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Welcome to the European Photon & Neutron Science Campus website

The EPN science campus is an international science hub in Grenoble, hosting three major European institutes - EMBL, ESRF and ILL - along with the IBS and joint partnerships. 

If you wish to submit a research proposal to the ILL or to the ESRF, please go to the User section.

Metallic ink revealed in Herculaneum papyri - an ESRF publication

An international team of scientists has discovered the presence of metal in the ink of two Herculaneum papyrus fragments proving that metals were used in ink several centuries earlier than previously believed. [more on the ESRF website]

En video - L'IRT Nanoélec, un accès facilité à l'ESRF et ILL
mars 2016

La nouvelle plate-forme de caractérisation de l'IRT NAnoélec est conçue pour faciliter aux industriels l'accès aux grands instruments de Grenoble : ILL et ESRF, sur le campus de Grenoble. La recherche technologique en micro-nanoélectronique bénéficie désormais d'un point d'entrée unique et d'un service adapté. Cette video vous en dit plus.

Rodin’s modelling techniques brought to light at ESRF
Clémenceau by Rodin. Credit: Bluzat, Cascio, Mary.

Advanced synchrotron imaging techniques have helped conservators gain insight into the techniques employed by Auguste Rodin at the beginning of the 20th century in the making of his sculptures with modern modelling materials and have participated in developing adapted protocols for the restoration of badly degraded models. [more on the ESRF website]

Large Scale Conformational Dynamics Control the Function of H5N1 Influenza Polymerase

An international collaboration of scientists from the IBS, the EMBL and the ILL has revealed the molecular function of a protein essential for replication of H5N1 influenza virus. This study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, illustrates how the flexibility of a protein allows it to adapt its function, facilitating infection of the host. An obvious EPN-campus achievement! [More on the ILL website]

A tough egg to crack - oldest lizard embryos discovered in fossil eggs

Since 2003, scientists have puzzled over the identity of a batch of tiny fossilised eggs, originally concluding that they belonged to a small theropod dinosaur or a primitive bird. Today, with the ESRF's ultra-bright X-rays and cutting edge synchrotron scanning techniques, their true identity has been revealed. They are in fact anguimorph lizards and the oldest lizard embryos ever to have been discovered in fossil eggs. [More on the ESRF website.]

The ESRF launches a new generation of synchrotrons

The ESRF officially launched Phase II of its innovative renovation project, the Upgrade Programme : 150M€ over 2015-2022. The major technological challenge is the creation of an ultra-bright synchrotron source, inside the existing structure, with performances 100 times superior to present day synchrotrons worldwide. The unrivalled properties of this new light source will transform the facility into a unique instrument, opening up new perspectives for X-ray science in many fields of fundamental and applied research. [more on the ESRF website]

How water molecules dance to activate proteins

An international team of researchers from IBS and ILL, among others, has shed light on the molecular mechanism behind the importance of water for functional protein dynamics. The scientists have discovered that water’s ability to flow on the surface of proteins makes them sufficiently dynamic to be biologically active. The results have just been published in Nature Communication.

An EPN campus success story! [More on the ILL website]

Ancient books destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius ‘read’ for the very first time

Writing lain undiscovered for centuries inside a scroll that was charred in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD has been uncovered for the first time. The text, discovered in Herculaneum 260 years ago, has been distinguished using X-rays at the European Synchrotron, the ESRF. The result, by a team from Italian CNR, the ESRF, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, and CNRS, is published in Nature Communications. It offers new possibilities for deciphering hundreds of so far untouched texts, without the damage that can be caused by trying to open them [more on the ESRF website].

Fête de la Science : merci de votre visite !
20/10/2014. Photo S. Claisse

Merci aux centaines de visiteurs qui ont visité notre chapiteau et arpenté le site de recherche EPN, le samedi 18 octobre.

A la demande générale voici les résultats du jeu-quiz sur le thème de la cristallographie (les questions puis les réponses pages 5 et 6). Les gagnants seront avertis dans les prochains jours.

Mechanisms of Morphological Transitions in Micelles Revealed by Combining Time-resolved Neutron and X-ray scattering

In soft matter and materials physics, self-assembly serves to synthesize and control nano-structures with well-defined sizes and geometries. Accurate control of the properties (structure and dynamics) of these nanoparticles is essential for the performance relevant to a wide range of products.  A new mechanism has just been observed due to the unique combination of the high resolution of synchrotron SAXS combined with the contrast of SANS. An EPN success story! See more on ILL website.

21 February - Official inauguration of new epn campus buildings

Friday 21 February saw the official opening on the epn campus of several new buildings which were funded in part or in full by the local and regional authorities in the framework of a so-called CPER contract (Contrat de Projets Etat-Région). The opening ceremonies were attended by the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, the President of the Rhône-Alpes region, Jean-Jack Queyranne, the President of Grenoble Alpes Metropole, Marc Baïetto, and deputy Mayor of Grenoble, Jérôme Safar, in their capacity as funders and faithful supporters of these projects. [more on the ILL website]

The IBS2 building - le bâtiment IBS2
The IBS has just moved on to the epn campus!

With the arrival of 240 IBS specialists on the site, the epn campus reaffirms the international level of its research capacities in structural biology.


Choreographed origami: folding ribosomal RNA studied at EMBL, ILL and IBS

Building ribosomes – the cell’s protein factories – is like a strictly choreographed dance. Other ‘machines’ inside the cell have to produce specific RNA molecules and fold them into the right shape, then combine the folded RNA with proteins to form a working ribosome.  The study combined nuclear magnetic resonance experiments performed at EMBL and neutron scattering experiments performed at the ILL in Grenoble, France.


ILL: New fluorescent fingerprint tag to increase IDs from 'hidden' fingerprints

Neutron scattering at ILL and ISIS delves inside new crime scene forensics technique developed by the University of LeicesterResearch to address the fact that only 10% of fingerprints taken from crime scenes yield identifications that are usable in court


ESRF and ILL: X-rays and neutrons open new paths for energy scavenging

Harvesting unused energy has been the object of research since the days of the windmill and the waterwheel. In recent years, thermo-electric materials have enabled the re-use of otherwise wasted thermal energy as electrical power. Driven by the quest to efficiently cool densely packed micro-electronics chips, they are also used as solid-state refrigerators. One of the difficulties involved in developing thermo-electric systems that convert heat into electric current is the need for materials exhibiting high electrical conductivity but low thermal conductivity, which is only possible with complicated crystal structures. Scientists have now discovered a way of suppressing thermal conductivity in sodium cobaltate, opening new paths for energy scavenging.


X-rays reveal uptake of nanoparticles by soya bean crops

Metals contained in nanoparticles can enter into the food chain. Scientists have, for the first time, traced the nanoparticles taken up from the soil by crop plants and analysed the chemical states of their metallic elements. Zinc was shown to dissolve and accumulate throughout the plants, whereas the element cerium did not dissolve into plant tissue. The results contribute to the controversial debate on plant toxicity of nanoparticles and whether engineered nanoparticles can enter into the food chain.


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