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.

ME026 - Frati

By Giacomo Frati, Università di Roma La Sapienza

In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. As punishment, Zeus had him chained to a rock where a great vulture tore at his liver every day. During the night, the liver grew whole again, only to have the vulture devour it again the next day.

Today, the regrowth of Prometheus’ liver has become a symbol to medical researchers for the possible renewal of damaged human organs through the use of human stem cells.

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Nature's Flexible Keys to Molecular Locks

Por: | 24 de febrero de 2014

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By Zoltán Gáspári, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

All life processes can be traced to interactions between molecules. Proteins are some of the most important molecules, fulfilling essential tasks such as digesting food, making muscles move and regulating development. Proteins can interact with other proteins or with different chemical compounds, such as molecules we can smell or taste. Molecular biologists and biochemists have long studied the nature of such interactions in order to understand how life's machinery works at and below the cellular level. Our current understanding allows drug companies to try and design drug molecules specifically to control target proteins involved in disease conditions. However, we are still far from uncovering all the secrets of nature that involve the actions of proteins.

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By Jan Klaus Mueggenburg, University of Vienna

When Henry Markram walks into the air-conditioned computer facilities in the basement of the École Polytechnique Fédérale’s Brain Mind Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, he doesn’t see the black monolithic cabinets, jam-packed with seemingly endless layers of circuit boards and microprocessors. What Markram sees are neurons, synapses and cortical columns that one day will form a complete computer simulation of the human brain.

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Playing Videogames: More Than a Waste of Time?

Por: | 17 de febrero de 2014

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By Tilo
Strobach, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Main-stream media often associates videogames with (potential, but not yet scientifically confirmed) emotional and social loss for the players, including increased violence and addiction, and gaming is considered a waste of time. The media, however, tends to ignore the potential positive effects of videogame experience on cognitive processing or rehabilitation. So to explore this thought, supervisor Torsten Schubert and I started a journey in our labs at Humboldt-University Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich to explore the positive effects of videogames on cognitive processing.

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By Dorota Koziel-Wierzbowska, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Be it a beauty contest or a track event, on the field or off the field, the competitive spirit urges us to be the best — the fastest, the strongest, the wisest — in every walk of life. Science is no exception, and the astronomical observatory of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow has discovered a new radio galaxy, which is the largest known object yet in the universe — a cosmic record, no less.

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By Elisa Magosso, University of Bologna

Imagine being at a party with a friend: loud music is playing and people are talking loudly all around you. Your friend is speaking to you, but, surrounded by all the party noise, you are only able to understand your friend’s words by closely looking at his lips.

We experience this phenomenon daily. Whenever we try to listen to someone in a noisy environment, our comprehension is improved by watching the speaker’s mouth.

In these situations, our brain combines the auditory information (the voice of our friend that is masked by the surrounding noise) with the visual information (the movement of his lips) to enhance the quality of our perception.

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Our Brain’s Language-Readiness

Por: | 07 de febrero de 2014

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By Cedric Boeckx, University of Barcelona

During the course of evolution, our brain got ‘language-ready’ — that is, ready to construct and then put to use grammatical systems that appear to be too complex for other species to master. But what property of our brain makes it language-ready? None of the leading candidates can account for an aspect that is common to all languages: the ability to combine and recombine mental units that belong to distinct cognitive domains. (The brain has many cognitive domains: each is a different circuit of the brain specialized to deal with one aspect of the world around us.)

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By Florina Speth and Michael Wahl, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Nine out of ten patients are unable to use their arm following a stroke; for three or four out of ten, the loss is irreversible. We use our hands not merely to push buttons or dial phone numbers but also to grasp the fork, to open doors, to write our name, or to put on clothes. The therapy to overcome this lifelong disability caused by severe damage to nerves involves intensive and repetitive training. Treatment is generally successful if it starts early enough and is intensive, consisting of repetitive movements with a set goal. Robotic systems help in making the training sessions more intense and thus complement conventional therapy.

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