What will happen if the Greenland ice sheet melts not, as previously predicted, over the next hundreds years, but in the next few decades? The researchers, funded through an ERC Synergy grant worth €12.5 million, are tracking sudden and unpredictable climate changes in the Arctic and exploring their potential impact on regional and global weather. “We hope to be able to explain what many believe is the strongest climate change ever,” says Prof. Eystein Jansen from the University of Bergen, the project coordinator. See also the project’s video here.
ERC in the Press
Poppy is a 3D-printed humanoid robot set to inspire innovation in classroom. It has been developed by ERC Starting grantee Dr Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and his team, and was presented for the first time last week. Media from around the world picked up the news. Read for example articles in Business Standard (IN), China.org (CN), El Espectador (CO) Investigacion y Desarrollo (MX) and Scientific American (US – Spanish edition). In Europe, publications such as Computer Welt (AT), El Pais (ES), Elektronika (LT) Electronic Supply (DK), Focus (PL), Hirado, (HU), Público (PT), TechNews (BG), Techno-science.net (FR), To Vima (EL) and RTT News (INT) reported on the story.
The first out of eight telescopes, built by a group of Danish astronomers to detect star evolution, has been unveiled in Tenerife (Spain). The telescope will be used to study the inner structure and development of stars by observing so-called 'starquakes' (a stellar equivalent of an earthquake) for long unbroken periods of time. The device, which was partially funded through an ERC grant, is controlled remotely from Aarhus (Denmark).
ERC Starting grantee Dr Carazo Salas and his team have explored, for the first time, the role of 262 genes in cell growth and development. The team combined high-resolution microscopy with computer-based analysis of images to study yeast genes in three cellular processes. By manipulating the genes, one by one at the time, the researchers have identified their functions and gained understanding of how the three processes can be linked.
How can we detoxify harmful pollutants released into the air we breathe? Looking at how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants, ERC Starting grantee David Leys and his team have found out that vitamin B12 could be the key to combating pollution. According to the researcher, "new ways of combating some of the world's biggest toxins can now be developed more quickly and efficiently".