of computing with infinite objects. Three overarching motivations drive the proposed collaboration: Representability. Cardinality considerations tell us that it is not possible to represent arbitrary mathematical objects in a way that is accessible to computation. We will enlist expertise in topology, logic, and set theory, to address the question of which objects are representable and how they can be represented most efficiently. Constructivity. Working in a constructive mathematical universe can greatly enhance our understanding of the link between computation and mathematical structure. Not only informs us which are the objects of relevance, it also allows us to devise always correct algorithms from proofs. Efficient implementation. We also aim to make progress on concrete implementations. Theoretical insights from elsewhere will be tested in actual computer systems; obstacles encountered in the latter will inform the direction of mathematical investigation.
University of Padua and Stellenbosch University | Date: 2010-04-12
The invention relates to the combination of the TLG1 glucoamylase from Thermomyces lanuginoses with: (i) the SFA1 alpha-amylase from Saccharomycopsis fibuligera; and/or (ii) the LKA alpha-amylase. The enzyme combinations may be expressed in a host cell (e.g. in Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or provided as an enzyme composition. Methods for making the enzyme combinations of the invention are provided. The invention also relates to a yeast strain which exhibits amylolytic activity and promising fermentative abilities. Processes for producing a fermentation product (in particular alcohol) from starch-containing material are described.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-3.;AAT.2010.4.1-4. | Award Amount: 6.34M | Year: 2010
Affordable transport for the citizen relies on innovative solutions and technologies that will result in lower costs and lead-time of the aircraft and its systems. In this area, the packaging of on-board computers is an important contributor. The Packaging of futuRe Integrated ModulAr Electronics (PRIMAE) objective is to develop a new flexible, robust and open aeronautical packaging for the next generation of electronics and particularly to Integrated Modular Avionics. This new concept after standardization will be able to replace the 35 year old ARINC 600 standard. PRIMAE technical objectives are: - Reduce electronics packaging in terms of volume (50%) and weight (30%) and offer flexibility and growth capability - Reduce costs (20%) using market standard components - Enhance reliability (50%) through thermal and vibratory breakthrough - Mitigate EMC protection penalties in composite fuselage environment - Ensure fast production ramp up and support rapid final assembly on aircraft - Improve availability and reduce maintenance cost. In these domains significant technological studies, beyond the state of the art (cooling, lightweight composite materials, electromagnetic interferences, power supply, connectivity), will be carried out in respect to airworthiness regulations. To achieve the PRIMAE objectives, 3 steps are required: - Definition phase of air framers and suppliers requirement - Research and evaluation of advanced packaging technologies - Specification and development of representative mock-up to integrate different technologies. The concept once harmonized among the main European players participating in this project, will be proposed as a standard for the future generation of large and regional aircraft, and helicopters. The new packaging concept will strengthen competitiveness of the market and will support the effort of industrial avionics suppliers to improve costs and environmental impacts.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-7 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2009
In contrast to the reductionist approach of Western medicine that is based on modern anatomy, cell and molecular biology, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses a unique theory system and an individualised and holistic approach to describe health and disease, based on the philosophy of Yin-Yang balance and an emphasis on harmony of functions. These two medicine systems disagree with each other in many situations as both of them may observe health from their limited perspective. GP-TCM aims to inform best practice and harmonise research of the safety and efficacy of TCM, especially Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) and acupuncture, in EU Member States using a functional genomics approach through exchange of opinions, experience and expertise among scientists in EU Member States and China. In 10 proposed work packages, we will take actions to review the current status, identify problems and solutions in the quality control, extraction and analysis of CHM. While these fundamental issues are addressed, discussion forums emphasising the use of functional genomics methodology in research of the safety, efficacy and mechanisms of CHM and acupuncture will be the core of this Coordination project. It will include the application of the technique in cell-based models, animal models and in clinical studies. Guidelines about good practice and agreed protocols in related research areas will be published to promote future TCM research in all the EU member states; online tools and research resources will be made available to EU member states; EU member states and additional China partners will be invited to join this network; The GP-TCM Research Association will be established during this project and kept running autonomously to continue the guidance and coordination of EU-China collaboration in TCM research.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-5 | Award Amount: 8.12M | Year: 2011
Among patients with adrenal masses Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and malignant pheochromocytomas (MPH) are found with a low incidence but very unfavorable prognosis. Due to this poor clinical outcome, concomitant hormone dysregulation and limited treatment options the two cancer entities severely impact on affected patients. However, the rarity of the tumors also impedes clinical studies which are affected by fragmentation and low cohort sizes. The European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENS@T) has recently implemented a collection of adrenal tumor related databases and defined an associated network of Biological Resource Centers devoted to research on adrenal tumors. The concurrence of recent achievements of this evolving network, the progress in the understanding of molecular mechanisms and increasing availability of specific diagnostic and therapeutic tools for adrenal cancers provides the unique opportunity to achieve unmatched progress in the implementation of both translation and clinical research dedicated to ACC and MPH. Specifically, the newly formed ENS@T-CANCER consortium will address the following topics: 1. Structuring European clinical and translational research through implementation of a virtual research environment, 2. Improving clinical outcome of patients with adrenal cancer by conducting interventional trials carried out by European centers of excellence, 3. Improvement of differential diagnosis and risk stratification of adrenal cancer, 4. Identification and validation of tools for follow-up of patients with adrenal cancer, 5. Identification of novel biomarkers for treatment response. The ultimate aim of the ENS@T-CANCER Consortium is to develop research in the field of adrenal cancers to improve diagnosis and treatment abilities. The Network will allow recruiting sufficient patients in all relevant European centers, to harmonize diagnosis criteria and to use the various technological approaches of a number of laboratories.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-5 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2008
PENTA-LABNET(PL) is a coordination action aimed at improving the range of products and clinical use of antiretrovirals(ARVs) in HIV-infected children in resource-rich and resource-limited countries. This will be achieved through building capacity of laboratories to undertake co-ordinated studies on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics of new formulations and dosing and studies of viral and immune responses to novel regimens and strategies for using ARVs in children. PL forms a logical, necessary and cost-effective addition to the clinical-trial-focused research activities of the longstanding PENTA network, building on its existing operational infrastructures and expertise. To respond to emerging needs identified by EU as priority areas, the aim of PL is the development of a drug centred research platform, which will provide a complimentary range of activities focussed on supporting the rational selection of optimal dosage and delivery forms of ARVs, and providing the lab basis for evaluating new ARVs strategies in children. The definition, organisation and management of integrated pharmacological and viro/immunological studies to better characterise the concentration-exposure-effect relationship will be a central activity of PL. In support of these studies, standardised data collection systems will be established enabling linkage of clinical and laboratory data. In addition a central biobank will be set up to provide rapid identification of samples to be used for research. The laboratory and paediatric expertise generated in PL will support rapid assessment of new and existing individual and combined ARVs. The WHO will be a key partner of PL to define research priorities in ARV drug development and (also through PENTAs extensive international links) to rapidly disseminate results to a range of stakeholders (e.g. EMEA and industries) and support the rapid translation of research findings into guidelines and practice for children in all settings
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.22M | Year: 2011
ENCCA aims to establish a durable, European Virtual Institute clinical and translational research in childhood and adolescent cancers that will define and implement an integrated research strategy and will facilitate the necessary investigator-driven clinical trials to introduce the new generation of biologically targeted drugs into standard of care for children and adolescents with cancer. This will lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapies that will maximise the quality of life of the increasing number of survivors of cancer at a young age in Europe and allow them to assume their proper place in society. This biologically-driven research agenda will improve training of the clinical investigators and translational scientists of the future to spread excellence, increase capacity to participate in research and monitor outcomes across Europe. Patients and their families will be full partners and will be better informed about the need for and processes of clinical research. They will be in a better situation to care from their long term health risks for children. Drug development will be accelerated in partnership with industry through improved access to young patients with cancer, to academic expertise in care, clinical and biological research. All of this will be achieved with respect for the highest ethical and patient safety standards. ENCCA will bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely and efficacious manner. It will address the needs of all the current multinational clinical trial groups for the benefit of children with cancer. It will provide them with common tools and approaches to solve the bottlenecks in testing new therapeutic strategies for those rare diseases in a vulnerable age group and in running a competitive clinical research agenda. Ongoing efforts to coordinate EU and US clinical research will be reinforced. ENCCA will be led by the most active EU institutes in the field (31), recognised as being at the forefront of excellence.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013
The main general goal of DECORE is to achieve the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of a fuel cell (FC) electrode, which can operate efficiently (both in terms of activity and selectivity) as the anode of a direct ethanol (EOH) FC (DEFC) in the temperature range between 150-200 C (intermediate-T). Such a technology is still lacking in the market. The choice for EOH as an alternative energy source is well founded on the abundance of bioethanol, and on the relatively simpler storage and use with respect to other energy carriers. The intermediate-T is required for an efficient and selective total conversion of EOH to CO2, so exploiting the maximum number of electrons in the DEFC. DECORE will explore the use of fully innovative supports (based on titanium oxycarbide, TiOxCy) and nano-catalysts (based on group 6 metal carbides, MCx, M=Mo,W), which have never been tested in literature as anodes for DEFCs. The new support is expected to be more durable than standard carbon supports at the targeted temperature. The innovative nano-catalysts would be noble-metal free, so reducing Europes reliance on imported precious metals. To tailor the needed materials, the active role of the support and nano-catalyst will be studied at atomic level. Demonstrating an activity of such nano-catalyst/support assembly at intermediate-T would open a novel route where DEFCs with strongly reduced production costs would have an impact on a fast industrialisation. The power range for the envisioned application is of the order of hundreds of Watts, i.e. the so called distributed generation, having an impact for devices such as weather stations, medical devices, signal units, auxiliary power units, gas sensors and security cameras. By the end of the project, a bench-top single DEFC operating at intermediate-T will be built and tested.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2008
This Design Study aims at implementing a new concept of integrated research infrastructures in Europe for research on agro-ecosystems and natural ecosystems and environment. This infrastructure consists in interfacing three types of platforms: (i)The in situ Long Term Experimental Plateforms which consists in developing experiments for the main type of land use systems (arable crops, grasslands, forest, marchlands, heathlands), where different types of land management are imposed for a long term and where the state variables of the system are monitored for long term in conjunction with the measurement of the environmental fluxes to atmosphere and hydrosphere. (ii)The in vitro ECOTRON equipments where blocks of ecosystems of different size could be introduced within controlled environment. Since feedbacks between the plants and the soil responses take time to establish, experiments often need to last a few years. An alternative use of Ecotrons is to analyse the physiology of blocks of ecosystems which have been subjected in situ for years to various treatments within LTEP platforms. In that case, Ecotrons can be seen as ecological analysers receiving samples for analysis. (iii) The in silico Data base and Modelling platform should complete the system by developing facilities for sharing data bases among European scientific community, and possibilities for coupling experimental with theoretical approaches. This Design Study aims at developing and sharing this ANAEE concept among European research partners in order to (i) specify the needs for such instrument for the scientific stakes on continental biosphere; (ii) convince national strategic research institutions to support such a concept; (iii) inventory the capacities of partners to develop such a network of equipments; and (iv) determine the condition for networking and sharing these infrastructures among different European countries.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2008
The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) has been selected by the ESFRI roadmap process as one of the 35 crucial pillars of the European Research Area. This project will prepare a major upgrade of SHARE for all 27 EU members plus associated Switzerland and Israel during the decade 2010-2020. SHARE builds an infrastructure of micro data necessary to understand individual and societal ageing as a process in time that is strongly influenced by pension, health care and labour market regimes and their reforms. It is designed by researchers for researchers and integrates economics, medicine, and social sciences. Research based on this infrastructure will also serve as a feedback mechanism to support fact-based EU policies, such as the open method of coordination and the Lisbon agenda, to help meeting the challenges of population ageing in all countries of the EU. The major upgrade of SHARE will have two dimensions. First, it will prolong SHARE over time and generate a genuine panel that follows individuals as they age and react to the changes in the social and economic environment. From a research viewpoint, the time dimension is crucial since ageing is a process that can only be understood if we observe the same individual at different points in time. Second, SHARE will expand to all EU member states. Ageing in the accession states is a particular challenge as these countries are ageing before their social and health institutions are brought to the same level of maturity as in the EU15 countries. Aim of the preparatory phase is to bring the SHARE prototype to the level of financial, legal, governance and technical maturity required to fill important knowledge gaps in individual and population ageing. It involves all stakeholders necessary for the major upgrade, among them research institutes and universities; national science ministries and foundations; two Directorates General of the European Commission; and the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BES-09-2014 | Award Amount: 11.83M | Year: 2015
Efficient NII (non-intrusive inspection) of containerised freight is critical to trade and society. Freight containers are potential means for smuggling (e.g. tobacco), illegal immigration, trafficking of drugs, mis-declared goods and dangerous illicit substances, including explosives, nuclear material, chemical and biological warfare agents and radioactively contaminated goods. One inspection NII technology cannot cope with all these targets. The C-BORD Toolbox and Framework will address all these targets and enable customs to deploy comprehensive cost-effective container NII solutions to potentially protect all EU sea- and land-borders, satisfying a large range of container NII needs. The C-BORD Toolbox will include 5 complementary innovative detection technologies: delivering improved X-rays, Target Neutron Interrogation, Photofission, Sniffing and Passive Detection. User interfaces and data will be integrated to optimise effectiveness and efficiency of end-users and systems. The C-BORD Framework will help customs analyse their needs, design integrated solutions, and optimise the container inspection chain; it will address detection levels, false alarm levels, throughput, health & safety, logistics and cost & benefits. C-BORD will increase the probability of finding illicit or dangerous content with at least equal throughput of containers per time unit, reduce the need for costly, time-consuming and dangerous manual container inspections by customs officials, and in case a container is opened, increase the probability of finding illicit materials. C-BORD involves stakeholders from 8 EU countries, as partners (5) and advisory group members (3). On 3 custom sites integrated solutions will be trialled, respectively addressing the needs of big seaports, small seaports and mobile land-borders. To optimise sustainable impact, C-BORD will actively engage with a large community, will support policy implementation, evolution and start early exploitation planning.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 877.50K | Year: 2017
Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and overall numerical fabrication methods have been recognized by stakeholders as the next industrial revolution bringing customers needs and suppliers offers closer. It cannot be dissociated to the present trends in increased virtualization, cloud approaches and collaborative developments (i.e. sharing of resources). AM is likely to be one good option paving the way to Europe re-industrialization and increased competitiveness. AMITIE will reinforce European capacities in the AM field applied to ceramic-based products. Through its extensive programme of transnational and intersectoral secondments, AMITIE will promote fast technology transfer and enable as well training of AM experts from upstream research down to more technical issues. This will provide Europe with specialists of generic skills having a great potential of knowledge-based careers considering present growing needs for AM industry development. To do that, AMITIE brings together leading academic and industrial European players in the fields of materials science/processes, materials characterizations, AM technologies and associated numerical simulations, applied to the fabrication of functional and/or structural ceramic-based materials for energy/transport, and ICTs applications, as well as biomaterials. Those players will develop a new concept of smart factory for the future based on 3D AM technologies (i.e. powder bed methods, robocasting, inkjet printing, stereolithography, etc.) and their possible hybridization together or with subtractive technologies (e.g. laser machining). It will allow for the production of parts whose dimensions, shapes, functionality and assembly strategies may be tailored to address todays key technological issues of the fabrication of high added value objects following a fully-combinatorial route. This is expected to lead to a new paradigm for production of multiscale, multimaterial and multifunctional components and systems
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-04b-2015 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2016
European forests are expected to provide a broad range of ecosystem services (ES). This capacity is however threatened by the uncertainties of climate change, the complex dynamics of evolving global markets and the pressures for increased use of bioenergy. Such challenges cannot be effectively addressed with an uncritical regional or national commitment to traditional forest management models (FMMs), as these are unlikely to ensure the sustained long-term provisioning of desired ES, let alone their optimised delivery. ALTERFORs goal is thus to facilitate the implementation of FMMs better suited to meeting the challenges of the 21st century by: (1) Identifying and developing FMMs robust in their capacity to deliver ES and overcome projected socio-ecological risks and uncertainties; (2) Assessing the impact of different FMM combinations in terms of resultant ES baskets on the European and landscape level, and (3) Facilitating the implementation of desired FMMs and improving cross-national knowledge transfer regarding their benefits, costs, management, and utilization. The project will involve a consortium of 19 organisations from nine countries chosen due to their possession of the transdisciplinary expertise necessary to achieve these objectives, and for ensuring an encompassing representation of Europes socio-economic conditions and prevailing forest management paradigms. Based on carefully designed case studies, the consortium will make sure realistic models of forest owner behaviour are employed; guarantee the involvement of forest stakeholders throughout the project; anchor the desired FMMs to relevant forest actors; and help disseminate project findings to local, national and European stakeholders. The main long-term impact of ALTERFOR is the implementation of FMMs that secure the capacity of Europes forests to continue providing a balanced ES basket that societies will depend upon over the coming century.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PROTEC-1-2015 | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2016
ReDSHIFT will address barriers to compliance for spacecraft manufacturers and operators presented now and in the future by requirements and technologies for de-orbiting and disposal of space objects. This will be achieved through a holistic approach that considers from the outset opposing and challenging constraints for the safety of the human population when these objects re-enter the atmosphere, designed for demise, and for their survivability in the harsh space environment while on orbit. Ensuring robustness into the future, ReDSHIFT will take advantage of disruptive opportunities offered by 3D printing to develop highly innovative, low-cost spacecraft solutions, exploiting synergies with electric propulsion, atmospheric and solar radiation pressure drag, and astro-dynamical highways, to meet de-orbit and disposal needs, but which are also designed for demise. Inherent to these solutions will be structures to enhance spacecraft protection, by fracture along intended breakup planes, and re-entry demise characteristics. These structures will be subjected to functional tests as well as specific hypervelocity impact tests and material demise wind tunnel tests to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3D printed structures. At the same time, novel and complex technical, economic and legal issues of adapting the technologies to different vehicles, and implementing them widely across low Earth orbit will be tackled through the development of a hierarchical, web-based tool aimed at a variety of space actors. This will provide a complete debris mitigation analysis of a mission, using existing debris evolution models and lessons learned from theoretical and experimental work. It will output safe, scalable and cost-effective satellite and mission designs in response to operational constraints. Through its activities, ReDSHIFT will recommend new space debris mitigation guidelines taking into account novel spacecraft designs, materials, manufacturing and mission solutions.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2017
SUMCASTEC explores radically new approach for cancer stem cells (CSCs) real time isolation (i.e. within minutes vs current 40 days) and neutralization. A novel micro-optofluidic lab-on-chip (LOC) platform will be developed through a joint and iterative effort by biologists, clinicians and engineers. For the first time, a single LOC will be capable of delivering ultra-wide broadband radiation to compare cell spectral signatures, image subcellular features, and hence modulate CSCs microenvironment conditions with unprecedented space and time resolution. It will be driven to isolate CSCs from heterogeneous differentiated and stem cell populations, and force CSCs differentiation, ultimately inducing sensitivity to anticancer treatments. Extensive in vitro and in vivo testing along with biophysical modelling will validate the approach and establish the proof-of-principle within the project life-time, while laying the groundwork for further development of future electrosurgical tools that will be capable CSCs neutralization in tissue. This will not only establish a new line of treatment for brain cancers such as Glioblastoma Multiforme and Medulloblastoma, whose initiation and recurrence were linked to CSCs, and that claim tremendous human and economic tolls, worldwide; it will also push the current boundaries of microbiological analysis by enabling microenvironment characterization/manipulation and real-time ionic channels monitoring without cytotoxic patch-clamping or electron microscopy. By investing in efforts such as SUMCASTECs, Europe will stand at the forefront of global biomedical innovation and push through a similar miniaturization trend as the one that propelled mobile communications, yet with much deeper societal impact. All the required competences are gathered within this consortium. The ambitious objectives of the project are planned over 42 months with a requested grant of 3 978 517,5 .
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 19.00M | Year: 2010
With 14.4 million prevalent cases and 1.7 million deaths tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most serious infectious diseases to date. An estimated 2 billion people are believed to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and at risk of developing disease. Multi- and extensively drug resistant strains are increasingly appearing in many parts of the world, including Europe. While with current control measures the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2015 may be achieved, reaching these would still leave a million people per year dying from TB. Much more effective measures, particularly more effective vaccines will be essential to reach the target of eliminating TB in 2050. Two successive FP5 and FP6 funded projects, Tuberculosis (TB) Vaccine Cluster (2000-2003) and TBVAC (2004-2008), have in the recent decade made significant contributions to the global TB vaccine pipeline, with four vaccines (out of nine globally) being advanced to clinical stages. Both projects strongly contributed to the strengthening and integration of expertise and led to a European focus of excellence that is unique in the area of TB vaccine development. In order to sustain and accelerate the TB vaccine developments and unique integrated excellence of TBVAC, a specific legal entity was created named TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI). The NEWTBVAC proposal is the FP7 successor of TBVAC, and will be coordinated by TBVI. The proposal has the following objectives : 1) To sustain and innovate the current European pipeline with new vaccine discoveries and advance promising candidates to clinical stages; 2) To design new, second generation vaccines based new prime-boost strategies and/or new (combinations of) promising subunit vaccines, that will impact on reduction of disease in exposed individuals; 3) To sustain and innovate discovery, evaluation and testing of new biomarkers, that will be critically important for future monitoring of clinical trials.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.1.1.;AAT.2008.4.1.1. | Award Amount: 7.08M | Year: 2009
DeSiReH focus on both, the numerical design tools and the experimental measurement techniques for cryogenic conditions, with the objective to improve the industrial design process for laminar wings in terms of product quality, efficiency, and development cost reduction. The work focuses on the design of high lift devices. DeSiReH addresses the following quantified objectives which will make a significant contribution to meeting Vision 2020 goals: 1) Reduction of industrial A/C development costs by 5% by reduced and more efficient Wind Tunnel Testing 2) Decrease time-to-market by 5% by improved aerodynamic design turn-around time 3) Improve industrial High-Lift design process efficiency by 15% 4) Reduce A/C drag by 5% by enabling NLF though compatible High-Lift-Design To accomplish these objectives the project is planned for a period of 4 years and a budget of 7.6 Mio. Euro. The consortium consists of 6 industry partner, 7 research establishments, 3 universities, 2 small and medium-sized enterprise and the European Transonic Wind tunnel (ETW). Existing and validated high-fidelity numerical tools are composed to an efficient High-Lift design and optimization process chain in WP1. The strategies and tools developed are applied in WP 2 to the aerodynamic design of a high lift system for the future pointing HARLS wing (High Aspect Ratio Low Sweep) with the constraint to maintain Natural Lamiar Flow at cruise to the best possible extend. WP 3 focuses on the improvement of the experimental measurement technique for cryogenic testing. The objectives here are to enhance the measurement accuracy of the results and to generate the capability to apply different important techniques (e.g. transition measurement & deformation measurement). These techniques are finally applied in the ETW at High-Reynolds-Numbers on the HARLS model equipped with the High-Lift-System, designed in WP2. The final assessment of DeSiReH results is done in WP4 by assessing the numerical
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-06 | Award Amount: 7.49M | Year: 2012
Europe has set a clear and ambitious strategy (Europe 2020 Strategy) to base its economy on a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Part of this concept is to initiate the development towards an innovative, resource efficient and bio-based (bio-economy) European economy. Such development should contribute to economic growth and the creation of jobs, while mitigating climate change effects and providing effective responses to address the need for carbon neutral energy. In this context, European forests and the forest-based sector play an increasingly important role in fostering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe based on the production of eco-services and eco-efficient products from wood and non-wood-based products. Up to now the forest-based sector has been mainly build around wood based products. However, also multipurpose trees and non-wood forest products and services can significantly contribute to the achievement of the set goals. The objective of the STAR TREE project is to provide better understanding, knowledge, guidance and tools to support relevant stakeholders (e.g., forest owners, resource managers, enterprises, decision makers, other public and private entities) in optimising the management of multi-purpose trees and developing innovative approaches for increasing the marketability and profitability of NWFP for a more competitive rural economy. The overall impacts of the project are in the long term to support a sustainable rural development through a stronger utilisation of business opportunities based on non-wood forest products and multipurpose trees. This will particularly benefit the rural population as much as land owners and companies through a more competitive and robust rural economy and a better quality of life.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.2.2.1.3. | Award Amount: 7.40M | Year: 2009
Europes four regional seas (Baltic, Black, Mediterranean and NE Atlantic) have suffered severe environmental degradation due to human pressure. Existing measures to manage pressures have proven inadequate and the EC has responded by proposing a new policy (Maritime Strategy Blue Book) and environmental legislation (Marine Strategy Directive), both currently close to adoption. These instruments rely on the Ecosystem Approach, a management paradigm that encompasses humans and the supporting ecosystem. But the science base for this approach needs strengthening and practical tools must be developed and tested for policy implementation. In particular, criteria for assessing costs and benefits of management actions are poorly developed, particularly in the complex marine environment where multiple uses and management conflicts are common. The KnowSeas consortium will strengthen the science base for managing Europes seas through the practical application of systems thinking. It will work at the two scales envisaged for emergent EU policy: the Regional Sea Scale and Member State Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZs). We have developed a new approach of Decision Space Analysis to investigate mismatches of scale. Knowledge created through the FP6 European Lifestyles and Marine Ecosystems project, augmented with necessary new studies of climate effects, fisheries and maritime industries - in EEZ case studies - will provide a basis for assessing changes to natural systems and their human causes. New research will examine and model economic and social impacts of changes to ecosystem goods and services and costs and benefits of various management options available through existing and proposed policy instruments. Institutional and social analysis will determine conflicts of interest and examine governance as well as stakeholder values and perceptions. Our research will develop and test an assessment toolbox through regional liaison groups and a multisectoral Project Advisory Board.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 7.66M | Year: 2011
This proposal includes all tasks that are essential to maintain the European added value of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and to keep the 16 national surveys well integrated. It complements the national financing mode of data collection as result of the ESFRI process by keeping its centrifugal forces in bounds. It will keep up our excellence in service provision as well as in science by: 1. Fostering the culture of cooperation between designers and users of SHARE by organizing user conferences, offering specialized training courses for users and interviewers, expanding web services and developing standards and procedures within the network that will make more efficient use of the research infrastructure. 2. Improving the multinational services for users in EU member countries, associated countries and third countries by a more efficient centralized data base management that will provide detailed synopses and concordances across member countries. We will coordinate this work with our sister surveys in the UK, US, China, India, Japan, Korea and Thailand, thereby providing a platform for global access to ageing data. 3. Pushing the state-of-the-art in interdisciplinary panel construction further such that SHARE will maintain its status as a leading edge research infrastructure. The project will leverage our research on response behaviour to minimize attrition; it will develop a multi-mode interviweing facility tailored to the 50\ in order to reduce survey costs; it will develop innovative questionnaire modules on biomarkers, physical health, social networks, pension claims, time use and nutrition that will keep SHARE at the forefront of empirical science; and, with the help of EUROMOD, it will harmonizes income concepts across EU-surveys, notably EU-SILC in order to facilitate the measurement of material well-being in times of rapid demographic change with its complex implications for old-age income provision.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-06 | Award Amount: 3.55M | Year: 2009
Many forest goods and services are not marketed. Methods for assessing these values are incomplete, and so is an understanding of who benefits from them. Forest owners are not rewarded for the value of these externalities and may make decisions providing less externalities than optimal. We can increase welfare, if we develop ways to enhance their provision. The objectives of NEWFOREX are: 1: To provide methods for valuing forest externalities, which handle the jointly produced externalities in an integrated way. Specific attention will be given to the question: Who benefits? This is important as it is among the beneficiaries that likely buyers are to be found. 2: To develop a methodology for assessing the cost of provision for externalities. We take into account trans-boundary effects of forest management, and transactions and opportunity costs. 3: To assess several market-based methods for enhancing the provision of forest externalities, including e.g. payment schemes provision, certification or (re-)definition of property rights. A method for choice and design of market-based methods will be provided. Method: We will test methods and tools and undertake analytical, applied research on a set of empirical surveys among beneficiaries (buyers) and forest owners (providers). These will take place in 5 EU case studies and a developing country case study. They will focus on key externalities: Carbon sequestration, biodiversity protection, watershed services and recreation. The surveys will be designed to allow for comparative analyses and detailed results supporting the achievement of the objectives. Addressing the demand and supply side simultaneously is a unique and innovative stroke. Results: New and improved methods, comparative analyses and guidelines of great value will result. We communicate the gains in knowledge using seminars, popular articles, guidelines and best practice examples across Europe. An easy-access Guiding tool is compiled.
