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APInoticias #19

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APInoticias - Número 19 (15 julio 2007) Recopilación de noticias de ciencia y tecnología de la API - Asociación de Personal Investigador del CSIC =======================================
---- En este número -----
1 - Ginés Morata y Peter Lawrence, Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica
2 - Key figures 2007 on Science, Technology and Innovation in EU-27
3 - REACH enters into force and new European chemicals agency starts work
4 - 4th European conference on Research Infrastructures (ECRI 2007)
5 -Science education high level group calls for radical change
6 - LERU calls for changes to doctoral training
7 - Ancient American bird was glider
8 - Galileo decision delayed until October 2007
9 - Researchers develop buckyballs to fight allergy
10 - Envía TUS APInoticias! =======================================
1 - Ginés Morata y Peter Lawrence, Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica -------------------------------------------------------------------- El biólogo del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) Ginés Morata, junto a su colega británico Peter Lawrence, de la Universidad de Cambridge, han sido reconocidos con el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Investigación Científica y Técnica 2007, según anunció la Fundación Príncipe de Asturias. Más información: http://www.csic.es/noticia.do?objectid=0902bf8a80060947 =======================================
2 - Key figures 2007 on Science, Technology and Innovation in EU-27 -------------------------------------------------------------------- The overall message of the recently published EC report, 'Key figures 2007 on Science, Technology and Innovation', is that low business spending on research and development (R&D) presents a major threat to the European knowledge-based economy. A major problem is the decreasing contribution to R&D from the private sector since 2000. It is estimated that over 85 per cent of the R&D intensity gap between the EU and its main competitors is caused by differences in business sector R&D financing. In 2004 just 55 per cent of R&D funding in Europe was provided by the private sector, compared to 64 per cent in the US, 67 per cent in China, and 75 per cent in Japan and South Korea. In terms of research excellence, the EU lags significantly behind the US in almost all scientific disciplines on citation scores and highly cited scientific publications. Furthermore, EU universities are largely absent from the top rank of the world's universities and the link between science and technology is much weaker in the EU than in the US. Further information, The 'Key Figures 2007' report is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/invest-in-research/monitoring/statistical01_en.htm =======================================
3 - REACH enters into force and new European chemicals agency starts work -------------------------------------------------------------------- The new European chemicals legislation, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restrictions of Chemicals) entered into force on 1 June 2007. The REACH regulation will significantly improve protection of human health and the environment while encouraging innovation and maintaining the competitiveness of the EU's chemical industry. The Joint Research Centre of the EC has just released a software tool that is aimed at helping companies comply with the REACH legislation. Using this software application (IUCLID 5) should make it easier for the chemical industry to fulfill its reporting obligations in submitting data to ECHA. The software is free of charge and includes an easy installation kit. General information on REACH can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/reach/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) multilingual website is available at: http://echa.europa.eu A short explanation of REACH is available on: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/reach/docs/reach/reach_in_brief_revised_061212.pdf More information about the new software tool is available at: http://ecbwbiu5.jrc.it =======================================
4 - 4th European conference on Research Infrastructures (ECRI 2007) -------------------------------------------------------------------- The fourth ECRI conference was held in Hamburg, Germany from 5 to 6 June 2007. After discussing the achievements of the European Research Area so far and the need to tackle fragmentation, the conference moved on to look at five main challenges facing research infrastructures in Europe. The first session focused on a changing landscape in the context of an enlarging and diverse Europe, ICT needs for knowledge societies, and new forms of infrastructures, including the recent rise of infrastructures in new disciplines such as the life sciences, social sciences and humanities, and the increasing importance of eInfrastructures. The second challenge that was addressed looked at a common strategy for Europe in the context of possible tools for strategy planning and decision- making, the European roadmap and European integration. Further links between the research infrastructures actors, infrastructures and innovation, human resources and users were discussed. There was also an emphasis on what the best governance models might be in the context of legal, management and funding strategy aspects. Finally, there was a plenary session on the international dimension which focused on the need to bring the worlds of science and politics together. The presentations from the event are available at: http://www.ecri2007.de/documentation/talks/index_eng.html The XFEL project website is available at: http://xfel.desy.de =======================================
