Uppsala, Sweden
Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Sweden, founded in 1477. It ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe and in international rankings.The university rose to pronounced significance during the rise of Sweden as a great power at the end of the 16th century and was then given a relative financial stability with the large donation of King Gustavus Adolphus in the early 17th century. Uppsala also has an important historical place in Swedish national culture, identity and for the Swedish establishment: in historiography, literature, politics, and music. Many aspects of Swedish academic culture in general, such as the white student cap, originated in Uppsala. It shares some peculiarities, such as the student nation system, with Lund University and the University of Helsinki.Uppsala belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities. The university has nine faculties distributed over three “disciplinary domains”. It has about 24,000 full-time students and 2,400 doctoral students. It has a teaching staff of roughly 1,800 out of a total of 6,500 employees. Twenty-five per cent of the 674 professors at the university are women. Of its turnover of SEK 5.9 billion in 2013, 30% was spent on education on basic and advanced level, while 66% was spent on research and research programs.Architecturally, Uppsala University has traditionally had a strong presence in the area around the cathedral on the western side of the River Fyris. Despite some more contemporary building developments further away from the centre, Uppsala's historic centre continues to be dominated by the presence of the university. Wikipedia.


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Roth J.R.,University of California at Davis | Andersson D.I.,Uppsala University
Cell | Year: 2012

A multistep process of gene amplification, mutation, and reduction allows poxvirus to overcome host antiviral defenses. The mechanism speeds genetic adaptation and promises to be broadly applicable in many biological settings. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Rouppe Van Der Voort L.,University of Oslo | De La Cruz Rodriguez J.,Uppsala University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Sunspot chromospheres display vigorous oscillatory signatures when observed using chromospheric diagnostics such as the strong Ca II lines and Hα. New high-resolution sunspot observations from the Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope show the ubiquitous presence of small-scale, periodic, jet-like features that move up and down. This phenomenon has not been described before. The typical width of these features is about 0.″3 and they display clear parabolic trajectories in space-time diagrams. The maximum extension of the top of the jets is lowest in the umbra, a few 100 km, and progressively longer further away from the umbra in the penumbra, with the longest extending more than 1000 km. These jets resemble the dynamic fibrils found in plage regions but at smaller extensions. Local thermodynamic equilibrium inversion of spectropolarimetric Ca II 8542 observations enabled a comparison of the magnetic field inclination and properties of these short jets. We find that the most extended of these jets also have longer periods and tend to be located in regions with more horizontal magnetic fields. These results are direct observational confirmation of the mechanism of long-period waves propagating along inclined magnetic fields into the solar chromosphere. This mechanism was identified earlier as the driver of dynamic fibrils in plage, part of the mottles in the quiet Sun, and the type I spicules at the limb. The sunspot dynamic fibrils that we report here represent a new class of manifestation of this mechanism, distinct from the transient penumbral and umbral micro-jets reported earlier. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Jardine A.G.,University of Glasgow | Gaston R.S.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Fellstrom B.C.,Uppsala University | Holdaas H.,University of Oslo
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Although advances in immunosuppression, tissue typing, surgery, and medical management have made transplantation a routine and preferred treatment for patients with irreversible renal failure, successful transplant recipients have a greatly increased risk of premature mortality because of cardiovascular disease and malignancy compared with the general population. Conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, and diabetes are common in transplant recipients, partly because of the effects of immunosuppressive drugs, and are associated with adverse outcomes. However, the natural history of cardiovascular disease in such recipients differs from that in the general population, and only statin therapy has been studied in a large-scale interventional trial. Thus, the management of this disease and the balance between management of conventional risk factors and modification of immunosuppression is complex. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 16.31M | Year: 2008

ENGAGE (European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology) has, as its central objective, the translation of the wealth of data emerging from large-scale research efforts in molecular epidemiology into information of direct relevance to future advances in clinical medicine. ENGAGE will do this through the integration of very large-scale genetic and phenotypic data already available from a substantial number of large and well-characterised European (and other) sample sets of various types. The initial focus will be an integrated analysis of >80,000 genomewide association scans available to the consortium, thereby identifying the large number of novel disease-susceptibility variants undetectable in individual studies. Early studies will concentrate on metabolic and cardiovascular phenotypes, with subsequent expansion to apply the methods developed and lessons learned in other disease areas. The ENGAGE framework has been designed to be adaptable to advances that enable global analyses of other sources of genomic variation (eg structural and epigenetic variants), and to broadening of the phenotypic spectrum (to genomic endophenotypes in particular). The clinical and public health relevance of the novel disease- and trait-susceptibility variants we identify will be evaluated using the breadth and diversity of ENGAGE cohorts (DNAs and serum/plasma samples from over 600,000 individuals). The final step will be to effect responsible clinical translation of our major findings. As well as advances in the understanding of disease pathogenesis which may underpin novel therapeutic advances, we expect to provide clear proof-of-principle that genetic and genomic discoveries can be translated into diagnostic indicators for common diseases with the capacity to stratify risk, monitor disease progression and predict and monitor therapeutic response. ENGAGE has assembled the best researchers, clinical samples and statistical and technical expertise in Europe to realise these goals.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.2. | Award Amount: 16.27M | Year: 2011

EUDAT is our proposal for the next stage in the realisation of the vision of data as infrastructure. The EUDAT consortium includes representatives from each stage of the value chain that has evolved to deliver scientific knowledge to researchers, citizens, industry and society as a whole. It includes funding agencies that invest in research infrastructures and programmes of research, infrastructure operators and research communities who rely on the availability of data-management services, national data centres and providers of connectivity and, of course, the users who rely on the availability of data and services, innovators who add value to the raw results of scientific research.\n\nEUDAT is a three-year project that will deliver a Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI) with the capacity and capability for meeting future researchers needs in a sustainable way. Its design will reflect a comprehensive picture of the data service requirements of the research communities in Europe and beyond. This will become increasingly important over the next decade as we face the challenges of massive expansion in the volume of data being generated and preserved (the so-called data tsunami) and in the complexity of that data and the systems required to provide access to it.\n\nAlthough those user requirements will vary between scientific disciplines, the micro-systems from which each communitys services are built are largely generic. This commonality will make it easier to achieve the minimum critical mass of users necessary for significant economies of scale to be achieved. The ability to rapidly provide bespoke responses to the evolving needs of our research communities additionally strengthens the business case for those communities. With the inclusion of disciplines from across the spectrum of scientific endeavour sharing a common infrastructure, EUDAT also provides the opportunity for data-sharing between disciplines and cross-fertilisation of ideas.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 6.99M | Year: 2013

The key concept behind this proposal is the development of a very high resolution and high efficiency brain dedicated Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) imager that can visualize neurotransmitter pathways and their disruptions in the quest to better diagnose and consequently to better treat schizophrenia. In addition, the plan is for this compact PET imager to be integrated with a Magnetic Resonance Imager Radio Frequency (MRI RF) system to be able to operate as a brain insert in a hybrid imaging setup with practically any MRI scanner. From the technical point of view, we propose to optimize the PET technology for imaging of the human brain with the accuracy typically achieved for small animal brain imaging. To achieve this, we will incorporate the solid state based MRI-compatible PET modules that will be designed to achieve below systemic 1mm spatial resolution in a tomographic reconstruction of the human brain. We aim to achieve the level of PET-MRI compatibility allowing for simultaneous PET and MRI imaging. By combining PET measurements of neurotransmission with fMRI (functional MRI) measurements of Blood Oxygen Level Detection (BOLD) signal changes we will advance to a position where it is possible to learn more about the neurochemical determination of neural activity reflected in BOLD signal changes. The novelty is that both the PET and RF coil systems are integrated into a portable and compact design dedicated to brain examination. This will allow current MR equipment to be easily upgraded into PET/MR systems. To achieve its diagnostic goal, MINDView will be paired with the set of dedicated specific PET imaging agents and endogenous compounds that will be labeled with short-lived positron isotopes. The goal is that dopaminergic, glutamatergic and other pathways will be able to be studied with the new high performance imaging tool. Innovative paradigms such as activation and perturbation and their impact on brain function will be in focus.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 5.44M | Year: 2007

Subject of this EU project is the implementation of the FAIR GmbH for the construction of the new research infrastructure FAIR. The "Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research" is an integrated system of particle accelerators which will provide high energy and high intensity beams of ions from antiprotons to uranium with unprecedented quality for basic research in different fields of physics. The total costs of the FAIR project is 1002 M (investment) and 185 M for personnel. Under the supervision of the International Steering Committee the scientific and technical preparations of the project have been evaluated and completed. The necessary legal documents for the establishment of international company FAIR GmbH have been worked out. This EU project concentrates on activities which still have to be successfully completed for the implementation of the FAIR project. The most important task is to achieve an agreement on financial / In-kind contributions to the construction of the facility between the 14 FAIR Member countries and the signing of the Convention, the intergovernmental agreement for FAIR. The Work packages of this proposal are legal issues, finances, governance, FAIR line-management and project management, coordination of research and coordination of accelerator. These activities cover also the start-up phase of the FAIR GmbH, until the FAIR project is successfully implemented. The participants of this application are 12 ministries or funding agencies and 14 research institutions. The activities, subject of this EU project, will be performed by the international project team "FAIR Joint Core Team".


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2015

Early onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are rather common, and affect more than 30 million children in Europe. The disorders carry a huge burden to the patients and their families and to society in general. This burden is linked to their chronic course and the absence of curative treatments. These neurodevelopmental disorders are thought to result from the disruption of normal brain development and related neurobiological mechanisms during the prenatal and early postnatal period. Recent advances in technology, infrastructure and analytic tools allow us now to identify these disruptions in brain development in the prenatal and early postnatal period, examine how this compromises the development of key social, attentional, motor and cognitive skills, and help understanding of the mechanisms that lead to neurodevelopmental disorders. This will facilitate developing new approaches to early detection, diagnosis and treatment. BRAINVIEW ETN provides a multidisciplinary and intersectoral (academia, companies, patient organizations) network environment in which cutting-edge science is combined with training young researchers in such an approach.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-2b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2016

Land, food, energy, water and climate are interconnected, comprising a coherent system (the Nexus), dominated by complexity and feedback. The integrated management of the Nexus is critical to secure the efficient and sustainable use of resources. Barriers to a resource efficient Europe are policy inconsistencies and incoherence, knowledge gaps, especially regarding integration methodologies and tools for the Nexus, and knowledge and technology lock-ins. SIM4NEXUS will develop innovative methodologies to address these barriers, by building on well-known and scientifically established existing thematic models, simulating different components/themes of the Nexus and by developing: (a) novel complexity science methodologies and approaches for integrating the outputs of the thematic models; (b) a Geoplatform for seamless integration of public domain data and metadata for decision and policy making; (c) a Knowledge Elicitation Engine for integrating strategies at different spatial and temporal scales with top down and bottom up learning process, discovering new and emergent knowledge, in the form of unknown relations between the Nexus components and policies/strategies; (d) a web-based Serious Game for multiple users, as an enhanced interactive visualisation tool, providing an immersive experience to decision- and policy-makers. The Serious Game will assist the users (as players) in better understanding and visualising policies at various geo-/spatial scales and from a holistic point of view, towards a better scientific understanding of the Nexus. The Serious Game will be validated (applied, tested, verified and used) via ten Case Studies ranging from regional to national level. Two further Strategic Serious Games at European and Global levels will also be developed for demonstration, education and further exploitation purposes, accompanied by a robust business plan and IPR framework, for taking advantage of the post-project situation and business potential.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-1;HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2008

Bladder cancer is a recurrent and very prevalent cancer and it generates the highest cost per patient in Europe. New genomic methods have allowed identifying new markers with potential clinical application. However, due to the use of single-marker assays and poor study design, none of these markers has made it to the clinic. FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations, expression profiles, and microsatellite alterations in tumor tissue and urine, as well as polymorphisms in immune response genes, are very promising biomarkers that predict a tumor being present in the bladder and its likelihood of progression to invade the muscle. Here, we propose to combine the best markers of bladder cancer outcome in a prospective multicenter validation study in Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark as genetic predictors. Pre-validation of markers has been or will be made utilizing the worlds largest bladder cancer biobank (60,000 samples from 2500 patients). To achieve enough power to rapidly generate conclusive results, 2000 patients will consecutively be enrolled, and subjected to analysis, as well as follow-up for 2-4 years. The approach is a pre-defined, standard operating procedure based, prospective study with fixed end-points and testing relatively few independent variables on tumor tissue, urine and blood. To obtain a seamless introduction into the clinic we will use a mathematical approach in which the best markers are weighted based on disease models and nomogram construction, leading to a risk score applied to each patient at each visit. The team has a very strong track record in bladder cancer research, micro-array application, nomogram construction, and bio-banking. The validated biomarkers will lead to specific recommendations for changes in patient management based on the risk scores. We estimate saving of more than 40 mill Euros annually based on a reduced frequency of cystoscopies, as well as an increased survival and a better quality of life for the patients.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 7.79M | Year: 2008

The earliest currently identifiable process in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the development of autoimmunity to islet beta cells in the form of autoantibodies. Hindering attempts to prevent autoimmune T1D, the aetiology and pathogenesis of the islet auto-immunization, including whether it is preceded by metabolic abnormalities and cell-mediated autoimmunity, is still poorly understood. To overcome this, DIAPREPP will focus on the early auto-immunization against islet antigens, in particular to disclose events preceding current autoantibody markers. The concept is that events prior to auto-immunization govern the likelihood and signature of immunization, which in turn determines progression to disease. The overall objective is to determine mechanisms of islet autoantigen immunization. In a truly collaborative manner, and through five S/T workpackages plus three dedicated to dissemination, training, and management, DIAPREPP will 1. provide a unique set of clinical material that includes a case-control cohort representative of the worlds largest studies of pre-T1D, with follow-up and samples from birth, and pancreatic islets and lymph nodes from patients; 2. investigate the effects of environmental exposure to infections on islet cells and immune cells; 3. perform extensive metabolomic analysis of pre-autoimmune samples and in relevant animal models to test mechanistic hypotheses of auto-immunization; 4. carry out detailed analyses of early autoimmune responses with a special focus on autoreactive CD8\ T cells; and 5. apply findings to ongoing prevention studies. The expected impact of DIAPREPP is new fundamental knowledge regarding how 1. immunization against islet autoantigens can occur; 2. signs of self-immunization can be exploited for prediction and monitoring of disease; and 3. the immunization or its progression to islet beta cell destruction and T1D development can be prevented.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.02M | Year: 2009

Neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs in 2-3/1000 live births and is a major cause of both acute mortality and long-term neurodisability. Seizures are the hallmark of HIE. The clinical and electrographic seizure burden in babies with HIE can be considerable and is often not reduced by current antiepileptic drugs. Phenobarbitone remains the first line drug for neonatal seizures despite the fact that it has limited efficacy. Better treatments for neonatal seizures, particularly in asphyxiated babies, are a high research priority with the ultimate aim to improve long-term outcome. The aim of NEMO is to develop an effective treatment regimen for neonatal seizures using innovative strategies, targeted specifically to the needs and peculiarities of babies. An age dependent high expression of neuronal co-transporter resulting in excitatory rather than inhibitory function of GABA is believed to be responsible for the high incidence of seizures in the neonatal period. By blocking this co-transporter with bumetanide, a loop diuretic, the depolarizing action of GABA will be reversed resulting in reduced neuronal firing. Intensive EEG monitoring will enable us to accurately identify seizures and monitor treatment effect. A European-wide multicentre approach would, for the first time facilitate performing an RCT with enough statistical power in this age-group. By consolidating efforts from basic science, pharmacology and clinical centres we propose: 1. to perform a European-wide, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bumetanide in neonates 2. to perform pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of bumetanide 3. to further investigate the mechanisms of action in non-clinical experiments 4. to develop and adapt a bumetanide formulation suitable for neonates in order to apply for a Paediatric Use Marketing Authorization (PUMA). 5. if results of the initial trial do not support a PUMA application we plan to apply for a Paediatric Investigation Plan (PIP) for lidoocaine to assess its efficacy as an AED for the control of seizures which are not controlled by phenobarbitone.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-4 | Award Amount: 4.91M | Year: 2012

Over 60 million of citizens in the EU suffer from hearing loss with its associated restrictions. In severe cases, hearing can only be restored by surgically implanting a neuroprosthesis called cochlear implant, which directly stimulates the auditory nerve. The bottleneck for optimal stimulation is caused by the anatomical gap between the electrode array and the auditory neurons in the inner ear. As a consequence, current devices are limited through (i) low frequency resolution, hence poor sound quality and (ii), strong signal amplification, hence high energy consumption responsible for significant battery costs and for impeding the development of fully implantable systems. Recent findings indicate that auditory nerve fibres can grow under neurotrophin stimulation towards the electrodes, which opens the door to address all issues simultaneously. NANOCI aims at developing a neuroprosthesis with a gapless interface to auditory nerve fibres. The neurites will be attracted and guided by an innovative, nanostructured gel matrix containing diffusible and surface-bound neurotrophic compounds towards the functionalized, neurotrophic electrode array surface. The long-lasting operation without interface degradation, reduced biofouling and improved conductivity will be achieved by nanostructuring the array surface using (i) various functional nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes, combined with (ii) structuration methodologies such as ion implantation and sacrificial nanoparticle embedding in parylene, SOLID (solid on liquid deposition) encapsulation, and sonochemistry. Components will be validated using appropriate bioassays including human auditory neurons in vitro. In parallel, software models will be developed to exploit the bidirectional, gapless interface. Fusing all developments, an animal-grade, pilot nanoCI-device is manufactured and tested in vivo. This will allow to assess the feasibility of a future, cost-efficient, and fully implantable neuroprosthesis with substantially increased sound quality.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2016

Environmental microbial surveys have revealed a remarkable diversity of microeukaryotic life in most ecosystems, the majority of which had previously escaped detection. From an ecological point of view this work highlighted our ignorance of critical microbial players in natural environmental processes, including primary production, biogeochemical cycling and trophic interactions such as parasitism and grazing. Consequently, our understanding of community function is partial, limiting our ability to study environmental change. While, from an evolutionary perspective, we are missing major components of the Tree of Life giving rise to a fragmented understanding of how major cellular functions have evolved. Single cell genomics (SCG), including single cell transcriptomics, is an emerging technology that has the potential to retrieve genomic information from individual uncultured microbes recovered directly from natural environments and promises to provide new tools to investigate microeukaryotes in unparalleled detail. The aim of this ITN is therefore to train a new generation of scientists with the highest expertise, in SCG, from the initial stages of cell sorting to genome sequencing and gene annotation, to the full exploitation of the data obtained. Such progress will allow the European research community for the first time to address critical ecological and evolutionary questions. SINGEK will drive training through research by both local and network-wide activities, secondments, and workshops, and by establishing an environment that extends far beyond each partner team. This training environment will also provide the transferable skills essential for successful career development. This network of well connected and highly qualified scientists with expertise in eukaryotic SCG will be ready to implement this technology beyond ecology and evolution to other fields such as biomedicine or biotechnology driving innovation across the EU.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.23M | Year: 2013

The MedPlant network will train young researchers in career enhancing approaches and techniques in biodiversity driven drug lead discovery, complimentary and entrepreneurial skills relevant for work in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory bodies, NGOs and academia. The aim is to improve the students chances of employment and to strengthen Europes research base through a collaborative training network, whose capacities greatly exceed those of each individual partner institution. MedPlant will familiarise the students with a range of state-of-the-art methodologies in biodiversity driven lead discovery, and provide cross-disciplinary and intersectorial training through network-wide training activities, collaborations and secondments. Researchers will also learn to address scientific and non-scientific audiences by dissemination and outreach activities. The scientific aim of MedPlant is to develop new approaches and technologies for selection and sustainable use of biodiversity resources for lead discovery and to develop new plant derived leads. MedPlant consists of leading European research groups, private companies, and public and non-public organisations with complimentary knowledge in this area. Collectively the partners posess critical mass of expertise needed to provide excellent training in biodiversity driven lead discovery. The number of new drugs coming to the market is declining and interest in lead discovery from natural resources is seeing a revival. However, although methods for isolation and identification of natural products have advanced explosively in recent decades, methods for selection of potential leads have hardly developed. Hence, training of a new generation of researchers in the proposed innovative field of biodiversity driven lead discovery is both timely and relevant, as it will contribute directly to the economic development and future welfare of Europe and will significantly enhance the employment prospects of the participants.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-6-2014 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2015

B3Africa - Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa will dramatically improve and facilitate the development of better predictive, preventive and personalized healthcare worldwide. The rapidly evolving African biobanks are an invaluable resource: The African population has the greatest genomic diversity on the planet and represents an incredible resource of information to advance biomedical research. B3Africa aims to implement a cooperation platform and technical informatics framework for biobank integration between Africa and Europe. The collaboration harmonizes the ethical and legal framework, biobank data representation and bioinformatics pipelines for sharing data and knowledge among biobanks and allowing access for researchers from both continents. Main actors from the relevant initiatives including Human Heredity and Health in Africa project (H3Africa), European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) and LMIC Biobank and Cohort Network (BCNet) collaborate in B3Africa to address the following objectives: Defining an ethical and regulatory framework for biobank data sharing between Europe and Africa Defining data models for representing biobank and research data based on existing best practices, standards and ontologies Designing an informatics platform using existing open-source software (with eBioKit and BiBBox as essential modules) integrating workflows for biobank applications Implementation of an education and training system for information and capacity building Validating the B3Africa concept with existing biobanks from both continents B3Africa will provide the critical mass to maximise efficiency in biomedical research, supports defragmentation through integration and allows efficient leverage of existing biobanks and e-infrastructures in Europe and Africa. The technical informatics framework will be designed for easy upscaling and integration with other research infrastructures.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2012

Over the last decade, the creative industries have been revolutionised by the Internet and the digital economy. The UK, already punching above its weight in the global cultural market, stands at a pivotal moment where it is well placed to build a cultural, business and regulatory infrastructure in which first movers as significant as Google, Facebook, Amazon or iTunes may emerge and flourish, driving new jobs and industry. However, for some creators and rightsholders the transition from analogue to digital has been as problematic as it has been promising. Cultural heritage institutions are also struggling to capitalise upon new revenue streams that digitisation appears to offer, while maintaining their traditional roles. Policymakers are hampered by a lack of consensus across stakeholders and confused by partisan evidence lacking robust foundations. Research in conjunction with industry is needed to address these problems and provide support for legislators. CREATe will tackle this regulatory and business crisis, helping the UK creative industry and arts sectors survive, grow and become global innovation pioneers, with an ambitious programme of research delivered by an interdisciplinary team (law, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis) across 7 universities. CREATe aims to act as an honest broker, using open and transparent methods throughout to provide robust evidence for policymakers and legislators which can benefit all stakeholders. CREATe will do this by: - focussing on studying and collaborating with SMEs and individual creators as the incubators of innovation; - identifying good, bad and emergent business models: which business models can survive the transition to the digital?, which cannot?, and which new models can succeed and scale to drive growth and jobs in the creative economy, as well as supporting the public sector in times of recession?; - examining empirically how far copyright in its current form really does incentivise or reward creative work, especially at the SME/micro level, as well as how far innovation may come from open business models and the informal economy; - monitoring copyright reform initiatives in Europe, at WIPO and other international fora to assess how they impact on the UK and on our work; - using technology as a solution not a problem: by creating pioneering platforms and tools to aid creators and users, using open standards and released under open licences; - examining how to increase and derive revenues from the user contribution to the creative economy in an era of social media, mash-up, data mining and prosumers; - assessing the role of online intermediaries such as ISPs, social networks and mobile operators to see if they encourage or discourage the production and distribution of cultural goods, and what role they should play in enforcing copyright. Given the important governing role of these bodies should they be subject to regulation like public bodies, and if so, how?; - consider throughout this work how the public interest and human rights, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge for the socially or physically excluded, may be affected either positively or negatively by new business models and new ways to enforce copyright. To investigate these issues our work will be arranged into seven themes: SMEs and good, bad and emergent business models; Open business models; Regulation and enforcement; Creators and creative practice; Online intermediaries and physical and virtual platforms; User creation, behaviour and norms; and, Human rights and the public interest. Our deliverables across these themes will be drawn together to inform a Research Blueprint for the UK Creative Economy to be launched in October 2016.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IRSES | Award Amount: 289.80K | Year: 2011

The overall aim of our proposal is to build on the strengths of an existing European network for research into causes and maintaining factors in anxiety disorders and to extend these by establishing firmer research collaboration with the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Through establishing this research exchange, we aim to share knowledge and expertise among participating centres, and ensure a comprehensive translational research approach in anxiety disorders, relevant to the needs of developed and developing societies. The exchange scheme has three broad objectives. First, to develop a collaborative international database for the detailed characterisation of large samples of patients, across the range of anxiety disorders. Second, to provide exchange researchers with a range of complementary training opportunities, gaining experience in innovative investigations in anxiety disorders. These opportunities include characterisation of differing endophenotypes across diagnoses; using neuroimaging, genetic polymorphism and other techniques to bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical studies; and identifying predictors of clinical outcome and treatment response using dimensional and other approaches. Third, to establish a firm platform to support subsequent pragmatic randomised effectiveness trials in patients who have not responded to previous treatment interventions. The value of the scheme is in its capacity to facilitate access to additional and larger clinical populations, to include centres of research excellence across many countries, and to share the knowledge and expertise of leading researchers with long-standing and wide-ranging interests in anxiety disorders. Furthermore, the training opportunities within the scheme would increase the knowledge and skills of the next generation of anxiety disorder researchers and thereby contribute to efforts to meet the challenges imposed by these common, burdensome and costly medical conditions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.5 | Award Amount: 2.30M | Year: 2014

In a radical paradigm shift, manufacturers are now moving from multicore chips to so-called manycore chips with up to a million independent processors on the same silicon real estate. However, software cannot benefit from the revolutionary potential power increase, unless the design and code is polluted by an unprecedented amount of low-level, fine-grained concurrency detail.Concurrency in mainstream object-oriented languages is based on multithreading. Due to the complexity of balancing work evenly across cores, the thread model is of little benefit for efficient processor use or horizontal scalability. Problems are exacerbated in languages with shared mutable state and a stable notion of identity -- the very foundations of object-orientation. The advent of manycore chips threatens to make not only the object-oriented model obsolete, but also the accumulated know-how of a generation of programmers.Our vision is to provide the means for industry to efficiently develop applications that seamlessly scale to the available parallelism of manycore chips without abandoning the object-oriented paradigm and the associated software engineering methodologies.We will realise this vision by a breakthrough in how parallelism and concurrency are integrated into programming languages, substantiated by a complete inversion of the current canonical language design: constructs facilitating concurrent computation will be default while constructs facilitating synchronised and sequential computation will be explicitly expressed. UpScale will exploit this inversion for a novel agile development methodology based on incremental type-based program annotations specifying ever-richer deployment-related information, and for innovative type-based deployment optimisations both at compile time and at runtime in the runtime system devised in UpScale for massively parallel execution.The targeted breakthrough will profoundly impact software development for the manycore chips of the future.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.4.3 | Award Amount: 8.50M | Year: 2009

ROLEs cross-disciplinary innovations will deliver and test prototypes of highly responsive TEL environments, offering breakthrough levels of effectiveness, flexibility, user-control and mass-individualisation. Our work also advances the state-of-the-art in human resource management; self-regulated and social learning; psycho-pedagogical theories of adaptive education and educational psychology; service composition and orchestration; and the use of ICT in lifelong learning. Significant benefits arise for learners, their communities, employers, TEL developers and society.\nROLE offers adaptivity and personalization in terms of (1) content and navigation and (2) the entire learning environment and its functionalities. This approach permits individualization of the components, tools, and functionalities of a learning environment, and their adjustment or replacement by existing web-based software tools. Learning environment elements can be combined to generate (to mashup) new components and functionalities, which can be adapted by lone learners or collaborating learners to meet their own needs and to enhance the effectiveness of their learning. This empowers each user to generate new tools and functions according to their needs, and can help them to establish a livelier and personally more meaningful learning context and learning experience.\nROLEs generic framework uses an open source approach, interoperable across software systems and technology. Hence any tool created by an individual is available from a pool of services and tools to all learners via the internet, no matter which learning environment, operating system, or device they use, and which subject matter they learn.\nThe consortium consists of well-renown experts covering all required pedagogical and technical competencies. Respective activities have been defined to bring the results of ROLE to the targeted international markets in higher education and corporate training.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.88M | Year: 2009

MultiTERM is a training network providing multidisciplinary training for 13 early stage scientists in 5 host institutes that will deliver a number of excellently trained, highly employable scientists for companies and academia in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM). The aging population of the EU requires the development of new treatment strategies for diseased, defective, or damaged tissues. Since donor material is often not available, artificial tissue needs to be developed for these purposes. Therefore, smart materials that can be used to replace and repair tissues should be developed. With better tissue engineering possibilities becoming available, improved methods to visualise the fate and effects of these implants are essential and need to be examined. TERM is a multidisciplinary field where scientists need to cut across traditional fields of study. They need to understand completely different aspects - ranging from material choice, cell biology, to clinical translation - to successfully design and clinically implement engineered tissue. Unfortunately, such scientists are scarce, because such TERM-specific interdisciplinary training is missing. To fill the gap that currently exists, the MultiTERM Network will provide early stage researchers with individual and centralized training in key elements of TERM: biomaterials, cell biology, bioreactors, animal modeling, clinical and industrial translation. The MultiTERM Partners, including the industrial partner, are recognized leaders in their fields - ensuring state-of-the-art training - with highly complementary, cross-sectorial skills, and have extensive prior FP experience, assuring achievement of this goal. During their training, the early stage scientists will develop new materials and implants for tissue engineering as well as state-of-the-art novel visualisation procedures to monitor the behaviour of the implanted tissues.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2013

OceaNET concerns floating offshore wind and wave energy. These two areas are well aligned with the European Energy Strategic Plan and the Horizon 2020 programme.It aims at contributing to develop specific technologies and enabling technologies common to both energy sources. The research activities are structured in a number of research projects, which will provide the opportunity for a set of young researchers to be trained in first class European Research & Development (R&D) institutes, universities and companies active in these areas. This hands-on training will be complemented with a number of short courses on enabling technologies, relevant for farm development, and on associated economic, environmental and societal issues required for their future integration in the market. The training programme will be complemented by secondments in selected industrial companies. OceaNET will be developed in close collaboration with EITs KIC InnoEnergy OTS project. KIC InnoEnergy is a pan-European non-for-profit company, mainly funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), devoted to enhance the education-research-innovation triangle by developing innovative industrial products. OTS project concerns the development of four innovative products for offshore wind and wave energy farms, namely an environmental monitoring hardware and software package, underwater electrical connectors and associated ROVs, air turbine for oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converters and an O&M support software package. The integration of floating offshore wind and wave energy in the training and research programmes results from both being in a similar status of development (the first farms are coming up in 2012) and sharing the same enabling technologies, licensing, survivability, O&M issues and stakeholders, requiring well-trained professionals with the same background, which at present is still not well integrated in existing university courses.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2010.2.5-1 | Award Amount: 4.23M | Year: 2011

Radiation damage is known to lead to materials failure and thus is of critical importance to lifetime and safety within nuclear reactors. While materials mechanical behavior under irradiation has been subject to numerous studies, the current predictive capabilities appear limited. Observations and physical models have shown that the most important damage contributions arise from point defect localization leading to void swelling- and creep. It was recently found that void swelling can be prevented via use of non coherent heterophase interfaces. It is very likely that other interface types may exhibit similar trends. Unfortunately, no tool is available to generally predict the effect of interface composition (monophase, heterophase) and structure (geometry, roughness) on its propensity to resist radiation damage (both via defect localization and creep). These limitations motivate the proposed study which aims at developing such tool. Given the multi-scale multi physics nature of the problem, the consortium is formed by experts in the fields of materials modeling via ab initio, molecular dynamics and continuum modeling as well as of materials characterization and processing via mechanical alloying and physical vapor deposition. The program aims at constructing a bottom-up framework allowing discovery and quantifications of materials damage mechanisms and effects on mechanical properties for novel crystalline materials with large interfacial areas. Model validation will arise through direct comparison with materials testing for a wide array of materials systems (metal/metal, metal/oxide, oxide/oxyde).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.3 | Award Amount: 10.33M | Year: 2010

The goal of SMART VORTEX is to provide a technological infrastructure consisting of a comprehensive suite of interoperable tools, services, and methods for intelligent management and analysis of massive data streams to achieve better collaboration and decision making in large-scale collaborative projects concerning industrial innovation engineering.\n\nSMART VORTEX captures the tractable product data streams in the product lifecycle of design and engineering. In each phase of this lifecycle, different streams of product data are generated. Amongst other, these product data streams contain streams from sensors (data rates of Gigabytes per second), simulation, experimental, and testing data (millions of complex data sets), design data (complex and exchanged between different domains), multi-media collaboration data (heterogeneous, and high information density), and higher level inferred events generated by analyses. These data streams are produced and consumed in all phases of the product lifecycle. The large volume of data in these streams makes the detection of pertinent information a hard problem for both technological infrastructures and humans. SMART VORTEX uses a Data Stream Management for managing, searching, annotating, analysing and performing feature extraction on these data streams.\n\nWithin the lifecycle of design and engineering projects a large number of people need to collaborate in order to achieve the individual project goals, such as bringing the next generation flat panel TV to the market before the competition does, identifying opportunities for improvements of existing products, or the maintenance of products in use. These projects are basically large distributed collaborative processes, where people from different domains of expertise and different organizations have to work together. SMART VORTEX supports these people, systems, and products with collaborative tools and decision support systems managing the constantly produced massive product data streams. SMART VORTEX ensures the efficiency and success of the collaboration by delivering the pertinent information at the right moment.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2013

The iTERM ITN (4 companies, 6 universities) will deliver 12 early stage researchers (ESR) and 1 experienced researcher (ER) trained in imaging, material science, and tissue engineering & regenerative medicine (TERM). For the aging population in the EU donor material is often not available, and artificial tissue needs to be developed to replace and repair damaged tissues. New smart materials have been developed and increasingly these implants are becoming analogous to the tissue they replace. Classical imaging technologies are not equipped to distinguish these implants and consequently, the fate and effect of the used implants cannot be followed. To deliver supra-disciplinary scientists with knowledge necessary to drive this research area forward, to enable product development, and increase Europes competitive position, iTERM will provide fellows with individual and centralized training in key elements of imaging, materials science and TERM. During their training, the fellows will develop new materials and implants for TERM as well as state-of-the-art novel multimodality visualization procedures to monitor the behaviour of implants, advancing the field of TERM. iTERM is excellently positioned to achieve the goal to deliver highly employable scientists in the field of imaging and TERM: all iTERM partners are recognized leaders in their field of expertise - ensuring state-of-the-art training possibilities - have highly complementary skills and have extensive prior experience with ITN, integrated projects and Network of Excellence programs, assuring successful achievement of our goals. The inclusion of 4 industrial partners guarantees cross-sectorial training, a highly desired competence. The trained fellows will be highly skilled in different research areas required for material development and imaging. Such scientists are highly sought-after by the growing TERM industry and institutes and have excellent career perspectives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-23-2015 | Award Amount: 7.15M | Year: 2016

The demand for lower dependency on critical raw materials (CRM) such as rare earths (RE) is not only a European but a global problem that demands immediate action. The purpose of this project is to exploit advanced theoretical and computation methods together with state-of-the-art materials preparation and characterization techniques, to develop the next generation RE-free/lean permanent magnets (PM). The material design will be driven by automated large computational screening of new and novel intermetallic compounds with uniaxial structure in order to achieve high saturation magnetisation, magnetocrystalline anisotropy and Curie temperature. The simulations will be based on a primary screening detecting the mechanisms that give rise to distorted phases and stabilize them, by adding doping atoms as stabilizers. In a further computation on successfully synthetized compounds, micromagnetic calculations will be used in order to design the optimal microstructure for the given phases that will maximise the coercivity needed for a PM. Extensive experimental processing and characterisation of the selected phases will result in a first proof of principle of the feasibility of NOVAMAG PMs. A multidisciplinary team of magnet experts consisting of chemists, material scientists, physicists and engineers from academia, national labs and industry is assembled to undertake a concerted, systematic and innovative study to overcome the problems involved and develop the next generation RE-free/lean PMs. Currently the demand for these PM s is even higher with the emerging markets of hybrid/electric vehicles and wind mill power systems. The proposed project will provide the fundamental innovations and breakthroughs which will have a major impact in re-establishing the Europe as a leader in the science, technology and commercialization of this very important class of materials and help decrease our dependence on China, which will in turn improve the competitiveness of EU manufacturers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: NFRP-10-2014 | Award Amount: 3.18M | Year: 2016

The present situation of nuclear energy in Europe asks for a continuing effort in the field of Education and Training aimed to assure a qualified workforce in the next decades. In this scenario, the present proposal is aimed at enhancing and networking the Europe-wide efforts initiated in the past decades by different organisations belonging to academia, research centres and industry to maintain and develop Education and Training in the nuclear fields. This will allow consolidating, developing and better exploiting the achievements already reached in the past and to tackle the present challenges in preparing the European workforce in the nuclear fields. The main objectives of the proposal are: 1. SURVEY AND COORDINATION OF NETWORKING IN E&T AND VET IN THE NUCLEAR AREAS 2. DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF COORDINATED E&T AND VET EFFORTS (Master and Summer Courses for continuous professional development) 3. GENERATIONAL TRANSFER OF EXPERTISE (Sustainable production of educational material) 4. CROSS BORDER TRANSFER OF EXPERTISE (Implementation of ECVET based exchanges among industrial bodies) 5. REINFORCING ETI ACTIONS FOR SHARING AND ENHANCING NUCLEAR SAFETY CULTURE COMPETENCE 6. FACILITATING THE NUCLEAR TRANSITION IN FUSION: COORDINATING THE E&T ACTIONS The European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN), as coordinator of the proposed action, together with the other Participants, is committed to pursue the above objectives, being fully coherent with the ones suggested in the call (NFRP10) and proposed by the SET Plan Roadmap for Education and Training for the nuclear sector, tightening at the same time the links among the different nuclear areas and better coordinating their contributions in the E&T fields. Strict links with the SNE-TP; IGD-TP and MELODI platforms and other relevant associations and bodies (EHRO-N, NUGENIA, EUTERP, IAEA, HERCA, etc.) will be implemented to assure coherence of this effort with similar other efforts going on in Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 31.03M | Year: 2015

The nations of Europe are distributed around some of the most complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet and understanding these is essential to the security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technology, both on- and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this information with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and furnish essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems are distributed across Europe and the globe and measure the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS will bring together 24 European nations and combine national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earths resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.3 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2011

Pushed by economical and ecological stakes, embedded systems from the avionics, automotive and automation domains, featuring real-time, safety and critical capabilities have to face increasing performance needs that will no more be satisfied by existing architectures based on single-cores. Current trends are to take benefit from multi-core processors high performance in replacing single-cores by multi-cores which raises predictability and isolation challenges for timing and mixed criticality aspects. This is mainly due to the inadequateness and inability of current approaches to effectively handle reliability and the cause of non-deterministic behaviour on multi-cores.\nFacing multi-core architectures inevitable use, CERTAINTY will introduce a disruptive methodology for the design of complex critical applications allowing safety and time criticality aspects composition, taking into account unpredictability of shared resource availability as elements of the problem space, identify analysis methods and techniques supporting this new approach and demonstrate the applicability of these techniques through meaningful examples of complex control functions.\nNew methodology and design tools, applicable in diverse industrial sectors, will be validated in an avionics application on a multi-core architecture: an existing Flight Management System will be analyzed using the CERTAINTY Methodology and Analysis Tools to specify which part could be at which critical level redesigned and composed according to the methodology. The system design will be evaluated to show that relevant safety requirements are met (i.e. ability to ensure partitioning/isolation, ability to provide a WCET, system determinism and incrementality), contributing to the certification process on new architecture generations. The major result will be a Proof of Concept of a design methodology, resultant Analysis Methodologies and associated synthesis tools: CERTAINTY Methodology and prototypes.\nThe impact of CERTAINTY will be to contribute to the certification of mixed criticality applications on multi cores in more efficient and effective ways (performance improvement regarding strict temporal partitioning), and provide recommendations to standardization working groups preparing the way for new standards in this area.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.39M | Year: 2009

Many research groups and institutes within the European Research Area (ERA) are playing a central role in the production of a vast range of atomic and molecular (AM) data, data that is of critical importance across a wide range of applications such as astrophysics, atmospheric physics, fusion, environmental sciences, combustion chemistry and in industrial applications from plasmas to lighting.\n\nThrough the auspices of this infrastructure the Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) aims to build a secure, documented, flexible and interoperable e-science environment-based interface to the existing AM data. The VAMDC will be built upon the expertise of existing AM databases, data producers and service providers with the specific aim of creating an infrastructure that is easily tuned to the requirements of a wide variety of users in academic, governmental, industrial or public communities both within and outside the ERA. The project will cover the building of the core consortium, the development and deployment of the infrastructure and the development of interfaces to the existing AM databases as well as providing a forum for training potential users and dissemination of expertise across the ERA. It is expected that VAMDC becomes a European legal entity during the course of the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 2.24M | Year: 2010

High-throughput next-generation DNA sequencing technologies allow investigators to sequence entire human genomes at an affordable price and within a short time frame. The correct interpretation, storage, and dissemination of the large amount of produced genomics data generate major challenges. Tackling these challenges requires extensive exchange of data, information and knowledge between medical scientists, sequencing centres, bioinformatics networks and industry at the European level. The GEUVADIS (genetic European variation in disease) Consortium aims at developing standards in quality control and assessment of sequence data, models for data storage, exchange and access, as well as standards for the handling, analysis and interpretation of sequencing data and other functional genomics datasets, standards for the biological and medical interpretation of sequence data and in particular rare variants for monogenic and common disorders, and finally standards for the ethics of phenotype prediction from sequence variation. The partners are all involved in international sequencing initiatives (1000 GP, ICGC), EU and other international projects (ENGAGE, GEN2PHEN, ENCODE, TECHGENE ), biobanking activities (BBMRI), data sharing initiatives (ELIXIR), and the European Sequencing and Genotyping Infrastructure (ESGI), ensuring tight collaborations. The Consortium will undertake pilot sequencing projects on selected samples from three medical fields (cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic), using RNA (RNASeq) and DNA (exonSeq) sequencing. The analysis of such samples will allow the consortium to set up standards in operating procedures and biological/medical interpretation of sequence data in relation to clinical phenotypes. The consortium will bring together the knowledge and resources on medical genome sequencing at a European level and allow researchers to develop and test new hypotheses on the genetic basis of disease.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Such an understanding can provide profound insights into our humanity, leading to fundamentally new computing technologies, and transforming the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders. Modern ICT brings this prospect within reach. The HBP Flagship Initiative (HBP) thus proposes a unique strategy that uses ICT to integrate neuroscience data from around the world, to develop a unified multi-level understanding of the brain and diseases, and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The goal is to catalyze a global collaborative effort. During the HBPs first Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1), the HBP Core Project will outline the basis for building and operating a tightly integrated Research Infrastructure, providing HBP researchers and the scientific Community with unique resources and capabilities. Partnering Projects will enable independent research groups to expand the capabilities of the HBP Platforms, in order to use them to address otherwise intractable problems in neuroscience, computing and medicine in the future. In addition, collaborations with other national, European and international initiatives will create synergies, maximizing returns on research investment. SGA1 covers the detailed steps that will be taken to move the HBP closer to achieving its ambitious Flagship Objectives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2017

Environmental perturbations to lakes and reservoirs occur largely as episodic climatic events. These range from relatively short mixing events to storms and heat waves. While the driving events occur along a continuum of frequency and magnitude, however, their effect is generally longer lasting than the events themselves. In addition, the more extreme weather events are now becoming increasingly frequent, a trend that has been linked to directional climate change and is projected to continue in the coming decades. Understanding the impact of these short-lived pressures requires monitoring that captures the event (hoursdays) and the ensuing impact, that can last for months or even years. Only recently has automated high frequency monitoring (HFM) of lakes been adopted throughout Europe. This Training Network will investigate the effects of the most extreme events, and of cumulative lower magnitude events, using HFM, while at the same time training a cohort of doctoral students in state-of-the art technology, data analysis and modelling. The aim of the EJD is to change the way in which water quality monitoring is carried out so that the effects of episodic climatic events can be understood, thus ensuring that future water management strategies can explicitly account for their effects.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2017

TREATMENT is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network proposal directly addressing the need for high-level training and career paths in risk evaluation of drug induced metabolic dysfunctions, a relevant aspect, so far unexplored by traditional toxicology studies, but urgently needed to challenge current severe limitations of health care interventions in mental disorders. These patients require life-long medications that subsequently trigger metabolic diseases with a strong negative impact on their health and well-being. To achieve this, and improve adherence to treatments, we will evaluate how short-term antipsychotic drug responses impact long-term metabolic control to identify and validate biomarkers with clinically predictive value for targeting drug induced metabolic dysfunctions. This effort will have added commercial value by enabling the design of predictive marker kits for testing adverse secondary metabolic effects of drugs to be used in pharmacological and medical practice. TREATMENT will provide multidisciplinary knowledge, capabilities and tools to implement this ambitious strategy by the training of young scientists in a program that combines pharmacology, metabolism and mental health research with strategies for product and tool design and validation. Our ultimate goal is to empower the intersectorial and trans-national employability of young scientists across academic, public and private sectors to foster the development and implementation of personalized medicine tools that will provide effective treatment regimens for life long health-care interventions and decrease the risk for development of chronic metabolic diseases.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 32.30M | Year: 2009

Particle physics stands at the threshold of a new era of discovery and insight. Results from the much awaited LHC are expected to shed light on the origin of mass, supersymmetry, new space dimensions and forces. In July 2006 the European Strategy Group for Particle Physics defined accelerator priorities for the next 15 years in order to consolidate the potential for discovery and conduct the required precision physics. These include an LHC upgrade, R&D on TeV linear colliders and studies on neutrino facilities. These ambitious goals require the mobilisation of all European resources to face scientific and technological challenges well beyond the current state-of-the-art and the capabilities of any single laboratory or country. EuCARD will contribute to the formation of a European Research Area in accelerator science, effectively creating a distributed accelerator laboratory across Europe. It will address the new priorities by upgrading European accelerator infrastructures while continuing to strengthen the collaboration between its participants and developing synergies with industrial partners. R&D will be conducted on high field superconducting magnets, superconducting RF cavities which are particularly relevant for FLASH, XFEL and SC proton linacs, two-beam acceleration, high efficiency collimation and new accelerator concepts. EuCARD will include networks to monitor the performance and risks of innovative solutions and to disseminate results. Trans-national access will be granted to users of beams and advanced test facilities. Strong joint research activities will support priority R&D themes. As an essential complement to national and CERN programmes, the EuCARD proposal will strengthen the European Research Area by ensuring that European accelerator infrastructures further improve their performance and remain at the forefront of global research, serving a community of well over 10,000 physicists from all over the world.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: EeB.ENV.2012.6.6-2 | Award Amount: 6.79M | Year: 2012

Europe can become the leader in CO2 emission reduction by applying innovative solutions to its built cultural heritage. According to the European Recovery Plan one of the actions that needs to be taken to tackle the current crisis, is investing in energy efficiency. Historic urban buildings consume 4% of all energy and are responsible for 3% of CO2 emissions. Therefore, improving energy efficiency in historic buildings and historic districts is essential. Nevertheless, most of the current developments in energy efficiency address new construction without dealing with the unique problems of historic structures. A number of technologies and products have been developed, however many of the solutions are not acceptable for historic structures due to the necessity of preserving integrity and authenticity. Therefore, the main goal of EFFESUS is to develop and demonstrate, through case studies a methodology for assessing and selecting energy efficiency interventions, based on existing and new technologies that are compatible with heritage values. A Decision Support System will be a primary deliverable. The environment in historic buildings and urban districts is controlled differently from modern cities and accordingly the project will also develop a multi-scale data model for the management of energy. In addition, new non-invasive, reversible yet cost-effective technologies for significantly improving thermal properties will also be developed. Finally, existing regulations and building policies may not fit cultural heritage specificities so the EFFESUS project will also address these non-technical barriers. These outcomes will be achieved through 10 work packages, performed by an interdisciplinary consortium of 23 partners from 13 countries. Due to the attractiveness of this niche market, 36 % of the project budget is allocated to SMEs, which will work together with large companies, research institutions and end users throughout the duration of the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-3.6a-2015 | Award Amount: 9.61M | Year: 2016

ADAS&ME (Adaptive ADAS to support incapacitated drivers &Mitigate Effectively risks through tailor made HMI under automation) will develop adapted Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, that incorporate driver/rider state, situational/environmental context, and adaptive interaction to automatically transfer control between vehicle and driver/rider and thus ensure safer and more efficient road usage. To achieve this, a holistic approach will be taken which considers automated driving along with information on driver/rider state. The work is based around 7 provisionally identified Use Cases for cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, aiming to cover a large proportion of driving on European roads. Experimental research will be carried out on algorithms for driver state monitoring as well as on HMI and automation transitions. It will develop robust detection/prediction algorithms for driver/rider state monitoring towards different driver states, such as fatigue, sleepiness, stress, inattention and impairing emotions, employing existing and novel sensing technologies, taking into account traffic and weather conditions via V2X and personalizing them to individual drivers physiology and driving behaviour. In addition, the core development includes multimodal and adaptive warning and intervention strategies based on current driver state and severity of scenarios. The final outcome is the successful fusion of the developed elements into an integrated driver/rider state monitoring system, able to both be utilized in and be supported by vehicle automation of Levels 1 to 4. The system will be validated with a wide pool of drivers/riders under simulated and real road conditions and under different driver/rider states; with the use of 2 cars (1 conventional, 1 electric), 1 truck, 2 PTWs and 1 bus demonstrators. This challenging task has been undertaken by a multidisciplinary Consortium of 30 Partners, including an OEM per vehicle type and 7 Tier 1 suppliers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.6.1-5 | Award Amount: 4.24M | Year: 2012

Convenience and cost-effectiveness are the two key considerations for both citizens and security forces when deciding which technologies to embrace or avoid in the Information Society. State actors and private corporations adopt information communication technologies (ICTs) because they are cost-effective. The motivation for adoption may be different in the private and public sectors but once adopted these ICTs are then capable of being bridged in multiple ways permitting police/security forces to go beyond the data they gather directly but also increasingly tap into data gathered and stored by private corporations. These ICTs, which have to date gone through a period of largely organic growth, will be deemed to be in balance if they are implemented in a way which respects individual privacy while still maximising convenience, profitability, public safety and security. RESPECT seeks to investigate if the current and foreseeable implementation of ICTs in surveillance is indeed in balance and, where a lack of balance may exist or is perceived by citizens not to exist, the project explores options for redressing the balance through a combination of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and operational approaches. Investigating at least five key sectors not yet tackled by other recent projects researching surveillance (CCTV, database mining and interconnection, on-line social network analysis, RFID & geo-location/sensor devices, financial tracking), RESPECT will also carry out quantitative and qualitative research on citizens awareness and attitudes to surveillance. RESPECT will produce tools that would enable policy makers to understand the socio-cultural as well as the operational and economic impact of surveillance systems. The project will also produce operational guidelines incorporating privacy by design approaches which would enable law enforcement agencies to deploy surveillance systems with lowest privacy risk possible and maximum security gain to citizens.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.2.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2012

The objective of CHROMED project is to evaluate the impact of adopting a health and lifestyle status management system to support elderly patients with a combination of chronic diseases involving respiratory and cardiovascular systems. A large scale clinical trial will be implemented to develop and evaluate clinical protocols and organizational models based on the new technologies in order to improve both quality of life and healthcare costs associated with these patients. The CHROMED idea arises from a previously successful research experience in patient monitoring at home. The CHROMED project focuses its investigation on the applicability of an integrated solution for a pathological condition which: a) is very prevalent in ageing patients and b) severely impairs quality of life: COPD with other typical comorbidities such as congestive heart failure and sleep disordered breathing. An international multi-centric randomized control trial will be implemented in five European regions: United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and Slovenia, representing different social and organizational contexts in Europe. In each country, the participating care organizations have existing practices and procedures for age-related disease management. In CHROMED a specific ICT platform in combination with a set of both well established and innovative devices will be used to collect and process useful clinical data at the patients home. In particular, for each patient a set of devices will be defined considering the existing co-morbidities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-05-2016 | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2017

The proposed project aims to study the relations between inequalities and young peoples ways of doing politics as well as to advance scenarios for future democratic models and political systems in Europe that are more inclusive for young people. It has three main objectives: (1) To provide systematic evidence on the ways in which inequalities are lived by young people and (re)acted upon, exploring the coping mechanisms which are embedded in young peoples ways of doing politics; these coping mechanisms are manifested in multiple forms, i.e. as either political (dis)engagement and contestation online and offline or as (trans-)national democratic innovation and experimentation; (2) To advance knowledge on the conditions and causes underpinning young peoples ways of doing politics; this involves an examination of their norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding democracy, power, politics, policy-making, social and political participation (online and offline) and the organization of economic, social and private life in order to identify ways to strengthen youth political participation and engagement with democratic life in Europe; (3) To suggest a number of different future scenarios for the development of democracy and political participation in Europe, putting particular emphasis on implementing new democratic models that are more inclusive for young people especially those with fewer opportunities. The research design consists of a multidimensional theoretical framework that combines macro-level (institutional), meso-level (organizational), and micro-level (individual) explanatory factors, a cross-national comparative design that includes nine European countries with different institutional arrangements and policies towards youth, and an integrated methodological approach based on multiple sources and methods (policy analysis, claims-making analysis, organizational survey, panel survey, survey experiments, biographical interviews, and social media analysis).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 10.76M | Year: 2012

Despite the increasing number of macromolecules with potential impact in the treatment of devastating systemic diseases, these therapies have failed to deliver on their expectations because they cannot be administered in the fashion which is most cost efficient and has the highest patient compliance: the oral route. The availability of an oral form of administration could lead to a great improvement of classical therapies and it would also make a high number of new therapies feasible. To make this happen, the final objective of Trans-INT is to design nanocarriers specifically adapted to deal with the gastrointestinal ecosystem and use them for the development of new oral nanomedicines for diseases with high socioeconomic impact (i.e. metabolic diseases, pain medication). The concept behind TRANS-INT is the rational design of oral nanomedicines based on safety, mechanistic, bioengineering (multifunctional nanocarriers: high payload, drug protection, efficient drug transport, controlled release) and pharmaceutical technology criteria (scalable technology and stability). The project will start with nanocarrier platforms on which the partners have IPR and freedom to operate: nanocapsules, nanoparticles, micelles made of combinations of lipids, polypeptides and polysaccharides, continue with the optimization and redefinition of selected nanocarriers. It is expected to end with (i) at least one oral nanocarrier prototype with a comprehensive GLP-tox package, which could be applied for the delivery of a high number of peptide molecules, (ii) at least one nanomedicine fulfilling target product profile criteria, with a comprehensive preclinical evaluation package, (iii) substantial integrative knowledge on the feasibility and potential of oral nanocarriers and nanopharmaceuticals. TRANS-INT is expected to have a great impact no only from the new therapies/patients perspective but also from the innovation and EU industrial development perspective.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRA-2012-3.3. | Award Amount: 1.07M | Year: 2012

The Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) is a major new European initiative now building a unified, secure, documented, flexible and interoperable e-science environment-based interface to 17 existing A\M databases.\nThe SUP@VAMDC (Support at VAMDC) aims at building upon the VAMDC e-infrastructure, supporting different studies and actions linked to the VAMDC e-infrastructure that will in accord with the mission of INFRA-2012-3.3:.\n\tProvide operational, legal and technologicalsupport for studies aimed at developing a sustainable open scientific data e- infrastructure in Atomic and Molecular Data.\n\tProvide the support and medium for including authentication, authorisation and accounting (AAA) as well as licensing and tools within the VAMDC brand\n\tPromote and fashions future interoperability (technical, semantic, reference architecture, etc) across A&M data community through the promotion, monitoring and adoption of common standards.\n\tProvide support for dissemination actions aimed at raising the visibility of the VAMDC e-infrastructure towards wider audiences such as other domains which could use the VAMDC e-infrastructure for their own science or for their own dissemination of data, such as students and/or citizen-scientists. This programme includes the development of education-related tools linking VAMDCs scientific repositories and research data infrastructures, including establishing a free open access repository containing all peer-reviewed articles resulting from the VAMDC programme.\n\tProvide support in developing a globally connected and interoperable VAMDC e-infrastructure between EU and the rest of the world, including Brazil , South Africa, Asia, Australia, India through hosting workshops and supporting dialogue between such synergistic structures.\n\tAnalyse and evaluate possible business models for supporting an Open Science model (OPEN VAMDC) whilst assessing the impact of such a modeling in achieving financial sustainability.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2016

The development of effective novel drugs - especially for rare and neglected diseases - is one of the biggest challenges of the upcoming decades, as illustrated by the recent Ebola outbreak. Moreover, European innovation in new drug registrations is dramatically falling behind compared to the US and Asia. The principal aim of the AEGIS ITN is to implement the first comprehensive, intersectoral cross-disciplinary and structured curriculum for doctoral students in the European Research Area by establishing a unique training platform for the next generation of European researchers in early drug discovery. A significant added value is provided through networking with key European pharmaceutical companies. A key research aim of AEGIS is improving the efficiency and success of early stage drug development by combining innovative methods and techniques to tackle difficult but promising targets (i.e. protein-protein interactions), as potentially valuable drug targets are often neglected due to the high risk associated with their validation. The consortium joins leading academic and industry researchers in an open innovation environment for innovative drug development in Europe. It is supported by several additional partners and stakeholders in the field. Integrated training of the fellows takes place at the host institute and by secondments, research schools and individual training within the AEGIS network. The scientific training includes complementary skills, management, intellectual property rights, fund raising, communication and career planning. AEGIS will improve the availability of a highly skilled workforce for European industries and research, greatly enhance the employability and the career perspectives of young researchers for academia as well as for industry, and will be the seed of a sustainable development in innovative drug discovery, in particular for rare and neglected diseases.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 10.23M | Year: 2016

The objective of SponGES is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use vulnerable sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The SponGES consortium, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions, environmental non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, will focus on one of the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important and vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea - sponge grounds that to date have received very little research and conservation attention. Our approach will address the scope and challenges of ECs Blue Growth Call by strengthening the knowledge base, improving innovation, predicting changes, and providing decision support tools for management and sustainable use of marine resources. SponGES will fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable sponge ecosystems and provide guidelines for their preservation and sustainable exploitation. North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds will be mapped and characterized, and a geographical information system on sponge grounds will be developed to determine drivers of past and present distribution. Diversity, biogeographic and connectivity patterns will be investigated through a genomic approach. Function of sponge ecosystems and the goods and services they provide, e.g. in habitat provision, bentho-pelagic coupling and biogeochemical cycling will be identified and quantified. This project will further unlock the potential of sponge grounds for innovative blue biotechnology namely towards drug discovery and tissue engineering. It will improve predictive capacities by quantifying threats related to fishing, climate change, and local disturbances. SpongeGES outputs will form the basis for modeling and predicting future ecosystem dynamics under environmental changes. SponGES will develop an adaptive ecosystem-based management plan that enables conservation and good governance of these marine resources on regional and international levels.


