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What was new in the last 3 weeks

Week 31

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • How our environment can shape us
      In Europe, reproductive health problems in men such as poor semen quality, testicular cancer, and genital birth defects are common. These issues seem to be the result of maldevelopment and malfunction in the testes of the foetus, the so-called testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), which evidence suggests may be caused by exposure to environmental chemicals.

  • Success Stories
    • Farmers 1 - fruit flies 0
      Farmers around the world are united in their loathing of fruit flies. A new warning system developed by an EU-funded project to alert them of imminent infestation could save struggling farmers both time and money – and cut down on pesticide use. Two companies are preparing to commercialise the results.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • At the threshold of personalised cancer treatment
      New tumour profiling methods developed by EU-funded researchers aim to help doctors adjust treatments for colorectal cancer to the specific needs of an individual patient. The methods are currently at the trial stage and could be in use in clinics within three years.

  • Success Stories
    • Talking Plants
      Plants communicate using their own language, made up of electrical signals, they send messages to other plants and to the environment. In Florence, a European research project is analysing this electrical activity.

    • Stepping up the fight against food contamination
      They may sound exotic or obscure to most of us, but they are an integral part of our everyday lives, whether we know about them or not. Known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), they are chemical compounds which are used in a wide variety of industrial products, from food and drink packaging to fire-fighting foams, to dirt- or water-proofing treatments for carpets or clothing. The drawback is that these chemicals have now spread throughout the environment.

Monday, 28 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Research to help reduce the risk of aircraft accidents
      Automation is supposed to relieve an aircraft pilot's workload and reduce errors. The reality can unfortunately be very different sometimes. When the pilot and the aircraft do not interact as foreseen, automation technology can be the cause of disturbing instability, which has resulted in catastrophic failures. Tools and techniques developed by the EU-funded ARISTOTEL project are already being used by industry, and should reduce the risk of such accidents.

Week 30

Friday, 25 July 2014

  • Events
    • Sustainable Places 2014 - 1-3 October 2014, Nice, France

      Sustainable Places 2014 builds on the successful “ICT for Sustainable Places” conference held in Nice in September 2013. It will focus on energy efficiency at building, district and city levels. The event will be composed of: - the 2nd EC DG CONNECT workshop on eeBuilding Key Performance Indicators - the EuropIA.14 colloquia on Architecture and City Design - presentations & workshops on innovative business models, technologies, modeling and monitoring for sustainable buildings, districts and cities.

    • Utilising academic research in policymaking: Horizon Scanning, trend analysis & policy effectiveness - 25 November 2014, London, UK

      This timely seminar will focus on ways in which Government can utilise academic research and respond to developments in science and technology for effective, long-term policy development. It follows the Commons Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into Government Horizon Scanning, looking at possible improvements in Government's responses on regulation, funding and skills policy in the face of emerging scientific and technological breakthroughs such as graphene, 3D printing and wider advances in renewable energy, transportation systems and telecommunications.

  • Research Headlines
    • Defining biomarkers to spot bladder cancer
      The European FP7 project DeCanbio brought together a consortium of clinicians and researchers in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics to identify and validate biomarkers that hint at a recurring bladder cancer. The Centre de Recherche de la Santé (CRP-Santé) joined forces with researchers and clinicians from France, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, and Germany to develop a simple test to spot this.

  • Success Stories
    • Establishing a systems medicine approach
      Imagine you are ill and see the doctor. After a brief examination and blood analysis, you receive an efficient, personalised treatment that is adjusted to both your personal physiological makeup and your lifestyle. What sounds like science fiction today could soon come closer to reality with the help of the FP7 project CASyM, funded by the European Union.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • How to protect Europe's seas
      Increasing pressures on Europe's marine and coastal areas, particularly around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, highlight the need for these areas to become more resilient to human activities and natural change. There is a large scientific research effort already underway to identify some of the environmental baselines, but the challenge now lies in turning that knowledge into effective decision-making.

  • Success Stories
    • Multi-physics-the great unknown
      A large number of engineering applications involve granular material or a particulate phase in combination with a gaseous or liquid phase. Applications for this kind of materials mix can be found in diverse domains such as the pharmaceutical industry, the food and processing industry, energy production or systems biology. Everyday products such as coffee, corn flakes, nuts or fertilizer all depend on this field of knowledge known as multi-physics.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • A fourth generation laser that is pushing research boundaries
      The scientific community has expressed an increased need for radiation sources capable of producing ultrashort pulses, with extreme brightness and coherence. In fact, this according to experts is where the future lies in terms of new materials characterisation, life science applications, drug development and many other applications.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Building a surveillance system for food chemicals
      Mounting consumer concerns about food safety in recent years have raised questions about what we eat and drink. European authorities have some basic tools for risk assessment and risk management of food chemicals, but data is patchy and limited. The European Union (EU)-funded project FACET helped design a software tool that provides consumers with the best possible scientific data about the food supply.

  • Success Stories
    • Peering into nano-objects-in 3D
      These days, we rely increasingly on the most microscopic of mechanisms, machines and modules. Yet until recently it hasn't been possible to take a close look non-destructively without using large-scale research equipment. A new affordable scanner designed by EU researchers gives a 3D view inside nano-objects, and so will advance materials research.

Week 29

Friday, 18 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Tracking the history of hepatitis C to help tackle epidemics
      Gkikas Magiorkinis, a clinical research fellow from the Department of Zoology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, has traced history at a microscopic level. By combining epidemiological and molecular data, he has shown how hepatitis C spreads in a population, underlining early diagnosis as a key to preventing the spread of epidemics.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Roadmap for smarter, greener manufacturing machines
      The EU-funded NEXT project brought together manufacturers and machine-tool developers to develop a new, modern approach to production machinery. The project delivered new process automation concepts and machine designs for faster, greener manufacturing, allowing production lines to be more easily adapted to changing demand.

  • Success Stories
    • Fish of the future
      One out of every two fish which we eat has not been caught in the sea but raised on a farm. Can aquaculture make fish tastier and more environmentally friendly? An experimental fish farming facility near Brest in France is taking part in a European project to connect aquaculture research centres across the EU.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Synthetic rubber repairs itself
      A new synthetic rubber developed by EU-unded researchers repairs itself. That means longer-lasting components, plus reduced maintenance costs and waste. The rubber will initially be used for reducing rail and traffic noise, with many more applications to follow.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Monday, 14 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Working towards greener engines
      The global car industry faces a big challenge to develop engines that are both efficient and environmentally friendly. But a family-owned Austrian company is hoping to find an answer through research into new technologies like hydrogen fuel cells and nanocomposites.

  • Success Stories
    • Algae and Olives
      We are only aware of about 10% of our brain activity, so scientists at a lab in Barcelona are working to increase that percentage. They hope to enable us to perform better in a world which is increasingly overwhelmed by data.

Week 28

Friday, 11 July 2014

  • Research Headlines
    • Pioneering nanotech approach to help people hear
      Around 50 million EU citizens are deaf or hard of hearing. The EU-funded NANOEAR project has built up knowledge and processes that could improve their ability to hear. The results include a novel nanoparticle-based system with the potential to restore hearing, repair tissue and increase performance of cochlear implants. A nano-hearing implant could be available within 10 years.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


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