Research & Innovation Information Centre
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Scientists are delving into the core machinery of cellular life, in search of the mechanisms driving bacterial evolution and adaptation. Their findings promise biosynthetic factories able to convert biomass into fuels and valuable chemicals.
Published: 7 April 2017
EU-funded researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of bioengineering microbial strains in a controlled manner, a fundamental scientific breakthrough that has significant potential for drug development and biotechnology. The project was also instrumental in establishing a new scientific discipline - xenobiology.
Published: 2 February 2017
Drugs derived from biological sources play a major role in modern healthcare, but producing them cost-effectively to keep up with rising demand is a major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. EU-funded researchers are developing more efficient biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes that should expand patients' access to these highly effective therapies.
Published: 14 December 2016
For sufferers of primary immune deficiencies, every infection contracted could lead to a serious or debilitating illness. EU scientists have their sights set on a cure for the most severe forms of the disease's 200 variations, and have already had very positive results in clinical trials. The findings could also help treat other conditions.
Published: 28 November 2016
An ERC-funded project has significantly increased understanding of the crucial role that microorganisms in the gut play in maintaining health. The findings have since led to a patent, as well as a follow-on project that could one day steer the way to new targeted treatments for diseases, including cancer.
Published: 18 November 2016
For the first time ever, two ERC grantees, Prof. Luca G. Guidotti and Dr Matteo Iannacone, have observed in vivo how specific white blood cells, so-called cytotoxic T lymphocytes, identify, target and attack liver cells that are infected with the hepatitis B virus. To witness these immune cells in action in real time, the two scientists developed advanced, dynamic imaging techniques. An estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B worldwide.
Published: 28 July 2015
Cellular regeneration allows wound healing in humans but in other vertebrates such as salamanders, it goes a step further: they can regenerate their limbs in their full complexity of bones, nerves, muscle and skin and can do it over and over again. Prof. Elly Tanaka studies these amazing capacities and, mirroring the process, has successfully grown a piece of mouse spinal cord in vitro.
Published: 17 June 2015
EU-funded researchers have developed a DNA test to help determine the correct dose of anticoagulant medication for people at risk of thrombosis, a blood-clotting condition that affects millions worldwide. Their work is advancing the emerging field of pharmacogenetics that aims to provide patients with personalised and more effective treatment based on their genetic profile.
Published: 29 April 2015
Mycotoxins - produced by fungi - contaminate about 25% of food crops worldwide, according to the latest estimates. Detecting contamination quickly and reliably is essential for food safety, as mycotoxins could be transferred to bread, for instance, making it unsafe to eat. The MYCOHUNT project developed a system that can sniff out mycotoxins almost immediately. It is expected to be on the market within two years.
Published: 27 March 2015
Sugar-based biomolecules such as glycoproteins contribute to many cellular processes and interactions on which our health depends. They are also involved in a variety of diseases and could offer leads for new medical breakthroughs - if they could be analysed quickly and accurately on a large scale. EU-funded researchers have found a way.
Published: 2 February 2015