HarmonicSS vision is to create an International Network and Alliance of partners and cohorts, entrusted with the mission of addressing the unmet needs in primary Sjogren Syndrome; working together to create and maintain a platform with open standards and tools, designed to enable secure storage, governance, analytics, access control and controlled sharing of information at multiple levels along with methods to make results of analyses and outcomes comparable across centers and sustainable through Rheumatology associations. The overall idea of the HarmonicSS project is to bring together the largest well characterized regional, national and international longitudinal cohorts of patients with Primary Sjgrens Syndrome (pSS) including those participating in clinical trials, and after taking into consideration the ethical, legal, privacy and IPR issues for sharing data from different countries, to semantically interlink and harmonize them into an integrative pSS cohort structure on the cloud. Upon this harmonized cohort, services for big data mining, governance and visual analytics will be integrated, to address the identified clinical and health policy pSS unmet needs. In addition, tools for specific diagnostic procedures (e.g. ultrasonography image segmentation), patient selection for clinical trials and training will be also provided. The users of the HarmonicSS platform are researchers (basic/translational), clinicians, health policy makers and pharma companies. pSS is relevant not only due to its clinical impact but also as one of the few model diseases to link autoimmunity, cancer development (lymphoproliferation) and the pathogenetic role of infection. Thus, the study of pSS can facilitate research in many areas of medicine; for this reason, the possibility for sustainability and expandability of the platform is enhanced. Moreover, pSS has a significant impact on the healthcare systems, similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2009-2.3.2 | Award Amount: 5.96M | Year: 2010

According to the recent publications of the European Technological Platform for a Sustainable Nuclear Energy (SNETP) (Vision report and Strategic Research Agenda) the sustainability require the combination of the present LWR, future Advanced Fast reactors and the waste minimization in closed cycles with Partitioning and Transmutation. To implement these new nuclear systems and their fuel cycles it is necessary to improve the accuracy, uncertainties and validation of related nuclear data and models, required for those systems but also for the experimental and demonstration facilities involved in the their validation. The project will include new nuclear data measurements, dedicated benchmarks, based on integral experiments, and improved evaluation and modeling specifically oriented to obtain high precision nuclear data for the major actinides present in advanced reactor fuels, to reduce uncertainties in new isotopes in closed cycles with waste minimisation and to better assess the uncertainties and correlations in their evaluation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.66M | Year: 2008

The NSINK Initial Stage Network training network targets one of the most vital, interdisciplinary problems facing future Arctic environmental management: namely the enrichment of Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by reactive atmospheric nitrogen from low latitude emission centres. This problem will greatly exacerbate ecosystem response to climate change, and urgently requires holistic, sources to sinks type studies of nitrogen dynamics. Thus training in atmospheric sciences, snow physics, hydrology, biogeochemistry and aquatic/terrestrial ecology is necessary, bringing UK, Norwegian, Swedish, Austrian and German expertise (already operative in Svalbard) into a single interdisciplinary project at Ny lesund, the site of Europes most significant high Arctic environmental monitoring infrastructure. Further, in order to constrain recent change in the nitrogen accumulation in this environment, training in the interpretation of ice core and lake sediment archives will also be offered, and a reanalysis of instrumental observations collected over the last 15 years will be undertaken. NSINK will therefore prepare talented researchers for careers as independent scientists/practitioners across a range of environmental sciences (e.g. biogeochemistry, atmospheric sciences, hydrology) and related sectors either in academia or in industry. The scale of the NSINK ITN is significant (nine Early Stage Researchers, three Experienced Researchers, four training partners and 9 associated or industrial partners) because it addresses the demand for training in this area resulting from the urgent science problem and a major growth in public interest in the environmental sciences that is being experienced by universities across the entire EU.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 72.73M | Year: 2013

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain diseases and build revolutionary new computing technologies. Today, for the first time, modern ICT has brought these goals within sight. The goal of the Human Brain Project, part of the FET Flagship Programme, is to translate this vision into reality, using ICT as a catalyst for a global collaborative effort to understand the human brain and its diseases and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The Human Brain Project will last ten years and will consist of a ramp-up phase (from month 1 to month 36) and subsequent operational phases.\nThis Grant Agreement covers the ramp-up phase. During this phase the strategic goals of the project will be to design, develop and deploy the first versions of six ICT platforms dedicated to Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics, and create a user community of research groups from within and outside the HBP, set up a European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience, complete a set of pilot projects providing a first demonstration of the scientific value of the platforms and the Institute, develop the scientific and technological capabilities required by future versions of the platforms, implement a policy of Responsible Innovation, and a programme of transdisciplinary education, and develop a framework for collaboration that links the partners under strong scientific leadership and professional project management, providing a coherent European approach and ensuring effective alignment of regional, national and European research and programmes. The project work plan is organized in the form of thirteen subprojects, each dedicated to a specific area of activity.\nA significant part of the budget will be used for competitive calls to complement the collective skills of the Consortium with additional expertise.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2009-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2010

The SYNFLOW vision is the paradigm shift from batch-wise large volume processes in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and intermediates production comprising many separate unit operations towards highly integrated but yet flexible catalytic continuous flow processing. For this purpose, SYNFLOW develops a unique integrative approach combining molecular understanding of synthesis and catalysis with engineering science in process design and plant concepts, aiming at an efficiency breakthrough in process development and operation. The SYNFLOW mission is to overcome the traditional way of linear process development providing individual solutions for specific products, and to demonstrate the technological, economic and ecological superiority of truly designing processes by application of advanced chemical and engineering knowledge. The SYNFLOW concept is based on the definition of generic challenges with industrial relevance, represented by Case Studies provided by the industrial consortium members. Catalyst development, studies of the underlying chemical target transformations (synthetic methodology), tailored reaction engineering, conceptual process design and process evaluation interact closely in order to substantiate the SYNFLOW vision. Its success will be demonstrated on a relevant production scale as a reference for the entire European Chemical Industry. The SYNFLOW consortium brings together major industrial producers from the Pharmaceuticals, Fine Chemicals and Intermediates sectors, providers of process technology and technical catalyst supply. A number of high-ranked academic partners ensures the availability of comprehensive expertise for the suggested Case Studies. Dissemination of the results is guaranteed by the participation of DECHEMA and Britest. SYNFLOW presents a holistic approach to central challenges of the European Chemical Industries and therefore a highly promising candidate to fulfill the crucial issues of the NMP-2009-3.2-1 call.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.1 | Award Amount: 26.75M | Year: 2012

In 2020, mobile and wireless traffic volume is expected to increase thousand-fold over 2010 figures. Moreover, an increase in the number of wirelessly-connected devices to counts in the tens of billions will have a profound impact on society. Massive machine communication, forming the basis for the Internet of Things, will make our everyday life more efficient, comfortable and safer, through a wide range of applications including traffic safety and medical services. The variety of applications and traffic types originating from or reaching mobile, WLAN, and sensor networks, will be significantly larger than today, and will result in more diverse requirements on services, devices and networks.\n\nMETIS is set up by leading global players to prepare the migration from todays mobile systems, focused on human communications, towards tomorrows multi-purpose global communication infrastructure, serving humans and things.\n\nThe main objective of METIS is to lay the foundation for, and to generate a European consensus on this future global mobile and wireless communications system. METIS will provide valuable and timely contributions to pre-standardisation and regulation processes, and ensure European leadership in mobile and wireless communications.\n\nMETIS will provide fundamentally new solutions which fit the needs beyond 2020. Research will be conducted on network topologies, radio links, multi-node, and spectrum usage techniques. Horizontal topics will be used to integrate the research results into a system concept that provides the necessary flexibility, versatility and scalability at a low cost. The METIS concept will be evaluated, and a roadmap will be generated.\n\nMETIS is a strong European consortium, completed by selected non-European partners to ensure global harmonisation. The consortium gathers major telecommunication stakeholders; vendors, operators and academic researchers, together with a new partner from the automotive industry to provide new insights


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.14M | Year: 2013

The proposed research deals with citizens reactions to economic crises and their social and political consequences. It examines in particular the ways in which European citizens have reacted to the crisis that, at different degree of intensity in different countries, struck Europe since 2008, but also how they deal with economic crises and their consequences more generally. We examine both individual and collective responses by citizens, both the private and the public dimensions of such responses, and both political and non-political responses. In addition, while the focus of the research is on citizens responses, we also examine policy responses so as to have a baseline for assessing citizens reactions to crises. The project has three main objectives: (1) to provide systematic evidence of the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences, both individually and collectively; (2) to advance knowledge on the connections between individual factors, contextual factors, and the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences; and (3) to suggest a number of good practices as to how to deal with economic crises, both at the social and political level, through which their negative consequences on European citizens can be avoided or limited. The projects objectives are addressed by means of six main types of data and methods: (1) the creation of a cross-national comparative dataset on economic, social, and political indicators; (2) an analysis of policy responses to crises; (3) an analysis of collective responses to crises in the public domain; (4) an analysis of individual responses to crises by private citizens; (5) experiments designed to assess causal effects of different dimensions of crises on citizens attitudes and behaviors; and (6) an analysis of alternative forms of resilience in times of crisis.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.20. | Award Amount: 12.58M | Year: 2012

The Project promotes the access to five European Research Infrastructures, and it is structured into nine Networking Activities, plus the Management of the Consortium, and fourteen Joint Research Activities. The Project will profit of the success of the previous HadronPhysics project in FP6 and the current HadronPhysics2 in FP7, and originates from the initiative of more than 2.500 European scientists working in the field of hadron physics. Hadron physics deals with the study of strongly interacting particles, the hadrons. Hadrons are composed of quarks and gluons. Their interaction is described by Quantum Chromo Dynamics, the theory of the strong force. Hadrons form more complex systems, in particular atomic. Under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, hadrons may loose their identity and dissolve into a new state of matter similar to the primordial matter of the early Universe. The Networking Activities are related to the organization of experimental and theoretical collaborative work concerning both ongoing activities at present Research Infrastructures and planned experiments at future facilities. In hadron physics the close interaction between experimentalists and theoreticians is of paramount importance. The Joint Research Activities concentrate on technological innovations for present and future experiments. Applications in material science, medicine, information, technology, etc., represent natural fall-outs. The main objective of this Integrating Activity is to optimize the use and development of the Research Infrastructures existing in Europe working in the field of hadron physics. The Project aims as well at structuring, on European scale, the way Research Infrastructures operate, and at fostering their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. The approach used is the bottom up approach, to respond to the needs of the scientific community in all fields of science and technology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-8.0-01 | Award Amount: 1.91M | Year: 2008

The COUNTER research project is designed to collect data, generate knowledge, and disseminate findings on the European landscape for the consumption of counterfeit consumer goods. It proposes a research project that explores: Frequency and distribution of counterfeits; Consumer attitudes to counterfeit and pirated goods; Legal and ethical frameworks for intellectual property; Policy options for engaging with the consumers of counterfeits; The use of copyrighted goods in the creation of new cultural artefacts; Impacts of counterfeiting and control of intellectual property. COUNTER addresses an emerging research area which is not covered directly covered in current workprogramme and in which the EU lags behind the USA. This area, however, is central to current economic, political, legislative and cultural debates in Europe. Focusing on the demand side of the counterfeiting industry, COUNTER will collect data on consumer behaviour, policy development, and stakeholder engagement. Together, these will allow COUNTERs research to integrate demand-consumption side issues with policy implications. The project brings together a team of European researchers with recognised experience in the field in order to develop a multi-disciplinary and multi-method approach (triangulation) to counterfeit goods and intellectual property that draws upon the strengths of economics, sociology, law, psychology, and management and information science. By developing an innovative research framework, the project will generate new policy and industry relevant knowledge and develop a research agenda which can be developed and implemented and inform future research. COUNTER will provide a timely and much needed research project which will rapidly deliver foundational research which can contribute to the global debate and be developed to explore other forms of counterfeiting including pharmaceuticals, industrial markets, and the implementation of technical anti-counterfeiting measures.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2011

PRIMES focuses on the role of protein interactions to assemble dynamic molecular machines that receive and process information to coordinate cellular responses. PRIMES investigates the following: (i) How do protein interactions contribute to the generation of biological specificity in signalling? (ii) How do pathogenetic perturbations affect protein interaction networks? (iii) How can we exploit protein interactions as therapeutic targets? We focus on the EGFR/ERBB signalling network and its role in colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most frequent cancer. The ERBB network is frequently altered in CRC either through overexpression or mutation of the receptors or downstream components. Network components have become important drug targets. Poor response rates and resistance demonstrate we lack sufficient insight to design efficacious therapies. Using proteomics, structural biology, advanced imaging and mathematical modelling we (i) map static and dynamic protein interactions in the ERBB network (ii) unravel the design principles and emergent network properties conferred by protein interactions; and (iii) validate these findings in genetic mouse models of CRC and human tissues. PRIMES aims to (i) enhance the functional pathogenetic understanding of CRC (ii) identify mechanisms of drug resistance and drug efficacy; and (iii) identify drugs that affect protein interactions to rationally manipulate network functions related to individual genetic mutations. Outcomes include (i) a dynamic, mechanistic flowchart of how protein interactions compute biochemical and biological specificity in signalling networks (ii) a functional protein interaction network of healthy and oncogenic ERBB signalling validated in mouse models of CRC and human tissues (iii) network level insights towards personalised CRC treatment based on genotype-phenotype relationships; and (iv) chemical compounds targeting protein interactions to restore normal ERBB network function or break oncogenic circuits.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-2.6-03 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2008

EquiMar will deliver a suite of protocols for the equitable evaluation of marine energy converters (based on either tidal or wave energy). These protocols will harmonise testing and evaluation procedures across the wide variety of devices presently available with the aim of accelerating adoption though technology matching and improved understanding of the environmental and economic impacts associated with the deployment of arrays of devices. EquiMar will assess devices through a suite of protocols covering site selection, device engineering design, the scaling up of designs, the deployment of arrays of devices, the environmental impact, in terms of both biological & coastal processes, and economic issues. A series of protocols will be developed through a robust, auditable process and disseminated to the wider community. Results from the EquiMar project will establish a sound base for future standards (e.g. IEC TC 114)


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 5.18M | Year: 2012

Information storage technology is essentially based on nanostructured magnetic materials. Considerable research effort is aimed at increasing the density of stored information and this generally requires increasingly sophisticated media design to engineer the desired combination of low write field and thermal stability of recording information. An alternative approach is Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording in which a laser is used to heat the medium to a sufficiently high temperature to assure writability using currently available write head fields. Also a new, highly promising, development is that of spin electronics in which the spin of the electron rather than merely the charge forms the basis of the device operation. This holds the prospect of allowing technology to develop beyond the limits of miniaturisation of standard electronics and may yield the solution of the increasing power requirements for conventional electronic devices. However, the switching speeds are limited by precessional motion of the magnetic spins to hundreds of picoseconds. However, magnetic spins can be manipulated on the femtosecond timescale. However, the physics of the processes occurring on this timescale is poorly understood. The proposal aims to develop a multiscale approach to the theoretical understanding of femtosecond magnetisation processes and to make a critical comparison with experimental data. The overall goal of the project is to use this understanding to optimise materials for ultrafast (femtosecond) reversal and to develop computational tools for future materials and device design.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.03M | Year: 2012

The ACT Initial Training Network aims to establish a leading European training network devoted to investigating the interplay between action and cognition using a developmental approach. The ACT network represents a collective of scientific and industrial groups at the cutting edge of research in the fields of social development, developmental psychology, cognitive science, developmental neuropsychology, and computational science. The network will train PhD students and produce new technology to answer critical issues in our understanding of human development. A core assumption of the network is that development of perception, motivation, and cognition is grounded in, and develops through, our own actions (von Hofsten, 2004). We learn about our physical environment by actively engaging with the world. As we develop new action capabilities, new elements of the environment become salient to us. This process is especially prominent early in infancy when action capacities and an understanding of the world develop. The nature of developmental research demands a multi-method approach. As a result, we propose to rigorously train ESRs such that they obtain two or more techniques required to study the relationship between brain and behaviour in early social development. We will conduct research and training within and between academic and industry partners on the role of attention in action, prospective control, social interactions, and semantics in action. We will improve technologies so that movement analysis is possible with infants. We will also develop an eye tracking system that links to EEG and we will create tools that are designed specifically for infant EEG data. In addition to these major breakthroughs in our knowledge, we will provide a structured training programme for Early Stage Researchers that capitalizes on cross-European strengths that will produce cutting edge leaders within the field in a unique and timely interdisciplinary training programme.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.62M | Year: 2012

Nowadays most of the EU countries treat practically the totality of the volume of urban waste water (WW) generated. However, a deep look at the performance of most of the existing wastewater treatment facilities (WWTP) evidences that significant steps forward can still be given in terms of effluent quality, process robustness and operational costs. One of the main technical limitations for optimizing plant operation some years ago was the lack of reliable measuring devices. At present, new and more reliable on-line sensors are available and the main limitation for the optimal operation of WWTPs is, clearly, the great difficulty to properly manage all the heterogeneous, incomplete and, sometimes inconsistent data of the WWTPs. WWTPs daily manage thousands of data from all points of the plant. The likelihood that data errors and/or faults occur has consequently highly increased. Also, unexpected situations occurring in the plants make sensors not fully reliable yet sending incorrect data to the data management systems. Using these data for real-time operation and control activities could lead to a drastic deterioration of the wastewater treatment efficiency. The appropriate processing and management of the data available in a WWTP nowadays exceed the capacity of the staff of the WWTP, limiting the use of the information available for diagnosis and operation tasks. Advanced on-line data fault detection and monitoring tools could alert operators from sensors showing unrealistic or incorrect data whereas, real-time data processing and adequation tools could make data more reliable. Project DIAMOND aims to achieve a model of excellence in the management of wastewater treatment systems by addressing the design, development, implementation and validation of new advanced data management, monitoring and control algorithms and tools for supporting the optimum operation of WWTPs. This objective is of great interest for the scientific and industrial communities related to WWTPs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-1-2014 | Award Amount: 8.02M | Year: 2015

In the coming decade a significant number of the 500.000.000 European (EU/EEA) citizens will have their genome determined routinely. This will be complemented with much cheaper (currently ~20 Euro per measurement) acquisition of the metabolome of biofluids (e.g. urine, saliva, blood plasma) which will link the genotype with metabolome data that captures the highly dynamic phenome and exposome of patients. Having such low cost solutions will enable, for the first time, the development of a truly personalised and evidence-based medicine founded on hard scientific measurements. The exposome includes the metabolic information resulting from all the external influences on the human organism such as age, behavioural factors like exercise and nutrition or other environmental factors. Considering that the amount of data generated by molecular phenotyping exceeds the data volume of personal genomes by at least an order of magnitude, the collection of such information will pose dramatic demands on biomedical data management and compute capabilities in Europe. For example, a single typical National Phenome Centre, managing only around 100,000 human samples per year, can generate more than 2 Petabytes of data during this period alone. A scale-up to sizable portions of the European population over time will require data analysis services capable to work on exabyte-scale amounts of biomedical phenotyping data, for which no viable solution exists at the moment. The PhenoMeNal project will develop and deploy an integrated, secure, permanent, on-demand service-driven, privacy-compliant and sustainable e-infrastructure for the processing, analysis and information-mining of the massive amount of medical molecular phenotyping and genotyping data that will be generated by metabolomics applications now entering research and clinic.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2007.3.3 | Award Amount: 5.77M | Year: 2008

The ArtistDesign NoE is the visible result of the ongoing integration of a community, that emerged through the Artist FP5 Accompanying Measure and that was organised through the Artist2 FP6 NoE.\nThe central objective for ArtistDesign is to build on existing structures and links forged in Artist2, to become a virtual Center of Excellence in Embedded Systems Design. This will be mainly achieved through tight integration between the central players of the European research community. Also, the consortium is smaller, and integrates several new partners. These teams have already established a long-term vision for embedded systems in Europe, which advances the emergence of Embedded Systems as a mature discipline.\nArtistDesign will become the main focal point for dissemination in Embedded Systems Design, leveraging on well-established infrastructure and links, such as a web portal and newsletter. It will extend its dissemination activities, including Education and Training, Industrial Applications, as well as International Collaboration. ArtistDesign will establish durable relationships with industry and SMEs in the area, especially through ARTEMISIA/ARTEMIS.\nArtistDesign will build on existing international visibility and recognition, to play a leading role in structuring the area.\nThe research effort aims to integrate topics, teams, and competencies, grouped into 4 Thematic Clusters: Modelling and Validation, Software Synthesis, Code Generation, and Timing Analysis, Operating Systems and Networks, Platforms and MPSoC. Transversal Integration covering both industrial applications and design issues aims for integration between clusters.\nArtistDesign has defined a four-year workprogramme, with a strong commitment to integration and sustainability. To achieve the aims, the estimated support from the EC is approximately 4.5 MEuros. This support is a very small proportion of the overall investment by the core partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-5 | Award Amount: 11.90M | Year: 2008

Clear-up presents a holistic approach to the reducing operational energy use in buildings. By development and novel use of nano-materials it aims to increase energy performance in heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting systems, and to improve indoor air quality using catalytic purification. Clear-ups solutions are designed for retro-fitting existing buildings and of course for new constructions. It will achieve this by addressing four key components which control the indoor environment: Windows. Clear-up will advance the practical use of shutters and electrochromic window foils which reduce the building cooling load and along with light-guide technology, reduce the need for artificial lighting. Walls. Clear-up will use photocatalytic materials for air purification and nano-porous vacuum insulation in combination with phase change materials to passively control temperature. Air Conditioning. Clear-up will advance technologies for demand controlled ventilation and improved air quality. Sensors and control provide an underpinning technology for Clear-ups approach. New sensors will be developed, and their use optimised for the operation of smart windows; demand controlled ventilation; and catalytic purification. Clear-up will develop, install, measure and evaluate technological solutions in the laboratory, in a large-scale testing facility and in real world applications. Its approach will be demonstrated at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, 2009. The safety of new materials will be considered; it will propose inputs to standards and environmental product declarations for its technologies. Clear-up will also investigate environmental and economic lifecycles for components and systems. The practical issues of exploitation will be addressed in cooperation with industry bodies ECTP, ECCREDI and ENBRI providing access to large firms and SMEs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-1-2014 | Award Amount: 19.05M | Year: 2015

EUDAT2020 brings together a unique consortium of e-infrastructure providers, research infrastructure operators, and researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines under several of the ESFRI themes, working together to address the new data challenge. In most research communities, there is a growing awareness that the rising tide of data will require new approaches to data management and that data preservation, access and sharing should be supported in a much better way. Data, and a fortiori Big Data, is a cross-cutting issue touching all research infrastructures. EUDAT2020s vision is to enable European researchers and practitioners from any research discipline to preserve, find, access, and process data in a trusted environment, as part of a Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI) conceived as a network of collaborating, cooperating centres, combining the richness of numerous community-specific data repositories with the permanence and persistence of some of Europes largest scientific data centres. EUDAT2020 builds on the foundations laid by the first EUDAT project, strengthening the links between the CDI and expanding its functionalities and remit. Covering both access and deposit, from informal data sharing to long-term archiving, and addressing identification, discoverability and computability of both long-tail and big data, EUDAT2020s services will address the full lifecycle of research data. One of the main ambitions of EUDAT2020 is to bridge the gap between research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures through an active engagement strategy, using the communities that are in the consortium as EUDAT beacons and integrating others through innovative partnerships. During its three-year funded life, EUDAT2020 will evolve the CDI into a healthy and vibrant data-infrastructure for Europe, and position EUDAT as a sustainable infrastructure within which the future, changing requirements of a wide range of research communities are addressed.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-1-2014 | Award Amount: 8.65M | Year: 2015

Over the last decade, the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) has built a distributed computing and data infrastructure to support over 21,000 researchers from many disciplines with unprecedented data analysis capabilities. EGI builds on the European and national investments and relies on the expertise of EGI.eu - a not-for-profit foundation that provides coordination to the EGI Community, including user groups, EGI.eu participants in the EGI Council, and the other collaborating partners. The mission of EGI-Engage is to accelerate the implementation of the Open Science Commons vision, where researchers from all disciplines have easy and open access to the innovative digital services, data, knowledge and expertise they need for their work. The Open Science Commons is grounded on three pillars: the e-Infrastructure Commons, an ecosystem of key services; the Open Data Commons, where any researcher can access, use and reuse data; and the Knowledge Commons, in which communities have shared ownership of knowledge and participate in the co-development of software and are technically supported to exploit state-of-the-art digital services. EGI-Engage will expand the capabilities offered to scientists (e.g. improved cloud or data services) and the spectrum of its user base by engaging with large Research Infrastructures (RIs), the long-tail of science and industry/SMEs. The main engagement instrument will be a network of eight Competence Centres, where National Grid Initiatives (NGIs), user communities, technology and service providers will join forces to collect requirements, integrate community-specific applications into state-of-the-art services, foster interoperability across e-Infrastructures, and evolve services through a user-centric development model. The project will also coordinate the NGI efforts to support the long-tail of science by developing ad hoc access policies and by providing services and resources that will lower barriers and learning curves.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-4-2014 | Award Amount: 16.42M | Year: 2015

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing, was established in May 2010 as a permanent pan-European High Performance Computing service providing world-class systems for world-class science. Six systems at the highest performance level (Tier-0) are deployed by Germany, France, Italy and Spain providing researchers with over 9 billion core hours of compute time. HPC experts from twenty-five member states - funded in part in three implementation projects - enabled users from academia and industry to ascertain leadership and remain competitive in the Global Race. Currently PRACE is preparing for PRACE 2.0, the successor of the initial five year period. The objectives of PRACE-4IP are to build on and seamlessly continue the successes of PRACE and start new innovative and collaborative activities proposed by the consortium. These include: assisting the transition to PRACE 2.0; strengthening the internationally recognised PRACE brand; continuing advanced training which so far provided more than 15.000 person-training days to over 4700 persons, preparing strategies and best practices towards exascale computing, coordinating and enhancing the operation of the multi-tier HPC systems and services, and supporting users to exploit massively parallel systems and novel architectures. The proven project structure will be used to achieve each of the objectives in six dedicated work packages. The project will continue to be managed by Jlich. The activities are designed to increase Europes research and innovation potential especially through: seamless and efficient Tier-0 services and a pan-European HPC ecosystem including national capabilities; promoting take-up by industry and special offers to SMEs; analysing new flexible business models for PRACE 2.0; proposing strategies for deployment of leadership systems; collaborating with the ETP4HPC, the coming CoEs and other European and international organisations on future architectures, training, application support and policies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-03-2014 | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2015

This R&I action will focus on optimally combining traditional roll-to-roll (R2R) compatible fabrication technologies such as printing with unique R2R sputtering, ALD and heterogeneous integration for flexible, thin, large-area electronics applications. It is seen that the different R2R fabrication methods all have their strengths and weaknesses such that using a cost-performance-optimized combination of them for a single production will enable new levels of applicability for TOLAE devices for mass markets. The goal of the ROLL-OUT project is to create a multi-purpose technology for, thin, large-area, high-performance, smart, and autonomous systems comprising of integrated circuits (based on metal-oxide thin-film transistors), sensors, and electronics. They will be utilized in advancing the packaging, automotive interiors and textile industries beyond their traditional scope. The key features are high-performance circuits and components. To fabricate high-performance circuits, the project intends to use novel, hybrid, moderate-temperature, roll-to-roll processes, namely sputtering, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and screen-printing on thin, flexible, large-area substrates. This will enable enormous value addition to the products of European industries without adding any significant extra cost. ROLL-OUT has 5 research organizations (RO) and 5 industrial partners (IND). The action has 6 work-packages (WPs) of which 3 are led by ROs and 3 by INDs. The technology development WPs are led by ROs and demonstration and exploitation WPs are led by INDs. The action intends to create 3 tangible industrial smart, autonomous system demonstrators that will be validated by the industrial partners in accordance with standard testing protocols. The action seeks EU funding of 3.66M for a period of 36 months. 356,5 person-months will be dedicated to the work. The consortium consists of partners from 7 EU member states with complimentary expertise essential for the action.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.99M | Year: 2016

The goal of GenTree is to provide the European forestry sector with better knowledge, methods and tools for optimising the management and sustainable use of forest genetic resources (FGR) in Europe in the context of climate change and continuously evolving demands for forest products and services. To reach its goal, GenTree will make scientific, technological and implementation breakthroughs in: (i) designing innovative strategies for dynamic conservation of FGR in European forests, (ii) broadening the range of FGR used by European breeding programmes, and (iii) preparing new forest management scenarios and policy frameworks fully integrating genetic conservation and breeding aspects, to adapt forests and forestry to changing environmental conditions and societal demands. GenTree focuses on economically and ecologically important tree species in Europe, growing in a wide range of habitats and covering different societal uses and values. The major outputs of GenTree will include: (i) much needed new scientific knowledge on phenotypic and genotypic diversity across environmental gradients in Europe, (ii) improved genotyping and phenotyping monitoring tools for practitioners, (iii) updated and refined data for information systems of in-situ and ex-situ FGR collections, (iv) innovative strategies for conservation, breeding and exchanging and using diversified forest reproductive material, (v) novel outreach and science-policy support tools to better integrate FGR concerns into forest management and better implement relevant international commitments in Europe. GenTree will improve the status and use of European in-situ and ex-situ FGR collections, support acquisition, conservation, characterisation, evaluation and use of relevant FGR in breeding and forestry practice and policy, will seek to harmonise, rationalise and improve management of existing collections and databases, and will strengthen the EU strategy for cooperation on FGR research and innovation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-11-2016 | Award Amount: 16.11M | Year: 2017

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing is the permanent pan-European High Performance Computing service providing world-class systems for world-class science. Systems at the highest performance level (Tier-0) are deployed by Germany, France, Italy and Spain providing researchers with over 11 billion core hours of compute time. HPC experts from 25 member states enabled users from academia and industry to ascertain leadership and remain competitive in the Global Race. Currently PRACE is in transition to PRACE 2, the successor of the initial five year period. The objectives of PRACE-5IP are to build on and seamlessly continue the successes of PRACE and start new innovative and collaborative activities proposed by the consortium. These include: assisting the transition to PRACE 2 including an analysis of Trans National Access; strengthening the internationally recognised PRACE brand; continuing and extend advanced training which so far provided more than 18 800 persontraining days; preparing strategies and best practices towards Exascale computing; coordinating and enhancing the operation of the multi-tier HPC systems and services; and supporting users to exploit massively parallel systems and novel architectures. A high level Service Catalogue is provided. The proven project structure will be used to achieve each of the objectives in 6 dedicated work packages. The activities are designed to increase Europes research and innovation potential especially through: seamless and efficient Tier-0 services and a pan-European HPC ecosystem including national capabilities; promoting take-up by industry and new communities and special offers to SMEs; implementing a new flexible business model for PRACE 2; proposing strategies for deployment of leadership systems; collaborating with the ETP4HPC, CoEs and other European and international organisations on future architectures, training, application support and policies. This will be monitored through a set of KPIs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMBP-17-2016 | Award Amount: 5.10M | Year: 2016

Advanced aRchitectures for ultra-thin high-efficiency CIGS solar cells with high Manufacturability (ARCIGS-M) This projects goal is advanced materials and nanotechnologies for novel CIGS PV device architectures with efficiencies 23.0 %, thus beyond that of the current state-of-the-art technologies. The technology targets the BIPV sector and enables several innovative solutions for BIPV. The novel functional materials and material combinations are (1) surface functionalized steel substrates, (2) nano-structuring strategies for optical management of rear contact layers, (3) passivation layers with nano-sized point openings, and (4) ultra-thin CIGS thin film absorber layers. The concepts will be developed and established in production viable equipment. Additionally, this new design will also increase the systems lifetime and materials resource efficiency, mainly due to the use of ultra-thin CIGS layers (less In and Ga), and barrier and passivation layers that hinder alkali metal movement. Hence, this project will lead to enhanced performance, but also yield and stability, while maintaining manufacturability. The consortium includes SMEs and industrial partners positioned throughout the complete solar module manufacturing value chain. Their roles will be to develop and commercialize new equipment, products and/or services. The consortium already pioneered the proposed advanced material solutions up to technology readiness level (TRL) 4, and this project targets to bring these innovative concepts to TRL 6 in a low-cost demonstrator. The aim is to develop and validate innovative, economic and sustainable BIPV applications, as a near future high value market for the European PV industries. An exploitation strategy, developed with the support of TTO (www.tto.dk), identifying BIPV as the most promising market has been used to validate the choice of technologies and will be further developed during the course of the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-24-2015 | Award Amount: 14.94M | Year: 2016

Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic variability affecting an individuals response to a drug. Its use allows personalized medicine and reduction in trial and error prescribing leading to more efficacious, safer and cost-effective drug therapy. The U-PGx consortium will investigate a pre-emptive genotyping approach (that is: multiple pharmacogenomic variants are collected prospectively and embedded into the patients electronic record) of a panel of important pharmacogenomic variants as a new model of personalised medicine. To meet this goal we combine existing pharmacogenomics guidelines and novel health IT solutions. Implementation will be conducted at a large scale in seven existing European health care environments and accounts for the diversity in health system organisations and settings. Feasibility, health outcome and cost-effectiveness will be investigated. We will formulate European strategies for improving clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics based on the findings of this project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 7.16M | Year: 2008

The Preparatory Phase for a pan-European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) will focus on technical, legal, governance, and financial issues to prepare to construct BBMRI, building on existing biobanks, resources and technologies, specifically complemented with innovative components and properly embedded into European scientific, ethical, legal and societal frameworks, provide the concept for a key resource to increase excellence and efficacy in biomedical sciences, drug development and public health, expand and secure competitiveness of European research and industry in a global context, develop a sustainable financial framework. Biomedical quality-assessed samples and data as well as biomolecular resources and molecular analysis tools are essential for academic and industry-driven research to treat and prevent human diseases. Although currently established national biobanks and biomolecular resources are a unique European strength, valuable collections typically suffer from fragmentation of the European biobanking-related research community. This hampers the collation of biological samples and data from different biobanks required to achieve sufficient statistical power. Moreover, it results in duplication of effort and jeopardises sustainability due to the lack of long-term funding. BBMRI will comprise: biobanks of different formats (collections of blood, DNA, tissue, etc., together with medical, environmental, life-style and follow-up data), biomolecular resources (antibody and affinity binder collections, ORF clone collections, siRNA libraries, proteins, cellular resources etc.), enabling technologies and high-throughput analysis platforms and molecular tools to decipher gene, protein and metabolite functions and their interactions, harmonized standards for sample collection, storage, preanalytics and analysis harmonized databases and biocomputing infrastructure, ethical, legal and societal


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2008.4.2.3.2. | Award Amount: 1.81M | Year: 2009

The issue of concern of the AWARE project is the anthropogenic deterioration of water ecosystems, in particular in coastal areas. The new approach proposed by the AWARE project to enhance connectivity between research and policy-making exploit the concept of integrated adaptive ecosystem management, engaging scientists, policy makers and the public (the latter including both stakeholders and lay citizens/water users) into comparable case studies of participatory scenario-building. The emphasis given to the role of the public enlarges the concept of organisational learning to the wider concept of social learning. The specific objectives and WPs of the AWARE project will include therefore: WP1: to design and prepare the pilot experiments of participatory scenario-building; WP2: to perform three case studies of participatory-scenario building in different coastal regions of Europe; WP3: to make an evaluation and assessment of the pilot case studies and of the proposed approach; WP4: to foster networking between science institutions, policy authorities and stakeholders in the case study areas and at EU level, and disseminate the approach elsewhere in Europe. The AWARE consortium includes 14 partners of complementary expertise in the field of aquatic ecosystems studies (UU, UPMC, ULB, UNIPR), social sciences (ADELPHI, ICCR, Missions Publiques), system analysis (ISIS, JRC-IES, UNISI) and integrated water management (BIOFORSK, POLIEDRA), plus the Environmental Service from the Provincial Administration of Ferrara and the Baltic Environmental Forum (BEF). The consortium will be complemented by an advisory group of 10 policy makers and stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-22-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016

Toxicology and risk assessment are undergoing a paradigm shift, from a phenomenological to a mechanistic discipline based on in vitro and in silico approaches that represent an important alternative to classical animal testing applied to the evaluation of chronic and systemic toxicity risks. Large databases and highly sophisticated methods, algorithms and tools are available for different tasks such as hazard prediction, toxicokinetics, and in vitro in vivo extrapolations to support this transition. However, since these services are developed independently and provided by different groups world-wide, there is no standardized way how to access the data or run modelling workflows. To overcome the fragmentation of data and tools, OpenRiskNet will provide open e-Infrastructure resources and services to a variety of communities requiring chemical risk assessment, including chemicals, cosmetic ingredients, therapeutic agents, and nanomaterials. OpenRiskNet will combine the achievements from earlier projects for generating modeling and validation workflows, knowledge integration and data management as well as include all ongoing projects and important stakeholders through an associated partner programme. The main components of the infrastructure will be an interoperability layer added to every service to describe the functionality and guaranteeing technical and semantic interoperability, a discovery service, deployment options based on container technology, and packaging of the infrastructure into virtual instances. This will be complemented by training and support on integration of specific services based on prototype implementation, usage of standard file formats for data sharing including the generation of templates for data and metadata, as well as the harmonized usage of ontologies. Case studies will demonstrate the applicability of the infrastructure in productive settings supporting research and innovation in safer product design and risk assessment.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.1.1.2. | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2009

The reluctance of OEM worldwide to extend electric drive applications to the private customers depends partly from considerations on customer acceptance (limited range in the case of EV, long charging time after depletion of the battery, cost), but also from the increased reliability and life span that private customers are entitled to expect. The first goal of HELIOS project is to evaluate electrochemical couples whose lower voltage window matches perfectly with the stability window of the electrolyte, which should guarantee an outstanding steadiness of the performance during ageing, and an intrinsic excellent safety. The items evaluated by the project are: performance, safety, life, recyclability and global cost. Another issue addressed by the project is the definition of a European standard for safety and life (cycle/storage) tests, adapted to High Energy applications such ad EV, PHEV and Heavy Duty Hybrid Truck. The project partners include six OEMs, one battery manufacturer, test Institutes/Universities and one recycler.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.3.2.1.1. | Award Amount: 6.56M | Year: 2009

Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our time which also threatens cultural heritage. As a non-renewable important resource to the European identity, sustainable adaptation strategies are required for long term preservation. For this purpose and for the first time ever, the CLIMATE FOR CULTURE project will couple completely new high resolution (10x10km) climate change evolution scenarios with whole building simulation models to identify the risks for specific regions. The innovation lies in the elaboration of a more reliable damage assessment by connecting the future climate data with whole building simulation models and new damage assessment functions. In situ measurements at UNESCO sites throughout Europe will allow a much more precise and integrated assessment of the real damage impact of climate change on cultural heritage. Appropriate sustainable mitigation/adaptation strategies, also from previous projects, are further developed and applied on the basis of these findings simultaneously. All these results will be incorporated into an assessment of the economic impacts. In order to ensure an efficient use of resources, this project will build on the results of already concluded EU research projects (Noahs Ark). Techniques from FP5/6 projects will be reassessed for their applicability in future scenarios at different regions in Europe and Mediterranean to fully meet sustainability criteria. The proposed project will thus be able to estimate more systematically the damage potential of climate change on European cultural heritage. The team consists of 27 multidisciplinary partners from all over Europe and Egypt including the worlds leading institutes in climate modelling and whole building simulation. The final achievement of the project will be a macro-economic impact report on cultural heritage in the times of climate change akin to the STERN report which would be a truly European contribution to future IPCC Reports.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-2.6-2 | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2009

The proposed consortium focuses on a collaborative effort of developing novel techniques and paradigms concerning theoretical modelling of nano-scale advanced materials. The objectives are to identify novel methodologies and to identify appropriate approximations to successfully undertake simulations of the materials which are to be used in our future society. An important aspects here is to be able to carry out this development all the way from ide and concept to working computer soft-wares. In addition to this technical development we will focus on establishing knowledge concerning an emerging class of materials; nano-scaled materials with potential for tailored properties and potential for novel functionality. Training of younger scientists forms a natural aspect of this ambition, and is a strategically relevant outcome of our planned efforts. Finally, it is envisaged that the collaboration will enable an intensified collaboration between European and Indian research laboratories and universities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2013

The proposed BALTIC-FLOWS project concerns rainwater monitoring and management in Baltic Sea catchment areas. Rainwater forms streams and rivers, and in urban environments, heavy rainfall can amount to stormwater and floods. Over the years, much of this rainwater ends up in the sea. In Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea conceals a history of water quality from streams, rivers and urban runoff in catchment areas. Encircled by a mix of Nordic, Central and Eastern European countries, the Baltic Sea is at the mercy of a diversity of national practices and policies. The project shall lay the foundation for development of new capacities and policies for effectively monitoring and managing the quality and quantities of rainwater moving from one place to the next. The project focuses on streams, rivers and cities in Baltic Sea catchment areas, not on the sea itself. The strategies, knowledge and expertise created during the project can be exploited elsewhere in the Union and in other global regions. The project will support the development of research-driven clusters in each region; enhanced capacities in diffuse load monitoring and urban stormwater management will lead to new business opportunities in the global market for water monitoring and management know-how and solutions. A total of 47 organisations will be participating in the project: 16 project partners in five European regions - Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia and Sweden, one project partner from the UK specialised in the Chinese environmental sector, and 30 supporting partners, including entities in participating regions, entities in the international regions of Russia, China, Vietnam and Brazil, inter-regional financing entities operating in the Baltic Sea region, and a Russian-Belarus collaboration forum. The project primarily addresses domain b) of the REGIONS-2012-2013-1 topic, but is also strongly related to themes in domain a).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.4-2 | Award Amount: 15.57M | Year: 2010

The goal of VascuBone is to develop a tool box for bone regeneration, which on one hand fulfils basic requirements and on the other hand is freely combinable with what is needed in the respective patients situation. The tool box will include a variation of biocompatible biomaterials and cell types, FDA approved growth factors, material modification technologies, simulation and analytical tools like molecular imaging based in vivo diagnostics which can be combined for the specific medical need. This tool box will be used to develop translational approaches for regenerative therapies of three different types of bone defects. The chosen bone diseases differ in their requirements, to ensure a successful implementation and translation. Additionally this implementation strategy is characterized by high complexity to remove bottlenecks and limitations of bone regeneration identified in the clinical setting. Therefore definite quality criteria have to be evaluated concerning an optimal stem cell source/subpopulation as well as GF concentrations and their bioactivity in vivo. Furthermore quantitative evaluation will focus on the definition of differences between stem cell populations responsible for bone regeneration in young and old people, as a prerequisite for the development of regenerative therapies for the ageing European society. Considering a successful and prompt approval of the biomaterial, for each clinical application a minimum of modification steps in daily routine must be identified. The road map of the project and clinic trials contains pre-determined milestones, to ensure efficacy, safety, and immunological acceptance of the implant. The efficacy is quantified by high innovative MRI and PET/CT technology which is able to demonstrate the regenerative effect of biomaterials and cells in vivo. Based on the clinical data the proposal as Advanced Therapeutical Medicinal Product will be submitted to the European Medicines Agency at the end of the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.10.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2012

CyanoFactory brings together ten selected leading, highly complementary European partners with the aim to carry out integrated, fundamental research aiming at applying synthetic biology principles towards a cell factory notion in microbial biotechnology. The vision is to build on recent progress in synthetic biology and develop novel photosynthetic cyanobacteria as chassis to be used as self-sustained cell factories in generating a solar fuel. This will include the development of a toolbox with orthogonal parts and devices for cyanobacterial synthetic biology, improvement of the chassis enabling enhanced growth and robustness in challenging environmental conditions, establishment of a data warehouse facilitating the modelling and optimization of cyanobacterial metabolic pathways, and strong and novel bioinformatics for effective data mining. To reach the goal, a combination of basic and applied R&D is needed; basic research to design and construct the cyanobacterial cells efficiently evolving H2 from the endless resources solar energy and water, and applied research to design and construct the advanced photobioreactors that efficiently produce H2. Biosafety is of highest concern and dedicated efforts will be made to address and control cell survival and death. The aim, to develop a (photo)synthetic cell factory, will have an enormous impact on the future options and possibilities for renewable solar fuel production. The consortium includes academic, research institute and industry participants with the direct involvement of two SMEs in the advanced photobioreactor design, construction and use. Purpose-designed, specifically engineered self-sustained cells utilising solar energy and CO2 from the air, may be the mechanisms and processes by which we generate large scale renewable energy carriers in our future societies. CyanoFactory offers Europe the possibility to take a lead, and not only follow, in these very important future and emerging technologies!