Ziegler J.C.,Aix - Marseille University |
Perry C.,Swinburne University of Technology |
Zorzi M.,University of Padua |
Zorzi M.,IRCCS San Camillo Neurorehabilitation Hospital
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014
The most influential theory of learning to read is based on the idea that children rely on phonological decoding skills to learn novel words. According to the self-teaching hypothesis, each successful decoding encounter with an unfamiliar word provides an opportunity to acquire word-specific orthographic information that is the foundation of skilled word recognition. Therefore, phonological decoding acts as a self-teaching mechanism or 'built-in teacher'. However, all previous connectionist models have learned the task of reading aloud through exposure to a very large corpus of spelling-sound pairs, where an 'external' teacher supplies the pronunciation of all words that should be learnt. Such a supervised training regimen is highly implausible. Here, we implement and test the developmentally plausible phonological decoding self-teaching hypothesis in the context of the connectionist dual process model. In a series of simulations, we provide a proof of concept that this mechanism works. The model was able to acquire word-specific orthographic representations for more than 25 000 words even though it started with only a small number of grapheme-phoneme correspondences. We then show how visual and phoneme deficits that are present at the outset of reading development can cause dyslexia in the course of reading development. © 2013 The Authors.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-ASP1;SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-ASP5 | Award Amount: 9.65M | Year: 2013
Emerging embedded systems platforms harnessing new heterogeneous, multicore architectures to enable the next generation of powerful mission-critical applications are demanding across-the-board advances in all areas of design and development to fulfil their promise. The integration of component-based design with model-driven development creates a potent combination especially capable of mastering the complexity of these new systems. CONCERTO will deliver a reference multi-domain architectural framework for complex, highly concurrent, and multi-core systems, where non-functional properties (including real-time, dependability, and energy management) will be established for individual components, derived for the overall system at design time, and preserved by construction and monitoring at run-time. The CONCERTO framework will integrate: \ Correctness-by-construction for multicore systems with innovative model-to-code transformation techniques targeted at their special characteristics \ A multi-view, hierarchical cross-domain design space sufficiently rich to enable a compositional approach to the next generation of complex, heterogeneous platform architectures. \ Support for iterative and incremental development of multicore systems through simulation and early model-based analysis, with fully automated back propagation of results to the user model. \ Hardware modeling facilities equipped to cope with the new generation of heterogeneous, multicore platforms. \ Advances in run-time monitoring of mission- and operation-critical non-functional properties such as energy consumption on partitioned and multicore processor architectures. The applicability of the CONCERTO solutions to multiple industrial domains (including aerospace, telecoms, automotive, petroleum and medical) will be ensured through the elaboration of representative industrial use cases. CONCERTO builds on the CHESS project (ARTEMIS-2008-1-100022) results, as well as the results of several other related projects. Approved by ARTEMIS-JU on 05/04/2013
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-03 | Award Amount: 4.13M | Year: 2008
PRATIQUE (Enhancements of Pest Risk Analysis Techniques) will carry out all the key work listed in the call and address the major challenges for pest risk analysis (PRA) in Europe. This will be achieved through three principal objectives: to assemble the datasets required to construct effective PRAs valid for the whole of the EU, to conduct multi-disciplinary research that enhances the techniques used in PRA and to ensure that the PRA decision support scheme meets its purpose, is efficient and user-friendly. Pest risk analysts, phytosanitary experts, invasive alien species specialists, ecologists, economists and risk modellers from 13 leading institutes in the EU, one from Australia and one from New Zealand will produce the first structured inventory of PRA datasets for the EU and undertake targeted research to improve existing procedures and develop new methods for (a) the assessment of economic, environmental and social impacts, (b) summarising risk in effective, harmonised ways that take account of uncertainty, (c) mapping endangered areas (d) pathway risk analysis and systems approaches and (e) guiding actions during emergencies caused by outbreaks of harmful pests. The results will be tested with a representative range of the major pests and invasive alien species affecting the cultivated and uncultivated habitats of the EU and will be independently validated by phytosanitary experts. The deliverables will be provided as protocols, decision support systems and computer programs with examples of best practice made available to pest risk analysts through modules and direct links to the PRA scheme. The PRA scheme will be web-enabled providing (i) new users with context-sensitive guidance, (ii) experts with a more efficient and user-friendly process and greatly enhanced access to key datasets and analytical tools, (iii) policy makers with an improved and robust scientific basis for managing risks and (iv) stakeholders with a transparent presentation of the risks.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 7.76M | Year: 2012
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness among working-age individuals in developed countries has been classically considered to be a microcirculatory disease of the retina. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that retinal neurodegeneration is an early event in the pathogenesis of DR. For this reason, it is reasonable to hypothesize that therapeutic strategies based on neuroprotection will be effective not only in preventing or arresting retinal neurodegeneration but also in preventing the development and progression of the early stages of DR (ie. microaneurysms and/or retinal thickness). EUROCONDOR (European Consortium for the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy) is a solid and well balanced consortium (ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, basic researchers) which has been created in order to implement the first clinical trial using eye drops for treatment of the early stages of DR. The participants are top leaders in their field and central readings will be performed by the Coordinating Centre of the European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.Net). The main objectives of the project are the following: Primary objective: To assess whether the selected neuroprotective drugs (brimonidine and somatostatin) administered topically are able to prevent or arrest neurodegeneration, as well as the development and progression of the early stages of DR. Secondary objectives: 1) To determine the prevalence of functional abnormalities related to neurodegeneration in those patients without or with minimal microvascular damage under ophthalmoscopic examination. 2) To compare the effectiveness of the selected drugs. 3) To evaluate the local and systemic adverse effects of the selected drugs. 4) To identify those patients most prone to progressive worsening (characterization of phenotypes and circulating biomarkers). 5) To determine the molecular mechanisms by which the selected drugs exert their beneficial effects.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2008
Autoimmune Addisons disease (AAD) is an endocrine disease resulting from the immune systems destruction of hormone producing cells in the adrenal cortex. Diagnosis is frequently first established after a life-threatening adrenal crisis, often resulting in untimely fatalities. The disease is rare, more common in women than in men, and also affects children. AAD very frequently occurs with other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune thyroid disease and/or premature ovarian failure. Based on a European network of patient registry and biobanks, a translational approach using genetics, immunology, clinical management, and epidemiology, the project aims to unravel the pathogenesis and natural course of AAD, ultimately to improve diagnosis and treatment as well as to offer strategies for disease prevention. The consortium capitalises on the joint cutting edge expertise of leading European investigators covering all these fields. Exploiting these resources, we will describe the natural course of the disease with focus on factors limiting quality of life, and identify and characterise the disease-causing genes, using the corresponding disease in a spontaneous dog model and a gene targeted mouse model. In parallel, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity directed at the adrenal cortex will be unravelled both in humans with ADD and in the genetic mouse model. Together, these efforts will increase our still incomplete understanding of pathogenic pathways operational in AAD and pave the way for new therapies of this debilitating disorder. Moreover, clinical studies will be performed to evaluate more physiological and personalised treatment with cortisol also aimed at prevention. As an autoimmune model disease the results of the project will not only lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Addison patients, but also increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in general.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 8.85M | Year: 2011
The vital environmental and socio-economic role of European forests is well documented and acknowledged in policy documents of both the European Union and its member states. However, there are critical incoherencies within and between trans-national, national and local forest-related land use policies, the central issue being mismatches between the policies and their implementation at the landscape level. Hence, there is a need to improve existing policy and management approaches capable of delivering a better balance between multiple and conflicting demands for forest goods and services. Diminishing mismatches and providing a new policy and management approach that is sensitive to ecological, socioeconomic and political issues of are the main objectives of INTEGRAL. The objectives are achieved by following a research approach with 3 phases: diagnostic analysis of the status-quo (phase 1), participatory development and evaluation of scenarios (phase 2), and problem-solving oriented back-casting for policy development and evaluation (phase 3). The research design will be applied in a total of 20 landscapes in 10 European countries that differ in key characteristics, such as ownership, the importance of forestry and forest-based industries and the priorities of allocation and management of new and existing forest lands. The involvement of national and local stakeholder groups all the way through the project plays a decisive role in the project. The most important long term impact of INTEGRAL consists of the knowledge and competence base for integrating international, national and local levels in participatory decision and planning processes. This includes the development of manuals for how to conduct such processes, methods for utilizing quantitative decision support tools in the participatory process, and the establishment of a body of knowledge among those participating in the extensive case studies. Thus, the consistency of implemented forest policies can be enhanced.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2009.2.2.01 | Award Amount: 3.37M | Year: 2010
This proposal is focused on the development of a new generation of wide band gap (WBG) GaN technology and devices for which strong impacts in term of performances, reliability and robustness are expected. AL-IN-WON will explore two main disrupting routes: - Next generation of WBG device based on new epi material (InAlN/GaN) for strong improvement in term of performances and reliability. - High efficiency / High Power generation in Ku / Ka bands It proposes to evaluate in 2 phases next generation of WBG material up to Ka Band. The InAlN/GaN heterostructure offers the following advantages: As InAlN/GaN is lattice matched, it offer the possibility to growth very thin layer in the range of 10nm or below WHICH IS THE MOST RELEVANT to overcome short channel effect AND GO TOWARDS HIGH frequency range up to millimeter wave range. In0.18 Al0.82N /GaN is a new heterostructure able to give twice the drain current available from a more conventional AlGaN/GaN heterostructure. Breakdown voltage is comparable for the two heterostructures. In0.18 Al0.82N is latticed matched to GaN and higher reliability is therefore expected compared to AlGaN/GaN. Passivation is currently a major limitation to device operation. InAlN/GaN MOSHEMT are very promising with strong current drain improvement compared to HEMT (UltraGaN). We plan to evaluate CW Ku and Ka Band MMIC High Power Amplifiers (HPA) and Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA). Demonstrators in Ka band will be designed based on devices coming from the run 2. The final objective being the evaluation of InAlN/GaN compared to more conventional AlGaN/GaN very high power HEMT technology with very high breakdown voltage, high current and compliant with high power density. Regarding space application for which reliability and robustness are of major concerns, we expect to demonstrate the major breakthrough offered by GaN technology, and especially InAlN if successful.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-10 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2014
Only about 10% of todays global aquaculture production use genetically improved stocks. In Europe, some breeding programmes consist of only the basic components of a breeding scheme. Hence, there is large potential to increase efficiency and profit by domestication and genetic improvement of farmed finfish. The main challenge of FISHBOOST is to realise this potential into economic and social acceptable breeding schemes, and advance these for each of the six target species. Acknowledging the different capacities of the species, the aim of FISHBOOST is: To improve the efficiency and profitability of European aquaculture by advancing selective breeding to the next level for each of the six main finfish species through collaborative research with industry. FISHBOOST considers the main components of breeding programmes for Atlantic salmon, common carp, European seabass, gilthead seabream, rainbow trout and turbot. Disease resistance and production efficiency are genetically improved through detailed phenotyping and advanced genomic technologies. The economic impact and producers perceptions will be assessed for the recommendations for each of the species. 14 well-recognised RTD participants in Europe on aquaculture breeding will collaborate in a five year comprehensive research project with 7 SMEs, 4 large industries and 1 NGO throughout Europe that are in the lead of the development of their species breeding programmes or are vectors between industry and RTD. A mixture of low and high-tech technological advances depending on current capacities of the species will be developed to move each species breeding program to the next level. This step-change advance will facilitate balanced and sustainable breeding programmes applying a wide set of traits, breeding tools and technologies. A dissemination program will deliver these results to SMEs and other end-users, thereby advancing existing and stimulating new aquaculture breeding programmes in Europe.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-05-2014 | Award Amount: 8.44M | Year: 2015
Arterial hypertension affects up to 45% of the general population and is responsible for 7.1 million deaths per year worldwide. Although a large therapeutic arsenal exists, blood pressure control is sub-optimal in up to two thirds of patients. Yet, even small increments in blood pressure are associated with increased cardiovascular risk, with 62% of cerebrovascular disease and 49% of ischemic heart disease being attributable to hypertension. Detection of secondary forms of hypertension is key to targeted management of the underlying disease and prevention of cardiovascular complications. Endocrine forms of hypertension represent major targets for stratified approaches of health promotion. They include a group of adrenal disorders resulting in increased production of hormones affecting blood pressure regulation: primary aldosteronism (PA), pheochromocytoma/functional paraganglioma (PPGL) and Cushings syndrome (CS). These diseases are associated with increased cardiovascular and metabolic risk and with diminished quality of life. This project will develop and evaluate an omics-based stratified health promotion program for patients with endocrine forms of hypertension. We will define specific omics profiles for patients with PA, PPGL and CS by integrating high throughput genetics, genomics and metabolomics data with phenome annotations through bioinformatics modelling. Established profiles will be validated as stratification biomarkers and applied to the screening of referred hypertensive patients for both stratifying primary forms of hypertension for effective and cost efficient therapy as well as improving identification of endocrine causes for curative treatment and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic complications. Omics-based profiling should allow identification of patients with preclinical phenotypes along with those hypertensives that cluster into specific endocrine groups who may benefit from personalised treatment.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2013
INsecTIME seeks to train the next generation of ESRs in the intellectual, technological, complementary and commercial skills required for future European competitiveness in the area of biological timing, an area with considerable commercial potential. The scientific focus will be on circadian and seasonal rhythms in the model insect, Drosophila, which has proved particularly relevant for understanding temporal aspects of human health and well-being, plus non-model insects such as the parasitoid wasp and olive fruitfly, two species with major economic implications. The work is multidisciplinary, bringing together scientists from academia and the private sector with different skills in neurogenetics, genomics, life history biology, mathematical modelling, biocomputing, biological control, anatomy and population genetics. Through synergistic interactions via secondments to world class research institutions and to applied entomology and biocomputing SMEs, training workshops, and instruction in transferable skills, young researchers will learn the full-range of cutting-edge technical skills allied to an appreciation of the commercial possibilities of their work. Their obligatory secondments to SMEs will include training in the management, organisation and finance of the private sector, and be buttressed by further workshop courses in general bio-commerce, intellectual property, marketing, raising capital etc. They, and their supervisors will contribute to outreach programmes, and the ERSs and ERs will be guided in the development of their own personal career portfolios, with ESRs submitting doctoral theses. Our young researchers will represent the next crop of technically well-trained, but unusually, commercially aware, computer and mathematically literate molecular neurogeneticists, whose versatile skills will enhance pan-European collaborations for years to come.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2012
Systems Chemistry (the chemistry of complex mixtures of interacting molecules) is a rapidly developing new fronteir in the chemical sciences. Where chemistry has for centuries been a firmly reductionistic science, Systems Chemistry breaks with this tradition by focussing on complexity and emergent behaviour. This network brings together nearly all major academic players active in Europe on experimental approaches to Systems Chemistry in general and molecular networks in particular. Our consortium is of exceptional quality and is a balanced mix of highly experienced scientists with mutiple publications in Science and/or Nature and talented young scientists of whom four have recently been awarded prestigious ERC starting grants. We have two full partners from industry that provide essential analytical support and the perspective on commercialisation of complex chemical systems. Aim of our high-level consortium is to provide a comprehensive high-quality training program on Systems Chemistry, in the context of a cutting-edge and wide-ranging research program, focusing on two important phenomena: adaptation and replication in molecular networks. These subjects will be developed towards application in enantioselective organoautocatalysis, molecular Boolean logic protocols, self-synthesising materials that exhibit electronic conductivity and adaptive biological functionality, sensing of bio-analytes, assessing molecular similarity and materials for anti-counterfeiting. Our comprehensive training and research program will deliver a new generation of young researchers eager to push the frontiers of the rapidly emerging field of Systems Chemistry, expanding Europes lead in this exciting new area.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-04 | Award Amount: 8.53M | Year: 2014
The DROPSA consortium will create new knowledge and understanding of the damage and losses of fruit crops resulting from pests and pathogens, with a specific focus on the new and emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii and quarantine pathogens Pseudomonas syringae, Xanthomonas fragariae and X. arboricola. The project will deliver a cost effective approach that can be widely implemented by the EU fruit industry. The aims and objectives are to: Determine the pathways of introduction and spread of D. suzukii and pathogens into the EU and develop preventative strategies and recommendations against the introduction of other dangerous fruit pests and pathogens. Determine the biology, ecology and interaction of these pests and diseases in different regions of Europe. This will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the life cycles, host ranges, capacities to disperse, the identification of natural enemies, plant-pathogen interactions as well as the semiochemicals involved in the behaviour of D. suzukii. The biology will provide the platform to develop practical solutions for sustainable pest control. Develop innovative and effective control options using approved chemicals, semiochemicals, novel antimicrobial compounds and biological control agents as well as cultural practices, sterile insect techniques and new mode of action compounds. The most reliable and effective control options will be combined to optimise an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. Develop forecasting and decision support systems and risk mapping as a component of IPM. The economic viability of proposed strategies for fruit crop protection will be evaluated and used to support decision making in the implementation of IPM strategies to protect the EU fruit sector. To protect intellectual property (IP) and to undertake dissemination and exploitation actions to maximise the impact and up take of the recommended IPM by commercial fruit growers.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: Fusion-2007-7.1 | Award Amount: 2.48M | Year: 2008
This aim of the FUSENET project is the establishment of a European Fusion Education Network (FUSENET) for education in fusion science and technology, as part of a comprehensive package of coordination actions, in order to increase, enhance, and broaden fusion training and education activities in Europe. The project consists of eleven focused work packages, with a total proposed budget of 2,000,000 . The project brings together a broad representation of the European fusion community with 36 participants from 18 countries, of which 22 Universities and 14 Euratom Associations. The project consists of four groups of coordination actions: the establishment and running of the FUSENET network; development of individual learning opportunities and common educational goals; development of educational materials and hands-on experiments; and funding of joint educational activities. The FUSENET project will cover all education levels, from secondary school through Bachelor and Master level, to PhD. The actions of FUSENET build upon the already strongly coordinated European Fusion Research programme, coor-dinated under the European Fusion Development Agreement EFDA. The network will be given a permanent identity by the establishment of the FUSENET Association, which will provide a platform for the coordination of existing actions, the initiation, development and implementation of new EU-wide actions, and for the exchange and dissemination of fusion education information. The envisioned concrete end result of the FUSENET project is an integrated fusion education system in Europe, with strong links between fusion institutes and higher education institutes. Through a central website, the pro-gramme will offer a transparent structure of coherent educational actions, accessible and inviting, in which stu-dents and teachers can easily find their way to a variety of attractive ways to participate in the fusion research programme.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.59M | Year: 2013
Synthetic biology (SynBio) offers huge potential for applications in energy, health and the environment. It also brings with it various challenges such as regulatory issues of biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property rights, as well as potential environmental and socio-economic risks in developing countries. As yet, however, there is scant public knowledge about the technology. It is thus essential to establish an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning SynBios potential benefits and risks and to explore possibilities for its collaborative shaping on the basis of public participation. SYN-ENERGY will organise a wide range of mobilisation and mutual learning processes relating to these challenges. Besides a number of well-established European and international networks, the consortium encompasses and can mobilise a wide variety of stakeholders from science, industry, civil society, policy, education, art and other areas. Learning processes will contribute to a better understanding of SynBio research and innovation and to enhanced public engagement, while at the same time stimulating reflection on novel approaches to an inclusive governance framework that is capable of fostering responsible research and innovation. The processes will involve citizens and specific publics through well-established and innovative means of engagement, and will support the convergence of stakeholders and perspectives. Activities will be structured by four platforms, highlighting SynBios future, public, cultural and research & innovation perspectives. The iterative mutual learning process within SYN-ENERGY will be open to change in order to accommodate the dynamics of an emergent field. By dint of its approach, design and consortium, SYN-ENERGY will be a Science in Society activity with significant impact, raising public awareness of SynBio and yielding benefits for involved stakeholders, public discourse and European policy making in an international context.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-2.1-04 | Award Amount: 1.80M | Year: 2008
Most business-as-usual scenarios built up till now have shown that hydrocarbon resources scarcity and the growing release of greenhouse gases will bring the world far away from sustainability over the next decades. Then, deep changes in behaviours away from BAU are unavoidable long before the turn of the century in a move towards a post-carbon society. Urbanisation and mobility are probably the domains where these changes might be the most important and they will be necessarily driven and limited by socio-economic and cultural forces that will dominate the century. They will induce further deep changes in behaviours of consumers and producers and are likely to deeply impact the use and production of bulk materials, large energy consumers and GHG emitters. To address these challenges, key milestones were defined by the EU : - A 20% reduction (minimum) of CO2 emissions by 2020 (compared to 1990) in Europe - A reduction of the GHG emissions by 2050 and after, so as to limit the increase of the temperature due to climatic change within 2C. In this framework, the PACT project objective is to provide strategic decision-support information to decision makers to achieve these milestones. It will focus on 3 themes : - What shape the energy demand, and how this should evolve towards post-carbon concept, from the infrastructures viewpoint, in relation to urbanisation and land-use schemes, and that of the life-styles and behaviours, in relation to the available technologies. - The question of urbanisation and land-use from the renewable energy perspective, including that of the systems. - The role of social forces, actors, stakeholders in the transition process. PACT will address these issues in two phases: first, by developing the necessary analytical and conceptual framework, second in attempting to quantify scenarios of post-carbon societies at EU and world level by 2050 and beyond, using enhanced versions of the VLEEM and POLES models.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2009
Population ageing is among the most pressing challenges of the 21st century in Europe. Addressing this challenge scientifically demands an infrastructure of micro data of the changing health, economic and social living conditions of individuals as they go through the ageing process. SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is an infrastructure of multidisciplinary, longitudinal, and cross-nationally harmonized micro data that has been created in response to these demands. Currently, SHARE contains two waves of data for about 32,000 respondents aged 50\ in 17 European countries. SHARE became a great success: More than 2300 researchers are working with the data, and SHARE has been elected to be one of the future ESFRI infrastructures. This project is the essential device to enhance the longitudinal stability of the SHARE panel and to improve access and consulting services to users in the years 2009 and 2010. It will: -enhance the longitudinal stability of the panel by keeping in touch with the panel members, monitoring moves, re-interviewing lost panel members, and ascertaining last year of life events of deceased panel members. The scientific value of SHARE critically depends on continuous panel care. -improve the research potential from the SHARE infrastructure by adding imputed values for missing variables, calibrated weights, geo-coded and environmental variables, and meta/para-statistics derived from IT-driven survey methods. -enhance the SHARE survey instrument in response to user feedback, to changes in the institutional environment, and to new survey technologies recently developed, making the interview more effective and less burdensome for the respondents. Such enhancements need to be implemented in 2009/early 2010 to be in time for the ESFRI-financed fourth wave of data collection. -improve and maintain the much applauded user-friendly access for SHARE data users through services provided by central and national support points.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.1 | Award Amount: 9.31M | Year: 2008
The DIAdvisor is a large scale integrating project (IP) aiming at development of a prediction based tool which uses past and easily available information to optimise the therapy of type I and developed type II diabetes.\n\nThe DIAdvisor does not depend on specific sensor technologies and technologies like standard strip sensing, minimally-invasive continuous glucose sensors and non-invasive methods.\n\nFor safety reason, the DIAdvisor system will be able to self-assess the confidence of its proposed decisions. For safety reasons as well as for the sake of therapy improvements the system connects and provides information and trends to the Health Care Provider.\n\nGlucose prediction is difficult and requires advanced science. This can be achieved only by a well balanced group of eminent experts including academics, clinicians, user representatives and leading companies. This includes physiological modelling, identification theory, control theory, medical device technology, risk management theory, sensor science and user understanding.\n\nThe expected impact of DIAdvisor will be improved diabetes control and quality of life in large populations of insulin treated patients, leading to fewer diabetic complications and lower Health Care costs. Moreover, the project will constitute a valuable opportunity for European companies to build up a special know-how leading products that profoundly and positively impacts the lives of millions with other indications than diabetes.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2010
ICT developments both enable and also enforce large-scale, highly-connected systems in society and industry. Knowledge to cope with these emerging systems is lacking. HYCON2 will stimulate and establish the long-term integration of the European research community, leading institutions and industry in the strategic field of control of complex, large-scale, and networked dynamical systems. It will interconnect scattered groups to create critical mass and complementarity, and will provide the necessary visibility and communication with the European industries. HYCON2 will assess and coordinate basic and applied research, from fundamental analytical properties of complex systems to control design methodologies with networking, self-organizing and system-wide coordination. HYCON2 has identified several applications domains to motivate, integrate, and evaluate research in networked control. These domains are ground and aerospace transportation, electrical power networks, process industries, and biological and medical systems. Benchmarking will serve as a tool for testing and evaluating the technologies developed in HYCON2 and for stimulating and enforcing excellence by the identification and adoption of best practices. In particular, two show-case applications corresponding to real-world problems have been selected in order to demonstrate the applicability of networked control and the need for research in control. As no substantial technological breakthrough can be achieved without preparing the proper cultural background, a further important objective of HYCON2 is to spread and disseminate excellence through multi-disciplinary education at the graduate and undergraduate level. The proposed research, integration and dissemination program will make Europe both the prominent scientific and the industrial leader in the area of highly complex and networked control systems, therefore posing Europe in an extraordinary position to exploit their impact in economy and society.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.3-1 | Award Amount: 1.95M | Year: 2013
Solar energy direct conversion to electricity is expanding rapidly to satisfy the demand for renewable energy. The most efficient commercial photovoltaic solar cells are based on silicon. While the reuse of feedstock is a severe concern of the photovoltaic industry, up to 50% of the valuable resource is lost into sawdust during wafering. Presently, the majority of silicon ingots are sliced in thin wafers by LAS (loose abrasive sawing) using slurry of abrasive silicon carbide particles. The silicon carbide is not separable from the silicon dust in an economical way. The newer FAS (fixed abrasive sawing) uses diamond particles fixed to the cutting wire. It is expected that FAS will replace LAS almost completely by 2020 for poly/mono-crystalline wafering. The intention of the proposed project is to recycle the FAS loss aiming at a sustainable solution. The main problem is the large surface to volume ratio of micron size silicon particles in the kerf loss, leading to formation of SiO2 having a detrimental effect on the crystallisation. The compaction process developed by GARBO meets the requirements of a reasonable crucible-loading factor. Overheating the silicon melt locally in combination with optimised electromagnetic stirring provides the means to remove SiO2. The technology developed by GARBO removes the organic binding agents, leaving about 200 ppm wt diamond particle contamination. If untreated, the carbon level is above the solubility limit. Formation of silicon carbide and precipitation during crystallisation is to be expected. The electromagnetic mixing, in combination with the effective means to separate electrically non-conducting silicon carbide and remaining SiO2 particles from the silicon melt by Leenov-Kolin forces and the control of the solidification front, is the proposed route to produce the solar grade multi-crystalline silicon blocks cast in commercial size in a unified process.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.2.2-4 | Award Amount: 5.62M | Year: 2012
The main objective of NEXTGENCAT proposal is the development of novel eco-friendly nano-structured automotive catalysts utilizing transition metal nanoparticles (Cu, Ni, Co Zn, Fe etc) that can partially or completely replace the PGMs. Based on nanotechnology, low cost nanoparticles will be incorporated into different substrates, including advanced ceramics (SiO2, perovskite etc) and silicon carbides, for the development of efficient and inexpensive catalysts. The main idea of the proposal is the effective dispersion and the controllable size of the metal nanoparticles into the substrate that will lead to improved performance. To this end a modified polyol process as well as chemical and physical treatment of selected substances will enable the introduction of transition metal nanoparticles on the catalyst substrate precursors via adsorption and ion-exchange. The presence of metal ions sorbed on fixed precursor sites will inhibit the agglomeration during heating and final products with very fine particle dispersion and tuneable metal content will be obtained. It is expected that the developed catalysts will exhibit increased catalytic performance, even at low temperatures (200-250oC). Other key properties of the proposed nanostructured catalysts include: increased thermal stability (avoiding aggregation), improved durability, capability of reuse and recovery of transition metals as well as low health and environmental impact. Apart from the scientific innovations and the environmental impact, the proposal holds also great economic importance. Taking into account that the autocatalyst industry uses extremely large quantities of precious metal-68% of Pt and 72% of Pd in Europe the impact of replacing PGMs is of tremendous significance. Based on the current metal prices, it is estimated that the developed catalysts will reduce the catalyst cost at about 40-50%, opening the way to an efficient adaptation of nanotechnology-based catalysts in the automotive sector.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.3.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.36M | Year: 2013
The main objectives of this project are to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe; to assess the compatibility of existing policies with these changes; and to contribute to evidence-based policy-making. The project will extend our knowledge on how policies promote well-being, inclusion and sustainable societal development among families. Our approach relies on three key premises. First, family life courses are becoming more diverse and complex. Second, individual lives are interdependent, linked within and across generations. Third, social contexts and policies shape individual and family life courses. Building upon these premises we a) explore the growing complexity of family configurations and transitions, b) examine their implications for men, women and children with respect to inequalities in life chances, intergenerational relations and care arrangements, c) investigate how policies address family diversity, d) develop short- and longer-term projections, and e) identify future policy needs. Transversal dimensions that are integrated into the project are gender, culture, socioeconomic resources and life stages. Our approach is multidisciplinary combining a wide range of expertise in social sciences, law and the humanities represented in the consortium of 25 research partners from 15 European countries, old and new member states, and three transnational civil society actors. We will conduct comparative analyses applying advanced quantitative methods to high quality register and survey data, and qualitative studies. The project will also develop a database of the legal content of family forms available in European countries, suitable for comparative analyses. Together with various stakeholders, government agencies, national and local policy-makers, non-governmental organizations and additional members of the scientific community across Europe, we will identify and disseminate innovation and best policy practices.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-3.1-3 | Award Amount: 19.08M | Year: 2008
iNTeg-Risk is a large-scale integrating project aimed at improving the management of emerging risks in the innovative industry. This will be achieved by building a new risk management paradigm for emerging risks, which is a set of principles supported by a common language, commonly agreed tools & methods and Key Performance Indicators integrated into a single framework. As main impact, it will reduce time-to-market for the lead market EU technologies and promote safety, security, environmental friendliness and social responsibility as a trade-mark of the advanced EU technologies. The project will improve early recognition and monitoring of emerging risks, seek to reduce accidents caused by them (estimated 75 B/year EU27) and decrease reaction times if major accidents involving emerging risks happen. iNTeg-risk will reach its goals by promoting a EU-wide cross-sectorial life-cycle-based integration across all major disciplines, methods and tools as well as through integration of all relevant stakeholders. The project will be initiated from an empirical basis of 17 individual emerging risk issues (Emerging Risk Representative industrial Applications), and generalize their solutions addressing new technologies, products/materials, production and policies. The solutions will be validated in a second application cycle, and the overall solution made available to stakeholders in the form of the iNTeg-Risk platform: a one-stop shop for EU solutions addressing emerging risks. It will feature issues of early recognition and monitoring of emerging risks, communication, governance, pre-standardization, education & training, dissemination, as well as new tools such as Safetypedia, Atlas of Emerging Risks, Reference Library... The project has a solid industry leadership and involves the leading EU R&D institutions. It is coordinated by the European Virtual Institute for Integrated Risk Management, the EEIG guaranteeing the sustainability of the results after the project.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-12 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2012
The genetic changes associated with domestication in aquaculture pose an increasing threat to the integrity of native fish gene pools. Consequently, there is a bourgeoning need for the development of molecular tools to assess and monitor the genetic impact of escaped or released farmed fish. In addition, exploration of basic links between genetic differences among farmed and wild fish and differences in important life-history traits with fitness consequences are crucial prerequisites for designing biologically informed management strategies. The project AquaTrace will establish an overview of current knowledge on aquaculture breeding, genomic resources and previous research projects for the marine species seabass, seabream and turbot. The project will apply cutting-edge genomic methods for the development of high-powered, cost-efficient, forensically validated and transferable DNA based tools for identifying and tracing the impact of farmed fish in the wild. Controlled experiments with wild and farmed fish and their hybrids will be conducted with salmon and brown trout as model organisms using advanced common garden facilities. These experiments will elucidate the fundamental consequences of introgression by pinpointing and assessing the effects on fitness of specific genomic regions. Generated insights will form the basis of a risk assessment and management recommendations including suggestions for mitigation and associated costs. This information and the developed molecular tools will be available as open-access support to project participants and external stakeholders including the aquaculture industry. The project is expected to facilitate technology transfer to the aquaculture sector by promoting better tailored breeding practices and traceability throughout production chain. Overall this initiative will support the development of sustainable European aquaculture and provide Good Environmental Status in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-03-2015 | Award Amount: 5.94M | Year: 2016
SIMRA seeks to advance understanding of social innovation (SI) and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development (RD), and how to boost them, particularly in marginalised rural areas across Europe, with a focus on the Mediterranean region (including non-EU) where there is limited evidence of outcomes and supporting conditions. These objectives will be achieved by: 1. Developing systematic frameworks: a) theoretical - for improved knowledge of the complexity of SIs and its dimensions, and its impact on unfolding territorial capital; b) operational - based on a trans-disciplinary coalition (researchers and practitioners) to advance understanding of preconditions and success factors (e.g. instruments, incentives etc.) for implementing/operationalizing SI. 2. Creating a categorisation of SIs which encompasses the specificities in terms of social priorities, relationships/collaborations etc. and serves as an instrument to explore reasons why regions with similar conditions display diverging paths and to turn diversity into strength. 3. Creating an integrated set of methods to evaluate SI and its impacts on economic, social, environmental, institutional and policy dimensions of territorial capital. 4. Co-constructed evaluation of SIs in case studies across the spatial variation of European rural areas, considering which components of territorial capital foster and, or mainstream RD. 5. Synthesis and dissemination of new or improved knowledge of SIs and novel governance mechanisms to promote social capital and institutional capacity building and inform effective options/solutions for shaping sustainable development trajectories. 6. Creating collaborative learning and networking opportunities and launching innovative actions at different/multiple scales, with continuous interactions among researchers, knowledge brokers and stakeholders to foster and mainstream SI, leaving a durable legacy.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-15-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an incurable disease that has evaded pharmacological interference, biologic therapy or surgical intervention to prevent disease progression. Currently, OA is designated the 11th highest contributor (of 291 diseases) of global disability. In the absence of effective treatment options, cellular therapies using mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have emerged as potential candidates to overcome this clinical short-coming. Autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs) are attractive for cellular therapy given the abundance of tissue, high frequency of MSCs and minimally invasive harvest procedure. The EU consortium ADIPOA has shown in a first in man 2-centre Phase I safety study that intraarticular injection of a single dose of autologous ASCs to the knee (18 patients, 12 month follow-up) was well-tolerated, had no adverse effects, and resulted in an improvement in pain score and functional outcome. ADIPOA2 will deliver a large-scale clinical trial in regenerative medicine for OA. The purpose of the project is to design and implement a phase IIb study to assess the safety and efficacy of autologous (patient-derived) ACSs in the treatment of advanced OA of the knee. The cells will be prepared from samples of adipose tissue harvested from patients by lipoaspiration. ADIPOA2 will comprise a multi-centre, randomized clinical trial comparing culture-expanded, autologous adult ASCs in subjects with knee OA with another widely used therapeutic approach for knee degeneration (injection of Hyaluronan). There are two large elements of the study: (1) the production of consistent batches of high-quality autologous ASCs under GMP-compliant conditions and (2) delivery of these cell doses to patients in a trial which will meet all national and European regulatory and ethical standards and which will have sufficient statistical power to provide an unambiguous and definitive assessment of safety and efficacy.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2012.1.1-3 | Award Amount: 2.75M | Year: 2013
The aim of SmartSpec is to provide substance, guidance and practical support to the EU Smart Specialisation Platform, based on the combination of leading academic and practical expertise present in the consortium. The goal is directed at operationalising the concept of smart specialisation in a manner which will be useful to actors in different regional contexts. It will do this by strengthening the analytical underpinnings of the smart specialisation concept, providing methodological guidance for practice and generating strategic intelligence for policy-makers. Through an integrated, multi-dimensional and place-based approach focused on 8 Work Packages, SmartSpec develops robust practical and analytical findings to strengthen the implementation of smart specialisation strategies. With a strong emphasis on knowledge exchange and facilitated learning, SmartSpec will deliver useful results to inform practitioners and policymakers in the development and assessment of smart specialisation strategies, whilst extending the state of the art.
Angel R.,University of Padua |
Gonzalez-Platas J.,University of La Laguna
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2013
ABSORB is a program to calculate and apply absorption corrections to single-crystal X-ray intensity data from any source, any detector type and any instrument configuration. A new version, ABSORB-7, contains several significant new features. ABSORB-GUI has been developed to allow much easier specification of standard experiments and to enable experimental information to be imported from diffractometer software. The program that calculates the absorption calculations has been reconfigured to allow it to be called directly from other commercial and non-commercial software packages. In addition, a number of new features have been introduced to allow more flexibility in the way the experimental configuration is described and to correct synchrotron diffraction data collected with beams smaller than the sample crystal. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography.
Ricchelli F.,CNR Institute of Biomedical Technologies |
Sileikyte J.,University of Padua |
Bernardi P.,University of Padua
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2011
The mitochondrial permeability transition is an increase of permeability of the inner mitochondrial membrane to ions and solutes with an exclusion size of about 1500 Da. It is generally accepted that the permeability transition is due to opening of a high-conductance channel, the permeability transition pore. Although the molecular nature of the permeability transition pore remains undefined, a great deal is known about its regulation and role in pathophysiology. This review specifically covers the characterization of the permeability transition pore by chemical modification of specific residues through photoirradiation of mitochondria after treatment with porphyrins. The review also illustrates the basic principles of the photodynamic effect and the mechanisms of phototoxicity and discusses the unique properties of singlet oxygen generated by specific porphyrins in discrete mitochondrial domains. These experiments provided remarkable information on the role, interactions and topology of His and Cys residues in permeability transition pore modulation and defined an important role for the outer membrane 18 kDa translocator protein (formerly known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor) in regulation of the permeability transition. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Cona G.,University of Padua |
Scarpazza C.,King's College London |
Sartori G.,University of Padua |
Moscovitch M.,University of Toronto |
And 2 more authors.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2015
Remembering to realize delayed intentions is a multi-phase process, labelled as prospective memory (PM), and involves a plurality of neural networks. The present study utilized the activation likelihood estimation method of meta-analysis to provide a complete overview of the brain regions that are consistently activated in each PM phase. We formulated the 'Attention to Delayed Intention' (AtoDI) model to explain the neural dissociation found between intention maintenance and retrieval phases. The dorsal frontoparietal network is involved mainly in the maintenance phase and seems to mediate the strategic monitoring processes, such as the allocation of top-down attention both towards external stimuli, to monitor for the occurrence of the PM cues, and to internal memory contents, to maintain the intention active in memory. The ventral frontoparietal network is recruited in the retrieval phase and might subserve the bottom-up attention captured externally by the PM cues and, internally, by the intention stored in memory. Together with other brain regions (i.e., insula and posterior cingulate cortex), the ventral frontoparietal network would support the spontaneous retrieval processes. The functional contribution of the anterior prefrontal cortex is discussed extensively for each PM phase. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Pagh R.,IT University of Copenhagen |
Silvestri F.,University of Padua
Proceedings of the ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems | Year: 2014
We consider the well-known problem of enumerating all triangles of an undirected graph. Our focus is on determining the input/output (I/O) complexity of this problem. Let E be the number of edges, M < E the size of internal memory, and B the block size. The best results obtained previously are sort(E3/2) I/Os (Dementiev, PhD thesis 2006) and O (E 2=(MB)) I/Os (Hu et al., SIGMOD 2013), where sort(n) denotes the number of I/Os for sorting n items. We improve the I/O complexity to O (E 3/2=(√ MB)) expected I/Os, which improves the previous bounds by a factor min(√ E/M; √M). Our algorithm is cache-oblivious and also I/O optimal: We show that any algorithm enumerating t distinct triangles must always use Ω(t/(√MB)) I/Os, and there are graphs for which t = Ω(E3/2). Finally, we give a deterministic cache-aware algorithm using O (E3/2/(√MB)) I/Os assuming M ≥ Eε for a constant ε > 0. Our results are based on a new color coding technique, which may be of independent interest. Copyright 2014 ACM.
