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30-11-2016 | Image: FISH analysis performed by Sara Carloni, PhD: in situ staining of bacteria (in green) in the gut lumen. Nuclei stained in blue (dapi). 3 mins read

Gut bacteria could hold key to new treatments

An ERC-funded project has significantly increased understanding of the crucial role that microorganisms in the gut play in maintaining health. The findings have since led to a patent, as well as a follow-on project that could one day steer the way to new targeted treatments for diseases, including cancer.

26-10-2016 | Image & researcher picture: Courtesy S. Lammes 2 mins read

Is digital mapping the new media?

Over the past months, a sudden influx of ‘Pokémon Go’ players could be observed across the globe. Youngsters, people of all ages scrutinise their surroundings silently, using their smartphones to catch those digital creatures with unlikely names. How could such a phenomenon take over the world so fast? Part of the answer may be the game’s strong interaction with the real-world and its impressive mapping, offering a whole new virtual experience of spaces that seem to be familiar and yet so different.

25-10-2016 | Researcher picture: © Politecnico di Torino 4 mins read

Breast cancer month: Nanoparticles, a trap against cancer

Despite recent advances in the fight against cancer, scientific research continues on several fronts. Current studies in the field of nanomedicine are proving very promising. Professor Valentina Cauda, from ​​the Politecnico di Torino, has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) for a pioneering project in this field, designed to develop therapies to target cancer cells without affecting the surrounding tissue.

25-10-2016 | © picture 4 mins read

Nanoparticelle: un tranello contro il cancro

Malgrado i recenti progressi nella lotta contro il cancro, la ricerca scientifica non si arresta e continua su vari fronti. Gli studi attualmente condotti nell’ambito della nanomedicina si stanno rivelando molto promettenti. La Prof.ssa Valentina Cauda, del Politecnico di Torino, ha ottenuto un finanziamento dallo European Research Council (ERC) per un progetto d’avanguardia in questo campo, mirato a sviluppare terapie che distruggono le cellule tumorali senza intaccare i tessuti circostanti.

In cosa consiste il suo progetto?

22-07-2016 | Research picture: © Ivilin Stoianov, Marco Zorzi 5 mins read

Self-learning AI emulates the human brain

European researchers have designed brain-like artificial neural networks capable of numerical and spatial cognition and written language processing without any explicit training or pre-programming. Their work, based on the machine-learning approach of generative models, significantly advances the development of self-learning artificial intelligence, while also deepening understanding of human cognition.

19-07-2016 | Researcher picture © Michael De Volder 2 mins read

Carbon Nanotubes: manufacturing steps to commercialisation

Stronger than steel, conducting electricity better than copper and heat better than diamonds: these are some of the promises held by carbon nanomaterials. Although not as well-known as graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) show these properties – offering also a great advantage: they can be produced in larger quantities. Prof. Michael De Volder now explores new ways to manufacture CNTs-based devices with optimal features, potentially opening the way to their broader commercial use.

15-07-2016 | © picture 2 mins read

Minerals reveal the flow patterns inside the Earth

The Earth is made of layers, just like a big onion, composed of different materials. However, the compounds forming these layers are not static, flowing from one stratum to another, following patterns still not entirely understood. Prof. Patrick Cordier tries to model the real conditions minerals are subjected to beneath the Earth’s crust. His aim is to understand the forces driving tectonic plates so we can better comprehend phenomena like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

12-07-2016 | Researcher picture ©Olga NAGY 2 mins read

Evolution of species: different, but not so different

Through her work with the fruit fly Drosophila santomea, Dr Virginie Orgogozo aims to answer one of the most challenging questions of modern evolutionary biology: how do observable characteristics change between species and yet remain stable in a given species?

04-05-2016 | illustration ©www.istockphotos.com 2 mins read

Experiences and perception of punishment: an insight into the life of prisoners

Women and sex offenders have been relatively neglected in existing sociological studies on prisons, particularly in debates about the relative severity of penal systems. Still, Dr Ben Crewe finds the treatment of these two prisoner groups symptomatic of wider social sensibilities. These and other issues will be investigated in the frame of COMPEN, an extensive comparative analysis of different prisoner groups and penal jurisdictions.

02-05-2016 | © picture 2 mins read

What does aspirin do to you?

Acetylsalicylic acid, most commonly known as aspirin, was already part of the Egyptian pharmacopeia, used also in ancient Greece and in the Middle Ages to break fevers. Taken all over the world to kill pain and reduce inflammation, today aspirin helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Its emerging role in preventing and treating cancer is on the rise too. But how does this drug act on your blood cells? ERC grantee Prof Valerie O’Donnell works on the answer.