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.80M | Year: 2013

Cardiogenic shock (CS) complicating acute myocardial infarction (AMI) represents a major European health care concern with mortality rates between 40-70%. Approximately 70-80% of these patients present with multivessel disease defined as coronary lesions in more than one vessel. The clinician is faced with the decision to either 1) intervene only on the culprit lesion acutely responsible for the initiation of cardiogenic shock, or 2) treat additional lesions considered hemodynamically significant but not acutely triggering the CS cascade as well. Current guidelines recommend percutaneous coronary intervention of all critical lesions. However, due to a lack of randomized trials, these recommendations are solely based on registry data and pathophysiological considerations. Aim of the randomized CULPRIT-SHOCK trial is therefore to compare a) immediate multivessel PCI versus b) culprit lesion only PCI in patients with AMI complicated by CS. A total of 706 CS patients will be randomized in several European countries. The primary endpoint will be 30-day all-cause mortality and/or severe renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy. CULPRIT-SHOCK will therefore determine the optimal percutaneous revascularization strategy in patients with AMI and multivessel disease complicated by CS. In addition, a comprehensive array of efficacy, safety and socio-economic parameters for the chosen population will be assessed. Multiple secondary endpoints and several substudies (microcirculation, biomarkers, angiography) will serve to further understand the presumed differential effects of the 2 treatment arms and to understand the underlying pathophysiology and prognostic markers. From these parameters a multivariable regression model and a risk score for the prediction of clinical prognosis and a cost-effectiveness model in AMI and CS will be developed. Furthermore, CULPRIT-SHOCK will obtain data on CS patients not meeting inclusion criteria by instituting a separate registry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-05 | Award Amount: 6.67M | Year: 2008

The challenges facing forest geneticists and tree breeders include recognition of changing demands on forests for a wider range of high value forest products and sustainability of forest ecosystems under climate change. NOVELTREE is designed to enable significant genetic improvement of tree characteristics and forest products properties to satisfy the needs (quality, quantity, sustainability, vulnerability) of the forest-based sector and consumers. NOVELTREE will: i) Provide a list of morphological and physiological traits relevant as selection criteria for pest tolerance, sustainable biomass production, wood properties for present and future use and plastic response to climate change ii) Identify functional allelic polymorphisms for a suite of traits of interest in a post-genomics approach to improve selection efficiency and monitor genetic variation along the selection process iii) Develop high throughput phenotyping and genotyping tools. These new tools will allow earlier genetic evaluation, higher selection intensity, increased accuracy in genetic prediction and better monitoring of genetic diversity along generations iv) Develop novel/improved breeding strategies and demonstrate their efficiency in case studies. Demonstration will focus on model tree species of high economic importance in different European regions: Maritime Pine, Scots Pine, Spruce, and Poplar v) Assess the financial and environmental impacts of genetically improved trees at stand and landscape levels thanks to a multidisciplinary approach and simulation tools vi) Provide tree breeders and forest owners with support decision tools for optimal deployment of improved genetic stocks in both prevailing and future climate, and under risk of pest and disease attacks vii) Provide training in emerging technologies in connection with on-going European projects, disseminate the results to different publics and transfer technology to the forest-based sector


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 8.50M | Year: 2013

Chronic kidney disease is world wide a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). 800.000 patients in Europe and in the US, respectively, require long-term treatment initially with peritoneal dialysis, followed by hemodialysis and kidney transplantation. Each ESRD patient on hemodialysis costs 40000 to 80000 per year, has extremely poor quality of life and an average life expectancy of only 4 years. Kidney transplantation totally changes life for an ESRD patient who can then return to normal life, but this treatment is hampered by the low number of available kidney grafts. All these treatments are, however, associated with severe adverse reactions that cause damaging thromboinflammation, triggered by the intravascular innate immune system, which lead to poor results and non-function. The overall aim of this project is to clarify the mechanisms and identify natures own specific control points of regulation in these adverse reactions in order to be able to significantly improve the quality of hemodialysis devices and kidney grafts by applying these concepts of regulation in hemodialysis and kidney transplantation. We envisage that conveying a novel soluble complement inhibitor to the clinical stage via phase 1/2a clinical studies, creation of nano-profiled surfaces with low activating properties and generation of easy-to-apply one step-coatings for treatment of biomaterials (hemodialysis) and endothelial cell surfaces (kidney grafts) will revolutionize the treatment modalities of ESRD. The feasible hemodialysis treatment periods are anticipated to be extended, combined with an improved quality of life and in kidney transplantation attenuation of innate immune reactions will prolong the life expectancy of the graft and make kidneys more accessible for transplantation. All the novel techniques can be applied to other types of implantations, extracorporeal treatments and transplantation and in the future be used in xenotransplantation and stem cell therapies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.1 | Award Amount: 5.94M | Year: 2010

EISCAT_3D is a next generation incoherent scatter radar system for high-latitude atmosphere and geospace studies that will be built in northern Fenno-Scandinavia. The facility will consist of multiple large phased-array antenna transmitters/receivers in three countries, comprising tens of thousands of individual antenna elements. The new radars will collect data from the upper stratosphere to the magnetosphere and beyond, contributing to the basic, environmental and applied science that underpins the use of space by contemporary society. EISCAT_3Ds capabilities go beyond anything currently available to the international research community and will constitute a valuable scientific resource for the European Research Area. Located in the auroral zone at the edge of the northern polar vortex, EISCAT_3D will provide long-term continuous data for scientists studying global change, measuring the effects of man-made and natural variability on the middle and upper atmosphere. Its observations will underpin space weather prediction and monitoring, essential for the operation and the improved service of European space assets. In addition EISCAT_3D will facilitate studies of solar system influences on the terrestrial environment, such as solar wind, meteors, dust, energetic particles and cosmic rays, in collaboration with other research infrastructures. The Preparatory Phase will resolve the remaining legal, financial and technical questions which must be addressed before the construction of EISCAT_3D.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2011

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an inflammatory process which damage insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas. It is one of the most common chronic diseases and its incidence is rapidly increasing. Due to its complications it causes a significant medical and economic burden to European society. A causal association between enterovirus and type 1 diabetes has become more and more likely. The aim of the present research programme is to create a new research strategy aligned to a concerted scientific research effort and creation of a network of unique resources which makes it possible to achieve a significant breakthrough in this field. The main focus is in the detection of persistent enterovirus infection leading to inflammation and tissue damage in the pancreas and its role in mediating the inflammatory response that causes type 1 diabetes. The goal is to take the critical steps towards therapeutic translation of research findings by employing a novel research design and synergistic networks of excellence based on the combination of a multidisciplinary research strategy and availability of unique biobanks existing in Europe. This research programme will also create a completely new type of biobank which facilitates a wide range of new analyses of fresh tissues. The programme includes a strong translational component which facilitates the ongoing efforts to develop vaccines against diabetogenic enteroviruses and other targeted therapies. The program also has a wider impact on the entire field of research on pathogen-disease associations, since the same innovative research strategy can be applied to other diseases as well. Altogether, this research program will take full advantage of the excellent biobank networks and a long tradition in biomedical and clinical research in Europe and creates an exceptional opportunity to take the final steps towards proving causality in the enterovirus-diabetes association.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2012

Chronic liver diseases (CLD) and their end-stages, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide with enormous socio-economic costs. Patients with liver cirrhosis are at high risk of deadly hepatic failure and over 80% of HCC develop on a cirrhotic background. HCC ranks as the 5th most common cancer and with >600,000 deaths per annum it constitutes a major global health problem. The main etiologies of CLD are chronic HCV and HBV infections, alcohol abuse and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) as a result of the metabolic syndrome taking epidemic proportions. Liver transplantation is currently the only available therapy for terminal liver failure. It is well recognized that the cytokine TGF-Beta plays a pivotal role in the sequence of events leading to end-stage CLD, but the complexity of the underlying aberrant responses in the cells and the organ that lead to the drastic changes seen in CLD and HCC is poorly understood. A broad spectrum of scientific and technological capacities is needed to accomplish the goal of discovering drugs and treatment modalities for CLD and HCC.As a result, there is a lack in academia and industry alike - of internationally oriented researchers and research leaders, capable of seamless and bi-directional transfer of goal-oriented scientific knowledge and technologies between the basic, translational and clinical research and industrial capacities; a conditio sine qua non for effectively and efficiently combating CLD and HCC and alleviate its medical and socio-economic burdens. Consequently, the ITN formulated the mission to provide a multidisciplinary and intersectorial Research Training Programme for talented young researchers, so as to prepare them for leading roles in CLD research and drug discovery in European industry and academia.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-1-C | Award Amount: 17.68M | Year: 2012

Despite examples of excellent practice, rare disease (RD) research is still mainly fragmented by data and disease types. Individual efforts have little interoperability and almost no systematic connection between detailed clinical and genetic information, biomaterial availability or research/trial datasets. By developing robust mechanisms and standards for linking and exploiting these data, RD-Connect will develop a critical mass for harmonisation and provide a strong impetus for a global trial-ready infrastructure ready to support the IRDiRC goals for diagnostics and therapies for RD in close collaboration with the successful A/B projects. It will build on and transform the current state-of-the-art across databases, registries, biobanks, bioinformatics, and ethical considerations to develop a quality-assured and comprehensive integrated hub/platform in which complete clinical profiles are combined with -omics data and sample availability for RD research. The integrated, user-friendly RD-Connect platform, built on efficient informatics concepts already implemented in international research infrastructures for large-scale data management, will provide access to federated databases/registries, biobank catalogues, harmonised -omics profiles, and cutting-edge bioinformatics tools for data analysis. All patient data types will be linked via the generation of a unique identifier (RD-ID) developed jointly with the US NIH. The RD-Connect platform will be one of the primary enablers of progress in IRDiRC-funded research and will facilitate gene discovery, diagnosis and therapy development. RD-Connect has the RD field at its heart and brings together partners with a strong track record in RD research (gene discovery and development of innovative treatments), as well as committed IRDiRC funding partners and representatives of all major international RD initiatives (EU/US/AU/JP) spanning patient organisations, research and public health, to maximise impact to RD patients


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.6.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.53M | Year: 2012

PACT (PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF SECURITY AND PRIVACY: ASSESSING KNOWLEDGE, COLLECTING EVIDENCE, TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO ACTION) is a 36 month collaborative project, which aims 1) to assess existing knowledge about public perception of the tension between security and privacy and the role played by social trust and concern; 2) to collect empirical evidence about the way in which European citizens perceive and assess in real life novel surveillance technologies; 3) to analyze the main factors that affect public assessment of the security and privacy implications of given security technology. On the basis of such an investigation, the project will develop and validate a prototype Decision Support System, which may help end users to evaluate pros and cons of specific security investments also on the basis of the societal perception of privacy and liberty.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.1.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.25M | Year: 2012

Various recent epidemiological studies have indicated that exposure to low doses of environmental biologically active contaminants during human development can alter gene expression and have deleterious effects on cognitive development in childhood. The DENAMIC project is ultimately focused on reducing such effects of environmental contamination on learning and developmental disorders in children. It aims to study and evaluate environment-health relationships in children. Key elements are: development of sophisticated tools and methods for early warning and screening of compounds for neurotoxicity, to study mechanisms of disease development and the role of individual susceptibility, to improve assessment of exposures and effects, focus on combined exposures to environmental agents that can interact to enhance adverse effects and reduction of health inequalities of children through Europe. One of the main aims of DENAMIC is to develop tools and methods for neurotoxic effects of mixtures of environmental pollutants at low levels, possibly resulting in (subclinical) effects on learning (cognitive skills) and developmental disorders in children (e.g ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and anxiety disorders). A broad suite of contaminants will be included in the studies, with options to bring in new chemicals in case evidence comes up during the project. With 14 partners from ten different countries DENAMIC has a true international character. It is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary project. Six SMEs will play a key role in the development of biotechnological screening tools. The most modern techniques in the fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics will be applied. Dissemination will ensure the project results to arrive at policymakers desks, and will also illustrate the subject for a scientific audience and the public. The very large network of the consortium ensures dissemination to European industries, and every other interested stakeholder.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 6.55M | Year: 2010

A new generation of molecular tools is becoming available that can digitally record numbers, identities and locations of a broad range of molecular markers for increased diagnostic accuracy. This project will for the first time combine synergistically several groundbreaking technological innovations by the partners, notably padlock and proximity probes with rolling circle amplification for single molecule detection and counting, directed self-assembly of solid phases, and advanced microfluidics and read-out techniques, bringing these from the research lab into integrated instruments useful in routine. This will enable minimally invasive diagnostics, prognostics, and follow-up of treatment of cancers. Blood samples and fine needle aspirates will be subjected to high content, multiplex and multimodal assays of nucleic acids, proteins and interacting complexes thereof in single cells as well as in cell-free bodily fluids. We will use flow cytometry to collect multi-parameter information for large populations of cells, and individual detected molecules will be recorded using a fluorescence activated molecule counter developed by one of the partners. Also, very rare cells and molecules will be targeted through enrichment techniques using novel capturing approaches of unprecedented efficiency. We will apply these diagnostic approaches to characterize biomarkers in solid tumors and in leukemia and lymphoma for minimally invasive diagnostics, monitoring disease progress and selecting optimal therapy, and the assays will be clinically validated in small-scale studies of well-characterized patient samples. This project directly addresses four of the five topics in this call.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-3.5-01 | Award Amount: 5.53M | Year: 2008

SOLAR-H2 brings together 12 world-leading European laboratories to carry out integrated, basic research aimed at achieving renewable hydrogen (H2) production from environmentally safe resources. The vision is to develop novel routes for the production of a Solar-fuel, in our case H2, from the very abundant, effectively inexhaustible resources, solar energy and water. Our multidisciplinary expertise spans from molecular biology, biotechnology, via biochemistry and biophysics to organo-metallic and physical chemistry. The project integrates two frontline research topics: artificial photosynthesis in man-made biomimetic systems, and photobiological H2 production in living organisms. H2 production by these methods on a relevant scale is still distant but has a vast potential and is of utmost importance for the future European economy. The scientific risk is high - the research is very demanding. Thus, our overall objective now, is to explore, integrate and provide the basic science necessary to develop these novel routes and advance them toward new horizons. Along the first track, the knowledge gained from biochemical/biophysical studies of efficient enzymes will be exploited by organometallic chemists to design and synthesize bio-mimetic compounds for artificial photosynthesis. The design of these molecules is based on molecular knowledge about how natural photosynthesis works and how hydrogenase enzymes form H2. Along the second track, we perform research and development on the genetic level to increase our understanding of critical H2 forming reactions in photosynthetic alga and cyanobacteria. These studies are directly aimed at the improvement of the H2 producing capability of the organisms using novel genetic and metabolic engineering. The project also involves research aimed at demonstrating the concept of photobiological H2 production in photobioreactors.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.3.1-2 | Award Amount: 16.04M | Year: 2011

Antibiotics are essential therapeutics in the treatment of bacterial infections. However, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria that pose a major threat to human health as options for treating infections by these bacteria have become limited. The evolution, emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance genes are still only poorly understood and expanding our knowledge on these aspects will provide novel leads to combat the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The EvoTAR consortium gathers a multi-disciplinary group of leading European researchers in the fields of antibiotic resistance, microbial genomics and mathematical modelling. In addition, three research-intensive SMEs participate in EvoTAR, two of which are involved in the development of novel approaches to minimize the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. The purpose of EvoTAR is to increase the understanding of the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens. EvoTAR will characterise the human reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (the resistome) by investigating the dynamics and evolution of the interaction between resistant and non-resistant bacteria from the human microbiome and the interrelations of the human resistome with non-human reservoirs of resistance genes. Novel methods will be used to quantify resistance transfer under controlled conditions in gene exchange communities. Mathematical modelling will be applied to predict gene flow between different reservoirs and to predict future resistance trends. Novel in vitro and in vivo models will allow the study of the efficacy of novel therapeutics aimed at reducing selection and spread of antibiotic resistance. The EvoTAR project will generate novel insights into the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance genes and thereby create opportunities for the development of novel interventions to curb the rising tide of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-04;SPA.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.41M | Year: 2010

The Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail) is a recent invention of ultra-efficient propellantless in-space propulsion technology. It uses the solar wind charged ions as natural source for producing spacecraft thrust. The E-sail is composed of a set of long, thin, conducting and positively charged tethers which are centrifugally stretched from the main spacecraft and kept electrically charged by an onboard electron gun powered by solar panels. The E-sail concept is an enabling technology for reducing significantly the time, cost and mass required for spacecraft to reach their destinations. It has been estimated that it has the potential to improve the state of the art of propulsion systems by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude if using the lifetime integrated total impulse versus propulsion system mass as the figure of merit. Furthermore, the E-sail propulsion technology is truly a green propellantless method reducing significantly the mission launch masses and the amount of chemical propellant burnt in the atmosphere. As an electromechanical device it does not need any poisonous, explosive or radioactive substances or dangerous construction procedures. In the proposed project, we develop the key E-sail technologies (tethers, tether reels, spinup and guidance/control method based on gas and FEEP thrusters) to prototype level. The goal is that after the project, the decision to build and fly the first E-sail demonstration mission in the solar wind can be made. As a secondary technological goal, the project will raise the FEEP and gas thruster readiness level for general-purpose satellite attitude control purposes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2010

Renewable energy production is a key driver for innovation in the material domain. Researchers and industries look to reduce the energy cost and to increase the efficiency of PV solar cells. Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials show broad opportunities. Indeed, at the nanoscale level, energy band gaps depend on nanomaterial architectures (nanoparticles size, bulk dispersion, interfaces with embedding matrix). Silicon nanocrystals allow the design of highly efficiency architectures, like multijunction solar cells or low-cost, optimised, thin film solar cells. The usual elaboration technique is based on the deposition of either multilayer or nanocomposite material in which excess silicon is aggregated into nanoparticles through high temperature annealing. No control of nanoparticle size and bulk dispersion is possible. Moreover, only limited surrounding materials could be considered (silicon containing). This prevents any knowledge-based tuning of the material properties. The main objective of SNAPSUN project is to develop a nanomaterial with reliable and tailored characteristics. To overcome limitations described above, fully tailored silicon nanoparticles will be optimised, in terms of size (3nm) and size dispersion (>10%;0.3nm). The SNAPSUN innovation is the incorporation of these silicon nanoparticles in a wide band gap material, such as silicon carbide or Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO). This architecture will allow band gap engineering through accurate structure control, together with exceptional electrical characteristics (resistivity, carrier lifetime, etc.) in order to produce high conversion efficiencies above 25 %. Control of material structure will arise from the development of very promising processes allowing the separation of nanoparticle generation and embedding matrix codeposition. Vacuum and wet technologies will be used to target low-cost solar cells with a target production cost below 0.5 /Wpeak.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.19 | Award Amount: 9.36M | Year: 2011

Environmental change and particularly amplified global climate change are accelerating in the Arctic. These changes already affect local residents and feedback from the Arctics land surface to the climate system, will have global implications. However, climate change and its impacts are variable throughout the wide environmental and land use envelopes of the Arctic. Unfortunately, the Arctic is generally remote, sparsely populated and research and monitoring activities are more restricted in time and space than elsewhere. This limitation comes when there is a rapidly expanding need for knowledge as well as increasing technological opportunities to make data collection in the field and accessibility more efficient. INTERACT is a network under the auspices of SCANNET, a circumarctic network of terrestrial field bases. INTERACT specifically seeks to build capacity for research and monitoring in the European Arctic and beyond. Partnerships will be established between Station Managers and researchers within Joint Research Activities that will develop more efficient networks of sensors to measure changing environmental conditions and make data storage and accessibility more efficient through a single portal. New communities of researchers will be offered access to Arctic terrestrial infrastructures while local stakeholders as well as major international organisations will be involved in interactions with the infrastructures. This will lead to increased public awareness of environmental change and methods to adapt to them, increased access to information for education at all levels, and input to major international research and assessment programmes.The whole consortium will form a coherent and integrated unit working within a concept of a wide environmental and land use envelopes in which local conditions determine the directions and magnitudes of environmental change whereas the balance and synergies of processes integrated across the whole region have global impacts.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-07 | Award Amount: 6.06M | Year: 2011

COPEWELL aims to provide a better understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and basic knowledge about the physiology, biology, and behaviour of fishes and to give a deeper understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in coping styles. We will use an innovative hypothesis-driven multidisciplinary approach that aims to explore the links between brain function, behaviour and adaptive plasticity (WPs 1 and 2). Underlying mechanisms will be addressed by localising key elements of the stress-responsive serotonergic and learning and memory systems in the telencephalon, and for the first time also analyse rates of brain cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and expression of genes controlling other aspects of brain function, as learning and memory, in fish expressing different coping styles. The project will also focus on the understanding of how animals experience their world, based on appraisal theory and experimental studies of appraisal mechanisms in farmed fish, and not simply on the description of animal behaviour or stress responses (WP2 Appraisal). COPEWELL will further study the ontogeny of brain function and neuroendocrine stress responses in the call species Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and sea bream (Sparus aurata), and will provide new insights on the interrelations between different relevant husbandry practices, plasticity of brain function and stress response during early ontogeny. COPEWELL will explore potential consequences of early life stress experiences on the welfare and quality of juvenile fish, substantiate the concept of allostatic stress regulation in fish and determine thresholds between eustress that are considered positive for welfare and distress that can have severe negative consequences for fish welfare as: it will attempt to discriminate between normal adaptive stress responses and situations of potential consequence to animal welfare, in relation to different relevant husbandry practices and rearing methods (WP3Allostasis and WP4 Ontogeny). The expected impact the COPEWELL project is to deepen our knowledge on the development of the brain function, behaviour and stress response in relation to the different husbandry practises and rearing methods. It will also serve to define how short or long episodes of stress during the early life affect the welfare and quality of juveniles and adult fish (WPs 3 & 4). It will significantly contribute in providing and extending the knowledge basis for the development of tools such as new individual-based indicators for a better assessment of fish welfare, e.g. by identifying and verifying non-invasive indicators of coping styles. Perhaps most important, COPEWELL will provide a new framework, based on evolutionary principles and an understanding of subjective experience of welfare as an evolved survival mechanism, making welfare available for scientific inquiry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.7 | Award Amount: 6.99M | Year: 2010

Euro-BioImaging brings together imaging technologies stretching from basic biological imaging with advanced light microscopy, in vivo molecular imaging of single cells to animal models up to the clinical and epidemiological level of medical imaging of humans and populations. Euro-BioImaging, in close consultation with its stakeholders, will address the imaging requirements of both biological and medical imaging research communities by creating a coordinated and harmonized plan for infrastructure deployment in Europe. Euro-BioImaging infrastructures will be planned to provide access to state-of-the-art equipment as well as to provide training and continue the development of imaging technologies to be able to offer them as new services. The vision of Euro-BioImaging is to provide a clear path of access to imaging technologies for every biomedical scientist in Europe. The Euro-BioImaging infrastructure will be focused on imaging technologies grouped around different scales of biological organization, from the single molecule to the whole human organism. Euro-BioImaging will therefore develop a plan to construct and operate a set of complementary and strongly interlinked infrastructure facilities appropriately distributed across the European member states. To achieve this, Euro-BioImaging will define the legal and governance framework with its currently 22 member states and develop a finance plan in close cooperation with national funding bodies as well as with the European Commission. The key objective of the Euro-BioImaging preparatory phase project is to integrate these plans into an overarching business plan that provides a realistic basis for construction and operation of the Euro-BioImaging infrastructure. Through the combination of these technological and strategic objectives, Euro-BioImaging will be able to address the key elements of successful infrastructures: supporting research, training and innovation in biomedical imaging across Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2008

The aim of this proposal is to create a training network in the newly-emerging multidisciplinary field of nano-opto-magnetism, a new scientific area with novel technological opportunities at the junction of coherent nonlinear optics, nanoscience and magnetism. The impact on society of this newly emerging field is potentially very high, therefore it is decisive that now young researchers are trained and equipped, so that they can become future leaders. We aim at achieving this by an integrated combination of a high-quality training program and their direct involvement in front-line research. In the research program we want to investigate nonthermal effects of light on nanomagnets in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of physical mechanisms leading to a highly efficient ultrafast (10-12 seconds and faster) optical control of magnetism at the nanoscale. Such scientific breakthroughs are expected to develop novel technology for unprecedented fast (THz) opto-magnetic recording. A high-level training program firmly embedded in a consortium of both academic and industrial partners is designed to create a unique training environment to educate a new generation of young researchers in this interdisciplinary, recently emerging area of nano-opto-magnetism. In order to advance the young researchers career development, the industrial relevance of this research as well as the involvement of industrial partners is fully exploited. In addition to the scientific and networking training, this offers unique opportunities for training of complementary skills of the fellows such as training in intellectual property rights, patent writing, commercial exploitation of the results and research-and-development policy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.8.6 | Award Amount: 6.49M | Year: 2009

The CONNECT Integrated Project aims at enabling continuous composition of networked systems to respond to the evolution of functionalities provided to and required from the networked environment. At present the efficacy of integrating and composing networked systems depends on the level of interoperability of the systems underlying technologies. However, interoperable middleware cannot cover the ever growing heterogeneity dimensions of the networked environment. CONNECT aims at dropping the interoperability barrier by adopting a revolutionary approach to the seamless networking of digital systems that is, synthesizing on the fly the connectors via which networked systems communicate. The resulting emergent connectors are effectively synthesized according to the behavioural semantics of application- down to middleware-layer protocols run by the interacting parties. The synthesis process is based on a formal foundation for connectors, which allows learning, reasoning about and adapting the interaction behaviour of networked systems at run-time. Synthesized connectors are concrete emergent system entities that are dependable, unobtrusive, and evolvable, while not compromising the quality of software applications. To reach these objectives the CONNECT project undertakes interdisciplinary research in the areas of behaviour learning, formal methods, semantic services, software engineering, dependability, and middleware. Specifically, CONNECT will investigate the following issues and related challenges: (i) Modelling and reasoning about peer system functionalities, (ii) Modelling and reasoning about connector behaviours, (iii) Runtime synthesis of connectors, (iv) Learning connector behaviours, (v) Dependability assurance, and (vi) System architecture. The effectiveness of CONNECT research will be assessed by experimenting in the field of wide area, highly heterogeneous systems where todays solutions to interoperability already fall short (e.g., systems of systems of systems).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 10.45M | Year: 2013

Resistance to traditional antibiotics is a rapidly increasing problem that in a few years could make infections impossible to treat and bring the state of medical care back to the pre-antibiotic era from the beginning of the last century. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have a huge potential as new therapeutics against infectious diseases as they are less prone to induce resistance due to their fast and non-specific mechanism of action. The aim of FORMAMP is to explore a number of innovative formulation and delivery strategies based on nanotechnology in order to improve the efficiency and stability of AMPs in clinical development. Functional delivery systems that can be applied directly on the infected site will be developed for treatment of infections in skin and burn wounds, as well as lung infections caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Formulation and delivery strategies to prevent and treat biofilm formation related to these conditions will be developed. Different nanoformulation platforms, particularly promising for peptide delivery, controlled release strategies and technologies against proteolytic degradation of peptides will be evaluated in the project. These include lipid-based systems such as lipidic nanocapsules, polymer-based structures such as dendrimers and microgels as well as nanostructured mesoporous silica. The possibility to formulate the nanostructured materials into efficient drug delivery systems such as a topical spray or gel and pulmonary aerosol will be evaluated. The effect of nanoformulated AMPs will be evaluated with state-of-the art in vitro models and in vivo models. The results of this interdisciplinary project will generate efficient treatment strategies combatting one of the largest threats to our health care system today, reducing healthcare costs and expand the growth of European enterprises within the field of pharmaceutics and nanomaterials.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: GC-SST.2010.7-9.;GC.NMP.2010-1 | Award Amount: 5.52M | Year: 2011

The research described in this proposal aims to develop a new Li-ion cell for traction purposes with the following characteristics: High energy density of at least 200 Wh/kg Low costs i.e., a maximum of 150 Euro/kWh Improved safety Although the Li-ion cell appears to be the most appropriate technology to meet these goals, considerable research and development is required. For example, the much-used LiFePO4 cells cannot reach the energy density criterion, and in addition, LiFePO4 is patented, which hampers worldwide commercialisation. Many other materials are either too expensive or do not meet current safety, environmental standards (e.g., cobalt in LiCoO2). Thus, we propose a shift from carbon to the much higher capacity silicon-based anodes, and from cobalt-based to iron and/or manganese/nickel-based cathodes, and to use novel electrolyte salts. To successfully develop a European Li-ion technology, the R&D will start at the anode side, i.e. Si, with a LiFePO4-C material at the cathode side. This requires a new electrode formulation with respect to binder, electrolyte salt, solvent, and composition. The change in formulation at the anode and electrolyte allows for a change in the cathode materials and a series of both novel (e.g., fluorosulfates, LiFeSO4F) and more established systems, will be investigated. New synthetic routes are proposed, along with an extensive characterization program. Scale-up, testing and benchmarking of optimum formulations will be performed. The outcome will be a newly developed cell, manufactured and tested by end-users. The new cell consists of i) a newly formulated Si-negative electrode, ii) newly designed low cost salts, and iii) modified positive electrodes. To achieve these goals, the consortium includes renowned universities and knowledge institutes; a SME battery producer and the car industry as end-users. Thus, the composition of the consortium covers the whole spectrum of R&D, manufacturing and testing.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 6.39M | Year: 2014

Using an innovative interdisciplinary approach, MIME will generate an organised body of policy-relevant propositions addressing the full range of questions raised in the call. Our aim is to identify the language policies and strategies that best combine mobility and inclusion. MIME emphasises complementarity between disciplines, and brings together researchers from sociolinguistics, political science, sociology, history, geography, economics, education, translation studies, psychology, and law, who all have longstanding experience in the application of their discipline to language issues. The diverse concepts and methods are combined in an analytical framework designed to ensure their practice-oriented integration. MIME identifies, assesses and recommends measures for the management of trade-offs between the potentially conflicting goals of mobility and inclusion in a multilingual Europe. Rather than taking existing trade-offs as a given, we think that they can be modified, both in symbolic and in material/financial terms, and we argue that this objective can best be achieved through carefully designed public policies and the intelligent use of dynamics in civil society. Several partners have been involved in successful FP6 research, and key advances achieved there will guide the MIME project: languages are viewed as fluid realities in a context of high mobility of people, goods, services, and knowledge, influencing the way in which skills and identities are used and constantly re-shaped. The project integrates these micro-level insights into a macro-level approach to multilingual Europe. MIME results will be made widely available through a creative approach to dissemination, including training modules and the MIME Stakeholder Forum, allowing for sustained dialogue between academics, professional associations and local/regional authorities. The project culminates in a consensus conference where recommendations based on the project findings are adopted.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.11 | Award Amount: 9.59M | Year: 2011

The main objective of TIARA (Test Infrastructure and Accelerator Research Area) is the integration of national and international accelerator R&D infrastructures into a single distributed European accelerator R&D facility. This will include the implementation of organisational structures to enable the integration of existing individual infrastructures, their efficient operation and upgrades, and the construction of new infrastructures as part of TIARA. TIARA will enable full exploitation of the complementary features and expertise of the individual member infrastructures, maximizing the benefits for both the owners of these infrastructures and their users. This unique distributed facility will also support the development of an integrated R&D programme embracing the needs of many different fields, as well as medical and industrial sectors, both on technical and human resource aspects. Besides a world-level state-of-the-art distributed R&D facility, TIARA will develop means for establishing and supporting joint accelerator R&D programming, joint education and training programmes and strengthened collaboration with industry. TIARA-PP will deliver a sustainable coordinated European framework for the benefit of - the different fields of science, which need state-of-the-art and/or cost effective accelerators to carry out their research programme - the implementation of the accelerator-based infrastructures identified in the ESFRI roadmap - the different partners (national laboratories, universities, industry) to develop joint projects and exchange expertise on state-of-the-art technologies - European countries to invest and develop their own infrastructures and research centres as parts of TIARA, within an established Europe-wide coordination framework. - Europe as a whole to ensure world-level leadership in the field of accelerator science and to enable coordinated and efficient means for its regionally balanced scientific and technological development.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.31 | Award Amount: 8.95M | Year: 2011

Nanoscale objects interact with living organisms in a fundamentally new manner, ensuring that a fruitful marriage of nanotechnology and biology will long outlast short term imperatives. Therefore, investment in an infrastructure to drive scientific knowledge of the highest quality will have both immediate benefits of supporting the safety assessment of legacy nanomaterials, as well as pointing towards future (safe) applications with the lasting benefits to society. There are immediate priorities, for few doubt that serious damage to confidence in nanotechnology, unless averted, could result in missed opportunities to benefit society for a generation, or more. QNano will materially affect the outcome, at this pivotal moment of nanotechnology implementation. The overall vision of QNano is the creation of a neutral scientific & technical space in which all stakeholder groups can engage, develop, and share scientific best practice in the field. Initially it will harness resources from across Europe and develop efficient, transparent and effective processes. Thereby it will enable provision of services to its Users, and the broader community, all in the context of a best-practice ethos. This will encourage evidence-based dialogue to prosper between all stakeholders. However, QNano will also pro-actively seek to drive, develop and promote the highest quality research and practices via its JRA, NA and TA functions, with a global perspective and mode of implementation. QNano will also look to the future, beyond the current issues, and promote the growth and development of the science of nanoscale interactions with living organisms. By working with new and emerging scientific research communities from medicine, biology, energy, materials and others, it will seek to forge new directions leading to new (safe, responsible, economically viable) technologies for the benefit of European society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.13 | Award Amount: 13.42M | Year: 2011

The objective of this project is the integration of world class high-throughput sequencing and genotyping facilities that will provide sequencing and genotyping technologies and data analysis methodologies to the scientific community. The European Sequencing and Genotyping Infrastructure (ESGI) will enable external users to generate data rapidly and to acquire knowledge efficiently. By providing access to the ESGI facilities in order to benefit from the sequencing and genotyping technologies, there will be an outreach and sustainable impact for the scientific community in the area of biological and medical research to generate new knowledge. The ESGI will optimise European research programs and foster transnational collaborations. In general, the ESGI will defragment and thereby strengthen the European research capacities in genetics and genomics and improve the knowledge transfer from large genomics centers among themselves and to external expert groups or scientists who are focusing on specific research questions. Our aim is to apply and improve new high-throughput nucleic acids analysis technologies for a broad range of genetic and systems biology studies using well-phenotyped samples, for example those derived from standardised European biobanks and animal facilities. In particular, massively-parallel sequencing technologies are essential components of modern biomedical research and are ready to reveal molecular and cellular pathways underlying complex traits and common diseases. As the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) pointed out in the past, the development of an efficient infrastructure for sequencing and genotyping is of crucial importance to position Europe as one of the world-leading regions for genetics, genomics and systems biology research and thus a contribution to the European Research Area.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.24. | Award Amount: 23.40M | Year: 2013

Research accelerators are facing important challenges that must be addressed in the years to come: existing infrastructures are stretched to all performance frontiers, new world-class facilities on the ESFRI roadmap are starting or nearing completion, and strategic decisions are needed for future accelerators and major upgrades in Europe. While current projects concentrate on their specific objectives, EuCARD-2 brings a global view to accelerator research, coordinating a consortium of 40 accelerator laboratories, technology institutes, universities and industry to jointly address common challenges. By promoting complementary expertise, cross-disciplinary fertilisation and a wider sharing of knowledge and technologies throughout academia and with industry, EuCARD-2 significantly enhances multidisciplinary R&D for European accelerators. This new project will actively contribute to the development of a European Research Area in accelerator science by effectively implementing a distributed accelerator laboratory in Europe. Transnational access will be granted to state-of-the-art test facilities, and joint R&D effort will build upon and exceed that of the ongoing EuCARD project. Researchers will concentrate on a few well-focused themes with very ambitious deliverables: 20 T accelerator magnets, innovative materials for collimation of extreme beams, new high-gradient high-efficiency accelerating systems, and emerging acceleration technologies based on lasers and plasmas. EuCARD-2 will include six networks on strategic topics to reinforce synergies between communities active at all frontiers, extending the scope towards innovation and societal applications. The networks concentrate on extreme beam performance, novel accelerator concepts with outstanding potential, energy efficiency and accelerator applications in the fields of medicine, industry, environment and energy. One network will oversee the whole project to proactively catalyze links to industry and the innovation potential.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2012.1.4-2. | Award Amount: 30.14M | Year: 2012

Future aero engines will need to be more efficient and contribute to the reduction on environmental impact of air transportation. They must reach some standards of performance by reducing emissions and creating some savings on operation costs. EIMG consortium has launched since several years some initiatives to develop future engines in the frame of the European Committee research programmes. Within different project such as DREAM, VITAL, NEWAC or LEMCOTEC, EIMG is ensuring the development of innovative technologies in order to further reduce the fuel burn, emissions and noise. In order to ensure the technological breakthrough, future aero-engines will have higher overall pressure ratios (OPR) to increase thermal efficiency and will have higher bypass ratios (BPR) to increase propulsive efficiency. These lead to smaller and hotter high pressure cores. As core engine technologies have been addressed in the previous project, E-BREAK project will ensure the mandatory evolution of sub-systems. It is indeed required for enabling integration of engine with new core technologies to develop adequate technologies for sub-systems. E-BREAK will aim to adapt sub-systems to new constraints of temperature and pressure. The overall picture of these initiatives bring all technology bricks to a TRL level ensuring the possibility to integrate them in a new aero engines generation before 2020. In its 2020 vision, ACARE aims to reduce by 50% per passenger kilometer CO2 emissions with an engine contribution targeting a decrease by 15 to 20% of the SFC. NOX emissions would have to be reduced by 80 % and efforts need to be made on other emissions. E-BREAK will be an enabler of the future UHOPR integrated engine development, completing efforts done in previous or in on-going Level 2 programs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.1 | Award Amount: 14.40M | Year: 2010

The first 3GPP Long Term Evolution standard version is complete and ready to be deployed. Although it increases peak data rate and spectral efficiency compared to legacy techniques, cell-edge and average user throughputs are still significantly lower than the peak rates. In the LTE-Advanced Study Item, ways to extend LTE are being explored. However, some of the considered techniques are complex and significant research efforts are needed to bring these techniques to reality.\n\nThe main ARTIST4G project objective is to improve the ubiquitous user experience of cellular mobile radio communications systems by satisfying the following requirements:\n\tHigh spectral efficiency and user data rate across the whole coverage area\n\tFairness between users\n\tLow cost per information bit\n\tLow latency\n\nThis objective will be achieved by developing innovative concepts out of promising ideas from the research ecosystem, and benchmarking them with the state-of-the-art. The technologies identified to fulfil the above requirements are:\n\tInterference avoidance\n\tInterference exploitation\n\tAdvanced relay techniques\n\nARTIST4G will build upon projects such as EASY-C, where first steps towards integration of these technologies in cellular systems have been made, but also address new aspects like:\n\tAdvanced multi-cell scheduling for adaptive and efficient usage of interference management and relaying techniques in appropriate scenarios\n\tImpact of the innovative concepts on the network architecture\n\nARTIST4G will not only use theoretical analysis and simulations to develop and validate innovative concepts based on these technologies, but also enable proof-of-concept via hardware prototypes and field trials in a representative testbed.\n\nIt is expected that ARTIST4G will create a major impact on standardization and provide the partners with a technological head-start that will strengthen the European position in cellular communications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2013

As SMEs in the supply chain of small Wind Turbines (WTs), we have identified an excellent opportunity in the urban submarket. The Small Wind market mainly corresponds to turbines installed in rural and isolated areas. Nevertheless, Urban is by far the largest potential market, as 80% of European population lives in cities and the EU Directive 2010/31/EU on Energy Performance of Buildings requires that Member States shall ensure that by 31 December 2020 all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings. This is an exciting commercial opportunity, which yet needs to cope with technical challenges related to the peculiarities of Urban Wind regime. The low wind speed and turbulent flows makes the achievement of Wind energy cost effectiveness more difficult in urban areas. The Proposed Technological Solution WINDUR proposes a small vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) optimised for use in urban environments as a roof-top mounted system. Proposed novel developments include (1) a variable speed control system developed to maximise VAWTs energy yield under rapidly changing wind speeds, (2) an aerodynamic design based on a helical rotor, refined for reducing rotor weight and loads on the roof, to lower WINDUR installation complexity and cost and (3) an assessment of wind resource in urban areas, for characterising those locations with better wind resources. WINDUR has a targeted performance of 0,35kWh/ at an annual average wind speed of 6,5 m/s for guaranteeing a Return on Investment (ROI) period shorter than 15 years. Potential Impact for the Consortium members WINDUR aims to develop solutions that contribute to give a competitive advantage to European SMEs in the supply chain of small wind turbines. WINDURs consortium of SMEs include suppliers of WT components, a WT manufacturer, a WT installer and a wind resource consultancy. We intend to use extensive knowledge and technical capabilities in European RTDs to enforce the development of Small Wind.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA | Phase: Fission-2013-4.1.2 | Award Amount: 9.33M | Year: 2013

The CHANDA project main objective is to address the challenges in the field of nuclear data for nuclear applications and its acronym stands for solving CHAllenges in Nuclear DAta The project will prepare a proposal for an organization that will coordinate the nuclear data research program, and the infrastructures and capabilities of the EU Member States in a stable structure, well integrated with R&D coordination tools (EERA, HORIZON 2020) , and with priorities aligned with the SET Plan and the SRAs of the EURATOM Technological Platforms, including the following general objectives: - to provide the nuclear data required for the safe and sustainable operation, and development, of existing and new reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities, - to prepare solutions for the challenges risen by the nuclear data measurements needed by nuclear systems, like the data for highly radioactive, short lived or rare materials, - to prepare tools that solve the challenges of quantifying and certifying the accuracy of the results of simulations based on available nuclear data and models (uncertainties), - to identify and promote synergies with other nuclear data applications. Using these tools will allow EU to upgrade the nuclear data up to the level needed by simulation codes to fulfill present requirements. In particular, the simulations should be able to: reduce the number of expensive experimental validations, to support the new tendencies in safety assessments to use best estimate codes to understand the limits of the plat safety towards extreme operational conditions, to optimize safety and performance of present and future reactors and other radioactive facilities. Other applications will benefit from this accuracy in nuclear data, notably in medical applications to optimize performance and minimize dose of radiation for diagnose and treatment.


The AIDA project aims to answer the question of clinical effectiveness and optimal dosing of 5 off-patent antibiotics for infections caused by multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacteria in three randomized controlled clinical trials. In an era of increasing emergence of drug resistance (EDR) and lack of new antibiotics, old off- patent antibiotics are increasingly being prescribed to patients. However, many of these were developed in an age before the advent of a structured process for drug assessment and approval, and the establishment of clinical efficacy and effectiveness in randomized controlled trials in particular. In a multidisciplinary approach the exposure response relationships for each antibiotic will be elucidated by including pharmacokinetic (PK), pharmacodynamic (PD) and microbiological studies, including emergence of drug resistance (EDR). The project addresses the optimization of treatment of infections caused by MDR pathogens that impose a major burden of disease in Europe and the rest of the world by selecting 5 off-patent-antibiotics that are increasingly being used without clear evidence with respect to their effectiveness, duration of therapy and issues of EDR. In the first trial the efficacy of colistin alone is compared to colistin plus imipenem for severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant bacteria. The second trial compares fosfomycin vs. nitrofurantoin for the treatment of lower urinary tract infection in women at high risk of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In the third trial antimicrobial oral treatment with minocycline plus rifampicin is compared with oral treatment with linezolid for complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) due to MRSA. Exposure response relationships, PK/PD and EDR issues will be addressed in a separate project component and is an essential element of the research project that will interrelate synergistically with the clinical studies. The results thereof will be used to refine exposure response relationships but also to study effects of exposure that are not readily observed in the trials. This will aid to delineate optimal exposures and drug dosing. This project addresses an urgent medical need that is critical both for individual patients and for society. An effective dissemination strategy is essential to effectively communicate project results to the target groups therefore supporting the project goal of preserving and strengthening the public health benefits of the studied off-patent antibiotics. The dissemination of project results to professional groups and the public in general, communication to policymakers, and implementation of results in national formularies is an important aspect.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 18.74M | Year: 2009

The Project promotes the access to five European Research Infrastructures, and it is structured intop eight Networking Activities, plus the Management of the Consortium, and fourteen Joint Research Activities. The Project represents the continuation of the successful HadronPhysics project in FP6 and originates from the initiative of more than 2.500 European scientists working in the field of hadron physics. Hadron physics deals with the study of strongly interacting particles, the hadrons. Hadrons are composed of quarks and gluons. Their interaction is described by Quantum Chromo Dynamics, the theory of the strong force. Hadrons form more complex systems, in particular atomic. Under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, hadrons may loose their identity and dissolve into a new state of matter similar to the primordial matter of the early Universe. The Networking Activities are related to the organization of experimental and theoretical collaborative work concerning both ongoing activities at present Research Infrastructures and planned experiments at future facilities. In hadron physics the close interaction between experimentalists and theoreticians is of paramount importance. The Joint Research Activities concentrate on technological innovations for present and future experiments. Applications in material science, medicine, information, technology, etc., represent natural fall-outs. The main objective of this Integrating Activity is to optimize the use and development of the Research Infrastructures existing in Europe working in the field of hadron physics. The Project aims as well at structuring, on European scale, the way Research Infrastructures operate, and at fostering their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. The approach used is the bottom up approach, to respond to the needs of the scientific community in all fields of science and technology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-16-2014 | Award Amount: 2.94M | Year: 2015

FrakRisk further develops the knowledge base for understanding, preventing and mitigating the potential impact of the exploration and exploitation of shale gas reserves found throughout Europe. This will include international experience, state of the art process understanding, state of the art modelling techniques and the further development of fully accepted risk assessment tools for site screening, selection and management specifically for shale gas exploitation. FracRisk focuses on key knowledge gaps identified from the literature, research and industrial experience. Central to the project is the modelling of six exemplary scenarios selected to represent the highest risk environmental impact scenarios identified as generally of most concern. The modelling of the scenarios is directed by the aim to reduce the uncertainty and assess the risk of different events during shale gas exploration and exploitation. Using an iterative modelling and risk reduction approach, cost effective data density requirements to limit uncertainty will be evaluated. The modelled scenarios will be validated against existing data from several sites within the EU and in the USA. Effective monitoring procedures and applicable mitigation techniques will be determined and evaluated. Scientific recommendations will be formulated and legislative refinement suggested. Public concerns about the management of risk related to fracking operations will be addressed. A firm scientific basis and demonstrable data to validate recommendations will be provided. The technological readiness level from a number of multidisciplinary approaches and applications will be noticeably improved. FrakRisk will lead to a more focused, coherent and scientifically founded approach that can be useful to member states willing to enable and regulate the shale gas industry.


The main objective of GUIDEnano is to develop innovative methodologies to evaluate and manage human and environmental health risks of nano-enabled products, considering the whole product life cycle. A strategy to identify hot spots for release of nanomaterials (NMs) will be followed by decision trees to guide on the use of (computational) exposure models and, when necessary, design of cost-effective strategies for experimental exposure assessment. These will include on-site and off-site monitoring of industrial processes, use, accelerated aging, recycling and disposal set-ups. In all cases, there will be a strong emphasis on the transformation of NMs. Similarly, a tiered strategy to evaluate the environmental fate and the hazards for ecosystem and human health of NMs will be developed. The project will consider pristine synthesized NMs, transformed NMs released during the life cycle of the product, and interactions of the NMs with other substances in their host matrices and ubiquitous pollutants. The project will also develop innovative solutions to reduce identified risks. These will include safer-by-design approaches (to reduce NM hazard, reduce migration and release, or accelerate degradation when released), new technological solutions for exposure control measures, and solutions for waste minimization and treatment. These developments will be incorporated into an web-based Guidance Tool, which will guide the nano-enabled product developers (industry) into the design and application of the most appropriate risk assessment & mitigation strategy for a specific product. The correct implementation of this guidance will ensure that the risks associated to a nano-enabled product, throughout its whole life cycle, have been appropriately evaluated and mitigated to an acceptable level. This methodology will set up the basis for the certification (by an independent third party), as a risk communication tool addressed to regulators, insurance companies, and the society.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

In an unusual paper, a leading theoretical physicist says that the citation for the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics is wrong. The two winners, who led enormous experiments that studied particles called neutrinos, deserved the prize, says Alexei Smirnov of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. But the Nobel committee's pithy 12-word description of their findings misstates what one of the experiments did. "Certainly, he is right that the citation is essentially wrong," says Giorgio Gratta, a neutrino physicist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who was not involved in either of the prize-winning experiments. However, Olga Botner, a neutrino physicist at Uppsala University in Sweden and a member of the Nobel committee, says that "[t]he citation for the Nobel Prize is by necessity short and cannot reflect all details of the discoveries being recognized." Born in certain nuclear interactions and nearly massless, neutrinos barely flirt with ordinary matter. They come in three types or "flavors"—electron, muon, and tau—and, weirdly, can change from one type into another, so that an electron neutrino can change into a muon neutrino and back again. Such back-and-forth "neutrino oscillations" prove that neutrinos have mass. Were neutrinos massless, they would have to move at light speed, at least in a vacuum, according to Einstein's theory of relativity. If that were the case, time for them would stand still, and change would be impossible. The 2015 physics Nobel honored leaders of two experiments "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass." Takaaki Kajita, a particle physicist at the University of Tokyo, and his colleagues used a gargantuan subterranean particle detector in Japan called Super-Kamiokande (SuperK) to study high-energy muon neutrinos generated as cosmic rays strike the atmosphere. In 1998, they reported that those raining down from above outnumbered those coming up through Earth, suggesting that some of those making the longer journey through the planet were oscillating along the way into electron and tau neutrinos, which SuperK couldn't detect. Arthur McDonald of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, and colleagues used a detector in a mine called the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) to study lower-energy neutrinos coming from the sun, where they are born in nuclear interactions as electron neutrinos. The team employed two techniques: one that could count only electron neutrinos and another that was sensitive to all types. In 2001 and 2002, the SNO reported that electron neutrinos accounted for just 34% of all the neutrinos emanating from the sun, suggesting that some were changing flavors along the way. Together, the SuperK and SNO results prove that neutrinos oscillate, according to the Nobel committee. Except that the SNO results show no such thing, argues Smirnov in a paper posted 8 September to the arXiv preprint server. The SNO results proved that electron neutrinos from the sun change their type, but they do so through a different bit of physics that is essentially independent of neutrino oscillations, Smirnov says. The Nobel committee got that wrong not only in the short prize citation, but also in its longer technical explanation of the prize, he says. "No question the experiment deserves to be awarded a Nobel Prize," Smirnov says. "It's just a question of what they actually saw." Neutrino oscillations occur because, bizarrely, a neutrino with a definite flavor—such as an electron neutrino—doesn't have a well-defined mass. That is, physicists cannot say the electron neutrino has one mass, the muon neutrino has another mass, and the tau neutrino a third. Instead, thanks to quantum weirdness, each is a different combination of three different "mass states," which are themselves made of different combinations of the three flavors. Mathematically, the mass states mesh together in one way to make an electron neutrino, another to make a muon neutrino, and a third way to make a tau neutrino—like puzzle pieces that can be assembled in different ways to make three different objects. Crucially, thanks to their different masses, the three mass states evolve differently in time, so how they mesh also changes. For example, for a muon neutrino the mass states' muon components reinforce each other while their electron and tau components cancel one another out. After a while, the mass states' tau parts will reinforce each other while the other parts cancel out, transforming the muon neutrino into a tau neutrino. Wait longer, and the mass states' muon parts will reinforce again, turning the tau neutrino back into a muon neutrino. This mechanism requires multiple mass states whirring at different rates, and it explains the SuperK results. In contrast, the SNO results involve the subtle influence of matter on neutrinos. Electron neutrinos emerge from nuclear interactions deep within the sun into an environment rich with electrons. Interactions with those electrons change the neutrinos’ mass states and their flavor makeup, much as interactions with matter can slow a photon to a crawl. As a result of that "matter effect," electron neutrinos in the heart of the sun consist of only one mass state, and that mass state consists of only one flavor: electron. As the neutrino makes its way out of the sun, however, the electron density falls and its effects on the mass state wane. So the state's usual flavor combination of electron, muon, and tau emerges. Thus, the electron neutrinos from the sun change flavor in a way that doesn't involve back-and-forth neutrino oscillations, but simply reflects the changing electron density, Smirnov says. Such "adiabatic flavor conversion" doesn't even require that the neutrinos have mass, he says, as the one mass state involved could have zero mass once the neutrinos escape the distorting environment of the sun. SNO researchers described their results correctly and did not claim an observation of neutrino oscillations, Smirnov says. Some physicists say Smirnov is sticking to a particularly precise definition of neutrino oscillations. "He's right about the physics," says Kate Scholberg, a neutrino physicist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "But I personally think it's okay to have the citation for neutrino oscillations because that was the common usage" at the time of the SNO results. However, Smirnov says that even after the SNO results, "five or six" explanations of how neutrinos work remained viable, including the possibility that neutrinos decay or that they undergo exotic new interactions. The picture of neutrinos with three flavors and three mass states came into tight focus only after another experiment, the Kamioka Liquid Scintillator Antineutrino Detector (KamLAND) in Toyama, Japan, observed oscillations of electron antineutrinos from nuclear reactors in 2002, Smirnov says. For that reason, he says, KamLAND might have shared in the Nobel Prize. Regardless, the committee might have given McDonald and the SNO a simpler citation, some physicists says. Researchers first detected electron neutrinos from the sun in the late 1960s, but measured less than half the amount predicted by solar models, a controversial discrepancy known as the solar neutrino problem. SNO showed that, contrary to the expectations of many physicists, the solar models were correct, but that the neutrinos were changing flavor on their way to Earth. "It's really clear that SNO deserved the Nobel Prize because they solved the solar neutrino problem," says Patrick Huber, a theoretical physicist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. Why bring up the citation if everybody agrees that the SNO and McDonald deserve the Nobel Prize? Many younger physicists don’t understand that the SNO results and the solution of the solar neutrino problem do not involve neutrino oscillations, he says. That's plausible, Scholberg says, given that most neutrino physicists work on experiments designed to study neutrino oscillations: "Probably a lot of [younger physicists] don't know about solar neutrinos because it's not what they work on every day."


