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Published: 21 January 2015
Access to biological resources such as cells and tissue samples is the lifeblood of biomedical research. Biobanks and biomolecular resource centres collect, store and distribute this material, the related data and powerful analytical tools, but none of them can single-handedly meet the growing, diverse needs of Europe's research community. EU funding has enabled major repositories to link up and share these resources.
Published: 22 September 2014
Researchers are embarking on an ambitious four-year project to explore some of the deepest, coldest and hottest places on the planet. The aim is to collect and screen samples of mud and sediment from huge, previously untapped, oceanic trenches, more than 8,000 metres deep.
Published: 1 July 2014
Live organisms such as bacteria and yeast - known as probiotics - have traditionally been added to dairy foods for an extra health boost, but are now making their way to table olives. EU-funded researchers developing this new 'superfood' say it could help Southern Europe's olive industry become more competitive. Two patents have been registered - in Greece and Spain - for the technology, opening up the way for application on an industrial scale.
Published: 12 May 2014
EU-funded researchers have developed a new potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, based on adult stem cells from body fat, or adipose tissue. The results of initial clinical trials are encouraging, and with a large number of patients all over the world, the benefits could be staggering.
Published: 11 April 2014
Sponges seem an unlikely source for innovation, yet they may hold the key to new nanotechnologies, innovative optical devices and new ways of regrowing human bone and preventing bone disease. Difficult to believe? Not for Werner E.G. Müller. In the BIOSILICA project, he and his team are developing ways to adapt the complex processes that natural glassy sponges use to build their wondrous biosilica structures for use in biodegradable implants that would facilitate bone healing after surgery or fractures.
Published: 22 August 2013
Survival of the fittest, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, is a slow biological process that takes place in a species over many generations. But Spanish researcher Marta López Darias and colleagues had a different idea. Her EU-funded research contributes to the growing body of evidence pointing to "rapid evolution in action".
Published: 27 March 2013
Published: 21 March 2013
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) & cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) are parasitic diseases transmitted to humans by the bite of sand flies. In VL, the parasite migrates to the internal organs such as liver, spleen and bone marrow. Signs and symptoms include fever, weight loss, mucosal ulcers, fatigue, anaemia and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen. VL if left untreated will almost always result in the death of the host. Meanwhile, CL is the most common form of leishmaniasis. It is a skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite that is also transmitted by sand fly bites and can cause facial disfigurement.
Published: 22 February 2013
The bioeconomy is growing at an unprecedented rate, and the demand for new services and more efficient tools to boost business in this industry is ever increasing. Because of this growth, the need for management of biological information is proving to be vital in keeping up with demand and new concepts. This is evident with the latest figures, which reveal that the global market for bioinformatics is expected to reach more than EUR 4.5 billion next year. In order to home in on this demand, Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, has devised a concept aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Its focus is on developing new business from the management of biological information.
Published: 23 January 2013