Brigelius-Flohe R.,German Institute of Human Nutrition |
Maiorino M.,University of Padua
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2013
Background With increasing evidence that hydroperoxides are not only toxic but rather exert essential physiological functions, also hydroperoxide removing enzymes have to be re-viewed. In mammals, the peroxidases inter alia comprise the 8 glutathione peroxidases (GPx1-GPx8) so far identified. Scope of the review Since GPxs have recently been reviewed under various aspects, we here focus on novel findings considering their diverse physiological roles exceeding an antioxidant activity. Major conclusions GPxs are involved in balancing the H2O2 homeostasis in signalling cascades, e.g. in the insulin signalling pathway by GPx1; GPx2 plays a dual role in carcinogenesis depending on the mode of initiation and cancer stage; GPx3 is membrane associated possibly explaining a peroxidatic function despite low plasma concentrations of GSH; GPx4 has novel roles in the regulation of apoptosis and, together with GPx5, in male fertility. Functions of GPx6 are still unknown, and the proposed involvement of GPx7 and GPx8 in protein folding awaits elucidation. General significance Collectively, selenium-containing GPxs (GPx1-4 and 6) as well as their non-selenium congeners (GPx5, 7 and 8) became key players in important biological contexts far beyond the detoxification of hydroperoxides. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Cellular functions of glutathione. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Park B.-D.,Kyungpook National University |
Causin V.,University of Padua
European Polymer Journal | Year: 2013
As a part of understanding hydrolytic degradation of cured UF resins responsible for formaldehyde emission, this study investigated the crystallinity and domain size of cured urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins with different formaldehyde/urea (F/U) mole ratios using wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques. Both techniques were employed to calculate the crystallinity and domain size of cured UF resins as a function of F/U mole ratio. As the F/U mole ratio decreases, the crystallinity of cured UF resins increases from 26% to 48%. The SAXS provided useful information on the spatial arrangement of the crystalline domains and of their average distance. As the F/U mole ratio decreased from 1.6 to 1.0, the average distance between domains in cured UF resins decreased from 39 nm to 34 nm while the crystallite size increased from 1.3 nm to 5 nm. These results suggested that the crystallites were more closely packed with each other in cured UF resins when the F/U mole ratio decreased and the ordered domains were more randomly dispersed in high F/U mole ratio than low F/U mole ratio of UF resins. The greater amount of these ordered crystallites in cured UF resins of low F/U mole ratio was found to be correlated to the improved hydrolytic stability of the cured resins. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hagedorn C.,University of Padua |
King S.F.,University of Southampton |
Luhn C.,Durham University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012
Following the recent results from Daya Bay and RENO, which measure the lepton mixing angle θ13l≈0.15, we revisit a supersymmetric (SUSY) S 4×SU(5) model, which predicts tri-bimaximal (TB) mixing in the neutrino sector with θ13l being too small in its original version. We show that introducing one additional S 4 singlet flavon into the model gives rise to a sizable θ13l via an operator which leads to the breaking of one of the two Z 2 symmetries preserved in the neutrino sector at leading order (LO). The results of the original model for fermion masses, quark mixing and the solar mixing angle are maintained to good precision. The atmospheric and solar mixing angle deviations from TB mixing are subject to simple sum rule bounds. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Silvestrelli P.L.,University of Padua |
Ambrosetti A.,CNR Institute of Materials
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2013
The DFT/vdW-WF2 method, recently developed to include the van der Waals (vdW) interactions in density functional theory (DFT) using the maximally localized Wannier functions, is improved by taking into account screening effects and applied to the study of adsorption of rare gases and small molecules, H2, CH4, and H2O on the Cu(111) metal surface, and of H2 on Al(111), and Xe on Pb(111), which are all cases where screening effects are expected to be important. Screening is included in DFT/vdW-WF2 by following different recipes, also considering the single-layer approximation adopted to mimic a screened metal substrate. Comparison of the computed equilibrium binding energies and distances, and the C3 coefficients characterizing the adparticle-surface van der Waals interactions, with available experimental and theoretical reference data show that the improvement with respect to the original unscreened approach is remarkable. The results are also compared with those obtained by other vdW-corrected DFT schemes. © 2013 American Physical Society.
Parez N.,Service de Pediatrie |
Giaquinto C.,University of Padua |
Du Roure C.,PHOCUS Services Ltd |
Martinon-Torres F.,University of Santiago de Compostela |
And 3 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014
Rotavirus gastroenteritis is a vaccine-preventable disease that confers a high medical and economic burden in more developed countries and can be fatal in less developed countries. Two vaccines with high efficacy and good safety profiles were approved and made available in Europe in 2006. We present an overview of the status of rotavirus vaccination in Europe. We discuss the drivers (including high effectiveness and effect of universal rotavirus vaccination) and barriers (including low awareness of disease burden, perception of unfavourable cost-effectiveness, and potential safety concerns) to the implementation of universal rotavirus vaccination in Europe. By February, 2014, national universal rotavirus vaccination had been implemented in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, and the UK. Four other German states have issued recommendations and reimbursement is provided by sickness funds. Other countries were at various stages of recommending or implementing universal rotavirus vaccination. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Dolcetti R.,Italian National Cancer Institute |
De Rossi A.,University of Padua
Medicinal Research Reviews | Year: 2012
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex critically involved in extending and maintaining telomeres. Unlike the majority of somatic cells, in which hTERT and telomerase activity are generally silent, normal lymphocytes show transient physiological hTERT expression and telomerase activity according to their differentiation/activation status. During lymphomagenesis, induction of persistent telomerase expression and activity may occur before or after telomere shortening, as a consequence of the different mechanisms through which transforming factors/agents may activate telomerase. Available data indicate that the timing of telomerase activation may allow the distinction of two different lymphomagenetic models: (i) an early activation of telomerase via exogenous regulators of hTERT, along with an increased lymphocyte growth and a subsequent selection of cells with increased transforming potential may characterize several virus-related lymphoid malignancies; (ii) a progressive shortening of telomeres, leading to genetic instability which favors a subsequent activation of telomerase via endogenous regulators may occur in most virus-unrelated lymphoid tumors. These models may have clinically relevant implications, particularly for the tailoring of therapeutic strategies targeting telomerase. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-1-01 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2009
This proposal, entitled Acquired Environmental Epigenetics Advances: from Arabidopsis to maize (acronym: AENEAS), aims to assess the impact of environmental conditions on epigenetic states in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and then transfer knowledge to maize (Zea mays): an important European crop. Advances in understanding the detailed mechanisms of epialleles formation in response to environmental cues and their heritable maintenance in a model plant such as Arabidopsis will be the starting objective of the AENEAS proposal. To this end, we will focus on three epigenetic regulatory pathways, which have been well characterized for their interaction with environmental signals in mediating changes into the epigenome. They are: the autonomous, the small RNA and the CpG methylation pathways. The outcome of this research activity will be a road map for plant environmental epigenetics, necessary for further progress of the basic research in this area and for the transfer of the knowledge to crop plants. Concomitantly, the constitution of an Environmental Epigenetics platform for maize, will start with the development of tools indispensable for the shift of epigenetic research from Arabidopsis to maize. This will be achieved by the functional characterization of maize mutants for epi-regulators belonging to the three pathways studied in Arabidopsis. The tools will comprise: maize epi-regulator mutants, their targets, and information about their interaction with environmental cues for epialleles formation and inheritance throughout generations. It is our opinion that the deliverables from AENEAS will be the progenitors for the next-generation of breeding programs, based on the exploitation of the environmental-induced epigenetics variability. In addition, we will conduct a comparative genomics analysis of data arising from the project to generate comparative models for environmental epigenomics in two evolutionary distinct species such as Arabidopsis and maize.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.1.2.1. | Award Amount: 3.45M | Year: 2009
HoverSpill driving force is based on the concept that the greatest part of oil spills has a strong impact on coasts, beaches and shoals. Even if the pollution takes place at open sea, vessels usually dont reach the location in short time to contain the spot, which rapidly expands. Moreover the oil hits those areas which can not be easily reached by traditional vehicles/vessels, nor by land nor by sea, for the lack of water depth or for the muddy land. The main objective of HoverSpill system is the development of an innovative procedure for oil spill emergencies, with the greatest immediacy and efficiency possible during the intervention and effectiveness during the following remediation activities. HoverSpill project is mainly focused to operate on the transitional areas between land and sea, where shoals, difficult access areas, long distance from ports, make difficulties more relevant. The project will study the best approach for the prevention and for the remediation and will use a specific air cushion vehicle, completely amphibious and capable of working on land and water, in areas with high and soft mud, which can be used as a pontoon in floating conditions: the vessel will be designed to be cheap and with easy maintenance, capable of high operative speed (>30 kn.) and spilled oil storage. It can be transported quickly on the road and can be parked on land or beaches near potential oil spill dangers with no need of harbours or other special structures necessaries for traditional vessels. New operational procedures and protocols will be defined in order to match the new technological approach and the vehicle characteristics. The hovercraft could be positioned on ships or oil tankers deck and used during oil transfer operations for a preventive action. Intervention on the water will foresee a double separation system and the remediation intervention will use the same air-cushion platform as a power supplier for tools and separator for polluted or washing waters.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.4.1 | Award Amount: 1.16M | Year: 2008
The popularity of Internet and the consequent global availability of networked information sources and digital libraries has led to a strong demand for multilingual access and communication technologies. Such technologies should support the timely and cost-effective provision of knowledge-intensive services for all members of linguistically and culturally diverse communities. This is particularly true in the multilingual setting of Europe. However, despite recent research advances, there are still very few operational systems in existence, and these are limited to the most widely used languages. The challenge that must now be faced is how to best transfer the research results to the wider market place. The objective of the Treble-CLEF proposal is to build on and extend the results already achieved by the existing Cross Language Evaluation Forum. The aim is not only to support the development and consolidation of expertise in the multidisciplinary research area of multilingual information access but also to disseminate this knowhow to the application communities. The specific target would be the European digital library context. Treble-CLEF would thus:\n\n- support the annual CLEF system evaluation campaigns with tracks designed to meet the specific requirements of the user and application communities, and particular focus on user modeling, language-specific experimentation, and results presentation\n\n- launch a concerted action of technology transfer and dissemination of knowhow, tools, resources and best practice guidelines through the organisation of workshops, tutorials and training sessions \n\n- encourage community-building and collaboration around this topic by providing a forum for the discussion of results and making the scientific data, experiments and results produced during the course of an evaluation campaign publicly available.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.39M | Year: 2013
The introduction of new technologies in the fabrication of light-weight high-performance materials for civil-engineering applications opens many new possibilities for the design of extremely lightweight structures. In particular, the inclusion of photo-voltaic cells together with the use of carbon-fiber cables will allow new design concepts combining an extreme lightness with an excellent structural performance while preserving the sustanability. Even if the new technology constitutes a potential breakthrough, in order to allow a successful impact on the market the properties of the novel materials need to be investigaded in detail so to understand their behaviour with respect to fatigue, aging, or other long-term effects. The wide adoption of such new solutions, will on the other hand imply the definition of an improved computer-based design approach. New tools will be needed to allow modeling to structural behaviour of ultra-lightweight structures and to realize them in conceptual designs.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 15.31M | Year: 2010
In recent years, the zebrafish has emerged as a new vertebrate model organism for biomedical research which offers a unique combination of traits: a short generation time, small size and efficient breeding procedures make it the best choice among vertebrates for forward genetic screening and small-molecule screens, including toxicology, while the transparent embryo and larva offers unique opportunities for imaging of cell movement and gene expression in a developing organism. Building on recent advances in the zebrafish field, we will conduct high-throughput phenotyping of at least a thousand regulatory genes relevant for common human diseases, by behavioural assays (for viable mutants), 3D / 4D imaging and expression profiling (including high-throughput sequencing). We will include mutants generated by TILLING and by the new zinc finger nuclease method, as well as mutants from earlier forward-genetics screens. A phenotyping effort of this scale has never been undertaken before in any vertebrate organism. Complementing the study of mutants relevant for neurological disorders, we will produce an atlas of gene expression in the brain, the most comprehensive one in a vertebrate. We will further perform a genome-wide characterisation of regulatory elements of potential disease genes by a combination of bioinformatics and transgenics. Small-molecule screening for mutant rescue or disease-relevant processes will identify candidate drugs and provide insights into gene function. Our increasing knowledge on the regulators and their interactions with regulatory targets will be integrated with knowledge at cellular and organismic level. By capitalising on the virtues of the zebrafish system, this systems biology approach to the regulome will gain unique knowledge complementing ongoing work in mammalian systems, and provide important new stimuli for biomedical research.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 15.18M | Year: 2013
The ageing of the European population represents a rapidly rising social and economic challenge. Especially cardiovascular morbidity increases with age, but unfortunately, elderly patients are often difficult to diagnose due to confounding factors, leading to uncertainties in clinical decision making with huge impact on patients outcomes. Hence, there is an unmet need for novel biomarkers for more accurate diagnosis, risk assessment, and clinical outcome prediction for both acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases in the elderly. The BestAgeing consortium aims to improve this lack of diagnostic capabilities by developing and validating innovative omics-based biomarkers particularly for elderly patients supporting healthy ageing in Europe. Our study design addresses the most frequent and severe cardiovascular diseases of elderly patients by incorporating the appropriate disease cohorts and biomaterials from European populations. We aim to develop new omics-assays to diagnose cardiovascular disease, estimate risk, and monitor the response to treatment in elderly. This is envisaged to enable a more stratified and economic delivery of medicine. We expect that BestAgeing will generate novel European medical technologies that can improve the efficacy and efficiency of our care for elderly patients, which will also impact on socioeconomic wealth in Europe.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: LCE-03-2014 | Award Amount: 5.80M | Year: 2015
To reduce the total cost of low enthalpy geothermal systems by 20-30 % the project will improve actual drilling/installation technologies and designs of Ground Source Heat Exchangers (GSHEs). This will be combined with an holistic approach for optimum selection, design and implementation of complete systems across different underground and climate conditions. The proposal will focus on one hand on the development of more efficient and safe shallow geothermal systems and the reduction of the installation costs. This will be realized by improving drastically an existing, innovative vertical borehole installation technology of coaxial steel GSHE and by developing a helix type GSHE with a new, innovative installation methodology. These GSHEs will be installed to a depth of 40 50 meters ensuring improved safety and faster permitting. On the other hand, the proposal will develop a decision support (DSS) and other design tools covering the geological aspects, feasibility and economic evaluations based on different plant set-up options, selection, design, installation, commissioning and operation of low enthalpy geothermal systems . These tools will be made publicly available on the web to users, including comprehensive training to lower the market entry threshold. Given that drilling and GSHE technologies are mature but costly, this holistic approach is included in the proposal to bring the overall cost of the total project down, i.e. not just the cost of the GSHE itself but the avoidance of ground response tests, the engineering costs for the design of the GSHE and the integration of heat pumps with building heating and cooling systems. Also the use of novel the heat pumps for higher temperatures developed within the project will reduce the costs in the market for retrofitting buildings. The developments will be demonstrated in six sites with different undergrounds in different climates whilst the tools will be applied to several virtual demo cases.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2012.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.96M | Year: 2013
We propose to carry out an FP7 collaborative project to provide the first ever quantitative answer to one fundamental age-old question of mankind: How common are Earth analogs in our Galaxy?. We will achieve our goal by combining the unprecedented photometric precision of NASAs Kepler mission, the unrivalled precision of ground-based radial-velocities from the HARPS-N spectrograph, and ESAs Gaia mission exquisitely accurate parallaxes. Ours is a transnational collaboration between European countries and the US setup to optimize the synergy between space- and ground-based data whose scientific potential can only be fully exploited when analyzed together. We ask for manpower and resources to carry out a GTO program with HARPS-N@TNG (80 nights/yr for 5 years) to measure dynamical masses of terrestrial planet candidates identified by the Kepler mission. With the unique combination of Kepler and HARPS-N data we will learn for the first time about the physics of their interiors. Some of these planets will have characteristics (masses, radii) similar to Earth, and they might be orbiting within the habitable zone of stars much like our Sun. We will search for planets similar to Earth orbiting a carefully selected sample of nearby bright solar-type stars and red M dwarfs, providing suitable candidates for spectroscopic characterization of their atmospheres with next-generation space observatories. We will combine Kepler, HARPS-N, and Gaia data products of stars in the Kepler field to underpin the occurrence rates of terrestrial planets () as a function of stellar properties with unprecedented accuracy. Our unique team expertise in observations and modelling of exoplanetary systems will allow us to fully exploit the potential for breakthrough science intrinsic to this cutting-edge, multi-techniques, interdisciplinary project, making the best use of data of the highest quality gathered from NASA and ESA space missions and ground-based instrumentation.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-2.3-1 | Award Amount: 9.42M | Year: 2008
30% of European workers experience back pain, and it is the most frequently reported work-related disorder. The proposed work seeks to provide a cure for lower back pain by developing porous scaffolds and technology which will repair a damaged intervertebral disc (IVD) by enabling its regeneration to a natural healthy state or better. Injectable acellular and cell-loaded bioactive polymer-based scaffolds will be developed. These will be designed to be implanted into the patient by minimally invasive surgery. A biomimetic approach will confer the appropriate mechanical and biological properties and enable the inclusion of the requisite cell signalling factors to produce a bio-hybrid structure which closely resembles the human tissue in all its essential attributes. Particular attention will be paid to angiogenesis. In IVD tissue, vascularization must be carefully controlled, due to the unique anatomy and physiology of the intervertebral disc. There must be negligible vascularization in the annulus and nucleus regions and moderate vascularization at the vertebral body level. Work will therefore be performed on materials functionalization, and on growth factor incorporation and delivery, to enable this region-specific control of vascularization at different levels. Natural IVD tissue contains a relatively low number of cells, which are chondrocyte-like in character. Consequently, it will be necessary to devote some research to identifying and evaluating suitable and more readily available alternative cells for incorporation in the bio-hybrid substitutes produced . Modelling studies will identify the physical and mechanical properties of the natural IVD and the substitute materials, and provide an understanding of the physical aspects of the regeneration process. In vivo study on animal model will be performed the bio-fuctionality of both sustitutes. Surgical methodology and protocol will be developed.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2011.4.4-4. | Award Amount: 37.57M | Year: 2011
The ESPOSA project will develop and integrate novel design and manufacture technologies for a range of small gas turbine engines up to approx. 1000 kW to provide aircraft manufacturers with better choice of modern propulsion units. It will also deal with engine related systems which contribute to the overall propulsion unit efficiency, safety and pilot workload reduction. Through the newly developed design tools and methodologies for the engine/aircraft integration the project will also contribute to the improved readiness for new turbine engines installation into aircraft. New technologies and knowledge gained through the ESPOSA project will provide European general aviation industry with substantially improved ability to develop and use affordable and environmentally acceptable propulsion units and reliable aircraft systems minimizing operating costs, while increasing the level of safety. The new engine systems and engine technologies gained from ESPOSA should deliver 10-14% reduction in direct operating costs (DOC) and reduce significantly the pilot workload. The ESPOSA project is oriented on turbine engine technologies tailored for a small aircraft up to 19 seats (under CS-23/FAR23) operated on the scheduled and non-scheduled flights. The research work comprises performance improvements of key engine components, their improved manufacture in terms of costs and quality. New engine component technologies will be backed by novel modern electronic engine control based on COTS, pioneering the engine health monitoring for small engines and providing new more electric solutions for fuel and propeller control systems. Project activities will include extensive validation on the test rigs. The most appropriate technologies according to value/cost benefit will be selected and integrated into functional complexes and further evaluated on the engine test beds. The functionality of certain project outcomes will also be demonstrated and validated in-flight conditions.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 864.00K | Year: 2016
The use of nanotechnology and nano-materials in biological applications is being widely explored and is considered a valuable approach to ameliorate human wellbeing. Specifically, nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes are of great scientific interest as they are currently used clinically as delivery systems for a wide range of drugs. An interdisciplinary approach that considers knowledge in chemistry, nano-materials, toxicology, physiology, molecular biology is vital for the progress of these devices and for the development of new procedures to create a novel market-ready prototype to boost human metabolism, fighting obesity and cardio-metabolic disease. An inter-sectoral approach is also required to put together Academics technical capabilities and facilities to conduct R&D activities with SMEs business expertise and viable supply chain to develop the prototype post project and to exploit the product in the market. Therefore, two academic (VUB and UniPD) and three industrial (INOC, IMED, ARTIA) European participants will create an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral co-operation (nanoBAT) to design and construct a novel nanostructured delivery-L-menthol system prototype for brown adipose tissue activation. During its four years duration, nanoBAT aims to achieve research and innovation objectives via staff exchanges of experienced and early-stage researchers throughout a series of activities like: networking, research and training, workshop, innovation, dissemination, and outreach.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 7.95M | Year: 2013
TRANSLINK is a project devoted to assessing the mid-to long-term risk factors and improve the outcome of animal (bovine/porcine)-derived Bioprosthetic Heart Valve (BHV) implants. 300,000 patients/year benefit from BHV, a major healthcare problem (second most frequent cardiac surgery). BHV clinical outcome suffers from late dysfunctions restricting their application to older recipients. Based on a retrospective (already computerised) and prospective cohort of approximately 3,000 BHV recipients and control patients from 3 large EU cardiac surgery groups, TRANSLINK aims primarily to establish the possible role of recipients immune response (IR) against BHV as a major cause to mid- to-long term clinical dysfunction. Precise molecular analysis of preimplantation BVH sugar moieties will be performed. Possible indirect side-effects on BHV endocarditis and host vessels inflammation are secondary end points. Serial and trans-sectional blood samples will be dispatched to a battery of highly specialised partner groups for testing anti-Gal, -Neu5Gc and -hyaluronic acid antibodies (Ig) using both validated and newly designed screening tools, glycan array patterns, and macrophages/NK responses. Data will be crossed with clinical outcome scores. Project design aims at delivering comprehensive recommendations in the time-frame of the grant. Fundamental basic science progress in the field of carbohydrate antigens is also expected. Furthermore, prevention (BHV from engineered animal source lacking major antigens) and treatment (bioabsorbants of deleterious Ig) oriented remedies as well as prospective biomarkers of longterm BHV deterioration will be set up by three first-class SMEs. TRANSLINK may strongly impact the treatment of heart valve diseases by improving morbid-mortality in patients with heart valves diseases and increasing the indication of BHV to younger patients.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2013
The next few decades will witness a rapidly increasing demand for agricultural products. This growing demand needs to be met largely through intensification (produce more from the same land surface) because there is little scope for an increase in agricultural area. Eco-functional intensification has been proposed as a promising solution. Eco-functional intensification is the optimization of all provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services in the agricultural production process. LIBERATION aims to provide the evidence base for eco-functional intensification and demonstrate the concept in seven representative agricultural landscape types in Europe. Using existing datasets from past and on-going European-scale studies we will first identify general relationships between the configuration of semi-natural habitats, on-farm management and biodiversity in a range of European landscapes and farming systems. Using a modelling approach we will link biodiversity to ecosystem services, by determining relationships between biodiversity, the delivery of multiple ecosystem services and agronomic yield. A novel aspect is that LIBERATION considers above- and below-ground ecosystem services simultaneously and analyses synergies and trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Using this modelling approach we will analyse which on-farm management practices and spatial configuration of semi-natural habitats optimizes yield and which optimizes farm income. We will synthesise management and policy recommendations. We will raise awareness and promote uptake of eco-functional intensification by disseminating project results to the widest possible range of stakeholders, amongst others by means of demonstration projects. This way we hope to liberate the forces of nature to the benefit of agricultural production.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-02b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2016
European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects. Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 14.61M | Year: 2008
The project is focused on the definition of a comprehensive genetic epidemiological model of complex traits like Essential Hypertension (EH) and intermediate phenotypes of hypertension dependent/associated Target Organ Damages (TOD). To identify the common genetic variants relevant for the pathogenesis of EH and TODs, we will perform a Whole Genome Association (WGA) study of 4.000 subjects recruited from historical well-characterized European cohorts. Genotyping will be done with the Illumina Human 1M BeadChip. Well-established multi-variate techniques and innovative genomic analyses through machine learning techniques will be used for the WGA investigations. Using machine learning approach we aim at developing a disease model of EH integrating the available information on EH and TOD with relevant validated pathways and genetic/environmental information to mimic the clinicians recognition pattern of EH/TOD and their causes in an individual patient. Our statistical design is with two samples run in parallel, each with 1,000 cases and 1,000 controls, followed by a replication/joint analysis. This design is more powerful than replication alone and allows also a formal testing of the potential heterogeneity of findings compared to a single step (one large sample) design. The results represent the source to build a customized and inexpensive genetic diagnostic chip that can be validated in our existing cohorts (n=12,000 subjects). HYPERGENES is in the unique position to propose a ground-breaking project, improving the methodology of genetic epidemiology of chronic complex diseases that have a high prevalence among EU populations. Designing a comprehensive genetic epidemiological model of complex traits will also help us to translate genetic findings into improved diagnostic accuracy and new strategies for early detection, prevention and eventually personalised treatment of a complex trait. The ultimate goal will be to promote the quality of life of EU populations.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-4 | Award Amount: 10.92M | Year: 2013
Although there is a large body of knowledge available on soil threats in Europe, this knowledge is fragmented and incomplete, in particular regarding the complexity and functioning of soil systems and their interaction with human activities. The main aim of RECARE is to develop effective prevention, remediation and restoration measures using an innovative trans-disciplinary approach, actively integrating and advancing knowledge of stakeholders and scientists in 17 Case Studies, covering a range of soil threats in different bio-physical and socio-economic environments across Europe. Within these Case Study sites, i) the current state of degradation and conservation will be assessed using a new methodology, based on the WOCAT mapping procedure, ii) impacts of degradation and conservation on soil functions and ecosystem services will be quantified in a harmonized, spatially explicit way, accounting for costs and benefits, and possible trade-offs, iii) prevention, remediation and restoration measures selected and implemented by stakeholders in a participatory process will be evaluated regarding efficacy, and iv) the applicability and impact of these measures at the European level will be assessed using a new integrated bio-physical and socio-economic model, accounting for land use dynamics as a result of for instance economic development and policies. Existing national and EU policies will be reviewed and compared to identify potential incoherence, contradictions and synergies. Policy messages will be formulated based on the Case Study results and their integration at European level. A comprehensive dissemination and communication strategy, including the development of a web-based Dissemination and Communication Hub, will accompany the other activities to ensure that project results are disseminated to a variety of stakeholders at the right time and in the appropriate formats to stimulate renewed care for European soils.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2010
Europe is facing a rapidly growing threat from Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), which is undoubtedly associated with an unhealthy diet and a more sedentary lifestyle. Evidence is accumulating that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may be playing a role in this process. Thus it provides a significant opportunity for preventing future T2D. Not only is GDM prevalence on the rise, but intrauterine exposure to hyperglycaemia predisposes the offspring to diabetes and obesity. Another putative contributing factor is a low vitamin D status, which is also increasing in prevalence and may have causal links with both obesity and decreased glucose tolerance. The main aims of this project are: 1) to establish the current status of the prevalence of GDM in Europe and facilitate the adoption of a single diagnostic approach and 2) to deliver the best strategy that prevents GDM. The latter was deemed as not fully feasible within the scope of this call and our decision was to test the most relevant approaches (diet, exercise, vitamin D, alone or in combination) against surrogate variables of GDM (fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, pregnancy weight gain) to come up with the best intervention for entry into a definitive GDM prevention trial. Deliverables include the sample size and modus operandi for such a trial. Value will be added to the project by 1) Assessing variables modifying the uptake of preventive interventions, 2) Exploring health costs of GDM and potential savings of preventive approaches, 3) Improving pathophysiological understanding by assessing intervention effect on several parameters in mother and foetus and 4) Facilitating future research through a well defined cohort of mother-offspring pairs and comprehensive biobanking.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.4 | Award Amount: 8.63M | Year: 2010
The Collective Experience of Empathic Data Systems (CEEDS) project will develop novel, integrated technologies to support human experience, analysis and understanding of very large datasets.\n\nMaking use of humans implicit processing abilities\n\nCEEDS will develop innovative tools to exploit theories showing that discovery is the identification of patterns in complex data sets by the implicit information processing capabilities of the human brain. Implicit human responses will be identified by the CEEDs systems analysis of its sensing systems, tuned to users bio-signals and non-verbal behaviours. By associating these implicit responses with different features of massive datasets, the CEEDs system will guide users discovery of patterns and meaning within the datasets.\n\nImmersion in synthetic reality spaces\n\nTo achieve this goal, users will be immersed in synthetic reality spaces (SRS), allowing them to explore complex data whilst following narrative structures of varying spatio-temporal complexity. Unobtrusive multi-modal wearable technologies will be developed in the project for users to wear whilst experiencing the SRS. These will provide an assessment of the behavioural, physiological and mental states of the user.\n\nTwo brains are better than one collective experience\n\nIndividuals pattern detection abilities will be augmented by linking multiple users together, creating a collective discovery system. Components of the CEEDs system will be integrated using generalized architectures from network robotics, creating a genuinely novel approach to massive distributed synthetic reality applications.\n\nMaking a practical difference\n\nCEEDs effectiveness will be validated through studies involving stakeholders from science, history and design. The consortium envisages genuine benefits from the CEEDs system. Think, for example, of a young pupil using CEEDs being able to see complex patterns in an astronomy data set, patterns which without CEEDs would only be perceptible to an experienced professor. By unleashing the power of the subconscious, CEEDs will make fundamental contributions to human experience. When we look back to life before CEEDs, we may liken our experience to living with our eyes closed.\n\nEnriching theory across disciplines\n\nOn the theoretical level, CEEDs targets a novel integrated computational and empirical framework, merging the delivery of presence with the study of consciousness, its underlying sub-conscious factors and creativity. To do this, CEEDS will follow a multi-disciplinary approach that will significantly further the state of the art across science, engineering and the humanities. By bringing together a team of leading experts in psychology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and other key disciplines, CEEDs will build the foundations for key developments in future confluent technologies.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.6.3 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2008
Reduction of energy consumption is a societal challenge that requires combination of technical, economical, and social means. So far, energy conservation has focused on new technologies and automation, treating users as passive consumers. However, strong evidence suggests that users can adapt actively their behaviour to energy saving with suitable feedback, support, and incentives, reducing significantly and cost-effectively energy use without impacting adversely their comfort.\nAt present, energy information flows are slow, aggregated, and hidden, being operated by a market lacking incentives and proper service models. The opaqueness discourages users to learn and apply conservation strategies in their everyday lives. However, novel ICTs offer opportunities for removing this bottleneck. In particular, ubiquitous interfaces combined with low-cost sensors support real-time information from energy networks and consumption, empowering users to learn and share conservation strategies.\nBeAware studies how ubiquitous information can turn users into active players by developing: 1) an open and capillary infrastructure sensing wirelessly energy consumption at appliance level; 2) ambient and mobile interaction to integrate energy use profiles into users everyday life; 3) value added service platforms and models where consumers can act on ubiquitous energy information while energy producers and other stakeholders gain new business opportunities.\nBeAware combines research excellence with relevant industrial involvement. To ensure wide applicability, a Nordic and a Southern evaluation site are planned. A liaison with the CITRIS programme in the USA facilitates dissemination. The expected impact focuses on 1) grounding the conservation potential to users cognitive constraints and practices, 2) ubiquitous computing applications for sensing wirelessly energy use and enabling users to act, and 3) value added service models to innovate a new energy and multi-utility market.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-05 | Award Amount: 12.09M | Year: 2013
The objective of BIOCOMES is to develop 11 new biological control agents (BCAs) for key markets in European agriculture and forestry. BCAs were identified through market analysis by six manufactures of biological control products. BCAs will primarily be for use in open field crops of vegetables (3), of which 2 are also for use in protected crops, arable crops (3), fruit crops (3), and three different types of forests (2). Primary targeted pests are: gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), pine weevil (Hylobius abietis), tomato pinworm (Tuta absoluta), white flies, aphids of fruit tree crops and Mamestra brassicae. Primary targeted pathogens are: damping-off diseases in forest nurseries, soilborne pathogens of oilseed rape and cereals, brown rot (Monilinia spp.) of stone fruit, and powdery mildew of cereals (Blumeria graminis). The economic sustainability during the entire development process will be assessed by the responsible industrial partners. The environmental sustainability will be quantified for each BCA by means of the Sustainable Process Index method. The entire developmental process for each of the 11 BCA products is guided by a consultancy partner specialized and leading in (bio) pesticide registration including risk assessments for European (bio) pesticide industries. In vitro production of entomopathogenic viruses as new innovative technique like will be developed aimed at a breakthrough in economic production. Downstream-technology and shelf life for entomopathogenic nematodes will be improved. BIOCOMES will communicate project results with all stakeholders with special attention to European IPM networks throughout the whole project duration. BIOCOMES combines the expertise of 10 industrial SME partners, 3 larger industrial partners and 14 research partners with 38% of the requested EU contribution supporting SMEs. All 11 BCA solutions will be novel IPM tools and new alternatives to replace major pesticide applications in European agriculture and forestry.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2013-2 | Award Amount: 2.70M | Year: 2013
