Atomium Culture

Atomium Culture

The Permanent Platform of Atomium Culture brings together some of the most authoritative universities, newspapers and businesses in Europe to increase the movement of knowledge: across borders, across sectors and to the public at large.
La plataforma permanente Atomium Culture reúne a las universidades, periódicos y empresas más prestigiosos de Europa para promover el flujo del conocimiento más allá de fronteras, entre sectores y hacia el público en general.

About us

Leading young European researchers have been selected by European research universities and the Scientific and Editorial Committees of AC to write an article about their work and the potential impact of this.

Volition and Inhibition: Not “Free Will” but “Free Won’t"

Por: | 30 de enero de 2014

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By Giovanni Mirabella, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

We humans are always under the impression of being able to act as we want — we think that we use our free will to choose between alternative actions. For example, we believe that we ourselves are making the decision whether to wear a blue or red T-shirt or buy a small instead of a big bag.

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A Journey Across the Quantum–Classical Border

Por: | 27 de enero de 2014

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By Stefan Gerlich, University of Vienna

A narrow staircase, guarded by a bust of grim-looking Ludwig Boltzmann, connects the rest of the world to the cellar of the historic building that houses the faculty of physics. The cellar, dominated by rattling recirculation pumps and dust-covered heating tubes, radiates an almost morbid charm that immediately evokes the famous underground scenes in the movie The Third Man. And the people who work in this underground vault are also in hot pursuit of a double agent — matter. Just as the movie’s protagonists, who used the underground network of tunnels to roam the occupied zones in post-war Vienna, matter can change sides and switch its identity from the wave form to the particle form and back as the situation demands.

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By Andrea Cavalli, University of Bologna

Tropical infections kill millions of people worldwide each year, in particular in the developing world. However, drug companies are reluctant to develop innovative medicines for such diseases because the people affected are often poor and disadvantaged and cannot pay for novel but expensive products, meaning that there is no market for the pharmaceutical industry to exploit. At an academic level, where publication of research in academic journals rather than direct practical contribution to social good are rewarded, the gap between discovering a drug in the lab and using it in a patient has greatly widened. For these reasons, the drug “pipeline” for these “neglected diseases” is almost dry.

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Avoiding a Cyber-Triggered Catastrophe

Por: | 20 de enero de 2014

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By Paulo Sousa, University of Lisbon

Given the increasing reach of the Internet and its role in the day-to-day life of ordinary citizens, the security of computer systems that make up the Internet has been a growing concern. On the one hand, weapons to attack the Internet are more accessible and the attacks increasingly powerful and stealthy; on the other, attackers have shifted their attention to critical infrastructure such as the power grid. In recent years, many aspects of these critical systems have changed, and the changes have made the systems more vulnerable to cyber attacks. A successful attack on computer systems of the power grid will be a catastrophe.

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By Christian Hartinger, University of Vienna

Image 1. The development of cancer-caused deaths in Austria from 1983 to 2004 and overall causes of death from 1970 to 2007 (Source: Statistics Austria).

Organometallic ruthenium compounds are a new class of versatile anticancer compounds that might be able to tackle the drawbacks of current cancer chemotherapy by new modes of action. These compounds have the potential to overcome drug-related resistance of tumors, a common reason for chemotherapy failure.

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Deciphering Protein Folding: The Devil Is in the Details

Por: | 13 de enero de 2014


By Stefano Gianni, University of Rome La Sapienza

Proteins control the life of every living cell down to the smallest detail. For example, almost every reaction taking place in our body is under the control of a specific protein. The oxygen in our blood is transported by a protein and much of our cells are built with proteins.

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By Novina
Göhlsdorf, Humboldt University of Berlin

Image: For many decades, the autistic child has typically been represented as locked up within a shell (Credit: Frith, Uta, "Autism", in Scientific American 268, 1993, p. 108).

If you are hiring staff for your software company, you might want to contact Specialisterne (Danish for ‘The Specialists’): a global company that places workers with data management skills on the job market. These workers reportedly exhibit outstanding attention to detail and perform extremely well in routine tasks. Nonetheless, in the past, they might not have found employment. Most of them are, supposedly, autistic.

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EU’s Response to Lampedusa: Strengthening FRONTEX with EUROSUR

Por: | 06 de enero de 2014

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By David Moya, University of Barcelona

On 2 December 2013, the European Union Regulation 1052/2013 established the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), a system that covers all the external borders of the EU. The Union’s clear focus is on the Mediterranean area, which is still under the shock of the Lampedusa tragedy that occurred at the beginning of October 2013, when some 350 ‘boat people’ perished trying to reach the island strategically positioned between Libya and Italy. Lampedusa is perhaps the best known and the most extreme example of European ‘hot border areas’, along with South Spain (Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands), the Turkish-Bulgarian border and the Turkish-Greek border, and other less well-known border spots. Those areas have all been subject to increased migratory pressure, creating recurring humanitarian crises.

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Struggling for the Offspring in the Antarctic Sea

Por: | 02 de enero de 2014


By Rosa Martínez, University of Barcelona Press

Brooding is a usual behaviour in animals. However, to observe it in a marine worm is exceptional, particularly as it guards eggs from external threats. A group of experts from the Institute of Research in Biodiversity of the University of Barcelona (UB-IRBio) made this surprising discovery in high-latitude marine waters of the Antarctic.

On the icy-cold seafloor of the Southern Ocean, a research group led by Conxita Àvila (UB-IRBio) discovered a new species of marine worm, named Antarctonemertes riesgoae, which has a reproductive strategy unique in this group: it broods like hens. This peculiar species belongs to a particular group of worms — nemerteans — which are mainly found in marine waters.

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