#ERCAdG2012 grantee Prof. Dirk Helbing is part of a scientific team who used big data visualisation to produce a map of European and North American cultural exchanges across centuries. By connecting the birth and death location of 150,000 notable individuals over a period of two thousand years, the researchers have broadened our understanding of large-scale cultural dynamics.
ERC in the Press
What is the impact of beef cattle on the environment? A recent study led by ERC StG 2010 Dr Ron Milo, based at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), indicates that the production of beef can pollute the environment 10 times more than that of pork or poultry. Other data released concern the impact of beef production on land, on water and fertilisers use, as well as on the emission of greenhouse gases. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and were covered by several media including BBC, EFE and National Post.
How can researchers get their results to the market? Last week, nine top researchers, all winners of the top-up grants ERC Proof of Concept, were trained and then invited to present their ideas to investors in three-minute long “elevator pitches” organised by Science|Business. The projects covered a broad range of technologies, from 3D printing tools for nanostructures, to enzymes able to recognise nucleotide sequences in RNA molecules. Also taking part in the debate were Robert-Jan Smits, R&I Director-General at the European Commission, and Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, ERC President, amongst others.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow have unveiled the structure of an illegal trafficking network of antiquities from ancient Cambodian archaeological sites. In the first ever empirical study of statue trafficking, the team led by ERC StG 2011 grantee Simon Mackenzie, discovered that only three to four mediators are separating the looters from legitimate collectors (art galleries and museums). The objective of the project is to examine the chain from the antiquity theft to its public sale on a global scale. The news was also covered by Phys.org.
Scientists from Durham University, led by ERC Advanced grantee 2010 Prof. Carlos Frenk, are one step away from cracking the mystery of dark matter. Thanks to a new supercomputer, they have developed simulations showing for the first time the evolution of our “local Universe” from the Big Bang to the present day. The study has revealed that galaxies have emerged from clumps of dark matter which managed to trap and keep intergalactic gas inside. According to Prof. Frenk, 'understanding how galaxies formed holds the key to the dark matter mystery.'