News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

Better bone scanning of fossils offers a glimpse of preteen life some 360 million years ago. Improved radiation scanning techniques reveal accumulating growth zones in chunks of four fossil upper forelimb bones from salamander-shaped beasts called Acanthostega, scientists report online September 7 in Nature. Vertebrate bones typically show annual growth zones diminishing in size around the time of sexual maturity. But there’s no sign of that slowdown in these four individuals from East Greenland’s mass burial of Acanthostega, says study coauthor Sophie Sanchez of Uppsala University in Sweden. They were still juveniles. The bones came from tropical Greenland of the Devonian Period. Aquatic vertebrates were developing four limbs, which would serve tetrapods well when vertebrates eventually conquered land. This mass die-off doomed at least 20 individuals, presumably when a dry spell after a flood trapped them all in a big, vanishing puddle. This find makes the strongest case yet for identifying genuine youngsters among ancient tetrapods, Sanchez says. She suspects other individuals trapped could have been juveniles too. Not many other species were found in the mass burial. So young tetrapods may have stuck together much as today’s young fish school, Sanchez speculates. The limb shape clearly indicates that the youngsters took a long time to start adding hard bone to the initial soft cartilage, she says. So these early tetrapods were at least 6-year-olds and probably 10 years old or more. For identifying stages of life, the improved technique “allows greater resolution and rigor, so in that regard it is a plus,” says Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago, who studies a fossil fish with some tetrapod-like features called Tiktaalik. There are Tiktaalik preteens, too, he notes. What interests Nadia Fröbisch of Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin is that some of Acanthostega individuals were different sizes but had reached the same stage of bone development. She muses that they might even have been developing along different trajectories of growth, a flexibility that would be useful in a changeable environment.


News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

The history of life on Earth is filled with tales of intrepid organisms that broke into new territories and niches to secure an evolutionary edge. One of the most dramatic examples is the colonization of land by aquatic tetrapods, a giant leap that enabled the emergence of countless species, including humans. Given that we owe our very existence to this bold move, scientists have long been fascinated by how our tetrapod ancestors pushed out of the sea to become “part of that world,” to channel The Little Mermaid. Research published Wednesday in Nature sheds new light on this pivotal transition. A team led by Sophie Sanchez, an evolutionary biologist based at Uppsala University in Sweden, studied the remains of at least 20 individuals from the early Acanthostega tetrapod clan, preserved in what scientists called a “mass-death deposit,” discovered in Greenland. Dating back 365 million years to the Devonian epoch, this group was likely swept away by a sudden flooding event that left them stranded the in isolated pools. These temporary safe havens eventually dried up, killing the exposed animals en masse. Read More: The Oldest Fossils Ever Found Date Back 3.7 Billion Years Sanchez and her colleagues used a synchrotron (a type of particle accelerator) to scan four humeri—or upper arm bones—from this mass-death deposit. The result is “the first life history of a Devonian tetrapod species,” according to the authors. The biggest revelation was that all the Acanthostega individuals in the deposit were juveniles, despite their differing sizes (Acanthostega is thought to have measured about two feet, or 60 centimeters, in adulthood). The synchrotron data showed that the arm bones had not fully ossified into mature adult skeletons. Because their juvenile cartilaginous frames would have been hard-pressed to bear weight on land, these Acanthostega tetrapods likely spent their younger years as an entirely aquatic species, they concluded. A diagram showing the tetrapod humerus (left) and the growth rings the synchrotron revealed inside of it, indicated by arrows (right). Image: Sophie Sanchez Based on the lines of growth within the fossils, the team also inferred that these transitional animals spent upwards of six years as water-bound juveniles that schooled together, with few adults around. “Acanthostega does not seem to be the only stem tetrapod with a long juvenile stage,” Sanchez told me. “It grew almost to full recorded size before the onset of limb ossification. This aligns it with a range of lobe finned fishes and tetrapods [...] suggesting that a long juvenile stage could be primitive for tetrapods.” Reconstructing the specific life stages of our distant ancestors is essential for understanding how they were able to slowly venture out into the terrestrial environment we humans now so casually occupy. Sanchez hopes to build on this research by conducting synchrotron analysis of other rare fossilized tetrapods from this period in time. “I strongly think that knowing more about the life-history traits of other stem tetrapods will help us build up a more accurate theory on the tetrapod move to land,” she said. It seems somewhat ironic that this group of young Acanthostega died due to exposure to land, while the larger evolutionary surge they represented went on to successfully colonize that very sphere. Then again, if they hadn’t been imprisoned in ever-shrinking pools—like some Devonian riff on a Bond villain trap—we would not have been able to piece together details about their lifestyles and behavior today. Want more Motherboard in your life? Then sign up for our daily newsletter.


News Article | September 8, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

The Acanthostega fossil revealed that the animal was in an immature phase, and was still a juvenile at it's time of death. Some 360 million years ago, a school of juvenile lizard-like creatures ? with no parental chaperones around ? perished in a watery grave in what is now Greenland. That's the story researchers have pieced together from fossils of some of the first four-limbed vertebrates (called tetrapods) to call Earth home. The finding took researchers by surprise, as they thought that the fossil specimens of the animal, known as Acanthostega, belonged to water-dwelling adults, not young'uns. The discovery raises the possibility that once they matured, these creatures moved to land, but fossil evidence of adults is needed to say so for sure, the researchers said. Regardless, the discovery is painting a more detailed picture of Acanthostega. Until now, little was known about the life cycle of these early tetrapods, which date to the Devonian period (419 million to 359 million years ago). Some early tetrapods were the first creatures to venture from water onto land, the researchers said. [Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs)] "Understanding the life history of these early tetrapods, which are iconic transitional forms between fishes and land animals, is of great interest for studying the tetrapod move to land," said lead study researcher Sophie Sanchez, who researches the bones of fossil vertebrates at Uppsala University in Sweden. To investigate, Sanchez and her colleagues turned to dozens of Acanthostega fossils, which study co-author Jenny Clack, an emeritus professor of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Cambridge in England, found in the remains of an ancient stream in East Greenland in 1987. When Clack discovered the fossils, researchers assumed that the ancient four-legged creatures were adults. The new team used high-resolution synchrotron X-ray scans to study the upper arm bones of the Acanthostega fossils. The X-rays taken are similar to ones that doctors take in hospitals, only more powerful, Sanchez said. "The difference is that the fossils are dense like rock, so we need very powerful X-rays to go through them and get access to the microstructure of the bone," Sanchez told Live Science in an email. "We were able to look at submicron resolution and visualize the cell and blood-vessel spaces." The X-rays revealed how Acanthostega's blood vessels were organized, which helped the researchers understand the prehistoric animals' biology, physiology and metabolism, Sanchez said. Furthermore, the X-rays showed the growth rings within the animals' bones. By counting the rings, which are like the rings of a tree, "we could assess the age and the growth rate of these individuals of Acanthostega," she said. Surprisingly, the scans suggested that the Acanthostega specimens represented water-dwelling juveniles that were about 6 years or older when they perished, Sanchez said. "Their growth had not yet begun to slow down as it does at sexual maturity," she said. "In addition, we showed that Acanthostega's foreleg remained cartilaginous until late during its development. In contrast to bone, cartilage is a non-mineralized tissue, elastic and far too weak to allow the forelegs to sustain the weight of the animal’s body out of the water." That these creatures still had cartilage suggests that "the Acanthostega mass-death deposit represents a school of aquatic juveniles that included few or no adults," study senior author Per Ahlberg, a researcher at the Uppsala Centre for Evolution and Genomics, said in a statement. What's more, the Acanthostega fossils still had gills, another sign that they had not yet reached maturity. In living land-dwelling amphibians, larvae metamorphose in the water, and leave only after they have lost their gills. But it's difficult to say whether Acanthostega ventured onto land once it matured. Without an adult Acanthostega specimen, it's impossible to say whether they were aquatic or terrestrial animals, Sanchez said. "This means that we need to find the adult fossils before being able to build up theories on the tetrapod move to land," she said. The study was published online today (Sept. 7) in the journal Nature. Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, February 17, 2017 - Immunicum AB (publ; First North Premier: IMMU.ST) a biopharmaceutical company advancing a novel immuno-oncology treatment against a range of solid tumors, today announced financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016 and provided a corporate update and overview of the Company's activities. Carlos de Sousa, MD, CEO of Immunicum, will conduct a webcast and conference call to present the update today at 10:00 am CET. Information for joining the webcast and call are listed at the end of this press release. Significant events during the second quarter year On October 26, 2016, the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") of Immunicum AB elected Steven Glazer, Charlotte Edenius and Kerstin Valinder Strinnholm as new Board members. Agneta Edberg, Martin Lindström, Magnus Nilsson and Magnus Persson were all re-elected as Board members. Bengt Furberg declined re-election. Agneta Edberg was re-elected as Chairman of the Board. The AGM also resolved to authorize the Board of Directors to, on one or several occasions during the period until the next Annual General Meeting, with or without deviation from the shareholder's preferential rights, resolve on new share issues of a maximum of 5,040,000 shares. AGM also resolved to change the fiscal year of the Company to calendar year as well as to shorten the current fiscal year to cover the period July 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016. On November 14, 2016, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 31st Annual Meeting, Immunicum presented updated immunological and survival phase I/II data on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients treated with INTUVAX®. Data showed that 67% of fully treated patients with advanced HCC experienced increases in circulating tumor-specific CD8+ T cells and that these increases appear to correlate with prolonged survival rates seen in the study as compared to historical median overall survival rates. It was furthermore announced that all six additional patients in an extension of the study had been included. These patients received INTUVAX® as first line systemic treatment in combination with standard treatments. On December 13, 2016, Immunicum announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had cleared the Company's Investigational New Drug application (IND) for INTUVAX®. The IND clearance enables Immunicum to expand its ongoing phase II study - MERECA (MEtastatic REnal Cell CArcinoma) - for the treatment of metastatic renal cell cancer patients, into the United States. Significant events after the financial year In February 2017, the Company announced the appointment of Karin Hoogendoorn as Head of Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC). Dr. Hoogendoorn is a seasoned expert in the development of biotechnological products and has lead successful CMC efforts for a variety of products within positions at Novartis AG, Janssen Biologics BV and Crucell Holland and will be critical for the high quality production of Immunicum's products. In February 2017, the Company announced that the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé (ANSM) in France has approved the Company's Clinical Trial Application (CTA) for INTUVAX®. The CTA approval enables Immunicum to include patients in France in its ongoing phase II study - MERECA (MEtastatic REnal Cell CArcinoma) - for the treatment of metastatic renal cell cancer. Second quarter (October-December) 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 Financial year (July-December) 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 It is an exciting moment for Immunicum as we prepare for a transformative year in 2017. In addition to advancing our ongoing clinical trials for INTUVAX® and strengthening our leadership team at Immunicum, we continue to refine our near-term objectives for the overall development of our programs and to review all the Company's activities to ensure that we have the right team, right resources and right focus in place to build the most value for our investors. Since the Company's inception, Immunicum has achieved the clinical stage development of a promising immuno-oncology therapeutic approach for treating a range of solid tumors. It is a major achievement for a small organization like Immunicum to bring a discovery into multiple clinical trials. It goes without saying that immuno-oncology is one of the most exciting areas of pharmaceutical discovery and development, with the first approved drugs proving the value of the concept that a key way to fight cancer is to re-activate the patient's own immune system to destroy cancerous cells. Immunicum has a unique approach to immune-oncology and we believe that it has the potential to become an important part of treating solid tumors in the future. Our strategy remains to advance our programs successfully into the clinic and ensure the success of these trials. The following is an overview of the most up-to-date information from the INTUVAX® trials in kidney and liver cancer as well as GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor). Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC): The enrollment process for the ongoing MERECA phase II study, where patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma are treated with INTUVAX® in combination with sunitinib, has been implemented across Europe. To date, a total of 43 patients have been enrolled at 18 centers in seven European countries. The primary purpose of the MERECA trial is to examine safety as well as clinical benefit in terms of survival rate at 18 months and median overall survival for all patients. The Company will also study the objective tumor response after initiating treatment with sunitinib, as well as study intratumoral infiltration of CD8+ T cells. In the context of this open-label trial, we can report that safety remains positive and that levels of infiltration are in line with what we have seen previously, however, it is still too early to make any further interpretation of data. We will present all these data as well as those from the continued follow-up of the patients from the phase I/II trial in RCC in due course at scientific conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific journals. We announced in December that our Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been cleared to start enrolling kidney cancer patients in the U.S. as part of the MERECA trial. We anticipate to start this process in the second quarter of 2017. To support this goal, we have optimized the production of the product at a large manufacturing facility in Germany. This has been a positive development for the ongoing trial in EU as well as our preparation for the start of the enrollment in the US. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): In November 2016 we provided updated immunological and survival data from our clinical phase I/II study in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma which were presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer's (SITC) annual meeting. The data showed that 67% of fully treated patients with advanced HCC experienced increases in circulating tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. These increases appear to correlate with the prolonged survival rates seen in the study as compared to historical median overall survival rates. In the extension of the study we have now enrolled the last of the six additional liver cancer patients that received INTUVAX® concomitantly with first line standard of care medication. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST): As previously reported, the first patient has been included in our clinical phase I/II study with INTUVAX® in patients with GIST. Because the disease is both rare and complex, we have revised the study protocol in collaboration with the investigators at the Karolinska Institute, and this protocol has been reviewed and approved by the National Authorities and Ethical committee. Clinical Development Plan Analysis: The important information that we will gain from these ongoing trials will complement our ongoing analysis of the cancer treatment landscape to determine the most successful path for INTUVAX®. The most critical decisions here involve considering which indications we should select for the later stage clinical development of the program. There are several aspects to consider: patient need, clinical endpoints for the trial and overall success potential for regulatory approval. Over the last several months, we have considered the possibility of expanding the development plan with additional phase I/ II studies in different indications, such as melanoma, and in different combinations, e.g. with immune checkpoint inhibitors. These considerations are still underway and we look forward to providing an update on them in the near future. Development Programs and Academic Collaborations: Immunicum's major focus is to advance the ongoing clinical studies with INTUVAX®, however, we will continue to invest into deeper investigation of two of our earlier stage applications: CD70 and the adenovirus vector program, where the development is conducted in collaboration with professor Magnus Essand at Uppsala University. For CD70, we are currently evaluating the possibilities for clinical production and for the vector, we are currently conducting preclinical studies within the concept of SUBCUVAX. These efforts will allow us to build additional value from the research conducted to date. Corporate and Organizational Updates: We had the pleasure of announcing the addition of Karin Hoogendoorn as Head of CMC. We will continue to strengthen our leadership team with expertise in product development and production, regulatory strategy and business development to reinforce the strength of the current leadership and build a company well-positioned to succeed. Ongoing Communications Activities: We will continue to place a focus on providing regular updates to our shareholders as well as raising the profile of the Company both through industry and financial events as well as scientific and medical conferences. We will be announcing our participation in conferences in Sweden, Europe and in the US on a more frequent basis. Our vision for the Company is to increase our interaction within the larger biopharmaceutical industry while maintaining our operational focus on the further development of our programs. About Immunicum AB (publ) Immunicum AB (First North Premier: IMMU.ST) is a clinical stage company developing novel immuno-oncology therapies against a range of solid tumors. The Company's lead compound, INTUVAX® is currently being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of kidney cancer, liver cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. INTUVAX® was designed to combine the best of two worlds: a cost-effective cell-based (allogeneic) and off-the-shelf therapy that is capable of triggering a highly personalized and potentially long-lasting immune response against tumor cells throughout the body. www.immunicum.com For more information, please contact Carlos de Sousa, CEO, Immunicum Ph: +46 (0) 31 41 50 52 E-mail: info@immunicum.com The information in this press release is disclosed pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was released for public disclosure through the agency of the company's contact person on February 17, 2017 at 7:30 CET


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: phys.org

New X-ray methods at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the highest resolution room-temperature images of this protein complex, which allows scientists to closely watch how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally. The research team took diffraction images using the bright, fast pulses of X-rays at SLAC's X-ray free-electron laser - the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Nature published the study on Nov. 21. Previously, the resting state of photosystem II had been seen in detail using samples that were frozen. In this latest study, the researchers were able to see two key steps in photosynthetic water splitting under conditions as it occurs in nature, a big step to decoding how the process works in detail. A damage-free, room temperature study means there are fewer artifacts in the images, and this gives a clearer picture of how photosystem II works in nature. For many years now, scientists have been trying to understand this process in meticulous detail. Besides its fundamental importance to science, understanding this process might help develop ways to create artificial photosynthesis devices that can serve as potential clean energy sources. "The eventual goal is to emulate what photosynthesis has been doing for about three billion years. This has been a research challenge for decades," said Junko Yano, principal investigator and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We now have the right tool, the femtosecond X-ray laser pulses created at LCLS, that allows us to observe the water-splitting reaction as it happens, in real time, and as it happens in nature." "We want to have enough snapshots of this process to see how exactly the oxygen is formed," added Uwe Bergmann, a distinguished scientist at SLAC, and co-author of the Nature paper. "This method - to be able to get high resolution images at room temperature and under illumination in real time - is really the strategy we need to catch the molecule in the act." The international research team is a long-standing collaboration between SLAC and Berkeley Lab, and includes Humboldt University in Germany, Umeå University and Uppsala University in Sweden, Stanford University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. New Techniques and New Research Directions In previous high-resolution studies of the system at synchrotron light sources, samples experienced radiation damage from longer exposure to X-rays. At LCLS, the researchers were able to take advantage of the ultrafast laser pulses to collect X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy data before damage occurred. "The beauty of the LCLS is that the laser pulses are so short - only 40 femtoseconds in duration, but very intense - that you can collect the data before the sample is destroyed," said co-author Jan Kern, scientist at Berkeley Lab and SLAC, in a related press release. "It's very new, and there are only two places in the world, LCLS and the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron LAser (SACLA), where this can be done at present." In a recent experiment at SACLA, the only other operating hard X-ray free-electron laser, another team of scientists was able to look at the first step in the cycle in a frozen sample, and under dark conditions - which means the water-splitting reaction had not yet been initiated in the protein complex. This latest study at SLAC catches this first step, as well as another step that is two stages further along in the four-step cycle, and at the same temperature the process normally occurs in nature. To do this, the scientists placed droplets of the sample in a solution with small, crystallized forms of the photosystem II on a moving conveyor belt and illuminated the samples with pulses of green light from a laser to initiate the water-splitting reaction. After two light pulses, they captured images of the crystals using X-rays, with a resolution finer than 2.5 angstroms - significantly better than previously achieved at room temperature. The water-splitting reaction takes place at a metal catalyst within the photosystem II protein, known as the oxygen-evolving complex, that is made up of four manganese atoms and one calcium atom. The complex uses the energy from light to form pure oxygen from two water molecules. The four manganese atoms are critical in shuffling electrons through the cycle, but it is unknown where exactly in the complex the involved water is located or where the oxygen formation occurs. To sort this out, the researchers used ammonia, a water substitute, to narrow down where oxygen atoms from two water molecules combine to form an oxygen molecule. If the ammonia was bound to a site, and the reaction still proceeded, that site is unlikely to be part of the oxygen molecule formation. The results from this study offered a surprise - the data do not seem to support two leading theories for how the reaction proceeds within the oxygen-evolving complex. In future studies using this same technique, the researchers hope to capture more images at different steps of the process, which will allow them to further refine the details of the water-splitting reaction. "The chemistry is so unusual," co-principal investigator and senior scientist, Vittal Yachandra at Berkeley Lab, said "Learning how exactly this water-splitting process works will be a breakthrough in our understanding, and it can help in the development of solar fuels and renewable energy." Explore further: Oxygen levels in the air do not limit plant productivity More information: Iris D. Young et al, Structure of photosystem II and substrate binding at room temperature, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature20161


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

SAN DIEGO — Over the course of months, clumps of a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease can travel from the gut into the brains of mice, scientists have found. The results, reported November 14 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, suggest that in some cases, Parkinson’s may get its start in the gut. That’s an intriguing concept, says neuroscientist John Cryan of the University College Cork in Ireland. The new study “shows how important gut health can be for brain health and behavior.” Collin Challis of Caltech and colleagues injected clumps of synthetic alpha-synuclein, a protein known to accumulate in the brains of people with Parkinson’s, into mice’s stomachs and intestines. The researchers then tracked alpha-synuclein with a technique called CLARITY, which makes parts of the mice’s bodies transparent. Seven days after the injections, researchers saw alpha-synuclein clumps in the gut. Levels there peaked 21 days after the injections. These weren’t the same alpha-synuclein aggregates that were injected, though. These were new clumps, formed from naturally occurring alpha-synuclein, that researchers believe were coaxed into forming by the synthetic versions in their midst. Also 21 days after the injections, alpha-synuclein clumps seemed to have spread to a part of the brain stem containing nerve cells that make up the vagus nerve, a neural highway that connects the gut to the brain. Sixty days after the injections, alpha-synuclein had accumulated in the midbrain, a region packed with nerve cells that make the chemical messenger dopamine. These are the nerve cells that die in people with Parkinson’s, a progressive brain disorder that affects movement. After reaching the brain, alpha-synuclein spreads thanks in part to brain cells called astrocytes, a second study suggests. Experiments with cells in dishes showed that astrocytes can store up and spread alpha-synuclein among cells. That work was presented by Jinar Rostami of Uppsala University in Sweden at a news briefing on November 14. The gradual accumulation and spread of alpha-synuclein caused trouble in the mice. As alpha-synuclein clumps slowly crept brainward, the mice began exhibiting gut and movement problems. Seven days after the injections, the mice’s stool was more plentiful than usual. Sixty and 90 days after the injections — after clumps of alpha-synuclein had reached the brain — the mice performed worse on some physical tests, including getting a sticker off their face and flipping around to shimmy down a pole headfirst. In many ways, the mice resembled other mice that have mutations that cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms, Challis says. An earlier study turned up evidence that clumps of alpha-synuclein can move from the gut to the brain stem in rats, but those experiments looked at shorter time scales, Challis says. And previous work monitored the movements of the injected alpha-synuclein, as opposed to the alpha-synuclein clumps that the mice produced themselves. The idea that alpha-synuclein can spread from the gut to the brain is very new, says Alice Chen-Plotkin, a clinician and Parkinson’s researcher at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. These new results and others have prompted scientists to start looking outside of the brain for the beginning stages of the disease, she says. “Increasingly, people are wondering if it starts earlier.” Some evidence suggests that the gut is a good place to look. People with Parkinson’s disease often suffer from gut problems such as constipation. And in 2015, scientists reported that a group of Danish people who had their vagus nerves severed were less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Cut alpha-synuclein’s transit route from the gut to the brain, and the disease is less likely to take hold, that study hints. It’s not clear why alpha-synuclein accumulates in the gut in the first place. “There are a lot of theories out there,” Challis says. Bacteria may produce compounds called curli that prompt alpha-synuclein to aggregate, a recent study suggests. Pesticides, acid reflux and inflammation are other possible culprits that could somehow increase alpha-synuclein clumps in the gut, Challis says.


News Article | September 14, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

In an unprecedented move, the group that selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine — the Nobel Assembly — has asked two of its members to resign following a scandal at the institute that supplies the assembly’s members. But scientists around the world don’t see the events at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm as a threat to the reputation of the medical prize. They say that the assembly is sufficiently separate to the KI and has handled the affair well so far. “Everything is exploding now, but the long-term credibility won’t be affected,” says cancer researcher Julio Celis, associate scientific director of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen. The scandal involves the surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. Multiple inquiries have alleged that he committed scientific misconduct and subjected patients to unethical, experimental tracheal transplant operations, three of which occurred at the affiliated Karolinska University Hospital. Two of the patients have since died, and the third has required continuous hospital care since the transplant. In June, Swedish public prosecutors opened investigations following preliminary charges against Macchiarini of involuntary manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm. Macchiarini has denied the allegations. On 5 September, an independent report that revealed institutional problems at the KI mentioned Nobel Assembly members Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson and Anders Hamsten — both former KI vice-chancellors — for their roles in hiring Macchiarini in 2010 and subsequently extending his contracts. (Hamsten resigned as vice-chancellor in February after acknowledging that he had misjudged Macchiarini; the KI dismissed Macchiarini in March.) The call for Wallberg-Henriksson and Hamsten to resign came a day after the report and is a first for the 115-year-old panel, says neuroscientist Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee, whose fixed-term members are elected from the more permanent assembly. “The professionalism of some of the faculty at the Karolinska Institute has been called into question, and this won’t go away,” says Erwin Neher of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, who won the medicine prize in 1991. “But I don’t think this discredits the Nobel prize — they are two different things.” When Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left the bulk of his fortune — amassed from his explosives businesses — to the Nobel prizes. His will specified which institutions would select each prize, and declared the KI in charge of medicine. The first prizes were awarded in 1901. At first, the entire KI faculty selected the medicine winners, but by the 1970s it had grown too large for this to be practical — and a new law made all documents at state institutions accessible to the public, ruling out secret deliberations. So in 1977, the Nobel Assembly was created, comprising 50 KI professors; the Nobel Foundation pays for its operations. The Nobel Committee has also done a good job of separating itself from the Macchiarini affair since it began, says neuroscientist Eero Castrén at the University of Helsinki. KI geneticist Urban Lendahl, who participated in the decision to hire Macchiarini, resigned his position as secretary-general of the Nobel Committee in February, notes Castrén. (Lendahl stepped down because he anticipated that he would be involved in the investigation.) Two other assembly members — clinical immunologist Katarina Le Blanc, who co-authored a paper with Macchiarini that is under investigation by the Central Ethical Review Board, and Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, who was dean of research at the KI from 2013 until February — have not been asked to resign because there is still “uncertainty over their roles” in the Macchiarini affair, says Perlmann. “To protect the brand”, he adds, none of the three, nor Wallberg-Henriksson, nor Hamsten, has participated in assembly activities since February. Perlmann says that the Nobel Committee is not taking further action, but will monitor perceptions of the prize to see whether it needs to do more. “It is important that institutions deal in a fair way with those whose judgement or moral probity has been called into question,” says Steven Hyman, director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, who has nominated prize candidates to the Nobel Committee. “The Nobel Assembly seems to be doing this.” He adds: “There is no benefit to the world, or to patients who have been harmed, by using a very serious incident to undercut a globally important institute.” The assembly has survived other challenges, usually relating to complaints about its choices. In 1994, it encountered accusations — quickly discredited — that it had allowed a drug company to buy the 1986 medicine prize for Italian neuroscientist Rita Levi-Montalcini. Just as the Swedish king never comments on politics, the Nobel Assembly never comments on such complaints. But during its 100th anniversary celebrations, it acknowledged some regrets — such as awarding a share of the 1923 prize for the discovery of insulin to John Macleod, whose role is now questioned, and the failure to recognize Oswald Avery, who identified DNA as the genetic material in the 1940s. “The prize has survived many things,” says cell biologist Måns Ehrenberg of Uppsala University, who has served on the committee that selects the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. “The standard of evaluation no one can criticize.”


No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. The E. coli stains used in this study were HCB1737 (a derivative of wild- type E.coli AW405 with FliC S219C mutation; a gift from Howard C. Berg, Harvard University) and HCB1737 expressing monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP) (HCB1737 transformed with an L-arabinose inducible mRFP plasmid provided by J. Näsvall, Uppsala University). Single-colony isolates were grown overnight with shaking in LB medium (1% Bacto tryptone, 0.5% yeast extract, 0.5% NaCl) at 30 °C to stationary phase. For HCB1737 mRFP, kanamycin (50 μg ml−1) was added to the growth medium. Overnight cultures were diluted 1/100 for inoculating swarm plates. For single-cell tracking, overnight cultures of HCB1737 mRFP were mixed with HCB1737 at 1% and the mixture was diluted 1/100 for inoculating swarm plates. Swarm agar (0.6% Eiken agar infused with 1% Bacto peptone, 0.3% beef extract, and 0.5% NaCl) was autoclaved and stored at room temperature31. Before use, the agar was melted in a microwave oven, cooled to 60 °C, and pipetted in 13-ml aliquots into 90-mm polystyrene Petri plates. Taking the shear modulus of 0.6% agar as approximately 4.5 kPa (ref. 32), the oscillation frequency of the approximately 2-mm-thick agar substrate in our preparations is about 240 Hz, so the oscillation of the agar substrate would be irrelevant to the collective oscillation we report (<1 Hz). For optical deactivation of cell motility, the dye FM4-64 (Life Technologies) was dissolved in deionized water and added at a final concentration of 1.0 μg ml−1 to the liquefied swarm agar before pipetting. For single-cell tracking with HCB1737 mRFP cells, the inducer L-arabinose was added to the swarm agar at 0.02% (wt/vol) before pipetting. The plates were swirled gently to ensure surface flatness, and then cooled for 5 min without a lid inside a large Plexiglas box. Drops of diluted overnight bacterial cultures (1 μl; described above) were inoculated at a distance of 1 cm from the edge of the plates. The plates were dried for another 10 min without a lid, covered, and incubated overnight at 30 °C and about 95% relative humidity for 18–19 h to observe collective oscillation in the colonies. During swarming the colonies are covered by a self-maintained, micrometres-thick layer of fluid (that is, the swarm-fluid film; see Extended Data Fig. 1). The development of a typical swarming colony in our experimental conditions proceeded as follows. Within about 5 h after inoculation, cells were adapting the surface growth environment and producing the swarm-liquid film, and there was little colony expansion; this stage is referred to as the lag phase. After the lag phase, the colony (as well as the swarm-fluid film) started advancing at a speed of around 1–1.5 cm h−1, until the entire agar surface was covered at about 12 h after inoculation. Cells then continued to grow and remained motile, and the swarm-fluid film became thicker. Collective oscillation typically appeared at about 18–19 h after inoculation, presumably when cell density reaches above 5 × 1010 ml−1 or about 20% volume fraction (Extended Data Fig. 10). In the meantime, cells at the inoculum gradually became sessile and formed biofilms owing to nutrient depletion. Biofilm formation spread to nearly the entire colony at about 24 h after inoculation. Surfactant Tween 20 (Sigma) was mixed with silicone oil (viscosity 0.65 mPa s, specific gravity 0.76; Shin-Etsu, KF-96L-0.65CS) at a final concentration of 50 mg l−1 and stored in a sprayer. Prior to observation, the silicone oil was sprayed gently over the colony surface, producing silicone oil droplets with a diameter of about 2–6 μm that fall onto the swarm fluid at random positions. Tween 20 helps silicone oil droplets to penetrate the surfactant layer covering the swarm fluid film33. The silicone oil droplets (with a density smaller than water) appeared to stay in the upper portion of the swarm-fluid film because cells tended to pass by underneath without colliding with them. This method is a minimally invasive way to introduce tracers into the swarm-fluid film and does not disturb the collective motion of cells in the colony. E. coli swarm colonies grown for about 18 h as described above (that is, at the early stage of collective oscillation) were placed in a 4 °C refrigerator for around 20 min, and then moved onto a microscope stage maintained at 30 °C for observation. The motility of cells in the entire colony ceases during refrigeration. Once the colony is brought back from 4 °C up to 30 °C, random collective motion appears after about 20 min as cell motility recovers, and collective oscillation typically re-emerges in another 30 min or so. Collective motion of cells was observed in phase contrast with a 40 × objective (Nikon CFI Plan Fluor DLL 40×, numerical aperture 0.75, working distance 0.66 mm) mounted on an upright microscope (Nikon Ni-E). For single-cell tracking, HCB1737 mRFP cells were imaged in epifluorescence using the 40 × objective and an mCherry filter cube (excitation 562/40 nm, emission 641/75 nm, dichroic 593 nm; mCherry-B-000, Semrock Inc.), with the excitation light provided by a mercury precentred fibre illuminator (Nikon Intensilight). To measure the period and phase distribution of collective oscillation in a colony, a 16-min phase-contrast video was taken at 16 spots in total (forming a 4 × 4 array with a separation of 3 mm between neighbouring spots), with an observation time of 50 s at each spot and 10 s for switching to the next spot in the specified sequence using the motorized microscope stage controlled by NIS Elements software (Nikon). For optical deactivation of cell motility during collective oscillation using the photosensitizing effect of the membrane dye FM4-64, part of the field of view (about 160 μm in diameter) was illuminated by orange-red light (from Nikon Intensilight) passing through a 562/40 nm filter (FF01-562/40-25, Semrock Inc.) to excite FM4-64. Upon excitation, FM4-64 disrupts flagellar motility (Extended Data Fig. 7a), most probably owing to the release of reactive oxygen species, similar to other photosensitizing dyes34. Recordings were made with a sCMOS camera (Andor Neo 5.5) at 30 fps operating in global-shutter mode. In all experiments the Petri dishes were covered with a lid to prevent evaporation and air convection, and the sample temperature was maintained at 30 °C using a custom-built temperature control system installed on microscope stage. The velocity field of cells’ collective motion was obtained by performing PIV analysis on microscopy videos using an open-source package MatPIV 1.6.1 written by J. Kristian Sveen (http://folk.uio.no/jks/matpiv/index2.html). For each pair of consecutive images, the interrogation-window size started at 20.8 μm × 20.8 μm and ended at 5.2 μm × 5.2 μm after six iterations. The grid size of the resulting velocity field was 2.6 μm × 2.6 μm. Silicone-oil tracers were tracked in phase-contrast videos using a custom-written particle-tracking program in MATLAB (The MathWorks, Inc.), and tracer velocities were computed from the tracking data. Collective velocity was obtained by averaging the PIV velocity field. Collective velocity components in Fig. 3c and dand Extended Data Fig. 6d were fitted by the smoothing spline method in MATLAB. Fluorescent HCB1737 mRFP cells were tracked manually using the MTrackJ plugin (E. Meijering, http://www.imagescience.org/meijering/software/mtrackj/) developed for ImageJ (http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/). In the case of collective oscillation, the components of tracer velocity and of the collective velocity of cells were fitted as sinusoidal functions of time using the least-squares method in MATLAB in the following form: v(t) = a sin(2πt/a  + a ) + a , where a , a , a and a are fitting parameters that represent the amplitude, period, phase constant, and drift constant of the velocity components. The long-axis orientation of tracer trajectories was measured manually in ImageJ. The contour maps of phase distribution across space were plotted and fitted with Origin 9 (OriginLab Corporation). The Vicsek-style, ‘dry’ core of our model, is similar to the model developed to account for the collective behaviour of microtubules displaced by a carpet of motor proteins16, 35. Point particles move at constant speed v in a two-dimensional domain without any repulsive or attractive interaction. Single-particle dynamics is governed by two stochastic equations, with strong noise guaranteeing erratic individual trajectories. A major difference from the models of refs 16 and 35 is that particles are subjected to two interactions, a diffusive coupling between angular velocities and a polar alignment interaction as described in the main text (see equations (1) and (2)). For simplicity the interaction neighbourhood is a disk of radius of the order of the bacteria body length. Simulations of equations (1) and (2) were performed at the relatively high global density ρ  = 5 roughly corresponding to the experimental conditions. The simulation domain shown in Fig. 4a is a 64 × 64 square containing approximately 20,000 particles, in which no large-scale spatial structure is apparent. Other parameter values in simulations of this ‘dry’ model: k  = 0.4, k  = 2, η  = 1, η  = 0.2, η  = 1, ω  = 0.05, τ = 1 and v  = 1. As seen in Fig. 4b, synchronization of instantaneous frequencies arises first (chirality symmetry breaking), followed in time by phase synchronization (orientational order/rotational symmetry breaking). The model also supports travelling-wave solutions of wavenumber . In the homogeneous oscillation regime (q = 0), as well as in travelling-wave configurations (q ≠ 0), the collective trajectory is roughly circular. Our ‘wet’ model produces elliptic trajectories in the travelling-wave regime. It takes into account the surrounding viscous fluid in a simplified way. Everything remains in two space dimensions. Cells frequently interact with the gel at the bottom, pushing themselves away from it and entraining some fluid with them. This creates a flow field v(r) that advects particles: where is the unit vector of orientation θ . All flows take place in the viscous regime at very low Reynolds number, and the response of the fluids to the internal drive exerted by bacteria is fast enough that we can use the Stokes equations to describe the quasi-steady-state of the fluid. To obtain the simple Stokes equation with entraining forces and proper incompressibility condition, we first consider a two-fluid-layer model where the bacteria’s action on the total fluid conserves momentum. The flow in the upper layer, containing the swarming bacteria, is described by v(r), and v (r) is the flow in the bottom gel near its surface. During the entraining process, bacteria exert a force field F(r) upon the upper layer of the fluid, and at the same time ‘kick’ the fluids near the substrate with −F(r), so that the total momentum during this process is conserved. The microscopic mechanism for such kicking dynamics is not clear in such a dense ‘glue’ of bacteria bodies entangled in flagellar filaments near the porous substrate. However, as we will show below, it is enough to support the entraining flow found by experiment. The Stokes equations governing these processes are given by: where μ and μ are the effective viscosity of the upper layer and substrate layer, and α is the effective friction coefficient between these two layers of the fluids. The pressure P enforces the incompressibility condition. It is the same for both layers because there is no exchange of fluids between these two layers when the quasi-steady state is reached. The friction coefficient on the fluid at the air-water interface is γ and γ is the friction between the gel and the swarming fluid. The incompressibility condition is applied for the total two layers of fluids, and λ/λ describes the effective local mass ratio between the two layers. The entraining force field F(r) is assumed to be proportional to the local polarity of bacteria: where is the unit vector in the direction of θ . These equations can be simplified if we consider that the fluid motion v (r) near and inside the gel is highly damped by a large coefficient γ . Then the friction term becomes dominant in equation (4). At large scales, neglecting the contribution from terms with spatial derivatives, we can obtain . Inserting this into equations (3) and (5), we obtain: where is an effective friction coefficient, , is the effective entrainment strength, and  is the effective mobility coefficient of the backflow upon the reaction of f. To numerically solve equations (6) and (7), we first construct the force fieldf from the off-lattice particle positions and orientations. There are various ways to constructf. Here we use a simple and efficient one: we divide the system into a lattice of unit length boxes, and perform the summation over particles in each box. The flow velocity field v and pressure field P are then computed on the same lattice. They are solved first in Fourier space and then transformed back into real space. Parameter values for the simulations of the ‘wet’ model shown in Fig. 4c–e are the same as for the dry model simulations in Fig. 4a and b and μ = 2, α = 10, β = 0.2 and κ = 2. The simulation domain shown in Fig. 4c and d is a 512 × 64 rectangular domain containing about 163,000 particles. To obtain the spatiotemporal dynamics of the phase of collection oscillations shown in Fig. 4e, the phase of collection oscillations φ(y, t) was determined by fitting V (y, t) (that is, the horizontal component of collective cell velocity obtained by averaging over 32 × 32 domains at different y-positions for simulations associated with Fig. 4c and d) using  , and shows the propagation of the travelling wave. To convert numbers in both ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ model simulations to physical units, we set unit length in the model as 3 μm (that is, about one cell length), and set particle speed as 30 μm s−1. So the particle density ρ  = 5 we chose corresponds to 5 cells per 9 μm2. The authors declare that all data generated during this study are included in the paper. The raw images and videos that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Protein pairs that control stimulus response in bacteria maintain a sensitive balance between interaction specificity and promiscuity, according to Rice University scientists. A computational model developed at Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics will help biologists take advantage of the homologous nature of bacterial signaling systems to reveal the minimal mutations that allow a signaling protein to be efficiently reprogrammed to prefer a nonpartner signaling protein. Their open-access paper on the topic published online by the Oxford University Press journal Molecular Biology and Evolution will be featured on the cover of the December issue. The research led by Rice biophysicist and protein-folding pioneer José Onuchic, postdoctoral researcher Ryan Cheng and alumnus Faruck Morcos, now of the University of Texas at Dallas, expands upon previous work to model two-component systems that co-evolve amino acids at their binding surfaces to recognize each other. Those systems consist of proteins in bacterial cells that signal each other to sense and respond to stimuli. The new work extends the team's models to cover how mutating a signaling protein affects its interaction with its partner, as well as its interaction with other signaling systems. The extended model connects the fact that partner proteins are able to find each other in a crowd while also preventing unnecessary crosstalk. "We're showing for the first time that the method has enormous power for designing new stimulus-response mechanisms in organisms," said Onuchic, who predicted that the research will bring the disciplines of synthetic biology and systems biology closer together. Synthetic biologists engineer organisms like bacteria to produce chemicals or act as components in biological circuits. The Rice team's goal is to simplify their work by allowing them to model many possibilities before taking a project to the lab. "There are three goals in synthetic biology," Onuchic said. "The first is to force an organism to do something it's not supposed to do, like make insulin. The second is to change a mechanism to respond differently to a particular stimulus. There may be many reasons, and that may affect the phenotype of how an organism behaves. The third is to rewire different parts of an organism to understand what the parts are and what happens if we switch them. That's what our project is about," he said. "We want to understand sequence selection for two-component systems but we also want to demonstrate that our model can predict mutational phenotypes," said Cheng, the paper's lead author. "With this method, we're telling people that if they want 20 functional mutants, they can just pick the top 20 produced by our model. We're simply ranking them. Someone who wants to design novel interactions could use our model, select mutations and generate those mutations." Every cell contains thousands of two-component signaling proteins programmed to find each other and serve as sensors that trigger a cell to act, most often through the activation or repression of genes. "These systems have lots of response-raising kinases (the sensor component) and there's a lot of promiscuity," Onuchic said. "That's important, because a system doesn't have one copy of each thing; it has multiple copies of everything, and they're interacting with each other all the time. "Proteins are so similar, with minor variations between them, because you want them to see everything in their environments," he said. "If they were meant to be completely partner-specific, with no promiscuity, they would be very different from each other. The problem when you make these mutations is that you may offset the balance between interacting with its signaling partner versus interacting with other signaling proteins in a deleterious way." "We've constructed a co-evolutionary landscape that can predict which mutants lead to functional signaling in bacteria," Cheng said. Co-evolutionary landscapes allow for the prediction of how mutations affect signaling in bacteria and, consequently, an organism's fitness. He said the open-access model will make it faster and easier for researchers to plug in mutations and determine whether and how they will function. "Now we can apply these models to predict how mutations affect phenotypes (an organism's characteristics). The direct connection between sequence-level mutations and how they lead to the emergent properties of an organism is a holy grail of molecular biology," he said. Co-authors of the paper are Olle Nordesjö and Samuel Flores of Uppsala University, Sweden; Ryan Hayes of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Herbert Levine, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Bioengineering and a professor of physics and astronomy and of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice. Morcos is an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Onuchic is Rice's Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics and professor of physics and astronomy, of chemistry and biosciences. Onuchic and Levine are co-directors of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. The National Science Foundation, Uppsala University and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education supported the research. Download the data sets and code used in the study at http://utdallas. This news release can be found online at http://news. Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl. .


News Article | April 21, 2016
Site: phys.org

The medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) diverged in beak size from the large ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris) on Daphne Major Island, Galápagos following a severe drought. Credit: © Peter R. Grant The most characteristic feature of Darwin's finches is the diversification of beak morphology that has allowed these species to expand their utilization of food resources in the Galápagos archipelago. A team of scientists from Uppsala University and Princeton University has now identified a gene that explains variation in beak size within and among species. The gene contributed to a rapid shift in beak size of the medium ground finch following a severe drought. The study is published in Science. Darwin's finches are a classical example of an adaptive radiation. Their common ancestor arrived on the Galápagos about two million years ago. During the time that has passed the Darwin's finches have evolved into 18 recognized species differing in body size, beak shape, song and feeding behaviour. Changes in the size and form of the beak have enabled different species to utilize different food resources such us insects, seeds, nectar from cactus flowers as well as blood from seabirds, all driven by Darwinian selection. In a previous study from the same team the ALX1 gene was revealed to control beak shape (pointed or blunt) and now a gene (HMGA2) affecting beak size has been identified. 'Our data show that beak morphology is affected by many genes as is the case for most biological traits. However, we are convinced that we now have identified the two loci with the largest individual effects that have shaped the evolution of beak morphology among the Darwin's finches', says Sangeet Lamichhaney PhD student at Uppsala University and first author of the study. Charles Darwin was the first to describe the principle of character divergence (now known as ecological character displacement), which means that species that compete for the same food resources tend to diverge from each other and thereby reduce competition. This evolutionary process has been invoked as an important mechanism in the assembly of complex ecological communities. One of the few clear examples of ecological character displacement was previously documented in Darwin's finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant at Princeton University, coauthors on this new study. The medium ground finch diverged in beak size from the large ground finch on Daphne Major Island, following a severe drought in 2004-2005. 'We previously documented that the average beak size of the medium ground finch population became smaller during this drought due to a high mortality among individuals with large beaks because they could not compete well with the large ground finch,' say Peter and Rosemary Grant, who carried out field work on the Galápagos during a 40 year period. 'Now we have demonstrated that the HMGA2 locus played a critical role in this evolutionary shift and that natural selection acting on this gene during the drought is one of the highest yet recorded in nature,' continues Peter and Rosemary Grant. HMGA2 has previously been associated with variation in body size in dogs and horses and it is one of the genes that show the most consistent association with variation in stature in humans, a trait that is affected by hundreds of genes. HMGA2 has also a role in cancer biology since it affects the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is important for metastasis and cancer progression. 'The HMGA2 gene regulates the expression of other genes but the exact mechanism how it controls beak size in Darwin's finches or human stature is unknown,' says Leif Andersson, Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Texas A&M University, who led the study. 'It is very fascinating that this gene pops up in many different species as a gene affecting growth and in humans also as a gene affecting dysregulated cell growth in cancer. It is clear that more research to better understand the function of this gene is well justified,' ends Leif Andersson. Explore further: New Research on Darwin's Finches Offers Rare Glimpse Into How Species Diverge More information: "A beak size locus in Darwin's finches facilitated character displacement during a drought," Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8786


News Article | September 6, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

An international team of scientists has described a rare fossil site that is believed to be among the earliest evidence of different fish species using a common nursery — much like ones utilized by some fish today. A quarry in Strud, Belgium, that was excavated between 2004 and 2015 yielded fossils of multiple species of placoderms, which are extinct, armored fish that represent some of the earliest jawed vertebrates on Earth. Dating back to the Devonian period, an era predating the dinosaurs by hundreds of millions of years, the site yielded smaller-sized fossils that show immature placoderms occupied the area. At the same time, larger placoderm fossils, indicating mature fish, were not found. “These sorts of juvenile-only assemblages are rare in the fossil record,” said Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, who served as a co-author on the study published in PLOS-One. “We are quite sure that the juvenile-only placoderm assemblage is not the result of sorting of small material by water currents because there are larger skeletal elements of other kinds of fish. We believe this points to a nursery.” The study was led by Sébastien Olive, a vertebrate paleontologist in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences who is now on a post-doctoral fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. By studying a site like Strud, Olive feels it will help give a more complete picture of ancient life. “Reconstructing life histories of extinct organisms is a rare opportunity to go beyond simply describing the anatomy of ancient life,” Olive said. “With these sorts of records, we can actually begin to understand aspects of behavior and life history of organisms that went extinct hundreds of millions of years ago.” The Strud site, which dates to the late part of the Devonian period (more than 360 million years ago), features many pieces of immature fish skeletons that were largely intact despite being small and fragile. As such, this pointed toward slow-moving and shallow water. An environment like that would have been — and remains, for present-day fish — ideal for the development of the young. “Adult placoderms may have used the nursery of Strud only to lay eggs and/or give live birth, and would have generally lived away from the nursery in deeper waters,” wrote the research team, which also included paleontologists Gaël Clément of the Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and Vincent Dupret, of Uppsala University in Sweden. An added benefit of the nursery site would have been its protection from predators, thanks to the “large, hard and sometimes spiny” vegetation that was found fossilized on-site. While the find at Strud is now one of the oldest-known nurseries in the world, similar records exist in Pennsylvania, especially at a site called Red Hill. During the Devonian period, the Pennsylvania and Strud sites would have been relatively close to each other since the Atlantic Ocean hadn’t begun to open to separate them. Daeschler and Olive’s work focused largely on comparing the Red Hill site to Strud, noting many similarities between the two and using the size and shape of placoderm fossils from Red Hill, housed at the Academy of Natural Sciences, to establish the relative maturity of samples found in Strud. With three different types of placoderm fossils discovered at Strud — Grossilepis rikiki, Turrisaspis strudensis and Phyllolepis undulata — it opens a question for scientists like Daeschler. “This is the first time that it can be demonstrated that several species seem to have used a common nursery,” Daeschler said. “It makes us wonder: Has that always been a common reproductive strategy?” Although placoderms are long extinct, getting glimpses of their lives puts more pieces together in the evolutionary puzzle. “In the case of placoderms like these, we’re looking at some of the earliest jawed vertebrates,” Olive said. “Understanding their life history can give us an idea of the primitive condition from which all other jawed vertebrates evolved.” Ultimately, Olive and Daeschler hope the Strud site provides a lens through which scientists can study current conditions. “By studying the past, with the ability to see a moment in time and changes through time, we are better able to understand ecosystems and the organisms that live in them today,” Olive said. “Geologists say that the present is the key to understanding the past. But we can also say that the past is the key to understanding the future.”