5 -Science education high level group calls for radical change -------------------------------------------------------------------- According to a high level expert group established in April 2006 by the EC, significant change is needed in the ways in which science is taught to schoolchildren in the EU to address declining interest in science. According to the group, school science teaching needs to move more towards Inquiry- Based Science Education (IBSE), which relies more heavily on observation and experimentation and allows the pupil to develop their own knowledge under the guidance of the teacher. The experts recommend that support and training in IBSE should be arranged for teachers and that this should coincide with the development of teacher networks. The EU should play a pivotal role in this and provide up to €60 million, supporting better articulation between national and European activities. The group calls for changes at local, regional, national and European level and should also have a central role in a renewed Lisbon Strategy. The Rocard Report on Science Education is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/science- society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1100〈=1 =======================================
6 - LERU calls for changes to doctoral training -------------------------------------------------------------------- The League of European Universities (LERU) has issued a report entitled: 'Doctoral Studies in Europe: Excellence in Researcher Training'. The report underlines the contribution of training of world-class researchers to European economic, political and cultural life. LERU suggests that high level training must become more concentrated and focused, and this requires better co-operation between institutions and the introduction of PhD programme network initiatives. The LERU report is available at: http://kampela- leru.it.helsinki.fi/file.php?type=download&id=1020 =======================================
7 - Ancient American bird was glider -------------------------------------------------------------------- A North American team has studied the flight abilities of Argentavis magnificens, which lived six million years ago in Argentina. With its seven- metre (23ft) wingspan, the animal must have been an expert at riding thermals and updrafts. Further information at: BBCScience =======================================
8 - Galileo decision delayed until October 2007 -------------------------------------------------- ------------------ The future of the Galileo project was discussed at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council meeting that took place in Luxembourg from 6 to 8 June 2007. The meeting was attended by the 27 EU transport ministers. The EC suggested that the remaining cost of the project, €2.4 billion, could be met by full public sector financing and could be taken from the EU budget. This would be in addition to the €1 billion already invested in the project. The EP and the majority of the 27 EU countries support this option, with the exception of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, who feel that individual states should contribute the extra funds to the European Space Agency, which could finance and manage the project. It was agreed that further consideration will be given to possible sources of EU funding. This means that the decision about the future of Galileo is delayed until the Transport Council in October 2007. The Council will then decide how the remaining funds needed to complete the Galileo project by the end of 2012 will be obtained. In a resolution adopted on 20 June 2007 the EP requests full EU funding for Galileo. At the same time, 26,000 citizens from across the EU were recently surveyed on the Galileo project. Of the respondents, 63 per cent felt that the EU should secure the necessary funds to complete the Galileo project as soon as possible. The Transport Council resolution of 6 to 8 June regarding Galileo is available at, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/trans/94550.pdf The EC website for Galileo is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/galileo/documents/technical_en.htm =======================================
9 - Researchers develop buckyballs to fight allergy -------------------------------------------------------------------- A research team has identified a new biological function for a soccer ball- shaped nanoparticle called a buckyball: the ability to block allergic response, setting the stage for the development of new therapies for allergy. These findings advance the emerging field of medicine known as nanoimmunology. The researchers, from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Luna Innovations, a private, Roanoke, Va., research company, are the first to show that buckyballs are able to block allergic response in human cell culture experiments. According to the them, the buckyballs are able to "interrupt" the allergy/immune response by inhibiting a basic process in the cell that leads to the release of an allergic mediator. Essentially, the buckyballs are able to prevent mast cells from releasing histamine. Mast cells are responsible for! causing allergic response and are packed with granules containing histamine. They are present in nearly all tissues except blood. When mast cells are activated, inflammatory substances such as histamine, heparin and a number of cytokines are rapidly released into the tissues and blood, promoting an allergic response. The researchers found that the unique structure of the buckyball enables it to bind to free radicals dramatically better than any anti- oxidant currently available, such as vitamin E. Free radicals are molecules that cause oxidative stress, which experts believe may be the basis of aging. VCU - Luna Innovations =======================================
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