Research news

List of news published in the Press Room on research and innovation

  • Tuberculosis has shaped human society since the Stone Age

    Researchers from the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), the Comparative Medicine and Bioimaging Centre (CMCiB-IGTP), CIBERES and the UPC have discovered, by means of a mathematical model that combines biological, anthropological and historical data, that not only have humans continued to survive despite tuberculosis infections, but tuberculosis has probably played a key role in shaping human society as we know it. The article has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

  • Testing a model of sensors to register ocean currents and temperature

    The UPC’s Technological Development Centre for Remote Acquisition and Data Processing Systems (SARTI) participates in developing a model of buoys with sensors to register ocean currents and temperature. The devices are currently being tested. They will be of great scientific value and will provide information on the most dangerous areas of the coast that will help raise awareness of the risks posed to swimmers.

  • Researchers at the UPC and the IGTP use mathematical models to evaluate the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic and the effectiveness of the control measures

    A team of researchers from the UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) and the Comparative Medicine and Bioimage Centre of Catalonia (CMCiB) of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) has developed a mathematical model to monitor the epidemic of COVID-19 with the support of La Caixa Foundation. The report that they have produced for the European Union Strategy Office is updated every day and includes predictions for Catalonia, Spain and the European Union. The model also serves to analyse the efficiency of the measures being implemented in several countries.

  • The Barcelona Urbanism Laboratory, an observatory of cities

    The UPC’s Barcelona Urbanism Laboratory (LUB) celebrates its 50th anniversary this academic year. The research centre provides a critical and constructive look at the evolution of the metropolis and has become a benchmark in urbanism and regional policy.

  • Technological cooperation at the UPC to fight COVID-19

    Low-cost ventilators, ICT technology to manage the spread of the pandemic, a campaign to collect tablets and mobile phones for isolated patients in hospitals... The UPC is providing 145,000 euros in funding to support 20 local- and international-scale cooperation projects to tackle the COVID-19 health emergency.

  • The UPC, 1st in Spain and among the world’s top 100 in SDG Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    The UPC is ranked among the world’s best universities in its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) according to the 2020 THE Impact Rankings. It stands out specifically in SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy (27th in the world) and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, in which it is ranked 1st in Spain and among the world’s top 100 (84th). It achieves a high score in these goals and in SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

  • A robotic wheelchair helps to improve the physical condition of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    How can care robotics help patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)? This inherited neuromuscular disorder affects one in 3,500 children worldwide. It causes the progressive loss of muscle function and therefore leads to progressive disability. Despite advances in treatment, patients have an average life expectancy of 35 years and already need an electric wheelchair in their teens.

  • The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics studies ocean noise pollution in Antarctica

    The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) is leading a scientific expedition to Antarctica to deploy permanent acoustic sensors for monitoring the effects of climate change and human activities on polar ecosystems.

  • Two UPC nanosatellites in orbit to study polar regions and provide Earth observation images by using artificial intelligence

    Two small satellites created at the UPC’s Nanosat Lab have travelled to space from Kourou, French Guiana, on 2 September (at 3.51 a.m. on 3 September Spanish time) to carry out the FSSCat mission, which received the ESA Sentinel Small Satellite (S^3) Challenge award in 2017. The main objective of the mission is to monitor polar ice and soil moisture while testing intersatellite communication systems in order to create a future network of federated satellites. The ɸ-sat-1 technology demonstrator is also on board, it is ESA’s first artificial intelligence in space and it will filter out images of the Earth that are not suitable for use because of cloud cover.

  • New forms of cell division that are caused by protein waves discovered

    Researchers from the UPC’s Department of Physics and the University of Potsdam, Germany, have discovered a new form of cell division that is caused by protein waves in the framework of an international collaboration project. This discovery opens the way for new applications in synthetic biology and may serve as a paradigm for implementing a self-organised proliferation strategy in artificial cells.

  • Two UPC cutting-edge research projects selected under the MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” programme

    Quantifying vegetation response to climate change with statistical models and studying atmospheric electricity using small uncrewed aerial vehicles. These two projects involving UPC researchers have been selected under the third MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund, an initiative to foster knowledge and cutting-edge research between Spanish universities and research centres and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

  • EAR to the WILD, a groundbreaking smartphone application for the real-time monitoring of marine biodiversity

    On 8 June 2020, the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) launched EAR to the WILD, an innovative application that monitors ocean biodiversity from any mobile platform. The app listens to marine life from any smartphone, anywhere in the world. EAR to the WILD detects and warns of potential threats to the ocean by transmitting information in real time to dedicated cloud servers, where artificial intelligence techniques are used to continuously analyse the data received. The first vessel to take EAR to the WILD on board, the Swiss sailboat Mauritius from Fondation Pacifique, left Brittany, in France, for the Arctic on 9 June.

  • A computational model to understand the dynamics of tuberculosis lesions within the lungs

    Researchers from the UPC and the Institut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) have developed a virtual lung model using computational modelling techniques to study the dynamics of tuberculosis lesions within the lungs. These are the first results to be published by the 3Rs Programme at the Centre for Comparative Medicine and Bioimaging (CMCiB), which aims to minimize the use of animals in preclinical research. The results of the study have been published in the journal Plos Computational Biology.

  • The UPC leads a project to develop faster, lower-power processors for artificial intelligence

    The European Commission grants three million euros in funding to the WiPLASH project within the framework of the FET-Open call. It aims to prototype miniaturised wireless graphene antennas in the terahertz band to provide future computing platforms with plasticity and reconfigurability. The project involves seven European universities and companies, under the supervision of Sergi Abadal, a researcher at the UPC’s Department of Computer Architecture.