The project aims at developing innovative systems for masonry enclosures, to be used for faades, envelopes and internal partitions of reinforced concrete framed buildings, to derive sound concepts for their analysis and to develop reliable, simple and efficient methods for their design in the everyday engineering practice. Masonry enclosure systems have excellent, yet still improvable, performance with respect to healthy indoor environment, temperature, noise, moisture, fire and durability. However, they have been considered for long time as non-load-bearing, non-structural elements. In reality, they can play a structural role in the overall seismic behavior of buildings. Enclosure walls need to be checked against excessive damage and potential out-of-plane collapse. Under this respect, as proven by recent earthquakes, if they are not properly detailed to accommodate seismic loads and correctly designed, they represent a significant hazard and can result in extensive economic losses as well as in a source of danger for human lives. Hence, it is necessary to reconsider the structural role of enclosures, in order to establish reliable analysis and design procedures and to provide background for an update of current structural codes. The adopted approach starts from material and technology development. Technical and economical feasibility of the envisaged construction systems will be demonstrated by performing parallel experimental and theoretical studies and will be validated by prototypes construction. Experimental and numerical characterization will be aimed at deriving structural requirements of masonry infill walls, as well as tools and methods for their assessment. The research will offer innovative solutions to scientific and technological problems which have a broad-spectrum impact. The experience of SME associations involved in the project, with the aid of all the partners, will ensure that the needs of large communities of SMEs are met
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 1.57M | Year: 2009
The aim of the project is to analyse, within a comparative institutionalist analytical framework, the trajectories of socio-economic development models. Comparative analyses of forms of capitalism have underlined the diversity in institutional configurations. Within the EU, it is assumed that four types of socio-economic models exist: market-oriented, continental, Nordic, and Southern, with the position of transitional CEEC under discussion. The project will reconstitute the historical trajectories of these socio-economic models, in order to understand how their institutional configuration mediates the synergies and trade-offs between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. By focusing on complementarities and conflicts as well as changes in socio-political compromises, by contesting the hypothesis of convergence towards a specific European model and by analysing the impacts of globalisation and structural reforms, the possible future for these models will be discussed. The project will combine three approaches Firstly, a quantitative analysis of the trajectories of socio-economic models. Using long-term data bases for industrialized countries, statistical and econometrical analyses will allow for a quantitative historical analysis of trajectories for the period 1975-2005. The analysis will be completed with analysis of CEEC and emerging countries for the period 1990-2010. Secondly, a comparative analysis of socio-political dynamics and institutional changes. Twelve European and four non-European countries will be examined in order to identify, from an historical perspective, the evolution of socio-political compromises and their influence on the dynamics of institutional changes. Thirdly, sectoral analyses of institutional configurations and industrial dynamics, which will combine statistical and socio-political approaches in order to analyse the long term dynamics of four industries within different socio-economic models.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-11 | Award Amount: 4.93M | Year: 2010
Secure and stabilised hatchery production of bivalve seed is the unifying objective of the REPROSEED project. Development of innovative new methods will lead to high quality seed of guaranteed physiological health, sanitary status and genetic diversity. By considering the biology of bivalve life stages and the trophic and microbial environment of rearing conditions REPROSEED researches ways of controlling key processes, like reproduction, larval rearing and metamorphosis. New technological advances, like recirculation systems and outdoor algal culture, will provide ways to reduce costs. The need for hatcheries is growing in Europe due to demands from the shellfish industry for quality juveniles and concerns about wild seed due to inconsistent spatfall or environmental harm caused by seed collection of some species. Four economically important molluscs were selected to represent these needs: two species already reared in hatcheries, Crassostrea gigas and Pecten maximus, and two emerging hatchery species, Mytilus edulis and Ruditapes decussatus. Scientific research is most advanced for C. gigas, so its further development will enable us to attain a level of excellence. Knowledge on this species and on P. maximus, an excellent model for solving particular bivalve rearing problems, can also help improve hatchery culture of the other species. Inter-specific differences enable comparative study of important traits. REPROSEED investigates the physiological basis of early sexual maturation, gamete competency, immunity and metamorphosis, at cellular and molecular levels, including genomics and proteomics. Application of these results and dedicated studies will be made on practical aspects of controlled bivalve reproduction, nutritional needs for broodstock conditioning and larval growth (including testing of mutant yeasts and lipid microcapsules) and the benefits of probiotics. Advances will be shared with end-users throughout the project.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2013
The aim of the GenderTime project is to identify and implement the best systemic approach to increase the participation and career advancement of women researchers in selected institutions where self-tailored action plans are implemented. Institutions involved in GenderTime are intentionally very different in terms of size, discipline, history, etc. in order to experiment in various situations and to create a synergy among scientific partners. The plans will involve activities as recruitment, retention and promotion policies, supporting work-life balance measures, updated management and research standards, supporting policies for dual careers-couple, etc. To guarantee the real implementation of structural change in each Institution a central role will be assumed by the transfer agents. A crucial point will be the real commitment of organizational heads of each participant. Among the 10 partners, there are 8 scientific partners across Europe, they implement self-taylored action plans in their institutions. An external partner is in charge of the evaluation. A technical partner coordinates the project. The consortium will cooperate on common actions to transfer knowledge between relative newcomers and institutions with experience on gender aware management. Besides a measurable change in the participating institutions through evaluation instruments such as tailor-made indicators, the outcome of the project will be to produce tested toolbox and management tools for future action plans in institutions interested in similar approaches. Comparative analysis of GenderTime experiences will identify the best self-tailored actions according to cultural contexts, disciplines, etc. and the factors for a successful sustainable implementation. GenderTime objective is to contribute to an organizational and structural change in European research and to disseminate at all levels the tools to implement it.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 4.32M | Year: 2012
Landslides and debris flows are serious geo-hazards common to countries with mountainous terrains. The high speed and the enormity of debris mass make debris flows one of the most dangerous natural hazards. Debris flows are often triggered by landslides partially or completely mobilizing into debris flows. Globally, landslides cause billions of dollars in damage and thousands of deaths and injuries each year. The numerous devastating events worldwide have made us aware of the complexity of landslides and debris flows and our insufficient knowledge to make reliable predictions. Traditional tools for prediction and design are based on limit equilibrium analysis for landslides and shallow water model with Finite Difference solver for debris flows. Usually soil and debris are modelled as single phase materials with constant material properties. That the simple models are unable to account for the complex behaviour of landslides and debris flows, which can be best described as multiphase and multiscale, is well known to researchers and stakeholders. Obviously there is an urgent need for better understanding of the triggering mechanisms, for reliable prediction of runout dynamics, deposition pattern and impact forces and for rational design of stabilization and protection structures. The last decade saw rapid developments in advanced constitutive models, experimental techniques in laboratory and in-situ, mechanics of multiphase media, localized deformation analysis, Discrete Element Method (DEM), advanced Finite Element Method (FEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Training in these subjects has been rather sporadic and scattered in various disciplines. By integrating these advances into a coherent research network we expect to achieve the breakthrough in the research on landslides and debris flows, i.e. a consistent physical model with robust numerical scheme to provide reliable prediction and rational design of protection measures for landslides and debris flows.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-02-2014 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015
Independent access to space is a key component of the European Space Policy. The competition is increasing in this area both for the full launching systems and the key subsystems. Cost-effectiveness becomes the main driving factor. HYPROGEO ambition is to study a propulsion module based on Hybrid chemical propulsion. Hybrid propulsion is not a new technology but its application to a transfer module or to a re-ignitable upper stage is very innovative. It is an interesting alternative for the GEO transfer, between the chemical propulsion (bi-liquid) and the new trend of Electrical Propulsion (EP). There are very good synergies and complementarities with the other propulsion activities. The proof of concept (specific impulse, thrust) has been demonstrated. The main technical challenge is the long duration firings. The future development of an operational system, already identified in the current roadmaps, requires advanced R&D work on 4 critical technologies: - Combustion chamber. - High endurance nozzle. - Catalytic injector. - Production, storage and use of high concentration hydrogen peroxide. These R&D activities structure 4 main work packages. A system study ensures the global vision in coherence with an economic analysis, the identification of technical challenges and the consolidation of scientific results. A last work package performs the dissemination of results. An innovative aspect is the fact that the R&D activities are directly driven by the ecvolution of market needs and system requirements. Main expected benefits are: - Green and simpler design (compared to bi-liquid). - Shorter transfer time and reduced cost of operations (compared to EP) A TRL 3-4 level is expected at the end of the project. The impact of the project is secured by the composition of the consortium led by Astrium with the main European actors of the hybrid: it contributes to the consolidation of the European industrial supply chain for Hybrid propulsion. Project duration is 36 months.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2012-3 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2012
The increasing cost of traditional energy sources and the availability of new emerging building technologies in lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, isolation, energy monitoring and management of the buildings, are expected to increase the global market for low carbon solutions. However, some financial, organizational and social innovation enablers are required to leverage the transformation towards more sustainable building and cities. New green performance based business models should clearly be introduced for stepping up the adoption of new energy efficient solutions through the creation of cooperative and collaborative business networks, which will allow an early involvement of all relevant value chain stakeholders in the retrofitting optimization process, such as construction SMEs, ESCOs, building owners (private and local authorities), local administrations or financial institutions. Overall aim: NewBEE project will develop the NewBEE system enabling SMEs to generate New performance based Business models for cost and Energy Efficient construction works with special incidence in retrofitting. NewBEE system will be composed of: o NewBEE methodology: Methodology and working handbook o NewBEE ICT platform: Set of ICT tools Innovation: The main innovation of NewBB comes from the seamless integration from the first time, of all actors in the value chain of energy efficiency in construction industry (paying special attention to the retrofitting works where most of the savings in energy efficiency can be achieved) by the use of a new working methodology fitted to the new paradigm efficiently supported by an ICT set of tools. Another important innovative issue is the creation of a system which benefit from the previous knowledge in order to enabling SMEs to find an easy way of generating new business opportunities and also provide them the means to develop them.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2013.4-6. | Award Amount: 26.47M | Year: 2013
Thermal behaviour of aircraft has recently become a crucial subject due to many factors: increasing number of complex systems required by modern, more electric, commercial aircraft, the introduction of hotter engines with higher by-pass ratios, the increased use of composite material in aircraft structures, or the confinement of highly dissipative equipment and systems in smaller areas to earn space for passengers and cargo. New advanced techniques to manage the aircraft thermal behaviour at the very early stages of development are essential to take the right configuration decisions while meeting market demands. To work efficiently and on emerging innovative solutions, it is essential to perform thermal management at the global aircraft level. Today, thermal studies are performed for sizing and risk analyses. The TOICA project intends to radically change the way thermal studies are performed within aircraft design processes. It will create and manage a thermal aircraft architecture which today does not exist. This will be shared in the extended enterprise with design partners through a collaborative environment supporting new advanced capabilities developed by the project, namely the architect cockpit, which will allow the architects and experts to monitor the thermal assessment of an aircraft and to perform trade-off studies. Super integration will support a holistic view of the aircraft and allow traditional design views and the related simulation cascade to be challenged. Six use cases illustrating new thermal strategies will demonstrate the benefits of the TOICA approach on realistic aircraft configurations. Plateaus will be organised with architects for the definition, selection and evaluation of thermally optimised aircraft configurations. These plateaus will drumbeat the project. In parallel, technology readiness evaluations will assess the maturity of the developed technologies and support the deployment and exploitation of the TOICA results.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-CG | Phase: ERC-CG-2013-PE10 | Award Amount: 1.96M | Year: 2014
With an average toll of 80.000 deaths per year over the last decade, earthquakes remain one of the most dreadful geohazards. The advancement of earthquake risk assessment and forecasting methods (probability estimates that a mainshock may occur in terms of hypocentre location, magnitude and time) calls for a sound physical basis. The nucleation, propagation and arrest of an earthquake rupture results from the interplay of stress perturbations, micro- to macro-scale friction- and rupture-related processes and fault zone geometrical complexity. Most of the information about these parameters is out of reach of seismic waves and geophysical analysis. Here we aim at enhancing our knowledge of earthquake physics (from nucleation to arrest) by means of a multidisciplinary approach that includes: 1) experiments to investigate earthquake nucleation by reproducing crustal (pressure, temperature, presence of fluids, stress perturbations, etc.) deformation conditions with the most powerful earthquake simulator installed worldwide (SHIVA); 2) experiments to investigate rupture propagation on simulated faults using natural rocks and small-scale analogue models; 3) field studies of exhumed seismogenic sources to quantify the geometrical complexity of natural fault zones; 4) advanced numerical simulation techniques that will integrate the above information and allow up-scaling to natural faults. The numerical models will produce physically-based earthquake simulations that will be compared with high-resolution seismic data. By reproducing crustal deformation conditions (stress, temperature, fluid pressures, etc.) in the laboratory and by monitoring acoustic emissions, gases, electromagnetic waves, etc., produced by the rock samples during deformation, a by-product of our research will be the systematic investigation of precursory phenomena (seismic, chemical, and electromagnetic) associated to earthquake nucleation processes.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009.3.2.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.52M | Year: 2010
The project tackles the problem of earthquake-impact on Cultural Heritage assets starting from basic consideration that efficient protection, with substantial guarantee of compatibility and low-intrusivity, can only be achieved with minimum intervention approach. This requires that potentialities of existing materials and components are as much as possible exploited in terms of strength and energy dissipation, and candidate interventions are validated and optimized on specific, real application conditions. At the project start, earthquake-induced failure mechanisms, construction types and materials, intervention and assessment techniques will be cross-correlated with the aim of developing new integrated methodologies with a systemic approach. Traditional materials will be enhanced by innovative industrial processes (e.g., nano-limes or micro-silica for injection), and new high-performance (e.g. dissipative) elements will be developed. Novel collaborative combinations of them will be tested on structural components (walls, pillars, floors, vaults) and on structural connections (wall-, floor- and roof-to-wall), which converge the behaviour of single strengthened elements into the global structural response. The envisaged techniques will be also validated on model buildings and substructures. Advanced numerical studies will allow parameterizing the results and deriving simple and optimized design procedures. Early warning techniques for intelligent interventions and advanced monitoring techniques for knowledge based assessment and progressive implementation of interventions will be also developed. This bottom-up approach will bring to new integrated materials, technologies and tools for systemic improvement of seismic behaviour of CH assets. The new solutions will be condensed into guidelines for end-users. The large participation of research centres, SME, and end-user from various countries, including ICPC and MPC, ensures increased impact of the research.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.70M | Year: 2011
The More Medicines for Tuberculosis (MM4TB) consortium evolved from the highly successful FP6 project, New Medicines for TB (NM4TB), that delivered a candidate drug for clinical development two years ahead of schedule. Building on these firm foundations and exploiting its proprietary pharmacophores, MM4TB will continue to develop new drugs for TB treatment. An integrated approach will be implemented by a multidisciplinary team that combines some of Europes leading academic TB researchers with two major pharmaceutical companies and four SMEs, all strongly committed to the discovery of anti-infective agents. MM4TB will use a tripartite screening strategy to discover new hits in libraries of natural products and synthetic compounds, while concentrating on both classical and innovative targets that have been pharmacologically validated. Whole cell screens will be conducted against Mycobacterium tuberculosis using in vitro and ex vivo models for active growth, latency and intracellular infection. Hits that are positive in two or more of these models will then be used for target identification using functional genomics technologies including whole genome sequencing and genetic complementation of resistant mutants, yeast three hybrid, click chemistry and proteomics. Targets thus selected will enter assay development, structure determination, fragment-based and rational drug design programs; functionally related targets will be found using metabolic pathway reconstruction. Innovative techniques, based on microfluidics and array platforms, will be used for hit ranking, determining rates of cidality and confirming mechanism of action. Medicinal chemistry will convert leads to molecules with drug-like properties for evaluation of efficacy in different animal models and late preclinical testing.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013
The growth of advanced composites in construction in recent years has been spectacular, doubling in size in the last 10 years. This expansion has been largely due to the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer reinforcement in structural applications and, although the current economic climate has seen a slowdown of the general construction market, the demand of composite products within the European construction market is estimated to grow and reach 3.1 billion by 2013. The on-going requirement for more durable structures and more efficient rehabilitation solutions is the key driving force behind the introduction of FRPs in the construction industry as reinforcing or strengthening material for concrete and masonry structures. In Europe alone, the annual cost of repair and maintenance of the infrastructure is estimated to be about 50% of the construction budget. Composite materials are readily used in a large number of applications and yet, a set of accepted design guidelines does not exist and most construction professionals are unaware of what composites are and rely on specialists who often use their own standards and guidelines. Moreover, little interaction exists between academia and industry and practical applications are time and again a reflection of a design approach instructed by conservative guidelines, which hinder innovation. The aim of the Network is to train researchers in the use of advanced composites for construction so as to develop and maintain a critical mass of research groups that will address the main scientific challenges in the field, enable the development of advanced material standards and design guidelines, co-ordinate European research, and offer a link between academia and industry. The Network will strengthen the European Research Area on composite reinforcements and will contribute to increase the competitiveness of the European construction industry worldwide.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.4.0-1 | Award Amount: 7.20M | Year: 2013
The concept of PolyGraph is to develop new production techniques which will deliver industrial-scale quantities of graphene-reinforced thermosetting polymers, suitable for use in a number of key applications where improvements are needed in the strength, stiffness, toughness, electrical conductivity and thermal properties; such as fibre-reinforced composite resins, coatings and adhesives. The ultimate aim of PolyGraph is to develop a process in which graphene can be produced and dispersed in-situ within thermosetting polymer resins, using relatively inexpensive expanded graphite as a starting material. We propose a staged approach to reach this ambitious goal, starting with production of graphene via new chemical and mechano-chemical methods and its subsequent dispersion in thermosetting resins. We will then further develop and modify existing mixing and dispersion equipment to enable the exfoliation of expanded graphite to be carried out directly in thermosetting resins. A further aim is to optimise techniques for the production of fibre-reinforced composites, adhesives and coatings, to ensure that the graphene remains well distributed in the final part. As a result, we will significantly lower the overall cost of these materials and make them viable for use in the composites, coatings and adhesives industries.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.2 | Award Amount: 4.72M | Year: 2013
MOSAIC will address two very specific aspects linked to the prediction of risk of developing diabetes (type 2 and gestational) and complications associated to diabetes. These objectives respond to a widely recognized problem related to diabetes management and have the potential to have a major impact in the way diabetes is currently diagnosed and followed in Europe.\nThe MOSAIC consortium counts with the expertise of four modelling partners who have worked over 25 years in the development of models of the human metabolic response in diabetes that will be enhanced in the project with the incorporation of elements that provide information related to environmental and clinical factors that prove to be relevant for the objectives defined such as socio-economic aspects, geographic localization, cultural background, nutrition, etc.\n\n\nMultiple data bases cutting across geographic boundaries are available to the MOSAIC consortium as a result of the activities of previous studies and projects of the members, such as (a) METABO 7FP EU project; (b) from the transversal study Healthy Breakfast enriched with Medtronics CareLink reports for continuous glucose monitoring systems; (c) two large longitudinal epidemiological studies over 10 years long (VIVA study, BOTNIA prospective study); (d) outpatient data treated by FSM, Athens Hospital, Health Department Valencia-La Fe, ASL Pavia program over more than 10 years and (e) other data bases generated in ongoing 7FP EU studies like ePREDICE.\n\nMOSAIC will integrate these models into an already existing platform for diabetes management and remote monitoring, NOMHAD Chronic, to facilitate the interpretation and visualization of the data and to enable a comprehensive understanding of the information by the health care professionals. At the same time this platform will be used during the validation phase of the project to acquire data during the prospective study to feed the models under test.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2011
The FUNEA vision is to develop an integrated and multidisciplinary research and training programme in the field of inorganic nitrides for energy applications. In terms of fundamental research, the FUNEA aims to advance the state-of-the-art knowledge and understanding of inorganic nitrides and mixed nitride-anion systems by achieving the ability to synthesise, manipulate, characterize, understand and model binary and ternary nitrides and oxonitrides with functional properties. By this a breakthrough in the nitride chemistry will be achieved steering in a new era for materials with advanced functionality and exceptional levels of performance. In terms of technological applications, the FUNEA focuses on the energetic applications of novel nitride-based materials with this addressing the main needs of the 21st century. To meet this vision, eight European academic research groups with complementary expertise in the synthesis, processing and characterization of materials and five industrial partners, each of whom have made a commitment to study these new functional nitrides, have decided to create a network of scientific cooperation with the following goals: (i) to create an interdisciplinary approach to the synthesis, processing and characterization of novel nitrides for energy applications, (ii) to train high-quality young researchers, experienced in the interdisciplinary science of the nitrides. These young professionals will lead the field forward and onward to its bright future in the European science and technology. Specifically, FUNEA aims to train 11 ESRs and 2 ERs with an overall target of 40% women researchers, and (iii) to establish a European network of scientists in academic institutes and industry in the field of inorganic nitrides, that will continue to grow and enhance European competitiveness over the next years.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2009
The multi-site European initial training network ENHANCE New Materials: Innovative Concepts for their Fabrication, Integration and Characterization will be established to deal with the mid and long term issues of concern to the European industry encompassing the whole spectrum of functional materials for microelectronics, nano-electronics, data storage, photovoltaic, with emphasis on emerging nano-technologies. This network consisting of 3 academic groups from chemistry 1 from physics, 3 from Material Science and Engineering and 1 industrial partners from 6 different countries of Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark and Austria. Despite the exceptional importance of thin film processing of many new materials and their integration in emerging nanotechnologies, there is no systematic interdisciplinary training of students in the traditional courses of chemistry, materials science and engineering. ENHANCE aims to close this gap by combining the classical knowledge of chemistry, materials science, physics and engineering i.e. the knowledge of precursor molecules, materials properties, study of physical phenomena, to electronic devices and circuit integration. The training of ENHANCE fellows will be based on a structured 3 year academic curriculum, including, generic skills workshops and on-site research training at the state of the art laboratories, facilities under clean room conditions and a training at the industrial laboratories. This will provide the young scientists with necessary in-depth knowledge in materials synthesis and thin film processing as well as experimental skills in operating the instruments and analytical skills in different materials characterization techniques. The training concludes with European doctoral examination and will be reviewed by external experts in the field and their remarks will be addressed during the final disputation.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-14 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2008
Although exploited fishes have traditionally been managed on a geographic basis, for conservation purposes they should be managed at the population level: the extent and dynamics of population structuring underlies resilience and sustainability. More effective enforcement and conservation demands a focus on identification and monitoring of wild fish populations and traceability of products. FishPopTrace brings together expertise in fish traceability projects (Fish and Chips, FishTrace, FISH-BOL) to: 1.Integrate data from European fish species traceability projects, and to generate a single compatible database and tissue archive managed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. 2. Examine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and otolith microchemistry and morphometrics in widely distributed populations of cod, hake, herring and sole. Outputs will comprise population-level signatures associated with fish origins in early life and representative spawning groups. 3. Undertake validation of traceability tools in relation to end-user technology. 4. Develop a population monitoring system based on genetic and otolith data that will assess population stability in a temporal and spatial framework. 5. Test the utility of additional novel traceability systems (fatty acid profiles, proteomics, gene expression, microarray platform for SNP genotyping). 6. Facilitate technology transfer in relation to enforcement and conservation policies of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and associated socio-economic consequences. Outputs from FishPopTrace will improve the traceability of fish and fish products and protection of consumer interests through enhanced understanding of the dynamics, temporal stability and distribution of major populations of four key exploited fish species. Central elements of the output will be the development and evaluation of end-user tools, a Cost Benefit Analysis and a final report setting FishPopTrace in the context of the CFP.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.3.1.2.1. | Award Amount: 4.64M | Year: 2008
As formulated in the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection prepared by the European Commission soil degradation is a serious problem in Europe. The degradation is driven or exacerbated by human activity and has a direct impact on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate and human life-quality. High-resolution soil property maps are one major prerequisite for the specific protection of soil functions and restoration of degraded soils as well as sustainable land use, water and environmental management. However, the currently available techniques for (digital) soil mapping still have deficiencies in terms of reliability and precision, the feasibility of investigation of large areas (e.g. catchments and landscapes) and the assessment of soil degradation threats at this scale. A further quandary is the insufficient degree of dissemination of knowledge between the scientific community, relevant authorities and prospective users and deficiencies in standardisation. The focus of the iSOIL project is on improving fast and reliable mapping of soil properties, soil functions and soil degradation threats. This requires the improvement as well as integration of geophysical and spectroscopic measurement techniques in combination with advanced soil sampling approaches, pedometrical and pedophysical approaches. An important aspect of the project is the sustainable dissemination of the technologies and concepts developed. For this purpose guidelines will be written and published. Furthermore, the results will be implemented in national and European soil databases. The present state of technologies and future perspectives will also be transferred to authorities, providers of technologies (SMEs), and end users through workshops at regional level, international conferences and publications throughout the duration of the project.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-09-2016 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2017
Liver cirrhosis is a very common chronic disease and one of the leading causes of death in European. Moreover, cirrhosis has a marked impact in patients quality of life and represents a major burden for health systems. Treatment of cirrhosis is currently based on symptomatic management of complications and has not changed substantially in the last 20 years. There is an unmet need for therapies that target the pathobiology of cirrhosis. The objective of LIVERHOPE project is to evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy for patients with cirrhosis based on a combination of rifaximin and simvastatin, targeting the main pathophysiological mechanisms of disease progression , namely the impairment in the gut-liver axis and the persistent hepatic and systemic inflammatory response. This dual therapeutic approach is supported by preclinical data showing excellent and very promising results. We will perform two randomized double-blind trials to investigate safety, tolerability and efficacy of combination of simvastatin plus rifaximin in patients with decompensated cirrhosis in 5 EU countries (285 patients will be enrolled in two trials in DE, ES, FR, IT, UK). The expected impact is to halt progression to acute-on-chronic liver failure, the main cause of death, to decrease complications of the disease, to reduce hospital readmissions, to improve cost-effectiveness of therapy. Our final aim is to improve patients quality-of-life and increase survival as patients care is the core of LIVERHOPE. Within the project we will also investigate biomarkers of response to treatment and disease progression that can be useful in clinical practice for improving the treatment of patients. We will invest our effort also in communication and dissemination activities for increasing awareness about chronic liver diseases in European countries so that preventive measures can be established to decrease the burden of cirrhosis and reduce social stigmatization of patients with chronic liver diseases.
News Article | October 26, 2016
An independent experiment confirms that subatomic particles have wrong energy spectrum for superluminal travel. The claim that neutrinos can travel faster than light has been given a knock by an independent experiment. On 17 October, the Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signals (ICARUS) collaboration submitted a paper1 to the preprint server arXiv.org, in which it offered a rebuttal of claims2 to have clocked subatomic particles called neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. The original results were published on 22 September by the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus (OPERA) experiment. Both experiments are based at Gran Sasso National Laboratory near L'Aquila, Italy, and detect neutrinos coming in a beam from CERN, Europe's high-energy particle physics laboratory near Geneva in Switzerland, about 730 kilometres away. Unlike OPERA, ICARUS does not measure the neutrinos' speed directly. Instead, it has shown that the energy spectrum of the neutrinos does not exhibit an effect predicted last month3 by Andrew Cohen and Sheldon Glashow, theoretical physicists at Boston University in Massachusetts. If the Cohen–Glashow effect is a valid prediction, "neutrinos are not superluminal," says Sandro Centro, a physicist at the University of Padua in Italy, deputy spokesman for ICARUS and a co-author of the latest paper. Cohen says that an energy spectrum provided by OPERA showed the same inconsistency, and that the spectrum from ICARUS has added to the problem. "There's always value to having things checked independently," says Cohen. "I think it's great ICARUS has done this so quickly." The Cohen–Glashow effect is an extension of another phenomenon, well known to physicists. The speed of light travelling through materials such as water is lower than that in a vacuum, and charged particles such as electrons are able to exceed this lower speed when travelling through the medium. When they do, they have excess energy for their momentum and radiate some away in the form of photons, or 'Čerenkov radiation'. Cohen and Glashow concluded that neutrinos travelling faster than light would behave similarly, although as neutral particles they would radiate pairs of electrons and positrons rather than photons. This would reduce the energy of neutrinos travelling long distances. Such an energy reduction is not seen in the neutrinos from CERN at their destination in Gran Sasso. Indeed, Dario Autiero, a physicist at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Lyons, France, and OPERA's physics coordinator, says that measurements of the neutrino energies by OPERA, reported in a February 2011 paper4, already failed to show signs of the effect later predicted by Cohen and Glashow. "It is very well known, and it has been presented in tens of OPERA talks at conferences," he says, "it is not something that we learn today because of ICARUS." Autiero adds that the assumptions made by Cohen and Glashow may not be universally valid. Giacomo Cacciapaglia, a theoretical physicist at King's College London, agrees, saying that not all models of faster-than-light neutrinos have to respect the assumptions of Cohen and Glashow. For example, neutrinos might be able to travel faster than light by taking a shortcut through extra dimensions, in which case they might not radiate. But Jorge Páramos, a theoretical physicist at the Higher Technical Institute in Lisbon, says that tinkering with the theory in this way is a dangerous game. "It requires you to choose from the available range of theoretical concepts, and could also lead to disagreement with other well established experimental results (not related to the speed of light)," he says. More than 80 papers have been posted on arXiv discussing OPERA's result. Most try to explain it theoretically, but a small minority claim to find problems. Autiero thinks that despite the huge interest from the public and the media, the debate will have to play out at the normal pace of science, "which is necessarily slow". The experimental work that was the basis for OPERA's claim took almost six years. "Further developments will be quicker but cannot happen on a few days' timescale," he says. Two experiments are planning to try to test OPERA's measurement of neutrino velocity: the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment based at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) experiment in Japan. Neither is likely to have results for some months.
News Article | September 9, 2016
They may look like a normal watch but are capable to do much more than just showing the time: So called fitness trackers are collecting data on their users' lifestyle and health status on a large scale helping them with training or losing weight. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, system security professor at the cybersecurity profile area (CYSEC) of TU Darmstadt and his team investigated fraud opportunities with fitness trackers and detected serious security flaws. The popularity of these devices is constantly growing. Worldwide, nearly 20 million fitness trackers have been sold in the first quarter of 2016. Many of them track via GPS the kilometers the user run, measure heart rate and pulse or check if the user is asleep. "These data are not only used for the original purpose but are increasingly being used by third parties," explains professor Sadeghi. Data collected by fitness trackers have been used as evidence in court trials in the US, as reported by Forbes Magazine in 2014. Police and attorneys have started to recognize wearable devices as the human body's "black box," the NY Daily News wrote in April 2016. Some health insurance companies recently started to offer discounts if the insured persons provide personal data from their fitness trackers. This could attract scammers who manipulate the tracked data to fraudulently gain financial benefits or even influence a court trial, says Sadeghi. This makes it all the more important that transmission, processing and storing of the sensitive personal data meet high security standards. To investigate this, Sadeghi and his team conducted a study in cooperation with the University of Padua (Italy) on 17 different fitness trackers including devices from less well-known manufacturers as well as devices from popular brands like Xiaomi, Garmin and Jawbone. The researchers concentrated on manipulating the data on their way to the cloud server by a "man-in-the-middle" attack and examined the security of communication protocols used by the fitness trackers. The result: Although all cloud-based tracking systems use an encrypted protocol like HTTPS to transfer data, the researchers were able to falsify data in all cases. Out of all fitness trackers examined, only devices from four manufacturers took some minor measures to protect data integrity, i.e. to ensure that data remain intact and unaltered. "These hurdles cannot stop a motivated attacker. Scammers can manipulate the data even with very little IT knowledge," Sadeghi warns, as none of the trackers employ End-to-End encryption or other effective tamper protection measures when synchronizing data. Five of the examined fitness trackers did not provide a possibility to synchronize fitness data with an online service. However, these manufacturers store the collected fitness data in plain-text, i.e. un-encrypted and readable by everyone, on the smartphone which introduces a potential risk of unauthorized data leakage should the smartphone be stolen or infected with malware. This is another serious security flaw of fitness trackers the researchers from TU Darmstadt and University of Padua found. "Health insurances and all other companies who want to use fitness trackers for their services should seek advice from security experts before doing so," Sadeghi suggests. The flaws found in the study could be fixed with known standard technologies, "it's just that the manufacturers have to put some more effort in employing these technologies in their products."
