A European biologist has pioneered a new way of looking at biodiversity change, with the help of the European Research Council (ERC). A key result of this work has been the launch of an open-access biodiversity database, which will help researchers and conservation managers find sustainable solutions to protect wildlife.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Over 2 million new cases were diagnosed in 2018. Although tools of diagnosis and the diversity of treatment have improved assuring now a 90% five-year survival rate, metastatic breast cancer remains incurable. But will they always be? Dr Manuel Thery works on the next generation of drugs that would promote novel strategies in the fight against breast carcinoma cells.
The Proof of Concept grant scheme has reached a milestone - the 1000th project has been approved for funding since the scheme started in 2011. The winning project, to covert underwater communication cables for use in earthquake detection, is described in detail here. Three other examples from the second batch of research projects funded in 2019 include a project to help test children for synaesthesia, another to automate bug removal from computer networks and a third to design personalised doses of medication.
Research results can be revolutionary and potentially highly rewarding to the researcher, but facilitating the transfer of knowledge gained from research to the wider world can be difficult. In order to help researchers locate finance and support for this transfer, the ERC has set up a Virtual Venture Fair to ease connections between ERC funded scientists and possible investors. The newly created pilot platform aims to facilitate the translation of cutting edge research by pairing the interests of researchers and specialised investors, to their mutual benefit.
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Developed by the Oxford Internet Institute with EU funding, the junk news aggregator (JNA) interactively displays articles from unreliable sources as they spread on Facebook. Researchers hope the tool will help tackle the growing phenomenon of misinformation on social media.
Projects awarded ERC Proof of Concept grants are extremely varied and this holds true for the first round of 2019 winners. Three examples from the latest batch of 54 research projects include a project to make antibiotic research programmes more commercially viable, another to improve diagnosis of Cystic fibrosis and a third to help young refugees integrate successfully into European societies.
Have you ever wondered what a grant proposal evaluator is looking for in a successful application? An evaluator for the ERC's Proof of Concept (PoC) grants gives her views. Maria Moura Oliveira is Director of technology commercialisation at the University of Porto and has been a member of the PoC peer review panel for the past five years.
Matchmaking science ready for release on the market with investors in start-ups is the aim of Y Science 2018, the official side event to the world-renowned Slush. Techy events like these may seem almost science fictional at moments and it can be easy to forget that many of the ideas being pitched on stage began with really basic science.
A smartphone app that can provide real-time information on the edibility of packaged food? After exploring how to improve gas detectors, ERC grant holder Daniel Prades ventured into a rather different industrial sector…