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 571.50K | Year: 2015

DiasporaLink is a 4-year exchange program between 24 universities and research institutes representing EU, the Americas, Africa and Australia and will investigate, evaluate and facilitate transnational diaspora entrepreneurship, TDE as driver of development and wealth creation in countries of origin and residence. The partners in DiasporaLink have together a unique possibility to have a substantial impact on a global, European and national level targeting different groups and stakeholders: The international research community Institutions and policy makers in the social, economic and development field Diaspora organizations and communities Media and press This is underlined by the specific network of the partners GEM Global Entrepreneurship Monitor IMISCOE International Migration, Integration, Social Cohesion International Council for Small Businesses Swedish TDE network Core tasks are: Structure research on diaspora cross-border entrepreneurship in migration corridors Create awareness among policy and decision makers of the potential of TDE through publications and a web-site Build a IT-curricula for transnational entrepreneurship within and outside the universities Build an ICT-platform for internal communication and for transnational team building The exchange of staff is built around research in common WPs and around regular and touring workshops both internal and external. The objective is to create a global, extended university network with the mission to monitor the entrepreneurship in migration corridors, define obstacles and support the corridor stakeholders with information and tuition. Essential is close contacts with diaspora entrepreneurs and diaspora organizations are systematically approached through workshops and media, for involving diaspora organizations as active partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 70.14M | Year: 2010

Scientific research is no longer conducted within national boundaries and is becoming increasing dependent on the large-scale analysis of data, generated from instruments or computer simulations housed in trans-national facilities, by using e Infrastructure (distributed computing and storage resources linked by high-performance networks).\nThe 48 month EGI-InSPIRE project will continue the transition to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure started in EGEE-III. It will sustain support for Grids of high-performance and high-throughput computing resources, while seeking to integrate new Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs), i.e. Clouds, SuperComputing, Desktop Grids, etc., as they are required by the European user community. It will establish a central coordinating organisation, EGI.eu, and support the staff throughout Europe necessary to integrate and interoperate individual national grid infrastructures. EGI.eu will provide a coordinating hub for European DCIs, working to bring existing technologies into a single integrated persistent production infrastructure for researchers within the European Research Area.\nEGI-InSPIRE will collect requirements and provide user-support for the current and new (e.g. ESFRI) users. Support will also be given for the current heavy users as they move their critical services and tools from a central support model to ones driven by their own individual communities. The project will define, verify and integrate within the Unified Middleware Distribution, the middleware from external providers needed to access the e-Infrastructure. The operational tools will be extended by the project to support a national operational deployment model, include new DCI technologies in the production infrastructure and the associated accounting information to help define EGIs future revenue model.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-06-2014 | Award Amount: 3.38M | Year: 2015

Despite the fact that iodine deficiency (ID) can easily be prevented by iodine fortification of table salt, industrial salt and cattle food, Europe belongs to the worst regions in terms of access to iodized salt and is seriously ID, resulting in the perpetuation of the single most important, preventable cause of brain damage. European ID is due to significant heterogeneity in prevention and monitoring programs, leading to inappropriate interventions, increased disease burden, health inequities and increased health care costs. Up to 360 Million European citizens are exposed to ID disorders. An effective European monitoring program is a crucial step towards eradication of ID disorders with significant benefits for European citizens and the sustainability of health care systems. The effects of ID in total cause tremendous, preventable costs in health care systems of affected regions. The overall aim of EUthyroid is to evaluate ID prevention and monitoring programs in 24 European countries, to initiate capacity building for harmonized European ID prevention and monitoring programs, and to disseminate project outcomes for supporting measures on national and EU level in order to eradicate ID disorders in Europe. The project will position itself as international hub of current national initiatives in the attempt to coordinate and support existing national activities. EUthyroid will generate the first harmonized data set of ID resulting in the first valid map of iodine status in Europe. With a dedicated dissemination program about the unfavorable health outcomes of ID, EUthyroid will pave the way for a harmonized EU-wide regulation of iodination, a common approach to iodine and outcome monitoring and establish recommendations for scientists on how to monitor IDD prevention programs. The project aims to make Europe a benchmark for ID disorder prevention worldwide.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SST.2013.2-2. | Award Amount: 15.00M | Year: 2013

In 2011, the White Paper on European Transport reasserted how fundamental transport was for society, for the mobility of European citizens and for the growth and vitality of the European economy. CAPACITY4RAIL will deliver research that is innovative, prepares rail for the future and takes into account results from previous research projects and programmes. The project builds on previous useable results and will deliver both technical demonstrations and system wide guidelines and recommendations that will be the basis for future research and investment, increasing the capacities of rail networks in the future. The time used for infrastructure monitoring, maintenance and renewal means down time. New concepts for low maintenance infrastructure, using standardized and plug-and-play concepts will be proposed. Non-intrusive innovative monitoring techniques or self-monitoring infrastructure will be investigated, allowing low or no impact on train operations. The fragility of some key component of the infrastructure system (especially in extreme weather conditions) such as switches may impact the efficiency of the whole system. The resilience of switches to any kind of known failure will be reinforced, as well as the ability of the operation system to recover from incidents. Capacity enhancements will also be achieved by higher speed freight vehicles, allowing an optimized interleaving of freight trains into mixed traffic, and improved planning models for operation. Intermodal integration within the global transport system will be improved through enhanced transhipment of passengers and freight. CAPACITY4RAIL will also look towards 2030/2050, by proposing guidelines for future deployments in the mid-term, recommendations for technologies to de developed and deployed in the long term and investigating the key opportunities for funding these within national and EU funding schemes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-7 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2013

European cultural landscapes are valued as everyday living environment, countryside, heritage, scenery with aesthetic and recreational qualities and unique biodiversity, and as a source of ecosystem services that they provide to society. Cultural landscapes, however, are undergoing rapid and fundamental transformations across Europe, mainly as a result of an on-going polarization of land use, with abandonment and rural exodus on the one hand, and intensification and (peri-) urbanisation on the other. So far, substantial challenges have inhibited the design of effective responses to safeguard cultural landscape values. The proposed HERCULES project strives for the empowerment of public and private actors to protect, manage, and plan for sustainable landscapes of significant cultural, historical, and archaeological value at local, national, and pan-European scales. By applying and developing innovative technologies and tools for assessing and mapping cultural landscapes, the project will (a) synthesise existing knowledge on drivers, patterns, and outcomes of persistence and change in Europes cultural landscapes; (b) perform targeted case studies to develop in-depth insights on dynamics and values of cultural landscapes; (c) develop a typology of cultural landscapes and scale-up case study insights using observations and landscape modelling; (d) develop visions for re-coupling social and ecological components in cultural landscapes and translate them into policy and management options; and (e) design and implement a community-based Knowledge Hub for Good Landscape Practice and demonstrate it with land users, agencies, SMEs, and citizen associations. HERCULES comprises European universities, SMEs, NGOs, and a research institute that are leaders in landscape science and practice. The project follows the European Landscape Conventions call for transdisciplinary research and involves all actors with stakes in cultural landscapes of historical and archaeological value.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.3.5. | Award Amount: 35.18M | Year: 2011

PRACE-2IP supports the accelerated implementation of the pan-European HPC Research Infrastructure created in April 2010 as the result of the preparatory phase PRACE project. It complements and extends the work of the PRACE-1IP project that was started in July 2010.\nPRACE-2IP addresses the computational and simulation needs of European scientific communities to keep them at the forefront of discovery. Our vision is the formation of an integrated HPC ecosystem of facilities and services enabling researchers to realise the full potential of computational science within the supportive environment of the European Research Area.\nBuilding on the implementation work of the preceding PRACE and DEISA projects, PRACE-2IP will enable seamless access to HPC systems and services at the Tier-0 and Tier-1 level to users, regardless of their country of work. This provides the means and motivation to undertake ambitious, ground-breaking computational science. In particular, DEISA-like services will be integrated into the ecosystem.\nApplications enabling expertise will support researchers in code development, optimisation and petascaling to help them make effective use of the Tier-0 and Tier-1 systems. Training and dissemination activities will ensure that European scientists have the knowledge and the skills enabling them to take full advantage of the facilities on offer. Through collaboration with technology providers and vendors, novel architectures, systems and technologies will be evaluated to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of HPC and that the future needs of the research community are understood and met. Targeted research activities will investigate possible solutions to challenges in programmability and scalability of future multi-petaflop systems.\nPRACE-2IP will considerably strengthen and deepen the co-operation between HPC centres, funding bodies and research communities in a mutually beneficial partnership to enhance European scientific competitiveness.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2012-2.3.1. | Award Amount: 26.57M | Year: 2012

PRACE-3IP supports the accelerated implementation of the pan-European HPC Research Infrastructure (RI) created in April 2010. It continues, complements, and extends the work of the PRACE-1IP and -2IP projects.\nPRACE-3IP addresses the computational and simulation needs of European scientific communities and of industry to keep them at the forefront of discovery. Our vision is the formation of an integrated HPC ecosystem of facilities and services enabling researchers to realise the full potential of computational science within the supportive environment of the ERA.\nThe project will undertake a joint pre-commercial procurement (PCP) pilot to obtain a solution for a Whole System Design for Energy Efficient HPC. This pilot is the first of its kind on a Europe-wide level and the lessons learned will be invaluable for PRACE in its future procurement strategy and for Europe as a whole in using PCP as a driver for innovation.\nPRACE-3IP will deliver a broad set of services suitable for use by industry and commerce. The PRACE RI will be open for use by SMEs and large European businesses, offering Tier-0 and Tier-1 access, training, and applications support.\nApplications support and enabling will have a bias towards addressing major socio-economic challenges. New tools will be made available under Open Source. Best practises will be identified, documented and made available to the European HPC community in academia and industry.\nPRACE-3IP will have a broad training and outreach activity designed to engage more user communities, including industry, in the use of HPC. The next generation of students and researchers will be introduced to the benefits of HPC and the technologies and knowledge required applying it successfully in their discipline.\nPRACE-3IP will considerably strengthen and deepen the co-operation between HPC centres, funding bodies and research communities in a mutually beneficial partnership to enhance European scientific and industrial competitiveness.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 49.02M | Year: 2008

A globally distributed computing Grid now plays an essential role for large-scale, data intensive science in many fields of research. The concept has been proven viable through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE and EGEE-II, 2004-2008) and its related projects. EGEE-II is consolidating the operations and middleware of this Grid for use by a wide range of scientific communities, such as astrophysics, computational chemistry, earth and life sciences, fusion and particle physics. Strong quality assurance, training and outreach programmes contribute to the success of this production Grid infrastructure. \nBuilt on the pan-European network GANT2, EGEE has become a unique and powerful resource for European science, allowing researchers in all regions to collaborate on common challenges. Worldwide collaborations have extended its reach to the benefit of European science.\nThe proposed EGEE-III project has two clear objectives that are essential for European research infrastructures: to expand, optimize and simplify the use of Europes largest production Grid by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources; to prepare the migration of the existing Grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives. \nBy strengthening interoperable, open source middleware, EGEE-III will actively contribute to Grid standards, and work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake of the Grid, which is a key to sustainability. \nFederating its partners on a national or regional basis, EGEE-III will have a structuring effect on the European Research Area. In particular, EGEE-III will ensure that the European Grid does not fragment into incompatible infrastructures of varying maturity. EGEE-III will provide a world class, coherent and reliable European Grid, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of scientific excellence.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 24.95M | Year: 2010

The European Middleware Initiative is a collaboration of the three major middleware providers in Europe, ARC, gLite and UNICORE, and other consortia. EMI aims to deliver a consolidated set of middleware components for deployment in EGI, PRACE and other DCIs; extend the interoperability between grids and other computing infrastructures; strengthen the reliability of the services; and establish a sustainable model to maintain and evolve the middleware, fulfilling the requirements of the user communities.\nEuropean scientific research has benefited recently from the increasing availability of computing and data infrastructures with unprecedented capabilities for large scale distributed initiatives. These infrastructures are largely defined by enabling middleware. After the necessary initial period of research and consolidation that has taken place in the past several years, the growing usage of these resources now requires the transformation of the computing infrastructures into a professionally managed and standardized service. It is of strategic importance for the establishment of permanent, sustainable research infrastructures to lower the technological barriers still preventing resource owners from federating the resources, and potential communities of tens of thousands of researchers from using grids as a commodity tool in their daily activities.\nThe EMI project will make the realization of this vision possible by addressing a number of problems that still prevent users from easily accessing and using the whole capacity of the existing computing infrastructures. It will focus on improving the usability and accessibility for scientific users and the interoperability and manageability for service providers. The sustainability of the grid services will be directly addressed by replacing wherever possible proprietary technology with off-the-shelf components, improving their standardization and implementing industry standard quality assurance methodologies.


News Article | October 7, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Geologists at Uppsala University have traced magma movement beneath Mt. Cameroon volcano, which will help monitor for future volcanic eruptions. The results are published in Scientific Reports. Mt. Cameroon is one of Africa's largest and most dangerous volcanoes, and its eruptions pose a threat to nearly half a million inhabitants that live on and around its flanks. A team of researchers from Uppsala University set out to unravel the volcano's underlying magma supply system in order to gather insight into the inner workings of the volcano and to help improve early warning and hazard mitigation strategies. The researchers revealed a complex magma plumbing system beneath Mt. Cameroon volcano by analyzing crystals from the two most recent eruptions in 1999 and 2000. "We were able reconstruct deep-seated magma storage reservoirs at the bottom of the crust, as well as shallow magma pockets in the uppermost crust. These shallow pockets seem to migrate in times of volcanic quiescence and may play a crucial role in priming the volcano for eruption," says Harri Geiger, PhD student at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University. The results further suggest that between eruptions magma batches migrate to shallower depths where they evolve and increase their explosive potential. Hence a longer time between eruptions increases the likelihood of the next eruption being more explosive in style, similar to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption on Iceland in 2010. "The problem with volcano monitoring is that it is easy to look for signals, but it is hard to know which signals are meaningful. Our message to the volcano monitoring teams at Mt. Cameroon is that they should focus on the seismic signals of magma migration from about 20 km depth, as such signals are very likely to precede eruptions at Mt. Cameroon," says Abigail Barker, researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences. 'The occurrence of shallow magma pockets likely plays a major role in controlling eruptive styles during eruptions and should therefore be routinely considered in hazard mitigation efforts. We believe these results have implications for other related volcanoes in Iceland, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and many other locations worldwide," says Geiger.


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

Continued improvement in survival data both in kidney cancer and liver cancer. Enrolment process for the ongoing MERECA phase II study now implemented across Europe. First quarter in brief > Two patent applications that relate to the Company's CD70-technology in important future markets - China and the USA -  approved during the first quarter. > An Investigational New Drug (IND) application was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late July for approval to treat kidney cancer patients in the U.S. with INTUVAX, in Immunicum's ongoing MERECA phase II trial. > Continued improvement in phase I/II survival data for eleven INTUVAX-treated patients with metastatic kidney cancer was presented in September. The data showed an ongoing, more than doubled median overall survival for the entire patient group and an ongoing more than tripled median overall survival for patients with poor prognosis. > Late September, Immunicum announced the appointment of Carlos de Sousa, M.D., EMBA, as new CEO to take the company to its next stage of development. > At the Annual General Meeting on October 26, 2016, Steven Glazer, Charlotte Edenius and Kerstin Valinder Strinnholm were elected as new Board members. > At the SITC annual meeting, November 14, 2016, Immunicum AB presented updated data on INTUVAX HCC phase I/II clinical study and announced last patient included in study extension. > Earnings per share before and after dilution (weighted average) amounted to SEK -0.46 (SEK -0,39) > Bank balances and short-term investment amounted to TSEK 129 032 (TSEK 61 441) at 30 September 2016 > Number of employees at the end of the period 9 (6) As new CEO of Immunicum it gives me great pleasure to summarize where our operations stand today, how they have developed the past quarter and how we perceive the possibilities and challenges lying ahead. Let me begin with a status update on the clinical trials with our unique cancer immune primer INTUVAX for the treatment of kidney and liver cancer as well as GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor). Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) - The enrolment process for the ongoing MERECA phase II study, where patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma are treated with INTUVAX in combination with sunitinib, is now implemented across Europe. To date, a total of 36 patients have been enrolled at 18 centers in seven European countries, with the majority of them happening in the last 6 months. I am glad to confirm that the initial challenges that caused delays in recruitment of patients outside of Sweden - the transfer of production to a large manufacturing facility in Germany, the development of a product that is more convenient for hospitals to manage and the lengthy evaluation process by the authorities of our applications in several European countries due to the innovative nature of INTUVAX - are now behind us and we also continue to expand the network of centers included in the study. Since July, Immunicum's Development team has been strengthened with three additional colleagues including the Chief Medical Officer. Immunicum has also submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA requesting approval to treat kidney cancer patients in the U.S. with INTUVAX, as part of the MERECA trial. In such a process, it is not uncommon that the FDA comes back with questions which companies need to respond to. We are currently in such stage of receiving and answering questions, meaning that the evaluation process is ongoing. We will announce when this process has been completed. Follow-up data in September from the completed clinical phase I/II study that preceded the MERECA study shows an ongoing median overall survival of 40 months for the entire patient population, comparing very favourably to the expected 15.2 months based on historical data for standard treatment in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) - Updated immunological and survival data from our clinical phase I/II study in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma was presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer's annual meeting. The data showed that 67% of fully treated patients with advanced HCC experienced increases in circulating tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. These increases appear to correlate with the prolonged survival rates seen in the study as compared to historical median overall survival rates. In the extension of the study, we have now enrolled the last of the six additional liver cancer patients that receive INTUVAX concomitantly with first line standard of care medication. GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) - As previously reported, the first patient has been included in our clinical phase I/II study with INTUVAX in patients with GIST. Due to the nature and the rarity of the disease, recruitment is slower than initially expected. We are therefore in the process of reviewing the study protocol, in collaboration with the investigators at the Karolinska Institute, with the objective of expediting enrolment. Furthermore, we are assessing the possibility of expanding of the development plan with additional phase I/II studies in different indications, like melanoma, and in different combinations, e.g. with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Immunicum focuses on the clinical studies with INTUVAX, but we also see very promising potential in our two other platform technologies, CD70 and the adenovirus vector, where the development is conducted in collaboration with professor Magnus Essand at Uppsala University. For CD70, we are currently evaluating the possibilities for clinical production and for the vector, we are currently conducting preclinical studies within the concept of SUBCUVAX. In order to make it possible to broaden our shareholder base and to facilitate the company's future financing, we have applied for listing of the Immunicum share on Nasdaq Stockholm's main list. We hope that this can be realized in early 2017. Another step to ensure flexibility in the company's future funding was taken when the AGM in October authorized the Board of Directors with a mandate to resolve on new share issues of a maximum of 5,040,000 shares. The AGM further decided to change Immunicum's fiscal year - from its present 1st of July to end of June - to follow the calendar year as well as to shorten the current fiscal year to cover the period 1st of July 2016 up to and including 31st of December 2016. Our next financial report will thus be a Year End Report for that period. We have also taken the decision to give general updates on our activities, including clinical trials, in a more organized and coherent manner, meaning that we will give regular updates twice a year, beginning fiscal year 2017 in connection with the Q2 and Year End Reports. All reporting that is significant to our milestones and/or could affect, or could be perceived to affect, our share price will of course be done immediately, just as before. Last but not least, let me conclude by stating that after my initial period at the helm, I realize that Immunicum is even more exciting than I expected. We are now in important stages in our clinical trials with INTUVAX and we hold high hopes on the clinical data we generate going forward. Expectations are high and so is our commitment to deliver. The full quarterly report is available on: http://immunicum.se/investors/financial-reports/ The information is such information that Immunicum is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was released for public disclosure through the agency of the company's contact person on November 18, 2016 at 08.30 CET. For more information, please contact Carlos de Sousa, CEO, Immunicum Ph: +46 (0) 31 41 50 52 E-mail: carlos.desousa@immunicum.com About Immunicum AB (publ) Immunicum AB (publ) develops cancer immune primers for the treatment of tumor diseases. A phase II clinical trial for the company's most advanced product - INTUVAX® against kidney cancer - has been initiated. The project portfolio contains additional clinical phase I/II studies in liver cancer and in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Immunicum is listed on First North Premier. www.immunicum.com


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Biohit Oyj Financial Statement Release, 20 February 2017 at 9:30 am local time (EET) ‘In the second half of 2016 our net sales grew by 72.8% compared to the comparison period 7-12/2015. During the entire year our net sales grew by 35.4% compared to 1-12/2015. In terms of operational development, Biohit Oyj has focused on supporting the business activities of our joint venture Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd, expanding the international distributor network and supporting partners, for example in product registrations. Especially our operations in China developed in a favorable manner in 2016 and our joint venture exceeded EUR 5 million in net sales with GastroPanel® (EUR 0.2 million in 2015) and made a positive operational result (EUR -1.1 million 2015). Our most important products are GastroPanel®, Acetium and diagnostic quick tests. Our main market areas are Asia and Europe. The smoking intervention study, which started in 2016, burdened the financial year’s costs in 2016 but other comparable non-IFRS costs were at a similar level than 2015. For 2017 the costs are not expected to grow, as the cost burden associated with clinical studies focused on the year 2016. In addition the net cash flow from operating activities improved by EUR 0.6 million compared to 2015.’ We expanded our distributor network and advanced product registrations We continued expanding our distributor network with new agreements and by restructuring agreements. During 2016 we signed following distribution agreements of Biohit`s diagnostic products: OnSite Diagnostic Lab India Pvt Ltd sells our diagnostic tests in India and SPD Scientific Pte Ltd. in Thailand. In the Philippines UC Biosciencies Inc. will distribute diagnostic tests. Pooyandegan Pezeshki Pardis was appointed as the GastroPanel® distributor in Iran and Delta Biologicals S.r.I in  southeast Italy. Tianjin Jingsheng Biological Technology Development Co. Ltd was appointed as distributor for Biohit´s calprotectin-test in China. We renewed the agreement with our Russian partner Melon OOO for the exclusive right to distribute our diagnostic products to a further contract period. In addition, we made a celiac disease quick test and GA-mapTM dysbiosis test distribution agreements with Beijing HuayiHuilang Medical Instrument Co.,Ltd in China and Glomedics distributes Lactose Intolerance Quick Tests in South Korea. In Sri Lanka Easemed Global Ltd was appointed as distributor for Helicobacter Pylori Quick Test. Furthermore, an agreement with exclusive right to distribute calprotectin-test in Iran was made with Iranian Arad Tajhiz Azma. In Sweden diagnostic tests are distributed through XboXLab AB. During the reporting period Ericon S.r.l. in Moldova and Inversiones Naturalia S.A in Panama got exclusive rights to sell Acetium. The acetaldehyde binding L-cysteine capsule, which was registered in Mexico as a food supplement and under a product name Etium, was granted an import license in Mexico in May 2016. The first batch was delivered to Mexico in early summer. During the first half of 2016 several diagnostic test registrations were concluded in Costa Rica. In the end of 2016 Indian authorities granted import license for Biohit´s several diagnostic tests. Additionally, during the second half of 2016 registrations in Thailand for several diagnostic tests, a re-registration of GastroPanel® and H. Pylori quick test in Kazakhstan and registration of ColonView, UFT300 and Quick test reader in Israel were concluded. During 2016 a price approval decision on the three GastroPanel® tests (pepsinogen l, pepsinogen II, gastrin-17) was issued in four Chinese provinces. The price approval decision has already been issued in 20 provinces. Price approval is a pre-requisite for reimbursability of GastroPanel® and start of sales. In general, the duration of the product registration process is different in each market area. For this reason, it is not possible to accurately assess the time it takes for the authorities to handle registrations in different countries and for product sales to begin. We bought a share of Norwegian Genetic Analysis AS with a directed share issue Biohit Oyj and Genetic Analysis AS signed a share exchange agreement through which Biohit Oyj acquired ownership of 18% of shares in the company. In addition to this the companies signed a distribution agreement giving Biohit Oyj a right to sell Genetic Analysis AS’s Dysbiosis Test under the Biohit brand and exclusively in Finland and in China. In the future, Genetic Analysis will also operate as a distributor to Biohit Oyj’s products and services in Norway. Biohit Oyj’s Chinese joint venture Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd production facility has passed official test requirements and has been granted a license enabling production and sales of products. Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd manufactures GastroPanel®-products developed by Biohit Oyj for the Chinese market. Screening studies provided additional information about the diagnosis of gastric cancer risks and the frequency of vitamin B12 deficiency More research evidence was obtained on the association of Helicobacter Pylori with gastric cancer. The long-term follow-up of the subjects who participated in a population-based screening during 1994-1996 was completed and the report was published in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. The study confirms the previous observations, according to which helicobacter infection alone increases significantly the risk of gastric cancer. This risk increases substantially when an untreated helicobacter infection has progressed to atrophic gastritis. Furthermore, we obtained additional evidence that GastroPanel® test predicts the risk of stomach cancer. In GastroPanel® test, a low Pepsinogen I level predicts stomach cancer risk even ten years in advance. These results were obtained in two separate studies among Asian and Caucasian population, where the subjects were followed-up for several years after GastroPanel® testing. The long-term predictive value of GastroPanel® test as a predictor of this risk has not been previously confirmed in a Caucasian population. According to a study conducted in Estonia and Finland, in the majority of cases in Estonia but less than 25% in Finland, vitamin B12 deficiency remains undiagnosed among elderly people. In that study, the frequency of atrophic gastritis and levels of vitamin B12 were compared among elderly people in both countries. Cancer screening pilots continued in China and Russia We continued our efforts towards advanced medical practices, especially in cancer screenings. The two pilot screening trials for gastric cancer risk started in China in 2015 continued, using Biohit Oyj`s GastroPanel® test. The first of these is a project of the National Clinical Research Center for Digestive Diseases (Changhai Hospital), funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. The Ministry is the coordinator of this multi-center study screening the risks of early gastric cancer. In the study, at least 20,000 persons will be screened in some 50 hospitals. The screenings were expected to be concluded by the end of 2016. The second study is being conducted in Chinese healthcare centers by the China Health Promotion Foundation. The foundation is a public organisation, administered by the Chinese Ministry of Health. Around half a million 40-80-year-old asymptomatic subjects will be screened in this trial. The sample collection has started in the summer of 2015 and continued over the whole year 2016. Due to the fact, that both organisational sides of the study are public organisations, and independent of Biohit Oyj and its joint venture, there is no specific information available about the exact time of completion. In 2015, Russian Federation started a pilot project for colorectal cancer screening, targeted to 48-75-year old asymptomatic persons. In the pilot project, around 20,000 persons will be screened, and the results are expected to be available during 2017. Based on these results, the final selection of the screening test to be used in the national screening program will be made, and one of the options is Biohit Oyj`s ColonViewFIT test. The national screening is organised and sponsored by the Russian Federal Government and it will be conducted by local medical centers. We brought our expertise for food industry In 2016 we started a cooperation with Pyynikin Craft Brewery and brought our biotechnological expertise at the disposal of the brewery production process. As a result of this cooperation, Pyynikin Craft Brewery launched a new beer brand called Pyynikin Vapaa (Pyynikki´s Free), responding to the consumers’ demands. The product is, among other properties, a gluten-free product and it has a very low acetaldehyde level. The cooperation with the brewery is a new business area for Biohit and it paves the way for developing the production of other food stuffs as well. We want to be part of the development aimed to offering the customers alimentary products made of pure raw materials. Biohit's product portfolio consists of diagnostic tests, analysis systems, products binding carcinogenic acetaldehyde into a harmless compound, monoclonal antibodies and service laboratory operations. The entire product and service portfolio is reported under a single segment. NET SALES AND RESULT The operating loss was EUR -3.4 million (EUR -2.9 million 1-12/2015). The result during the reporting period totalled EUR -3.3 million (EUR -2.9 million). On 31 December 2016, the balance sheet total was EUR 13.0 million (EUR 11.7 million). Biohit's balance sheet provides the necessary foundation for building new business and for utilising the significant potential of the company's products. At the end of 2016, our equity ratio was 83.0% (87.9%). Biohit Oyj has a moderate financial position, which allows for the necessary actions towards creating an international distributor network as well as the development and commercialisation of new products. Liquidity is at a good level. At the end of the reporting period, the company's financial assets totaled EUR 7.7 million (EUR 7.2 million) containing EUR 3.2 million worth of Genetic Analysis AS shares. Despite loss making financial periods the company has managed to keep its working capital on a good level and the management believes the working capital will cover the operations for the next 12 months and the company is not dependent on external financing to be able to guarantee the continuity of its operations. Furthermore, as announced on 2 January 2017, the company expects to receive EUR 1.8 million cash during the first half of the year from the ownership arrangement of its joint venture, which is expected to strengthen company’s working capital structure. The transaction requires approval from the authorities. Company’s management assessment is that company’s ability to continue its operations is good and there are no indications towards events or circumstances that alone or together might give a significant reason to doubt the organisation’s ability to continue its operations. R&D operations focus on innovations, as well as product development and improved usability. Biohit also employs external experts and subcontractors in its R&D operations. Development expenditure has not been capitalised. Research and development expenditure during the 1-12/2016 reporting period amounted to EUR 2.0 million (EUR 2.0 million), of which the second half-year accounted for EUR 0.8 million (EUR 1.0 million). The main focus was in the development of the GastroPanel® quick test. The quick test is particularly suitable for the test assortment at doctor’s offices and small laboratories, and it is designed to operate with an automatic reader. During 2016, a dysbiosis test was launched on the market measuring the gut microbiota. A bone density measurement (by a newly designed equipment) was added to the test portfolio of our laboratory services. Ongoing clinical trials continued and new trials were started To confirm the promising results of the smoking intervention study, which was concluded in November, 2015, a new, more comprehensive study with Acetium lozenge was designed. The study setting is similar as in the previous study, in which Acetium lozenge was found to be more effective than placebo in assisting the cessation of smoking. This needs to be confirmed in an adequately powered study. The new study with larger series of patients started in  spring 2016 and continues until the first half of 2017. L-cysteine slowly released from Acetium lozenge binds the human carcinogen acetaldehyde in the saliva to form a harmless compound, and in addition, improves oral health. An international study comparing colorectal cancer screening tests still continues in Barretos, Brazil. It has a similar design as the study completed in 2015 but the cohort of screened patients is larger. This study is close to completion and compares the sensitivity and specificity of Biohit Oyj’s ColonViewFIT test and a traditional guaiac-based method as a screening test for colorectal cancer. Based on the interim results, an abstract was submitted for the 2017 congress of DDW (Digestive Disease Week) in the USA. During 2016, the two randomised double-blind trials on patients who suffer from migraine and cluster headaches still continued. Due to the slow recruitment of the patients, the progress of these two studies is delayed. There are no interim results available. Year 2016 was also the starting point for a long-term treatment trial in two clinics in Italy, where the efficacy of Acetium capsule in the treatment of atrophic gastritis or in intervention of disease progression is tested in a randomised placebo-controlled trial. This study setting necessitates a sufficient number of patients who fulfill the selection criteria and an adequate follow-up period after therapy. Due to these reasons, the total duration of the project will be at least three years. The results of the senior citizens study, which was concluded at the end of 2015, were published during 2016 in the Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice. In this study, more than 200 residents of assisted housing facilities in Finland (Tampere) and Estonia (Tartu), with an average age of over 80 years, were tested with GastroPanel®- and vitamin B12 measurement. The aim was to compare the prevalence of atrophic gastritis, helicobacter-infection and B12 vitamin deficiency. The study disclosed significant differences in the general health of these elderly people between the two countries. This applies particularly to the prevalence, detection rate and management practices of helicobacter infection and vitamin B12 deficiency. Atrophic gastritis detected by GastroPanel® examination is a common cause of vitamin B12 malabsorption, an early diagnosis of which is emphasised also in this study. Novel results on the use of GastroPanel® test and a meta-analysis In 2016, Biohit’s Department of Clinical Research made a systematic review of the entire literature published on the use of GastroPanel® test in diagnosis of atrophic gastritis worldwide. All studies fulfilling the inclusion criteria were subjected to a formal meta-analysis. Meta-analysis is a statistical technique, which is suitable for calculating the pooled sensitivity and specificity of GastroPanel® test in diagnosis of atrophic gastritis, based on all published studies. Altogether, 27 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, comprising nearly 9000 patients tested with GastroPanel® in different countries and continents. Despite substantial variation between individual studies, the pooled results of this meta-analysis are encouraging and clearly substantiate the positive experiences of this test, reported in Biohit´s own studies and in those conducted by its partners. Especially important is the high specificity of GastroPanel® test in detecting atrophic gastritis signifying in practical terms that in cases with a completely normal test result a probability of atrophic gastritis or helicobacter-infection in the stomach is negligible. In addition to this meta-analysis, also two other studies with significant results conducted by Biohit or its partners were reported in Anticancer Research-journal during 2016. One of these is a screening study with GastroPanel® conducted in St. Petersburg with asymptomatic patients and the other one is a case-control study with 10-year longitudinal setting, in which the value of GastroPanel® as a predictor of a long-term risk of gastric cancer was estimated. The suitability of GastroPanel® as a screening tool of asymptomatic population was excellent and the test was sensitive and specific to detect a. o. atrophic gastritis (www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information ). In the case-control study, the below-threshold levels of GastroPanel® markers (PGI and PGII) were an independent predictor for an increased risk of gastric cancer even during a follow-up of 10 years. In the multi-variate model, the strongest predictor was a low PGI/PGII-ratio, which is an indicator for mucosal atrophy in the GastroPanel® marker profile. During 2016, a new clinical acetaldehyde study in Uppsala University Hospital was concluded. The study compared the effect of Acetium capsule and placebo on the acetaldehyde levels in the gastric juice after alcohol intake in volunteers who had an atrophic gastritis (acid-free stomach) confirmed by GastroPanel® test and biopsy. Like in the previous studies, Acetium reduced the acetaldehyde level in the gastric juice highly significantly (68%) as compared to placebo. Furthermore, the study is the first to confirm that the slow-release L-cysteine remains in the stomach for several hours and binds acetaldehyde into a harmless MTCA-compound. These results were published in the November 2016 issue of Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Acetium has been in use by Japanese cancer researcher for quite a long time by now. In Akita University the research group of Professor Katsunori Iijima (Head of Gastroenterology Department) has conducted further studies assessing the impact of Acetium on the internal acetaldehyde levels in the oesophageal and gastric mucosa and its possible impact on preventing the recurrence of cancer among the high-risk patients. GastroPanel® examination developed by Biohit Oyj is a significant tool in assessing the cancer risk of these patients. During 2016 the awareness of the harmfulness of acetaldehyde was increased in several occasions. In conjunction with the Annual Medical Assembly professor Mikko Salaspuro held a presentation about acetaldehyde as the most common carcinogen in the world. The presentation provoked a lively public discussion. Professor Salaspuro held a presentation about the same topic also in 8th Annual Charles Lieber Satellite Symposium in New Orleans on 25 June 2016. The presentation was called ‘Acetaldehyde a neglected human carcinogen’ and its summary is published in an international serie ‘Experimental and Molecular Pathology 102: 2017’. In the light of the current knowledge, the packages of alcoholic beverages should contain a statement on its possible content of acetaldehyde, which is classified by the WHO as a human carcinogen. Given that there is no scientific evidence to indicate that acetaldehyde and ethanol in the foodstuffs are less carcinogenic than acetaldehyde in alcoholic beverages, the same requirements should also apply to these products. Several alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs have an acetaldehyde content in excess of 5mg/L, which is the recommended upper limit for the acetaldehyde content in cosmetic products. Additionally, a scientific committee set by the EU has proposed in 2012 that mouthwashes should not contain acetaldehyde at all. Gross investments during the 1-12/2016 reporting period totalled EUR 0.1 million (EUR 0.2 million), of which the second half year accounted for EUR 0.0 million (EUR 0.0 million). Key investments in the period were related to production automation-related equipment. During the review period, the Biohit Group employed 53 (52 in 2015) people on average. 44 (44) of whom were employed by the parent company and 9 (8) by the subsidiaries. At the end of the year 2016, the Group employed 49 (49) personnel, of whom 40 (40) were employed by the parent company and 9 (9) by the subsidiaries. Biohit’s key risks are related to the investments required for business growth and adequacy of economic resources these require in the medium term. Company’s management assessment is that company’s ability to continue its operations is good and there are no indications towards events or circumstances that alone or together might give a significant reason to doubt the organisation’s ability to continue its operations in the next 12-month-period. Other risks are involved in areas such as the success of clinical trials, the selection and development of new market areas and distribution channels, personnel recruitment, registration processes, product pricing, and political decision-making affecting the progress of screening programs. Significant short-term risks are associated with the successful selection of new market areas, the timing of expansion into selected markets and product success in these markets. The recent increase in uncertainty factors associated with international politics may have an unfavorable impact on the company's business. The duration of the product registration process is different in each market area. For this reason, it is not possible to accurately assess the time taken for the authorities to handle registrations in these areas and for product sales to begin. When investing liquid assets, the objective is to gain a return on investment with a minimum risk of equity loss. The investment portfolio consists of deposits, money market investments and corporate loans. A fundamental aspect in portfolio management is sufficient diversification across different asset classes, investment instruments and counterparties. Biohit conducts its investment activities with at least two partners. Biohit’s operation’s customer base is widely diversified, with the exception of GastroPanel® sales in China, which currently represents a major single business for Biohit. Due to this reason, the company is dependent on the continuation of this business relationship. Otherwise, the company is not significantly dependent on individual customers or project deliveries. Most of the company’s business is conducted in euro, and the indirect effects of currency exchange rate fluctuations are considered insignificant. Together with its distributors and license partners Biohit has several product registrations ongoing in a number of different markets, which is affecting net sales development. A number of such registrations are expected to be completed in 2017. In addition, negotiations are in progress with new partners, including on the launch of major screening projects, but a number of political risks are affecting the progress of such projects. China’s operations are in Biohit’s focus in 2017. In addition to the ongoing screening studies Biohit’s joint venture Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd has succeeded in building a wide distributor network and customer base as well as in commercialising GastroPanel® widely, making use of the previous work on gaining price approval decisions in Chinese provinces. Development of sales has been good and increasing, especially in the second half of the year. The joint venture is well positioned to continue this work also in 2017. Biohit expects to complete the reduction of the joint venture share capital during the first quarter of 2017. As a result of the transaction Biohit Oyj estimates its non-comparable operating result to turn clearly positive for 2017. Reduction of the entire share capital of the joint venture is a part of our future GastroPanel® strategy in China. Establishing a production plant, receiving the needed licenses and commercialisation of the new product required sharing the risk in the means of a joint venture but for a company, which is completely Chinese-owned, is easier to get an access to national health care programs and growth funding than for a company, which is partly foreign-owned. Biohit's cost structure is characterised by high investment in research to obtain further evidence on the efficacy of Biohit's diagnostic tests in various clinical settings and in population-based screenings.  Late 2016 Biohit announced GastroPanel® quick test. GastroPanel® quick test differs from the current version by being able to give the result already during a single clinical appointment. GastroPanel® quick test is available in Europe after the performance and clinical tests required by the CE certification process are completed. We also facilitated the access to our health tests. R-kioski convenience stores are selling and marketing gift cards for Biohit Oyj’s health checks for consumers. We aim to grow profitable and are strongly committed to taking necessary actions in order to build a profitable future for the company. Net sales growth is expected in 2017. The company does not assess when the comparable result will turn to positive. The parent company's distributable funds (unrestricted equity) on 31 December 2016 are EUR 5,479,775.77, of which the period net loss is EUR 2,580,940.29. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that no dividend be paid for the financial year. MAIN EVENTS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR (H2) Beijing HuayiHuilang Medical Instrument Co., Ltd. to distribute GA-mapTM Dysbiosis Test in China Biohit Oyj and Beijing HuayiHuilang Medical Instrument Co., Ltd. signed an agreement for the distribution of the GA-mapTM Dysbiosis Test in China. Ilari Patrakka was  appointed Biohit Oyj’s Sales and Marketing Director and as a member of the Management Team as of August 26th 2016. He holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Business Administration. Biohit Oyj and Glomedics signed an agreement for the distribution of the Biohit Lactose Intolerance Quick Test in South Korea. The first meta-analysis of the scientific studies conducted with GastroPanel® was completed – the test is accurate for diagnosing atrophic gastritis The first meta-analysis of the scientific studies conducted with GastroPanel® test was  completed. GastroPanel® is a unique, very informative test for examining patients with upper stomach problems and diagnosing helicobacter gastritis (infection) and atrophic gastritis developed from it and stomach cancer and other risks caused by atrophic gastritis.  Atrophic gastritis, which is usually asymptomatic and which 13C urea breath test, fecal antigen test or pure antibody tests can not detect, can be detected only with GastroPanel® or gastroscopy and biopsy examination. Possibly  for this reason, a stomach cancer developed from atrophic gastritis  is still diagnosed at late stages, when the prognosis is  very poor (www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information ). Biohit Oyj’s Chinese joint venture Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd production facility passed official test requirements and was  granted a license enabling production and sales of products. Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd will start manufacturing of the globally unique GastroPanel®-product developed by Biohit Oyj for the Chinese market. The first shipments will go to fill orders relating to the ongoing gastric cancer risk screening study. Acetium capsule prevents the exposure to carcinogenic acetaldehyde in patients with atrophy of the stomach mucosa New scientific evidence on Acetium capsule was obtained. A collaborative study with Uppsala University shows that Acetium capsule prevents acetaldehyde exposure in patients suffering from the atrophy of the stomach mucosa (atrophic gastritis) caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. GastroPanel® test’s performance and clinical tests as well as registration can be potentially be completed already during 2017. Thisquick test can be performed during a clinical appointment from a fingertip blood drop. The new test is an advanced version of Biohit´s unique GastroPanel® stomach health test (www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information). GastroPanel® quick test differs from the current clinical test version by giving the results immediately during a single clinical appointment. The GastroPanel® quick test saves costs and unnecessary clinical appointments as well as speeds up the referral to further examinations and eventual treatment, which significantly improves the patient safety. Biohit Oyj and R-kioski started cooperation. R-kioski will sell and promote the gift cards for Biohit’s health checks for its consumers in R-kioski convenience stores across Finland. The agreement will enter into force immediately and will start with a launch during December 2016. Biohit Oyj’s Board of Directors decided on December 5, 2016 to distribute option rights of the option scheme I 2013 as follows: Graham Johnson 30.000 pcs, Panu Hendolin 30.000 pcs, Niklas Nordström 30.000 pcs, Daniela Söderström 30.000 pcs and Ilari Patrakka 30.000 pcs. For the option rights share subscription period commences on January 1, 2017 and ends on May 31, 2019. The persons have accepted the option rights. Biohit Oyj’s Financial Reporting and Annual General Meeting in 2017 Biohit Oyj will release its financial statements for 2016 on Monday 20th of February 2017.The Annual Report, which contains the Financial Statements for 2016 and the Report of the Board of Directors will be published approximately during week 12. Biohit Oyj’s Annual General Meeting has been planned for Wednesday 26th of April 2017 at 5:00 pm. Half year financial report for period January-June (H1) 2017 will be published on Thursday 17th of August 2017. Possible to send a whole blood sample for GastroPanel® examination Biohit has now subjected the GastroPanel® examination for further refinements, of which a patent application has been recently submitted. Now a whole blood sample can be sent to GastroPanel® examination without additional processing steps in context of drawing the sample, like centrifugation and transfer of the plasma (separated from a whole blood sample) into a tube with patient’s data label. This gives only in Europe the possibility for the thousands of private practices to take GastroPanel® as part of their test assortment with its benefits. Furthermore, by collecting whole blood samples, the risk of stomach and oesophagus cancer, with GastroPanel® screening, which provide plenty of other information as well, could be even easier to realise in a cost efficient way (www.gastropanel.com, www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information ). MAJOR EVENTS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE PERIOD Ownership arrangement in Biohit Oyj’s Chinese Joint Venture – 2017 operating result expected to be positive Biohit Oyj and Anhui Wisdom-Win Investment Co. Ltd signed a resolution authorised by shareholders of Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd. a joint venture operating in Hefei, China, concerning reduction of the joint venture share capital for an amount equal to Biohit Oyj’s shareholding. Biohit Oyj owns 40% of the company, and the agreement is for reduction of the entire share capital. As a result of the transaction Biohit Oyj estimates its operating result to turn calculatory positive for 2017. The transaction requires approval from the authorities. Biohit Oyj does not classify Biohit HealthCare (Hefei) Co. Ltd shares as an asset available for sale as the book value of the asset is not in principal determined by the assets transaction value and the share capital reduction requires approval from the authorities. Biohit's financial reporting and Annual General Meeting in 2017 Biohit Oyj’s Annual General Meeting has been planned for 5.00 pm on Wednesday 26 April 2017 in Helsinki. The Board of Directors will call the General Meeting at a later date. In 2017 the company will publish the half-year report for period January - June 2017 (H1) at 9:30 am on Thursday 17 August 2017. The members of Biohit's Management Team are: CEO Semi Korpela, CFO Niklas Nordström, Director of Business Development Lea Paloheimo, Production & Research and Development Director Panu Hendolin, Sales and Marketing Director Ilari Patrakka, Quality and Regulatory Affairs Director Daniela Söderström and Chief Medical Director Kari Syrjänen. Biohit Oyj’s number of shares is 14,698,533 (14,348,533), of which 2,975,500 (2,975,500) are Series A shares and 11,723,033 (11,373,033) are Series B shares. The Series B shares are quoted on NASDAQ Helsinki in the Small cap/Healthcare group under the code BIOBV. Supposing that the market capitalisation for series A and B shares is equal, the total market capitalisation at the end of the period was EUR 88.9 million (EUR 80.5 million on 31 December 2015). Shares’ trade value during the period amounted to approximately EUR 12 million. At the end of the reporting period on 31 December 2016, the company had 6,402 shareholders (6,594 on 31 December 2015). Private households held 76.17% (78.0%). companies 19.26% (20.1%) and public sector organisations 0.02% (0.0%). Foreign ownership or nominee registrations accounted for 4.41% (1.7%) of shares. Further information on the shares, major shareholders and management shareholdings is available on the company's website at www.biohithealthcare.com/investors . This financial statement release has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting standard. Biohit Oyj has applied the same accounting principles in preparing this financial statement release as for its financial statements 2015. The figures in the financial statement release have not been audited. Earnings per share calculated from earnings attributable to equity holders of the parent company STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY Consolidated statement of changes in equity on 31 December 2016 Consolidated statement of changes in equity on 31 December 2015 Biohit Oyj’s goods and service sales for our joint venture Biohit Healthcare (Hefei) Co. Ltd increased significantly during the financial period compared to previous year being EUR 3.6 million (EUR 1.4 million in 2015 including the closely associated company Anhui Machinery Development). Biohit Oyj B-shares subscribed with stock options I and II 2013 during the 1-12/2016 reporting period During 2016 no new Biohit Oyj shares were subscribed for with stock options I 2013. As a result of the directed share issue for Genetic Analysis AS in 2016 (350,000 shares), the total number of Biohit Oyj's shares increased to 14,698,533 (14,348,533 shares December 31, 2015) and B-shares to 11,723,033 (11,373,033 shares December 31, 2015). The new shares will correspond to a percentage of 2.38% of Biohit Oyj's total number of shares and 0.49% of the voting rights after registration. The half-year report for January - June 2017 (H1) will be published at 9:30 am local time (EEST) on Thursday 17 August 2017. Biohit Oyj is a globally operating Finnish biotechnology company. Biohit mission is “Innovating for Health” – we produce innovative products and services to promote research and early diagnosis. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and has subsidiaries in Italy and the UK. Biohit Series B share (BIOBV) is quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki in the Small cap/Healthcare group. www.biohithealthcare.com


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Researchers have identified 12 specific areas of the DNA sequence that are robustly related with the age at which we have our first child, and the total number of children we have during the course of our life. The study, led by the University of Oxford, working together with the Universities of Groningen, The Netherlands and Uppsala, Sweden, includes an analysis of 62 datasets with information from 238,064 men and women for age at first birth, and almost 330,000 men and women for the number of children. Until now, reproductive behaviour was thought to be mainly linked to personal choices or social circumstances and environmental factors. However, this new research shows that genetic variants can be isolated and that there is also a biological basis for reproductive behaviour. The paper is co-authored by over 250 sociologists, biologists, and geneticists from institutions worldwide, and has been published in the journal, Nature Genetics. Lead author Professor Melinda Mills, from the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, comments: 'For the first time, we now know where to find the DNA areas linked to reproductive behaviour. For example, we found that women with DNA variants for postponing parenthood also have bits of DNA code associated with later onset of menstruation and later menopause. One day it may be possible to use this information so doctors can answer the important question: "How late can you wait?" based on the DNA variants. It is important to put this into perspective, however, as having a child still strongly depends on many social and environmental factors that will always play a bigger role in whether or when we have babies.' The study shows that DNA variants linked with the age at which people have their firstborn are also associated with other characteristics reflecting reproduction and sexual development, such as the age at which girls have their first period, when the voice breaks in boys, and at what stage women experience their menopause. First author Nicola Barban, from the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, comments: 'Our genes do not determine our behaviour, but for the first time, we have identified parts of the DNA code that influence it. This is another small piece to understanding this very large jigsaw puzzle.' The researchers calculated that variants in the 12 areas of the DNA together predict less than 1% of the timing at which men and women have their first child and of the number of children they have in the course of their lifetime. The paper says that while these numbers seem 'extremely small', their modelling shows that in some cases when the variants are combined, they can be used to predict the probability of women remaining childless. Importantly, by examining the function of the 12 DNA regions and the genes in these regions in detail, the researchers have identified 24 genes that are likely to be responsible for the effects of the 12 DNA variants on reproductive behaviour. Some of these genes were already known to influence infertility, while others have not yet been studied. According to study co-authors Professor Harold Snieder from the University of Groningen and Associate Professor Marcel den Hoed from Uppsala University, 'an improved understanding of the function of these genes may provide new insights for infertility treatments'.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Researchers have identified 12 specific areas of the DNA sequence that are robustly related with the age at which we have our first child, and the total number of children we have during the course of our life. The study, led by the University of Oxford, working together with the Universities of Groningen, The Netherlands and Uppsala, Sweden, includes an analysis of 62 datasets with information from 238,064 men and women for age at first birth, and almost 330,000 men and women for the number of children. Until now, reproductive behaviour was thought to be mainly linked to personal choices or social circumstances and environmental factors. However, this new research shows that genetic variants can be isolated and that there is also a biological basis for reproductive behaviour. The paper is co-authored by over 250 sociologists, biologists, and geneticists from institutions worldwide, and has been published in the journal, Nature Genetics. Lead author Professor Melinda Mills, from the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, comments: 'For the first time, we now know where to find the DNA areas linked to reproductive behaviour. For example, we found that women with DNA variants for postponing parenthood also have bits of DNA code associated with later onset of menstruation and later menopause. One day it may be possible to use this information so doctors can answer the important question: "How late can you wait?" based on the DNA variants. It is important to put this into perspective, however, as having a child still strongly depends on many social and environmental factors that will always play a bigger role in whether or when we have babies.' The study shows that DNA variants linked with the age at which people have their firstborn are also associated with other characteristics reflecting reproduction and sexual development, such as the age at which girls have their first period, when the voice breaks in boys, and at what stage women experience their menopause. First author Nicola Barban, from the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, comments: 'Our genes do not determine our behaviour, but for the first time, we have identified parts of the DNA code that influence it. This is another small piece to understanding this very large jigsaw puzzle.' The researchers calculated that variants in the 12 areas of the DNA together predict less than 1% of the timing at which men and women have their first child and of the number of children they have in the course of their lifetime. The paper says that while these numbers seem 'extremely small', their modelling shows that in some cases when the variants are combined, they can be used to predict the probability of women remaining childless. Importantly, by examining the function of the 12 DNA regions and the genes in these regions in detail, the researchers have identified 24 genes that are likely to be responsible for the effects of the 12 DNA variants on reproductive behaviour. Some of these genes were already known to influence infertility, while others have not yet been studied. According to study co-authors Professor Harold Snieder from the University of Groningen and Associate Professor Marcel den Hoed from Uppsala University, 'an improved understanding of the function of these genes may provide new insights for infertility treatments'. Human reproductive behaviour is defined by two measures: age at first birth (AFB) and number of children ever born (NEB). AFB is the self-reported age when subjects had their first child. In most cases, people were directly asked a question such as: "How old were you when you had your first child?" Alternatively, researchers calculated the measure based on several survey questions (e.g., date of birth of the individual and the date of birth of their first child). Number of children ever born (NEB) is the self-reported number of children that an individual has. It was often asked directly such as "How many children do you have?" They also calculated it based on several survey questions (for example, pregnancy histories and outcomes, number of deliveries). NEB has emerged as the gold standard to measure lifetime reproductive success indicating 'biological fitness'. In many industrialized societies, first-time parents are considerably older than decades before, which in turn has consequences for the number of children they can have and their reproductive health. Since the 1970s, there has been a rapid postponement by around 4-6 years in the age at first birth from women having their first child at around 24 years in 1970 to 29 years in 2012 in many industrialized societies. There has not only been postponement, but also significant increases in the levels of childlessness, with around 20-25% of women born from 1965-69 in Southern and Western European countries having no children. The biological ability to conceive a child starts to steeply decline for some women as of age 25, with almost 50% of women being sterile by the age of 40.5 This means that a growing number of women start to have their first and subsequent children exactly at the time that their ability to conceive starts to decrease. Birth postponement and a lower number of children has been largely attributed to social, economic and cultural environmental factors (i.e., individual and partner characteristics, socioeconomic status), with virtually no attention paid to the genetic or biological underpinnings of this behaviour. They searched across the entire human genome, examining each genetic locus (or region) one by one to see if there is a relationship (or what we call an association) between our outcomes (AFB, NEB) and a particular genetic locus. These genetic loci contain so-called SNPs (pronounced SNIPs), which refers to single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or in other words, the DNA variants that distinguish us from each other. In the largest GWAS on human reproduction to date, they combined results from 62 different studies into what is referred to as a meta-analysis with a total sample size of N=251,151 for AFB and N=343,072 for NEB. They also performed separate meta-analyses for women (AFB, N=189,656; NEB, N=225,230) and men (AFB, N=48,408; NEB, N=103,909). They went beyond simply finding the location of the genetic loci to determine whether they had any biological function or relevance. They identified 12 independent loci (10 of which were not previously anticipated to influence reproductive behaviour) that were significantly associated with AFB and/or NEB. They found that all 12 genetic loci combined can explain around 1 % of the variability in the average age at which someone has their first baby. They can also predict around 0.2% of the variability of the number of children we will have in the course of our lifetime using a combined polygenic score. Although it may seem low, the results showed that a 1 standard deviation increase of the NEB polygenic score is associated with a 9% decrease in the probability for women to remain childless (with no significant effect found for men). No - not at all. As described previously, since each individual SNP or genetic variant has such a small effect, prediction of AFB or NEB using genetic results alone is not possible. Even if they combine the genetic variants together into an index or what is termed a 'polygenic score' using all approximately 9 million SNPs in our data, they can still only predict 0.9% and 0.2% of the variation in AFB and NEB across individuals. As more and more genetic data becomes available, they anticipate that it will be possible to predict at most 15 to 20% of the variance in AFB and NEB, which would resemble more recent whole-genome results. A variable that predicts around 1% of the variation in human reproductive behaviour is large enough to be relevant and useful for experts in many disciplines. In the longer term, this study offers a better understanding of the genetic architecture of human reproductive behaviour. It likewise has the potential to enable the discovery of predictors of infertility, which would in turn greatly improve family planning but also increase the effectiveness of costly and invasive ART treatments as well as allow couples to realize their fertility intentions. Some of the lead SNPs or genetic loci are related to critical fertility related processes such as: follicle stimulating hormone, estrogen, growth in ovaries, spermatid differentiation, male germ cell development and diseases associated with female infertility (endometriosis, PCOS).


