Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Master's Open Day at UNU-MERIT
UNU-MERIT will host a Master's Open Day on Saturday 24 March 2018. Our top-ranked MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) emphasises the connection between public policy and decision-making processes, as well as the principles of good governance.

Students who successfully complete our Master's programme receive a double degree issued by the United Nations University and Maastricht University. Several information sessions will be offered throughout the day and visitors will have the opportunity to talk with staff and students.
Chinese Aid to Africa
Increasing growth and wealth, but ignoring abuse and corruption? Our study strikes a hopeful noteā€¦

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  • Cambridge Analytica taken to court over data storage
  • Old mice are new again: anti-ageing pill restores vitality
  • Bitcoin's system used to share child pornography, researchers say
  • Scientists develop brain scanner in a helmet
  • Global water data to be crowdsourced from private sector
  • Kids are starting to picture scientists as women
  • Secure your secret messages with printable invisible ink
    A new invisible ink that you can print is harder to reveal than most common cyphers.

    Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China created this new ink accidentally while trying to synthesise a kind of glowing nanomaterial. In the process, they created a lead compound that was invisible to the human eye. When a mixture of a particular kind of salts was applied, the text became visible again. Without these salts, no one would suspect anything was on the page.

    It's so much better than just using lemon juice. Most of the invisible inks we use now leave a residue behind as they become legible. This means that decrypting the message can be as easy as holding it up to a light. This compound can also be printed with a modified office printer, making it easy to fabricate a covert letter.

    While it may seem antiquated or like a useless party trick, invisible ink can actually be used in anti-counterfeiting measures. US currency uses a variation on invisible ink to hide text or pictures on large denominations of money so that they're only visible in certain light.

    This invisible ink can be used to record and protect confidential information by printing process. It could also be useful in devices that combine light with electronics. For instance, using these types of compounds in a television or tablet screen could lead to richer colours - the team's original motivation for studying them.

    However, there are downsides. Lead is toxic, so the sender or recipient could end up harmed by the message. The team is exploring the possibility of swapping out the lead for tin, which is vastly less toxic.

    New Scientist    October 31, 2017