News Article | November 30, 2016
A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth . Despite being amongst the closest neutron stars, its extreme dimness meant the astronomers could only observe the star with visible light using the FORS2 instrument on the VLT, at the limits of current telescope technology. Neutron stars are the very dense remnant cores of massive stars -- at least 10 times more massive than our Sun -- that have exploded as supernovae at the ends of their lives. They also have extreme magnetic fields, billions of times stronger than that of the Sun, that permeate their outer surface and surroundings. These fields are so strong that they even affect the properties of the empty space around the star. Normally a vacuum is thought of as completely empty, and light can travel through it without being changed. But in quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory describing the interaction between photons and charged particles such as electrons, space is full of virtual particles that appear and vanish all the time. Very strong magnetic fields can modify this space so that it affects the polarisation of light passing through it. Mignani explains: "According to QED, a highly magnetised vacuum behaves as a prism for the propagation of light, an effect known as vacuum birefringence." Among the many predictions of QED, however, vacuum birefringence so far lacked a direct experimental demonstration. Attempts to detect it in the laboratory have not yet succeeded in the 80 years since it was predicted in a paper by Werner Heisenberg (of uncertainty principle fame) and Hans Heinrich Euler. "This effect can be detected only in the presence of enormously strong magnetic fields, such as those around neutron stars. This shows, once more, that neutron stars are invaluable laboratories in which to study the fundamental laws of nature." says Roberto Turolla (University of Padua, Italy). After careful analysis of the VLT data, Mignani and his team detected linear polarisation -- at a significant degree of around 16% -- that they say is likely due to the boosting effect of vacuum birefringence occurring in the area of empty space surrounding RX J1856.5-3754 . Vincenzo Testa (INAF, Rome, Italy) comments: "This is the faintest object for which polarisation has ever been measured. It required one of the largest and most efficient telescopes in the world, the VLT, and accurate data analysis techniques to enhance the signal from such a faint star." "The high linear polarisation that we measured with the VLT can't be easily explained by our models unless the vacuum birefringence effects predicted by QED are included," adds Mignani. "This VLT study is the very first observational support for predictions of these kinds of QED effects arising in extremely strong magnetic fields," remarks Silvia Zane (UCL/MSSL, UK). Mignani is excited about further improvements to this area of study that could come about with more advanced telescopes: "Polarisation measurements with the next generation of telescopes, such as ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope, could play a crucial role in testing QED predictions of vacuum birefringence effects around many more neutron stars." "This measurement, made for the first time now in visible light, also paves the way to similar measurements to be carried out at X-ray wavelengths," adds Kinwah Wu (UCL/MSSL, UK).  This object is part of the group of neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven. They are known as isolated neutron stars (INS), which have no stellar companions, do not emit radio waves (like pulsars), and are not surrounded by progenitor supernova material.  There are other processes that can polarise starlight as it travels through space. The team carefully reviewed other possibilities -- for example polarisation created by scattering off dust grains -- but consider it unlikely that they produced the polarisation signal observed. This research was presented in the paper entitled "Evidence for vacuum birefringence from the first optical polarimetry measurement of the isolated neutron star RX J1856.5?3754", by R. Mignani et al., to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team is composed of R.P. Mignani (INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica Milano, Milano, Italy; Janusz Gil Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland), V. Testa (INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Monteporzio, Italy), D. González Caniulef (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK), R. Taverna (Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy), R. Turolla (Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy; Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK), S. Zane (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK) and K. Wu (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK). ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world's largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".
News Article | November 30, 2016
A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth. Despite being amongst the closest neutron stars, its extreme dimness meant the astronomers could only observe the star with visible light using the FORS2 instrument on the VLT, at the limits of current telescope technology. Neutron stars are the very dense remnant cores of massive stars -- at least 10 times more massive than our Sun -- that have exploded as supernovae at the ends of their lives. They also have extreme magnetic fields, billions of times stronger than that of the Sun, that permeate their outer surface and surroundings. These fields are so strong that they even affect the properties of the empty space around the star. Normally a vacuum is thought of as completely empty, and light can travel through it without being changed. But in quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory describing the interaction between photons and charged particles such as electrons, space is full of virtual particles that appear and vanish all the time. Very strong magnetic fields can modify this space so that it affects the polarisation of light passing through it. Mignani explains: "According to QED, a highly magnetised vacuum behaves as a prism for the propagation of light, an effect known as vacuum birefringence." IMAGE: This artist's view shows how the light coming from the surface of a strongly magnetic neutron star (left) becomes linearly polarized as it travels through the vacuum of space close to the star on its way to the observer on Earth (right). The polarization of the observed light in the extremely strong magnetic field suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence, a prediction of quantum electrodynamics (QED). This effect was predicted in the 1930s but has not been observed before. The magnetic and electric field directions of the light rays are shown by the red and blue lines. Model simulations by Roberto Taverna (University of Padua, Italy) and Denis Gonzalez Caniulef (UCL/MSSL, UK) show how these align along a preferred direction as the light passes through the region around the neutron star. As they become aligned the light becomes polarized, and this polarization can be detected by sensitive instruments on Earth. Among the many predictions of QED, however, vacuum birefringence so far lacked a direct experimental demonstration. Attempts to detect it in the laboratory have not yet succeeded in the 80 years since it was predicted in a paper by Werner Heisenberg (of uncertainty principle fame) and Hans Heinrich Euler. "This effect can be detected only in the presence of enormously strong magnetic fields, such as those around neutron stars. This shows, once more, that neutron stars are invaluable laboratories in which to study the fundamental laws of nature." says Roberto Turolla (University of Padua, Italy). After careful analysis of the VLT data, Mignani and his team detected linear polarisation -- at a significant degree of around 16% -- that they say is likely due to the boosting effect of vacuum birefringence occurring in the area of empty space surrounding RX J1856.5-3754 . Vincenzo Testa (INAF, Rome, Italy) comments: "This is the faintest object for which polarisation has ever been measured. It required one of the largest and most efficient telescopes in the world, the VLT, and accurate data analysis techniques to enhance the signal from such a faint star." "The high linear polarisation that we measured with the VLT can't be easily explained by our models unless the vacuum birefringence effects predicted by QED are included," adds Mignani. "This VLT study is the very first observational support for predictions of these kinds of QED effects arising in extremely strong magnetic fields," remarks Silvia Zane (UCL/MSSL, UK). Mignani is excited about further improvements to this area of study that could come about with more advanced telescopes: "Polarisation measurements with the next generation of telescopes, such as ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope, could play a crucial role in testing QED predictions of vacuum birefringence effects around many more neutron stars." "This measurement, made for the first time now in visible light, also paves the way to similar measurements to be carried out at X-ray wavelengths," adds Kinwah Wu (UCL/MSSL, UK).  This object is part of the group of neutron stars known as the Magnificent Seven. They are known as isolated neutron stars (INS), which have no stellar companions, do not emit radio waves (like pulsars), and are not surrounded by progenitor supernova material.  There are other processes that can polarise starlight as it travels through space. The team carefully reviewed other possibilities -- for example polarisation created by scattering off dust grains -- but consider it unlikely that they produced the polarisation signal observed. This research was presented in the paper entitled "Evidence for vacuum birefringence from the first optical polarimetry measurement of the isolated neutron star RX J1856.5?3754", by R. Mignani et al., to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team is composed of R.P. Mignani (INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica Milano, Milano, Italy; Janusz Gil Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, Poland), V. Testa (INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Monteporzio, Italy), D. González Caniulef (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK), R. Taverna (Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy), R. Turolla (Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy; Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK), S. Zane (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK) and K. Wu (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK). ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world's largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky". Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.
News Article | October 5, 2016
WASHINGTON — A quantum internet could one day allow ultrasecure communications worldwide — but first, scientists must learn to tame unruly quantum particles such as electrons and photons. Several new developments in quantum technology, discussed at a recent meeting, have brought scientists closer to such mastery. Scientists are now teleporting particles’ properties across cities, satellite experiments are gearing up for quantum communications in space, and other scientists are developing ways to hold quantum information in memory. In one feat, scientists achieved quantum teleportation across long distances through metropolitan areas. Quantum teleportation transfers quantum properties of one particle to another instantaneously. (It doesn’t allow for faster-than-light communication, though, because additional information has to be sent through standard channels.) Using a quantum network in Calgary, scientists teleported quantum states of photons over 6.2 kilometers. “It’s one step towards … achieving a global quantum network,” says Raju Valivarthi of the University of Calgary in Canada, who presented the result at the International Conference on Quantum Cryptography, QCrypt, on September 12. A second group of scientists recently teleported photons using a quantum network spread through the city of Hefei, China. The two teams published their results online September 19 in Nature Photonics. The weird properties of quantum particles make quantum communication possible: They can be in two places at once, or can have their properties linked through quantum entanglement. Tweak one particle in an entangled pair, and you can immediately seem to affect the other — what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Using quantum entanglement, people can securely exchange quantum keys — codes which can be used to encrypt top-secret messages. (SN: 11/20/10, p. 22). Any eavesdropper spying on the quantum key exchange would be detected, and the keys could be thrown out. In practice, quantum particles can travel only so far. As photons are sent back and forth through optical fibers, many are lost along the way. But certain techniques can be used to expand their range. Quantum teleportation systems could be used to create quantum repeaters, which could be chained together to extend networks farther. But in order to function, quantum repeaters would also require a quantum memory to store entanglement until all the links in the chain are ready, says Ronald Hanson of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Using a system based on quantum entanglement of electrons in diamond chips, Hanson’s team has developed a quantum memory by transferring the entanglement of the electrons to atomic nuclei for safekeeping, he reported at QCrypt on September 15. Satellites could likewise allow quantum communication from afar. In August, China launched a satellite to test quantum communication from space; other groups are also studying techniques for sending delicate quantum information to space and back again (SN Online: 6/5/16), beaming up photons through free space instead of through optical fibers. “A free-space link is essential if you want to go to real long distance,” Giuseppe Vallone of the University of Padua in Italy said in a session at QCrypt on September 14. Particles can travel farther when sent via quantum satellite — due to the emptiness of space, fewer photons are absorbed or scattered away. Quantum networks could also benefit from processes that allow the use of scaled-down “quantum fingerprints” of data, to compare files without sending excess data, Feihu Xu of MIT reported at QCrypt on September 12. To check if two files are identical — for example, in order to find illegally pirated movies — one might compare all the bits in each file. But in fact, a subset of the bits — or a fingerprint — can do the job well. By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, Xu and colleagues were able to compare messages using less information than classical methods require. The quantum internet relies on the principles of quantum mechanics, which modern-day physicists generally accept — spooky action and all. In 2015, scientists finally confirmed that a key example of quantum weirdness is real, with a souped-up version of a test known as a Bell test, which closed loopholes that had weakened earlier Bell tests (SN: 9/19/15, p. 12). Loophole-free Bell tests were necessary to squelch any lingering doubts, but no one expected any surprises, says Charles Bennett of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. “In a certain sense it’s beating a dead horse.” But Bell tests have applications for the quantum internet as well — they are a foundation of an even more secure type of quantum communication, called device-independent quantum key distribution. Typically, secure exchanges of quantum keys require that the devices used are trustworthy, but device-independent methods do away with this requirement. This is “the most safe way of quantum communication,” says Hanson. “It does not make any assumptions about the internal workings of the device.”
Pellegrino C.,University of Padua |
Vasic M.,Polytechnic of Milan
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2013
Shear strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) elements with fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites is actually a research topic far to be completely solved. Existing shear strength models lead sometimes to overly non-conservative results and need to be validated with a sufficient number of experimental tests. The aim of this work is to assess some common design models for the prediction of the shear capacity of RC beams strengthened with externally bonded FRP composites. The research is based on a wide database collected from recent literature and is mainly focused on the combination of the basic codes for RC structures (without strengthening) with current models for FRP shear strengthened structures. The research significance of this work is due to the lack of information on the performance of the above models when combined with basic codes. Particular attention was dedicated on the consistency of the models for FRP strengthened structures with Eurocode 2 , since it assumes a method based on the truss model with variable inclination of the compressed strut. Lastly, some improvements of the model proposed by Pellegrino and Modena , which takes into account the interaction between steel and FRP contributions to the shear capacity, are proposed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Faccenda M.,University of Padua |
Faccenda M.,Monash University
Tectonophysics | Year: 2014
The geological and geophysical phenomena associated with water in the slab can be grouped into three different categories: those related to 1) the storage of water in the oceanic lithosphere at the surface, 2) the subduction of a hydrated slab and 3) its dehydration that ultimately leads to mantle regassing. Widespread hydration of the uppermost oceanic lithosphere occurs at mid-ocean ridges and more pervasively at the trench-rise system in response to bending-related fracturing and faulting. The amount of water stored in the upper lithosphere appears to be proportional to the spreading slowness and amount of bending. Hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic plate may also occur more locally along transform margins, fracture zones and volcanic ridges. Subduction of a hydrated slab should be observed from a reduction of seismic velocities, anomalous Vp/Vs ratios and seismic anisotropy in its uppermost portions, and shift of the main phase transformation boundaries characteristic of the mantle. Because of the increased buoyancy and weakness, hydrated or wet slabs should tend to stagnate over the 660. km discontinuity, favoring layered mantle convection patterns. Slab dehydration takes place according to the plate thermal regime function of the slab age and sinking velocity. Hydrous minerals in the oceanic crust and mantle are stable down to a maximum of 300. km and 1200. km depth, respectively, after which minor amounts of water can be retained in nominally anhydrous minerals. There is abundant geophysical evidence for dehydration of the slab crust and sub-Moho mantle, while fragmentary and often indirect evidence supports the presence of water in the lower plane of the Double Seismic Zone and at depths >. 300. km. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Blanchini F.,University of Udine |
Colaneri P.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Valcher M.E.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2012
In this paper, exponential stabilizability of continuous-time positive switched systems is investigated. For two-dimensional systems, exponential stabilizability by means of a switching control law can be achieved if and only if there exists a Hurwitz convex combination of the (Metzler) system matrices. In the higher dimensional case, it is shown by means of an example that the existence of a Hurwitz convex combination is only sufficient for exponential stabilizability, and that such a combination can be found if and only if there exists a smooth, positively homogeneous and co-positive control Lyapunov function for the system. In the general case, exponential stabilizability ensures the existence of a concave, positively homogeneous and co-positive control Lyapunov function, but this is not always smooth. The results obtained in the first part of the paper are exploited to characterize exponential stabilizability of positive switched systems with delays, and to provide a description of all the switched equilibrium points of an affine positive switched system. © 1963-2012 IEEE.
Mammano F.,University of Padua |
Mammano F.,Instituto Veneto Of Medicina Molecolare |
Mammano F.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2013
Hearing relies on a sensitive mechanoelectrical transduction process in the cochlea of the inner ear. The cochlea contains sensory, secretory, neural, supporting and epithelial cells which are all essential to the sound transduction process. It is well known that a complex extracellular purinergic signaling system contributes to cochlear homeostasis, altering cochlear sensitivity and neural output via ATP-gated ion channels (P2X receptors) and G protein-coupled P2Y receptors. This review focuses on the emerging roles of ATP that are currently under investigation in the developing sensory epithelium, with particular emphasis on the link between ATP release, Ca2+ signaling, the expression and function of gap junction proteins connexin26 and connexin30, and the acquisition of hearing. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Faccenda M.,University of Padua |
Capitanio F.A.,Monash University
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2013
Inferring the circulation of the mantle around subducting plates from surface measurements of shear wave splitting patterns remains to date elusive. To assist the interpretation of the seismic signal and its relation with the mantle circulation pattern, we present a new methodology to compute the seismic anisotropy directly from the flow in the upper mantle of 3-D numerical models of Earth-like subduction. This computational strategy accounts for the non-steady-state evolution of subduction zones yielding mantle fabrics that are more consistent with the deformation history than previously considered. In the subduction models, a strong mantle fabric develops throughout the upper mantle with a magnitude of the anisotropy that is proportional to the amount of subduction and is independent of the subduction rate. The sub-slab upper mantle is characterized by two domains with different fabrics: at shallow depth, the mantle entrained with the subducting slab develops trench-perpendicular directed anisotropy due to simple shear deformation, while in the deeper mantle, slab rollback induces pure shear deformation causing trench-parallel extension and fast seismic directions. Subducting plate advance favors the development of the fabric in the entrained mantle domain, while slab retreat increases the trench-parallel anisotropy in the deeper upper mantle. In the deeper domain, the strength of the fabric is proportional to the horizontal divergence of the flow and weakens from the slab edges toward the center. As such, strong trench-parallel anisotropy forms below retreating and relatively narrow slabs or at the margins of wider plates. The synthetic SKS splitting patterns calculated in the fore arc are controlled by the magnitude of the anisotropy in the upper domain, with trench-perpendicular fast azimuths in the center of large plates and trench parallel toward the plate edges. Instead, above relatively narrow, retreating slabs (≤600 km and low subduction partitioning ratio [SPR]), azimuths are trench parallel due to the strong anisotropy in the lower sub-slab domain. In all models, the anisotropy in the back arc and on the sides of the subducting plate is, respectively, trench perpendicular and sub-parallel to the return flow at depth. Results from our regional scale models may help to infer the flow and composition of the upper mantle by comparison with the wide range of subduction zones seismic data observed globally. ©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Heinosaari T.,University of Turku |
Mazzarella L.,University of Padua |
Wolf M.M.,TU Munich
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2013
We provide a detailed analysis of the question: how many measurement settings or outcomes are needed in order to identify an unknown quantum state which is constrained by prior information? We show that if the prior information restricts the possible states to a set of lower dimensionality, then topological obstructions can increase the required number of outcomes by a factor of two over the number of real parameters needed to characterize the set of all states. Conversely, we show that almost every measurement becomes informationally complete with respect to the constrained set if the number of outcomes exceeds twice the Minkowski dimension of the set. We apply the obtained results to determine the minimal number of outcomes of measurements which are informationally complete with respect to states with rank constraints. In particular, we show that the minimal number of measurement outcomes (POVM elements) necessary to identify all pure states in a d-dimensional Hilbert space is 4d-3-c(d) α(d) for some c(d) ∈ [1, 2] and α(d) being the number of ones appearing in the binary expansion of (d-1). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-02-2016 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2017
The main objective of this proposal is to develop reliable GaN-based power devices and systems for high and medium power electronics targeting industrial and automotive applications and bringing the GaN power devices another step towards the wide usability in the energy saving environment to further tap the full potential which this new material brings along. This proposal addresses two subjects, one of which is medium power (till 10kW) GaN-on-Si based lateral HEMT structures, with special focus on high reliability, which is still a major blocking item to allow wide-spread market adoption. Hence, the impact of the GaN material quality, in combination with the device layout in view of long-term reliability will be addressed. The project aims an in-depth reliability study and qualification strategy development whereby the study of the impact of dislocations and other structural disturbances inside the materials on the long term device reliability will be specifically addressed. In addition, this proposal aims to demonstrate new device concepts with increased robustness and reliability, which will be realized, evaluated and tested thoroughly. This will demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the known limitations of the GaN on Silicon technology, like e.g. the vertical leakage, trapping phenomena and/or breakdown of lateral HEMTs. The current proposal also contains the development of novel device architecture (dual channel, substrate removal, e-mode), as well as the exploration of new material systems (Aluminum Nitride (Al-based) devices) which can also largely contribute to overcome drawbacks of the GaN on Si technology. The applicability of the novel GaN-on-Si concepts in form of an industrial inverter will be demonstrated finally, with the development of an innovative low inductance packaging system for power devices, making full benefits of the fast switching capability of GaN-based power devices.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.1 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2011
A key challenge facing curators and providers of digital cultural heritage across Europe and Worldwide is to instigate, increase and enhance engagement with digital humanities collections. To achieve this, a fundamental change in the way cultural artefacts are experienced and contributed to by communities is required. CULTURA will pioneer the development of next generation adaptive systems which will provide new forms of multi-dimensional adaptivity:\n\tpersonalised information retrieval and presentation which respond to models of user and contextual intent\n\tcommunity-aware adaptivity which responds to wider community activity, interest, contribution and experience\n\tcontent-aware adaptivity which responds to the entities and relationships automatically identified within the artefacts and across collections\n\tpersonalised dynamic storylines which are generated across individual as well as entire collections of artefacts\nCULTURA advances and integrates the following key technologies:\n\tCutting edge natural language processing, which normalises ambiguities in noisy historical texts\n\tEntity and relationship extraction, which highlights the key individuals, events, dates and other entities and relationships within unstructured text\n\tSocial network analysis of the entities and relationships within the content, and also of the individuals and broader community of users engaging with the content\n\tMulti-model adaptivity to support dynamic reconciliation of multiple dimensions of personalisation\nCULTURA will deliver innovative adaptive services and an interactive user environment which dynamically tailors the investigation, comprehension and enrichment of digital humanities artefacts and collections. Through the provision of such functionality, CULTURA can empower all users to investigate, comprehend and contribute to digital cultural collections.\nCULTURA will provide rigorous evaluation and validation of its adaptive services using high impact, contrasting, multicultural digital cultural heritage collections and diverse user communities and individuals. The CULTURA use cases, defined in collaboration with real users, will clearly illustrate how the adaptive environment will offer genuine user empowerment and unprecedented levels of engagement with these collections and communities.\nThe CULTURA consortium has a strong emphasis on meeting real end-user needs, maximising societal impact and laying a foundation for successful commercialisation. Thus, the project has a strong scientific foundation, informed by two significant digital cultural resources and associated communities, and supported by experienced and effective project management.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-18-2015 | Award Amount: 8.19M | Year: 2016
Liver cancer in the paediatric population is rare with an incidence approximately 1-1.5 per million population. The commonest tumour seen in the childhood population is hepatoblastoma (HB), usually seen in young children and infants. Much rarer (about 10% of paediatric liver cancers) is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), usually seen in the teenage population and sometimes associated with underlying cirrhotic liver diseases. The ChiLTERN project relates to topic PHC 18 establishing effectiveness of health care interventions in the paediatric population. The ChiLTERN project builds on a unique opportunity to undertake a comprehensive research programme linked to an ambitious global partnership which will see the single largest clinical trial (the Paediatric Hepatic International Tumour Trial - PHITT) ever undertaken in this population of patients, with several randomised questions in six subgroups of patients. ChiLTERN will allow us to move towards an era of personalised therapy in which each patient will receive the correct amount of chemotherapy and will undergo has the best surgical operation (surgical resection or liver transplant). By using both clinical and biological information, we can assign patients more accurately to risk groups based on their survival. Using genetic tests and biomarkers, we will determine those children who may be at risk of developing long term side effects (deafness, heart failure, kidney damage). In addition, biomarkers will allow us to monitor during therapy and detect toxicities early before serious damage is done so that we can adapt treatment and prevent these problems. Finally, we will be using imaging technology tools which will help our surgeons plan liver operations more safely and effectively. Ultimately ChiLTERN will allow us to cure more children with liver cancer, expose fewer children to toxic chemotherapy and ensure their surgery is both effective and safe.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2015
The aim of CoACH (Advanced glasses, Composites And Ceramics for High growth Industries) is to offer a multidisciplinary training in the field of high-tech GLASSES, CERAMICS and COMPOSITES based on effective and proven industry-academia cooperation. Our scientific goals are to develop advanced knowledge on glass and ceramic based materials and to develop innovative, cost-competitive, and environmentally acceptable materials and processing technologies. The inter/multi-disciplinary and -sectorial characteristic is guaranteed by the presence of 5 academic partners and 10 companies having top class expertise in glass, ceramic and composite science and technology, modelling, design, characterization and commercialization. Advanced materials fall within the KEY ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES (KETs) and are themselves an emerging supra-disciplinary field; expertise on these new materials brings competitiveness in the strategic thematic areas of: HEALTH-innovative glass and composite for biomedical applications, ENERGY-innovative glass, ceramic and composite materials for energy harvesting/scavenging, solid oxide electrolysis cells and oil, gas and petrochemical industries, ICT-new glass fibre sensors embedded in smart coatings for harsh environment, ENVIRONMENT-new and low cost glass, ceramic and composite materials from waste. The originality of the research programme is to be seen in the supra-disciplinary approach to new glass- and ceramic- based materials and their applications: recruited researchers will benefit from a complete set of equipment and expertise enabling them to develop advanced knowledge in KETs and strategic thematic areas for the EU and to convert it into products for economic and social benefit. The effective research methodology used by the partners and the mutual exploitation of their complementary competences have been successfully experienced in the past in long term common research cooperation and in on-going common projects, including a Marie Curie ITN
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.8 | Award Amount: 3.11M | Year: 2011
The brain circuits of the central nervous system are formed by neurons and synapses endowed with complex dynamical properties. However, the traditional architectures of computational systems, like artificial neuronal networks, are based on connectivity rules while making use of very simplified neurons. Moreover while brain circuits operate through discontinuous signal called spikes organized in complex sequences, theoretical analysis usually deals with continuous signals. To understand circuit computations a different approach is needed: to elaborate realistic spiking networks and use them, together with experimental recordings of network activity, to investigate the theoretical basis of central network computation. As a benchmark we will use the cerebellar circuit. The cerebellum is supposed to compare expected and actual activity patterns and to reveal their congruence with respect to stored memories. By these means, the cerebellum takes part to control loops regulating movement and cognition. Experimental evidence has revealed that cerebellar circuits can dynamically regulate their activity on the millisecond time scale and operate complex spatio-temporal transformation of signals through non-linear neuronal responses. Moreover, synaptic connections can be fine-tuned by distributed forms of synaptic plasticity, the correlate of memory in neural circuits. In this project, we will develop specific chips and imaging techniques to perform neurophysiological recordings from multiple neurons in the cerebellar network. Based on the data, we will develop the first realistic real-time model of the cerebellum and connect it to robotic systems to evaluate circuit functioning under closed-loop conditions. The data deriving from recordings, large-scale simulations and robots will be used to explain circuit functioning through the adaptable filter theory. REALNET will thus provide a radically new view on computation in central brain circuits laying the basis for new technological applications in sensori-motor control and cognitive systems.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 792.00K | Year: 2017
PATH is intended to promote a collaborative researches focused in the development of high density plasma sources implemented with the Exchange of staff personnel between the partners of the network. The research will also address transfer of knowledge and training of the researchers in the specific field of plasma sources and its applications in the telecommunication sector. High density plasma sources find large number of industrial applications from material treatment to Telecommunication. Overcoming the density limit of current source will open new frontier in several technological field. PATH aims at cross linking different competences to study and develop prototype of plasma sources and plasma antenna based on hybrid technologies based on Radiofrequency and Hollow cathode technologies. A Gaseous Plasma Antenna (GPA) is a plasma discharge confined in a dielectric tube that uses partially or fully ionized gas to generate and receive electromagnetic waves; GPAs are virtually transparent above the plasma frequency and become invisible when turned off. Unlike ordinary metallic antennas, GPAs and Plasma Antenna Arrays can be reconfigured electrically (rather than mechanically) with respect to impedance, frequency, bandwidth and directivity on time scales the order of microseconds or milliseconds. It is also possible to stack arrays of GPAs designed to operate at different frequencies. A Plasma Antenna will be able to: (i) identifying the direction of incoming signal, (ii) tracking and locating the antenna beam on the mobile/target, (iii) beam-steering while minimizing interferences. Actual technology is based mainly on: (i) DC discharge, (ii) AC discharge, (iii) RF discharge, (iv) Microwaves, (v) Hollow cathode. Improvement of plasma source performances require a strong effort in term of modelling and technology. The aim of PATH is to merge European competences to make a substantial step toward innovative hybrid plasma sources.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.65M | Year: 2016
Energy sustainability is key to future mobile networks due to their foreseen capacity upsurge. The objective of the ETN SCAVENGE (Sustainable CellulAr networks harVEstiNG ambient Energy) is to create a training network for early-stage researchers (ESRs) who will contribute to the design and implementation of eco-friendly and sustainable next-generation (5G) networks and become leaders in the related scientific, technological, and industrial initiatives. Sustainable networks are based on the premise that environmental energy can be scavenged through dedicated harvesting hardware so as to power 5G base stations (BSs) and the end devices (mobile terminals, sensors and machines). To realise this vision, the project will take a complete approach, encompassing the characterisation of intermittent and/or erratic energy sources, the development of theoretical models, and the design, optimisation and proof-of-concept implementation of core network, BS and mobile elements as well as their integration with the smart electrical grid. The consortium is composed of world-class research centres and companies that are in the forefront of mobile communication and renewable energy research and technology development. The attitude of the industrial partners towards the strong investment in R&D and their strategic vision are fully aligned with the mission of this project, making them perfectly fit for this consortium. This grants a well-balanced project with genuine and strong technical interactions. The ESRs will have a unique opportunity towards professional growth in light of dedicated cross-partner training activities and through the interaction with the Partner Organisations, which also include relevant stakeholders in the envisioned market. All of this will ensure that the trained researchers will be successfully employed at the end of the research program.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.34M | Year: 2010
Concern about the growth of space debris, aggravated by the increase in the number of countries with direct access to space, made the SPA.2010.2.3-02 Call Topic suggest preventing generation of new debris and de-orbiting upper stages and spacecraft after mission completion. The Project proposed involves Research and Technology Development of an efficient deorbit system, to be carried in the future by every launched spacecraft. A dedicated system is needed because satellites naturally orbit at ionospheric altitudes where air drag is very weak. The system considered involves magnetic drag on a current-carrying conductive tether, uses no propellant and no power supply, and generates power on board. It beats alternative systems (enhanced air drag, and rocket and electrical thrust) in simplicity and in the combined basic metrics: Frontal Area x Deorbit Time and System-to-Spacecraft Mass Ratio. Like air drag, magnetic drag is a dissipative mechanism arising from the orbital tether motion relative to the corotating magnetized plasma, which induces the current in the tether. The Work Programme includes studies of plasma-tether interaction under ambient-plasma variations along orbit, performance dependence on orbital altitude/inclination, and trade-off against alternative systems; numerical simulations of current to a bare tether; and studies of orbit/tether dynamics, and of both tether survival and the tether itself as debris. Deorbiting a satellite representative in both orbit and mass in Low Earth Orbit is considered. Tasks involve i) Design and manufacturing the tether as a tape with possible materials-structure both lengthwise and in its cross section, and a study of materials; ii) deployment strategy, and design / manufacturing of subsystems: tether-deployment mechanism, end mass, electric control and driving module, electron-ejecting plasma contactor, and interface elements; and iii) microgravity, and hypervelocity-impact and tether-current laboratory tests.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.03M | Year: 2014
Prevalence of liver disease is c6% (29 million people) in the EU with mortality rates from chronic liver diseases estimated at 14.3 per 100.000 in the EU-25 in 2004. Most liver diseases have a significant inflammatory component that underpins liver damage and fibrogenesis, yet current therapies have limited effectiveness. Safe novel anti-inflammatory therapies would satisfy a large unmet need for inflammatory liver conditions such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) are a mixed population of plastic-adherent (PA) cells isolated from bone marrow, umbilical cord and adipose tissue. Preclinical studies show that intravenous administration of PA-MSC reduces liver inflammation/damage, however only one MSC-based clinical study has been reported to date. MERLIN will examine if MSC can safely reduce biliary damage in mouse models followed by a clinical study in patients with PSC. We have identified an antibody (S2) that isolates comparable MSC from human & mouse marrow, enabling testing of pure functionally distinct cell S2\ & S2- and PA-MSC populations. We will use the worlds first GMP-compliant non-bead-based cell sorter to select S2\ MSC to comply with future therapeutic regulatory requirements. MERLIN partners will use novel methods to enhance MSC efficacy in PSC - by reducing immune clearance of MSC & by promoting MSC functionality & localisation in vivo. We will assess if MSC sub-sets exert differing levels of control upon liver inflammation in pre-clinical models, as well as defining their proliferation and mechanism of action. We will develop entirely novel biomarkers for PSC within the disease pathway pre and post cell infusion. The optimal combination of MSC sub-set and efficacy enhancement, will be selected for progression to a Phase 2 clinical safety study in patients with PSC. MERLIN will deliver a comprehensive data-set on optimised purified MSC and their efficacy/safety in pre-clinical models prior to a clinical trial in patients with PSC.