Chen D.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Gyllensten U.,Uppsala University
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2014

The major histocompatibility complex class I polypeptide-related sequence A gene (MICA) encodes a membrane-bound protein acting as a ligand to stimulate an activating receptor, NKG2D, expressed on the surface of essentially all human natural killer (NK), γδ T and CD8(+) αβ T cells. MICA protein is absent from most cells but can be induced by infections and oncogenic transformation and is frequently expressed in epithelial tumors. Upon binding to MICA, NKG2D activates cytolytic responses of NK and γδ T cells against infected and tumor cells expressing MICA. Therefore, membrane-bound MICA acts as a signal during the early immune response against infection or spontaneously arising tumors. On the other hand, human tumor cells spontaneously release a soluble form of MICA, causing the downregulation of NKG2D and in turn severe impairment of the antitumor immune response of NK and CD8(+) T cells. This is considered to promote tumor immune evasion and also to compromise host resistance to infections. MICA is the most polymorphic non-classical class I gene. A possible association of MICA polymorphism with genetic predisposition to different cancer types has been investigated in candidate gene-based studies. Two genome-wide association studies have identified loci in MICA that influence susceptibility to cervical neoplasia and hepatitis C virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, respectively. Given the current level of interest in the field of MICA gene, we discuss the genetics and biology of the MICA gene and the role of its polymorphism in cancer. Gaps in our understanding and future research needs are also discussed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


Newton R.J.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Jones S.E.,University of Notre Dame | Eiler A.,Uppsala University | McMahon K.D.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Bertilsson S.,Uppsala University
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews | Year: 2011

Freshwater bacteria are at the hub of biogeochemical cycles and control water quality in lakes. Despite this, little is known about the identity and ecology of functionally significant lake bacteria. Molecular studies have identified many abundant lake bacteria, but there is a large variation in the taxonomic or phylogenetic breadths among the methods used for this exploration. Because of this, an inconsistent and overlapping naming structure has developed for freshwater bacteria, creating a significant obstacle to identifying coherent ecological traits among these groups. A discourse that unites the field is sorely needed. Here we present a new freshwater lake phylogeny constructed from all published 16S rRNA gene sequences from lake epilimnia and propose a unifying vocabulary to discuss freshwater taxa. With this new vocabulary in place, we review the current information on the ecology, ecophysiology, and distribution of lake bacteria and highlight newly identified phylotypes. In the second part of our review, we conduct meta-analyses on the compiled data, identifying distribution patterns for bacterial phylotypes among biomes and across environmental gradients in lakes. We conclude by emphasizing the role that this review can play in providing a coherent framework for future studies. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Wehling T.O.,University of Bremen | Black-Schaffer A.M.,Uppsala University | Balatsky A.V.,NORDITA | Balatsky A.V.,Los Alamos National Laboratory
Advances in Physics | Year: 2014

A wide range of materials, like d-wave superconductors, graphene, and topological insulators, share a fundamental similarity: their low-energy fermionic excitations behave as massless Dirac particles rather than fermions obeying the usual Schrödinger Hamiltonian. This emergent behavior of Dirac fermions in condensed matter systems defines the unifying framework for a class of materials we call "Dirac materials." In order to establish this class of materials, we illustrate how Dirac fermions emerge in multiple entirely different condensed matter systems and we discuss how Dirac fermions have been identified experimentally using electron spectroscopy techniques (angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and scanning tunneling spectroscopy). As a consequence of their common low-energy excitations, this diverse set of materials shares a significant number of universal properties in the low-energy (infrared) limit. We review these common properties including nodal points in the excitation spectrum, density of states, specific heat, transport, thermodynamic properties, impurity resonances, and magnetic field responses, as well as discuss many-body interaction effects. We further review how the emergence of Dirac excitations is controlled by specific symmetries of the material, such as time-reversal, gauge, and spin-orbit symmetries, and how by breaking these symmetries a finite Dirac mass is generated. We give examples of how the interaction of Dirac fermions with their distinct real material background leads to rich novel physics with common fingerprints such as the suppression of back scattering and impurity-induced resonant states. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Quevedo D.E.,University of Newcastle | Ahlen A.,Uppsala University | Johansson K.H.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2013

Stochastic stability for centralized time-varying Kalman filtering over a wireless sensor network with correlated fading channels is studied. On their route to the gateway, sensor packets, possibly aggregated with measurements from several nodes, may be dropped because of fading links. To study this situation, we introduce a network state process, which describes a finite set of configurations of the radio environment. The network state characterizes the channel gain distributions of the links, which are allowed to be correlated between each other. Temporal correlations of channel gains are modeled by allowing the network state process to form a (semi-)Markov chain. We establish sufficient conditions that ensure the Kalman filter to be exponentially bounded. In the one-sensor case, this new stability condition is shown to include previous results obtained in the literature as special cases. The results also hold when using power and bit-rate control policies, where the transmission power and bit-rate of each node are nonlinear mapping of the network state and channel gains. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Nebert D.W.,University of Cincinnati | Wikvall K.,Uppsala University | Miller W.L.,University of California at San Francisco
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

There are 18 mammalian cytochrome P450 (CYP) families, which encode 57 genes in the human genome. CYP2, CYP3 and CYP4 families contain far more genes than the other 15 families; these three families are also the ones that are dramatically larger in rodent genomes. Most (if not all) genes in the CYP1, CYP2, CYP3 and CYP4 families encode enzymes involved in eicosanoid metabolism and are inducible by various environmental stimuli (i.e. diet, chemical inducers, drugs, pheromones, etc.), whereas the other 14 gene families often have only a single member, and are rarely if ever inducible or redundant. Although the CYP2 and CYP3 families can be regarded as largely redundant and promiscuous, mutations or other defects in one or more genes of the remaining 16 gene families are primarily the ones responsible for P450- specific diseases-confirming these genes are not superfluous or promiscuous but rather are more directly involved in critical life functions. P450-mediated diseases comprise those caused by: aberrant steroidogenesis; defects in fatty acid, cholesterol and bile acid pathways; vitamin D dysregulation and retinoid (as well as putative eicosanoid) dysregulation during fertilization, implantation, embryogenesis, foetogenesis and neonatal development. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Bartusch C.,Uppsala University | Alvehag K.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Applied Energy | Year: 2014

Smart grids play a key role in realizing climate ambitions. Boosting consumption flexibility is an essential measure in bringing the potential gains of smart grids to fruition. The collective scientific understanding of demand response programs argues that time-of-use tariffs have proven its merits. The findings upon which this conclusion rests are, however, primarily derived from studies covering energy-based time-of-use rates over fairly short periods of time. Hence, this empirical study set out with the intention of estimating the extent of response to a demand-based time-of-use electricity distribution tariff among Swedish single-family homes in the long term. The results show that six years after the implementation households still respond to the price signals of the tariff by cutting demand in peak hours and shifting electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours. Studies conducted in the Nordic countries commonly include only homeowners and so another aim of the study was to explore the potential of demand response programs among households living in apartment buildings. The demand-based tariff proved to bring about similar, but not as marked, effects in rental apartments, whereas there are virtually no corresponding evidences of demand response in condominium apartments. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Lehmann J.-P.,Ostersunds Sjukhus | Graf W.,Uppsala University
Colorectal Disease | Year: 2013

Aim: Ligation of the intersphincteric fistula tract (LIFT) is a novel sphincter-preserving technique for anal fistula. This pilot study was designed to evaluate the results in patients with a recurrent fistula. Method: Seventeen patients [nine men; median age 49 (range, 30-76) years] with a recurrent trans-sphincteric fistula were treated with a LIFT procedure between June 2008 and February 2011. All were followed prospectively for a median of 16 (range, 5-27) weeks with clinical examination. Fifteen followed for 13.5 (range, 8-26) months by clinical examination also had three-dimensional (3D) anal ultrasound. Results: The duration of the procedure was 35 (range, 18-70) min. One patient developed a small local haematoma and one had a subcutaneous infection, but otherwise there was no morbidity. At follow up, 11 (65%) patients had a successful closure, two (12%) had a remaining sinus and four (23%) had a persistent fistula. The incidence of persistent or recurrent fistulae at 13.5 months was six (40%) of 15 patients. No de novo faecal incontinence was reported. Conclusion: LIFT is a safe procedure for patients with recurrent anal fistula, with healing at short-term and medium-term follow-up comparable with or superior to that of other sphincter-preserving techniques. Larger studies with a longer follow up are needed to define the ultimate role of LIFT in patients with recurrence. © 2012 The Authors Colorectal Disease © 2012 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.


Brena B.,Uppsala University | Siegbahn P.E.M.,University of Stockholm | Agren H.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

The Mn 1s near-edge absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) has been computed by means of transition-state gradient-corrected density functional theory (DFT) on four Mn4Ca clusters modeling the successive S0 to S 3 steps of the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in photosystem II (PSII). The model clusters were obtained from a previous theoretical study where they were determined by energy minimization. They are composed of Mn(III) and Mn(IV) atoms, progressing from Mn(III)3Mn(IV) for S0 to Mn(III)2Mn(IV)2 for S1 to Mn(III)Mn(IV) 3 for S2 to Mn(IV)4 for S3, implying an Mn-centered oxidation during each step of the photosynthetic oxygen evolution. The DFT simulations of the Mn 1s absorption edge reproduce the experimentally measured curves quite well. By the half-height method, the theoretical IPEs are shifted by 0.93 eV for the S0 → S 1 transition, by 1.43 eV for the S1 → S2 transition, and by 0.63 eV for the S2 → S3 transition. The inflection point energy (IPE) shifts depend strongly on the method used to determine them, and the most interesting result is that the present clusters reproduce the shift in the S2 → S3 transition obtained by both the half-height and second-derivative methods, thus giving strong support to the previously suggested structures and assignments. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Hagfeldt A.,Uppsala University | Hagfeldt A.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Hagfeldt A.,Dalian University of Technology | Boschloo G.,Uppsala University | And 4 more authors.
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2010

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) offer the possibilities to design solar cells with a large flexibility in shape, color, and transparency. DSC research groups have been established around the world with biggest activities in Europe, Japan, Korea, China, and Australia. The sun emits light with a range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet and visible to the infrared. It peaks in the visible, resembling the spectrum of a blackbody at a temperature of 5760 K. It is, however, influenced by atmospheric absorption and the position of the sun. The advent of heteroleptic ruthenium complexes furnished with an antenna function has taken the performance of the DSC to a new level. Two examples of these dyes are Z991 and C101. Compared with the classical DSC Ru dyes, their extinction coefficients are higher and the spectral response is shifted to the red. The positions of the energy levels at the oxide/dye/electrolyte interface are fundamentally important to the function of the DSC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-7 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2008

Despite major efforts, identifying susceptibility genes for common human diseases - cancer, cardiovascular, inflammatory and neurological disorders - is difficult due to the complexity of the underlying causes. The dog population is composed of ~ 400 purebred breeds; each one is a genetic isolate with unique characteristics resulting from persistent selection for desired attributes or from genetic drift / inbreeding. Dogs tend to suffer from the same range of diseases than human but the genetic complexity of these diseases within a breed is reduced as a consequence of the genetic drift and due to long-range linkage disequilibrium the number of SNP markers needed to perform whole genome scans is divided by at least ten. Here, we propose a European effort gathering experts in genomics to take advantage of this extraordinary genetic model. Veterinary clinics from 12 European countries will collect DNA samples from large cohorts of dogs suffering from a range of thoroughly defined diseases of relevance to human health. Once these different cohorts will be built, DNA samples will be sent to a centralized, high-throughput SNP genotyping facility. The SNP genotypes will be stored in central database and made available to participating collaborating centres, who will analyze the data with the support of dedicated statistical genetics platforms. Following genome wide association and fine-mapping candidate genes will be followed up at the molecular level by expert animal and human genomics centers. This innovative approach using the dog model will ultimately provide insights into the pathogenesis of common human diseases its primary goal.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.2-7 | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2008

The effectiveness of treatment with oral anticoagulants in the prevention of thrombotic disorders is well established, but these drugs are potentially dangerous because of their narrow therapeutic index. In Europe three coumarins are used: warfarin, acenocoumarol, and phenprocoumon. Genetic factors that have been recently demonstrated to change the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of coumarins are the presence of polymorphisms in the genes encoding for CYP2C9 and VKOR (vitamin K epoxide reductase complex). Polymorphisms in these genes are associated with increased risk for severe overanticoagulation and bleedings. A clinical trial will be performed in seven European countries to determine whether knowledge of the genotype of patients at the start of coumarin treatment will increase the safety of use of these compounds and whether such gene testing is cost-effective. Patients will be randomized to receive treatment with a coumarin either dosed with an algorithm that does not include information on their genotype, or with an algorithm that does contain this information. The primary outcome will be time within therapeutic INR range. Secondary outcomes include INR>4 and bleedings.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-12 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2008

The increasing emergence of multidrug resistant strains and extensively drug resistant strains, the last one being virtually untreatable, urgently demand novel drugs for therapy of tuberculosis. This project has the aim of bringing together a number of research scientists with expertise in a broad range of disciplines, both from Europe and from India, covering the development field from chemistry to in vivo evaluation. The selected targets belong to either the group of targets from which some proof of concept already exist (mycolic acid synthesis and ATP synthase) either to the group of completely new targets that will be validated (thymidylate synthase, acyl-CoA carboxylase, DNA helicases). One alternative strategy to target the host cellular machinery to enhance bacterial killing is, likewise, included. The selected targets are covering fatty acid metabolism, nucleoside synthesis, energy generator, the survival of the microorganism in macrophages, the nucleic acids metabolism. The systems selected include those from which we expect to generate compounds active against replicating mycobacteria or to obtain compounds targeting latent infection. The application is divided in four scientific workpackages, including target validation, the interaction with the host cellular machinery, the design and synthesis of new inhibition and in vitro and in vivo screening of drug candidates and one management workpackage. A considerable part of the drug development and assessment against drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis will be carried out by the Indian partners, one of which is an SME.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.14M | Year: 2009

There is a consensus today that supplying a growing world population with energy is one of the biggest if not the biggest challenge mankind is facing in the 21st century. The reasons for this are numerous and are among others related to the observation that energy is critical to human development, including economic growth, equity and employment, and that fossil fuels our current energy backbone are slowly but inevitably declining. This generates an increasing demand of well-educated young scientists knowledgeable in materials science for energy conversion and storage, because a central problem for all forms of energy is their efficient generation or conversion as well as energy storage with sufficiently high density (e.g., hydrogen or biofuels). In this broader context, the proposed Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) MATCON will concentrate on the following topics of fundamental importance: Photo-electrochemical generation of hydrogen by water splitting Bio-inspired and biomimetic energy conversion Thermoelectric and thermoionic heat conversion For all of these topics, alternative or new materials and materials combinations will be necessary to improve the efficiency of energy conversion or to overcome existing problems with stability. Therefore, the Network will also put considerable emphasis on the tailoring and development of specific materials for electrodes, substrates and functional interfaces. This expertise will be of central importance for the successful implementation of the different research topics outlined above and, at the same time, provide an ideal basis for the training of the young researchers in state of the art materials science and semiconductor technology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2013

The strong temporal dynamics of the East African landscape and natural-resource distributions have always encouraged people to innovate and adapt to changing conditions. However, increasing population growth, changes in patterns of land tenure, industrialization, weak systems of governance, and global climate change have exacerbated previously localized environmental problems such as soil erosion, depletion of water catchments, loss of forests and grazing land, falling soil fertility and biodiversity. Novel approaches for resolving these challenges are thus urgently needed. Based on the premise that the past is key to understanding the present and planning for the future, this ITN will establish a leading European training network devoted to combining state-of-the-art research methods to tap into under-appreciated knowledge of how indigenous peoples have previously adapted to East Africas intrinsically unstable climate and land/water resources. By bringing together ecologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers, historians and agronomists the ITN will provide cross-disciplinary training to a new generation of researchers, enabling them to interpret data relating to past and present socio-cultural and ecological dynamics from across the environmental and social sciences and the humanities. Organized by researchers from seven European universities in partnership with Bayer East Africa and U&We, the ITN will co-operate closely with academic counterparts, private-sector stakeholders, NGOs and local communities in East Africa. It will highlight how detailed awareness of the complex history of human-environment interaction in East Africa is central to well-founded and ecologically sustainable resource management, thereby restore the important function of indigenous know-how crucial for devising development policies and climate-risk management for specific areas, and train a new generation of future ecosystem-service managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 11.56M | Year: 2013

The NanoMag project is to improve and redefine existing analyzing methods and in some cases, to develop new analyzing methods for magnetic nanostructures. Using improved manufacturing technologies we will synthesize magnetic nanoparticles with specific properties that will be analyzed with a multitude of characterization techniques (focusing on both structural as well as magnetic properties) and bring the experimental results together to obtain a self-consistent picture which describes how structural and magnetic properties are interrelated. This extensive survey will be used to define standard measurements and techniques which are necessary for defining a magnetic nanostructure and quality control. NanoMag brings together Europes and internationally leading experts in; manufacturing of magnetic single-core nanoparticles and magnetic multi-core particles, analyzing and characterization of magnetic nanostructures and national metrology institutes. In the consortium we have gathered partners within research institutes, universities and metrology institutes, all carrying out front end research and developing applications in the field of magnetic nanoparticles.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-35-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

The networked future promises new relationships between people and artifacts, the private and the public, the individual and the collective. The increased networking capabilities of pervasive technologies mean that of personal data are being produced, analyzed, monetized and connected to other data streams in ways that hold both enormous potential and pose profound challenges for European society. Recent policy, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, reflects mounting public concerns around emerging data practices, RRI, data ethics and privacy. VIRT-EU addresses these concerns at the point of design through researching and intervening upon the development cultures and ethics of the next-generation IoT innovators. We ask how do European IoT innovators and developers make ethically consequential decisions about code, hardware and data for new connective devices? What assumptions about human behavior, privacy and freedom underpin European cultures of IoT innovation? Leveraging state of the art collaborative SSH and ICT methodological innovations, VIRT-EU will analyze and map the ethical practices of European hardware and software entrepreneurs, maker and hacker spaces, and community innovators. Our goals are to (1) understand how IoT innovators enact ethics as they design future devices and to (2) generate a new framework for Privacy, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment (PESIA), which will proactively position ethical self-assessments in the development process of IoT technologies. These tools, informed by legal approaches, data mining, quantitative and qualitative social science and design research serve to secure a place for societal concerns in the generation of new technologies, engaging societal stakeholders in ensuring a digital future which is populated by innovative devices and services that are explicitly aligned with, and conscious of, the ethical and social values held by EU citizens.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 14.80M | Year: 2012

The development of functional materials for tissue regeneration is today mostly based on perceived and limited design criteria often using a single point approach with lengthy animal trials. The outcome after in-vitro and in-vivo evaluation is often disappointing resulting in a tedious iteration process. The main objective of this project is to achieve radical innovations in state-of-the-art biomaterials and to design highly performing bioinspired materials learning from natural processes. By this outcome driven project comprising first class academic and industrial participants the project will create scientific and technical excellence and through links with these SMEs will strengthen the technological capacity and their ability to operate competitively on an international market. BIODESIGN will (i) perform a careful retrospective-analysis of previous outcomes from clinical studies performed with humans through animal modelling in a reverse engineering approach applied to an in-vitro to the molecular design level, (ii) develop new strategies for a more rational design of ECM mimetic materials serving both as gels and load carrying scaffolds, (iii) link novel designs to adequate and more predictive in-vitro methods allowing significant reduction in development time and use of animals and (iv) evaluate these concepts for musculoskeletal and cardiac regeneration. By the development of safe, ethically and regulatory acceptable, and clinically applicable materials this project will promote harmonization while at the same time creating awareness in society of the benefits of these innovations as one of the key points is to improve health and quality of life of the patients. BIODESIGN will stimulate technological innovation, utilization of research results, transfer of knowledge and technologies and creation of technology based business in Europe. It will also support the development of world-class human resources, making Europe a more attractive to top researchers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2013

This ITN is built around the biological question of O-glycosylation in gastric cancer for training in systems glycobiology. For meeting the needs of the research goal and for training for future systems glycobiology operations, cross disciplinary international institutes have been identified with top level state-of-the-art glycobioanalytical, glycotechnological and glycobioinformatics platforms. These platforms will be utilized and adopted to address the biology. The researchers will be exposed to academia and industry working together to develop resources of common use for addressing complex biological questions. This has been shown in the area of proteomics, to be a successful way for developing bioinformatics, databases, software, bioanalysis, reagents and biomolecule synthesis/production. These resources are now in use throughout the life science environment in academia, biotech and biopharma. However, there is no individual institute to our knowledge that can prepare new systems glycobiologists for the full impact of the environment they will operate in. This ITN is addressing this deficiency in training, in order to contribute to make Europe a competitive environment for the new generation of multidisciplinary research for complex glycobiological questions. The training to address the systems glycobiology in gastric cancer will provide the researchers with biological and technological workshops and courses in project management and business operations together with bidirectional secondments between academia-industry. Two dedicated training partners have been identified in order to provide efficient on-site training and self studies promoted by E-learning. In the research process we will identify and transfer technologies and biological outcomes for commercialization. A significant part of the training will also be to provide researchers with techniques peripheral to the ones available on their home base.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2012

The overall objective of this project is the creation of an ITN network for the structured interdisciplinary training of researchers in advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The project proposes the development of new technologies compatible with the cost, efficiency, sustainability and mass production requirements that are needed to become a reliable and future alternative to conventional non renewable energy sources. With this objective in mind, the project will focus on the development of kesterite based solar cells. Kesterites are quaternary compounds with a crystalline structure very similar to that of chalcopyrites (CIGS: Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2). They have a strong potential for thin film low cost PV technologies, related to their direct bandgap and high optical absorption. In contrast with CIGS -where the potential for high mass production is compromised by the scarcity of In- they are constituted by abundant elements. For this, a consortium formed by research institutes, universities and companies with strongly complementary expertises has been formed. This includes groups that are leaders on the development of kesterite cells (Univ. Northumbria, HZB, Univ. Luxembourg) with groups with strong expertise on CIGS technologies (that are the parent technologies for kesterite solar cells) (EMPA, UU-ASC, NEXCIS, IREC, Free Univ. Berlin, Univ. dAix-Marseille, Autonomous Univ. Madrid). Free Univ. Berlin has also significant experience in the crystalline analysis of kesterites. Involvement of private companies (NEXCIS, Abengoa) devoted to the production and exploitation of PV technologies provides with complementary training aspects related to transferability of processes to industrial production and exploitation issues. All these aspects are relevant for the definition of a structured interdisciplinary training programme for the formation of high level researchers that will be required in Europe for the development of competitive PV technologies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: CULT-COOP-08-2016 | Award Amount: 2.44M | Year: 2017

A main challenge with the development of virtual museums is establishing meaningful user experiences that allow for personal, complex and emotional encounters with art and cultural heritage. The GIFT project suggests creating meaningful personalization through digital gifting and emotional appropriation: Designs for allowing visitors to create their own museum tours as digital mixtapes, and to play with technologies that measure emotional responses to artwork as a playful reappropriation of museum spaces. We aim to accommodate the complex ways in which users may confront art and heritage content, and engage users to participate and share experiences that are emotionally poignant and personally profound. Through multidisciplinary, practice-based research we will develop, test and validate two ground-breaking prototypes for digital encounters with cultural heritage. From this process we will develop a framework with theory, tools, design guidelines and best practice recommendations for creating meaningful personalization of hybrid virtual museum experiences. The GIFT consortium includes leading artists and researchers with a long history of successful collaborations, who will be working with a panel of 10 lead users from prominent European museums, to develop theoretical and practical advances with great impact for the cultural heritage sector and European society. By enabling more engaging hybrid virtual/physical museum experiences, we will contribute to increasing citizens curiosity and engagement. The hybrid format will also help make both virtual museum experiences as well as physical visits more engaging and attractive, thus contributing to economic growth through ticket sales as well as digital sales. By providing frameworks that help non-technical experts in the heritage sector to build and experiment with meaningful personalization of digital cultural heritage, the project gives the sector tools to build and innovate further.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-04-2016 | Award Amount: 4.91M | Year: 2017

The overarching goal of the project is to understand the economic, social, institutional and policy factors that have shaped the impacts of free movement and public debates about it. It aims to help European policymakers develop policy responses that inspire public trust, ensure the fairness and sustainability of free movement, and maintain inclusive policies that reduce inequalities across the continent. First, the project will generate a deeper understanding of the nature and impacts of intra-EU mobility, focusing in particular on how countries institutional and policy environments shape the impacts of free movement on individuals, households, labour markets, public services and public finances. Second, it will assess how political and media narratives about intra-EU mobility are formed, focusing on the role of traditional and social media, political discourse, and influential participants in public debates. Third, it will assess the relationship between real and perceived impacts, examining the factors that drive realities and misperceptions about free movement and why these debates have unfolded in different ways across the EU. A consortium of researchers with deep understanding of policies and institutions across Europe will implement a multi-disciplinary research strategy. Cutting-edge research methods will range from content analysis based on machine-learning techniques to multi-wave panel and survey experiments to theoretical and empirical analysis of the role of institutions and norms in shaping free movement and public debates about it. The project combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, carefully integrating work packages to allow data and results to flow seamlessly between them. Policy specialists will develop concrete options for reforms. An experienced communications team will work with consortium members to develop accessible resources, ensuring wide reach to policymakers, media practitioners and influential stakeholders across Europe.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRASUPP-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2017

The objective of the AENEAS project is to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated European Science Data Centre (ESDC) to support the astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The scientific potential of the SKA radio telescope is unprecedented and represents one of the highest priorities for the international scientific community. By the same token, the large scale, rate, and complexity of data the SKA will generate, present challenges in data management, computing, and networking that are similarly world-leading. SKA Regional Centres (SRC) like the ESDC will be a vital resource to enable the community to take advantage of the scientific potential of the SKA. Within the tiered SKA operational model, the SRCs will provide essential functionality which is not currently provisioned within the directly operated SKA facilities. AENEAS brings together all the European member states currently part of the SKA project as well as potential future EU SKA national partners, the SKA Organisation itself, and a larger group of international partners including the two host countries Australia and South Africa.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.2 | Award Amount: 9.71M | Year: 2011

RF communication and remote sensing (radar/radiometric) systems are facing the demands ofincreasing complexity/number of frequency bands, increased bandwidths and higher frequencies forhigher data throughput, while at the same time the power consumption, the form factor of the systems,and the overall system costs need to be reduced. Smart micro-/mm-wave systems will have to achieveself-reconfigurable operations for real-time efficient self-optimization of their performance. For suchadaptive systems, high-performance tuning components and strategies for buildingmonolithically integrated miniaturised reconfigurable RF circuits/front-ends are highly needed.The NANOTEC project aims to generate innovative approaches towards novel RF/mm-wave systemswith increased functionality and potentially lower cost addressing future needs of European industry.NANOTEC will develop 3 Demonstrators (1: 10-24 GHz reflect arrays for aerospace, 2: 94 GHz highsensitivity front-ends for passive imaging and 3: 140 GHz radar front-ends for active imaging) with advanced functionalities based on enabling technologies and via monolithic integration of highperformance RF-MEMS switches in GaN/SiGe IC foundry processes. NANOTEC will aim toimprove reliability of RF-MEMS by using NANO structured materials and to demonstrate addedvalueby employing the proposed GaN/SiGe MEMS-ICs for 10-140 GHz applications. Theemergence of European sources (SiGe/GaN MEMS-IC foundries) will play a key role towardsincreasing the availability of RF-MEMS TEChnology and related products (thus shortening the timeto-market). If successful, NANOTEC will also lead to improved safety/security thus creating novel business opportunities/jobs for existing/new companies in Europe. The NANOTEC consortiumconsists of 17 partners (7 countries) including European stakeholders in the field of communications,avionics, space and security.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-2.3-1 | Award Amount: 15.47M | Year: 2008

Angiogenesis underlies almost all biological processes of morphogenesis, including those in tissue repair and regeneration. Physiological angiogenesis is controlled by a complex interplay between cells and their environment: the extracellular matrix (ECM) provides signaling via numerous ECM adhesion molecules and growth factors bound to ECM polysaccharide components; and cells locally degrade and remodel the ECM to create pores into which angiogenic endothelial cells migrate. This observation, that physiological angiogenesis proceeds in response to solid-phase cues motivates our approach, namely creating bioactive resorbable materials as scaffolds that contain bound molecular signals to induce physiological angiogenesis in situations of tissue repair and regeneration. In some of our scaffold materials, porosity is inherent by virtue of fabrication, and in others porosity is created by cell-associated proteolysis as it is in physiological angiogenesis. All materials will be designed so as to be injectable or implantable into the human body. In some work, the final injectable/implantable material will comprise only materials and bioactive biomolecular signals, and in other cases it will also comprise cells. Thus, the concept of ANGIOSCAFF is to create materials that are bioresponsive (to environmental signals including pH and redox potential, and to cellular signals such as proteases), that are bioactive (by virtue of bound peptide or recombinant protein adhesion ligands and bound and releasable growth factors), and that are capable of carrying cellular therapeutics. To realize ANGIOSCAFF, we have assembled a team comprising both industrial and academic expert groups in biomaterials design and development, experts in the science and application of angiogenesis, in imaging in animal models, and in applications demanding biomaterials-based, angiogenesis-demanding tissue engineering therapies, including repair of bone, skin, cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle and nerve.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-NIGHT | Award Amount: 490.87K | Year: 2009

Researchers Night in Sweden, ForskarFredag (Researchers Friday), FF, consists of sixteen events and three associated events in nineteen cities, geographically dispersed over Sweden. The project aims at bringing the broad public face-to-face with researchers. FF will take place on 25 September 2009, coordinated by Vetenskap & Allmnhet (Public & Science), as in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Project partners are universities, science centres, municipalities, a tourism company and a regional council, all organising local FF events. The project is facilitated by the partners wide-ranging and diverse links within industry, academia, research disciplines and topics. The objective of the innovative and exciting activities offered is to allow for public engagement and meetings with researchers in a relaxed and festive environment. Fun, hands-on and interactive activities as well as informal dialogues on topical issues will help attracting the broad public, especially young people and those not specifically interested in research. The fact that research is all about communication and international cooperation, especially on a European level, is emphasised. The number of estimated visitors is at least 17,500. Live media reports and news items are also expected to cover the events. A coordinated awareness campaign will be implemented. Furthermore, a nationwide activity and a European poster competition will be arranged. Impact will be assessed and FF results and best practice will be disseminated through the participants networks and at national and international conferences. Results from VAs own as well as other national and international studies on public engagement will provide valuable input to the project. Unanimous objectives, similarity of contents as well as a joint website will be common denominators of FF. Event programmes will vary, but all will deliver the same message: researchers are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-02-3-2016 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2017

The objective of the project PECSYS is the demonstration of a system for the solar driven electrochemical hydrogen generation with an area >10 m. The efficiency of the system will be >6% and it will operate for six month showing a degradation below <10%. Therefore, the consortium will test various established PV materials (thin-film Silicon, crystalline Silicon and CIGS) as well as high potential material combinations (Perovskite/Silicon). It will study and develop innovative device concepts for integrated photoelectrochemical devices that will go far beyond the current state of the art and will allow to reduce Ohmic transport losses in the electrolyte and membranes. The best concepts will be scaled up to prototype size (>100 cm) and will be subject to extensive stability optimization. Especially, the use of innovative ALD based metal oxide sealing layers will be studied. The devices will have the great advantage compared to decoupled systems that they will have reduced Ohmic transport losses. Another advantage for application in sunny, hot regions will be that these devices have a positive temperature coefficient, because the improvements of the electrochemical processes overcompensate the reduced PV conversion efficiency. With these results, an in-depth socio-techno-economic model will be developed to predict the levelized cost of hydrogen production, which will be below 5/Kg Hydrogen in locations with high solar irradiation, as preliminary back of the envelope calculations have revealed. Based on these findings, the most promising technologies will be scaled to module size. The final system will consist of several planar modules and will be placed in Jlich. No concentration or solar tracking will be necessary and therefore the investment costs will be low. It will have an active area >10 m and will produce more than 10 Kg of hydrogen over six month period.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.34M | Year: 2013

NEPTUNE will train a new generation of biologists through cutting edge research on marine animal models. The network unites 8 leading European labs with complementary expertise in evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo), bioinformatics, functional neurobiology, and palaeontology; four leading visiting researchers from Europe and the US; a full partner from industry, Sigma-Aldrich, specialised in advanced genetic manipulation technology; and, as associate partner, a leading manufacturer of microscopy systems, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH. The transfer of state-of-art technologies - genetic manipulation, next generation sequencing and imaging - to a range of marine species has opened the possibility of addressing major unsolved questions in evolution and functional neurobiology of marine larvae. Modern marine science provides a unique and exciting context for high level, multidisciplinary and intersectorial research training. NEPTUNE fellows will be trained in diverse reverse genetics and imaging techniques in new marine animal models, and will apply these to research topics ranging from the evolution of larval body plans to the characterization of visual and other sensory systems. They will explore the genetic basis for evolutionary change embedded in a strong evolutionary conceptual framework.. Fellows will benefit from opportunities to work in an industrial setting and to collaborate with the private sector partners. The network will provide a structured environment for training by research, targeted intra- and intersectorial secondments, mentoring and career guidance, and for development of complementary skills (science communication, management, mansucript/grant writing, presentation and outreach). The network will provide training and expertise through annual graduate schools and 4 Marine Station-based summer courses with industry participation open to the broader community, continuing a tradition of excellence already established by the partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 13.75M | Year: 2010

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) has the goal of obtaining a comprehensive description of genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in 50 different tumour types and/or subtypes, with the aim of elucidating the genomic changes present in the many forms of cancers that contribute to the burden of disease throughout the world. We present a proposal for a European contribution to this effort through application of state-of-the-art approaches to the genomics of the most common form of renal cell cancer (RCC). RCC is of particular importance within Europe where the highest global incidence rates are observed. Disease incidence has increased over the last two decades, and it is now the 8th most common cancer in the EU. CAGEKID brings clinical and epidemiological resources that are unique worldwide together with the necessary genetics and genomics expertise required for this effort. In the first phase of the study, we will provide a full genomic characterisation of 100 matched pairs of DNA extracted from the tumour and constitutional samples. DNA will be completely sequenced, and the data brought together with those from whole genome transcript and methylation analyses. Follow-up studies of potential targets will be made in further samples. The results acquired will be relied to targeted protein analyses. The primary data will be made available to the scientific community, and the programme will contribute to establishing norms for the manipulation and storage of biological samples. CAGEKID will provide the first systematic analysis of this tumour site providing new insights into disease aetiology with application for diagnosis and treatment. It addresses a major need to identify new biological markers for renal cell cancer, one of very few tumour types for which there are currently no biological markers in routine clinical use. Renal cancer is not yet supported by any of the members of the ICGC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 328.50K | Year: 2015

On July 4th CERN has announced the discovery of a scalar particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), later identified as the Higgs boson. This scientific breakthrough was accomplished due to the joint efforts of thousands of scientists from all around the globe. This long awaited discovery increased our understanding of the world, providing an explanation for the mechanism from which all elementary particles acquire mass. However, there are still fundamental questions awaiting a clear answer: which model better describes nature when all observed properties of this new particle are taken into consideration? Will these new models help to solve other outstanding problems in elementary particle physics? The goal of this project is to look for answers to these crucial questions regarding our understanding of nature. In order to address the problem we have gathered a group of people with complementary expertises that range from model builders to high-energy tool developers who will finally make the connection to the LHCs experimental collaborations. We expect that this interaction between the different nodes of this international collaboration will result in a database together with high-energy tools where a number of models will be readily available for testing by the experimental groups at the LHC and future colliders. The staff exchange will be planned according to the needs of the project. There have been collaborations in the past between some of the nodes. We now expect that the proposed staff exchange will enhance this Higgs physics network, with an effective skills development both for experienced and early stage researchers. Finally we foresee that the project will not only have an impact on European science but will also contribute to bring together different cultures with a very positive outcome for society as a whole.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.6.1 | Award Amount: 10.22M | Year: 2008

The White Paper on EU Transport Policy for 2010 states a key objective: 50% reduction of casualties due to road accidents by the end of 2010. Improvements on road safety are achievable increasing the EU market penetration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), currently limited by performance and cost of sensor technologies.According to ICT-2007.6.1, ADOSE addresses research challenges in the area of accident prevention through improved...sensing including sensor fusion and sensor networks. Besides, focus is on increased performance, reliable and secure operation for new generation advanced driver assistance systems.ADOSE project aims at enhancing ADAS functions through the development of high performance and low lost technologies suitable for reliable detection and classification of road users in hostile environments.The specific objectives of ADOSE are: a) five sensing technologies (FIR imager, multifunctional CMOS and 3D ranging cameras, harmonic radar/tags and silicon retina stereo sensors); b) technology-dependent pre-processing algorithms; c) assessment of the sensor prototypes on functional demonstrators; d) synergies and complementary actions with on-going and new projects in FP7 on road safety.The innovations claimed are: a) low-cost FIR optics and imager combined to multispectral (NIR plus VIS) CMOS sensor for reliable pedestrians detection at night; b) multifunctional integration on a single enhanced high resolution CMOS imager; c) harmonic radars with passive and active tags for reliable localisation and identification of vulnerable road users; d) 3D packaging technology in TOF ranging cameras improving resolution and distance accuracy; e) bio-inspired silicon retina stereo sensors addressing time critical decision applications; f) low-cost process and packaging technologies for thermal detectors, CMOS-based cameras and tags.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.88M | Year: 2012

The main objectives of FUTUREVOLC are to establish an integrated volcanological monitoring procedure through European collaboration, develop new methods to evaluate volcanic crises, increase scientific understanding of magmatic processes and improve delivery of relevant information to civil protection and authorities. To reach these objectives the project combines broad European expertise in seismology, volcano deformation, volcanic gas and geochemistry, infrasound, eruption monitoring, physical volcanology, satellite studies of plumes, meteorology, ash dispersal forecasting, and civil defence. This European consortium leads the way for multi-national volcanological collaboration with the aim of mitigating the effects of major eruptions that pose cross-border hazards. Iceland is selected as a laboratory supersite area for demonstration because of (i) the relatively high rate of large eruptions with potential for long ranging effects, and (ii) Icelands capability to produce the near full spectrum of volcano processes at its many different volcano types. Based on present monitoring networks and ongoing research, the project will bridge gaps and combine efforts for a coherent close-to-real-time evaluation of the state of Icelandic volcanoes and their unrest. The project will provide timely information on magma movements from combined interpretation of earthquake sources relocated in three-dimensional velocity models, magma sources inferred from ground and space geodetic data, and measurements of volcanic volatiles. For better response during eruptions, the project will develop operational models of magma discharge rate, contributing directly to improved forecasts of ash dispersion. They will help to minimise economic disruption on a European scale during eruptions. By integrating a Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and a civil protection unit into the project, European citizens will benefit directly from the scientific work of FUTUREVOLC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.1-3 | Award Amount: 15.75M | Year: 2008

The REvolutionary Approaches and Devices for Nucleic Acid analysis READNA consortium is composed of researchers from 10 academic institutions, 5 SMEs and 3 large companies. The goals of the READNA consortium are to revolutionize nucleic acid analysis methods, by 1) improving elements necessary to use the currently emerging generation of nucleic acid sequencers in a meaningful and accessible way, 2) providing methods that allow in situ nucleic acid analysis and methods capable of selectively characterizing mutant DNA in a high background of wildtype DNA, 3) combining RNA and DNA analysis in a single analytical device, 4) providing technology to efficiently analyze DNA methylation (genome-wide, with high resolution and in its long-range context), 5) implementing novel concepts for high-throughput HLA-screening, 6) developing fully integrated solutions for mutational screening of small target regions (such as for screening newborns for cystic fibrosis mutations), 7) developing a device for screening multiple target regions with high accuracy, and 8) implementing strategies for effective and high-resolution genotyping of copy number variations. An important part of READNA is dedicated to the development of the next generation of nucleic analysis devices on individual DNA molecules by stretching out nucleic acid molecules in nanosystems, using alpha-hemolysing nanopores and carbon nanotubes. These approaches will benefit from improved interrogation and detection strategies which we will develop. Our methods and devices will boost the possibilities of genetic research by closing in on the target of 1000 Euros for the sequence of a complete human genome, while at the same time leading a revolution in cost-effective, non-invasive early screening for diseases such as cancer.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2010-3.0.3.1 | Award Amount: 1.23M | Year: 2011

The objective of the project is to use art to communicate emotions related to the understanding of nature and to stimulate students create artistic initiatives able to demonstrate commonalities of artistic and scientific fascination. The objective will be pursued according to two strictly related aspects: 1)produce artistic works based on scientific phenomena at a professional level; 2)stimulate students of EC schools to produce their own works and to organize an international competition to prize the best ones. (We consider this a form of very deep and long lasting interactive action that we prefer to the sometimes superficial and ephemeral interactive processes available in some popularization science exhibitions). Practically we intend to realize artistic events based on scientific issues per each of the following artistic disciplines: 1)Modern dance 2)Cinema 3)Contemporary art 4)Imaging 5)Literature The produced art work will be exploited in a double way: a)By presenting them in live events in the different countries involved in the project addressing not only the targeted category of persons (high school students (15-18 years), but also the general public; b)By organizing a competition among the EU high school students for each of the 5 considered discipline (with a consequent interactive process involving potentially thousands of students). The consortium includes several scientists, artists, art critics, film directors, actors, musicians and specialists in science popularization, who will work together to achieve the goals synthetically above reported. The activities will be coordinated by the project leader who is, at the same time, a well known scientist and a person active since long time in several artistic activities. Universities, research institutes, dance schools, museums, theatres will be involved, together with the famous European Synchrotron Radiation Facility which hosts every year thousands scientists, including Nobel price winners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.33 | Award Amount: 26.09M | Year: 2011

AIDA (http://cern.ch/aida) addresses the upgrade, improvement and integration of key research infrastructures in Europe, developing advanced detector technologies for future particle accelerators, as well as transnational access to facilities that provide these research infrastructures. In line with the European Strategy for Particle Physics, AIDA targets the infrastructures needed for R&D, prototyping and qualification of detector systems for the major particle physics experiments currently being planned at future accelerators. By focusing on common development and use of such infrastructure, the project integrates the entire detector development community, encouraging cross-fertilization of ideas and results, and providing a coherent framework for the main technical developments of detector R&D. This project includes a large consortium of 37 beneficiaries, covering much of the detector R&D for particle physics in Europe. This collaboration allows Europe to remain at the forefront of particle physics research and take advantage of the world-class infrastructures existing in Europe for the advancement of research into detectors for future accelerator facilities. The infrastructures covered by the AIDA project are key facilities required for an efficient development of future particle physics experiments, such as: test beam infrastructures (at CERN, DESY and LNF), specialised equipment, irradiation facilities (in several European countries), common software tools, common microelectronics and system integration tools and establishment of technology development roadmaps with a wide range of industrial partners.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.41M | Year: 2011

The aim is to develop tools for imaging and characterising protein/protein and protein/RNA interactions in cancer using Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins (DARPins). DARPins are small, ultrahighly stable, antibody-like proteins that bind specific targets with high affinity in monovalent form and are readily engineered for site-specific chemical modification. The exemplar protein family will be EGFR, with focus on HER2-mediated processes in cancer. 1. EGFR-reactive DARPins will be used to characterise HER2 homo- and hetero-dimers using 4 novel technologies: Single Molecule Fluorescence, Proximity Ligation, super-resolution microscopy and FRET/FLIM. The collected data will be analysed with information on clinical outcome to determine which HER2 interactions are associated with resistance to HER2 targeted treatments. 2. Protein/RNA complexes will be isolated and characterised. These complexes may be new biomarkers for breast cancer and their characterisation is aimed at elucidating mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in response to anti-HER2 treatment. 3. Protein networks associated with EGFR signalling by imaging clusters of at 50-100 different proteins in a single cell or tissue section. This will be achieved with a robot, using large dye-conjugated tag libraries, and automatically bleaching a dye after imaging and re-labelling with another. 4. Whole body imaging (Phase I/II) clinical trial will use radiolabelled anti-HER2 DARPins to improve specificity and sensitivity of quantitative PET/SPECT/CT. The trial aims to image HER2 positive metastatic cancer and provide circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and biopsies for more detailed analysis. 5. Multivariate data obtained by the new technologies will be analysed with a range of bioinformatic tools, including artificial neural network methods, to determine novel biomarkers that aim to classify breast cancer patients at an individualised level. The outcome is to increase the tool panel of clinicians.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 6.22M | Year: 2015

A large body of evidence supports associations between exposure to anthropogenic chemicals and endocrine disruptive effects, leading to disorders in humans and wildlife. Based on the scientific documentation it is beyond doubt that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are of concern and need to be handled according to the risks they pose, as single chemicals or as mixtures. To develop chemical risk assessment to respond to these concerns, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms and health effects of EDCs, in particular in mixtures. This will require selection, refinement and development of tools for assessment of EDC mixtures to bring current risk assessment procedures to a level where they can support risk management. This project is designed to promote the use of safe chemicals for the next generation. EDC-MixRisk aims to meet the societal need for improved decision-making regarding human exposure risks to mixtures of EDCs. EDC-MixRisk will determine risks for multiple adverse health outcomes based on molecular mechanisms involved after early life exposure to EDC mixtures. The task is approached through interdisciplinary cooperation between experts in epidemiology, experimental toxicology and molecular biology, and risk assessment. The value of this combined research effort is: i) Identification of EDC mixtures that are associated with multiple adverse health outcomes in three health domains (growth and metabolism, neurodevelopment and sexual development) in epidemiology; ii) Identification of molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying the associations between exposure and adverse health outcomes by the use and development of state-of-the-art experimental models and iii) Development of a transparent and systematic framework in risk assessment for integrating epidemiological and experimental research to facilitate the assessment of risk and societal impact, thus promoting better risk management for EDCs and their mixtures.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.5.2-3 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2011

CO2CARE aims to support the large scale demonstration of CCS technology by addressing the research requirements of CO2 storage site abandonment. It will deliver technologies and procedures for abandonment and post-closure safety, satisfying the regulatory requirements for transfer of responsibility. The project will focus on three key areas: well abandonment and long-term integrity; reservoir management and prediction from closure to the long-term; risk management methodologies for long-term safety. Objectives will be achieved via integrated laboratory research, field experiments and state-of-the-art numerical modelling, supported by literature review and data from a rich portfolio of real storage sites, covering a wide range of geological and geographical settings. CO2CARE will develop plugging techniques to ensure long-term well integrity; study the factors critical to long-term site safety; develop monitoring methods for leakage detection; investigate and develop remediation technologies. Predictive modelling approaches will be assessed for their ability to help define acceptance criteria. Risk management procedures and tools to assess post-closure system performance will be developed. Integrating these, the technical criteria necessary to assess whether a site meets the high level requirements for transfer of responsibility defined by the EU Directive will be established. The technologies developed will be implemented at the Ketzin site and dry-run applications for site abandonment will be developed for hypothetical closure scenarios at Sleipner and K12-B. Participation of partners from the US, Canada, Japan and Australia and data obtained from current and closed sites will add to the field monitoring database and place the results of CO2CARE in a world-wide perspective. Research findings will be presented as best-practice guidelines. Dissemination strategy will deliver results to a wide range of international stakeholders and the general public.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-8;HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-12 | Award Amount: 13.76M | Year: 2008

Partners come from 10 European countries to achieve two main objectives: A) The further exploration of 3 animal models (the OBX rat, GS rat and NOD mouse) characterized by an activated immune response system (IRS), an abnormal tryptophan catabolism and a depressive-like behaviour to study the pathogenesis of inflammation-related mood disorders and the efficacy/working mechanism of anti-inflammatory and tryptophan metabolism restoring drugs. B) The in-parallel study of mood disorder patients to validate two sets of already developed biomarker tests to identify patients and individuals at risk for a mood disorder and characterized by an activated IRS to be able to treat these patients/individuals with drugs counteracting the consequences of the activated IRS/disturbed catabolism of tryptophan. Five strategic approaches (broken down in 12 workpackages) are used: 1) Study of the animal models for depressive-like behavior and aberrancies in monocytes/ macrophages, the tryptophan metabolism and the microglia-astrocyte-neuron interaction. 2/3) The validation of a high-throughput biomarker mRNA blood monocyte signature test and a biomarker test to detect an abnormal tryptophan catabolism. 4) Correlation studies between the outcomes of these biomarker tests in patients to various clinical variables, a.o. gene polymorphisms and the brain scan. 5) The therapeutic targetting of the activated IRS/abnormal tryptophan catabolism using a PDE4 inhibitor, a COX-2 inhibitor and a KMO-inhibitor in the animal models and in a phase II intervention study in depressed patients. Novel approaches are the prospective assessment of patients/individuals to identify whether changes in the IRS have any prognostic value and that the program aims at a personalized treatment of patients on the basis of their activated IRS. We heavily rely in this on the study of the animal models, which allow us to test anti-inflammatory therapeutics and to know their mechanism of action at the brain.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-16-2015 | Award Amount: 9.76M | Year: 2016

According to the European Energy Storage Technology Development Roadmap towards 2030 (EASE/EERA) energy storage will be of the greatest importance for the European climate energy objectives. The Sintbat project aims at the development of a cheap energy efficient and effectively maintenance free lithium-ion based energy storage system offering in-service time of 20 to 25 years. Insights gained from advanced in-situ and in-operando analysis methods will be used for multi scale modelling targeting on the simulation of aging mechanisms for a reliable lifetime prediction and enhancement. In addition, the latest generation of anode materials based on silicon as well as a prelithiation process for lifetime enhancement will be implemented in the cell manufacturing process. The implementation of high energy materials combined with a low cost and environmental benign aqueous cathode manufacturing process will lead to remarkable cell costs reduction down to 130 per kWh. This will enable battery based storage system for an economic reasonable price of less than 400 per kWh (CAPEX) and will lower the OPEX down to less than 0.09 per stored kWh for the targeted in-service time of 20 to 25 years (10,000 cycles). The technical developments will be supported by the set-up of a relevant roadmap as well as a catalogue for good practice. To guarantee the highest possible impact for the European economy the Sinbat consortium installed an Industrial Advisory Board including various European battery material suppliers, cell manufacturer and end-users whereby the whole value added chain in this way is completed within the Sintbat project. This strong interaction of the Sintbat consortium with relevant stakeholders in the European energy economy will assure that battery based energy storage systems are becoming an economic self-sustaining technology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: NMBP-24-2016 | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2016

The aim of the EMMC-CSA is to establish current and forward looking complementary activities necessary to bring the field of materials modelling closer to the demands of manufacturers (both small and large enterprises) in Europe. The ultimate goal is that materials modelling and simulation will become an integral part of product life cycle management in European industry, thereby making a strong contribution to enhance innovation and competitiveness on a global level. Based on intensive efforts in the past two years within the European Materials Modelling Council (EMMC) which included numerous consultation and networking actions with representatives of all stakeholders including Modellers, Software Owners, Translators and Manufacturers in Europe, the EMMC identified and proposed a set of underpinning and enabling actions to increase the industrial exploitation of materials modelling in Europe EMMC-CSA will pursue the following overarching objectives in order to establish and strengthen the underpinning foundations of materials modelling in Europe and bridge the gap between academic innovation and industrial application: 1. Enhance the interaction and collaboration between all stakeholders engaged in different types of materials modelling, including modellers, software owners, translators and manufacturers. 2. Facilitate integrated materials modelling in Europe building on strong and coherent foundations. 3. Coordinate and support actors and mechanisms that enable rapid transfer of materials modelling from academic innovation to the end users and potential beneficiaries in industry. 4. Achieve greater awareness and uptake of materials modelling in industry, in particular SMEs. 5. Elaborate Roadmaps that (i) identify major obstacles to widening the use of materials modelling in European industry and (ii) elaborate strategies to overcome them. This EMMC-CSA stems directly out of the actions of the EMMC and will continue and build upon its existing activities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.2.2-4 | Award Amount: 5.19M | Year: 2012

This proposal aims at developing a new generation of novel materials for high performance permanent magnets (PM) with energy product 60 kJ/m3 <(BH)max < 160 kJ/m3, which do not contain any rare-earths or platinum. To achieve this objective two strategies will be used: a) exploitation of shape anisotropy of high magnetic moment materials produced in the form of high-aspect-ratio (>5) nanostructures by environmentally friendly synthesis methods and b) using high-throughput (HT) thin film synthesis and characterization techniques to identify new PM candidate phases. The first strategy, through the control of the nanostructure will lead to a factor of 4 increase of the coercivity (over conventional Alnico) . The second strategy will use (HT) methods to screen hundreds of possible compositions and synthesis conditions. Investigations will focus on promising candidate materials of the type {Fe-Co}-X-Y (X = other 3d or 4d metals and Y= B,C,P or N) and Heusler alloys of the type X2YZ (where X is usually Fe, Co, Ni, Cu; Y other transition metals, most often Mn; and Z a group-B element (Al, Ga, Ge, Sn...). High Ms materials that can be stabilized in tetragonal or hexagonal structures by epitaxial growth on selected substrates are the goal with magnetic anisotropies in excess of 107 ergs/cm3.This range covers a wide field of applications and represents a sizeable market fraction of over 100 M. All research will be performed taking into consideration the critical issues of toxicology and sustainability of the full life cycle of the materials from production to recycling. The consortium will generate breakthroughs to re-establish the EU as a leader in the science, technology and commercialization of this very important class of materials with a wide range of applications, helping to decrease our dependence on raw materials from abroad providing a positive socioeconomic impact and increased employability of young European scientists.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.69M | Year: 2010

In order to continuously support the European computing infrastructures and to exploit possible synergies, it is of crucial importance to coordinate the European Globus activities, drive forward the developments according to the requirements of the European users and to strengthen the influence of the European developers in the Globus Alliance. Topics like security or privacy, data privacy protection, compatibility with Grid standards used in Europe to enable interoperability, and aspects of multi-nationality are important in Europe and deserve a stronger representation in Globus. Long-standing relations with the Globus developers and recent negotiations with the Globus Alliance enable us to introduce necessary adjustments into the code base of the Globus Toolkit. Computing infrastructures like DEISA and PRACE can immediately rely on the high-quality middleware required to run these infrastructures while reducing their own efforts keeping track of new developments. With the establishment of the EGI, the IGE can take over the role of providing Globus Toolkit components to the Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) of EGI.\n\nThe Initiative for Globus in Europe serves as a comprehensive service provider for the European e-infrastructures regarding the development, tailoring, customization, provisioning, support, and maintenance of components of the Globus Toolkit. This can involve the continuous measurement of software quality, but must also include the operation of a software repository as well as participation in standardisation bodies, training, promotion, and documentation activities. In order to guarantee the sustainability of this effort the main activities are based at large European computing centres and industrial partners. The first steps will be the establishment of a European Globus User Forum and the organization of a yearly Globus Europe conference series in close cooperation with the organisers of the Globus World conference.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-LS8 | Award Amount: 1.05M | Year: 2009

Early vertebrate evolution involved a series of drastic structural reorganisations as new features were added and elaborated. The fossil record illuminates this evolutionary history more directly than inferences from the diversity of living forms, but the fossils usually consist only of bones whereas many of the most important and interesting changes occurred in the soft anatomy. Traditional approaches to reconstructing the musculature and other soft tissues of fossil vertebrates rely on subjective tools, like the visual identification of rough bone textures thought to indicate muscle attachments, and generally leave a lot to be desired. Here I propose a wholly novel and radically more objective approach to the identification of soft-tissue contacts, using holotomographic synchrotron CT at sub-micron resolutions to identify these contacts by the three-dimensional micro-architecture of the bone. A pilot study has already shown that such scans (performed at the ESRF synchrotron facility in Grenoble) are capable of imaging key features such as arrested growth surfaces and probable Sharpey s fibres in 380 million year old fossils. We will undertake a systematic review of the three-dimensional bone micro-architectures associated with different soft-tissue contacts in living vertebrates, and the use this as a key to reconstruct the soft-tissue contacts on fossil bones with unprecedented accuracy. This will permit us to produce far more reliable reconstructions of the soft anatomy than has hitherto been possible. Our findings will inform other areas of palaentology, particularly functional morphology, and will also be of great importance to evolutionary developmental biology.


