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Week 48

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Inflammation needs closure
      Photo of women with flu symptomsInflammation is not your enemy. It's a mechanism the body uses to keep us healthy, e.g. to fight invading pathogens. But sometimes, the immune system doesn't know when to stop, say EU-funded researchers. They are learning how to get the message across, in a bid to help tackle diseases caused when our tiny defenders go rogue.

  • Success Stories
    • Video games or exercise for stroke rehab?
      Photo of a senior man using a tablet Would you rather squeeze a ball to exercise your weaker hand or play video games? An EU-funded project tested the concept on a group of patients in Israel recovering after a stroke. The idea was unanimously popular and also saw patients working harder - without realising it - than during traditional rehabilitation exercises.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Fast-track to project skills for African researchers
      Photo of african physicians with tablet PCAfrica is particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and the continent has large gaps in preventative healthcare. So it makes sense to build regional capacity to find solutions to these health problems. An EU-funded project trained new graduates in Africa to develop health research programmes and share scientific knowledge.

Monday, 23 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Helping Africa manage its agriculture and woodlands
      Photo of a woman in a scarf on the fieldTo ensure food and energy security for today's growing populations, governments increasingly turn to earth observation. Remotely-sensed data can provide valuable information on crops, livestock, woodlands and fires. Innovative, EU-funded research partnerships helped reinforce African capacities in this area.

  • Success Stories
    • Enhancing genetic testing standards across Europe
      Digital illustration of DNA structure If doctors use genetic testing to assess the likelihood of patients developing a certain disease, they need to be sure that the results are accurate. In pre-natal testing, there is only one chance to get it right. An EU-funded project has vastly improved the entire testing process, ensuring patients have all the facts.

Week 47

Friday, 20 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Strengthening research to combat liver disease in Egypt and Europe
      Picture of blood sample for hepatitis virus testingLiver disease is one of the leading causes of death in Egypt - second only to cardiac disease - and accounts for almost 10% of overall mortality in the country. To make headway in this area of research, two Egyptian and two EU-based partners joined forces in an EU-funded project that also highlighted the importance of the business side of science.

  • Success Stories
    • A better view of the early universe
      Photo of a spiral galaxy with stars and black hole When we look at galaxies far, far away, we don't see them as they are today. We see them as they were a long time ago, because their light takes a while to reach us. These images could easily fade on their epic journey, but "natural telescopes" in their path enable astronomers to study some of these postcards from the distant past.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Decrypting the genetic signature of osteoporosis
      image from the inside of the bone with osteoporosisWho's at risk of osteoporosis? The older you grow, the more likely you are to have it, particularly if you are a woman. Whether you actually develop this debilitating condition depends on a combination of genes and lifestyle factors. EU-funded researchers have identified a number of genetic variants that play a role.

  • Success Stories
    • Written in blood: advance notice of pollution-induced disease
      Photo of people walking on street How many contaminants have you been exposed to during your lifetime? None of us would be able to answer this question, but it would be very useful to know. EU-funded researchers are upgrading the techniques available for measuring environmental exposure, and searching blood samples for biomarkers that provide early warning of consequences for our health.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • eHealth application to improve care for cancer patients
      Photo of the doctor with tablet in chemotheraphy roomChemotherapy can have a considerable impact on patients' quality of life, causing nausea or hair loss as well as depression and anxiety. More personalised care could help many patients and even improve outcomes. The EU-funded project eSMART is putting a mobile phone-based remote patient monitoring system to the test.

  • Success Stories
    • Researchers sound alarm on acidification of seas
      Photo of people looking out to sea Scientists have long suspected that the acidification of our seas may harm their flora and fauna. But the likely impact in the Mediterranean was a mystery - until now. The knowledge on acidification gained by EU-funded researchers is of great concern - the team is now calling for urgent action to protect the Mediterranean Sea's precious biodiversity and its many other benefits.

Monday, 16 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Sustainable consumption? Here's what we know.
      Photo of the family on the meadowBuilding a sustainable future is a key challenge facing governments today. Information on possible approaches is needed, and a wealth of relevant research does exist - but it is not necessarily easy to find and use. An EU-funded project has compiled extensive knowledge online and promoted dialogue between scientists and policy-makers.

  • Success Stories
    • Setting the injection moulding world abuzz
      Photo of injection needles Injection moulding is the most common method for manufacturing plastic parts, from bottle caps and pocket combs to mechanical components and medical devices. But it has its limitations. An EU-funded team has created the first commercial moulding machine that uses ultrasound to overcome those confines. The technology has already been sold to European and US companies.

Week 46

Friday, 13 November 2015

  • Environment
    • Commission to open Global Earth observation data
      The European Commission, a founding member of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), has subscribed today in Mexico to the 2015 - 2025 implementation plan of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The 10-year Strategic Plan will provide open access to earth observation data from anywhere in the world to decision makers, researchers and innovators.