Faccenda M.,University of Padua |
Faccenda M.,Monash University
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors | Year: 2014
There is increasing evidence for mid mantle seismic anisotropy around subduction zones whose interpretation remains elusive. In this study I estimate the strain-induced mid mantle fabric and associated seismic anisotropy developing in 3D petrological-thermo-mechanical subduction models where the slab is either stagnating over the 660. km discontinuity or penetrating into the lower mantle. The modelling of synthetic lattice-preferred-orientation (LPO) development of wadsleyite and perovskite has been calibrated with results from deformational experiments and ab-initio atomic scale models, and the single crystal elastic tensor of the different mineral phases is scaled by local P-T conditions. The lower transition zone (ringwoodite + garnet) is assumed to be isotropic. Mid mantle fabric develops in proximity of the subducting slab where deformation and stresses are high, except at depths where upwelling or downwelling material undergoes phase transformations, yielding to LPO reset. The upper transition zone (wadsleyite. +. garnet) is characterized by weak transverse isotropy (2-3%) with symmetry axes oriented and fast S wave polarized dip-normal. A slightly stronger transverse isotropy develops in the lower mantle (perovskite. +. periclase), where the symmetry axes, the polarization of the fast S wave and the maximum Vp and dVs are parallel to the slab dip and subduction direction. For stagnating slab models this translates into negative and positive radial anisotropy in the upper transition zone and lower mantle back-arc, respectively, minimum delay times for vertically travelling shear waves and large shear wave splitting for waves propagating horizontally in the lower mantle. These results may help in reconciling the seismic anisotropy patterns observed in some subduction zones with subduction-induced deformation, such as those measured in the mid mantle between the Australian plate and the New Hebrides-Tonga-Kermadec trenches that I interpret as related to stagnating portions of the subducted Pacific plate. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: SFS-17-2014 | Award Amount: 2.60M | Year: 2015
Future Food aims at demonstration and first market application of an eco-innovative solution for sustainable food drying. The process makes use of high pressure CO2 technology as drying medium which enables efficient drying at close-to-ambient temperatures in absence of oxygen. Research and development studies have shown it feasibility of being an ecological and economical alternative to freeze-drying, for products categories vegetables and fruits, specialty ingredients such as proteins and biopolymers. Besides good preservation of a food quality, microbial inactivation occurs in situ which attributes to ensuring food safety. The main objectives are: (i) minimize risks that could prevent CO2 drying to enter the market and (ii) to demonstrate its market replication potential via a first application to the market. The base of the project is to provide on the one hand prototyped products and on the other prototyped process extensions that will increase the market potential. Prototyping processing elements will demonstrate the energy reduction of the process and the full width of applications at a pilot scale. By preparing three product prototypes the aim is to demonstrate the full potential of this technology to the industry at a foodgrade level, resulting in validation of the process. On the basis of the prototype assessments, in close conjunction with industrial (SME) parties, the process will be certified, (economically) validated and demonstrated to the industry. The final step is demonstrating the process in a near-operational environment to identify all the benefits for consumer and the food chain. By doing so, the drying process will evolve from a TRL 4-5 to a TRL 8. By intensive dissemination to increase visibility, the technology will disseminated to SMEs in Europe to maximize uptake of the technology in the market and realizating impact on sustainability, food safety and economy.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-04 | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2011
The SPARTAN research aims at developing a throttable propulsion technology, which is mandatorily needed for any planetary soft and precision landing. It relies on the hybrid engine technology, exploiting its capability of being throttled and its proper performances. This research is complementary to ESA TRP and Piedmont Regional development programs. It implements and strengthens the technological base in view of the future robotics and manned space exploration missions. The outcomes from the SPARTAN development can be reflected also in many other Earth/Space civilian applications, exploiting both the throttling capability of the propulsion system and the peculiar characteristics of the hybrid engine technology, like: safety, minimum environmental impact (green propellants), lower life cycle costs, responsiveness, competitive Performances, increased reliability, soft ignition and shutdown. The hybrid propulsion system is formed by two major constitutors: the engine itself, housing the fuel, and the oxidizer injection system. The research focuses on three major objectives, needed to achieve the soft and precision landing capabilities: The engine design, specific for throttling functionality The oxidizer throttable device development The design of the landing case: test bench and testing procedures Development will be supported by establishing an advanced coding, enabling the definition of the fuel and the throttling behavior of the hybrid engine. Engine definition will be supported by development tests: cold injection case on subscale model, dedicated to the throttling device, and hot firing on lab model, merging the throttling device and the engine model. In parallel a landing test and associated landing model (flying test bed) will be developed, providing for proven landing model and landing test capabilities. These capabilities will allow demonstrating the soft landing features of a throttable hybrid propulsion technology.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.54M | Year: 2010
Chemical Biology is a new, supradisciplinary field that unites the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology. This network is centred around understanding the central biological process of phosphate transfer and combines leading experts in synthetic chemistry, enzyme model building, kinetic analysis, protein chemistry and directed evolution in a concerted effort to gain a quantitative understanding of transition states that are key to understanding how biological systems can achieve phosphate transfer with unrivalled efficiency. The quantitative language (i.e. kinetic and molecular recognition studies) used to describe and improve natural enzymes unites all participants and provides the theme for our training programme on analysis of phosphate transfer catalysis. Training in this area is highly interdisciplinary in nature requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists centred around mechanistic thinking, which is at the core of this proposal. Ultimately our understanding of this central bioreaction should lead to useful applications on the long term, e.g. as artificial nucleases, with potential roles in gene regulation, if efficient catalysis can be combined with selective recognition. This proposal is part of a long-term strategy aimed at developing reagents which act by binding or catalytically (thus as artificial enzymes) to interfere with the expression of specific genes. This can be achieved through selective binding eventually (but not necessarily) followed by cleaving the nucleic acid backbone. Crucially for therapeutic success these reagents have to be deliverd into the cell, which is why delivery issues are also addressed. The incorporation of industrial partners ensures that the full life-span of drug development is covered in this training programme.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.2-2 | Award Amount: 2.94M | Year: 2014
The project is an interdisciplinary approach to cultural landscapes of Mediterranean mountainous areas, taking as a central axis the historical study of two natural resources essential to generate agro-systems: water and soil. The proposal focuses on Sierra Nevada (Spain), Monti di Trapani (Italy), Colli Euganei (Italy) and Vjosa Valley (Albania). Landscapes and their structure are strongly conditioned by the need to ensure the livelihood of rural communities over time. Essentially they are the spatial representation of production and reproduction strategies of societies over time. Understanding them necessarily requires knowledge of the historical processes that have led to specific relationships with nature: mainly extraction and use of resources. These uses have largely shaped the medium, generating not only its shape, but also the culture that makes possible its management and maintenance. The various exploitation strategies have resulted in different landscapes and forms of cultural expression throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, but have also produced very important common areas. Agro-systems represent one of their greatest expressions. Agricultural traditions and the different ways of exploiting natural resources including management over time are crucial for conservation of the landscape and its ability to adapt to current global changes: globalisation and agrarian industrialisation, loss of peasant knowledge, loss of rural population and climate change. Conservation can be achieved through the exploitation of this heritage to generate environmental and cultural conservation strategies for sustainable development in rural areas; with the aim of protecting this cultural heritage and, at the same time, increasing and transmitting knowledge about it in order to benefit the local and wider European society.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS.2012.1.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2013
The EU seeks to become a genuine Innovation Union in 2020 striving for excellent science, a competitive industry and a better society without compromising on sustainability goals as well as ethically acceptable and socially desirable conditions. Europe thus needs to develop a normative and comprehensive governance framework for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). This is the major goal of Res-AGorA. The Res-AGorA framework will build on existing RRI governance practices across and beyond Europe. It will be reflexive and adaptable to enable the inherent tensions in all governance of RRI to be actively addressed by procedural means aiming to facilitate constructive negotiations and deliberation between diverse actors. The project will achieve these objectives through a set of work packages providing an empirically grounded comparative analysis of a diverse set of existing RRI governance arrangements and their theoretical/conceptual underpinnings across different scientific technological areas (WP2 and WP3), a continuous monitoring of RRI trends and developments in selected countries (WP5) and, based on the cumulative insights derived from these work packages, co-construct with stakeholders the central building blocks and procedures of an overarching future governance framework for RRI (WP4). This governance framework will deliver cognitive and normative guidance that can be applied flexibly in different contexts. Res-AGorA will thus have direct impact on RRI practices (science, industry, policy), and strategic impact in terms of the political goals (Horizon 2020) and competitiveness (Lead Market through growing acceptance of new technologies). Res-AGorA will ensure intensive stakeholder interaction and wide dissemination of its tangible and intangible outputs in order to maximise impact, including comprehensive and interactive stakeholder engagement, liaisons with other ongoing RRI activities funded by the SiS Work Programme, and a final conference.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-2 | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2012
Children with diffuse lung disease, also called childhood interstitial lung diseases (chILD), may have one of more than 200 entities, the biggest group of respiratory orphan lung diseases. Frequently undiagnosed because of lack of awareness or complex differential diagnosis, they lead to much morbidity, mortality (about 15%) and psychosocial stress for the families. Current lack of evidence based guidelines reflects the absence of any real scientific evidence for management. All current therapeutic options are off label. We propose that leading European clinical scientists and paediatric pulmonologists collaborate to assemble cohorts in which children with well defined disease entities, verified by international panels of clinicians, radiologists, geneticists and pathologists are followed in a pan-European database and biobank compatible with others worldwide to allow common projects. Outcomes and treatment schemes will be rigorously defined and their value systematically assessed. We will put defined treatment protocols systematically into practice to allow their evaluation and perform a randomised controlled trial in line with the EU recommendations, to put prescribing for children on an evidence based footing. This will give evidence to use medicines available based on their objectively determined effects and side effects. The project will lead to accepted evidence-based and consensus-agreed diagnostic and management clinical guidelines, to a better care of patients afflicted by rare chILD and lead to improved quality of life for children with these incurable diseases.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-15-2014 | Award Amount: 4.95M | Year: 2015
65,000 aortic valve replacements (AVR) are performed in Europe each year to treat acquired and congenital aortic valve diseases. In affected patients, mortality without AVR is extremely high and 50 % die within 2 years. Current AVR options are, however, limited for young patients - especially female patients - and those unwilling to accept life-long medical anticoagulation with its inherent risks. None of the currently available prostheses for AVR is tailored toward the individual patient or allows for individual regeneration. The ARISE project will bridge this therapeutic gap in a Phase II clinical study to determine the feasibility, safety and efficacy of regenerative heart valves for aortic valve replacement. After extensive preclinical work, Haverich et al. have used decellularized allogenic heart valve matrices for AVR on the basis of compassionate use in 34 patients with tentative assessment showing auspicious initial clinical results. However, transferring this regenerative approach to routine clinical application necessitates controlled prospective clinical trials which are lacking to date. The translation of research in regenerative medicine from bench to bedside is frequently hampered by lengthy and complex regulatory procedures. This holds especially true for regenerative solutions based on human cell or tissue products where regulatory paths at national level are often unclear. Making these products available across Europe adds a further level of complexity as regenerative products are not subject to harmonized procedures, such as those for pharmaceutical products within Europe. The ARISE consortium will address these challenges, integrating a network of six leading centres for cardio-thoracic surgery, each with proven track records in clinical research, an innovative SME experienced in bringing human tissue products to the clinic and market and expertise in ethical and regulatory aspects of regenerative medicine. .
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.5 | Award Amount: 2.89M | Year: 2010
The CLAM project aims at developing a collaborative embedded monitoring and control platform for submarine surveillance by combining cutting edge acoustic vector sensor technology, underwater wireless sensor network protocols, collaborative situation-aware reasoning and distributed signal processing techniques for horizontal and vertical linear sensor arrays. The result will be a cooperative, flexible and robust underwater sensing, reasoning and communication platform for online surveillance of submarine environments accommodating pervasively deployed heterogeneous sensor nodes deployed at different water depths, enabling sensing and actuating devices to exchange data, autonomously network together, and collaboratively and locally asses their observation environment and act upon. Horizontal and vertical collaboration between sensor arrays in form of collaborative routing and beam forming, sensor fusion and distributed processing and reasoning enables fine-grained monitoring of the submarine environment and collaborative event detection as well as transmission of the network information to the monitoring stations.\nCLAMs consortium has experience and knowledge needed to deliver, exploit, and commercialize a complete solution right from the sensor node platform design, collaborative communication and networking protocols, adaptive, robust and scalable collaborative data processing and reasoning, up to the application requirements and market analysis. Participation of the international, external advisory board in this project indicates that the demand and potential market for such monitoring platforms goes beyond Europe. This can offer Europe a great opportunity in becoming an international leader in this emerging area which is still very much in its infancy.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2016
Ocular drug development has transformed from niche area to a major field in drug development in which many companies, including European big pharma has entered recently. Ocular drug development is a unique field in terms of drug targets and end-points of activity, local drug administration routes, tissue barriers and pharmacokinetics, drug delivery and formulation challenges and local toxicity issues. These issues are slowing down the development of drugs for the unmet needs in ophthalmology. The main objective of the proposal is to educate experts of preclinical ocular R&D to facilitate the success of European pharmaceutical industry and research community. This objective will be reached by joining forces of the leading European academic and industrial researchers in ophthalmology, materials science and nanomedicine, drug delivery and targeting, and systems pharmacology. We shall educate 15 Early Stage Researchers in a network where they will receive tailored, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral education in preclinical ocular drug development. The thesis projects are directed to the drug treatment of retinal diseases, the major challenge in the field. The proposal combines new drug candidates from the experts of ophthalmology, innovative drug delivery technologies from pharmaceutical scientists and companies, and modern in vitro, in silico and in vivo methods from various partners. The thesis projects include secondments in academic and industrial partner laboratories and course programme that encompasses the relevant fields in ocular drug development. Therefore, this proposal presents unique combination of innovation and education in the field with obvious need for such education. The ESRs and other outcomes of this project will greatly benefit the future competitiveness of European science and industry in this field of expanding importance.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2016
Europe has somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 landfill sites, with an estimated 90% of them being non-sanitary landfills, predating the EU Landfill Directive of 1999. These older landfills tend to be filled with municipal solid waste and often lack any environmental protection technology. In order to avoid future environmental and health problems, many of these landfills will soon require expensive remediation measures. This situation might appear bleak, but it does present us with an exciting opportunity for a combined resource-recovery and remediation strategy, which will drastically reduce future remediation costs, reclaim valuable land, while at the same time unlocking billions of tonnes of valuable resources contained within these landfills. However, the widespread adoption of Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) in the EU, as envisaged by NEW-MINE, urgently requires skilled scientists, engineers, economists and policy makers who can develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ELFM practices and regulatory frameworks. All this demands a European commitment to concerted, inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation. The NEW-MINE project trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all the aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments for ELFM. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow the ESRs to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the Do-Nothing, Classic remediation and Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration scenarios. By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and a range of soft skills, all based on a collaboration involving EU-leading institutes, they become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging ELFM and recycling industries.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2013
Physical, biochemical and ecological processes in natural water bodies have been the subject of intense research over the past decades by scientists of different expertise. Environmental studies related to natural water bodies are a relatively new area of research, spanning over no more than fifty years. The dawning of environmental studies in the late 20th century has seen developments mainly confined to individual classical areas of expertise, with relatively small degree of interactions among specialities. The development of a truly interdisciplinary approach to environmental studies in a holistic perspective appears one of the main challenges of the new century. This project aims at the training of new technical and scientific figures which can bring innovation in environmental applications and problem solving. The training activity will cover the transport of inorganic and organic matter, including solutes, colloids and sediments in river flows and across the boundary interfaces. Understanding of transport mechanism is a predestined stepping stone towards the ability to assess the vulnerability of the natural environment to anthropogenic stresses. The crucial role of heterogeneities of the stream geometry, of the nature and composition of interfacial matter, and of transported matter, will be emphasized by appropriate experimental and mathematical tools. Direct observations and measurements of transport and ecological processes, using up-to-date instrumentation and investigation procedures, will play a major part in the research and training programme. The participation of the private sector in the training activities will be a key element to guarantee the direct transfer of methods and results into the professional and technical market. The trainees will build specific competence in modern environmental technologies, achieve state-of-the-art knowledge and practical skills building on an existing academic degree in engineering or environmental sciences.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.54M | Year: 2009
The rapidly expanding knowledge of NMDs genetic diagnosis, pathogenesis and therapeutic possibilities has provided new targets for disease characterisation, early diagnosis, drug discovery and development as well as has raised many questions about how to translate this knowledge into clinical practice as (initial) clinical trials typically run for such a short time that clinical improvement can hardly be expected within that time frame. This militates for the discovery of surrogate endpoints for establishing the efficacy of clinical trials. The concept of biomarkers represents measurable bio-parameters able to flank the process of diagnosis, functional characterisation and therapy in NMDs. OMIC sciences (genomic, transcriptomics, proteomics) offer opportunities to identify biomarkers for finely defining and tuning the NMDs bases. This approach can make available non-invasive biomarkers, to be used for monitoring disease progression, prognosis and drugs response, therefore optimising the choice of appropriate and often personalised therapies. Validated biomarkers will increase therapy efficiency (meaning optimal dose of drug to get responders) and efficacy (responders vs non responders for example if we will identify genomic biomarkers linked to the lack of any therapeutic effect). In this case we could address a truly efficacious therapy (avoiding inefficacious treatment due to unfavourable genomic contexts). The new genomic and proteomic biomarkers discovered within BIO-NMD will be validated both in animal models and in human samples, before entering into a qualification process at the EMEA. The qualified biomarkers resulting from the BIO-NMD project will be ready for ongoing and further clinical trials for the patient benefit. This will increase the therapy efficacy and efficiency and also reduce adverse effects, with impact on patients quality of life with also economical relevance. The BIO-NMD consortium is led by the University of Ferrara, an internationally recognised university in the field of genomics of hereditary neuromuscular disorders. In addition the consortium is composed of 7 leading European academic partners bringing their expertise in all OMIC sciences as well as in bio-informatics and patient sample collection, 1 SME providing its skills in bio-informatics and 1 global company specialised in the development of patient samples screening.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SiS-2008-22.214.171.124 | Award Amount: 770.61K | Year: 2009
SYNTH-ETHICS addresses the ethical, legal and social implications of the emerging field of synthetic biology, with a special focus on biosafety and biosecurity and on notions of life. The project starts with discerning relevant ethical issues in close collaboration with the synthetic biology community. Next, the public debates around these issues are analysed. The current ethical and regulative frameworks existing in synthetic biology and closely related fields like nanobiotechnology and genetic engineering will then be reconstructed and assessed for their ability to deal adequately with existing and newly emerging ethical issues in synthetic biology. On that basis, challenges for current regulatory and ethical frameworks will be identified and recommendations for dealing with these challenges will be formulated targeted at three relevant groups: 1) the synthetic biology community, 2) EU policy makers and 3) NGOs/the public The project is at the intersection of ethics, technology assessment and foresight, law, and new technologies, and expertise from all relevant fields is included in the project team. The project will build on insights and discussions from other fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. It will also try to assess which aspects of synthetic biology might give rise to ethical problems of a different nature, specific to the field. In turn, it will contribute significantly to a more adequate and proactive broadly applicable approach to the ethical aspects of new technology. It will contribute to a common understanding of synthetic biology and the ethical, legal and social issues involved in EU member states, and to the shaping of a distinct European approach without ignoring the discussions and developments in the US and elsewhere. Stakeholders views will be solicited during the project and will be taken into account, and the project will help to prepare for a rational and informed public dialogue on synthetic biology. Finally, the project p
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.3.1.2.2. | Award Amount: 4.68M | Year: 2008
Conventional techniques for site characterization are time consuming, cost intensive, and do not support decision making. Therefore, new techniques for step by step site characterization strategy with smart feed back loops are necessary. These will be able to support a future soil framework directive. Advanced geophysical site characterization techniques combined with new types of vegetation analysis will be developed. Based on these non-invasive surveys, the extension of sources, contamination levels (THP, BTEX, PAH, CHC, explosives, heavy metals and radio nuclides) and soil heterogeneities will be localized first. Hot spots will then be investigated by new direct push probing systems integrated with geophysical & hydrogeological methods and combined with chemical & isotopic contaminant analysis for source localization and identification (environmental forensics). The actually occurring bioprocesses, such as contaminant degradation or precipitation/mobilization processes, will be assessed using biosensors, in situ microcosms, and stable isotope and biomarker analysis. These new techniques and tools will be evaluated against best practice of conventional methods. Therefore, they will be applied at fully equipped and characterized European reference sites available in the project and will be provided to consultants and SMEs for application. Integrated statistical analysis and modelling at different stages of the step by step approach will result in an improved view of soil and subsurface contamination and will provide a sound basis for risk assessment and decision.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.78M | Year: 2013
While real time analysis of user states based on signals from the brain and peripheral physiology have made progress (as separate branches of research), the possibility to predict intentions and infer implicit user variables is still a grand challenge in real-world applications. As a novel approach, MindSee proposes to fuse EEG as a main sensor with peripheral physiological sensors (EDR, fEMG, eye gaze and pupillometry) and context information for an unobtrusive acquisition of implicit measures of perception, cognition and emotions. Real-time estimates of these hidden user states will be exploited to complement keyboard and gestural input exemplary in the real-world application of scientific literature search where the information exploration of the user is guided by a co-adaptation with the computer. The proposed Symbiotic Information Seeking System will provide a wide range of visualization resources adapting information retrieved and its relevance, cognitive ergonomic complexity, and aesthetic aspects.\nFor the target application of scientific literature search, MindSee builds upon a cutting-edge retrieval system that has access to 50 million documents from the main scientific databases. MindSee will be developed in an iterative approach with three full cycles of implementation and evaluation of increasingly complex symbiotic interactions in information seeking. The iterative evaluation of MindSee technology and validation of underlying methods will be done in realistic user experiments with user groups of different skills and areas.\nThe MindSee project will develop a new symbiotic information retrieval system capable of more than doubling the performance of information seeking in realistic tasks, compared to mainstream tools. MindSee symbiotic interaction will deliver solutions to increase productivity and creative potential. Several MindSee results are exploitable and applicable to other information seeking contexts beyond scientific literature search!
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: FoF-07-2014 | Award Amount: 324.79K | Year: 2015
Proposal abstract The FOCUS project will build upon the fundament of five existing FoF Clusters, Zero Defect Manufacturing (4ZDM), Robotics, Clean factory, Precision Micro Production Technologies (High Micro) and Maintenance and support. They will work toward the following four objectives. 1. Provide pro-active support to the projects in the participating clusters to disseminate the projects tangible outcomes to raise the awareness and thus increasing on a short term the industrial exploitation and take-up (As-is). 2. Elaborate on the common ground of the clusters to establish a European state-of-the-art and world-wide technology watch to inform the European manufacturing industry constantly while also formulating (with support from cluster specific top-ranked experts) the future FoF priorities based upon jointly identified business trends and market prospects (As-is). 3. Deliver a proven model and associated methodology for effective cluster creation, execution and monitoring based upon the experience of the five participating clusters in FOCUS. This methodology will considerably ease the process of creating cluster thus maximizing the possibilities of increasing the impact of exploiting cross-project synergies (To-be). 4. Deliver a model and associated methodology to ensure industrial exploitation and industrial take-up for future projects including guidelines for all stakeholders including the European Commission, project initiators and partners (To-be). The final outcome of Focus will be: FOCUS model for clustering and industrial exploitation known at relevant stakeholders Methodology for clustering Methodology for industrial exploitation & take-up Lesson learnt from the existing clusters
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-13-2014 | Award Amount: 6.23M | Year: 2015
Chronic liver disease affects about 29-million Europeans accounting for about 170,000 deaths at a cost of around 15.8bn. This chronic non-communicable disease is increasing at an alarming rate due to increasing European obesity, alcohol use and ageing. The three main causes of the disease; alcohol, fatty liver and viral hepatitis are amenable to prevention and treatment. Gut-derived endotoxins and bacterial translocation are central factors implicated in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease and, the development and progression of cirrhosis. In cirrhosis, current state-of-the-art therapy to prevent recurrent complications of advanced cirrhosis is to use poorly absorbed antibiotics but long-term antibiotic therapy has problems associated with bacterial resistance, infection with resistant organisms and the cost. Treatment of fatty liver and modulation of bacterial translocation in early cirrhosis to prevent complications is an unmet need. Our academic-industrial consortium has developed a novel, patented, safe and cheap nanoporous carbon that modulates the effects of bacterial translocation in animal models of liver disease. Our feasibility studies demonstrate that this product advances the current state-of-the-art, is a TRL 4/5 and is now ready for validation through clinical trials. We propose to investigate the safety and efficacy of this novel nanoporous carbon in patients with fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. If successful, we will be able to confirm an innovative, cost-effective and novel strategy for the management of this chronic disease in a European population. Exploitation of the results of the CARBALIVE project will support the continued development of this carbon through additional private and public sector investment. The use of this innovative therapy is expected to reduce the economic burden of the disease in Europe, allow patients to achieve enhanced quality of life, improve survival, and allow many patients to return to economic productivity.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2014
Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) are an efficient and flexible transport system and their use is beneficial especially in the more and more congested European cities. Unfortunately the PTW riders are exposed to a high risk of becoming a victim in a crash mainly due to the difficulty to control a PTW under all circumstances but also due to limited conspicuity. In addition when PTW riders are crash victims limited protection is offered to prevent injuries when compared to vehicle occupants. The aim of the research activities within the project is to make the use of PTWs safer such that fewer accidents occur and if an accident is unavoidable the consequences for the rider to sustain injuries are minimal. The project is divided in three work packages (WPs) with three separate but related goals . The first work package aims to improve the riders skills with training strategies that are derived from in-depth accident data and from a quantification of rider behaviour in critical situations. The second work package aims at developing advanced safety systems that improve the interaction between the rider and the PTW by modelling the rider, also based on the in WP1 quantified rider behaviour. The third work package considers the cases where the crash is unavoidable and will develop personal protective equipment to protect the riders, given the input conditions from WP2 at the moment right before impact. The end result of this project will be a set of rider training guidelines that are proven to be effective, safety system concepts implemented on PTWs and improved personal protective equipment and accompanying standards. These can be used by PTW industry partners in product development processes and by stakeholders such as ACEM and the EU to educate riders. This will ultimately improve the safety of PTWs and moreover the perceived safety, which will make more people decide to use a PTW as a good alternative to other means of transport.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-4.3-01 | Award Amount: 7.55M | Year: 2009
GROUND-MED project will demonstrate geothermal heat pump (GSHP) systems for heating and cooling of measured SPF>5,0 in 8 demonstration sites of South Europe. As the SPF is determined not only by the heat pump unit, but by its operating conditions imposed to the heat pump by the ground heat exchanger and the heating/cooling system of the building as well, integrated systems incorporating the following technological solutions will be demonstrated and evaluated: a) new water source heat pumps of improved seasonal efficiency; key technologies include use of the next generation of compressors, heat exchangers and automation; b) borehole heat exchangers and heating/cooling systems operating with minimum temperature difference between them, which also follows the corresponding heating/cooling demand from the building; design aspects, thermal storage and system controls are important; c) minimum power consumption to system components; key parts are the fan-coil and air-handling units. GROUND-MED has a duration of 5 years and a budget of around 7,3 million euros, comprising 25% research and 75% demonstration and other activities. The GROUND-MED consortium comprises 24 organizations mainly from South Europe, including a wide diversity of GSHP actors, such as research and educational institutes, heat pump manufacturers, national and European industrial associations, energy consultants and works contractors.
News Article | October 26, 2016
But researchers confident that the existence of the Higgs boson will be decided in 2012. This year's hunt for the Higgs boson is drawing to a close. On 30 October, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe's particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, will end its 2011 run of the proton–proton collisions that search for the elusive particle, thought to give other fundamental particles their mass. But physicists believe that the collider will have collected enough data by the end of 2012, after experiments resume in March, to say whether the Higgs exists. In fact, they say, strong hints of whether or not it exists may be present in data already collected. "We are entering the golden year for the Higgs search," says Guido Tonelli, spokesman for the LHC's CMS experiment, one of the detectors that is used in the search for the Higgs boson, "and in the next few months we may be able to give important messages." There have been tantalizing hints already. In July, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN reported a few "excess events" suggestive of the Higgs boson within the debris generated by the proton–proton collisions (see Hint of Higgs, but little more). But by August, with more data to analyse, the probability of these events being due to the Higgs, rather than simply statistical fluctuations in the data, had fallen from a significance of 2.8 sigma (corresponding to a more than 99% chance of being 'real') to 2 sigma (around 95% chance of being real), the opposite direction to what would be hoped (see Higgs signal sinks from view). With double the amount of data now than they had in August, Tommaso Dorigo, a particle physicist at the University of Padua in Italy and a member of the CMS team, says he is "willing to bet a few bucks" that the small excess of events indicating that the Higgs boson has a mass of around 120 gigaelectronvolts, reported in July, really are due to the Higgs. And he estimates that, if is he right, then by the time the 2011 data are analysed early next year, the significance of the excess will have grown to about 3 sigma (a significance value of 5 sigma is the minimum at which discovery of the Higgs boson could definitely be claimed). "That would not be enough to claim a discovery," he says, "but it would be enough to convince most physicists that the effect is real." Vivek Sharma of the University of California, San Diego, who heads the search for the Higgs at the CMS, points out that results from both CMS and ATLAS have already ruled out, with a confidence of 2 sigma, a Higgs mass of between about 145 and 400 gigaelectronvolts, and that the LHC's predecessor, the Large Electron Positron collider, ruled out a Higgs mass below about 114 gigaelectronvolts. So the Higgs, if it exists, almost certainly lies in the gap between the two. According to Sharma, the extra data to be collected in 2012 once proton-proton collisions resume in March will allow the CERN scientists to "either find the Higgs in this mass range, or wipe it out". Apart from the Higgs' no-show, results from the LHC so far have not pointed to any new physics beyond the 'standard model'. The decay patterns of particles known as Bs mesons, which consist of one 'bottom' and one 'strange' quark, remain in line with the predictions of the standard model and not with its extensions such as 'supersymmetry' — a class of theories which suggest that each known particle has an exotic and as yet unseen partner. In fact, physicists now believe that the simplest, and most popular, version of supersymmetry is probably not correct (see Beautiful theory collides with smashing particle data). "The data are less exciting than people had hoped," admits Adam Falkowski, a particle-physics theorist at the University of Paris-South in Orsay, France. A positive result in the Higgs hunt would perhaps be a more obvious public-relations success for CERN, but for Falkowski a negative outcome would be more exciting, as it would, he says, "definitely mean new physics". He explains that it is not clear what that new physics might be, pointing out that a particle such as the Higgs may still exist but that other as-yet undiscovered particles cause it to decay in a unexpected way. Another, more radical possibility, he says, is that the breaking of the symmetry between the weak and the electromagnetic forces (for which the Higgs is believed to be responsible) could instead be carried out by a completely new set of very strong forces described by a theory called 'technicolour'. "If the standard model is true then we wouldn't have much to do as theorists, but if the Higgs isn't found then a whole new world of possibilities opens up," Falkowski says.
