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Latest Science and technology in Europe Stories

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2011-03-20 06:55:00

Gardens are always a source of surprises. After three weeks of steady growth in space under the watchful eye of the ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, the baby space plants of the Greenhouse in Space project have found a new "“ and unexpected - travelling companion. The International Space Station (ISS) ecosystem is particularly a delicate one. Whereas some residuals don't harm much the earthly plants or humans, the balance of the closed systems present in the Station should not be...

2011-03-07 15:28:27

New method reveals genes' combined effects Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), both in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method that uncovers the combined effects of genes. Published online today in Nature Methods, it helps understand how different genes can amplify, cancel out or mask each others' effects, and enables scientists to suggest genes that interfere with each other in much the same manner that...

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2011-03-02 06:45:00

This image of NGC 247, taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, reveals the fine details of this highly inclined spiral galaxy and its rich backdrop. Astronomers say this highly tilted orientation, when viewed from Earth, explains why the distance to this prominent galaxy was previously overestimated. The spiral galaxy NGC 247 is one of the closest spiral galaxies of the southern sky. In this new view from the Wide Field Imager...

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2011-02-28 06:20:00

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected four mission ideas for a launch that is scheduled for sometime in the early 2020s. The mission ideas include investigations of black holes and general relativity, near-Earth asteroid sample-return, and studies of far-away planets orbiting other stars. "Originally we had 47 proposals," Fabio Favata, head of ESA's Science Planning and Community Coordination Office, told BBC News. "Our working groups and the Space Science Advisory Committee did a...

2011-02-20 21:41:09

While a world free of nuclear weapons remains a goal for governments around the world, nuclear security constitutes a major challenge for the 21st century, as recognised at the 2010 nuclear security summit in Washington. Citizens are generally aware of international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but they are often unaware of nuclear security research and the important role science in this field. A new European nuclear security training centre and enhanced...

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2011-02-17 08:00:00

An Ariane rocket carrying 20 metric tons worth of supplies is en route to the International Space Station (ISS) following a successful launch from French Guiana late Wednesday evening. The unmanned craft and its payload, the Johannes Kepler automatic transfer vehicle (ATV), departed from the European Space Agency (ESA) facility in Kourou at 6.51pm local time (2151 GMT). The ATV is the largest cargo ever carried by an Ariane rocket and contains food, fuel, oxygen, and spare parts for the ISS...

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2011-02-16 09:40:00

The nebula Messier 78 takes center stage in this image taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, while the stars powering the bright display take a backseat. The brilliant starlight ricochets off dust particles in the nebula, illuminating it with scattered blue light. Igor Chekalin was the overall winner of ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition with his image of this stunning object. Messier 78 is a fine...

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2011-02-14 07:50:00

Two crewmembers participating in a simulated mission to Mars have taken their first steps on a replica of the Red Planet's surface, officials in charge of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars500 project announced on Monday. Mars500, an ongoing study at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Russia which intends to measure the physical and mental effect that a real-life Mars mission might have on astronauts, features a six-person crew who have to date been isolated in steel containers that...

2011-02-08 10:55:00

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA participated today in a seminar to create awareness among United Nations member states on potential uses of the International Space Station. At the request of the U.N.'s Office for Outer Space Affairs, NASA and its international partner agencies attended the outreach seminar in Vienna. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Representatives from NASA; the Canadian Space Agency; the European Space Agency; the...

2011-02-03 08:25:23

The International Space Station partner agencies met Thursday, Feb. 3, by videoconference to discuss coordinating the increased use of the space station as a research laboratory. The agencies want to continue using the station as a test-bed for exploration and find innovative ways to reduce costs while increasing use. The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) meeting included senior representatives from NASA; the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); the European Space Agency (ESA); the Russian...