  • Research Headlines
    • How to study the sea
      Photo of research boatThe phenomena that affect the Mediterranean Sea have implications for the entire region, and they tie in with developments shaping marine environments around the world. But they are not yet fully understood. Tunisia's main research institute for oceanography has taken steps to boost its potential contribution to international collaborations generating new knowledge.

  • Success Stories
    • New defences against kidney disease in diabetes
      Photo of test stripes examined by a nurse Why do so many diabetes patients develop kidney disease, and how can we improve prevention? EU-funded research has examined insulin-related processes at play in impaired renal function - and it may have found a way to protect key cells that help to filter our blood.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Understanding what leads to lung disease
      Photo of small baby with resporatory therapyScientists don't know all of the reasons why some people are more susceptible to lung disease than others - something that the EU-funded ALEC project is seeking to find out. The results could be an important step towards better prevention and treatments for patients.

  • Success Stories
    • Sunny days ahead for seasonal-to-decadal climate forecasting
      Two photos showing a desert and a green field If your livelihood depends on the weather, you will need to plan ahead for the effects of global warming. But knowing that the climate will be different by 2100 doesn't tell you much about conditions in the next few months or years. Luckily, climate predictions for the near future are becoming increasingly accurate and reliable, with help from EU-funded research.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Anticipating the future of predictive maintenance
      Photo of plasma cutting machineA faulty component or a worn-out machine can bring an entire manufacturing process to a crashing halt. And long before it actually breaks down, it can cause costly delays or defects. An innovative system developed by EU-funded researchers can help businesses to monitor crucial equipment and keep it in peak condition.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

  • Events

      Two major challenges are impending upon our energy future: the achievement of a secure energy supply, and a move from dependency on non-renewable to a dependency on renewable energy sources. The challenges call for radical changes or ‘energy transitions’: revisions that concern the entire energy system, not just some of its parts. These transitions are structural, as they modify the way energy provision is organized at the level of society. They are radical, since they may demand abandoning existing technologies even if they still work. And they are fundamental, because they require that we start thinking in novel ways about energy, its provision, and how a good and just society is organized around energy.

  • Research Headlines
    • Marine bioresources - keeping us young and healthy?
      Photo of underwater life with colorful sponges and starfishCould creatures of the deep help treat disease and keep us looking young? A team of EU-funded researchers thinks so. To overcome current bottlenecks in taking marine-derived biomolecules from discovery to exploitation, researchers will assess the potential of animals such as sponges, soft corals and tunicates.

  • Success Stories
    • On to second-generation bioethanol
      Photo of the Inbicon plant Europe is the world's third-largest producer of bioethanol - an important renewable fuel and energy source. Most stems from crops. Aiming to enlarge the feedstock basis for ethanol production, an EU-funded project has taken advanced bioethanol production from plant waste a large step closer to cost-efficient implementation.

Monday, 09 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Placental malaria: a preventable malady
      Photo of malaria test in AfricaPregnant women are more prone to becoming infected with malaria than other adults. In their case, the parasite tends to hide in the placenta, unnoticed but damaging to the host and her unborn child. An EU-funded project has set out to improve the antenatal care as well as the malaria diagnosis and treatment available to expectant mothers in endemic areas.

  • Success Stories
    • Keeping things moving in outer space
      Earth as seen from the Moons surface Today's most ambitious planetary and lunar exploratory missions pin their hopes on rovers to capture scientific data. Getting the rover to move around is complex and can rely among other technologies, on a harmonic drive. Crucial to positioning, this special gear is light in weight, compact and accurate.

Week 45

Friday, 06 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • More than a metal - a boost for bismuth through nanotechnology
      Photo of crystals of bismuthUsed since ancient times, bismuth is still found in items as different as lipsticks, medicine and electronics. The metal has been a magnet for scientific study. But the BisNano project was the first to take bismuth compounds down to the nano-scale. The results have made the metal even more attractive and have led to technology transfer between Europe and Mexico, as well as several applications.

Thursday, 05 November 2015

  • Research Headlines
    • Algal bloom warning system to protect seafood and farmed fish
      Photo of the sea foodAn EU-funded project has developed a forecasting model for biotoxic algal blooms. The project aimed at providing aquaculture farmers early warnings of approaching dangerous 'phytoplankton' - allowing them to take effective action to keep fish and shellfish from algae-induced contamination - and protect their livelihoods.

  • Success Stories
    • A guide to spotting forgotten diseases
      Photo of some test tubes With cures increasingly available for infectious diseases that hit the world's poorest regions, doctors need low-cost diagnostic tests to use these new treatments. An EU-funded project helps identify these diseases from early symptoms, saving lives and cutting healthcare costs.

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