Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Posts Tagged ‘scientists’

Scientists warn of worsening heart disease as global warming sees temperatures soar

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 settembre 2022

Sophia-Antipolis. A nationwide study in France has reported that during the 2019 heatwave, hot temperatures were closely linked with weight loss in heart failure patients, indicating worsening of their condition. The study is published today in ESC Heart Failure, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.In patients with heart failure, the heart does not pump blood around the body as well as it should. Waste products accumulate, causing shortness of breath and fluid build-up in the lungs, legs and abdomen. Weight is the cornerstone of monitoring because weight gain is related to congestion, the main reason for hospital admission. Diuretics, also called water pills, are used to increase urine output and reduce breathlessness and swelling. ESC guidelines recommend educating patients to increase their diuretic dose or alert their healthcare team if they experience an increase in breathlessness or swelling or a sudden unexpected weight gain of more than 2 kg in three days.2 Weight loss has received less attention.The authors of the current study hypothesised that the body weight of patients with heart failure could change during a heatwave. Professor Roubille explained: “When healthy people drink more fluids during hot weather, the body automatically regulates urine output. This does not apply to patients with heart failure because they take diuretics.”The study examined the relationship between body weight and air temperature between 1 June and 20 September 2019, which covered the two heatwaves at the end of June and end of July. The analysis included 1,420 patients with chronic heart failure. The median age was 73 years, 28% were women, and the average weight was 78 kg. A national telemonitoring system was used to remotely obtain information on weight and symptoms. Patients weighed themselves every day using a connected weighing scale that automatically sent measurements to the clinic. Patients reported daily symptoms such as oedema, fatigue, breathlessness and cough by answering questions on a personal device (e.g. smartphone, tablet), with answers sent automatically to the clinic. Daily temperatures (at noon) were obtained using data from the closest weather station to each patient’s home.The researchers analysed the association between patient weight, ambient temperature on the same day, and temperature two days prior to the weight measurement. The relationship between temperature and weight was very strong, with weight dropping as temperature rose. The strongest relationship was found with temperatures two days prior to the weight measurement.

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Scientists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Develop Breakthrough In Vitro Model

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 16 agosto 2019

Kidneys work to constantly filter blood and remove toxins from the body. Conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) are characterized by a reduced ability to perform this essential function. CKD incidence is growing and more than 1.4 million individuals depend on dialysis or kidney transplant for survival. Development of new treatments requires an understanding of the mechanisms of the disease progression, but scientists have not been able to accurately model kidney filtration in vitro – until now.
In a landmark study published in Nature Communications, scientists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles demonstrate an in vitro kidney model that could change the course of research for diseases like CKD.The kidney contains specialized structures called glomeruli. Within each glomerulus is a filtration barrier made up of two thin layers of highly specialized cells and a membrane that acts as a selective filter. As blood moves through each glomerulus, toxins and small molecules can pass through, while proteins and other important components are kept in the bloodstream. “This filtration process breaks down in patients with kidney disorders,” explains Laura Perin, PhD, who is co-senior author on the study along with Stefano Da Sacco, PhD. “But because we haven’t had a good in vitro model, we still don’t know the mechanisms of injury to the glomerulus in CKD.” Dr. Perin and Dr. Da Sacco conduct research in the GOFARR Laboratory for Organ Regenerative Research and Cell Therapeutics in Urology along with co-director Roger De Filippo, MD, at CHLA’s Saban Research Institute. The lead author on the study was CHLA postdoctoral research fellow Astgik Petrosyan. Together, the team studies the structure of the glomerulus to better understand how and why their ability to filter blood breaks down.

