Boletín de Julio de 2006
Boletín Informativo

eScience for nano technlogy, neurology and automobile pollution

Research into three major scientific and technological challenges is to receive a major boost from the application of e-Science and Grid computing. The challenges are: understanding the brain; mapping the detailed environmental impact of traffic; and designing future-generation nano-scale electronic circuits.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and other funding partners have awarded more than 13 million to three, three-to-four-year projects covering each of these topics in the third round of the EPSRC's e-Science program.

* Understanding the brain
The 4.5 million CARMEN project, led by Colin Ingram at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, will harness e-Science techniques to enable neuroscientists, working on different aspects of brain function at different labs, to share and integrate their data and models.

Neuroscientists use many different techniques to unravel the processes within individual neurons (brain or nerve cells) or the interactions between networks of neurons that lead to thoughts and behavior. The techniques are time-consuming, difficult and expensive, but researchers rarely record their data or models so that they can be used by other labs or research groups. CARMEN will help maximize the output from investment in brain science by enabling neuroscientists to archive their data so that they can be retrieved and analysed in new ways by others.

* Environmental impact of traffic Traffic makes a significant contribution to air pollution in inner cities. Governments devise policies and traffic management schemes to minimize the impact of air pollution. More detailed knowledge of how traffic-generated pollution behaves in the urban environment could
greatly enhance these policies and schemes. Factors such as street and building design, vehicle braking and accelerating patterns, individual traveler decisions and local weather conditions affect the concentration of pollutants that individuals are exposed to as they move around. The 3.5 million PMESG (Pervasive Mobile Environmental Sensor Grids) project, led by John Polak at Imperial College London, is jointly funded by the EPSRC and the Department for Transport. It will develop e-Science and Grid technologies to enable data from a network of mobile sensors to be gathered and interpreted. The
e-Science technologies developed will be generic enough for use in other applications of mobile sensor networks, such as climate or weather mapping.

* Designing nano-circuits
The 5.2 million NanoCMOS project, led by Asen Asenov at Glasgow University, will develop e-Science methodology and tools to allow
designers of tiny electronic circuits to meet the very demanding challenges created by future nano-scale electronic components.

These components will be so small that their behavior will be highly variable, governed by individual atoms rather than the average behavior of large collections of atoms. The NanoCMOS project will build a Grid infrastructure and e-Science tools to enable circuit designers to share models that simulate nano-component behavior and explore the implications for circuit design. It will help UK circuit designers to remain internationally competitive and overcome the disadvantages caused by the lack of an indigenous UK semiconductor industry.