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Amidst the raspy jabbering of Buzzards on a remote island at the edge of the Aegean Sea, one ambitious ERC grantee, Dr. Vassilis Amiridis, instigated the construction of a climate change superstation with the enthusiastic support of the ERC, the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and the Greek government.
Ανάμεσα στους κρωγμούς των πουλιών σε ένα μικρό, απομακρυσμένο νησί στην πύλη του Αιγαίου πελάγους, ένα φιλόδοξο έργο επιχορηγούμενο από το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο Έρευνας (ΕΣΕ) και με συντονιστή τον Δρ. Βασίλη Αμοιρίδη, έβαλε τις βάσεις για τη δημιουργία ενός παρατηρητηρίου για την κλιματική αλλαγή, με την ενθουσιώδη υποστήριξη του ΕΣΕ, του Εθνικού Αστεροσκοπείου Αθηνών (ΕΑΑ) και της Ελληνικής κυβέρνησης.
Honey bees are an important species for ecology and economy, but their population has shrank worryingly. Prof. Philipp Engel focuses on gut microbiota, a critical factor for bee health, to understand how it evolved and diversified over time. His study addresses timely questions about evolution, ecology, microbiology and could eventually contribute to new strategies for managing bee colonies’ health.
Key nutrients can improve vision both in ageing and in healthy eyes, according to EU-funded research. Doctors are now prescribing supplements of these nutrients, while the researchers are investigating other possible health benefits.
How does one infer the dynamics of a DNA minicircle in solution? How does one align the neuronal firing patterns of several neurons across individuals? These questions are intrinsically statistical, but nevertheless escape the traditional tools of statistics. The ComplexData project investigated such questions from a mathematical and an applied context.
Malaria has always been the centre of attention for Dr Ali Salanti’s, a molecular parasitologist and an ERC grantee. With his studies, he hoped to bring new insight into pregnancy-associated malaria, to save the lives of women and their babies in areas affected by the disease. Now, Dr Salanti’s research has shifted to battling against another deadly disease: cancer. This comes after an unexpected discovery yielded ground-breaking results for the diagnosis and treatment of this illness. This is the kind of curiosity-driven research that can lead to ground-breaking serendipitous outcomes.
Mathematics might seem like an abstract discipline, remote from real-world applications but their equations can significantly help understand and simulate the functioning of nature. Professor Alfio Quarteroni of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) is leading the Mathcard project in developing mathematical models of the blood flow in our cardiovascular system. On the occasion of World Heart Day, he explains how his project could help surgeons and save lives.
Parents have long tried to persuade children to eat their greens by promising it will give them better eyesight. We all know that our vision deteriorates as we get older. Dr John Nolan is using his Starting Grant from the ERC to develop a targeted approach that could optimise the nutrition of the eye. This research will lead to improvements in eyesight for many sufferers of impaired vision, and potentially be beneficial even for those who are considered to have ‘normal’ vision.