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Asteroid Day

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 giugno 2019

Scientists and scholars, astrophysicists and engineers, students and academics will gather next week in 192 countries to be part of Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of awareness and education about asteroids. Asteroid Day is a program of the Asteroid Foundation, a Luxembourg nonprofit organization.Events for Asteroid Day’s fifth anniversary will focus on the role of asteroids in the formation of our solar system and advances in technology to better detect, track and analyze asteroids and review our ability to deflect a rogue asteroid headed towards Earth. Asteroid Day events range from asteroid quizzes in a Dublin bar, to high-level discussions of policy and programs at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014, by Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist for “Queen”; B612 President, Danica Remy; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; and filmmaker Grig Richters. Asteroid Day is held on and around 30 June each year to mark Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event. In 2016, Asteroid Day was declared by the United Nations as a global day of education to raise awareness about asteroids opportunities and risks and in 2016 Asteroid Day formed Asteroid Foundation to be its headquarters in Luxembourg, with support from the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy. Global partners include: Association of Space Explorers, B612, ESA, OHB SE, SES, BCE, EC GROUP, and Luxembourg Space Agency. Asteroid Day Gala sponsors in 2019 include Tito’s Homemade Vodka, Luxaviation, SnT, and Banque Internationale à Luxembourg.

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15 scientists from 6 countries are the main nominees for the title of the Global Energy Prize laureates

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 Maggio 2019

39 scientists from 12 countries took part in the contention for the Prize in the XVII nomination cycle of Global Energy Prize. The short list is based on the international experts` assessments. Starting from this year, the Prize will be given in three categories: “Traditional energy”, “Non-traditional energy” and “New ways of energy application”. The short list includes five candidates in each of the nominations. Most submissions for the Prize were accepted for the “Traditional energy” nomination, secondly for the “Non-traditional energy” and thirdly – “New ways of energy application”. It is noteworthy that the analysis of all areas of scientific research of nominees of this year shows that the majority of studies are dedicated to renewable energy (20.51%), followed by work related to the areas of nuclear energy (12.82%), energy efficiency (12.82%) and electricity (12.82%).The short list of the 2019 Global Energy Prize nominees is as follows: “Traditional energy” nomination:
Academician Igor Grekhov (Russia) – “for his outstanding contribution to power semiconductor electronics and for the invention of new principles of high-speed switching of high power with semiconductor devices”;
Professor Zhongmin Liu (China) – “for research, commercialization and development of technologies for producing olefins and ethanol from methanol for efficient coal conversion”;
RAS Academician Viktor Maslov (Russia) – “for fundamental contribution to the basics of supercritical regime in thermodynamics and safety of nuclear power plants in emergency situations through the theoretical development of technological measures to eliminate and prevent accidents”;
Professor Sergey Mirnov (Russia) – “for his exceptional contribution to the development of thermonuclear fusion technologies as a sustainable source of future energy”;
Dr. Dmitriy Zverev (Russia) – “for outstanding contribution to the creation and development of low-power reactor plants for the icebreaker fleet and power supply of the Arctic region”.
“Non-traditional energy” nomination:
Professor Frede Blaabjerg (Denmark) – “for outstanding technical contribution to the development of power electronic technology with the aim of widespread growth in the use of renewable energy”;
Professor Nigel Brandon (UK) – “for fundamental work in the field of materials science and development of technology for the creation of solid oxide fuel cells and composite electrodes for fuel cells and batteries”;
Dr. Arthur Nozik (USA) – “for fundamental and applied research of direct conversion of light energy into solar fuel, chemical products and electricity, as well as research of optical and electronic properties of nanostructures and their possible applications”;
Professor Henry James Snate (UK) – “for the discovery and development of efficient perovskite solar cells and the commercialization of tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells with efficiency above 28%”;
Dr. Peidong Yang (USA) – “for developing semiconductor biohybrid artificial photosynthetic system”.
“New ways of energy application” nomination:
Dr. Khalil Amin (USA) – “for his outstanding contribution to the development of the global electrochemical industry and the development of technologies for the production of high-performance cathodes, anodes and electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries of the new generation”;
Professor Russell Dean Dupius (USA) – “for the innovations in MOCVD growth and III-V compound semiconductors and for the growth of high-quality III-V compound semiconductor materials and heterostructure devices by the vapor-phase epitaxial growth process called metalorganic chemical vapor deposition”;
Professor Kemal Hanjalik (Netherlands) – “for fundamental and applied research in the field of turbulence, the development of statistical, vortex and hybrid modeling methods, as well as successful demonstration of their capabilities in the study of new and improvement of existing processes and equipment in energy and ecology”;
RAS Academician Dr. Alexey Hohlov (Russia) – “for outstanding achievements in the physics of polymers, which led to the creation of polymer materials for the effective absorption of solar energy and electrochemical power sources”.
Dr. Mercouri G. Kanatzidis (USA) – “for outstanding achievements in the development of semiconductor thermoelectric materials for the efficient conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy and the development of photovoltaic devices based on perovskites”.
Recall that the meeting of the International Award Committee will be held in Moscow on May, 28. During the voting, 20 experts from 14 countries will determine the laureates of the Prize and their names will be announced at the official press conference.
The press-conference will be held on May, 30 at 11.00 at the address: press center of the TASS (the second floor), 2, Tverskoy blvd, Moscow.

