Research*EU Magazine | Number 21 (April 2013)

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 21
Publication Date April 2013
ISSN 1831-9947
EC ZZ-AC-13-003-EN-N
Content Type

Water of life: desertification, access to clean water


This issue of Research*EU results magazine focuses on ‘Water of life: desertification, access to clean water’, and showcases 14 projects aiming to protect future generations from the consequences of low water quality or availability. We interviewed Professor Roberto Ronson, who opens the ‘environment’ section by explaining the WasserMed project and its contribution to avoiding water-related conflicts. Up next is Professor Peter-Wyn Jones, who introduces us to Viroclime, a project aiming to improve virus-detection methods in water. Other ‘specials’ are spread across the ‘environment’, ‘social sciences and humanities’, ‘industrial technologies’ and ‘space’ sections. They start with ‘Climate change, water conflict and human security’.

The ‘biology and medicine’ section opens with ‘Doctor in a cell’, an article which suggests that diseases could soon be diagnosed and treated by micro-computers the size of a blood cell navigating within the human body. The ‘energy and transport’ section starts with an equally groundbreaking story entitled ‘Testing a hydrogen-fuel-based transport infrastructure’.

The ‘IT and telecommunications’ section begins with ‘A boost to your mobile signal’ on page 30, followed by the ‘industrial technologies’ section and its special ‘Collecting water from thin air’. Finally, the ‘space’ section reveals new satellite technologies for ‘Keeping an eye on rising sea levels’, on page 40. The issue ends, as usual, with a list of events and upcoming conferences



  • Engineering plants to produce vaccines
  • Dissecting mechanisms of bone breakdown in disease
  • Ultrasound for accurate drug delivery
  • Mapping child abuse and neglect
  • Spinal cord injury — treatment and rehabilitation
  • Breaking the cycle of antibiotic resistance
  • Targeting healthier adolescent behaviours
  • Finding ways to prevent childhood diabetes

Transport and Mobility

  • Cars running on metal nanoparticles
  • Better urban transport with a global perspective

Industrial Technologies

  • Quality control over polymer nanocomposites
  • Limiting fungal contamination of food
  • Optimising flight trajectories for greener skies
  • Charting the scientific route to manned Mars missions
  • Policy and industry to absorb new water technologies
  • Helping satellites stay in orbit
  • Glass micro-component manufacture for the masses
  • New aeroplanes to fly in cleaner skies
  • Manufacturing durable textiles from plant fibres
  • Composites patch cracks and corrosion
  • Hydrogen fuelled transport infrastructure
  • Producing plastic parts via ultrasound
  • Becoming global with microwave technology
  • On-demand production of spare parts

Digital Economy

  • Feature Stories -A boost to your mobile signal
  • Spintronic nano-oscillators come a step closer
  • Computer games for learning crisis management skills
  • Human-like lenses for cell phone cameras


  • Towards the next generation of plasma thrusters
  • European supply chain for high-power space electronics
  • High-efficiency crystalline solar cells
  • Saving evaporated water from industry


  • Natural brakes for spacecraft

Climate Change and Environment

  • Climate change threat to water security
  • Keeping the marine environment clean
  • Predicting sea-level rise from melting ice
  • Climate change and conflicts over water
  • Better water management for the Med
  • More water, healthier communities
  • Earth observation aids water management
  • Protecting freshwater ecosystems
  • Unveiling intangible investment in Europe
  • Impact of climate change on waterborne viruses
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