Latest European Science Foundation Stories

2008-06-05 14:25:56

The long cherished goal of applying the strange properties of quantum mechanics to the macroscopic world we inhabit has been brought closer by a series of recent developments. The exciting progress was made in the important field of quantum optics and discussed recently at a high level conference organized by the European Science Foundation in collaboration with the Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung in ×sterreich (FWF) and the...

2008-06-03 11:11:47

It often turns out there is more to commonplace everyday events than meets the eye. The folding of paper, or fall of water droplets from a tap, are two such events, both of which involve the creation of singularities requiring sophisticated mathematical techniques to describe, analyse and predict. On the positive side, there is much in common between many such singular events across the whole range of scales, from microscopic interactions to the very formation of the universe itself during...

2008-05-26 09:45:00

Aim to produce new generation of astronomer that understands theory and observationThe future of fundamental physics research lies in observing the early universe and developing models that explain the new data obtained. The availability of much higher resolution data from closer to the start of the universe is creating the potential for further significant theoretical breakthroughs and progress resolving some of the most difficult and intractable questions in physics. But this requires much...

2008-04-24 12:00:00

The goal of replacing electronics with optics for processing data in computers is coming closer through cutting edge European research into the mysterious properties of "fast and slow" light. The long term aim is to boost processing speeds and data storage densities by several orders of magnitude and take the information technology industry into a new era, combining greatly improved performance with dramatically lower energy consumption.The phenomenon of "fast and slow" light arises from the...

2008-04-08 10:25:00

A range of new technologies including genetic modification (GM) and RNA Interference are being deployed to improve the health of farm animals in a series of European and global initiatives. The ground was laid for a European platform to develop new treatments that exploit these technologies at a recent workshop organized by the European Science Foundation (ESF). The workshop highlighted the interlocking themes underlying the debate over livestock disease research, following a series of high...

2008-03-11 14:00:00

One of the great ongoing challenges of astrophysics, to find out how stars evolve and die, is to be tackled in an ambitious European research program. This will involve studying in the laboratory over 25 critical nuclear reactions using low-energy stable beams of ions, in order to understand stellar evolution. "This program will enhance the ongoing effort to understand the lifecycle of stars, together with the structure and processes of stellar evolution," said the workshop's convenor...

2008-02-21 13:45:00

Bacteria can be made to spin spider silk Biological and medical research is on the threshold of a new era based on better understanding of how large organic molecules bind together and recognise each other. There is great potential for exploiting the molecular docking processes that are commonplace in all organisms to develop new drugs that act more specifically without adverse side effects, and construct novel materials by mimicking nature. A recent workshop on Biosupramolecular Chemistry...

2008-01-18 10:05:00

New ways to grow brain cells in the laboratory could eventually provide a way to treat Parkinson's diseaseScientists in Sweden are developing new ways to grow brain cells in the laboratory that could one day be used to treat patients with Parkinson's disease, an international conference of biologists organized by the European Science Foundation (ESF) was told last week.Professor Ernest Arenas of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm presented his research to the EuroSTELLS "Stem Cell Niches"...

2008-01-17 09:05:21

Glycoscience now hotbed of medical research Sugars were once credited with magical healing powers but are now seen like salt as an evil necessary in small doses but the cause of numerous diseases such as diabetes if taken in excess. Yet latest research suggests this view ignores the vital role played by more complex sugars in many biological structures, and the great therapeutic potential they have. This all emerged in a recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) on...

2007-11-06 08:50:27

Space exploration is about to enter a third age where nations will cooperate to explore the solar system. Nicolas Peter, a research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), told the meeting in Vienna that the era of launching space missions to bolster national prestige was long past and that new opportunities for cooperation had emerged since the end of the Cold War. He predicted that an imminent third phase of space exploration could inspire nations to work together in a spirit...

Word of the Day
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'