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Korea-Expert, 100 Vietnamese Scientists to Gather in Hanoi

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 23 novembre 2018

The inaugural meeting of the Korea S&T United Alumni Association will be held on November 24, 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam.The alumni association is an organization of Vietnamese scientists who studied at leading educational and research institutions in science and technology in Korea, including University of Science and Technology (UST), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
UST (President: Dr. Moon Kil Choo) hosts the Korea S&T United Alumni Association meeting to promote exchange among Vietnamese alumni who are serving in Vietnam after studying in Korea.
UST is the only national graduate school in Korea that educate researchers for master’s degrees and doctorates by granting graduate course functions to 32 government-funded research institutions. KAIST (President: Dr. Sung-Chul Shin) and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST, President: Dr. Seung Hyeon Moon) are typical and research-oriented universities with graduate and undergraduate level programs. KIST (President: Dr. Lee Byung Gwon) is the first government-funded research institution in Korea that conducts research activities in basic and applied sciences.Out of over 400 Vietnamese scientists produced by these four institutions, more than 100 scientists who are engaged in activities in Vietnam are expected to attend the event. The launch of the united alumni association will be led by key members, including Bui Ba Chinh (Executive Director, Vietnam Certification Center), President, Vietnamese Alumni Association of UST; Huong Minh Nguyen (researcher, Institute of Biotechnology in Vietnam), a graduate of KAIST; Do Manh Cuong (vice head, Division of Environmental and Community Health, Vietnam Health Environment Management Agency, Ministry of Health), a graduate of GIST; and Nguyen Duc Luong (professor, National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi), President, Vietnamese Alumni Association of KIST.The United Alumni Association is expected to make significant contribution to strengthening unity and harmony among ‘Korea-expert’ Vietnamese alumni in science and technology, promoting exchange in science and technology between Vietnam and Korea, and developing these fields of Vietnam.The meeting will be honored by attendance of a number of leaders in science and technology, including Dr. Moon Kil Choo, President of UST, Dr. Kim Soohyun, Vice President of KAIST, Dr. Seung Hyeon Moon, President of GIST, Dr. Yoon Seok-Jin, Vice President of KIST, and Dr. Kum Donghwa, President of Vietnam–Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST).

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Scientists from Russia and Australia became the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureates

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 9 giugno 2018

The names of the Global Energy Prize laureates were announced during the official press conference in Moscow on June 6. In 2018, the prestigious award goes to scientists from Russia and Australia. Russian academician Sergey Alekseenko will be awarded for developments in the field of heat power engineering, which allow creating modern energy-saving equipment while Professor Martin Green will be recognized for technologies in photovoltaics increasing cost effectiveness and efficiency of solar cells. The solemn Award Ceremony will be held in October within the framework of the Russian Energy Week International Forum. The laureates of 2018 will receive golden medals, diplomas, honorary lapel badges and will share RUB 39 000 000 (approximately $ 650 000). The laureates of 2018 were determined on June 5, 2018 at the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee meeting but the information remained a secret until the last moment. The Global Energy Prize International Award Committee consists of 20 experts from 13 countries. Famous British scientist, the Nobel Prize winner Rodney John Allam, chairs it. During the official press conference, he summed up the results of the XVI nomination cycle and noted that 44 scientists from 14 countries competed for the award. Talking about main areas researchers` focus, he emphasized that the largest number of nominations referred to the renewable energy sector (34,09%); while exploration, production, transportation and processing of energy resources hold the second place (15.91%). Nuclear power industry (13.64%) closed the top three most popular fields. Traditionally, the geography of the contest is impressive: scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania competed for the victory. Whereby, the majority of nominees (56%) are representatives of European countries.Adding details about the prize, the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee member, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Adnan Amin stressed the contribution of the Global Energy Prize to the creation of the sustainable future for the benefit of all humanity and the commitment of Russia to use its energy potential in the field of RES.
Rae Kwon Chung (Korea), member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Adviser to the Chair of UN Secretary-General`s High-level Expert and Leaders Panel (HELP) on water and disasters, spoke about the importance of scientific cooperation that has no borders. It was he who brought the happy news to new laureates via the phone call, which was broadcast to the whole audience.The first scientist who found out about his victory was RAS academician Sergey Alekseenko (Russia), an expert in thermophysics, energy and energy saving. The prize is awarded to him for the development of thermophysical foundations of the modern power and energy saving equipment creation, which allow developing ecologically safe thermal power plants (through modeling of combustion of gas, coal and liquid fuel). They are also used in the development of the new types of burners, methods for thermal processing of solid domestic waste to generate thermal energy, as well as modeling of natural gas liquefaction processes, development of thermal and hydraulic safety standards for nuclear power plants, etc. Besides that Sergey Alekseenko is the initiator of the wide application of petrothermal energy (Earth’s internal heat). The scientist is convinced that this energy will ensure the energy needs of humanity forever.
For the second year in a row, the experts of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee recognize solar technologies. Martin Green (Australia) will be awarded the Global Energy Prize for research, developments and educational activities in the field of photovoltaics. The sales of the systems containing the PERC solar cells invented by Martin Green exceeded $4 billion by the end of 2016. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance predictions, the total sales of solar cells using his technology will exceed 1 trillion USD by 2040. PERC elements are already becoming the commercial standard all over the world. According to forecasts, they will save at least 750 million dollars in power production costs over the next decade in Australia alone.The importance of such practical application of technologies and the applied role of laureates` developments was emphasized by Oleg Budargin, Vice-Chairman of the World Energy Council, member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Energy Association. He also spoke about a new technological cycle in the energy sector, in which the role of science, the Global Energy Prize laureates and young scientists is crucial. “Science and scientists today are at the forefront of entering the new technological cycle. This cycle poses an important task – improving the quality of life of mankind. Moreover, it is science that is called upon to become a locomotive for new education and new productions” -the expert shared.
As a recall, the solemn Global Energy Prize Award Ceremony will be held within the framework of the Russian Energy Week International Forum. President or a person on his behalf will award the prize.

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Have we found all the elements?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 22 ottobre 2016

watch-the-videoFour elements have been added to the periodic table this year, completing the seventh row. However, these new elements are not naturally occurring. Scientists had to create them and overcome a number of challenges to do so. In this week’s Reactions video, we look at how elements are made and whether or not creating even more is possible. The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. (photo: Watch the video)

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New database gives scientists hope for helping coral reefs

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 22 aprile 2016

With the future of coral reefs threatened now more than ever, researchers have announced the release of a new global database that enables scientists and managers to more quickly and effectively help corals survive their many challenges.In a paper describing the database, published recently in Scientific Data, Professors Andrew Baird and Sean Connolly from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) say the Coral Trait Database will assist scientists working on coral reefs answer a multitude of questions.“The trait database is the first of its kind for corals and will allow coral reef scientists to begin to address many significant, unresolved questions – and much faster,” Professor Baird says.“Traits are fundamental to most aspects of the ecology and evolution of coral1organisms,” he explains. “For example, the Great Barrier Reef is now in the grip of perhaps the largest coral bleaching episode in history, and this database can help scientists explain why some species are more susceptible than others.”Associate Professor Joshua Madin from Macquarie University’s Genes to Geoscience Research Centre, who led the team developing the database, adds, “In fact, there are hardly any questions you can’t ask of the database: its number of uses are extraordinary, but progress in these areas has been hindered by the lack of readily accessible trait data.”
Baird, Madin and their colleagues spent thousands of hours compiling the database over the past few years. They sifted through papers published in journals, tables printed in books, and examined other resources scattered around the globe.
Some of the data had been buried in obscure, often difficult to access – but highly informative – books dating back to the 1800s. The Coral Trait Database promises to save a lot of time, money and effort across all fields of coral reef studies.“A lot of these data were not easily accessible, and it was expensive for many to get to,” explains Professor Sean Connolly. “So much of the Coral Trait Database content was previously only available to the “elite”. The existence of this tool also means the coral reef research community can cut down on redundant research efforts.”Coral reefs remain one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on the planet, hosting more species than any other marine environment. Globally, an estimated 275 million people rely directly on coral reefs for food, protection from waves and storms, income, and cultural value. They are also crucial in providing protection and habitat for healthy fish populations. However, in the past 20 years, coral cover has diminished by as much as 95 percent in some locations.Climate change and the El Niño of the recent months combined are currently contributing to a global mass-bleaching event – and on a scale previously unseen in recorded history. Added stresses from pollution and over-fishing further complicate coral reef health.“Coral reefs are changing rapidly, and that is unlikely to slow down,” Madin says. “If we don’t understand these changes, we can’t protect these species-rich ecosystems. We need to speed the science up, and to think creatively about how to do that.”“We hope this database will support scientists trying to make a difference by providing them access to the data they need quickly, and at no cost.”
The Coral Trait Database houses physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information at: with the vision of being an inclusive and accessible data resource to more rapidly advance the science and management of a sensitive ecosystem at a time of unprecedented environmental change. The database is open and accessible to the public.

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Women scientists gaining ground: High proportion of female participants at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 26 marzo 2015

unescoAn exceptionally high number of young female scientists will be taking part in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with the proportion of women amongst the 672 young scientists standing at 42%. According to data from UNESCO, only 30% of all researchers worldwide are female. The percentage of women amongst the Nobel Laureates is significantly lower still – 814 men, but just 46 women have received the award since 1901. This ratio is also reflected at the Lindau Meeting. A record number of 70 laureates are attending but just three are female. This year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is interdisciplinary and will take place from 28 June to 3 July in Lindau on Lake Constance. The list of participants has now been announced.“The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are future-oriented. This is indicated not least by the large number of young female scientists taking part. Their presence also sends out a strong message to their home countries to attract and retain more talented women in science,” remarked Helga Nowotny, co-founder and President of the European Research Council (ERC) from 2010 to 2013 and Vice-President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.Burkhard Fricke, also a member of the Council, emphasised that no female quota was used in the selection of the young scientists: “The young participants were evaluated purely on the basis of specialist criteria. The quality of the applications has once again risen significantly which made selecting the best of the many candidates extremely challenging.” Students, doctoral students and postdocs from a total of 88 countries were accepted. They are conducting research in the Nobel Prize disciplines of medicine, physics or chemistry.The three female Nobel Laureates who will be coming to Lindau this year are the Frenchwoman Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008), the Australian Elizabeth Blackburn (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009) and Ada Yonath from Israel who became only the fourth woman in the history of the Nobel Prize to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009.During a panel on “Women in Science” at the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Elizabeth Blackburn remarked that there was now a pleasingly high proportion of women amongst science students but this was not replicated in lecturing and cutting-edge research. She called upon academic institutions to redouble their efforts to increase opportunities for women in these areas.

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Langmuir welcomes new editor-in-chief: Françoise M. Winnik, Ph.D.