ELASTISLET aims to create a breakthrough development in encapsulation technology and its use in cell and tissue therapies for the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes. ELASTISLET will combine leading technologies in biomaterial design, production and processing, cross-linking/grafting technology and cell therapy, to synergistically integrate them into a new immune-isolation and biomimetic scaffolding approach for islet and cell transplantation in diabetes treatment. ELASTISLETs starting point is a highly innovative and versatile family of superior biomaterials, the Elastin-like Recombinamers (ELRs). Those innovative materials will be combined with the most cutting-edge encapsulation technologies, such as reactive LbL. ELASTISLET relies on the most innovative ideas taken from synthetic biology, nanobiotechnology and molecular and cellular biology to build the ideal niche for islet/cell encapsulation and transplantation. ELASTISLET main objective is to achieve a functional coating that fulfils, first, the basic requirements of optimal biocompatibility and physical properties (permselectivity) but, second, generate a capsule that can promote an intense and directed cross talk through all cell-material interfaces involved: the implant-surrounding tissue (outer) interface and cargo cells-capsule (inner) interface. At the end, a capsule that is able not only to cloak its content and isolate it from the immune rejection but that it is able to biologically interact with the surrounding tissues and its cargo simultaneously in a way that the implanted capsule will immediately interact and fuse with the surrounding tissues creating a real continuity of the extracellular matrix from the core of the capsule to the surrounding hosts tissues and procuring adequate nutrient supply. That will provide a physiologically ideal biomimetic environment for the implanted islets/cells to survive and function in the long term without perceiving a foreign, unusual or hostile environment.


Mugal C.F.,Uppsala University | Arndt P.F.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Ellegren H.,Uppsala University
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2013

The genomes of many vertebrates show a characteristic heterogeneous distribution of GC content, the so-called GC isochore structure. The origin of isochores has been explained via the mechanism of GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC). However, although the isochore structure is declining in many mammalian genomes, the heterogeneity in GC content is being reinforced in the avian genome. Despite this discrepancy, which remains unexplained, examinations of individual substitution frequencies in mammals and birds are both consistent with the gBGC model of isochore evolution. On the other hand, a negative correlation between substitution and recombination rate found in the chicken genome is inconsistent with the gBGC model. It should therefore be important to consider along with gBGC other consequences of recombination on the origin and fate of mutations, as well as to account for relationships between recombination rate and other genomic features. We therefore developed an analytical model to describe the substitution patterns found in the chicken genome, and further investigated the relationships between substitution patterns and several genomic features in a rigorous statistical framework. Our analysis indicates that GC content itself, either directly or indirectly via interrelations to other genomic features, has an impact on the substitution pattern. Further, we suggest that this phenomenon is particularly visible in avian genomes due to their unusually low rate of chromosomal evolution. Because of this, interrelations between GC content and other genomic features are being reinforced, and are as such more pronounced in avian genomes as compared with other vertebrate genomes with a less stable karyotype. © 2013 The Author.


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new study published in Geology uses pockets of melts trapped within crystals to understand the conditions occurring beneath volcanoes before explosive eruptions. Volcanologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany and Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that the temperature and water content of magmas varies through the lifecycle of a volcano, and that these variations occur in cycles in relation to the fresh input of new magma from below. The study suggests that the point at which an eruption occurs within these cycles may control whether the resulting eruption is explosive, which produces lots of ash and affects a wide geographical region, or simply erupts effusively creating lava flows or domes, lessening the hazards to nearby populations. The study was conducted on Kelud volcano in Indonesia, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, with more than two million people living within 30 kilometers of it, and a death toll of more than 5,000 people killed in eruptions in the last century alone. Kelud erupted explosively as recently as 2014, dispersing ash more than 200 kilometers away, leading to the evacuation of 200,000 people, closing three international airports and killing several people. But Kelud, like many volcanoes, is unpredictable in the sense that it often changes the way it erupts. In 2014 the eruption was explosive, but in 2007 the eruption produced little ash and instead created a small lava flow within the crater. The researchers found that before the 2014 explosive eruption at Kelud, the magma was in a cool and water-rich state, whereas in 2007, before the less explosive lava dome eruption, the magma was hotter and dryer. "Even relatively small changes in the temperature and water content of the magma can drastically alter the chemical and physical properties of the unerupted magma," explained lead author Dr. Mike Cassidy from the Institute of Geosciences at Mainz University. "For instance, when the temperature drops, this makes the magma stickier, which means the gas finds it harder to escape, thus building up pressure leading to an explosive eruption." The hotter and dryer magma conditions are attributed to the fresh input of water-poor magma from below, which mixes and thus dilutes the magma in water content. The study goes some way to explaining why volcanoes erupt in different ways and could in the future help to forecast how explosive an impending eruption will be.


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Bridge collapses are rare, but there have been enough of them to raise concerns in some parts of the world that their condition is not sufficiently monitored. In Sweden however, researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology are taking a hi-tech approach to the country's aging infrastructure, with sensors that detect wear and tear on bridges -- as it's happening. The engineer behind the ongoing project, Raid Karoumi, a professor in the division of Structural Engineering and Bridges at KTH, says that while the internet connections aren't a substitute for visual inspections, they do provide valuable information about how bridges are impacted by traffic, wind and temperature fluctuations. "Just as a doctor places a stethoscope and heart rate sensors on your chest, we put our sensors where we want to monitor the condition of the bridge," Karoumi says. And just like a heart monitor, the sensors pick up deviations that can indicate something is starting to change. The real-time detection could extend the life of bridges. One older bridge near the KTH campus, which connects the city of Stockholm to Lidingö, a large island in the eastern part of its archipelago, is slated to be replaced in 2020. But the sensors, which will soon be installed, will provide such detailed information about its state that the bridge may be allowed to stand for another 10 years from now, he says. Bridges undergo change slowly. In the streams of real-time data Sweden's sensors are delivering -- as many as 400 pieces of information per second on some bridges -- engineers are looking for clues to what causes wear and tear. Karoumi says that with the technology they can detect cracks that aren't even visible to the naked eye. "Of course you drive still out and look," he adds. "But this technology will help to determine when and where an inspection is required, and it will also provide valuable information to those who perform the inspections. It is costly to block traffic so it is good if the inspections are made when necessary." But aging bridges aren't the only ones getting connected. A bridge that connects Sweden and Norway over the Svinesund sound was fitted with 72 sensors when it was completed in 2005. Researchers at KTH have reaped 10 years' worth of data from the specially-designed bridge -- which is supported by a single concrete arch. "For newly constructed bridges, we want to check how they behave," Karoumi says. "You want to confirm that the calculation models used for dimensioning are correct. "We dimension our bridges for 120 years of life and we want to use the measurements as a kind of footprint that we can compare them with later," he says. The sensors are operated either with cables or batteries. The idea is that the cordless sensors can be recharged with the energy generated by the oscillations when the bridge vibrates. "Last year we tested the technology on a railway bridge in Södertälje," he says. "There are various types of energy collection systems. Radio waves can be converted to energy, which we're testing on the Lidingö bridge in collaboration with Uppsala University." Then there's the micro-blogging bridge, an idea that was scrapped after transport authorities decided it might pose a security risk. The Årsta bridge connecting one of Stockholm's two major islands to the mainland was fitted with wireless sensors capable of sending information 50 times per second to a cloud-based internet service. Reporting such things as how much the bridge oscillates when trains passed over, the results were presented continuously in one app. Nevertheless, Sweden's bridges are well on the way toward the internet of things, as the KTH researchers continue developing cloud connectivity and artificial intelligence for the sensor system. "There is a lot of development remaining to be done before we get there," he says. "Our goal is to develop the technology to extend the life of our bridges."


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The living machinery responsible for photosynthesis - while commonplace and essential to life on Earth - is still not fully understood. One of its molecular mysteries involves how a protein complex, photosystem II, harvests energy from sunlight and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This process generates the oxygen in the air that we all breathe. New X-ray methods at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the highest resolution room-temperature images of this protein complex, which allows scientists to closely watch how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally. The research team took diffraction images using the bright, fast pulses of X-rays at SLAC's X-ray free-electron laser - the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Nature published the study on Nov. 21. Previously, the resting state of photosystem II had been seen in detail using samples that were frozen. In this latest study, the researchers were able to see two key steps in photosynthetic water splitting under conditions as it occurs in nature, a big step to decoding how the process works in detail. A damage-free, room temperature study means there are fewer artifacts in the images, and this gives a clearer picture of how photosystem II works in nature. For many years now, scientists have been trying to understand this process in meticulous detail. Besides its fundamental importance to science, understanding this process might help develop ways to create artificial photosynthesis devices that can serve as potential clean energy sources. "The eventual goal is to emulate what photosynthesis has been doing for about three billion years. This has been a research challenge for decades," said Junko Yano, principal investigator and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We now have the right tool, the femtosecond X-ray laser pulses created at LCLS, that allows us to observe the water-splitting reaction as it happens, in real time, and as it happens in nature." "We want to have enough snapshots of this process to see how exactly the oxygen is formed," added Uwe Bergmann, a distinguished scientist at SLAC, and co-author of the Nature paper. "This method - to be able to get high resolution images at room temperature and under illumination in real time - is really the strategy we need to catch the molecule in the act." The international research team is a long-standing collaboration between SLAC and Berkeley Lab, and includes Humboldt University in Germany, Umeå University and Uppsala University in Sweden, Stanford University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. In previous high-resolution studies of the system at synchrotron light sources, samples experienced radiation damage from longer exposure to X-rays. At LCLS, the researchers were able to take advantage of the ultrafast laser pulses to collect X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy data before damage occurred. "The beauty of the LCLS is that the laser pulses are so short - only 40 femtoseconds in duration, but very intense - that you can collect the data before the sample is destroyed," said co-author Jan Kern, scientist at Berkeley Lab and SLAC, in a related press release. "It's very new, and there are only two places in the world, LCLS and the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron LAser (SACLA), where this can be done at present." In a recent experiment at SACLA, the only other operating hard X-ray free-electron laser, another team of scientists was able to look at the first step in the cycle in a frozen sample, and under dark conditions - which means the water-splitting reaction had not yet been initiated in the protein complex. This latest study at SLAC catches this first step, as well as another step that is two stages further along in the four-step cycle, and at the same temperature the process normally occurs in nature. To do this, the scientists placed droplets of the sample in a solution with small, crystallized forms of the photosystem II on a moving conveyor belt and illuminated the samples with pulses of green light from a laser to initiate the water-splitting reaction. After two light pulses, they captured images of the crystals using X-rays, with a resolution finer than 2.5 angstroms - significantly better than previously achieved at room temperature. The water-splitting reaction takes place at a metal catalyst within the photosystem II protein, known as the oxygen-evolving complex, that is made up of four manganese atoms and one calcium atom. The complex uses the energy from light to form pure oxygen from two water molecules. The four manganese atoms are critical in shuffling electrons through the cycle, but it is unknown where exactly in the complex the involved water is located or where the oxygen formation occurs. To sort this out, the researchers used ammonia, a water substitute, to narrow down where oxygen atoms from two water molecules combine to form an oxygen molecule. If the ammonia was bound to a site, and the reaction still proceeded, that site is unlikely to be part of the oxygen molecule formation. The results from this study offered a surprise - the data do not seem to support two leading theories for how the reaction proceeds within the oxygen-evolving complex. In future studies using this same technique, the researchers hope to capture more images at different steps of the process, which will allow them to further refine the details of the water-splitting reaction. "The chemistry is so unusual," co-principal investigator and senior scientist, Vittal Yachandra at Berkeley Lab, said "Learning how exactly this water-splitting process works will be a breakthrough in our understanding, and it can help in the development of solar fuels and renewable energy." This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science and the National Institutes of Health, among other funding agencies. Some of the work for this study was conducted at the Advanced Light Source and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities at Berkeley Lab. SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. To learn more, please visit http://www. . SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.


News Article | September 13, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

An international team of more than 20 scientists has inadvertently discovered how to create a new type of crystal using light more than ten billion times brighter than the sun. The discovery, led by Associate Professor Brian Abbey at La Trobe in collaboration with Associate Professor Harry Quiney at the University of Melbourne, has been published in the journal Science Advances. Their findings reverse what has been accepted thinking in crystallography for more than 100 years. The team exposed a sample of crystals, known as Buckminsterfullerene or Buckyballs, to intense light emitted from the world’s first hard X-ray free electron laser (XFEL), based at Stanford University. The molecules have a spherical shape forming a pattern that resembles panels on a soccer ball. Light from the XFEL is around one billion times brighter than light generated by any other X-ray equipment — even light from the Australian Synchrotron pales in comparison. Because other X-ray sources deliver their energy much slower than the XFEL, all previous observations had found that the X-rays randomly melt or destroy the crystal. Scientists had previously assumed that XFELs would do the same. The result from the XFEL experiments on Buckyballs, however, was not at all what scientists expected. When the XFEL intensity was cranked up past a critical point, the electrons in the Buckyballs spontaneously re-arranged their positions, changing the shape of the molecules completely. Every molecule in the crystal changed from being shaped like a soccer ball to being shaped like an AFL ball at the same time. This effect produces completely different images at the detector. It also altered the sample’s optical and physical properties. “It was like smashing a walnut with a sledgehammer and instead of destroying it and shattering it into a million pieces, we instead created a different shape — an almond!” Abbey says. “We were stunned, this is the first time in the world that X-ray light has effectively created a new type of crystal phase,” says Quiney, from the School of Physics, University of Melbourne. “Though it only remains stable for a tiny fraction of a second, we observed that the sample’s physical, optical and chemical characteristics changed dramatically, from its original form,” he says. “This change means that when we use XFELs for crystallography experiments we will have to change the way interpret the data. The results give the 100-year-old science of crystallography a new, exciting direction,” Abbey says. “Currently, crystallography is the tool used by biologists and immunologists to probe the inner workings of proteins and molecules — the machines of life. Being able to see these structures in new ways will help us to understand interactions in the human body and may open new avenues for drug development.” The study was conducted by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, Imperial College London, the CSIRO, the Australian Synchrotron, Swinburne Institute of Technology, the University of Oxford, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), the BioXFEL Science and Technology Centre, Uppsala University, and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

A mystery that has perplexed scientists for centuries may soon be unraveling. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured for the first time how a protein complex—photosystem II—harvests energy from sunlight and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, a process that generates the oxygen in the atmosphere. Using new X-ray methods, scientists were able to capture the highest-resolution room-temperature images of the protein complex, which allows scientists to closely watch how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally. The team of scientists used the bright, fast pulses of X-rays at SLAC’s X-ray free-electron laser—the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Uwe Bergmann, Ph.D., a distinguished scientist at SLAC and co-author of the paper that first appeared in Nature, said in an interview with R&D Magazine by viewing photosynthesis in its natural occurrence scientists can finally learn about the process that has been around since the beginning of time. “It is believed that this process of how this is done has never changed since the beginning,” Bergmann said. “I believe we are at the final step, I believe we have all the tools together of finally cracking this 3-billion-year old puzzle, mainly what exactly goes on in photosynthesis.” By understanding photosynthesis further, scientists may be able to develop ways to create artificial photosynthesis devices that can serve as potential clean energy sources. Bergmann said the advancements in lab equipment has led to the breakthrough viewing photosynthesis. “We simulate the sun with a short laser flash in the laboratory to synchronize the process,” he said. “You need to have a really well defined power of your optical laser, which simulates the sunlight, you need to have a well-defined time difference between the flashes. “We believe that we have the system which can do it pretty much in place now.” Until recently, scientists were only able to view the resting state of photosynthesis in detail using samples that were frozen. However, by using higher resolution imaging they were able to see two crucial steps in photosynthetic water splitting under normal conditions, which will lead to further research on how the process works in detail. Samples experienced radiation damage from previous high-resolution studies of the system at synchrotron light sources from the longer exposure to X-rays. However, the researchers at LCLS were able to take advantage of the ultrafast laser pulses to collect X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy data before damage occurred. During another recent experiment at SACLA, the only other operating hard X-ray free-electron laser, scientists were able to look at the first step in the cycle in a frozen sample and under dark conditions—which means the water-splitting reaction had not yet been initiated in the protein complex. The scientists were able to place droplets of the sample in a solution with small, crystallized forms of the photosystem II on a moving conveyor belt and illuminated the samples with pulses of green light from a laser to initiate the water-splitting reaction. After two light pulses, the images of the crystals were captured using X-rays with a resolution finer than 2.5 angstroms—significantly better than previously achieved at room temperature. The water-splitting reaction takes place at a metal catalyst within the photosystem II protein, known as the oxygen-evolving complex, which is made up of four manganese atoms and one calcium atom. The protein complex uses the energy from light to form pure oxygen from two water molecules, where the four manganese atoms are critical in shuffling electrons through the cycle. However, it is unknown where exactly in the complex the involved water is located or where the oxygen formation occurs. The researchers were able to sort this out by using ammonia—a water substitute—to narrow down where oxygen atoms from two water molecules combine to form an oxygen molecule. If the ammonia was bound to a site and the reaction still proceeded, then that site is unlikely to be part of the oxygen molecule formation. The result of this experiment conflicted with two leading theories for how the reaction proceeds within the oxygen-evolving complex. The same technique will now be used in future studies where researchers hope to capture more images at different steps of the process, which will allow them to further refine the details of the water-splitting reaction. Bergmann described photosynthesis as one of the oldest mysteries of the planet because more than 3 billion years ago the atmosphere of the Earth was mainly carbon dioxide and methane and there was no oxygen in the atmosphere. According to Bergmann, life had evolved over time in the form of very simple bacteria, some of which began to use the electrons, which you can get by splitting two water molecules. At the time, the oxygen byproduct from the water molecules was toxic because no life on Earth was prepared for that byproduct. “That really changed the history of the planet and that happened about 3.2 billion years ago,” Bergmann said. Bergmann said around 550 million years the atmosphere was about 10 percent oxygen and today’s atmosphere is estimated to be between 18 and 20 percent oxygen. Bergmann said he expects some big scientific advancements regarding photosynthesis. “It is a race and we are approaching the finishing line of a marathon,” he said. “Everyone has a different strategy how to go about this and at the end of the day you do need to do this work at room temperature in real time at the conditions that the real leaf of a tree or bacteria in the ocean performs this reaction. “This is a game changer and to do it with atomic resolution has been impossible in the past.” The international research team is a long-standing collaboration between SLAC and Berkeley Lab and includes Humboldt University in Germany, Umeå University and Uppsala University in Sweden, Stanford University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The study, which appeared in Nature on Nov. 21, can be viewed here.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Genetic differences in the FADS1 gene determine the risk for many different diseases. The ability to produce polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 differs between individuals and this affects the risk for disturbed metabolism, inflammatory diseases and several types of cancer. Scientists at Uppsala University/SciLifeLab in Sweden have clarified this in detail and the work is published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. - After detailed experiments we now know exactly which mutation in the region that is functional and directly involved in FADS1 regulation, says Gang Pan at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University and one of the authors of the article. In this new study the scientists show that the gene region which controls FADS1 appeared 6 million years ago and is present in human and chimpanzee but not in other species. Since increased production of omega-3 and omega-6 is favourable to brain development this event may have contributed to human evolution. A mutation happened 300 000 years ago which further increased the capacity of the gene to produce both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This mutation constituted an evolutionary advantage that has led to the more active variant of FADS1 being the common one in major parts of the world. In historical times people ate equal amounts of omega-3, coming from fish and vegetables, and omega-6 coming from meat and egg. - Since we now live longer and have changed our diet radically - modern food in the Western world has drastic excess of omega-6 - what was an advantage in historical times may have turned against us and become an increased risk for many diseases, says Gang Pan. The genetic difference at FADS1 affects levels of LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, several other important fats, blood sugar and the metabolic syndrome, as well as how well we respond to treatment to control blood fat. It affects the risk for allergies and inflammatory diseases like rheumatism and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition it influences the risk for colon cancer and other types of cancer, as well as the heart rate. - Polyunsaturated fats are involved in a surprising number of processes and the hope is that the new knowledge will make it possible to treat some of these diseases in a targeted way, says Claes Wadelius, Professor in Medical Genetics at Uppsala University and SciLifeLab, Sweden, and the main author of the study.


News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Biomedical scientists are often urged to check that their cell lines are not contaminated or mislabelled. But as a new study shows, any effort to authenticate a cell line is only as good as the reference standard against which the cells are compared. A cell line that is widely used to study brain cancer does not match the cells used to create the line nearly 50 years ago, or the tumour purported to be its source, researchers report on 31 August in Science Translational Medicine1. In fact, no one is quite sure of the true provenance of the cell line distributed by most cell repositories. “It is a good cautionary tale to say, ‘Question your assumptions and do as many appropriate controls as you can to make sure you really have what you think you have,’” says Jon Lorsch, director of the US National Institute of General Medical Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. And because few cell lines are ever verified against their primary-source material, “this paper is probably just the tip of the iceberg”, says Christopher Korch, a geneticist at the University of Colorado Denver. Many groups are trying to tackle the problem of misidentified cell lines to improve the reproducibility of research findings. This year, the US National Institutes of Health started requiring grant applicants to describe how they will authenticate their cell lines. And journals such as Nature have recently begun to ask authors to check their cells against a database of 475 lines (and counting) that are known to be mixed up. But no organizations have called for the kind of archival sleuthing that produced the new study. “It’s hard enough to get people to do the standard authentication,” says Leonard Freedman, president of the Global Biological Standards Institute, a non-profit organization in Washington DC that has found that most life scientists never authenticate their cells2. “This is much more elaborate.” The cell line in question, U87, was established in 1966 at Uppsala University in Sweden, using tissue from a 44-year-old woman with an aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma. U87 has since become a workhorse of brain-cancer research, subject to countless investigations that have yielded around 2,000 scientific papers. The enthusiasm for U87 initially puzzled Bengt Westermark, a tumour biologist at Uppsala. “I couldn’t understand why people would work with such boring cells,” he says. As a graduate student in the 1970s, Westermark studied eight different brain-cancer cell lines. U87 was “hopeless to work with”, he says, because it grew so much more slowly than the others. Years later, Westermark got his hands on the version of U87 that is distributed by the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), a cell repository in Manassas, Virginia, that houses the world’s largest collection of biological materials. He could see from the cells’ growth properties that this U87 was clearly different from the cells that had given him so much grief in graduate school. Westermark decided to do a formal comparison. Fortunately, Uppsala still had the preserved tumour tissue that spawned the original cell line. This enabled Westermark’s team to verify the identity of the archival U87 sample in their freezer. The researchers then used DNA-fingerprinting techniques to show that the ATCC’s U87 was different — and that it didn’t match any other cell lines created at Uppsala, either. According to Mindy Goldsborough, ATCC’s chief science and technology officer, the repository acquired its U87 line in 1982 from the Memorial Sloan KetteringCancer Center in New York City, which itself had received the cell line from Uppsala in 1973. And by the time it arrived at the ATCC, U87 had a Y chromosome — despite the fact that it was supposed to have come from a female patient. This suggests that the mix-up probably happened at Sloan Kettering or during one of the hand-offs. In light of the new revelations, the ATCC now plans to update the background details in its listing for U87, which it describes as male. But the origin of the U87 line remains a mystery. A comparison of gene-expression profiles conducted by Westermark's team suggests that the ATCC cell line probably came from a brain tumour. “It’s bad news that it’s not what it should be,” Westermark says, “but it’s good news that it’s probably a glioblastoma.” This means that studies of U87 still reflect brain-cancer biology and don’t need to be tossed out, he adds. Still, many cancer researchers think that it is time to move beyond U87 and other “classical” cell lines — regardless of where they came from — because the culture conditions historically used to grow the cells change their biological nature. Westermark and others now favour newer cell lines that have been propagated on the types of growth medium that ensure genetic and epigenetic stability. Through its Human Glioma Cell Culture biobank, Uppsala provides these sorts of cells to other researchers for a small processing fee. “There is an increasing understanding that what we’ve historically used is so poorly representative of the human disease,” says Howard Fine, a neuro-oncologist at the Weill Cornell Brain Tumor Center in New York City. “So, any time someone can shoot down the [U87] cell line, I’m happy.”


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

Farming didn’t just revolutionize human society—it transformed the genome of our oldest friend, the dog. A new study reveals that by 7000 years ago, our canine companions were eating so much wheat and millet they made extra copies of starch-digesting genes to help them cope. And this adaptation is what allowed them to stay by our sides, even as our world changed. The genetic evolution in dogs parallels what others have found in humans, says Peter Savolainen, an evolutionary geneticist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, who was not involved with the work. "With farming we started to eat starch, and both we and dogs had to adapt to this change." Some of the first insights into how farming changed the canine genome came 3 years ago. That’s when evolutionary geneticist Erik Axelsson of Uppsala University in Sweden and his colleagues discovered that dogs have four to 30 copies of a gene—Amy2B—that helps digest starch, whereas wolves typically only have two. Morgane Ollivier wanted to know just when that genetic change happened. A paleogeneticist at Ecole Normale Supéieure de Lyon in France, she teamed up with Axelsson and others, who extracted ancient DNA from the bones and teeth of 13 wolf and dog specimens collected from archaeological sites throughout Eurasia. Four of the ancient dogs—from a 7000-year-old site in Romania and 5000-year-old sites in Turkmenistan and France—had more than eight copies of Amy2B, Ollivier and her colleagues report today in . They do not yet know how many copies ancient wolves had. Because these samples predate the emergence of dog breeds, believed to be within the past couple of centuries, the findings rule out a modern origin for the increase in copy number, says Laurent Frantz, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. Adds Ollivier: "This [expansion] probably constituted an important advantage for dogs feeding on human leftovers,” as they hung around human settlements, perhaps serving as guard dogs. Dogs were likely domesticated more than 15,000 years ago, and as companions to hunter-gatherers, were likely eating mostly meat. Being able to survive on whatever humans discarded likely enabled dogs to become widespread as people migrated across the globe, says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study. In humans, the number of copies of this starch gene increased just as it did in dogs during the same time period, Ollivier says. She suggests there may be similar parallels in the evolution of metabolism, immunity, and brain processes in both species. A 2016 survey of various types of dogs from around the world—as well as golden jackals, coyotes, and wolves—supports the new work. It found that almost all the wolves, jackals, and coyotes had just two copies of Amy2B. So did Siberian huskies and dingoes, both of which lived with people who, until recently, hunted or fished for most of their food. The rest of the dogs studied had many more copies of the gene. Farming led to a fivefold increase in the number of starch-digesting genes in these dogs, Axelsson, Savolainen, and their colleagues reported in July in . Together, says Savolainen, the two studies "give a coherent picture" of man’s influence on man’s oldest friend. *Correction, 9 November, 11:26 a.m.: This story has been modified to reflect the correct gender of Ollivier and the correct terminology for the starch gene.


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A new study published in Scientific Reports shows how higher latitude ecosystems recovered after the world's most cataclysmic extinction event 252 million years ago. "Life on the sea floor had totally collapsed, with up 90 percent of all species becoming extinct" says Michal Zaton from the University of Silesia in Poland, and lead author on the study. New fossils discovered in East Greenland record an empty alien world from immediately after the extinction, which marked what is formally known as the Permian-Triassic boundary. "The seas were oxygen depleted and acidic, with a very low diversity bottom-living fauna comprising bivalves and vast colonies of filter-feeding microconchid tube worms. These would have encrusted shells and algal mats, which provided both suitable substrates and a potential source of oxygen," says Zaton. Microconchid fossils have never previously been reported from ancient higher latitudes. "At the very beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs 252 million years ago, East Greenland was on the edge of a Boreal seaway stretching to the North Pole. Our discovery is significant because it shows for the first time that sea floor life at higher latitudes suffered the same global extinction process, and subsequent ecosystem recovery," says Benjamin Kear from the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University and leader of the project funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. Palaeontologists from Uppsala University spent more than two months collecting fossils in East Greenland. They are investigating the interplay between extinction events and major milestones in aquatic animal evolution. "Our project, First Steps From and To the Water, focuses upon geological timeframes at which back-boned animals first emerged from water onto land 360 million years ago, and then transitioned back to the seas 252 million years ago. East Greenland is the only landmass where rocks of these ages occur together in the same place", says Henning Blom of the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and co-investigator on the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat project. "Our recent findings not only demonstrate global extinction recovery, but also that Triassic bottom-living communities rapidly adapted over time. We found completely new microconchid species that invaded brackish lagoons as the seas retreated. This environmental opportunism was probably key to their survival and ecological success in the wake of massive ecosystem collapse," says Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki also from the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and a co-author on the work.


News Article | April 8, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

Working with researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Kent in England and from the USA, researchers from Uppsala University are looking into special kinds of Li-ion battery materials which can provide batteries with higher energy levels those in use today. "We discovered for the first time that oxygen in the electrodes behaved in an unexpected manner. Usually, oxygen takes up two electrons as fast as it can. In this material, it released one of them again and this is what provides the higher capacity seen in the charging process," said Laurent Duda, university lecturer in physics at Uppsala University. The study, published in Nature Chemistry on 21 March, was produced by scientists from a number of different fields of research and was carried out using a synchrotron light source called Advanced Light Source, ALS. Advanced X-ray spectroscopy was necessary to understand how the materials work. This is a sophisticated spectroscopic technique which researchers at Uppsala University have helped to develop over the last 25 years since its inception. Li-ion batteries are well-known power sources found in almost all portable electronics, such as mobile phones, computers and household appliances. Battery development is mainly focused upon producing more powerful batteries with greater capacity and power output. There are many different kinds of materials which can be used in lithium batteries and they all have different kinds of useful properties. "It has been mostly oxide materials with a combination of metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese which have seemed the most promising storage electrodes for high energy in lithium batteries. But certain combinations of metals give an unexpectedly high storage capacity and the reason for this has been argued about for a long time," said Kristina Edström, professor of chemistry at Uppsala University. Researchers previously thought that the extra storage capacity depended only upon unwanted side effects which produce oxygen in the electrolyte when lithium batteries are charged to their limit. Another possible explanation has been that so-called peroxides have been formed which break down the electrode material. For the new study, researchers used advanced X-ray spectroscopy to examine a variant of a so-called Li-rich material. Other methods provide summary information on the battery material but with X-ray spectroscopy it is possible to follow how every kind of atom behaves when a battery is being charged. According to the study, only some oxygen atoms in the material act this way, namely those close to manganese and lithium, where they form a 'localized island' until the battery is discharged again. "This discovery will enable us to research into ways to customize materials combinations with appropriate manganese content levels," said Duda.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Results from a new clinical study conducted at Uppsala University suggest that curtailing sleep alters the abundance of bacterial gut species that have previously been linked to compromised human metabolic health. The new article is published in the journal Molecular Metabolism. Changes in the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota have been associated with diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans. These diseases have also been linked with chronic sleep loss. However, it is not known whether sleep loss alters the gut microbiota in humans. With this in mind, Christian Benedict, associate professor of neuroscience, and Jonathan Cedernaes, M.D., Ph.D, both from Uppsala University, collaborated with researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke. In their study, the researchers sought to investigate in nine healthy normal-weight male participants whether restricting sleep to about four hours per night for two consecutive days as compared with conditions of normal sleep (about 8 hours of sleep opportunity) may alter the gut microbiota in humans. "Overall we did not find evidence that suggests that the diversity of the gut microbiota was altered by sleep restriction. This was somewhat expected given the short-term nature of the intervention and the relatively small sample size. In more specific analyses of groups of bacteria, we did however observe microbiota changes that parallel some of the microbiota changes observed when for instance obese subjects have been compared with normal-weight subjects in other studies, such as an increased ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. Longer and larger clinical sleep interventions will be needed to investigate to what extent alterations of the gut microbiota may mediate negative health consequences attributed to sleep loss, such as weight gain and insulin resistance," says senior author Jonathan Cedernaes. "We also found that participants were over 20 percent less sensitive to the effects of the hormone insulin following sleep loss. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone needed to bring down blood glucose levels. This decreased insulin sensitivity was however unrelated to alterations in gut microbiota following sleep loss. This suggests that changes in microbiota may not, at least in the short-term, represent a central mechanism through which one or several nights of curtailed sleep reduce insulin sensitivity in humans," says first author Christian Benedict. "The gut microbiota is very rich and its functional role far from completely characterized. Future studies will hopefully be able to ascertain how the composition and functional role of the gut microbiota is able to modulate at the individual level how sensitive we humans are to negative metabolic, but also cognitive, effects of sleep loss," concludes senior author Jonathan Cedernaes.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

With the help of experimental studies on molecular level, researchers are acquiring increased knowledge on how plants form oxygen from water molecules. An international research team has now found a way to visualise this reaction in high-resolution images of photosystem II. The results are being published today in the journal Nature. "This work is a breakthrough. It paves way to study step-by-step the formation of an oxygen molecule by two water molecules," says Johannes Messinger, professor in Biological Chemistry at Umeå University in Sweden and one of the leading researchers in the project. Plants play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. They use sunlight to remove greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into biomass. At the same time, plants also produce the oxygen we breathe by splitting water into oxygen and biologically bonded hydrogen. This process may prove even more important to save the climate, because if we understand water splitting completely, we can develop technology that produces hydrogen gas (fuel) from solar energy, which is much more efficient than how plants can produce biomass. In collaboration with an international team of researchers, professor Johannes Messinger, who recently joined the Molecular Biomimetics Programme at Uppsala University, has now found a way to visualise this reaction in high-resolution images using the X-ray free-electron laser at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. In the study, published in the current issue of the journal Nature, the research consortium developed new ways to grow microcrystals of photosystem II - the protein complex in plants that is responsible for producing oxygen from water using sunlight. These microcrystals were then placed on a conveyor belt using technology akin to ink-jet printing. On the belt, the crystals were illuminated with laser flashes of green light, to start the water splitting reaction cycle. During this process, the protein complex undergoes a series of steps before the oxygen process starts. The structure of these activated states were subsequently visualised by hitting the crystals with ultrafast X-ray pulses (10-15s). The present scientific article describes how the authors were able to resolve the structural differences between two of the states in photosystem II that are involved in water splitting. "We are now all set to tackle the final mysteries of how plants make oxygen - a dream has come true," says Johannes Messinger. In order to make the promising progress, research teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University in the US, Humboldt University in Berlin, Umeå University and Uppsala University in Sweden have collaborated for five years.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Seed Box, Sweden's largest research programme in the environmental humanities, is now allocating grants to researchers, writers and artists around the world. The projects investigate urgent environmental problems and present new, often artistic methods and pathways forward, aimed at exploring our relationship with the environment. "Until now, the environment has mainly been a subject for natural science and engineering. But environmental issues are also very relevant for the humanities and social sciences. They concern values and human conditions, and these are the domains of the humanities. With the Seed Money we want to nurture good ideas and green initiatives from the humanities, from all round the world," says Cecilia Åsberg, professor of gender, nature and culture at Linköping University and programme director of the Seed Box, which is based at Linköping University. The Seed Box's Seed Money venture aims to foster research in interdisciplinary and environmental humanities, by increasing researcher mobility and facilitating knowledge exchange between Swedish and foreign universities. To this end, 16 projects involving 40 individuals have received funding. The grants will go to exchanges for researchers, writers and artists, and to workshops, travel grants and a project on citizen science. Herbarium 3.0, a project that has secured USD 43,434 (EUR 40,854), investigates the plants around us that we no longer see. Our history is full of collected and pressed plants that have been put into herbaria with data on how, where and when they were found. And yet, despite this robust botanical history, many humans are now notably blind to the plants that share our world. "Plant blindness can make us insensitive to both the lives of plants and the deeply connected history of plant-human interactions. We want to move herbaria out of the archive and back into people's lives," says Tina Gianquitto, associate professor, Colorado School of Mines. The project will create a website where the public can share their experiences and relationships with plants. The narratives will be collected in public gardens around the world, including the New York Botanical Garden and the Gothenburg Botanical Garden in Sweden. The international projects that received funding will collaborate with a Swedish university, to bolster the exchange of knowledge. "The Seed Box: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory" is a four-year pilot programme funded by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and Formas, the Swedish Research Council. It is based at Linköping University and has received roughly USD 4.9 million (EUR 4.1 million) to advance the environmental humanities in Sweden and worldwide. The call for funding was made in consultation with the Seed Box's funders. Hanna Husberg (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna) Project: Troubled atmosphere: On the governance of air Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 111,000 Erika Sigvardsdotter (Red Cross University College) and Jonas Gren Project: A poetic writer in residence. The return of bacteria - on the dangerous reduction of complex to complicated Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 60,000 Franziska Bedorf (Uppsala University) Project: Travelling exhibition. The Melting Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories: Of People, Land and Climate Change in East Africa. Amount granted: SEK 175,000 Jesse Peterson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) Project: Two-day writer's workshop. Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: An Environmental Humanities Workshop. Amount granted: SEK 88,000 Katherine Gibson (Western Sydney University) Project: Urban Food Economies: Re-thinking Value for 'More-than-Capitalist' Futures. Will cooperate with KTH Royal Institute of Technology Amount granted: SEK 180,000 Tina Gianquitto (Colorado School of Mines, USA) project: Herbaria 3.0. Will cooperate with University of Gothenburg Amount granted: SEK 400,000 Sebastian Ureta (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile) with Linda Soneryd (University of Gothenburg) Project: Assembling transnational toxic bodies: Embodying and mobilizing responsibility on the 'Arica Victims VS Boliden Minerals AB' case Will cooperate with University of Gothenburg Amount granted: SEK 505,000 Marco Armiero (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) Project: The United Toxic Autobiographies of Europe. Amount granted: SEK 365,000 Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw (Western University, Canada) with Maria Svedäng (Stockholm University) Astrida Neimanis, (University of Sydney) Project: The Wild Weathering Collaboratory Amount granted: SEK 275,000 Jennifer Mae Hamilton (University of Sydney) Project: Research travel, Weathering the City Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 75,000 Åsa Össbo (Umeå University) Project: Damage done: Exploring the ongoing consequences for Sami communities as a result of the Swedish hydropower development. Amount granted: SEK 372,000


News Article | February 18, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

A bizarre group of microbes — named in honor of the Greek god of the underworld, Hades — thrives abundantly underneath the Earth's surface without any need for oxygen or light, researchers have discovered. An international team of researchers analyzed the lifestyle of these strange microbes called the Hadesarchaea, which were initially found 2 miles deep into the Earth's surface in a gold mine in South Africa. Microbiologists Thijs Ettema and Brett Baker, who led a team of researchers from the University of Texas and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States, Uppsala University in Sweden and the University of Bremen in Germany found the new microbe class in various environments. Archaea are microscopic single-celled organisms discovered about four decades ago by Carl Woese, an American biologist. There are very few scientific studies on the archaea compared to bacteria. In a previous study, researchers found that buried marine archaea can shed light on the ocean's temperature history. Marine archaea make up approximately 20 percent of the microbial life underwater. A genome sequence of several Hadesarchaea samples revealed how the microbes survived without light and oxygen. Findings suggested that the new microbes survive on the carbon monoxide found underground by using it as energy. Moreover, the chemical pathways used in metabolizing the carbon monoxide are different compared to previously observed activities in older Archaea samples. "The new discovery expands our knowledge of how these organisms may have adapted to the extreme conditions of the deep biosphere," says co-author Jimmy Saw from the Uppsala University. The researchers also found the microbes in deep mud at a temperate estuary located in North Carolina and underneath Yellowstone National Park's hot springs. They continue to thrive underground in various settings. Ettema says that the new discovery will help the scientific community better understand the lifestyle and biology of the archaea that thrive underneath the Earth's surface. The discovery was published in the journal Nature Microbiology on Feb. 15.


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A new study published in Scientific Reports shows how higher latitude ecosystems recovered after the World's most cataclysmic extinction event 252 million years ago. "Life on the sea floor had totally collapsed, with up 90 percent of all species becoming extinct" says Dr Michal Zaton from the University of Silesia in Poland, and lead author on the study. New fossils discovered in East Greenland record an empty alien world from immediately after the extinction, which marked what is formally known as the Permian-Triassic boundary. "The seas were oxygen depleted and acidic, with a very low diversity bottom-living fauna comprising bivalves and vast colonies of filter-feeding microconchid tube worms. These would have encrusted shells and algal mats, which provided both suitable substrates and a potential source of oxygen," says Michal Zaton. Microconchid fossils have never previously been reported from ancient higher latitudes. "At the very beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs 252 million years ago, East Greenland was on the edge of a Boreal seaway stretching to the North Pole. Our discovery is significant because it shows for the first time that sea floor life at higher latitudes suffered the same global extinction process, and subsequent ecosystem recovery," says Dr Benjamin Kear from the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University and leader of the project funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. Palaeontologists from Uppsala University spent more than two months collecting fossils in East Greenland. They are investigating the interplay between extinction events and major milestones in aquatic animal evolution. "Our project, First Steps From and To the Water, focuses upon geological timeframes at which back-boned animals first emerged from water onto land 360 million years ago, and then transitioned back to the seas 252 million years ago. East Greenland is the only landmass where rocks of these ages occur together in the same place," says Dr Henning Blom of the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and co-investigator on the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat project. "Our recent findings not only demonstrate global extinction recovery, but also that Triassic bottom-living communities rapidly adapted over time. We found completely new microconchid species that invaded brackish lagoons as the seas retreated. This environmental opportunism was probably key to their survival and ecological success in the wake of massive ecosystem collapse," says Dr Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki also from the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and a co-author on the work. Further spectacular fossil discoveries from the team's research in East Greenland will feature in forthcoming publications.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden have put together all known information about the endangered Rufous-headed Robin. Very few observations have been made since it was first discovered in 1905. The researchers suggest that its distribution might be larger than previously thought. - We have tried to estimate its potential distribution to find areas where it might occur but where it has not yet been observed. Since most of the potential new areas are in poorly accessible mountain ranges, we are hopeful that it has a larger distribution, and hence that it is less threatened than presently believed, says Professor Per Alstroem, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University and Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultral Sciences. The Rufous-headed Robin Larvivora ruficeps is related to the Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos and Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia. In common with these, it has a strong and beautiful song. However, unlike in the nightingales, males and females differ in plumage, and the male is strikingly coloured. In the present study, the researchers have summarized all known observations of the Rufous-headed Robin since it was first discovered in the summer of 1905 in the Shaanxi Province of central China. The second observation was not made until March 1963, in Malaysia. In June 1985, three singing males were discovered at one site in the Sichuan Province in central China. In the last 25 years, the Rufous-headed Robin has only been observed at his site and in a neighbouring nature reserve, with up to maximum 8 individuals in a year. It has also been seen twice in the non-breeding season in Southeast Asia. No observations were made in 2016, despite searches at the two classic sites. The potential distribution was estimated based on the species' known habitat preferences, and the researchers concluded that it might be more widespread than presently appreciated. Many of those areas have been poorly surveyed, so there is still hope that some unknown populations might be discovered. The reasons why the Rufous-headed Robin is so rare are unknown. The researchers analysed DNA from one Rufous-headed Robin and concluded that its closest relative is the Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans, which breeds in Siberia and northeast China, whereas it is more distantly related to the two European nightingales. The song of the Rufous-headed Robin was also studied in detail, and it was found to be very different from the song of its closest relative, the Rufous-tailed Robin, whereas it is much more reminiscent of the song of the more distantly related Ryukyu Robin Larvivora komadori, from Japan. The study concluded that the similarity in song between the Rufous-headed and Ryukyu Robins is the result of so-called parallel evolution, and accordingly is not due to common ancestry. Professor Per Alstroem Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University and Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Email: per.alstrom@ebc.uu.se Tel: +46 70 454 69 65 http://www. http://www. Zhao, M., Alstroem, P., Hu, R., Zhao, C., hao, Y., Lei, F. & Qu, Y. 2017. Phylogenetic relationships, song and distribution of the endangered Rufous-headed Robin Larvivora ruficeps. Ibis 159: 204-216.


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: astrobiology.com

A new study published in Scientific Reports shows how higher latitude ecosystems recovered after the World's most cataclysmic extinction event 252 million years ago. "Life on the sea floor had totally collapsed, with up 90 percent of all species becoming extinct" says Dr Michal Zaton from the University of Silesia in Poland, and lead author on the study. New fossils discovered in East Greenland record an empty alien world from immediately after the extinction, which marked what is formally known as the Permian-Triassic boundary. "The seas were oxygen depleted and acidic, with a very low diversity bottom-living fauna comprising bivalves and vast colonies of filter-feeding microconchid tube worms. These would have encrusted shells and algal mats, which provided both suitable substrates and a potential source of oxygen", says Michal Zaton. Microconchid fossils have never previously been reported from ancient higher latitudes. "At the very beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs 252 million years ago, East Greenland was on the edge of a Boreal seaway stretching to the North Pole. Our discovery is significant because it shows for the first time that sea floor life at higher latitudes suffered the same global extinction process, and subsequent ecosystem recovery," says Dr Benjamin Kear from the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University and leader of the project funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. Palaeontologists from Uppsala University spent more than two months collecting fossils in East Greenland. They are investigating the interplay between extinction events and major milestones in aquatic animal evolution. "Our project, First Steps From and To the Water, focuses upon geological timeframes at which back-boned animals first emerged from water onto land 360 million years ago, and then transitioned back to the seas 252 million years ago. East Greenland is the only landmass where rocks of these ages occur together in the same place", says Dr Henning Blom of the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and co-investigator on the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat project. "Our recent findings not only demonstrate global extinction recovery, but also that Triassic bottom-living communities rapidly adapted over time. We found completely new microconchid species that invaded brackish lagoons as the seas retreated. This environmental opportunism was probably key to their survival and ecological success in the wake of massive ecosystem collapse," says Dr Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki also from the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and a co-author on the work. Further spectacular fossil discoveries from the team's research in East Greenland will feature in forthcoming publications.


