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Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom recently discovered a novel material that could be used by sophisticated technologies to fight global warming. The study was funded in part by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million, awarded to Professor Martin Schröder for the COORDSPACE ('Chemistry of coordination space: extraction, storage, activation and catalysis') project, under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The results, recently presented in the journal Nature Chemistry, demonstrate that this material, called NOTT-300, could substitute for carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption.
Published: 25 October 2012
Investigating the genetic footprint that drug resistance causes in HIV, researchers in Europe have discovered that compensatory polymorphisms enable resistant viruses to survive. Presented in the journal Retrovirology, the study was supported in part by three EU-funded projects: VIROLAB, EURESIST and CHAIN. Both the VIROLAB ('A virtual laboratory for decision support in viral diseases treatment') and EURESIST ('Integration of viral genomics with clinical data to predict response to anti-HIV treatment') projects were funded under the 'Information society technologies' (IST) Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to the tune of EUR 3.3 million and EUR 2.1 million, respectively. CHAIN ('Collaborative HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance network') has received almost EUR 10 million under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 24 October 2012
On the last Friday of September people gathered across 800 venues in 320 cities located in 32 European countries to take part in European Researchers' Night - a free, day-long research festival dedicated to popular science and fun learning that the whole family could attend. On hand to open the Sea2Sky Researchers' Night in Galway, