Notre Dame: Medieval stonemasons built vaulted ceilings to protect against fires

Medieval stonemasons knew very well what they were doing when they built ceiling vaults such as those found in Notre Dame, says gothic vault expert. Image credit - CC0

Medieval stonemasons built soaring vaulted ceilings such as those of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, using techniques that are still not completely understood today. The challenge of restoring Notre Dame after the fire in April presents an opportunity to unravel the techniques of the time, says Professor David Wendland, chair of construction … Read more

Danish dogs to receive virus-inspired cancer vaccine treatment

Researchers are testing the therapeutic vaccine on dogs with the hope that trials could progress to humans. Image Credit - Pixabay/No License

Fifteen Danish dogs with advanced cancer are to receive a new type of therapeutic vaccine which, it is hoped, will rid them of the disease and pave the way for human testing. Unlike preventative vaccines, therapeutic vaccines are not used to prevent someone from getting a disease but rather to support an immune system that … Read more

The internet is helping to revive minority languages

Image credit - CC0

Europe’s minority languages have been squeezed by nation-building, urbanisation and the ‘lingua francas’ of the internet, according to Professor Anneli Sarhimaa, specialist in Northern European and Baltic languages and cultures at the University of Mainz, Germany. But one lesson she has learned from researching the fate of the Finnic language Karelian, spoken in Finland and north-western Russia, … Read more

‘Big picture’ platforms boost fight against online terror activity

Image credit - Flickr/Takver CC BY SA 2.0

The fight against terrorism-related content and illegal financing online is speeding up thanks to new platforms that join up different internet-scouring technologies to create a comprehensive picture of terrorist activity. The idea is that when an online tool discovers a fragment of information it can be added to a constellation of millions of others – revealing links that … Read more

Europe’s eyes in the sky are helping to solve energy, land-use problems in Africa

Complex Earth observation data is being turned into real-time tools to help solve problems on the ground in Africa.

Scientists have created a solar atlas of Egypt, revealing where the sun’s rays shine most brilliantly and where dust storms obstruct its light. And in Niger, forecasters are guiding pastoralists towards grazing areas and water sources – and away from conflict with sedentary farmers. These are just a couple of many applications coming out of … Read more