News Article | January 8, 2016
Site: phys.org

Despite the complexity of music, recent research has shown that music can be analyzed using some of the same physics models commonly used to describe more traditional physics concepts. More evidence of this ability to describe music with physics comes from a new paper published in EPL by Gunnar A. Niklasson, an engineering professor at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Maria H. Niklasson, a musician at the Betel Music Institute in Bromma, Sweden. The researchers found that the distribution of melodic intervals in two classical concertos and two folk songs can be modeled by a Lévy distribution. They explain that melodic intervals are the pitch intervals between successive time intervals, which are defined by the duration of the shortest note—so each note may be equal to one or more of these time intervals. (A pitch interval can also be roughly thought of as how far apart two notes are on a piano.) The Lévy distribution describes many other diverse scenarios, such as the turbulent motion of a particle in a liquid or gas, the changes in the price of a stock, earthquake activity, and the foraging paths of wild animals. "Our work indicates a consonance between patterns in music and in nature, but how to interpret this is more of a philosophical question," Gunnar Niklasson told Phys.org. All Lévy motions are characterized by a mix of many short and a few long steps, and also exhibit fractal properties. For a musical melody, this basically means that there are many small intervals (just one or two notes apart) and fewer large intervals (sometimes up to 20 notes apart), and that the numbers of these intervals are distributed in the shape of a sharp peak with long tails on both sides. Previous research has implicitly assumed that melodic intervals follow a Gaussian distribution (i.e., a "bell curve"), but a Levy distribution is different from a Gaussian one, so the new results challenge these assumptions. The researchers emphasize that the Lévy distribution is only an approximate description of the distribution of melodic intervals, as the actual distribution of intervals deviates from a perfect Lévy distribution in certain ways. One example is that, in many songs, two-note intervals are more common than one-note intervals. There are also large fluctuations in the tail regions, where the intervals are largest. The researchers suggest that some of these deviations may reflect different music styles, genres, and composers. Besides contributing to a greater fundamental understanding of music, the findings here may also be useful for experimenting with computer-generated music. "Computer-generated music is a very small portion of all present music," Gunnar Niklasson said. "It is my understanding that algorithms are mainly used by some composers for generating ideas that they can incorporate into new written compositions. We have not explored the relation of our work to algorithmic composition yet. However, it is interesting to note that some of the currently used algorithms are based on fractals and chaos theory." In the future, the researchers hope to develop more automated methods of analysis, which is necessary in order to analyze larger numbers of music samples. This would also allow for a comparison of the styles of different composers, as well as a comparison of written music with computer-generated compositions. More information: Gunnar A. Niklasson and Maria H. Niklasson. "Non-Gaussian distributions of melodic intervals in music: The Lévy-stable approximation." EPL. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/112/40003


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Never mind the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. How exactly do plants split water? An international team of scientists is getting closer to the answer thanks to unprecedented, atomic-scale images of a protein complex found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria captured by ultrafast X-ray lasers. The experiments, led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), are helping researchers narrow down the process by which the protein, called photosystem II, uses light energy to split water and create oxygen. Nearly all the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced in this system. Just as importantly, this reaction also yields protons and electrons that are used to reduce carbon dioxide to carbohydrates later in the photosynthesis cycle. The images, published in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal Nature, provide the first high-resolution 3-D view of photosystem II in action, a feat accomplished by using unimaginably fast X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Photosystem II is found in the thylakoid, a compartment in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria surrounded by a membrane. The thylakoid is where the light-dependent reactions in photosynthesis occur, yet the exact nature of those reactions have, paradoxically, been in the dark for scientists. "There have been cryo-images taken when the protein was in a dark or resting state," said study principal investigator Junko Yano, senior scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. "But the stages of photosystem II do not proceed at freezing temperatures. What we have been able to do for the first time using X-ray lasers is study this process at room temperature so we can tell what is actually happening in nature." Yano worked with co-principal investigator Vittal Yachandra, and senior authors Nicholas Sauter and Jan Kern, all members of Berkeley Lab's Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. "We have been trying for decades to understand how plants split water into oxygen, protons, and electrons," said Yachandra. "Understanding how nature accomplishes this difficult reaction so easily is important for developing a cost-effective method for solar-based water-splitting, which is essential for artificial photosynthesis and renewable energy." They were especially interested in the protein's small metal catalyst, an oxygen-evolving complex in which oxygen atoms bridge four manganese atoms with one calcium atom. How this catalyst stores the energy from photons and oxidizes two water molecules has been a key question in photosynthesis. "To our surprise, we found that the two leading theories explaining the mechanisms for how the reaction proceeds are probably not correct," said Yachandra. "If the theories were correct, we would have seen water binding to specific sites and other predicted features in the protein. This means that something else is going on, so now we're homing in on the right answer by process of elimination." The ability to peek into the process of splitting water at room temperature has been hindered by the fact that most imaging or crystallography technology using X-ray lasers blasts the samples to bits before meaningful data can be collected. Recent advances made possible by the LCLS changed that. "The beauty of the LCLS is that the laser pulses are so short--only 40 femtoseconds in duration, but very intense--that you can collect the data before the sample is destroyed," said Kern. "It's very new, and there are only two places in the world where that can be done at present." A femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second. To get a sense of the scale, it can be compared to what one second would be in a span of about 30 million years. Getting higher-resolution details that show molecular bonds also requires higher-quality crystal samples grown in precisely controlled conditions. "The spatial resolution of the structure we're reporting is 2.25 angstroms," said Kern. "We're trying to see the process at extremely tiny length scales, and this is the first time we're getting a spatial resolution that even approaches that. We're only beginning to understand the story." At LCLS, the researchers first illuminated their crystal samples with green photons to trigger the photosynthetic reactions in photosystem II. They then shot the X-ray pulses at the crystals, yielding diffraction data that was quickly collected before the crystal was destroyed. The researchers used ammonia as a marker to help determine the location of water molecules throughout the structure. If ammonia was present at a binding site, then the researchers knew that water was not there. Software algorithms developed by Sauter, Paul Adams (also of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division at Berkeley Lab), and their respective groups were then used to translate the diffraction readings into the 3-D rendering of photosystem II. Since each crystal sample can only survive one shot of the X-ray laser before being blasted to smithereens, the researchers had to grow hundreds of thousands of them to obtain enough data to cover the intermediate stages in the reaction. "At LCLS, you only get a tiny sliver of data at a time, so you have to piece them all together," said Sauter in describing the role of the software used to create the images. "It's like taking a puzzle, dumping all the pieces on the floor, and then putting them back together." Other researchers on the team include scientists from Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany, Uppsala University and Umeå University in Sweden, SLAC and Stanford University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the University of Oxford. This work was primarily supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Institutes of Health. Some of the work was conducted at the Advanced Light Source and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities at Berkeley Lab. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. For more, visit http://www. . DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new study published in Scientific Reports shows how higher latitude ecosystems recovered after the World's most cataclysmic extinction event 252 million years ago. "Life on the sea floor had totally collapsed, with up 90 percent of all species becoming extinct" says Dr Michal Zaton from the University of Silesia in Poland, and lead author on the study. New fossils discovered in East Greenland record an empty alien world from immediately after the extinction, which marked what is formally known as the Permian-Triassic boundary. "The seas were oxygen depleted and acidic, with a very low diversity bottom-living fauna comprising bivalves and vast colonies of filter-feeding microconchid tube worms. These would have encrusted shells and algal mats, which provided both suitable substrates and a potential source of oxygen", says Michal Zaton. Microconchid fossils have never previously been reported from ancient higher latitudes. "At the very beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs 252 million years ago, East Greenland was on the edge of a Boreal seaway stretching to the North Pole. Our discovery is significant because it shows for the first time that sea floor life at higher latitudes suffered the same global extinction process, and subsequent ecosystem recovery," says Dr Benjamin Kear from the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University and leader of the project funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. Palaeontologists from Uppsala University spent more than two months collecting fossils in East Greenland. They are investigating the interplay between extinction events and major milestones in aquatic animal evolution. "Our project, First Steps From and To the Water, focuses upon geological timeframes at which back-boned animals first emerged from water onto land 360 million years ago, and then transitioned back to the seas 252 million years ago. East Greenland is the only landmass where rocks of these ages occur together in the same place", says Dr Henning Blom of the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and co-investigator on the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat project. "Our recent findings not only demonstrate global extinction recovery, but also that Triassic bottom-living communities rapidly adapted over time. We found completely new microconchid species that invaded brackish lagoons as the seas retreated. This environmental opportunism was probably key to their survival and ecological success in the wake of massive ecosystem collapse," says Dr Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki also from the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, and a co-author on the work. Further spectacular fossil discoveries from the team's research in East Greenland will feature in forthcoming publications.


« car2go pulls plug on car-sharing service in San Diego, Minneapolis/St. Paul | Main | NextEV Launches NIO Brand; NIO EP9 fastest electric car on the Nürburgring Nordschliefe » One of its molecular mysteries of photosynthesis involves how the photosystem II protein complex harvests energy from sunlight and uses it to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Now, an international team of researchers has used femtosecond pulses from an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to capture the highest resolution room-temperature (RT) images of this protein complex, allowing scientists to watch closely how water is split during photosynthesis at the temperature at which it occurs naturally. A paper on the work is published in the journal Nature. The international research team is a long-standing collaboration between SLAC and Berkeley Lab, and includes Humboldt University in Germany, Umeå University and Uppsala University in Sweden, Stanford University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The research team took diffraction images using the bright, fast pulses of X-rays at SLAC’s X-ray free-electron laser—the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)—a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Previously, the resting state of photosystem II had been seen in detail using samples that were frozen. In this latest study, the researchers were able to see two key steps in photosynthetic water splitting under conditions as it occurs in nature—a big step to decoding how the process works in detail. A damage-free, room temperature study means there are fewer artifacts in the images, and this gives a clearer picture of how photosystem II works in nature. For many years now, scientists have been trying to understand this process in meticulous detail. Besides its fundamental importance to science, understanding this process might help develop ways to create artificial photosynthesis devices that can serve as potential clean energy sources. In previous high-resolution studies of the system at synchrotron light sources, samples experienced radiation damage from longer exposure to X-rays. At LCLS, the researchers were able to take advantage of the ultrafast laser pulses to collect X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy data before damage occurred. In a recent experiment at SACLA, the only other operating hard X-ray free-electron laser, another team of scientists was able to look at the first step in the cycle in a frozen sample, and under dark conditions—which means the water-splitting reaction had not yet been initiated in the protein complex. This latest study at SLAC catches this first step, as well as another step that is two stages further along in the four-step cycle, and at the same temperature the process normally occurs in nature. To do this, the scientists placed droplets of the sample in a solution with small, crystallized forms of the photosystem II on a moving conveyor belt and illuminated the samples with pulses of green light from a laser to initiate the water-splitting reaction. After two light pulses, they captured images of the crystals using X-rays, with a resolution finer than 2.5 angstroms—significantly better than previously achieved at room temperature. Zeroing in on water-splitting. The water-splitting reaction takes place at a metal catalyst within the photosystem II protein—known as the oxygen-evolving complex—that is made up of four manganese atoms and one calcium atom. The complex uses the energy from light to form pure oxygen from two water molecules. The four manganese atoms are critical in shuffling electrons through the cycle, but it is unknown where exactly in the complex the involved water is located or where the oxygen formation occurs. To sort this out, the researchers used ammonia, a water substitute, to narrow down where oxygen atoms from two water molecules combine to form an oxygen molecule. If the ammonia was bound to a site, and the reaction still proceeded, that site is unlikely to be part of the oxygen molecule formation. The results from this study offered a surprise—the data do not seem to support two leading theories for how the reaction proceeds within the oxygen-evolving complex. In future studies using this same technique, the researchers hope to capture more images at different steps of the process, which will allow them to further refine the details of the water-splitting reaction. This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science and the National Institutes of Health, among other funding agencies. Some of the work for this study was conducted at the Advanced Light Source and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities at Berkeley Lab.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Inspired by the way people move at heavy metal concerts, an international team of researchers from Uppsala University and Harvard University have learned how to spot danger zones in mass gatherings before disaster strikes. Publishing online in the journal Physical Review Letters Nov. 23rd, Uppsala University's graduate student Arianna Bottinelli, and professor in applied mathematics David Sumpter, have developed computational tools to predict large-scale collective motion in simulated mass gatherings. The team started with simulated crowds so they could reliably keep track of everyone's position. "From this data, we're able to predict the most risky collective motions that naturally arise in a dense shoulder-to-shoulder crowd," says first author Bottinelli, who will defend her PhD thesis in applied mathematics on the 25th of November. Sumpter adds, "The next step is to apply these techniques to real-time video data. If we can use computer vision to track people, then our analytical tools can warn event planners of potential hazards before they arise." Overwhelmingly, mass gatherings are held without incident. But sometimes things go wrong. People can be trampled or asphyxiated by crushing pressures generated by the crowd itself. These types of collective motion have been previously studied, but the new physics-based insights in this work provide an explanation for how these disasters occur in the first place. Bottinelli, who lead the research, describes it like this: "It all comes down to way people gather into a randomly packed group. Physical body-to-body contacts are the foundation for potentially dangerous collective motion. Our work shows how to identify the emergent risks based on which people are touching each other." The project started as a study in the way people "dance" at heavy metal concerts. These "mosh pits" forcefully separate the crowd, creating areas near the stage where the crowd is densely packed. "We were staring at the concert data when we realized there were direct similarities with rallies, protests, and Black Friday sales events," said Dr. Silverberg, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, who has been collaborating on this work. "The more we dug, the richer the physics became. Pretty soon we found ideas from material science and field theory could be applied directly to human crowds in extreme situations," he adds. The researchers noted that awareness is the key to safety. With the upcoming Black Friday shopping holiday in America and the general increase in protest events across the globe, there are increasingly hidden dangers in crowds. The team's conclusions and suggestion to the public is to "keep an eye on your surroundings - if you're packed densely, then there's an inherent risk, and the best way to protect yourself and others is to spread out and move to an area with more physical space" the team concluded. The research, "Emergent structural mechanisms for high-density collective motion inspired by human crowds" was supported by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Mathematics in Uppsala University, Sweden.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Genetic differences in the FADS1 gene determine the risk for many different diseases. The ability to produce polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 differs between individuals and this affects the risk for disturbed metabolism, inflammatory diseases and several types of cancer. Scientists at Uppsala University/SciLifeLab in Sweden have clarified this in detail and the work is published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. - After detailed experiments we now know exactly which mutation in the region that is functional and directly involved in FADS1 regulation, says Gang Pan at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University and one of the authors of the article. In this new study the scientists show that the gene region which controls FADS1 appeared 6 million years ago and is present in human and chimpanzee but not in other species. Since increased production of omega-3 and omega-6 is favourable to brain development this event may have contributed to human evolution. A mutation happened 300 000 years ago which further increased the capacity of the gene to produce both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This mutation constituted an evolutionary advantage that has led to the more active variant of FADS1 being the common one in major parts of the world. In historical times people ate equal amounts of omega-3, coming from fish and vegetables, and omega-6 coming from meat and egg. - Since we now live longer and have changed our diet radically - modern food in the Western world has drastic excess of omega-6 - what was an advantage in historical times may have turned against us and become an increased risk for many diseases, says Gang Pan. The genetic difference at FADS1 affects levels of LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, several other important fats, blood sugar and the metabolic syndrome, as well as how well we respond to treatment to control blood fat. It affects the risk for allergies and inflammatory diseases like rheumatism and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition it influences the risk for colon cancer and other types of cancer, as well as the heart rate. - Polyunsaturated fats are involved in a surprising number of processes and the hope is that the new knowledge will make it possible to treat some of these diseases in a targeted way, says Claes Wadelius, Professor in Medical Genetics at Uppsala University and SciLifeLab, Sweden, and the main author of the study. Reference: Gang Pan, Adam Ameur, Stefan Enroth, Madhusudhan Bysani, Helena Nord, Marco Cavalli, Magnus Essand, Ulf Gyllensten and Claes Wadelius*, PATZ1 down-regulates FADS1 by binding to rs174557 and is opposed by SP1/SREBP1c, Nucleic Acids Research, 2016 1-15, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw1186


News Article | September 14, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Abstract: The discovery, led by Associate Professor Brian Abbey at La Trobe in collaboration with Associate Professor Harry Quiney at the University of Melbourne, has been published in the journal Science Advances. Their findings reverse what has been accepted thinking in crystallography for more than 100 years. The team exposed a sample of crystals, known as Buckminsterfullerene or Buckyballs, to intense light emitted from the world's first hard X-ray free electron laser (XFEL), based at Stanford University in the United States. The molecules have a spherical shape forming a pattern that resembles panels on a soccer ball. Light from the XFEL is around one billion times brighter than light generated by any other X-ray equipment --even light from the Australian Synchrotron pales in comparison. Because other X-ray sources deliver their energy much slower than the XFEL, all previous observations had found that the X-rays randomly melt or destroy the crystal. Scientists had previously assumed that XFELs would do the same. The result from the XFEL experiments on Buckyballs, however, was not at all what scientists expected. When the XFEL intensity was cranked up past a critical point, the electrons in the Buckyballs spontaneously re-arranged their positions, changing the shape of the molecules completely. Every molecule in the crystal changed from being shaped like a soccer ball to being shaped like an AFL ball at the same time. This effect produces completely different images at the detector. It also altered the sample's optical and physical properties. "It was like smashing a walnut with a sledgehammer and instead of destroying it and shattering it into a million pieces, we instead created a different shape - an almond!" Assoc. Prof. Abbey said. "We were stunned, this is the first time in the world that X-ray light has effectively created a new type of crystal phase" said Associate Professor Quiney, from the School of Physics, University of Melbourne. "Though it only remains stable for a tiny fraction of a second, we observed that the sample's physical, optical and chemical characteristics changed dramatically, from its original form," he said. "This change means that when we use XFELs for crystallography experiments we will have to change the way interpret the data. The results give the 100-year-old science of crystallography a new, exciting direction," Assoc. Prof. Abbey said. "Currently, crystallography is the tool used by biologists and immunologists to probe the inner workings of proteins and molecules -- the machines of life. Being able to see these structures in new ways will help us to understand interactions in the human body and may open new avenues for drug development." ### The study was conducted by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, Imperial College London, the CSIRO, the Australian Synchrotron, Swinburne Institute of Technology, the University of Oxford, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), the BioXFEL Science and Technology Centre, Uppsala University and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Hans Rosling knew never to flee from men wielding machetes. “The risk is higher if you run than if you face them,” he says. So, in 1989, when an angry mob confronted him at the field laboratory he had set up in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rosling tried to appear calm. “I thought, ‘I need to use the resources I have, and I am good at talking’.” Rosling, a physician and epidemiologist, pulled from his knapsack a handful of photographs of people from different parts of Africa who had been crippled by konzo, an incurable disease that was affecting many in this community, too. Through an interpreter, he explained that he believed he knew the cause, and he wanted to test local people’s blood to be sure. A few minutes into his demonstration, an old woman stepped forward and addressed the crowd in support of the research. After the more aggressive members of the mob stopped waving their machetes, she rolled up her sleeve. Most followed her lead. “You can do anything as long as you talk with people and listen to people and talk with the intelligentsia of the community,” says Rosling. He is still trying to arm influential people with facts. He has become a trusted counsellor and speaker of plain truth to United Nations leaders, billionaire executives such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and politicians including Al Gore. Even Fidel Castro called on the slim, bespectacled Swede for advice. Rosling’s video lectures on global health and economics have elevated him to viral celebrity status, and he has been listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by the magazines Time and Foreign Policy. Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says, “To have Hans Rosling as a teacher is one of the biggest honours in the world.” But among his fellow scientists, Rosling is less popular. His accolades do not include conventional academic milestones, such as massive grants or a stream of publications in top-tier journals. And rather than generating data, Rosling has spent the past two decades communicating data gathered by others. He relays facts that he thinks many academics have been too slow to appreciate and argues that researchers are ignorant about the state of health and wealth around the world. That’s dangerous. “Campuses are full of siloed people who do advocacy about things they don’t understand,” he says. So now, in the sunset of his career, Rosling is writing a book with his son Ola and his daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund to dispel outdated beliefs. It has the working title Factfulness, and they hope it will inform everyone from schoolchildren to esteemed experts about how the world has changed: how the number of births per woman worldwide has dropped over the past few decades, for example, and how average life expectancy (71 years) is now closer to that of the country with the highest (Japan, 84) than the lowest (Swaziland, 49). He reasons that experts cannot solve major challenges if they do not operate on facts. “But first you need to erase preconceived ideas,” he says, “and that is the difficult thing.” Rosling’s ambitions were born from curiosity. As a young boy in Uppsala, he listened intently as his father, a coffee-factory employee, described the hardships of the East African labourers who picked the beans. Rosling and his girlfriend, Agneta Thordeman, joined student protests against South African apartheid and the US war in Vietnam. The couple studied medicine — she as a nurse and he as a doctor — and travelled through India and southeast Asia on a shoestring budget. In 1972, they were married and seven years later they moved to Mozambique with their two small children. Rosling wanted to fulfil a promise he had made many years earlier to the founder of the Mozambican Liberation Front, Eduardo Mondlane. Mondlane had explained that Mozambique’s future would be challenging after the country gained independence from Portugal, because the nation was so poor and education levels low. Rosling recalls, “He shook my hand and looked me in the eyes and said: ‘Promise you will work with us’.” Mondlane was killed by a letter bomb soon afterwards — he did not live to see independence, which came in 1975 — but Rosling kept his word. The Mozambican government assigned Rosling to a northern part of the country, where he would be the only doctor serving 300,000 people. Because of the scarcity of health care, patients were often in excruciating pain by the time he saw them. Rosling recalls performing emergency surgery to extract dead fetuses from women on the verge of death. He watched helplessly as children perished from diseases that should have been simple to prevent. “Those years became a sort of trauma,” he says. In 1981, he received a letter from an Italian nun working as a nurse at a remote health post. “Please come,” she wrote. People in the surrounding villages had been stricken with sudden paralysis of both legs. Separating from his family, Rosling embedded himself in the crisis. He was assigned to lead a survey of 500,000 people and found that populations with the highest rate of the disease survived entirely on bitter cassava, the only crop that could grow when drought struck the region. The plant turned out to contain cyanogenic glucoside, a precursor to cyanide. Typically, soaking cassava roots in water for several days removed the toxin. But with streams running dry and families starving, women who prepared cassava had skipped this step — to their detriment. Dietary amino acids can also detoxify the poison, but people had no access to meat or beans that provide them. At the end of 1981, owing to a number of circumstances including the death of their third child, Rosling and his family returned to Sweden. Rosling became a lecturer on health care in low-income countries at Uppsala University but spent time in Tanzania and the Congo region as well, studying the paralysing disease he had first observed in Mozambique. He noticed that no matter what country he was in, the towns afflicted looked similarly tragic. Skeleton-thin people hobbled down dirt paths on makeshift crutches, or crawled with their legs twisted and dangling behind them like anchors. One Congolese community called the malady konzo, derived from a word referring to an antelope tethered at its knees. This is the name that Rosling would use in 1990, when he and his colleagues formally defined the disease and laid out the evidence for what causes it (W. P. Howlett et al. Brain 113, 223–235; 1990). As Rosling travelled, he trained African graduate students who specialized in konzo, and together they found that proper cassava processing was the most realistic method of short-term prevention. However, the message often fell on deaf ears because of hunger and conflict. Rosling became convinced that the real root of konzo resided not in cassava, but in economic devastation. “Extreme poverty produces diseases. Evil forces hide there,” he says. “It is where Ebola starts. It’s where Boko Haram hides girls. It’s where konzo occurs.” The World Bank defines extreme poverty as a state in which people survive on less than US$1.90 per day. Rosling can recognize it in other ways. He has seen it in people who must walk for hours without shoes to find water or to farm eroded soil. He sees it in those who remain short because of malnourishment, whose babies are born dangerously underweight and who are trapped with no options in life. Ultimately, he says that eliminating extreme poverty is the only way to cure konzo and prevent other maladies — both social and infectious. Money, politics and culture underlie disease in many circumstances, he argues. Take an outbreak in Cuba that Rosling investigated in 1992. The Cuban embassy in Sweden had asked him to find out whether toxic cassava could have caused roughly 40,000 people to experience visual blurring and severe numbness in their legs. On his first morning in Havana, Rosling met local epidemiologists in a conference room. “Then, two men walk in with guns, and in comes Fidel Castro,” he recalls. “My first surprise was that he was so kind, like Father Christmas. He didn’t have the attitude you might expect from a dictator.” With Castro’s approval, Rosling travelled to the heart of the outbreak, in the western province of Pinar del Río. It turned out that there was no link with cassava. Rather, adults stricken with the disorder all suffered from protein deficiency. The government was rationing meat, and adults had sacrificed their portion to nourish children, pregnant women and the elderly. Reporting back to Castro, Rosling couched his conclusions carefully: “I know your neighbours want to force their economic system on you, which I don’t like, but the system needs to change because this planned economy has brought this disease to people.” After his presentation, Rosling went to the toilet. A Cuban epidemiologist approached him to thank him. He and his colleagues had come to the same conclusion several months earlier, but they were removed from the investigation for criticizing communism. Corroboration of their work from Rosling and other independent researchers supported the policy changes that stemmed the outbreak. Back in Sweden, Rosling continued to teach global health, moving to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1996. But he came to realize that neither his students nor his colleagues grasped extreme poverty. They pictured the poor as almost everyone in the ‘developing world’: an arbitrarily defined territory that includes nations as economically diverse as Sierra Leone, Argentina, China and Afghanistan. They thought it was all large family sizes and low life expectancies: only the poorest and most conflict-ridden countries served as their reference point. “They just make it about us and them; the West and the rest,” Rosling says. How could anyone hope to solve problems if they didn’t understand the different challenges faced, for example, by Congolese subsistence farmers far from paved roads and Brazilian street vendors in urban favelas? “Scientists want to do good, but the problem is that they don’t understand the world,” Rosling says. Ola, his son, offered to help explain the world with graphics, and built his father software that animated data compiled by the UN and the World Bank. Visual aids in hand, the elder Rosling began to script the provocative presentations that have made him famous. In one, a graph shows the distribution of incomes in 1975 — a camel’s back, with rich countries and poor countries forming two humps. Then he presses ‘go’ and China, India, Latin America and the Middle East drift forward over time. Africa moves ahead too, but not nearly as much as the others. Rosling says, “The camel dies and we have a dromedary world with one hump only!” He adds, “The per cent in poverty has decreased — still it’s appalling that so many remain in extreme poverty.” Rosling’s online presentations grew popular, and the investment bank Goldman Sachs invited him to speak at client events. His message seemed to support advice from the firm’s chief economist, Jim O’Neill. In 2001, O’Neill had coined the acronym BRIC for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, often considered part of the developing world. He warned that financial experts ignored these rising powers at their peril. “I used to tease my colleagues who thought in a traditional framework,” O’Neill says. “Why are we talking about China as the developing world? Based on the rate of economic growth, China creates another Greece every three months; another UK every two years.” Rosling welcomed the new audience. “They request my lectures because they want to know the world as it is,” he says. The private sector needs to understand the economic and political conditions of current and potential markets. “To me it was horrific to realize that business leaders had a more fact-based world view than activists and university professors.” O’Neill left Goldman Sachs in 2013, and went on to lead a committee on global antibiotic resistance. He looked to Rosling for a big-picture view. “I wish there were more people like him,” says O’Neill. “He genuinely thinks about the future of all seven-plus-billion of us, rather than so many who claim they do but actually come at it with a narrow and national perspective.” Rising wealth pleases Rosling because he wants extreme poverty to disappear. To help get there, he celebrates improvements. He calls the UN’s push to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 an entirely reasonable goal because the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half in the past quarter of a century, and the strategies needed to help the remainder are known. His attitude aligns him with Steven Pinker of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who wrote The Better Angels of our Nature (Viking, 2011). In the book, Pinker argues that global rates of violence are much lower than they were in the past. The two met at a TED conference in 2007, when Pinker took the stage after Rosling ended his talk by swallowing a sword (whatever grabs attention). Pinker says that Rosling made him think that “the decline in violence might be a part of an even bigger story about humans gradually making progress against other scourges of the human condition”. Both have been criticized as being Pollyannaish about the global situation in the face of tragedies such as the conflict in Syria. “People think that if you emphasize how things have gone well it is the same as saying no problems remain. That’s not true,” Pinker counters. “In fact, I strongly suspect that people are more motivated to reduce problems like poverty and violence if they think there is a good chance they can succeed.” And as a cognitive scientist, Pinker admires the animations that Rosling uses. One, which depicts countries as bubbles that migrate over time according to wealth, life span or family size, allows viewers to grasp multiple variables simultaneously. “It’s a stroke of genius,” Pinker says. “He gets our puny human brain to appreciate five dimensions.” In 2005, Rosling, Ola and Anna founded the non-profit Gapminder Foundation in Stockholm to develop the ‘moving-bubble’ software, Trendalyzer, and to spread access to information and animated graphs depicting world trends. Google acquired Trendalyzer in 2007, and Gapminder has successfully pressured the World Bank to make its data free to the public. Rosling’s charm appeals to those frustrated by the persistence of myths about the world. Looming large is an idea popularized by Paul Ehrlich, an entomologist at Stanford University in California, who warned in 1968 that the world was heading towards mass starvation owing to overpopulation. Melinda Gates says that after a drink or two, people often tell her that they think the Gates Foundation may be contributing to overpopulation and environmental collapse by saving children’s lives with interventions such as vaccines. She is thrilled when Rosling smoothly uses data to show how the reverse is true: as rates of child survival have increased over time, family size has shrunk. She has joined him as a speaker at several high-level events. “I’ve watched people have this ‘aha’ moment when Hans speaks,” she says. “He breaks these myths in such a gentle way. I adore him.” The appreciation extends to the World Health Organization: director-general Margaret Chan says that Rosling provides facts for decision-makers to consider. “He makes the case that as people grow in wealth, they grow in health,” she says. And his talks help her to convince governments that data collection can help them to track whether they are getting returns on their investments in global health. The past few years have brought new challenges. In 2014, Ebola was spreading in West Africa, and Rosling’s liver was failing. A hepatitis C infection that he had mysteriously acquired in his youth was becoming lethal. He travelled to Japan to receive the newest treatment, not yet approved in Sweden. By October, he found himself fretting, from afar, over discrepancies in official reports on the number of suspected and confirmed Ebola cases. “I realized my skills were needed,” he says. As soon as the drugs cured him, Rosling flew to West Africa to join the Liberian government’s epidemiological-surveillance team. The team wanted to consolidate data, but struggled with the disparate ways in which international agencies collected information. “We were losing ourselves in details,” says Rosling. “I saw this was a war situation: all we needed to know is, are the number of cases rising, falling or levelling off?” After a few months, it became clear that the rate of new cases had diminished. Rosling was rewarded with a traditional chieftainship by the Liberian government. Now, at the age of 68, Rosling has retreated to his red wooden house in Uppsala with Agneta. He continues to work and plugs away at his “factfulness book on megamisconceptions”. Every now and again, he stirs the pot. In October, he published a piece in The Lancet identifying a misleading statistic in a widely cited report from an advocacy organization launched by the UN (H. Nordenstedt and H. Rosling Lancet 388, 1864–1865; 2016). The group claimed that 60% of maternal deaths occur in settings of conflict, displacement and natural disaster. Rosling checked the numbers and calculated that the true amount was no more than 17%. A UN spokesperson explains that part of the discrepancy derives from the fact that in the original figure, women who gave birth in nations affected by crises were included — even if their region had not been directly impacted. Rosling blames the popularity of the dramatic-sounding statistic on the desire to raise funds at a time when refugee crises garner financial support. “Global health seems to have entered into a post-fact era, where the labelling of numerators is incorrectly tweaked for advocacy purposes,” he wrote in the Lancet article with Helena Nordenstedt, a colleague at the Karolinska Institute. The majority of maternal deaths occur among the extremely poor, they added. Those remote populations are hidden even from the aid community. Rosling prods academics when he can (see ‘Test your world knowledge’). For instance, at a Nobel-laureate meeting in Lindau, Germany, in 2014, he quizzed the audience of leading scientists on the average life expectancy in the world today. Out of three choices, just over one-quarter of the crowd picked the correct answer of 70. That’s less than would be expected by chance. The quiz spurred laughter in Lindau, but scientists are generally not his audience. Rosling is rarely invited to give keynote lectures or departmental seminars because he doesn’t push a single field forward; he has not made fundamental discoveries since his konzo days. Researchers agree that he is a good communicator — but not the kind to teach scientists. “People like Hans Rosling face the criticism of being too superficial,” explains Peter Hotez, a tropical-disease scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “It’s the dilemma of the public intellectual,” he says, describing academics who bridge several disciplines rather than excel at one. Rosling says he never cared much about his academic reputation. He was lucky to receive steady support from the former head of the Karolinska Institute, Hans Wigzell, who encouraged him to seek outside funding so that he could pursue whatever he deemed most important. After Rosling decided that that meant teaching broadly, he walked away from research entirely. He also differs from global-health experts who have stepped outside academia to change policies. He hasn’t worked to expand access to HIV medication, for example. He has not — like Hotez — put neglected tropical diseases on the world health agenda. And konzo still exists. But Rosling has had success; it’s just that the impact becomes harder to measure the broader his goals become. Now that he has decided that the public at large must buy into ending extreme poverty and creating a sustainable world, he has dedicated the last chapter of his career to education. With the right facts, he hopes, people will make the right decisions — he just needs to face down the misconceptions. Who is better suited to the task than a man able to stave off machetes with the power of a few pictures and his words?


News Article | November 24, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In a new paper, published in Scientific Reports, an international team of researchers has analysed fossils and DNA from living and recently extinct species to show that conservation sensitive Australasian marsupials are much older than previously thought. "We used bandicoots as a model to examine the radiation of marsupials relative to climate change through time. Bandicoots are the marsupial equivalents of rodents and rabbits that today occupy a spectrum of desert through to rainforest habitats across Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands. Alarmingly, however, most bandicoot species are under dire threat of extinction from introduced predators, habitat loss, and human hunting," says Dr Benjamin Kear from the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University, and lead author on the study. Bandicoot fossils are important for understanding how Australia's unique biodiversity has reacted to climate change in the past. They suggest that a shift towards drier conditions 5-10 million years ago drove ancient species into extinction, while simultaneously prompting the emergence of modern groups. "The evolution of Australia's mammals has long been linked to aridity. Yet this hypothesis is based upon only a few distinguishing features found in the teeth and skulls of modern species," says Dr Ken Aplin of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Dr Aplin recovered the remains of a remarkably archaic new fossil bandicoot, Lemdubuoryctes aruensis, from the Aru Islands of Eastern Indonesia. The earliest bandicoot fossils are more than 25 million years old, but isolated teeth over 50 million years old hint at a deeper ancestry. In contrast, the first demonstrably modern bandicoots appeared less than 5 million years ago, while their most ancient relatives seemingly inhabited rainforests some 20 million years ago. "The Aru Islands fossils are very primitive and resemble the most archaic extinct bandicoots, but amazingly are only 9,000 years old," says Dr Kear. Lemdubuoryctes also did not live in a primordial rainforest, but rather a vast savannah plain that stretched between Australia and New Guinea during the last glacial maximum. "While retreating rainforests and spreading grasslands did provide a backdrop for ecosystem change 5-10 million years ago. The Australian fauna likely adapted via changing its distribution rather than undergoing wholesale extinction and replacement," says Emeritus Prof. Michael Westerman from La Trobe University in Australia. "This agrees with our results from DNA, which indicate that modern desert-living bandicoot groups pre-date the onset of aridity by as much as 40 million years," says Prof. Westerman. Pointedly, such timeframes coincide with increasing seasonality and the proliferation of open Eucalyptus woodlands in the Australian continental interior. "Bandicoots, like other Australasian marsupials, probably occupied a range of different habitats over many millions of years. However, our study has further implications for future conservation. Arid zone bandicoots are amongst the most vulnerable mammals in Australasia today, with multiple species having gone extinct within the last 100 years. By demonstrating their profound evolutionary antiquity we can thus serve to highlight how extremely urgent it is to protect these living fossils as part of Australia's unique biodiversity", says Dr Kear.


News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Researchers at the Division of Solid-State Physics and the Division of Materials Physics at Uppsala University have shown how the collective dynamics in a structure consisting of interacting magnetic nano-islands can be manipulated. Their findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports. With the aid of modern nano-fabrication methods the researchers have imitated nature and created a 2D pattern of small stadium shaped magnetic islands. These small magnets have properties similar to those of magnetic atoms, exhibiting thermal fluctuations. The time and temperature dependence of the magnetization in a collective of magnetic islands has been studied, using a very sensitive custom build magnetometer, developed in Uppsala. “One of the advantages of using such magnetic nano-islands instead of magnetic atoms, as our primary building blocks is that the magnetic properties of the islands can be tuned with precision, something otherwise very difficult. To have precise control of your building blocks helps tremendously when analyzing measurements,” explains Vassilios Kapaklis, Senior Lecturer in materials physics at Uppsala University. A collective magnetic state is formed when these magnetic islands are allowed to interact and it is this state, which the researchers studied. The collective can exhibit emergent properties differing strongly compared to those of the single building blocks and that can be controlled by the geometrical placement of the building blocks. “Out results show that magnetometry can be used to monitor the development of the magnetic collective in real time, while also offering the possibility to study the impact temperature has on this development,” says Mikael Andersson, PhD student in solid state physics at Uppsala University. The understanding of collective effects in magnetic nanostructures is crucial for realizing applications such as magnetic logical circuits, which have the advantage of not requiring power to preserve a desired logical state. The work was done in collaboration with the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory. The research was financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR), the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Göran Gustafsson Foundation, and STINT.


Berg J.,Uppsala University | Nordstrom J.,Linköping University
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2011

In this paper we prove stability of Robin solid wall boundary conditions for the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. Applications include the no-slip boundary conditions with prescribed temperature or temperature gradient and the first order slip-flow boundary conditions. The formulation is uniform and the transitions between different boundary conditions are done by a change of parameters. We give different sharp energy estimates depending on the choice of parameters.The discretization is done using finite differences on Summation-By-Parts form with weak boundary conditions using the Simultaneous Approximation Term. We verify convergence by the method of manufactured solutions and show computations of flows ranging from no-slip to almost full slip. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Eriksson O.,Uppsala University | Alavi A.,University of Pennsylvania
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging | Year: 2012

Clinical islet transplantation is being investigated as a permanent cure for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Currently, intraportal infusion of islets is the favoured procedure, but several novel implantation sites have been suggested. Noninvasive longitudinal methodologies are an increasingly important tool for assessing the fate of transplanted islets, their mass, function and early signs of rejection. This article reviews the approaches available for islet graft imaging by positron emission tomography and progress in the field, as well as future challenges and opportunities. © Springer-Verlag 2011.


Berg J.,Uppsala University | Nordstrom J.,Linköping University
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2013

In this paper we derive well-posed boundary conditions for a linear incompletely parabolic system of equations, which can be viewed as a model problem for the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. We show a general procedure for the construction of the boundary conditions such that both the primal and dual equations are well-posed. The form of the boundary conditions is chosen such that reduction to first order form with its complications can be avoided. The primal equation is discretized using finite difference operators on summation-by-parts form with weak boundary conditions. It is shown that the discretization can be made energy stable, and that energy stability is sufficient for dual consistency. Since reduction to first order form can be avoided, the discretization is significantly simpler compared to a discretization using Dirichlet boundary conditions. We compare the new boundary conditions with standard Dirichlet boundary conditions in terms of rate of convergence, errors and discrete spectra. It is shown that the scheme with the new boundary conditions is not only far simpler, but also has smaller errors, error bounded properties, and highly optimizable eigenvalues, while maintaining all desirable properties of a dual consistent discretization. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Schilcher J.,Linköping University | Michaelsson K.,Uppsala University | Aspenberg P.,Linköping University
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

Background Studies show conflicting results regarding the possible excess risk of atypical fractures of the femoral shaft associated with bisphosphonate use. Methods In Sweden, 12,777 women 55 years of age or older sustained a fracture of the femur in 2008. We reviewed radiographs of 1234 of the 1271 women who had a subtrochanteric or shaft fracture and identified 59 patients with atypical fractures. Data on medications and coexisting conditions were obtained from national registries. The relative and absolute risk of atypical fractures associated with bisphosphonate use was estimated by means of a nationwide cohort analysis. The 59 case patients were also compared with 263 control patients who had ordinary subtrochanteric or shaft fractures. Results The age-adjusted relative risk of atypical fracture was 47.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 87.3) in the cohort analysis. The increase in absolute risk was 5 cases per 10,000 patient-years (95% CI, 4 to 7). A total of 78% of the case patients and 10% of the controls had received bisphosphonates, corresponding to a multivariableadjusted odds ratio of 33.3 (95% CI, 14.3 to 77.8). The risk was independent of coexisting conditions and of concurrent use of other drugs with known effects on bone. The duration of use influenced the risk (odds ratio per 100 daily doses, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.6). After drug withdrawal, the risk diminished by 70% per year since the last use (odds ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.38). Conclusions These population-based nationwide analyses may be reassuring for patients who receive bisphosphonates. Although there was a high prevalence of current bisphosphonate use among patients with atypical fractures, the absolute risk was small. (Funded by the Swedish Research Council.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Kochukhov O.,Uppsala University | Sudnik N.,Saint Petersburg State University
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. Strong, globally-organized magnetic fields are found for a small fraction of O, B, and A stars. At the same time, many theoretical and indirect observational studies have suggested the ubiquitous presence of weak localized magnetic fields at the surfaces of massive stars. However, no direct detections of such fields have been reported yet. Aims. We have carried out the first comprehensive theoretical investigation of the spectropolarimetric observational signatures of the structured magnetic fields. These calculations are applied to interpret null results of the recent magnetic surveys of massive stars. Methods. The intensity and circular polarization spectra of early-type stars were simulated using detailed polarized radiative transfer calculations with LTE model atmospheres. Similar to observational analyses, the mean Stokes I and V line profiles were obtained by applying a multiline averaging technique. Different spectropolarimetric observables were examined for multiple realizations of randomly distributed radial magnetic field spots on different spatial scales. Results. We characterize the amplitude of the circular polarization profiles and the mean longitudinal magnetic field as a function of magnetic spot sizes. The dependence of these observables on the effective temperature, projected rotational velocity, and inclination angle is also investigated. Using results of the recently completed Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) survey, we derive upper limits on the small-scale magnetic fields compatible with the MiMeS nondetections. Conclusions. According to our simulations, existing spectropolarimetric observations of sharp-lined massive stars rule out the presence of any small-scale fields stronger than 50-250 G, depending on the typical spot sizes. For broad-lined stars, the observations constrain such fields to being below approximately 1 kG. © ESO, 2013.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.5.2.4 | Award Amount: 10.56M | Year: 2009

The objectives of MUSTANG are to develop and disseminate a comprehensive set of methodologies and tools for the assessment and characterization of deep saline aquifers for CO2 storage, providing measures of performance and risk that are necessary for a cost-benefit analysis, ensuring public confidence and acceptance and promoting its deployment. Novel CO2 storage specific field investigation technologies and methodologies will be developed, allowing an improved determination of the relevant physical properties of the site and enabling short response times in the detection and monitoring of CO2 plumes during both the injection and storage phases. We also aim at an improved understanding of the processes of CO2 spreading by means of theoretical investigations, laboratory experiments, natural analogue studies and field scale injection tests, including those relevant to the 1) seal integrity; 2) the negative impact of possibly conductive faults; 3) formation heterogeneities; 4) CO2 trapping mechanisms; and 5) effective treatment for the wide span of spatial and temporal scales of the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes. Based on the improved process models, conceptual and numerical models will be developed for analyzing CO2 injection and storage and implemented at six test sites representing different geological settings and geographical locations in Europe, also addressing the impact of the CO2 injection on seal integrity. The guidelines to be developed will be integrated into a decision support system, which will include a risk assessment component and liabilities consideration. The DSS will be tested and validated at the various project test sites. Special attention has been devoted to promote measures capable of enhancing public outreach and acceptance and dissemination of the methodologies and technologies to the wide public.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.2;INFRA-2010-2.2.4 | Award Amount: 6.34M | Year: 2010

To understand the complex Earth System requires an integrated observational strategy and infrastructure to record key diagnostic features of its dynamics. Accordingly, this infrastructure must include geographically distributed and multidisciplinary monitoring instruments and observations. The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) will meet this challenge. The proposed RI (EPOS) will create a single sustainable, permanent and distributed infrastructure, integrating land-based geophysical monitoring networks, local observatories (including permanent in-situ and volcano observatories) and experimental laboratories in Europe. EPOS will give open access to geophysical and geological data and modelling tools, enabling a step change in multidisciplinary scientific research into different fields, including seismic and volcanic hazards, environmental changes as well as energy and long-term sustainability. This will result in benefits to society. Presently, the different European countries own a mosaic of hundreds of impressive, but separated networks, observatories, temporary deployments, labs and modelling facilities, etc... for solid earth studies. Long-term sustainability of plate observations, optimising access to, and combining a wide variety of solid Earth data and modelling tools are prerequisites to innovative research for a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other catastrophic events (landslides, tsunamis) together with those controlling Earth surface dynamics (crustal response to deformation and to global change). EPOS will enable the scientific community to study the same phenomena from a multidisciplinary point of view, at different temporal and spatial scales (from laboratory to field and plate tectonic scale experiments). EPOS intends to create the prerequisites for Europe to maintain a leading role in solid Earth science research.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.6 | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2010

Writing parallel programs has traditionally been considered a difficult task, even when parallelism is taken into account from the beginning. Moreover there is an urgent need to parallelize the massive amounts of legacy sequential code so as to increase its performance on processors and systems that refocus from single-thread acceleration to increasing the overall throughput. At the same time, memory (in particular cache) performance is essential to achieve the full gain from a parallelized application. However, while processor architecture tends to be relatively standard across applications within a domain, huge performance and power improvements can be achieved by tailoring the cache architecture to the application at hand, and not just to an entire domain.\n\nThe HEAP project faces these challenges directly, by developing:\n1.\tAn innovative toolset that helps software developers profile and parallelize existing sequential implementations by exploiting top-level pipeline-style parallelism.\n2.\tA highly configurable cache architecture that can be tailored to an application by using the same profiling data as those that were used for parallelization, in order to fully exploit the available computing power.\n\nIn particular, the HEAP project will provide\n1.\ta novel SMP multicore platform supporting a group of novel cache coherence protocols; each application will be profiled so as to select and tune the most appropriate cache coherency mechanism.\n2.\tan innovative toolflow that complements this architecture; this tool will ease and/or automate the parallelisation of sequential C-code based on an analysis of the dataflow while it will provide configuration and tuning data (e.g. in terms of which variables are local, and which are mostly written or mostly read by a thread) to the cache coherency mechanisms so as to optimize them for the given application\n\nIn order to increase the exploitability of the end-results, the toolflow (an incarnation of which will be also distributed in an open source manner) will be implemented in such a way that it will be able to perform sequential-to-multicore migration for any multicore architecture (not only the HEAP one). Moreover, the architecture will be capable of running multithreaded code compiled by any compiler/toolset (not only the one implemented by HEAP). However, in order to take full advantage of the HEAP results, the combined toolset and architecture should be utilized.\n\nWe innovate in the first domain by using both pessimistic and optimistic estimates of the available parallelism, by refining those estimates using metric-driven verification techniques, and by supporting dynamic recovery of excessively optimistic parallelization.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 18.29M | Year: 2013

Articulating joint replacements represent a medical market exceeding 14 billion p.a. that is expected to rise as demographics reflect an ageing population. However, faster growth has been seen in the revision market, where prosthetic joints are replaced, than in primary interventions. The major cause of these revisions is that all joint replacements are prone to wear leading to loss of implant function. Further, it has been demonstrated that adverse or extreme loading has a detrimental effect on implant performance. Thus, device failure still occurs too frequently leading to the conclusion that their longevity and reliability must be improved. The premise of this proposal is to realise that wear and corrosion are an inevitable consequence of all implant interfaces within contemporary total joint replacements. To overcome this problem our novel approach is to use silicon nitride coatings in which the combined high wear resistance of this material and solubility of any silicon nitride wear particles released, reduce the overall potential for adverse tissue reactions. In this work a variety of silicon nitride based coatings will be applied to different tribological scenarios related to total hip arthroplasty. The coatings suitability in each scenario will be assessed against target profiles. In particular, it is important to consider coating performance within each of these applications under adverse conditions as well as those outlined in internationally utilised standards. To accomplish this, cutting-edge adverse simulation techniques, in vitro assays and animal models will be developed together with a suite of computational assessments to significantly enhance device testing in terms of predicting clinical performance. Data will inform new standards development and enhance current testing scenarios, and will provide 5 European enterprises with a significant market advantage, whilst providing data for a regulatory submission which is aligned with Dir 93/42/EEC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

Photofuel studies and advances the biocatalytic production of alternative liquid transportation fuels, which require only sunlight, CO2 and water. Microbial cells directly excrete hydrocarbon and long chain alcohol fuel compounds to the medium from which they are separated, without the need to harvest biomass. This significantly improves the costs and energy balances as only a minimum of nutrients is required for self-replication of the biocatalyst, whilst cell harvesting, drying and lipid extraction is omitted. Such minimum-input systems are compatible with operation on degraded or desert land which avoids the pitfalls of most of the currently available biofuel technologies. The products are drop-in fuels that fully or partially replace their fossil counterparts without the need for new infrastructure. To set a benchmark for alternative solar fuels, three research groups will collaborate in the advancement of the biocatalysts from TRL 3. The best biocatalytic system(s) will be up-scaled and operated outdoors in photobioreactors modified for direct fuel separation at a scale of several cubic meters (TRL 4-5). The identification of optimal future fuel blends with a fossil fuel base and Photofuel biofuels as additives, as well as the analysis of performance and emissions in car or truck engines, will be evaluated by the oil- and automotive-industry partners. The entire pathway will be assessed for environmental and economic performance as well as social acceptance of large scale production in rural communities and by the consumer. All results will be combined to a business development plan, which clearly identifies the opportunities but also the challenges prior to an economic fuel production in compliance to the EC Fuel Quality Directive.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2016

The LiRichFCC project will explore an entirely new class of materials for electrochemical energy storage termed Li-rich FCC comprising a very high concentration of lithium in a cubic dense packed structure (FCC). The process by which energy is stored in these materials constitutes a paradigm change in the design of battery materials and involves unexpected and surprisingly effective mechanisms: instead of storing lithium ions by intercalation into a stable host, lithium ions are populating and vacating lattice sites of the material itself. This new principle allows for unprecedented energy and power density compared to other battery materials and may revolutionize the use of batteries in applications involving a need for supplying large amounts of energy and power from small spaces. Li-rich FCC materials have just been discovered by one of the partners of the consortium, and the possible chemical compositions, properties, and charge storage principle associated with this new materials class are far from being understood. Thus, it is the aim of the project to explore and optimize possible compositions, synthesis methods, structural properties and dynamics of Li-rich FCC materials through an interdisciplinary approach involving predictive computational work, advanced chemical synthesis and high-end characterization. An important focus of the project will further be to evaluate the use of these materials for electrical energy storage and to identify potential other uses for Li-rich FCC materials that cannot be foreseen today. Due to the inherent paradigm change and the high promise Li-rich FCC materials hold both in regards to fundamental science as well as to battery applications, LiRichFCC fulfils all the preconditions of the call. The project is based on the long-term vision to develop a novel class of materials into practical use, involving foundational aspects in S&T with breakthrough character, high novelty and risk, and a broad, interdisciplinary approach.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.3 | Award Amount: 12.29M | Year: 2008

Nearly four million osteoporotic bone fractures cost the European health system more than 30 billion Euro per year. This figure could double by 2050. After the first fracture, the chances of having another one increase by 86%. We need to prevent osteoporotic fractures. The first step is an accurate prediction of the patient-specific risk of fracture that considers not only the skeletal determinants but also the neuromuscular condition. The aim of VPHOP is to develop a multiscale modelling technology based on conventional diagnostic imaging methods that makes it possible, in a clinical setting, to predict for each patient the strength of his/her bones, how this strength is likely to change over time, and the probability that the he/she will overload his/her bones during daily life. With these three predictions, the evaluation of the absolute risk of bone fracture will be much more accurate than any prediction based on external and indirect determinants, as it is current clinical practice. These predictions will be used to: i) improve the diagnostic accuracy of the current clinical standards; ii) to provide the basis for an evidence-based prognosis with respect to the natural evolution of the disease, to pharmacological treatments, and/or to preventive interventional treatments aimed to selectively strengthen particularly weak regions of the skeleton. For patients at high risk of fracture, and for which the pharmacological treatment appears insufficient, the VPHOP system will also assist the interventional radiologist in planning the augmentation procedure. The various modelling technologies developed during the project will be validated not only in vitro, on animal models, or against retrospective clinical outcomes, but will also be assessed in term of clinical impact and safety on small cohorts of patients enrolled at four different clinical institutions, providing the factual basis for effective clinical and industrial exploitations.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2013

The ever-expanding demand of the world market leads to magnetic recording data storage devices advancing toward much smaller dimensions and higher storage capacities. In order to achieve capacities beyond 2TB/in2 next generation magnetic recording head transducers will require improved high moment magnetic material together with novel write pole and shield structures to preserve the necessary magnetic flux on reduced device dimensions. The implementation of novel high moment magnetic materials and design in manufactured products requires the attainment of new knowledge by the magnetics industry along with the response of the academic industry to the new performance challenges. These goals can only be reached through a strong collaborative programme between industry and academia. The scientific programme is to study the properties of magnetic materials to enable higher moment than the presently attainable limits. Nanoscale engineering of magnetic thin films will be the main approach to achieve this. The knowledge will be transferred through the cross-border secondment of staff and researchers between Seagate, Duisburg-Essen and Uppsala, utilizing the complementary expertise of the three nodes regarding state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques as well as device fabrication.