News Article | November 30, 2016
When Christian Agrillo runs number-related experiments in his lab, he wishes his undergraduate subjects good luck. For certain tests, that’s about all he says. Giving instructions to the people would be unfair to the fish. Agrillo, of the University of Padua in Italy, is finishing up several years of pitting humans against fish in trials of their abilities to compare quantities. He can’t, of course, tell his angelfish or his guppies to choose, say, the larger array of dots. So in recent tests he made the bemused students use trial and error too. “At the end, they start laughing when they find they are compared with fish,” he says. Yet the fish versus humans face-offs are eye-opening comparisons in his search for the deep evolutionary basis of what has blossomed into human mathematics. If it turns out that fish and people share some idiosyncrasies of their number sense (like spidey sense, except focused on quantities rather than danger), those elements might in theory date from a common ancestor more than 400 million years old. Comparisons of animals’ mental powers are “the paleontology of cognition,” Agrillo says. No one seriously argues that animals other than people have some kind of symbolic numeral system, but nonhuman animals — a lot of them — can manage almost-math without numbers. “There’s been an explosion of studies,” Agrillo says. Reports of a quantity-related ability come from chickens, horses, dogs, honeybees, spiders, salamanders, guppies, chimps, macaques, bears, lions, carrion crows and many more. And nonverbal number sensing, studies now suggest, allows much fancier operations than just pointing to the computer screen that shows more dots. News stories on this diversity often nod to the idea that such a broad sweep of numberlike savvy across the animal tree of life could mean that animals all inherited rudiments of quantification smarts from a shared ancestor. Some scientists think that idea is too simple. Instead of inheriting the same mental machinery, animals could have just happened upon similar solutions when confronting the same challenge. (Birds and bats both fly, but their wings arose independently.) Chasing down those deep origins means figuring out how animals, including humans too young or too rushed, manage quantitative feats without counting. It’s not easy. Putting together what should be a rich and remarkable story of the evolution of nonverbal number sense is just beginning. Symbolic numbers do marvels for humankind, but for millions of years, other animals without full powers to count have managed life-and-death decisions about magnitude (which fruit pile to grab, which fish school to join, whether there are so many wolves that it’s time to run). For a sense of the issues, consider the old and the new in dog science. Familiar as dogs are, they’re still mostly wet-nosed conundrums when it comes to their number sense. When food is at stake, dogs can tell more from less, according to a string of laboratory studies over more than a decade. And dogs may be able to spot cheating when people count out treats. Dog owners may not be amazed at such food smarts, but the interesting question is whether dogs solve the problem by paying attention to the actual number of goodies they see, or some other qualities. An experiment in England in 2002, for instance, let 11 pet dogs settle down in front of a barrier that researchers then moved so the dogs could get a peek at a row of bowls. One bowl held a Pedigree Chum Trek treat. The barrier went up again, and researchers lowered a second treat into a bowl behind the screen, or sometimes just pretended to. When the barrier dropped again, the dogs overall stared a bit longer if only one treat was visible than if 1 + 1 had indeed equaled 2. Five of the dogs, in an extra test, also stared longer on average after a researcher covertly sneaked an extra treat into a bowl and then lowered the barrier on the unexpected 1 + 1 = 3. Dogs could in theory recognize funny business by paying attention to the number of treats — or the treats’ “numerosity,” as researchers often call a quantity recognized nonverbally. But, depending on the design of a test, dogs might also get the right answers by judging the total surface area of treats instead of their numerosity. A multitude of other clues — density of objects in a cluster, a cluster’s total perimeter or darkness and so on — would also work. Researchers lump those giveaways under the term “continuous” qualities, because they change in a smooth continuum of increments instead of in the discrete 1, 2, 3. The continuous qualities present a real staring-at-the-ceiling, heavy-sigh challenge for anyone inventing a numerosity test. By definition, nonverbal tests don’t use symbols such as numbers, so an experimenter has to show something, and those somethings inevitably have qualities that intensify or dwindle as the numerosity does. To at least see whether dogs evaluate total area to choose more food, Krista Macpherson of the University of Western Ontario in Canada devised a task for her rough collie Sedona. The dog had already served as an experimental subject in Macpherson’s earlier test of whether real dogs would try to seek help for their owners in danger, as TV’s trusty Lassie did. Sedona hadn’t tried to seek help for Macpherson (no dog in the test aided its owner), but she had proved amenable to doing lab work, especially for bits of hot dog or cheese. Sedona was put to work to select whichever of two magnet boards had a greater number of geometric shapes fastened to it. Macpherson varied the dimensions of black triangles, squares and rectangles so that their total surface area wasn’t a reliable clue to the right answer. The idea came from an experiment involving monkeys that reacted to a computer touch screen. But “I’m all cardboard and tape,“ Macpherson says. Sedona was perfectly happy to look at two magnet boards fastened to cardboard boxes on the ground and then indicate her choice by knocking over a box. Sedona in the end triumphed at picking the box with more geometric thingies regardless of area, though the project took considerable effort from both woman and beast. The dog worked through more than 700 trials, starting as simply as 0 versus 1 and eventually scoring better than chance scrutinizing bigger magnitudes, such as 6 versus 9, Macpherson and William A. Roberts reported in Learning and Motivation in 2013. (Eight versus nine finally stumped the collie, but more on patterns in accuracy later.) In a 2016 paper in Behavioural Processes, another lab hailed the Sedona research as the “only evidence of dogs’ ability to use numerical information.” Dogs might have number sense, but when, or how much, they use it is another matter, notes Clive Wynne of Arizona State University in Tempe, a coauthor of that 2016 paper. To see what dogs do in more natural situations, he and Maria Elena Miletto Petrazzini of the University of Padua designed a test offering pets at a doggie daycare a choice of two plates of cut-up treat strips. A mix of breeds considered such options as a few big treat strips versus a smaller total amount of treats cut up into numerous small pieces. The dogs, without Sedona’s arduous training, went for the greater total amount of food, regardless of the number of pieces. Of course they did; it’s food — more is better. Without controls, food tests may not be measuring numerosity at all. It’s not just edibility that affects whether an animal pays attention to numerosity. Experience with similarity or differences in objects can matter. Rosa Rugani, also at Padua, has pioneered studying number sense in recently hatched chicks, which can learn experimental procedures fast if she gets them motivated. “One of the more fascinating challenges of my job is to come up with ‘games’ the chicks like to play,” she says. Newly hatched chicks can develop a strong social attachment to objects, as if little plastic balls or ragged crosses of colored bars were pals to huddle near in a flock. Taking advantage of this tendency, Rugani let day-old chicks imprint on either two or three objects. Then she watched them choose between two little flocks of novel pals to toddle over to. If the potential buddy-objects in a flock looked identical to each other, the chicks in the test typically just moved near the larger cluster or largest object. But if the buddies in each group had individual quirks, mixing colors, shapes and sizes, the chicks paid attention to numerosity. Those imprinted on three pals were a bit more likely to club with three different kinds of pals; those imprinted on the pairs more often clubbed with the twos. Some animals can deal with what people would call numerical order, or ordinality. Rats have learned to choose a particular tunnel entrance, such as the fourth or 10th from the end, even when researchers fiddled with distances between entrances. Five-day-old chicks rewarded for pecking at an item in a sequence, the fourth hole or the third jar, still showed a preference for position when researchers lengthened the distances between options or even moved the whole array. Rhesus monkeys react if researchers violate rules of addition and subtraction, as dogs seemed to do in the Chums experiment. Chicks can track additions and subtractions too, well enough to pick the card hiding the bigger result. The chicks can also go one better. Rugani and colleagues have shown that chicks have some sense of ratios, for example choosing between mixes of red and green dots to match a ratio they learned from such mixes as 18 greens mingling with 9 reds. A sense of numerosity itself, regardless of volume or surface area, may not be limited to fancy vertebrate brains. One recently published test takes advantage of overkill among golden orb-web spiders (Nephila clavipes). When they have a crazy run of luck catching insects faster than they can eat them, the spiders wrap each catch in silk and fasten it with a single strand to dangle from the center of the web. Turning this hoarding tendency into a test, Rafael Rodríguez of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee tossed bits of mealworms of different sizes into the web as spiders created a dangling treasure trove. Then shooing the spider off the web, he snipped the strands and watched how long the spiders searched for their stolen meals. Losing a greater volume of food inspired more strumming of the web and searching about. But losing four items instead of just one or two increased the search time even more, Rodríguez and his colleagues reported in 2015 in Animal Cognition. It’s not just volume of food in a hoard, they argue. Numerosity has its own effects. Nonhuman animals don’t have human language for counting, so researchers studying behavior talk about an “approximate number system” that allows for good-enough estimates of quantities with no real counting. One of the features of this still mysterious system is its declining accuracy in comparing bigger numbers that are very close together, the trend that made Sedona the collie’s struggles as noteworthy as her successes. As the ratios of the two quantities Sedona had to compare drew closer to 1, she was more prone to make mistakes. Her scores worsened as she moved from 0.11 (comparing 1 to 9), 0.2 (1 to 5) and so on. She never conquered the fiendish 8 versus 9. That same trend, described by what’s called Weber’s law, shows up in humans’ nonverbal approximate number system as well as in those of other animals. When Agrillo tested guppies against humans, both fell behind in accuracy for such difficult comparisons as 6 versus 8. But for small quantities, both fish and people performed well, he and colleagues reported in 2012. People and fish could tell 3 dots from 4 about as reliably as 1 dot from 4. Researchers have long recognized this instant human ease of dealing with very small quantities, calling it subitizing: suddenly just seeing that there are three dots or ducks or daffodils without having to count them. Agrillo suspects the underlying mechanism will prove different from the approximate number systems, though he describes this as a minority view. The similarity between guppies and people in subitizing skill doesn’t prove it’s a shared inheritance from that ancient common ancestor several hundred million years ago, Agrillo says. Yet the similarity does raise the possibility. Struggling to separate some pure response to numerosity from all the confounding surface areas and other continuous qualities may not even be the most important question, says Lisa Cantrell, now at the University of California, Davis. Human babies, as an example of noncounting animals, might start figuring out the world by relying on these other confounders and grow into their numerical abilities, she and Linda Smith of Indiana University, Bloomington, suggested in 2013. The hypothesized approximate number system might be part of some more general way of perceiving the world, which can draw on multiple clues to get a clearer sense of quantity. Cantrell and Smith called their version of the idea the “signal clarity hypothesis.” Studying behavior alone isn’t enough to trace the inheritance of any part of number savvy, says Andreas Nieder of the University of Tübingen in Germany. “At the behavioral level, it may look as if number estimation follows the same laws, but the underlying neural code could actually look quite different.” He’s not going as far afield as fish yet, but Nieder and colleagues have looked at how monkey and bird brains handle quantity. The researchers described neurons (nerve cells) in the brains of carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) that function much like those in rhesus macaques. Research in monkeys over the last 15 years has identified what Nieder calls “number neurons.” They could have multiple functions, but each responds to a specific number of whatevers, be it six crows or six crowbars. Some number neurons respond to sight, some to sound, and amazingly, some to either. The neurons could be responding to increasing total surface area or density or darkness. But researchers have varied one aspect at a time, and used multiple imaging and pharmacological techniques, to argue that as far as strenuous efforts can tell, these neurons detect the actual numerosity. Individual neurons in parts of a monkey brain have their own preferred number and respond most strongly to it and less so to neighboring numbers. The neurons for three get less excited for two and four, while others light up at four. In 2015, Nieder and colleagues started untangling how monkey neurons handle zero, suggesting the beginnings of an ability to treat “nothing there” as an abstract numerosity of zero. These neurons lie in notable places: the six-layered neocortex of the parietal and frontal lobes of the brain. That’s territory that primates boast about, a feature of mammalian brain structure credited with allowing human mental capacities to reach such heights. Nonmammalian vertebrates, including birds, don’t have a multilayered neocortex. Yet Nieder and colleagues have, for the first time, detected individual neurons in the bird brain that fire in response to numerosities much as primate number neurons do. Recordings from four nerve cells in monkeys suggest each cell responds most to a particular number of dots (lines with circles) and the same number of musical tones (squares). The bird versions of number neurons lie in a relatively newfangled area of the avian brain called the nidopallium caudolaterale, or NCL. It didn’t exist as such, nor did the primate’s precious neocortex, in the reptile-ish ancestors that mammals and birds last shared some 300 million years ago. Both the bird NCL and the primate number neuron zones arose from the same tissue, the pallium. In mammals, that ancient pallium morphed into layers of neocortex tissue, in birds the transformation went a different way. For the number sense tingling through specialized neurons in birds and primates alike, similarity does not strictly mean shared inheritance, Nieder wrote in the June Nature Reviews Neuroscience. The systems of number neurons probably specialized independently. Finding some brain structures to compare across deep time is a promising step in fathoming the evolution of animal number sense, but it’s just a beginning. There are many questions about how the neurons work, not to mention what’s going on in all those other brains that contemplate quantity. For now, looking across the tree of life at the crazy abundance of number smarts, which may or may not be related but are certainly numerous, the clearest thing to say may be just: Wow. This article appears in the December 10, 2016, issue of Science News with the headline, "Animal math: Searching the barnyard and zoo for the evolutionary roots of human number crunching."
News Article | August 31, 2016
Most of the world’s mathematicians fall into just 24 scientific 'families', one of which dates back to the fifteenth century. The insight comes from an analysis of the Mathematics Genealogy Project (MGP), which aims to connect all mathematicians, living and dead, into family trees on the basis of teacher–pupil lineages, in particular who an individual's doctoral adviser was. The analysis also uses the MGP — the most complete such project — to trace trends in the history of science, including the emergence of the United States as a scientific power in the 1920s and when different mathematical subfields rose to dominance1. “You can see how mathematics has evolved in time,” says Floriana Gargiulo, who studies networks dynamics at the University of Namur, Belgium and who led the analysis. The MGP is hosted by North Dakota State University in Fargo and co-sponsored by the American Mathematical Society. Since the early 1990s, its organizers have mined information from university departments and from individuals who make submissions regarding themselves or people they know about. As of 25 August, the MGP contained 201,618 entries. As well as doctoral advisers (PhD advisers in recent times) and pupils of academic mathematicians, the organizers record details such as the university that awarded the doctorate. Previously, researchers had used the MGP to reconstruct their own PhD-family trees, or to see how many ‘descendants’ a researcher has (readers can do their own search here). Gargiulo's team wanted to make a comprehensive analysis of the entire database and divide it into distinct families, rather than just looking at how many descendants any one person has. After downloading the database, Gargiulo and her colleagues wrote machine-learning algorithms that cross-checked and complemented the MGP data with information from Wikipedia and from scientists' profiles in the Scopus bibliographic database. This revealed 84 distinct family trees with two-thirds of the world’s mathematicians concentrated in just 24 of them. The high degree of clustering arises in part because the algorithms assigned each mathematician just one academic parent: when an individual had more than one adviser, they were assigned the one with the bigger network. But the phenomenon chimes with anecdotal reports from those who research their own mathematical ancestry, says MGP director Mitchel Keller, a mathematician at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. “Most of them run into Euler, or Gauss or some other big name,” he says. Although the MGP is still somewhat US centric, the goal is for it to become as international as possible, Keller says. Peculiarly, the progenitor of the largest family tree is not a mathematician but a physician: Sigismondo Polcastro, who taught medicine at the University of Padua in Italy in the early fifteenth century. He has 56,387 descendants according to the analysis. The second-largest tree is one started by a Russian called Ivan Dolbnya in the late nineteenth century. The authors also tracked mathematical activity by country, which seemed to pinpoint major historical events. Around the time of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War, there is a decline in mathematics PhDs awarded in the region, notes Gargiulo. Between 1920 and 1940, the United States took over from Germany as the country producing the largest number of mathematics PhDs each year. And the ascendancy of the Soviet Union is marked by a peak of PhDs in the 1960s, followed by a relative fall after the break-up of the union in 1991. Gargiulo’s team also looked at the dominance of mathematical subfields relative to each other. The researchers found that dominance shifted from mathematical physics to pure maths during the first half of the twentieth century, and later to statistics and other applied disciplines, such as computer science. Idiosyncrasies in the field of mathematics could explain why it has the most comprehensive genealogy database of any discipline. “Mathematicians are a bit of a world apart,” says Roberta Sinatra, a network and data scientist at Central European University in Budapest who led a 2015 study that mapped the evolution of the subdisciplines of physics by mining data from papers on the Web of Science2. Mathematicians tend to publish less than other researchers, and they establish their academic reputation not so much on how much they publish or on their number of citations, but on who they have collaborated with, including their mentors, she says. “I think it’s not a coincidence that they have this genealogy project." At least one discipline is trying to catch up. Historian of astronomy Joseph Tenn of Sonoma State University in California plans by 2017 to launch the AstroGen project to record the PhD advisers and students of astronomers. “I started it," he says, "because so many of my colleagues in astronomy admired and enjoyed perusing the Mathematics Genealogy Project."
News Article | November 30, 2016
A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth. Despite being amongst the closest neutron stars, its extreme dimness meant the astronomers could only observe the star with visible light using the FORS2 instrument on the VLT, at the limits of current telescope technology. Neutron stars are the very dense remnant cores of massive stars—at least 10 times more massive than our Sun—that have exploded as supernovae at the ends of their lives. They also have extreme magnetic fields, billions of times stronger than that of the Sun, that permeate their outer surface and surroundings. These fields are so strong that they even affect the properties of the empty space around the star. Normally a vacuum is thought of as completely empty, and light can travel through it without being changed. But in quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory describing the interaction between photons and charged particles such as electrons, space is full of virtual particles that appear and vanish all the time. Very strong magnetic fields can modify this space so that it affects the polarisation of light passing through it. Mignani explains: "According to QED, a highly magnetised vacuum behaves as a prism for the propagation of light, an effect known as vacuum birefringence." Among the many predictions of QED, however, vacuum birefringence so far lacked a direct experimental demonstration. Attempts to detect it in the laboratory have not yet succeeded in the 80 years since it was predicted in a paper by Werner Heisenberg (of uncertainty principle fame) and Hans Heinrich Euler. "This effect can be detected only in the presence of enormously strong magnetic fields, such as those around neutron stars. This shows, once more, that neutron stars are invaluable laboratories in which to study the fundamental laws of nature." says Roberto Turolla (University of Padua, Italy). After careful analysis of the VLT data, Mignani and his team detected linear polarisation—at a significant degree of around 16%—that they say is likely due to the boosting effect of vacuum birefringence occurring in the area of empty space surrounding RX J1856.5-3754. Vincenzo Testa (INAF, Rome, Italy) comments: "This is the faintest object for which polarisation has ever been measured. It required one of the largest and most efficient telescopes in the world, the VLT, and accurate data analysis techniques to enhance the signal from such a faint star." "The high linear polarisation that we measured with the VLT can't be easily explained by our models unless the vacuum birefringence effects predicted by QED are included," adds Mignani. "This VLT study is the very first observational support for predictions of these kinds of QED effects arising in extremely strong magnetic fields," remarks Silvia Zane (UCL/MSSL, UK). Mignani is excited about further improvements to this area of study that could come about with more advanced telescopes: "Polarisation measurements with the next generation of telescopes, such as ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope, could play a crucial role in testing QED predictions of vacuum birefringence effects around many more neutron stars." "This measurement, made for the first time now in visible light, also paves the way to similar measurements to be carried out at X-ray wavelengths," adds Kinwah Wu (UCL/MSSL, UK). This research was presented in the paper entitled "Evidence for vacuum birefringence from the first optical polarimetry measurement of the isolated neutron star RX J1856.5−3754", by R. Mignani et al., to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Explore further: Hubble captures the beating heart of the Crab Nebula
News Article | December 10, 2015
Globular clusters are spherical-shaped or globular stellar groupings—hence its name- which can contain millions of stars. There are about 200 of them in the Milky Way, but few are as intriguing to astronomers as the E 3 cluster. It is situated around 30,000 light years away, in the southern constellation of Chameleon. A team of Spanish and Italian astronomers have named it "a ghost from the Milky Way's past" in an article published recently in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal. "This globular cluster, and a few similar ones—such as Palomar 5 or Palomar 14—are `ghosts´ because they appear to be in the last stages of their existence, and we say ´from the past´ because they are very old. They were formed when our galaxy was virtually new-born, 13,000 million years ago," says one of the authors, Carlos de la Fuente Marcos. E 3 is hidden behind younger and brighter objects located between the cluster and Earth, but it has been possible to analyse it thanks to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) held in the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Cerro Paranal, Chile. The data obtained revealed some surprises. "Unlike typical globular clusters, which contain hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of stars, the object studied only has a few tens of thousands of them," says De la Fuente Marcos. "Additionally, it doesn't have the typical circular symmetry, but a much distorted, almost ghostly, rhomboidal shape, contorted by the galactic gravitational waves". According to another study on E 3 by Michigan State University (USA) researchers, published in The Astrophysical Journal, this cluster is chemically homogeneous, that is, it doesn't have several star populations in its interior. "This is characteristic of an object that was created in block, in one single episode, like what is supposed to have happened when our galaxy was born: very large star clusters (containing millions of stars) were formed, but what remains of them today are objects like E 3, ghosts from a distant past," says De la Fuente Marcos. He explains that the study of these objects "enables us to gain insight into the infancy of the Milky Way". Despite the recently published new data on this strange globular cluster, astronomers still have to clarify if it was really formed in our galaxy or not. It is known that some of its clusters are not native to the Milky Way, but were captured, even though they can currently be seen in its interior. Thousands of millions of years ago, our galaxy cannibalised other smaller galaxies and kept their globular clusters. The rest were formed in-situ. In the article, it is suggested that the object analysed could be dynamically related to other clusters, such as 47 Tucanae, one of the richest and largest of the Milky Way. They could even share the same stream of stars. If this were the case, it would support the hypothesis that E 3 was captured in the distant past. "We hope to obtain new data in 2016, thanks to more spectroscopic observations, and perhaps we will be able to give answers to these questions," says De la Fuente Marcos, an independent astronomer who collaborates with colleagues from the Northern Catholic University and ESO in Chile, and the University of Padua, Italy. Explore further: Image: Hubble looks into Terzan 7 More information: R. de la Fuente Marcos et al. Ghosts of Milky Way's past: the globular cluster ESO 37-1 (E 3), Astronomy & Astrophysics (2015). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526580
Russo F.P.,University of Padua |
Parola M.,University of Turin
Cytotherapy | Year: 2011
Mammalian liver has a unique capacity to regenerate following resection or injury, and recovery of liver mass is mainly through proliferation of remaining adult hepatocytes. However, in pathologic conditions, especially during acute liver failure (ALF) and advanced stages of chronic liver disease (CLD), regeneration eventually fails and orthothopic liver transplantation (OLT) represents the only curative approach. The clinical scenario of a world-wide increasing incidence of end-stage CLD and an associated lack of organ availability has led several laboratories to explore the feasibility and efficiency of experimental alternatives to OLT involving cellular therapy. This review presents experimental and clinical studies performed in the last 1015 years where adult and embryonic hepatocytes, hepatic stem/progenitor cells and extrahepatic stem cells have been used as transplantable cell sources. © 2011 Informa Healthcare.
Tamburini F.,University of Padua |
Thide B.,Swedish Institute of Space Physics |
Molina-Terriza G.,Macquarie University |
Anzolin G.,ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences
Nature Physics | Year: 2011
Kerr black holes are among the most intriguing predictions of Einstein's general relativity theory1,2. These rotating massive astrophysical objects drag and intermix their surrounding space and time, deflecting and phase-modifying light emitted near them. We have found that this leads to a new relativistic effect that imprints orbital angular momentum on such light. Numerical experiments, based on the integration of the null geodesic equations of light from orbiting point-like sources in the Kerr black hole equatorial plane to an asymptotic observer3, indeed identify the phase change and wavefront warping and predict the associated light-beam orbital angular momentum spectra4. Setting up the best existing telescopes properly, it should be possible to detect and measure this twisted light, thus allowing a direct observational demonstration of the existence of rotating black holes. As non-rotating objects are more an exception than a rule in the Universe, our findings are of fundamental importance. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Giunti C.,University of Turin |
Laveder M.,University of Padua
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2011
We calculate the statistical significance of the anomalous deficit of electron neutrinos measured in the radioactive source experiments of the GALLEX and SAGE solar neutrino detectors, taking into account the uncertainty of the detection cross section. We found that the statistical significance of the anomaly is ~3.0σ. A fit of the data in terms of neutrino oscillations favors at ~2.7σ short-baseline electron neutrino disappearance with respect to the null hypothesis of no oscillations. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Russo F.P.,University of Padua |
Parola M.,University of Turin
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology | Year: 2012
Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) represents the only reliable therapeutic approach for acute liver failure (ALF), liver failure associated to end-stage chronic liver diseases (CLD) and non-metastatic liver cancer. The clinical impact of liver failure is relevant because of the still high ALF mortality and the increasing worldwide prevalence of cirrhosis that, in turn, is the main predisposing cause for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, in the next decade because an increased number of patients reaching end-stage disease and requiring OLT may face a shortage of donor livers. This clinical scenario led several laboratories to explore the feasibility and efficiency of alternative approaches, involving cellular therapy, to counteract liver failure. The present chapter overviews results and concepts emerged from recent experimental and clinical studies in which adult or embryonic hepatocytes, hepatic stem/progenitor cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as well as extrahepatic stem cells have been used as putative transplantable cell sources. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Amendola V.,University of Padua |
Riello P.,University of Turin |
Meneghetti M.,University of Padua
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011
Iron-based nanoparticles can have useful magnetic and catalytic properties. We investigated the synthesis of iron-based nanostructures by laser ablation of bulk iron with 1064 nm nanosecond pulses in the following organic solvents: tetrahydrofuran, acetonitrile, dimethylformamide, dimethylsulfoxide, toluene, and ethanol. Structural analysis carried out by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction revealed that the solvent has a dramatic influence on both the composition and the nanostructure of nanoparticles. Various magnetic nanoparticles like iron carbide (Fe3C), magnetic iron oxide (magnetite/maghemite), metal iron (α-Fe), and iron@iron oxide are obtained by varying the solvent and keeping unchanged all the other experimental conditions. These results are the consequences of the different reactivity of solvent molecules exposed to the plasma plume generated during the ablation process. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Martucci L.,University of Padua |
Weigand T.,University of Heidelberg
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015
Abstract: We discuss the structure of charged matter couplings in 4-dimensional F-theory compactifications. Charged matter is known to arise from M2-branes wrapping fibral curves on an elliptic or genus-one fibration Y. If a set of fibral curves satisfies a homological relation in the fibre homology, a coupling involving the states can arise without exponential volume suppression due to a splitting and joining of the M2-branes. If the fibral curves only sum to zero in the integral homology of the full fibration, no such coupling is possible. In this case an M2-instanton wrapping a 3-chain bounded by the fibral matter curves can induce a D-term which is volume suppressed. We elucidate the consequences of this pattern for the appearance of massive U(1) symmetries in F-theory and analyse the structure of discrete selection rules in the coupling sector. The weakly coupled analogue of said M2-instantons is worked out to be given by D1-F1 instantons. The generation of an exponentially suppressed F-term requires the formation of half-BPS bound states of M2 and M5-instantons. This effect and its description in terms of fluxed M5-instantons is discussed in a companion paper. © 2015, The Author(s).
Martucci L.,University of Padua |
Weigand T.,University of Heidelberg
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015
Abstract: We introduce a new approach to investigate the selection rules governing the contributions of fluxed M5-instantons to the F-theory four-dimensional effective action, with emphasis on the generation of charged matter F-terms. The structure of such couplings is unraveled by exploiting the perturbative and non-perturbative homological relations, introduced in our companion paper , which encode the interplay between the self-dual 3-form flux on the M5-brane, the background 4-form flux and certain fibral curves. The latter are wrapped by time-like M2-branes representing matter insertions in the instanton path integral. In particular, we clarify how fluxed M5-instantons detect the presence of geometrically massive U(1)s which are responsible for ‘hidden’ selection rules. We discuss how for non-generic embeddings the M5-instanton can probe ‘locally massless’ U(1) symmetries if the rank of its Mordell-Weil group is enhanced compared to that of the bulk. As a phenomenological off-spring we propose a new type of non-perturbative corrections to Yukawa couplings which may change the rank of the Yukawa matrix. Along the way, we also gain new insights into the structure of massive U(1) gauge fluxes in the stable degeneration limit. © 2015, The Author(s).
Gomiero T.,University of Padua |
Pimentel D.,Cornell University |
Paoletti M.G.,University of Padua
Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences | Year: 2011
Organic agriculture refers to a farming system that enhance soil fertility through maximizing the efficient use of local resources, while foregoing the use of agrochemicals, the use of Genetic Modified Organisms (GMO), as well as that of many synthetic compounds used as food additives. Organic agriculture relies on a number of farming practices based on ecological cycles, and aims at minimizing the environmental impact of the food industry, preserving the long term sustainability of soil and reducing to a minimum the use of non renewable resources. This paper carries out a comparative review of the environmental performances of organic agriculture versus conventional farming, and also discusses the difficulties inherent in this comparison process. The paper first provides an historical background on organic agriculture and briefly reports on some key socioeconomic issues concerning organic farming. It then focuses on how agricultural practices affect soil characteristics: under organic management soil loss is greatly reduced and soil organic matter (SOM) content increases. Soil biochemical and ecological characteristics appear also improved. Furthermore, organically managed soils have a much higher water holding capacity than conventionally managed soils, resulting in much larger yields compared to conventional farming, under conditions of water scarcity. Because of its higher ability to store carbon in the soil, organic agriculture could represent a means to improve CO2 abatement if adopted on a large scale. Next, the impact on biodiversity is highlighted: organic farming systems generally harbor a larger floral and faunal biodiversity than conventional systems, although when properlymanaged also the latter can improve biodiversity. Importantly, the landscape surrounding farmed land also appears to have the potential to enhance biodiversity in agricultural areas. The paper then outlines energy use in different agricultural settings: organic agriculture has higher energy efficiency (input/output) but, on average, exhibits lower yields and hence reduced productivity. Nevertheless, overall, organic agriculture appears to perform better than conventional farming, and provides also other important environmental advantages, such as halting the use of harmful chemicals and their spread in the environment and along the trophic chain, and reducing water use. Looking at the future of organic farming, based on the findings presented in this review, there is clearly a need for more research and investment directed to exploring potential of organic farming for reducing the environmental impact of agricultural practices; however, the implications of reduced productivity for the socioeconomic system should also be considered and suitable agricultural policies should be developed. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Giunti C.,University of Turin |
Laveder M.,University of Padua
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011
We present an update of our analysis of short-baseline neutrino oscillation data in the framework of 3+1 neutrino mixing taking into account the recent update of MiniBooNE antineutrino data and the recent results of the MINOS search for νμ disappearance into sterile neutrinos (the more complicated 3+2 neutrino mixing is not needed since the CP-violating difference between MiniBooNE neutrino and antineutrino data has diminished). The results of our fits of short-baseline neutrino oscillation data including the MiniBooNE low-energy anomaly (now present both in the neutrino and antineutrino data) lead to a strong tension between appearance and disappearance data. Hence, it seems likely that the low-energy anomaly is not due to ν (-)μ→ν(-)e transitions. Excluding the MiniBooNE low-energy anomaly, appearance and disappearance data are marginally compatible. The global analysis has the best-fit point at Δm412 5.6eV2, which is rather large in comparison with cosmological bounds, but there are three regions within 1σ at Δm412 1.6, 1.2, 0.91eV2. We also show that the data on the Gallium neutrino anomaly favor values of Δm412 larger than about 1eV2. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Giunti C.,University of Turin |
Laveder M.,University of Padua
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011
We present the results of fits of short-baseline neutrino-oscillation data in 3+1 and 3+2 neutrino-mixing schemes. In spite of the presence of a tension in the interpretation of the data, 3+1 neutrino mixing is attractive for its simplicity and for the natural correspondence of one new entity (a sterile neutrino) with a new effect (short-baseline oscillations). The allowed regions in the oscillation parameter space can be tested in near-future experiments. In the framework of 3+2 neutrino mixing, there is less tension in the interpretation of the data, at the price of introducing a second sterile neutrino. Moreover, the improvement of the parameter goodness of fit is mainly a statistical effect due to an increase in the number of parameters. The CP violation in short-baseline experiments allowed in 3+2 neutrino mixing can explain the positive ν̄μ→ν̄e signal and the negative νμ→νe measurement in the MiniBooNE experiment. For the CP-violating phase, we obtained two minima of the marginal χ2 close to the two values where CP violation is maximal. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2011-3 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2012
Non-destructive testing of components is an important auxiliary process step, not only in post-production but also in regular maintenance. The detection of cracks is currently done by using magnetic particle inspection, which is a decades-old, inefficient and ecologically undesirable process. There is an urgent need in industry to replace this technology with more up-to-date methods that provide fully automatic testing. This project thus aims at the development of an autonomous robotic system for the inspection of metallic and composite parts using thermography. By combining automatic path planning for robots using a process model of thermographic image acquisition and knowledge-based image analysis methods, an inspection robot will be developed that can adapt to new parts within 15 minutes and achieves cycle times in the range of 20-30 seconds. Applications include inspection of metallic and composite parts in the automotive and aircraft industry as well as inspection during regular maintenance, mainly in the aircraft industry, where magnetic particle inspection is often a requirement. Market estimates show a potential of more than 1000 such inspection systems within 5-7 years after the end of the project. Despite a higher initial investment (compared to magnetic particle inspection) the robotic inspection system will save more than 400kEUR after 5 years of operation, thus contributing to a substantial increase in efficiency in these tasks. Furthermore, ecologically undesirable suspensions of magnetic particles that include corrosion-inhibitors can be avoided. The consortium consists of technology providers in robotics, industrial inspection and thermographic cameras and end-users that cover metallic and composite parts in the automotive and aircraft industry. SMEs play a leading role in the project and contribute 60% of the total effort.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.1.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.41M | Year: 2013
The TAWARA_RTM project aims at developing a complete platform to control the quality of the tap water with respect to the radioactivity content. The platform will provide a real time measurement of the activity in the water (measuring the gross alpha and beta activity) to verify whether the distributed water is far from the limits set by the EU legislation (see Directive 98/83/CE of the European Council) reaching thresholds that require rapid actions. In case of an alarm due to an activity in the water lager than the defined thresholds, a warning message is sent to the water plant management to verify the need of stopping the water distribution. At the same time, a second part of the system is activated, to determine the nature of the contamination by gamma ray spectroscopy, defining the nature of the contamination and the corresponding counter-measures. Moreover, the determination of the contaminants is needed to establish the effects on the population and produce a full information report to the Civil Security Authorities. The prototypes of a real time monitoring system and spectroscopy analyzer will be designed, built, tested under laboratory condition and finally installed at the water plant in the North Waterworks Plant [Zakad Wodocigu Pnocnego] of Warsaw managed by the Warsaw Waterwork Company (Miejskie Przedsibiorstwo Wodocigw i Kanalizacji w m.st. Warszawie S.A. MPWIK), for the demonstration campaign. The site selected for the demonstration is particularly problematic for possible radioactivity contamination being communicating through the network of rivers and canals with the Chernobyl region and being close to a Polish National Nuclear Waste storage site.The TAWARA_RTM project will include the development of the complete platform including the fast Real-Time Monitor system (RTM), the Spectroscopic system (SPEC) as well as the Information and Communication System that will be designed to include in future also chemical and biological sensors.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 2.73M | Year: 2010
Developing the capabilities of children to comprehend written texts is key to their development as young adults. Text comprehension skills and strategies develop enormously from the age of 7-8 until the age of 11, when children develop as independent readers. Nowadays, more and more young children turn out to be poor (text) comprehenders: they demonstrate text comprehension difficulties, related to inference-making skills, despite proficiency in word decoding and other low-level cognitive skills.\n\nThough there are several pencil-and-paper reading interventions for improving inference-making skills on text, and specifically addressed to poor comprehenders, the design and development of adaptive learning systems for this purpose are lagging behind. A few adaptive learning systems consider specific inference-making interventions that are pivotal in text comprehension, but such systems are designed for high-school children or university-level students, and with textbooks as reading material. The use of more intelligent adaptive learning systems to custom-tailor such interventions in an adaptive fashion to (hearing and deaf) poor comprehenders has tremendous potential. TERENCE embodies that potential.\n\nTERENCE aims at offering innovative usability and evaluation guidelines, refining the current cognitive and pedagogical models concerning story comprehension and inference making, and delivering a showcase intelligent adaptive learning system. The systems smart games, developed and classified according to the refined models, will ask children to draw inferences about temporal events of stories, in Italian and in English. Moreover, the system will allow teachers to choose and custom-tailor the types of stories and games according to the needs of their learners.\n\nThe guidelines, the models and the system will be the result of an orchestrated cross-disciplinary effort of European experts in diverse and complementary fields (art and design, computer science, engineering, linguistics, evidence-based medicine, psychology), and with the constant involvement of the end-users (deaf and hearing poor comprehenders, their educators) from schools in Brighton (UK), and in the Veneto area (Italy).
