Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 16 September 2005
This information note gives brief information about the 79 projects
entered into the 17th EU Young Scientists Contest (see IP/05/1151),
as well as some information on previous winners. Fuller descriptions of the
projects can be found at
http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/moscow/press-centre_en.htm Winners will be announced on 21 December.
This year’s entries
Using DNA as a molecular computer
Participants: Philip Babcock
An environmentally friendly way of producing hydrogen
Participants: Susanne Cernak, Markus Metz and Felix Faschinger
A faster, cheaper way of checking computer components
Participants: Nikolaus Ederer and Christian Streitwieser
A new solution to the “travelling salesman problem”
Participants: Uladzimir Pashkevich
A new theory of active galactic nuclei jets
Participants: Aliaksei Kazlouski
Studying tsunamis in shallow water
Participants: Ann Mukhortava and Alena Abramava
The influence of gravity on the human heart
Participants: Mira Van Thielen
A home-made Tesla coil
Participants: David Eskenazi, Nicolas Innocenti and Antoine Paulus
A fuel cell based on biochemical reactions
Participants: Hristo Nikolaev Kolev
Balls with “super bounce”
Participants: Sonya Hadzhieva
Does the star RZ Cassiopeiae have a third companion?
Participants: Petar Georgiev Todorov
Using brewer’s yeast to treat pollution
Participants: Nan Wu
Using Chinese mushrooms to treat diabetes
Participants: Dongyue Huang
CZECH REPUBLIC: Biology
Using plant extracts to protect wheat and barley
Participants: Zuzana Tvaruzkova
CZECH REPUBLIC: Environment
Using small forest ponds to maintain biodiversity
Participants: Zdenek Janovsky
CZECH REPUBLIC: Mathematics
Solving practical problems by colouring graphs
Participants: Alexander Kazda
Genetically modified organisms (GMO)
The purpose of this project is to give people a clear understanding of the
Participants: Helle Roager Jensen
Helping elderly and handicapped people with their stockings
Participants: Gitte Ahlquist Jonsson
Why do orchids grow in industrial landscapes?
Participants: Kaidi Karu and Mari Saru
Generalisations of the Fibonacci sequence
Participants: Margus Niitsoo
ESTONIA: Social Science
Do school and social origin influence pupils’ beliefs about justice?
Participants: Maarja Saar
EUROPEAN SCHOOL: Biology
Taking a fresh look at vision
Participants: Holly Gamble, Laura Marinello and Mothusi Turner
Building a spectrometer to analyse light sources
Participants: Timo Paavola
Using bacteria to clean contaminated soil and help plants to grow
Participants: Emma Maria Haapaniemi
How to win a race – using the laws of optics
Participants: Jacques Bois, Jean Baptiste Guy and Paul De Surmont
A speedometer for rollerblades
Participants: Carole Dufour, Jonathan Faugier-Tovar and François Simplex
Recognising cancer cells
Participants: Ekatherine Bakradze
Lab on a chip – an advance in pharmaceutical research and production
Participants: Stephen Schultz
When water has corners
Participants: Igor Gotlibovitch and Renate Landig
The physics of ventriloquism
Participants: Jorg Metzner and Marcel Scmittfull
Minimising the suffering of animals when testing new heart drugs
Participants: Adrienn Nikoletta Kocsis
What does the brain have to do with stomach ulcers?
Participants: Peter Kurucz and Timea Micsko
Tracing burglars and monitoring your home – by remote control
Participants: Akos Kapui
ICELAND: Social Science
Cuddle-me clothes – a massage bodysuit for children
Participants: Una Guolaug Sveinsdottir, Lily Erla Adamsdottir and Valdis Osp Jonsdottir
Croma: a new web programming language
Participants: Patrick Collison
Preparing DNA libraries for directed evolution
Participants: Fowad Hasona
Can fish oils help control Parkinson's disease?
Participants: Ronit Shapira
A more accurate way of monitoring satellites
Participants: Yonatan Winetraub, San Bitan and Yuval Nativ
Genes and games
Participants: Valentina Ceriani, Daniela Monza and Sara Villa
Designing intelligent speed bumps
Participants: Michele Bolzoni and Marco Riccio
Practical ways of powering a building using renewable energy
Participants: Fabio Colletta
An easy way to analyse stones
Participants: Shiori Yamashita and Tomoe Hanaki
Arranging particles by means of networks
Participants: Arturs Kanepajs and Rudolfs Kreicbergs
Building and using a small-scale aerodynamic wind tunnel
Participants: Kristaps Dambis
Preventing oil leaks – with clay
Participants: Inese Sarcevicha
New applications of the isospin method
Participants: Gediminas Kirsanskas and Erikas Gaidamauskas
How cranberries adapt
Participants: Rugile Stanyte
Do magnetic fields influence radiation? A post-Chernobyl study
Participants: Vytautas Zarauskas and Atajeva Gulera
Participants: Eric Dele and Pierre Haas
DBG – Domestic Biogas Generator
Participants: Daniela Bartolo, Mark Abela and Andrea Micallef
Spices: natural ant repellents?
Participants: Shilpa Narula
If music be the food of dogs...
Participants: Kaja Gizewska
Discovering a variable star
Participants: Agata Karska
Do artificial herbicides kill natural ones?
Participants: Kamila Zapalowicz
The algae of Serra da Gardunha
Participants: Ana Ines Rondao, Andreia Raimundo and Dora Henriques
Heather: a natural antioxidant?
Participants: David Medroa
Make holograms the easy way: in a sand box
Participants: Alexandre Lopes
Protected network messaging system
Participants: Oleg Strikov
My answer to terrorism
Participants: Alexander Petrenko
Do mobile phones damage human cells?
Participants: Igor Yaroshevich
Participants: Matej Korbel
How to remove gases from water – and use them to breathe while diving
Participants: Frantisek Malina
Household cleaning that doesn’t harm the environment
Participants: Juraj Ohradzansky and Julia Hvojnikova
Doubling the power of a petrol engine
Participants: Jure Krof
Teenagers, education and antibiotics
Participants: Tina Bizjak and Katja Zalokar
Sonchus leptacaulis: a new species in Gran Canaria
Participants: Javier Lopez Martinez Fortun, Carlos Machado Carvajal and Eliecer Perez Robaina
Urban solid waste in the town of Salou
Participants: Mariona Boix Surroca
Examination of an eco-friendly fuel
Participants: Nina Kallin, Emma Klintbo and Nordstrand Runsvik
Engines, emissions and fuels
Participants: Joel Svensson
Adventures with tropical orchids
Participants: Markus Axelsson and Martin Axelsson
Preventing urinary tract infections from catheters
Participants: Silvana Konermann
Construction of a low-cost wing-in-ground effect craft
Participants: Dominique Alain Seuret and Christoph Wangler
Tom & Jerry: the robots
Participants: Matthias Raphael Bühlmann and Stefan Dahinden
The speed of light in a moving medium
Participants: Serdar Karatekin and Bilkan Erkmen
Preventing gas poisoning
Participants: Rudi Ruben Maca
A new way of measuring the effects of smoking
Participants: Mariya Paliyenko and Kateryna Kotenko
UNITED KINGDOM: Biology
How fishy are prawn crackers?
Participants: Andrew Adam, Katy Steel and Emma Lindsay
UNITED KINGDOM: Engineering
A pre-failure warning system for oil-lubricated bearings
Participants: Naomi Wheeler and Claire Fugill
Using the thermoacoustic effect to cool electronic devices
Participants: Pen-Yuan Hsing and Wei-Kang Huang
Success stories from previous years
Lina Tomasella (IT) - First Prize, Brussels, 1989
Lina Tomasella was one of the winners at the inaugural Young Scientist Contest. Her project was called the "Toxicity of colour dyes used as tracers”. After the European Union Contest, she continued studying for her physics degree in the University of Padua in Italy. Lina initially wanted to specialise in biophysics, but was soon drawn to astrophysics. After the completion of her degree she spent a year at the Observatoire de la Côte D'Azur in Nice where she worked on planetary system formation. Later she moved to the Netherlands, where she took part in the Rosetta space mission organised by ESA-ESTEC (European Space Agency / European Space Research and Technology Centre). It was here that here she developed some software to simulate the trajectory of a spacecraft around a comet's nucleus and this led to a PhD fellowship from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Padua. She now works as an observer at the Asiago Observatory, which is part of the Astronomical complex in Padua. Lina also works on another ESA project called the GAIA Mission which is a project designed to measure the position and velocity of one billion stars within our galaxy.
