news 2017

Astronomy Jun 19
NASA to test Sussex physicist's atomic bubble trap theory in space. For 18 years Professor Barry Garraway has wondered what might be revealed by his ‘atomic bubble trap' if it were ever to be created in a place without gravity.
Chemistry Jun 19

New University of Nottingham research proves that advanced materials containing molecules that switch states in response to environmental stimuli such as light can be fabricated using 3D printing.

Physics Jun 19

A new Oxford University research collaboration could transform the design and development of a number of next generation materials, including thermoelectrics, which are used in products that support everyday life, capturing waste heat and recycling it into electricity.

Medicine Jun 19

Correlative light-electron microscopy is being used to increase our knowledge of how platelets are made in the body and the results are challenging previously held understandings.

Environment Jun 19

The study, published in Global Change Biology, is the first of its scope, encompassing a nine-year dataset sampling 10,000 trees across 22 million acres.


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Medicine / Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 31.12.2017
The 10 most popular Imperial news stories of 2017
The 10 most popular Imperial news stories of 2017
The past 12 months have provided many eye-grabbing headlines from the Imperial community from world-leading research to incredible inventions. Before 2018 is upon us with its own wave of news, we take a quick look back at the most popular articles on our award-winning news site (ranked by the number of page views).

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 30.12.2017
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A promising new candidate is aluminium batteries, which are made from cheap and abundant raw materials. Scientists from Maksym Kovalenko's research group, which is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa's Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics , are researching and developing batteries made from abundant raw materials.

Politics - 30.12.2017
Political scientist studies apocalyptic political rhetoric
Stanford political scientist Alison McQueen's research shows that apocalyptic rhetoric can make wars, natural disasters, economic collapse and even the possibility of nuclear war easier to understand. But although it can rouse people to action, apocalyptic rhetoric also carries great peril. Stanford political scientist Alison McQueen has studied the use of political rhetoric that evokes the end of the times, finding that it can comfort people during crises, making wars or economically troubled times, for instance, easier to understand.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.12.2017
"Failure is not an option": A lab visit to Prof. Friedemann Kiefer
Prof. Kiefer, what scientific topic are you working on right now? My group is investigating how lymphatic vessels form and how they are preserved in a functional state. During development, the lymphatic vessel system adopts a characteristic structure and we would like to understand, which molecular mechanisms are responsible for the formation of the prototypic shape of this vessel tree.

Life Sciences - Philosophy - 27.12.2017
Behind the scenes: journalists visit animal testing lab: "An unusual step": press event to launch the "Principles on the Ethical Treatment of Animals
The white mouse has been anaesthetized. Its little legs have been affixed to a heating plate by means of adhesive strips, and a large amount of gel has been spread over its clean-shaven breast. An ultrasound probe is positioned overhead, and Richard Holtmeier, a member of the team at the European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) at the University of Münster is using this to study how the mouse copes with a plastic catheter which has been inserted into its carotid artery.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 27.12.2017
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors
Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication in "Cell Reports", Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Chemistry - 27.12.2017
Which Imperial research papers topped the charts in 2017?
Which Imperial research papers topped the charts in 2017?
Harvesting energy from our movements and a method for determining the composition of cement were two of the most widely downloaded papers in 2017. Spiral - Imperial College London's open access repository - allows academics to make journal articles and other research outputs open access, meeting the requirements of the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Medicine / Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 27.12.2017
Cooling glove helps athletes and patients
What unites the needs of Ebola workers, people with multiple sclerosis and athletes comes down to one thing - cold hands. A device that cools the hands is finding widespread use from the playing field to the clinic. A cooling device that has been improving strength and endurance in mostly male athletes for 15 years is finding new uses in helping people with multiple sclerosis live normal lives, preventing overheating in Ebola workers and cooling working dogs.

Computer Science / Telecom - Chemistry - 26.12.2017
Five AI breakthroughs that could change the face of science
Five AI breakthroughs that could change the face of science
Following years of research, AI is starting to have an impact on the way science is done, as these five Imperial studies from 2017 show. Barely a week has gone by in 2017 without warnings in the media about how Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is threatening to make all human workers redundant.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Computer Science / Telecom - 26.12.2017
Looking back at 2017 (1/2)
Coral reefs that can survive global warming, an expedition around Antarctica, a booster for genetic research, a personnal virtual heart, a National Center for Data Science... Some of the EPFL's research and milestones that marked the year 2017.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 26.12.2017
Traces in scrap
Traces in scrap
Last year Empa's inorganic analytics lab was granted the status of "Reference Laboratory" within the scope of the ProSUM project, funded by the EU. Fine-grained samples of shredder waste from scrapped cars, e-waste or mine dumps from all over Europe end up here. Empa chemists find out what is in them, what is worth extracting and what could be dangerous for staff at recycling plants.

Life Sciences - 25.12.2017
Computer game highlights stroke paralysis partly due to a lack of 'mental focus'
Computer game highlights stroke paralysis partly due to a lack of ’mental focus’
An inability to focus the brain on tasks may partially explain why paralysis commonly occurs in people following a stroke, according to a news study. Patients who have suffered a stroke - where the blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot or bleed - often experience a degree of paralysis on one side of the body, termed hemiplegia, affecting the strength and dexterity in their limbs.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Chemistry - 25.12.2017
New hope for stopping an understudied heart disease in its tracks
Biomedical engineering professor Kristyn Masters handles samples in her lab, where she and colleagues identified the early stages of a process that may eventually cause aortic stenosis, a severe narrowing of the aortic valve that reduces blood flow to the body and weakens the heart. (Photo by Stephanie Precourt) The diminutive size of our aortic valve - just shy of a quarter - belies its essential role in pushing oxygen-rich blood from the heart into the aorta, our body's largest vessel, and from there to all other organs.

Life Sciences - 25.12.2017
How the brain selectively remembers new places
How the brain selectively remembers new places
When you enter a room, your brain is bombarded with sensory information. If the room is a place you know well, most of this information is already stored in long-term memory. However, if the room is unfamiliar to you, your brain creates a new memory of it almost immediately. MIT neuroscientists have now discovered how this occurs.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 25.12.2017
8 times Imperial research made you double-take in 2017
8 times Imperial research made you double-take in 2017
Some surprise research headlines need a second look, but quirky studies can often reveal serious science. From a geological Brexit to jellyfish computers, some research announcements are more than a little bit quirky. However, look beyond the headline and you'll find fascinating research with powerful real world applications.

Life Sciences - Medicine / Pharmacology - 23.12.2017
7 times Imperial research blew your mind in 2017
7 times Imperial research blew your mind in 2017
Robotic prosthetics, AI guessing your brain age and much, much more. It's been quite a year for research, so here's just a few of the top stories... At times this year it may have seemed like science took a back seat, with politics bullying its way to the forefront and Brexit shoehorned into every headline to contend with.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 22.12.2017
New marker in blood could detect fatal breast cancer up to one year earlier
New marker in blood could detect fatal breast cancer up to one year earlier
A new marker that could be used to diagnose fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods has been identified in a study led by UCL. The study, published in Genome Medicine today, found that changes detected in a part of DNA which the researches named EFC#93 could suggest early signs of deadly breast cancer.

Physics / Materials Science - 22.12.2017
Researchers chart the 'secret' movement of quantum particles
Researchers chart the ’secret’ movement of quantum particles
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have taken a peek into the secretive domain of quantum mechanics. In a theoretical paper published in the journal Physical Review A , they have shown that the way that particles interact with their environment can be used to track quantum particles when they're not being observed, which had been thought to be impossible.  We can verify old predictions of quantum mechanics, for example that particles can exist in different locations at the same time.

Physics / Materials Science - 22.12.2017
Graphene well-suited for rapid internet
Introduction: Ben Van Duppen (University of Antwerp) and his international colleagues are paving the way for a successful internet of things. The ultra-thin material graphene can make the internet several thousand times faster. By cutting the material into very small strips, the researchers from several institutions, including the University of Antwerp, discovered a new effect that could give a strong boost to fibre internet.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Agronomy / Food Science - 22.12.2017
Wheat disease breakthrough to help feed the world
The re-emergence of a rust disease that can kill wheat is threatening food security. A breakthrough has been announced in the prestigious journal Science. Global collaborators include CSIRO, the US Department of Agriculture and Rothamsted Research. Rust pathogens devastating crops in Africa, making a comeback in Europe Scientists have isolated the very first rust pathogen gene that wheat plants detect to 'switch on' resistance.
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