  • UPC researchers participate in the transformation of the European energy system to adapt to renewables

    Within the framework of the European project FEVER, the UPC’s Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives (CITCEA-UPC) will develop bidirectional EV chargers and solutions for leveraging the flexibility of energy storage resources and meeting the demand for specific services for the electricity grid to make it safe, efficient and resilient.

  • The UPC joins the Planetary Health Alliance

    The UPC, through its Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), is a new member of the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA), a consortium that promotes the planet’s health. The LAB will contribute technology to monitor biodiversity and alert of potential threats from climate change and human pressure on natural habitats.

  • 16 novel compounds of cannabis identified

    Researchers from the Smart Sustainable Resources research group at the UPC Campus in Manresa have characterised 16 novel compounds of cannabis that had not been identified so far. The discovery has been published in the journal Planta Medica. Characterising novel compounds of cannabis opens the door to discovering new medicinal uses of the plant’s active ingredients.

  • Patient successfully implanted with the world’s first antitumour biomembrane, created by Cebiotex, the UPC’s INTEXTER and the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital

    For the first time ever, an antitumour biomembrane made up of nanofibres, biocompatible and biodegradable has been implanted into a patient and has proved safe. This medical and technological milestone is the result of the collaboration between the biotech company Cebiotex, the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, the UPC’s INTEXTER and the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona. Cebiotex is now going to launch a funding round to raise 1.6 million euros to continue clinical trials.

  • The Agricultural Machinery Unit studies the sustainable use of plant protection products in two European projects

    The UPC’s Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA) coordinates the INNOSETA European project, which aims to establish an innovative thematic network on crop protection and the sustainable use of plant protection products. It also participates in the OPTIMA project for developing intelligent equipment for the safe application of plant protection products. Both are European research projects funded by the H2020 programme.

  • UPC, Esade and IED students join forces with CERN to create innovative solutions to the challenges of the pandemic

    Eight university teams consisting of 42 students from the UPC, Esade and the IED Barcelona present their prototypes after months of work with CERN scientists researching new solutions for the future of humanity.

  • Scientists sink dead dolphin to study effects on marine ecosystem

    The UPC’s OBSEA Underwater Observatory in Vilanova i la Geltrú sunk a dolphin that was found dead a few days ago on a beach in Blanes to study the effect of the carcass on benthic ecosystems and fish communities in the area. It is an experiment by the UPC, the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

  • UPC study demonstrates the effectiveness of raloxifene in treating inflammatory processes associated with COVID-19

    Researchers from the UPC’s Molecular Biotechnology Centre show that a drug for osteoporosis called raloxifene may inhibit molecules involved in the inflammatory processes associated with COVID-19.

  • UPC’s INTE research for improving the detection of radon gas in the atmosphere and soil to monitor its impact on health and climate change

    The researchers Claudia Grossi and Arturo Vargas, from the UPC’s Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE), and other European scientists are studying how to improve radon gas measurements in the atmosphere and soil to better control its impact on health and the environment.

  • The UPC among the world’s best universities in Architecture, Civil Engineering and Telecommunications, Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the QSWUR by Subject

    In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject (QSWUR by Subject), which was published on 3 March, the UPC is ranked the world’s 20th best university in Architecture and Built Environment, 29th in Civil and Structural Engineering and 46th in Telecommunications, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In the subject area Engineering and Technology, the University climbs from the world’s 76th best university in 2020 to the 67th this year and remains the top university in Spain.

  • The UPC has developed a payload for a United Arab Emirates satellite

    The NanoSat Lab at the UPC has developed one of the payloads for a United Arab Emirates satellite that is being developed by the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), at the UAE University (UAEU) in Al Ain, to explore new GNSS reflectometry and RF monitoring techniques for the measurement of soil moisture and ionospheric scintillation.

  • Molecular mechanism causing severe cardiac arrhythmia identified

    Researchers from the UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) and the Heart Rhythm Analysis and Control Group (ANCORA) and other international scientists have identified one of the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac alternans. It is an alteration of heart rhythm that is critical to the induction of ventricular fibrillation, a potentially fatal arrhythmia. The discovery was published in the journal Circulation Research (AHA Journals) and paves the way for new pharmacological treatments.

  • UPC researchers reveal why modernist stained glass deteriorates using ALBA synchrotron light

    A team of UPC researchers has studied the materials and methods for producing the enamels used in Catalan modernist stained glass windows, with special regards to their degradation mechanisms. The data obtained at the MSPD beamline of the ALBA synchrotron was key to deciphering the structure and composition of the enamels and assessing their state of conservation with the aim of improving the preservation of this cultural heritage.

  • Studying how to reduce the impact of maritime transport noise on marine species

    The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) participates in the European project SATURN, an initiative that brings together partners from ten countries to develop innovative solutions to reduce the negative effects of underwater noise on the ecosystem and move towards a cleaner and quieter maritime sector.

  • More investment for the UPC spin-off Cebiotex to advance its oncology treatment

    A 2.2 million euros investment will allow the biotech Cebiotex - a spin-off from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the UPC - to continue clinical trials with CEB-01 in adult patients and initiate trials in pediatric oncology patients.

  • A UPC study shows that human-generated noise can contribute to deplete seagrass posidonia populations

    When exposed to human noise, specimens of the seagrass Posidonia reveal permanent and severe lesions in their sensory organs—whose function is to sense gravity—that threaten their survival. This is the main conclusion of a recent study by the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), entitled “Seagrass Posidonia is impaired by human-generated noise”, which was published in Nature Communications Biology. These new findings demonstrate not only that plants have the physiological ability to perceive sounds, but also, and just as importantly, that commonly encountered sources of noise in the ocean can contribute to depleting their populations.