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 novembre 2014

Françoise M. WinnikWASHINGTON, The American Chemical Society (ACS) announces that Françoise M. Winnik, Ph.D., will assume the role of editor-in-chief of the journal Langmuir. Winnik currently serves as a professor at the University of Montreal in the faculty of pharmacy and department of chemistry.Françoise M. Winnik, Ph.D. will succeed Editor-in-Chief David G. Whitten, Ph.D., who has served in this position since 1997 and will retire from the journal at the end of 2014. An interdisciplinary publication, Langmuir records progress in several areas, including colloids, interfaces and material science.Excited about taking the reins of such a well-respected journal, Winnik says she is “looking forward to making sure that Langmuir remains a high-quality, must-read journal for many years to come, and that it meets the needs and expectations of our readers, authors and reviewers.””Langmuir is the go-to journal for scientists working at the nexus of several fields related to materials science, nanoscience and nanotechnology,” Winnik continues. “The journal focuses on all aspects of interface and colloid science. And while this may seem limited in scope, it’s not. Interfaces and colloids are so diversified and ubiquitous around us! I have always been enthusiastic about Langmuir because of this breadth of topics among articles in every issue.”Winnik got her start in France, earning her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering in 1973 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse. For her master’s and Ph.D. degrees, she went on to the University of Toronto, where she also conducted postdoctoral research. In 1981, she took a position as a research scientist at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada. After 12 years in the private sector, she became an associate professor in the departments of chemistry and physics at McMaster University in Canada. In 2000, she joined the ranks of her current institution, the University of Montreal. Winnik also is a principal investigator at the WPI International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics of the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and a Finnish distinguished professor at the University of Helsinki in Finland.The interdisciplinary research group she leads combines fundamental physical chemistry, polymer science and surface chemistry to applied fields, such as nanomedicine and nanotoxicity.”I am honored to welcome Dr. Winnik as editor-in-chief of Langmuir, and have no doubt that her enthusiasm, knowledge of the field, editorial experience and standing in the community will allow her to lead Langmuir to new heights over the coming years,” says Susan King, Ph.D., senior vice president of ACS Publications.Langmuir retains the preeminent position in colloid and interface science that it has established since its inception in 1985. It leads the field in terms of articles published (1,889 in 2013), citations captured (133,157 in 2013) and Impact Factor (4.384 in 2013). Despite its size, Langmuir also offers some of the fastest article processing times from submission to publication in the field.The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. (photo Françoise M. Winnik)

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Churches, scientists, and politicians discuss human enhancement

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 aprile 2012

The building of the European Parliament in Bru...

The building of the European Parliament in Brussels, Espace Léopold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 25-27 April 2012, around 50 representatives mainly from European churches but also from other religions and the fields of politics, ethics, and science, will meet in Brussels to discuss the pros and cons of human enhancement. The conference is organized by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), a platform in which a range of Christian denominations in Europe work together. A visit to the European Parliament, including a discussion with representatives of different political parties, is included.Through the use of nanotechnology, genetic screening and engineering, implanted computer devices, and other techniques, human beings can now live longer, more comfortably, and can perform better. Part of the expectations on this so called “human enhancement” may be too pretentious, but even so, human enhancement does exist and develops rapidly. Should we be happy about these techniques? Will they contribute to better relationships, happier people, and more humane societies? Do they lead to a blurred distinction between humans and machines – and if so, is this good or bad? What about the financial costs? And will human enhancement lead to a new anthropology and a changed view on God and religion? Does it challenge traditional religious views?
The aim of the conference is to listen, discuss, and to explore possible points of moral agreement and concern. The aim is not to formulate final normative statements. Participants from 18 countries will take home both up to date factual information and normative insights. Within the context of the CEC, a task force of church representatives will continue to discuss questions of biotechnology in the year to come and help member churches and other stakeholders to form their own opinions. Directly after the conference, on Friday at 14.00, a bulletin will be issued containing conclusions and recommendations.

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