Just days before Sir Peter Radcliffe will receive the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, the European Research Council (ERC) will host him as a speaker in the event “A Sustainable Future for Europe – The Contribution of Frontier Research” in Brussels. This inspirational scientist has underlined that it is ” important that scientists are allowed to derive knowledge for its own sake”. He himself did not know at the outset that his research would lead to the highest accolade in the world of science - a breakthrough that could help pave the way for new treatments for cancer. The ERC funded his research in 2008 via an ERC Advanced Grant of EUR 3 million over five years.
The need to find a more sustainable and balanced relationship between the planet and its inhabitants is being felt urgently throughout the world. Mass protests and climate movements make it clear that sustainability is among the top of many people’s priorities. This calls for radically new approaches also in science and scholarship. Incremental research won’t do the trick this time.
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.
The winners of the first Horizon Impact Award, announced at last week's R&I Days, included two ERC funded scientists. Their teams were awarded prizes of €10,000 for making societal or economic impact across Europe and beyond.
Stressed plants typically stop growing. With her ERC grant, Prof. Ana Caño-Delgado has developed and is applying an innovative approach to generate drought-resistant plants that continue growing. This could play an important role in ensuring food security when water is scarce.
Multifunctional nanoparticles being developed by EU-funded researchers are set to revolutionise treatments for complex bone diseases, enabling novel therapies for hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffering from bone cancer, bacterial bone infections and osteoporosis.
The abundant presence of a certain bacteria in our intestine, Akkermansia muciniphila, to give it its full name, is an excellent sign according to metabolism and nutrition specialist prof. Patrice Cani. With his team, they discovered the role of these bacteria in reducing cardiometabolic risk factors - like insulin resistance or hypertension – that are leading causes in the development of cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes.
Likeminded people tend to stick together. This can be especially true of people who share a family connection. 15 May is the International Day of Families: an occasion to highlight the role of family in society. We take this opportunity to look at the work of some ERC funded researchers who share this connection as well as a common interest in research.
The first-ever image of an event horizon – the gravitational boundary of a black hole beyond which light cannot escape – was revealed on 10 April and is the best evidence yet that these phenomena really do exist. It was the result of a global collaboration of hundreds of scientists, using multiple telescopes around the world to pick up the high-frequency radio waves emitted by matter pulled into the event horizon.