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The Polish Science Voice  
No. 23
The Polish Science Voice

A publication Co-financed by Minister of Science and Higher Education
As part of our series of reports on Poland's technological growth, in this issue of The Polish Science Voice we look at the track record of a research and development consortium called the Polish Technology Platform for Opto- and Nano-electronics.
Prof. Michał Witt, from the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw and the Institute of Human Genetics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań, talks to Piotr Bartosz.
It sounds a bit like science fiction-a collection of genetic "fingerprints" from tens of millions of people around the world, mobilized to help understand and cure diseases such as multiple sclerosis. But it's precisely what Martin Yuille, a professor at the University of Manchester in Britain, is hoping to create, with the help of Polish scientists.
An innovative radar reconnaissance station, hi-tech lasers, switches, sensors and medical systems-these are just some of the devices and technologies that have been developed by companies and institutions operating as part of a research and development consortium called the Polish Technology Platform for Opto- and Nano-electronics.
Scientists and physicians working at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Warsaw have developed the world's first system that makes it possible to remotely control inner-ear implants in patients at any location in the world.
In the breakthrough Telefitting system developed at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Warsaw, a patient's cochlear implant can be adjusted remotely.
After 10 years of research, a team of scientists at the University of Wrocław Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in southwestern Poland have obtained a genetically modified strain of flax with unusual properties. Fabrics made from this flax do not wrinkle or get wet, while plastics to which it is added decompose more quickly. The greatest hopes, though, concern the uses the flax could have in medicine-dressings made from it speed up treatment of hard-to-heal wounds.
The process begins with germinating ordinary flaxseeds. When green shoots are sent out, the places where the root turns into the stem (hypocotyl) get artificially infected with bacteria carrying DNA chains with new genes that encode three enzymes to initiate the synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrates. The compounds are prepared so as to reach maximum activity in the process.
The Barbara Experimental Coal Mine in Mikołów near Katowice, southern Poland, is the site of a pilot project involving gasification of coal, or its conversion into gaseous products.
Polish secondary school students stole the show at the 16th International Conference of Young Scientists (ICYS) held in the southern town of Pszczyna April 24-29.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) can be a much more significant contributing factor to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide (CO2), and it can also damage the ozone layer which protects the earth from harmful UV rays. Polish scientists have developed a method to prevent the formation of N2O, which is an undesirable side effect of nitric acid production.
Researchers at the Warsaw Institute of Electrical Engineering (Instytut Elektrotechniki) have developed a tomographic system to examine trees without cutting out samples from them.
Inventors at the Gdańsk University of Technology's Multimedia Systems Department have built a multimodal interface for controlling the computer with lip and tongue movements.
The EIT+ Research Center in the southwestern city of Wrocław May 27 signed a letter of intent with U.S. computer giant IBM to work together in the development of nanotechnology, biotechnology and "intelligent" IT systems.
Polish inventors won 26 medals at the 108th Concours Lépine International Inventions Fair in Paris April 30-May 10.
Researchers in the western city of Poznań have developed a new method to obtain renewable fuel from plant oils. They have shown the technology at an innovation fair in Paris and won a silver medal-not least because the fuel is already in production.
A device that measures coal quality without putting the user's health at risk won a gold medal at this year's Councours Lépine innovation exhibition in Paris.
Researchers at the University of Technology and Life Sciences in the city of Bydgoszcz have developed an innovative method for controlling seed germination. The method won a gold medal at this year's Councours Lépine innovation exhibition in Paris.
Naturalists from the Polish Bird Protection Association are keeping a close watch on pond turtle females in the northeastern district of Mazuria. This is because the species is threatened with extinction and under strict protection. Researchers have attached transmitters and antennas to four females living in Napiwodzko-Ramucka and Piska Forests.
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