Fidel Costa (ES) - First Prize, Berlin, 1993
Fidel Costa, along with his team mates Maria Cinta Salvany and Antoni Camprubí, won first prize in Berlin with a project entitled, “The geological mapping of a Neolithic mine”. After Fidel finished his Earth Sciences degree at the University of Barcelona, he moved to Geneva to do a PhD in Petrology and Vulcanology. The Department of Mineralogy at the University of Geneva has a strong research interest in the geology of the South American Andes cordillera. "The subject of my thesis, which I completed in November 2000, was to study a part of the Tatara-San Pedro Volcanic Complex in Southern Andes (central Chile)”, he explains. Fidel has been addressing issues such as the petrologic mechanisms that lead to the impressive diversity of rock compositions in the Andes. He is also looking at the rates of growth and destruction of volcanic edifices to the amount of volatiles that can be found in rocks prior to eruption. A great deal of his work involves looking at the fundamental aspects of variances and the history of our current continents. He admits that, amongst his future plans, he may choose to go and establish himself in Chile for a while in order to undertake more detailed investigations.
Gabor Bernath (HU) - First Prize, Porto, 1998
Encouraged by his father, Gabor started working on a project for the Young Scientist Contest in 1997. His goal was to develop a 3D scanning tool at a reasonable price without compromising its quality. The result was ScanGuru, his own 3D scanner, which won him first prize both at the 10th EU Young Scientist Contest and at the 50th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The project has enabled Gabor to travel extensively and has opened his eyes to the international science scene. It attracted the attention of an enterprising businessman who helped Gabor set up a small company, EasyScan Ltd., and start the application procedure for a patent. Since then, the company has developed the 3D scanner for different purposes. Their biggest project at present is the production of made-to-measure shoes using the ScanGuru based 3D system.
Thomas Aumeyr and Thomas Morocutti (AUT) - First Prize, Bergen, 2001
Thomas Aumeyr and Thomas Morocutti won first prize for their project named “CURE - Controlled Ultraviolet Radiation Equipment”. The two boys wanted to develop an improved treatment for skin diseases by trying to enhance some of the leading skin radiation techniques.
The project was to stop healthy parts of the skin from being harmed by the radiation treatment being used to treat diseased skin. For example the conventional method of treating psoriasis means that healthy skin is unnecessarily exposed to ultraviolet light radiation and is thus exposed to a potentially higher risk of skin cancer. Standard radiation devices cannot distinguish between healthy and diseased areas of skin. Morocutti and Aumeyr developed a treatment which marks off the healthy skin area so that only the diseased skin is radiated.
The skin that is to be treated is photographed using a digital camera. The picture is then sent to a computer where it is stored and displayed. When the physician marks the area of the skin that has to be treated, a special image processing software identifies this area and then turns it into a format that can be processed by the hardware. The device consisting primarily of many small controllable mirrors is arranged in a matrix and is aligned via a serial port. In this way all the mirrors that are required to radiate the selected skin parts are switched on and it is only these mirrors that deflect the ultraviolet light to the diseased skin.
Uwe Treske (DE) - First Prize, Budapest, 2003
Eighteen-year-old German Uwe Treske won first prize for his project developing a “Low-cost scanning tunnelling microscope”. A Scanning Tunnelling Microscope feels the surface of the material with the help of an extremely fine tip. It is one of the most important tools in nanotechnology because it can make even partial atoms of a material surface visible. Such devices usually cost several thousand euros. Uwe’s microscope can be made at a cost price of 40 euros.
Filaments from ordinary light bulbs serve as the microscope’s tip and a pile of towels dampens undesirable vibrations. Uwe's biggest reduction in costs came from using a standard PC sound card for the digitisation of the measuring signal. His device offers a unique relation between price and resolution. After winning the European contest in 2003, Uwe went on to win one of the three grand prizes at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May 2004. He would like to pursue a career as a physicist or nanotechnologist.
Charlotte Strandkvist (DK) - First Prize, Dublin, 2004
Charlotte Strandkvist won first prize for her project entitled “Improving the method for synthesising N-methyl fluoxetine in the laboratory”. This project combined theoretical observations with experimental work to improve an original method of synthesizing an antidepressant drug. One of the main objectives of this project was to help students realise that work in the laboratory has a very real effect on people’s lives outside the laboratory.
Charlotte conceived the idea for the project through her previous interest in the topic of depression and was intrigued further by the connection between the scientific aspect and social context of the disease.
Charlotte believes that her project can be used as a guide in an interdisciplinary education course and she hopes that it will contribute to increasing social awareness in the next generation of chemistry students.
A student of Svendborg College, Charlotte plans to pursue a career in either chemistry or biochemistry.
Further information about the EU Young Scientists Contest may be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists