ERC Starting grantee Dr Claire Belcher is part of a research team that has debunked the theory that dinosaurs were made extinct when an asteroid hit earth. By combining computer simulation of the impact with engineering methods, Dr Belcher and her team have been able to recreate the enormous heat of the impact in a laboratory. Read also in The Daily Mail, Raw Story, The Huffington Post, or in The Independent.
ERC in the Press
National Geographic covered an article on the origins of art, illustrated with picturesque photos from archaeological excavations. ERC Advanced grantee Prof. Christopher Henshilwood is featured in the text. He is well-known for unearthing some of the oldest artwork, such as ocher marked with deliberate cross-hatchings, dating 100,000 years back.
Two ERC-funded grant holders were involved in a study which reports on the design and fabrication of elastic implants which 'restores movement' in paralysed rats. These soft implants, with the shape and elasticity of dura mater (the protective membrane of the brain and spinal cord) consist of electrodes embedded in a thin ribbon, which deliver electrical impulses to the spinal cord and could also deliver drugs. According to ERC Starting grantee Prof. Stéphanie Lacour, “This opens up new therapeutic possibilities for patients suffering from neurological trauma or disorders, particularly individuals who have become paralyzed following spinal cord injury".
On 15 December 2014, the ERC published the winners of the latest round of Starting Grants (see ERC press release). With a budget of €485 million, 328 early-career top researchers were selected for funding. This news was widely covered by media all over Europe, for example by press agencies ANSA (IT), APA (AT), STA (SI), and dailies such as La Vanguardia (ES), The Irish Examiner (IE), Corriere della Sera (IT), Dagblad Noorden (NL), Népszabadság (HU), Århus Stiftstidende (DK) and 02elf Abendblatt (DE). Evropské Noviny (CZ) and Radio Romania Cluj (RO) also reported on the news, and Massimo Gaudina, Head of ERC Communication, was interviewed on Italian radio RAI1 (listen from 4'27''). The news was also echoed e.g. in Serbia as it is the first time a researcher receives an ERC grant in this country (see, for example, the state news agency Tanjug). To date, around 300 media items reporting on the call were spotted.
Life processes depend on phenomena occurring on the membranes that separate cells from their environment. ERC Starting granteer Prof. Piotr Garstecki and his team have developed the macrofluid system to mass produce membranes and study them more quickly and cheaply. The system enables, for example, measurement of the processes taking place on cell membranes. Read more in Nanowerk.