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“SARS-COV-2 is very likely to fade and return every winter, like the flu”
Verónica Fuentes

Virologist Luis Enjuanes, Spain's foremost expert on coronaviruses, , is working non-stop. From his laboratory at the CSIC's National Centre for Biotechnology, he is engaged in trying to find, in the shortest time possible, a vaccine to stop the COVID-19 epidemic.

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Biruté Galdikas, primatology pioneer
"Palm oil rests on the bones of orangutans”

When Biruté Galdikas arrived to settle in the jungles of Indonesia almost 50 years ago, there was hardly any information about Borneo, let alone about its loneliest inhabitants: the orangutans. Today she is the world's foremost expert on orangutan behaviour and, at 73, still continues with the on-site study and defence of the conservation of this endangered species.

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Angela Saini, author of ‘Superior’
“Racists try to present their arguments with science to make their rhetoric work”

In her new book Superior, science journalist Angela Saini analyses the resurgence of racial science and scientific racism. She fears that this ‘resurrection’ is due to the rise of right-wing extremism and nationalism, and believes that race is first and foremost a matter of power.

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Lisa Randall, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Harvard University
“We live in the smartest and the dumbest era”

This New York scientist and writer, in addition to being an expert in particle physics and cosmology, is also a celebrity. She is, moreover, a pioneer. She was the first woman to hold the chair of Theoretical Physics at Harvard and Princeton Universities and the first full professor of the subject at MIT. Now, she lives with emotion great discoveries such as the detection of gravitational waves. "We're right at the beginning, it's exciting," she says.

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Andre Geim, ‘father’ of graphene
“I am sceptical of patents, that's why I didn’t protect graphene”

Back in 2004, Andre Geim and his colleague Konstantin Novoselov isolated graphene. This kicked off the development of a new material that, despite not having unveiled all its potential yet, earned them the Nobel prize in Physics in 2010.

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Carlos Abellán, founder and CEO of Quside
The engineer who protects us from hackers armed with quantum technology

Barcelona-born Carlos Abellán has developed a chip that combines photonic and quantum technology to generate unpredictable codes to protect any connected device. The technology can be used in current and future quantum computers.

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She researches at the Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragón
Sassy Science, the world's first drag queen to popularise science

Mario Peláez, from Asturias (Spain), is unique in his way of sharing knowledge. This doctoral student dresses in queen clothes to talk about research and call out the discrimination against women, people of colour (POC) and the LGTB+ community in laboratories. She had her social debut at the biennial Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) congress, with the support of the European 'Enabling Excellence' scholarship.

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Mavi Sánchez Vives, neuro-scientist at the Human Brain Project
“Until now, the study of consciousness had been seen as mystical or unscientific”

Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, defined consciousness as the greatest unsolved problem in biology. The first major international conference of the Human Brain Project, held recently in Barcelona, has focused on the challenges and advances in its study. We have spoken with the local organizer of the conference.

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Rosa Arias, coordinator of the European project D-NOSES
The entrepreneur who will put odour pollution on the map

The unpleasant odours generated by factories, livestock farms and landfills are warning signs of serious environmental problems. However, this type of pollution is largely forgotten by legislations. The chemical engineer Rosa Arias has decided to change this and has developed an app with which citizens can register the effluvia of their environment. Also, she is the leader of an European project that is preparing the first global odour map.

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Ana Maiques, CEO and co-founder of Neuroelectrics
The businesswoman who wants to cure brains from home

Ana Maiques founded Neuroelectrics in 2011 with the goal of treating brain diseases in a non-invasive way, with a treatment unique to each patient. Today, her brain reading and electro-stimulation headgear is used to measure the fatigue of NASA pilots and being tested on patients in the US for the treatment of epilepsy. In addition, the company is exploring applications in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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Gustavo Deco, associated to the European Human Brain Project
“A massive and global effort is needed find out how the brain works”

The neuroscientist Gustavo Deco jokes: "Basically, we do not know anything about the brain. This Argentine doctor, a triple doctor in Physics, Computing and Psychology, hopes that the joined efforts of all disciplines reveal the secrets of the most complex organ. He is currently researching the circuitous network of connections that are activated when we do something as apparently simple as distinguishing objects with our sight.

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The European HiMagGraphene Project
“Magnetism in graphene can be controlled with hydrogen atoms”
Enrique Sacristán

Graphene has extraordinary mechanical and electronic properties, but no magnetic properties. This can be made up for with the help of the lightest element: hydrogen, which transfers its magnetic moment on coming into contact with graphene. This has been demonstrated by a team of European scientists coordinated by the physicist Iván Brihuega from the Autonomous University of Madrid.

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Trans2DTMD European project
"The graphene advances have triggered interest in other 2D materials"
Enrique Sacristán

Graphene is starring the largest European research initiative to date, Graphene Flagship, but within this megaproject are also being promoted studies of other two-dimensional materials, such as TMD. Their interesting properties can be applied in electronics, spintronics and a third field: valleytronics, as the physicist Dr. Lucian Covaci of the University of Antwerp explains in this interview.

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GRAPHENE FLAGSHIP Cinzia Casiraghi, Nanoscience and Spectroscopy Lab - Univ. of Manchester
"We print Lego-stack devices with graphene and other 2D materials inks"
Enrique Sacristán

Professor Cinzia Casiraghi leads a laboratory specializing in graphene and other 2-Dimensional materials at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), with which they manufacture photodetectors and electronic memories by means of ink-jet printing. Getting up to this point has not been an easy task for this Italian engineer, as she explained during the meeting Women in Graphene held recently in London.

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Esteban Moro, co-organizer of NetMob 2015
“The mobile phone allows us to study human behavior on an unprecedented level”
Francisco Javier Alonso / UC3M

Esteban Moro is a tenured associate professor in the Mathematics Department of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). Specializing in viral marketing and social networks, among other areas of interest, he is one of the organizers of NetMob 2015, along with researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium); NetMob is the most important congress in the world on the scientific analysis of mobile phone data and its application to economic and social problems. It was held April 7 – 10 at the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, USA).

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Juan Meléndez Sánchez. UC3M Department of Physics
“What kills scientific curiosity is education itself”
Fco. Javier Alonso

Juan Meléndez Sánchez (Avila, 1964) earned a degree in Physics from the University of Salamanca and did his doctoral dissertation at the CSIC. He is currently a professor at Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), where he combines his research in the Laboratorio de Sensores, Teledetección e Imagen en el Infrarrojo (Laboratory of Sensors, Remote Sensing and Image in Infrared) and teaching in the Physics Department with one of his greatest passions: science popularization. In fact, he has spent more than a decade teaching courses on the history and philosophy of science and has recently published a book whose objective is to help us understand the world we live in: “De Tales a Newton: ciencia para personas inteligentes” (Ellago Ediciones, 2013)(From Thales to Newton: science for intelligent people). The work is continuously evolving in the blog of the same name.

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Sagrario Segado, researcher at UNED
"Spanish families deprived of their middle class status have to choose between work and family"
Laura Chaparro

In the midst of the current economic crisis, middle class families often encounter problems related to the work-life balance, especially when both spouses are forced to extend their working hours to make ends meet. Researchers from the Department of Social Work at the National University of Distance Education (UNED) have analyzed this phenomenon, which differs by gender. Sagrario Segado, member of the Koinonia research group and one of the authors of the study, discusses its implications.