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2009
The Initial Training Network - Language, Cognition, and Gender (ITN LCG) investigates European languages from an interdisciplinary perspective to expand current knowledge of how language influences and forms the cognitive representations of women and men. The diversity of Europe offers a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of language and culture in establishing and maintaining gender inequality. This issue has not yet been systematically addressed on a large scale, although the reduction of gender inequality is generally considered an important issue within Europe. Therefore, ITN LCG will provide a structured interdisciplinary research training programme for young researchers in the emerging supra-disciplinary field of language, cognition, and gender to enhance the scientific understanding of this topic and improve the quality of initial research training in Europe. For the first time, these lines of research will be investigated from cross-language and cross-cultural perspectives by bringing together 10 complementary providers of research-training and 12 associated partners from public and private sectors. ITN LCG has four interrelated research objectives: a) deriving indices for selected European languages that reflect the extent to which the features of a language result in gender related representations in speakers/listeners, b) investigating to what extent gender equality in formal standards of language and the use of gender-fair language correlates with higher levels of socio-economic gender equality, c) analysing the impact of language on gender stereotyping in social judgement and decision making, and d) developing and evaluating scientifically-based prototypes of guidelines and training tools for gender-fair communication in European languages. ITN LCG will strengthen the capability of its young fellows to contribute effectively to our knowledge-based economy and society, and will add to their intersectoral and transnational employability.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.1-2 | Award Amount: 6.98M | Year: 2012
The science of complex systems distinguishes linear from non-linear dynamics. Simpler systems can often be satisfactory described by linear models, but complex systems require non-linear models that can capture more of the characteristics of such systems, such as thresholds, feedback loops, avalanche effects, and irreversibility. Linear systems can be validated by aligning models to the past and using the model to predict the future. Non-linear systems, however, are often time-asymmetric - they can be explained with the wisdom of hindsight, but are not always predictable. For example, systems may respond sharply to minor perturbations, and the quality of this response is a measure of the system resilience. In practice, non-linear dynamics are significant both at the micro-scale of small history and at the macro-scale of deep time. The brilliant young scientist, for example, may experience a series of epiphanies that change his/her understanding and behaviour in an unpredictable and irreversible way. The scientific community as a whole may experience an innovation-cascade that has a similar effect on a much larger scale. Current models of climate change and carbon emission assume the immediate past is a reasonable guide to the future. They struggle to represent the complex causal structures and time-asymmetries of many socio-natural systems. COMPLEX will integrate the quasi-classic models of meso-scale processes with our best understanding of fine-grained space-time patterns and the system-flips that are likely to occur in the long interval between now and 2050. We believe the sub-national region is the key point of entry for studying climate change and its cause-effect interrelations. It is small enough to be sensitive to local factors, large enough to interact with supra-national agencies and stable enough to be historically and culturally distinctive. In addition to undertaking case studies in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain and Italy, We will develop a suite of modelling tools and decision-support systems to inform national and supra-national policy and support communities across Europe working to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-07-2015 | Award Amount: 4.92M | Year: 2015
Additive Manufacturing (AM) market has grown with trends higher than 20% every year in the last 10 years. Their fast uptake is due to different innovative factors such as no shape limits in manufacturing process, full customisation on the single artefact, localised production and no waste material. In particular the ability to print any shape allows to design the products not following the constricting conventional manufacturing processes but just focalising on their function. This Design for Function feature is one of the main drivers for AM uptake on a wider scale production and the limited number of functional materials that can be printed or the limit in controlling gradient and surface properties are showing to be an important barrier. This is particularly true in manufacturing of tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds where the technology has a promising growth over the last decade. Scaffolds production for tissue regeneration is one of the main fields where the Design for Function feature of AM make the difference relative to the other production techniques if in the production process all the needed Functions can be introduced: mechanics, geometry (porosity and shape), biomaterial, bio-active molecules and surface chemical groups. The FAST project aims to integrate all these Functions in the single AM process. This integration will be obtained by the hybridisation of the 3D polymer printing with melt compounding of nanocomposites with bio-functionalised fillers directly in the printing head and atmospheric plasma technologies during the printing process itself. Final objective of the project is to realize a demonstrator of the proposed hybrid AM technology in order to achieve a small pilot production of scaffolds for bone regeneration with the novel smart features to be tested in some in-vivo trials.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.1 | Award Amount: 10.38M | Year: 2010
BRAVEHEALTH proposes a patient-centric vision to CVD management and treatment, providing people already diagnosed as subjects at risk with a sound solution for continuous and remote monitoring and real time prevention of malignant events. The solution proposed will be made up of the following sub-systems: 1)WEARABLE UNIT: it is an innovative concept of miniaturised multi-parameter sensor, able to continuously monitoring the most critical parameters needed to perform a thorough diagnosis by means of specific diagnostic and prognostic algorithms running on it. It will be possible both to perform scheduled analysis of critical parameters and to remotely trigger the screening of specific vital signs. 2)REMOTE MANAGEMENT UNIT: it represents the main interface between physicians and the system, providing both automated support, in the form of text messages with information or suggestions to the patient directly generated by the system, and doctor managed supervision, allowing direct communication with the patients with voice/text/chat messages. The most important added value of the this unit is the possibility to be interfaced with existing National Health Records and Physiological Data Banks in order to generating and verifying risk prediction models using advanced data mining approaches. 3)LIFE! GATEWAY: Data acquired by the wearable unit will be relayed to a gateway which represents the means by which the information flow from the user to the Central Supervision Unit. This unit will provide the user with the following functionalities: a)Real time communications: in case of anomalies, or simply to suggest specific drugs to be taken, or to advice some particular activity to be performed; 2)Location aware information, exploiting the positioning capabilities of GPS. 3)Mobile virtual community for education and support.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-22-2016 | Award Amount: 1.94M | Year: 2017
Digital technology has radically changed the way people work in industry, finance, services, media and commerce and has urged necessary corresponding changes in educational systems. However there is a lack of progress in the education arena. Hence, recent studies show that high percentages of college graduates cant find work, the dropout rate is high and new generations are moving back into their parents homes after school or college. Nevertheless, the digital trend indicates that todays grade-school children will end up at jobs that havent been invented yet. Nowadays, several studies assure that digital fabrication and making technologies, if coupled with proper learning methodologies such as Constructivism can provide learning experiences that promote young peoples creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving skills, which are essential and necessary in the workplace of the 21st century. However, as early as 2008 a OECD report remarked that technology is everywhere, except in schools. In addition to this, most uses of technologies in education and training today do not support 21st-century learning skills. In many cases, new technologies are simply reinforcing old ways of training and learning in current school settings and very often they are introduced according to a narrow perception as being suitable only for talented youth or only for Science-, Maths- or Engineering-oriented majors. Current developments call for a move from this elitism to the recognition that fluency with making technologies represents knowledge and skills valuable for every citizen. The eCraft2Learn project will research, design, pilot and validate an ecosystem based on digital fabrication and making technologies for creating computer-supported artefacts. The project aims at reinforcing personalised learning and teaching in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education and to assist the development of 21st century skills that promote inclusion and employability for youth in the EU. The eCraft2Learn ecosystem will support both formal and informal learning by providing the appropriate digital fabrication, making technologies, and programming tools. It will also incorporate mechanisms for personalised and adaptive learning.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.45M | Year: 2010
The reference scenario for the IDEA-foot project is theEuropean SMEs working in the footwear industry and in particular in the market segment of classical and casual shoes. The global competition is asking for the reduction of Time to Market, increase of products diversification also with a small batch production while keeping a high fashion and quality content of the product. The actual design and production processes result to be not suitable for this small batch and variegated production. In particular the actual design and industrialization processes follow a serial model, in which the semifinished shoe model is necessary for the sequential development of the other shoe components to be assembled. Moreover the production process has an handicraft connotation: the operators program and feed manually the semiautomatic machineries for each batch of shoes. The aim of the project IDEA-foot are: the introduction of a new method for the integrated design and production of the shoe, in which the key elements are the standardization of the shoe components and the transfer of the geometrical information from the design to the production process in a digital standard data format; the development of a CAD software module to ease the design of components according to the standards; the development of a CAM software which transfers the production parameters from the CAD models to the production machineries using a standard data format, which is another enabling technology just developed, and is able to integrate the machineries with the manipulation system; the development of an automated production cell by enhancing the interfaces of existing machineries which are going to be modified in order to work in an integrated/synchronised way. An automatic manipulation system is going to be used for the handling of the semifinished shoes in order to automate while minimising the duration of these operations, which do not add any value to the product
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: LCE-03-2014 | Award Amount: 9.03M | Year: 2015
The Drilling technology that is currently used for installation of vertical borehole heat exchangers requires capital-intensive equipment that is expensive to mobilize, leads to deteriorated working conditions and requires experienced teams of specialist operatives. Drilling operations also often require significant quantities of drinking quality water and dispose of dirty water and mud. GEOTCH will employ a different drilling concept that is based on dry auger methods that requires less capital-intensive equipment, enhances safety and avoids the environmental risks, complexity and costs of dealing with water supplies and contaminated waste. Another key concept of GEOTCH will be a better integration between heat exchange elements during installation by developing an innovative heat exchanger allowing to achieve high levels of thermal performance with low pressure loss. This device employs a co-axial configuration and spiral fluid flow pathways to achieve low thermal resistance compared to conventional U-tube devices. Furthermore, GEOTCH aims to implement cost-effective geothermal systems by alleviating the costs associated with drilling boreholes in large size buildings. The GEOTCHs approach seeks the maximum use of the foundation structures that are otherwise required, exclusively, for structural and geotechnical purposes in tertiary buildings. Foundation structures such as piles, screen walls and basement slabs will become effective geothermal heat exchangers in GEOTCH. GEOTCH will develop optimized hybrid solutions that will integrate the different geothermal systems in small and large buildings market. The optimization of geothermal system operation will be achieved with the Energy Management System and the development of a dual source heat pump capable of making optimal use of ground and/or air environmental heat sources. The GEOTCHs geothermal heating and cooling standard will be more attractive to design professionals and construction companies.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-6-2015 | Award Amount: 3.69M | Year: 2016
CROSSCULT aims to make reflective history a reality in the European cultural context, by enabling the re-interpretation of European (hi)stories through cross-border interconnections among cultural digital resources, citizen viewpoints and physical venues. The project has two main goals. The first goal is to lower cultural EU barriers and create unique cross-border perspectives, by connecting existing digital historical resources and by creating new ones through the participation of the public. The second goal is to provide long-lasting experiences of social learning and entertainment that will help towards the better understanding and re-interpretation of European history. To achieve these goals, CROSSCULT will use cutting-edge technology to connect existing digital cultural assets and to combine them with interactive experiences that all together are intended to increase retention, stimulate reflection and help European citizens appreciate their past and present in a holistic manner. CROSSCULT will be implemented on 4 real-world flagship pilots involving a total of 8 sites across Europe. It will be realized through the participation of 11 partners and 14 associate partners including computer scientists, social sciences and humanity researchers, historians and private companies, from 7 European countries. The project will ensure continuous stakeholder involvement through a Living Lab and it will be supported by a concrete business plan. CROSSCULT is directly related to the work program since, on the one hand it re-purposes the use of digital cultural assets to stimulate a new shared culture of European history, one that moves from silos to unification, and on the other hand it boosts the development of new businesses that exploit the rich European digital cultural heritage.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 3.28M | Year: 2012
The MODES_SNM project aims to carry out technical research in order to develop a prototype for a mobile, modular detection system for radioactive and Special Nuclear Materials (SNM). To maximize the detection capability for SNM the project will develop new detectors for fast and thermal neutrons, as well as gamma-rays, based on the technology of high pressure scintillation cells using noble gases (as 4-He and Xe) recently developed by ARKTIS. The proof-of-principle of the new detectors has already been recently demonstrated. The projects goal is to deliver a tested prototype of a modular mobile system capable of passively detecting weak or shielded radioactive sources with accuracy higher than that of currently available systems. The identification of the gamma-ray emitter is also possible by using the spectroscopic analysis performed by high pressure Xe cells whereas the ratio between fast and thermal neutrons will bring information about the eventual shielding around the source. The R&D aims at improve the current detectors (i.e. at designing, constructing and testing robust, safe, and lightweight high pressure cells with an advanced read-out system) so that they can be used as basic components of the modular mobile system. A suitable Information System will be also developed to manage the detectors, integrate and analyze the data, and provide to the user simple information derived by a decision tree utilizing the data from the three types of detectors. The prototype detection system is the major deliverable of the project. The project also includes the qualification of this detection system in laboratory condition to quantify its detection performance and ultimate limits, as well as a demonstration phase in which the detection system will be field-tested by the end-user group established within the project.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2010
In Europe there are about 3000 SMEs working in the field of machine vision. These SMEs provide services and products to another 300.000 SMEs in the machine building and automation sector. One important application of machine vision is quality control and in particular checking the completeness (presence/absence of parts, correct type, position, orientation, ) of assemblies. Existing systems usually apply 2D cameras that provide a monochrome or color image. These images lack the information of depth and consequently have problems when dealing with non-rigid objects (hoses, cables) or low contrast between background and part and they often do not provide an optimal view on each single part of the assembly. This project aims at developing efficient 3D completeness inspection methods that exploit two different technologies. The first one is based on calculating arbitrary views of an object given a small number of images of this object, the second one aims at combining 3D shape data with color and texture information. Both of the technologies will cover the full chain from data acquisition via pre-processing to the final decision-making. They will focus on using standard hardware to create a cost efficient technology. The participating SMEs all have substantial resources for R&D and long experience in their own research activities, however, in order to develop 3D completeness inspection they want to subcontract RTD performers working in image acquisition, 3D/2D data combination and pattern recognition/matching. 3D Completeness inspection is a technological gap in the machine vision market. The SMEs expect substantial growth from entering into this market by integrating this new technology in their range of existing products. They expect a total additional turnover of more than 3 Mio EUR per year. Furthermore, this technology will strengthen the European machine vision market with its 3000 SMEs.
Giusto S.,University of Padua |
Giusto S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Russo R.,Queen Mary, University of London
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2013
We study a particular class of D-brane bound states in type IIB string theory (dubbed "superstrata") that describe microstates of the 5D Strominger-Vafa black hole. By using the microscopic description in terms of open strings we probe these configurations with generic light closed string states and from there we obtain a linearized solution of six-dimensional supergravity preserving four supersymmetries. We then discuss two generalizations of the solution obtained which capture different types of non-linear corrections. By using this construction, we can provide the first explicit example of a superstratum solution which includes the effects of the KK-monopole dipole charge to first order. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Laveder M.,University of Padua |
Li Y.F.,CAS Institute of High Energy Physics |
Long H.W.,Anhui University of Science and Technology
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013
We present the results of global analyses of short-baseline neutrino oscillation data in 3+1, 3+2 and 3+1+1 neutrino mixing schemes. We show that the data do not allow us to abandon the simplest 3+1 scheme in favor of the more complex 3+2 and 3+1+1 schemes. We present the allowed region in the 3+1 parameter space, which is located at Δm412 between 0.82 and 2.19 eV2 at 3σ. The case of no oscillations is disfavored by about 6σ, which decreases dramatically to about 2σ if the Liquid Scintillating Neutrino Detector (LSND) data are not considered. Hence, new high-precision experiments are needed to check the LSND signal. © 2013 American Physical Society.
Ayatollahi M.R.,Iran University of Science and Technology |
Berto F.,University of Padua |
Lazzarin P.,University of Padua
Carbon | Year: 2011
Brittle fracture of polycrystalline graphite is studied experimentally and theoretically using Brazilian disk specimens containing sharp and rounded-tip V-notches subjected to different degrees of loading mixity, ranging from pure mode I to pure mode II. The main purpose is twofold. First, to provide a new set of experimental results on fracture of V-notched graphite samples, with different values of loading mixities, V-notch angles and notch radii, which may be helpful for researchers because enlarges the very scarce available data; and second, to provide a fracture criterion for polycrystalline graphite under the above-mentioned conditions. The averaged value of the strain energy density over a well-defined volume is used to predict the static strength of the considered specimens. Good agreement is found between the experimentally obtained fracture loads and the theoretical predictions based on the constancy of the mean strain energy density over the material volume. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cassania D.,University of Padua |
Faedob A.F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011
Under general assumptions, we show that a gravitational theory in d + 1 dimensions admitting an AdS solution can be reduced to a d-dimensional theory containing a Lifshitz solution with dynamical exponent z = 2. Working in a d = 4, N = 2 supergravity setup, we prove that if the AdS background is N = 2 supersymmetric, then the Lifshitz geometry preserves 1/4 of the supercharges, and we construct the corresponding Killing spinors. We illustrate these results in examples from supersymmetric consistent truncations of type IIB supergravity, enhancing the class of known 4-dimensional Lifshitz solutions of string theory. As a byproduct, we find a new AdS4 × S1 × T 1,1 solution of type IIB. © SISSA 2011.
Cassani D.,University of Padua |
Faedo A.F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2011
We establish a supersymmetric consistent truncation of type IIB supergravity on the T1,1 coset space, based on extending the Papadopoulos-Tseytlin ansatz to the full set of SU(2)×SU(2) invariant Kaluza-Klein modes. The five-dimensional model is a gauged N=4 supergravity with three vector multiplets, which incorporates various conifold solutions and is suitable for the study of their dynamics. By analysing the scalar potential we find a family of new non-supersymmetric AdS5 extrema interpolating between a solution obtained long ago by Romans and a solution employing an Einstein metric on T1,1 different from the standard one. Finally, we discuss some simple consistent subtruncations preserving N=2 supersymmetry. One of them still contains the Klebanov-Strassler solution, and is compatible with the inclusion of smeared D7-branes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
DallAgata G.,University of Padua |
Gnecchi A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011
We investigate the existence of supersymmetric static dyonic black holes with spherical horizon in the context of N = 2 U(1) gauged supergravity in four dimensions. We analyze the conditions for their existence and provide the general first-order flow equations driving the scalar fields and the metric warp factors from the asymptotic AdS4 geometry to the horizon. We work in a general duality-symmetric setup, which allows to describe both electric and magnetic gaugings. We also discuss the attractor mechanism and the issue of moduli (de-)stabilization. © SISSA 2011.
Berto F.,University of Padua |
Ayatollahi M.R.,Iran University of Science and Technology
Materials and Design | Year: 2011
The main purpose of this research is to re-analyse experimental results of fracture loads from blunt V-notched samples under mixed mode (I + II) loading considering different combinations of mode mixity ranging from pure modes I to II. The specimens are made of polymethyl-metacrylate (PMMA) and tested at room temperature. The suitability of fracture criterion based on the strain energy density (SED) when applied to these data is checked in the paper. Dealing with notched samples, characterized by different notch angles and notch root radii, the SED criterion used in combination with the concept of local mode I, valid in the proximity of the zone of crack nucleation, permits to provide a simple approximate but accurate equation for the SED in the control volume. This proposal unifies predictions for the experimental results obtained under modes I, II and mixed mode loading. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Leanza L.,University of Padua |
Leanza L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience |
Leanza L.,University of Duisburg - Essen
Oncogene | Year: 2014
Mitochondria, the key bioenergetic intracellular organelles, harbor a number of proteins with proven or hypothetical ion channel functions. Growing evidence points to the important contribution of these channels to the regulation of mitochondrial function, such as ion homeostasis imbalances profoundly affecting energy transducing processes, reactive oxygen species production and mitochondrial integrity. Given the central role of mitochondria in apoptosis, their ion channels with the potential to compromise mitochondrial function have become promising targets for the treatment of malignancies. Importantly, in vivo evidence demonstrates the involvement of the proton-transporting uncoupling protein, a mitochondrial potassium channel, the outer membrane located porin and the permeability transition pore in tumor progression/control. In this review, we focus on mitochondrial channels that have been assigned a definite role in cell death regulation and possess clear oncological relevance. Overall, based on in vivo and in vitro genetic and pharmacological evidence, mitochondrial ion channels are emerging as promising targets for cancer treatment.
Rasola A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience |
Rasola A.,University of Padua |
Neckers L.,Urologic |
Picard D.,University of Geneva
Trends in Cell Biology | Year: 2014
Many tumors undergo a dramatic metabolic shift known as the Warburg effect in which glucose utilization is favored and oxidative phosphorylation is downregulated, even when oxygen availability is plentiful. However, the mechanistic basis for this switch has remained unclear. Recently several independent groups identified tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1), a mitochondrial molecular chaperone of the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) family, as a key modulator of mitochondrial respiration. Although all reports agree that this activity of TRAP1 has important implications for neoplastic progression, data from the different groups only partially overlap, suggesting that TRAP1 may have complex and possibly contextual effects on tumorigenesis. In this review we analyze these recent findings and attempt to reconcile these observations. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Plauschinn E.,University of Padua |
Plauschinn E.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014
Abstract: We revisit the transformation rules of the metric and Kalb-Ramond field under T-duality, and express the corresponding relations in terms of the metric G and the field strength H = dB. In the course of the derivation, we find an explanation for potential reductions of the isometry group in the dual background. The formalism employed in this paper is illustrated with examples based on tori and spheres, where for the latter we construct a new non-geometric background. © 2014 The Author(s).
Baron W.H.,University of Padua |
Baron W.H.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015
We discuss the construction of gaugings in recent models of E7 extended geometries, focusing on the two inequivalent SL(8) truncations of the theory. In these sectors the conditions for the generation of gaugings in the 36, 36′, 420 and 420′ representations of E7(7) can be compactly expressed in terms of objects which are in the fundamental representation of SL(8), making the search of solutions simpler. We present a no-go theorem showing that neither of these truncations lead to the new SO(8) dyonic gaugings, at least if the so-called section conditions are implemented. We also show that these truncations can be used to obtain the generalized twist of the seven-sphere, leading to the electric SO(8) gaugings. © 2015 American Physical Society.
Plauschinn E.,University of Padua |
Plauschinn E.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015
We study collective T-duality transformations along one, two and three directions of isometry for the three-sphere with H-flux. Our aim is to obtain new non-geometric backgrounds along lines similar to the example of the three-torus. However, the resulting backgrounds turn out to be geometric in nature. To perform the duality transformations, we develop a novel procedure for non-abelian T-duality, which follows a route different compared to the known literature, and which highlights the underlying structure from an alternative point of view. © 2015 The Author.
Blumenhagen R.,Max Planck Institute for Physics |
Plauschinn E.,University of Padua |
Plauschinn E.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014
The recent BICEP2 measurements of B-modes indicate a large tensor-to-scalar ratio in inflationary cosmology, which points towards trans-Planckian evolution of the inflaton. We propose possible string-theory realizations thereof. Schemes for natural and axion monodromy inflation are presented in the framework of the type IIB large volume scenario. The inflaton in both cases is given by the universal axion and its potential is generated by F-terms. Our models are shown to feature a natural mechanism for inflaton decay into predominantly Standard Model particles. © 2014 The Authors.
Cona G.,University of Padua |
Kliegel M.,University of Geneva |
Bisiacchi P.S.,University of Padua
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2015
So far, little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms associated with emotion effects on prospective memory (PM) performance. Thus, this study aimed at disentangling possible mechanisms for the effects of emotional valence of PM cues on the distinct phases composing PM by investigating event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants were engaged in an ongoing N-back task while being required to perform a PM task. The emotional valence of both the ongoing pictures and the PM cues was manipulated (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant). ERPs were recorded during the PM phases, such as encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of the intention. A recognition task including PM cues and ongoing stimuli was also performed at the end of the sessions. ERP results suggest that emotional PM cues not only trigger an automatic, bottom-up, capture of attention, but also boost a greater allocation of top-down processes. These processes seem to be recruited to hold attention toward the emotional stimuli and to retrieve the intention from memory, likely because of the motivational significance of the emotional stimuli. Moreover, pleasant PM cues seemed to modulate especially the prospective component, as revealed by changes in the amplitude of the ERP correlates of strategic monitoring as a function of the relevance of the valence for the PM task. Unpleasant pictures seemed to modulate especially the retrospective component, as revealed by the largest old/new effect being elicited by unpleasant PM pictures in the recognition task. © 2015 Cona, Kliegel and Bisiacchi.
Heidemann J.,University of Southern California |
Stojanovic M.,Northeastern University |
Zorzi M.,University of Padua
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2012
This paper examines the main approaches and challenges in the design and implementation of underwater wireless sensor networks. We summarize key applications and the main phenomena related to acoustic propagation, and discuss how they affect the design and operation of communication systems and networking protocols at various layers.We also provide an overview of communications hardware, testbeds and simulation tools available to the research community. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society.
Berto F.,University of Padua |
Lazzarin P.,University of Padua |
Ayatollahi M.R.,Iran University of Science and Technology
Carbon | Year: 2013
Brittle failure of isostatic polycrystalline graphite under pure compression loading is investigated experimentally by using prismatic specimens weakened by sharp and rounded-tip V-notches. The notched samples are characterised by different geometry parameters, i.e. notch opening angle and notch root radius, with the aim to provide a complete set of static strength data. While there are a number of papers dealing with compression of unnotched specimens made of different materials, very few results are available from notched components under compression and, in particular, no data can be found for isostatic graphite. After the description of the experimental activity, a criterion based on the strain energy density (SED) is proposed for the fracture assessment of notched graphite components under compression. The criterion, which averages SED over a control volume surrounding the notch tip, is an extension of what the present authors have proposed in previous papers dealing with the cases of in-plane tension-shear loading and torsion loading in notched graphite specimens. Good agreement is shown to exist between the experimental results and the theoretical predictions obtained for the fracture loads. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dall Agata G.,University of Padua |
Dall Agata G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Inverso G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013
In this Letter we discuss de Sitter vacua in maximal gauged supergravity in 4 dimensions. We show that, using the newly deformed theories introduced in Dall Agata et al. (2012) , we can obtain de Sitter vacua with arbitrarily flat tachyonic directions in the SO(4,4)c models. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Baiesi M.,University of Padua |
Baiesi M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy |
Maes C.,Catholic University of Leuven
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2013
The unique fluctuation-dissipation theorem for equilibrium stands in contrast with the wide variety of nonequilibrium linear response formulae. Their most traditional approach is 'analytic', which, in the absence of detailed balance, introduces the logarithm of the stationary probability density as observable. The theory of dynamical systems offers an alternative with a formula that continues to work even when the stationary distribution is not smooth. We show that this method works equally well for stochastic dynamics, and we illustrate it with a numerical example for the perturbation of circadian cycles. A second 'probabilistic' approach starts from dynamical ensembles and expands the probability weights on path space. This line suggests new physical questions, as we meet the frenetic contribution to linear response, and the relevance of the change in dynamical activity in the relaxation to a (new) nonequilibrium condition. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Berto F.,University of Padua |
Lazzarin P.,University of Padua |
Ayatollahi M.R.,Iran University of Science and Technology
Carbon | Year: 2012
Brittle fracture of polycrystalline graphite under torsion loading is studied experimentally and theoretically using axisymmetric specimens weakened by sharp and rounded-tip V-notches. The main purpose is twofold. First, to provide a new set of experimental data from notched samples made of isostatic polycrystalline graphite with different values of notch opening angles and root radii, which should be useful to engineers engaged with static strength analysis of graphite components. At the best of authors' knowledge, data from notch specimens under torsion are not available in the literature for this material. Second, to apply to the torsion loading case a fracture criterion based on the strain energy density (SED) averaged over a well-defined control volume surrounding the notch tip, extending what was made by the present authors for in-plane tension-shear loading conditions in notched graphite specimens. Good agreement is found between the experimental data related to the critical loads to failure and the theoretical assessments based on the constancy of the mean SED over the material-dependent control volume. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 16.03M | Year: 2009
Arrhythmias are common manifestations of heart disease which frequently cause sudden cardiac death (SCD) or other devastating health problems. In Europe, prevention of SCD by device and drug therapy is expensive and increasingly strains public health resources due to a growing population at risk. However, identification of patients at increased risk for SCD is ineffective, and SCD prevention strategies are not directed at the underlying risk mechanisms. To address this challenging situation, new insights into genetic and environmental modulators of SCD risk, arrhythmia initiating mechanisms (Triggers) and therapeutic strategies (Treatments) are urgently needed. The EUTrigTreat consortium proposes a translational project strategy based on interactive objectives (modules). Module 1 investigates novel genetic arrhythmia mechanisms in patients and is supported by Module 2 which investigates genetic and environmental SCD risk modulators in animals with arrhythmias. Module 3 elucidates common environmental arrhythmia risk mediators including obesity and diabetes. Module 4 applies molecular and biophysical imaging techniques to identify novel risk biomarkers. Module 5 translates experimental data through computer modeling and prediction analysis. Modules 6 develops new SCD risk identification strategies through combined patient and experimental studies. Module 7 develops and validates novel therapeutic drug compounds and a new form of anti-arrhythmic device therapy. The pre-clinical and clinical activities will potentially result in patents of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, licensing strategies, early clinical trials and a spin-off company. Module 8 manages, advises and reviews the project progress of EUTrigTreat. Ultimately, we aim to better understand and educate about arrhythmia initiating mechanisms and associated risk biomarkers. Such knowledge will provide strong rationales towards improved prevention and treatment of patients at risk for SCD.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.34M | Year: 2013
The aim of the TECAS ITN is to integrate the major European contributors in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering (TE) and regenerative medicine (RM), to generate a coherent framework of expertise which will facilitate the training and career development of early stage researchers (ESRs) in the field. In particular, the intention of this ITN is to focus on the clinical needs of cardiac valve replacement/repair, myocardium reconstruction and patch graft angioplasty of the great blood vessels, with a view to developing the underpinning expertise and technology that will be required to manufacture functional TE cardiovascular implants for clinical use in the near future. The TECAS ITN supports and transfers novel crossdisciplinary and intersectorial training to junior researchers, which is critical to the long-term sustainability of the cardiovascular implant research and industry in Europe, enhancing its competitiveness against the North American sector. The goal of this ITN is to consolidate the extensive multidisciplinary experience in training and research of its academic, clinical and industrial Partners to train the new generation of competent and balanced clinicians, scientists, and engineers, who currently are in great demand by the medical devices industry and clinical sector. This goal will be facilitated through the research projects of the Network which span over the intersectorial innovation pipeline of a number of TE products and technologies from basic science to translational research and beyond. The strategy of the TECAS ITN involves the use of functionalised 3D scaffolds, which have been seeded with either differentiated stromal cells or adult mesenchymal stem cells derived from the intended recipient, and either physically conditioned in the laboratory in bioreactors, with a view to producing biological and biomechanical functionality of the graft prior to implantation, or used unseeded with a view to attracting endogenous cell colonisation after implantation.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.3.4-2 | Award Amount: 4.72M | Year: 2012
The capture and analysis of odours offers significant potential for border security applications related to the detection and analysis of persons, illegal substances and in particular explosives. Dogs - the most effective tool for detecting and analysing odours - can only be trained for a small sample of odours, get easily tired and are often perceived as intrusive by the public. The SNIFFER project proposes a highly innovative one-stop shop approach to complement dogs and leverage their capabilities. This approach is based on state-of-the-art technologies centred on a new generation of olfactory biosensors. The SNIFFER devices to be developed combine in a one-stop shop sampling, pre-concentration and pre-treatment with bio-mimicry, synthetic diamond sensor technology and multi-parametric training software. This will enable the detection of odours arising out of security threats which may occur in a panel of border security applications. This flexible technology allows users to continuously keep improving the olfactory scope of their artificial sniffers quickly and at low additional cost, even once they have been deployed. This concept results from a multidisciplinary collaboration of several years between research teams from Italy, the UK, France and Switzerland. Users involved in the SNIFFER project will provide a representative set of usage cases, all related to border control security in the large sense - such as the detection of illegal substances carried by people and in suitcases (open or on a luggage belt) and cars or the detection of hidden people in containers. EADS, the integrator partner will build dedicated systems for these usage cases to allow for a comprehensive assessment in view of progressively improving the technology. The project will hence open the road towards a promising market place for artificial sniffing centred border security solutions and for olfactory applications in general.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.3-3 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2011
The world is facing a variety of viral infections of high pathogenic potential. These are either novel or formerly only endemic in specific areas of the world. It is intrinsic to such emerging diseases that actions to prevent and fight them must be taken while the number of infections is still relatively low and geographically restricted. Therefore, research efforts are required well before large outbreaks occur. In addition, effective surveillance networks for a given emerging disease must be established in time. Only with tools for treatment and control (such as vaccines) it will be possible to avoid major uncontrolled outbreaks. This proposal aims at the development of these tools for the control and prevention of one of the most threatening vector-borne emerging diseases, West Nile Fever, caused by West Nile Virus (WNV), which has recently spread through North America. Although the viral strains are similar in America and Europe, different conditions for a WNV epidemic have to be taken into account, like insect vectors, reservoir hosts (birds) and their endemic virus populations plus specialities of European climate and geography. To achieve the goals of the call and to make a significant impact in the enhancement of Europes preparedness to WNV, the consortium has defined three major scientific and technical objectives. Firstly, to develop a diagnostic system for WNV-infections, which has no cross-reaction with other common flavivirus infections. Secondly, to develop a vaccine for humans and last but not least to establish a scientific network to collect, investigate and standardize biological data associated with WNV records using standardized methods. Several European Institutes supported by US scientist experienced with the North American outbreak will be collaborating to fight the disease from a European perspective.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-CSA | Phase: WIDESPREAD-1-2014 | Award Amount: 310.33K | Year: 2015
The scope of the project is the upgrade of existing Centre of excellence for ceramics, glass, and cement, to an internationally recognized Centre for functional and surface-functionalized glasses. The new Centre will be specialized to cutting edge research in the area of glasses with special functional properties (luminescence, electric), and to functionalization of conventional glasses with the aim of modification of their properties, and adding new functionalities. These would comprise reflection, and anti-reflection coatings for solar energy production and optoelectronic applications, increase of glass strength, enhancing the corrosion and leaching resistance of commercially produced glasses, self cleaning/antibacterial coatings of glasses for medical applications, including modification/enhancement of bioactivity. The research topics would include also utilization of waste materials for production of glasses and glass-ceramic materials with high added value. The project will be aimed at establishment of the Centre as a joint venture of all participating institutions, creation and formalizing the coordination and management structures, upgrading the research infrastructure, expansion of personal capacity of the existing center to the level facilitating achievement of the critical mass for R&D activities, with special attention paid to hiring high quality researchers and engineers from abroad, in order to create creative international environment, and formation of close ties with regional and European glass industries for efficient knowledge transfer.