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17-12-2012 | © picture 2 mins read

Solution to Nobel Prize winner John Nash’ problem for surfaces

Fifty years after the formulation of a conjecture related to arc spaces of surface singularities by Nobel Prize winner John Nash, the team led by Doctor Javier Fernández de Bobadilla has proved him right. Other topics on Singularity Theory, Algebraic Geometry and Homological Algebra are also studied.

07-12-2012 | © picture 4 mins read

Testimony on Human Rights Law

December 10 has become a landmark for all human rights’ defenders. It is the day when the international community celebrates UN Human Rights Day to mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. A research project led by ERC grantee Professor Lauri Mälksoo, based at the University of Tartu (Estonia), illustrates the significance of human rights in today’s global context by looking at precisely how countries like Russia, understand and practice international law.

24-09-2012 | © picture 3 mins read

Understanding turbulence: the key to weather prediction

After another anomalous summer, and with climate change still at the top of the political agenda, it seems that weather and climate forecasting have never been so topical. With the help of the ERC, Professor Sergej S. Zilitinkevich of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is hoping to revise the way physics treats turbulence in the atmosphere and ocean – with important consequences for weather and climate modelling and prediction.

13-09-2012 | ©Grantee's picture: INRIA 3 mins read

Optimised crowd and traffic management: QED!

On the occasion of the European Mobility Week (16-22 September 2012), cities are encouraged to take initiatives to promote a sustainable urban mobility. Noise and air pollution have become sources of concern in many urban areas. Major European cities have to take crowd and traffic management ever more seriously - as populations grow and infrastructure has to cope with rising demand and increased traffic congestion.

24-07-2012 | ©Leonor Peña-Chocarro 2 mins read

Understanding the origins and spread of agriculture in the western Mediterranean

The first cultivated plants in south-western Europe date back to the first half of the 6th millennium BC. Farmers in this region cultivated a wide variety of crops which included cereals and legumes, as well as other crops such as flax and poppy. They also collected wild plants. Yet, available data from this area is scarce and unevenly distributed across the territory: with blank regions, like northern Morocco, where archaeobotanical data is still almost non-existent.

09-07-2012 | Cells of coccolithophore genera Gephyrocapsa grown in laboratory culture 3 mins read

Tiny fossils can lead to huge gains in understanding

The ocean is filled with microscopic algae that take up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere in order to grow. A new study by researchers from the Geology Department at the University of Oviedo (Spain) shows that the algae may adapt to rising levels of atmospheric CO2 much sooner than previously thought, and in an unexpected way. This study, published today in Nature and co-authored by ERC grantee Heather Stoll, also provides evidence for a much closer link between atmospheric CO2 decrease and cooling and glaciations in the geological past.

22-05-2012 | © picture 2 mins read

What can zebrafish larvae tell us about the function of the brain?

With their transparent skin and a known genome, the zebrafish larvae are emerging as a model for neuroscientists. It enables researchers to monitor large portions of the brain in an intact behaving vertebrate. Dr German Sumbre, an ERC grantee from Argentina, uses zebrafish in order to achieve a better understanding of the neural mechanisms of sensory perception, and as a means of providing new insights into neurological disorders.

27-03-2012 | © picture 3 mins read

Biodiversity to minimize the effects of climate change in global drylands

Both tropical forests and areas with extensive forest coverage are fundamental in tackling the effects of climate change on Earth. However, the environmental importance of arid, semi-arid and dry-subhumid ecosystems – also referred to as drylands - is less well known. Drylands cover about 40% of the Earth's land surface and support 38% of human population. With his BIOCOM project Dr Fernando T. Maestre, a 2009 ERC Starting grantee from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), investigates the role of biodiversity in enhancing the ability of drylands to maintain essential functions. Some of these functions have the capacity to combat the consequences of climate change and desertification in drylands worldwide.

illustration © Semiarid landscape in Argentina - Juan Gaitán