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Caractacus Potts and the mothers of invention in Venice


Sci-tech

Caractacus Potts and the mothers of invention in Venice

Euronews reporter Chris Cummins went to meet some clever people at the EPO European Inventor Awards:“Welcome to Venice widely considered the first internationally recognised financial centre emerging in the 9th century.Here at the Arsenale di Venitiza a young physicist Galileo, acted as a consultant to shipwrights and instrument makers.

The city of canals was also home to Macro Polo who delivered an early description of the world so its appropriate that the European inventors award take place here to honour the modern day explorers.”

The winners

Jan van den Boogaart and Oliver Hayden winners of the industry award have developed a fast and accurate method to diagnose malaria, a key resource in tackling the disease that causes so many economic and public health problems.

Its spread by an elusive opponent as Oliver Hayden acknowledges:
“It’s an amazingly, remarkable creature it has one of the most complex life cycles and it hides, it protects it wants to survive and it does so in such an efficient way that even today we are far away from saying we have beaten Malaria.”

Oil and chemical spills are vile, destructive and indiscriminate.

Help is now at hand thanks to a remarkable binding agent known as ‘Pure’ developed by German chemist Günter Hufschmid.

The discovery came by chance as a colleague at his wax, paint and plastic had left a machine running overnight. The next morning, the entire factory floor was covered in a white, cotton-like substance.

The chemist looked for a use for the strange stuff and found it to highly absorbent and it can also be wrung out and used again immediately.

It is a major advancement in oil and chemical spill clean-up technology.

Günter Hufschmid wins the SME’s prize.

The popular prize went to Adnane Remmal, the Moroccan biology professor has developed a method to enhance antibiotics using essential oils, an exciting discovery as bacteria become evermore drug resistant.

Adnane Remmal explains why he was inspired to use essential oils:“Essential oil is a weapon used by plants to fight bacteria to fight fungi,to fight viruses, so why not take this weapon of plants and give to animals and humans and this is what we have done and this is why it works.”

US engineers James G. Fujimoto and Eric A. Swanson, and German physicist Robert Huber have been awarded the NON-EPO Countries Award for the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT).

OCT is the first technology to deliver real-time images of human tissue in microscopic clarity to help diagnose cancer, glaucoma and heart disease without the need for invasive, probing or surgical biopsies.

OCT also offers new levels of precision in genetic research.

James G. Fujimoto is from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
“It has multiple applications in different clinical specialists and also I think it represents a collaboration of researchers, industry, academics and clinical medicine.’‘

The lifetime achievement award went to Italian Rino Rappuoli for his work in vaccination.

And the team of researchers that is developing Galileo into the most precise global satellite navigation system claimed the research award.

Keep inventing until the end.

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