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22-06-2012 | © Prof. Sessoli

When molecules become magnets –Roberta Sessoli alla giornata informativa dedicata all'ERC

Many of the electronic gadgets we currently take for granted already use ‘spintronics’ – for instance, the high-capacity hard disks that we find in today’s laptops. With the help of her ERC funding, Professor Roberta Sessoli is advancing our knowledge of the fundamental properties of molecular magnets and quantum spin, research which may lead to new molecular spin-based technologies. Prof Sessoli will attend the conference ERC – 5 years of achievement and the Italian National Information Day on the ERC funding schemes in Rome on 25 June 2012.

16-03-2012 | © picture

Diving into the world of the very small

Nanotechnology — the science of making and manipulating the very small — has the potential to transform our lives. With the help of ERC funding, Dr Davide Iannuzzi is building microscopic moving parts on to the ends of optical fibres, leading to better instruments for observing and measuring at the nanoscale.

20-12-2011 | Microscopy image of a robot with internal reservoir for chemical reagents, By courtesy of F. Štěpánek

The new generation of microscopic robots

Toxic spills can be devastating to humans, animals and to the ecosystem The ERC-funded project CHOBOTIX has successfully created the first prototypes of chemical robots that could serve for "Intelligent Cleaning". These tiny robots could have applications in various fields, from seeking out a source of contamination and neutralise it in toxic waters to treating patients in a more efficient way by delivering them the exact amount of drug without dosing the whole body of patients.

29-04-2011 | © picture

See-through electronics

Forget USA, Japan; the field of transparent electronics has put Portugal well and truly on the map thanks to Professor Elvira Fortunato and one of the largest grants awarded to a Portuguese scientist. The European Research Council grant contributed to the installation of the recently opened NOVA Nano-Fabrication Laboratory, of which Prof Fortunato is the Director.

01-04-2011 | © Cédric Blanpain

Understanding the role of stem cells in skin cancer

Cancer treatment and cure remains one of the main challenges of modern medicine, with more than 12 million people around the world diagnosed every year. ERC funded research, which has already shown initial positive results, proposes a new approach to define the role of stem cells in the onset and development of skin cancer. This innovative method could potentially lead to a drug that may stop the growth of skin cancer. 

28-02-2011 | © iStockPhoto

Materials biodegrading without a trace

Preventing excess waste is a challenge and the need to recycle and produce sustainable materials is increasing. ERC-funded project PARADIGM could influence the design of future plastic-like materials that would break down in the environment the way natural materials do. This innovative technology will also be used for body repair by creating materials that mimic our native tissues and organs. 

28-10-2010 | © picture

From Europe to China: 13,000km pioneering expedition with driverless vans led by an ERC grantee reached end goal

Prof. Alberto Broggi's "Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge" has arrived at its final destination after a 13,000 km trip across two continents.

01-04-2010 | © picture

A landmark on the way to the Big Bang

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN, Switzerland) recently reached an important milestone on its way to probing our understanding of the beginning and nature of our universe. Since last year this unique machine provides interactions of protons at unprecedented collision energies. The first collisions at 7 TeV took place.

01-01-1970 | © picture

Is the Earth a cosmic feather-duster?

In cooperation with the University of Leeds, UK

Scientists at the University of Leeds are looking to discover how dust particles in the solar system interact with the Earth's atmosphere. Currently, estimates of the Earth's intake of space dust vary from around five tonnes to as much as 300 tonnes every day. A € 2.5 million international project, led by ERC Advanced grantee John Plane from the University's School of Chemistry, will seek to address this discrepancy.Zodiacal Light Seen from Paranal ©ESO/Y.Beletsky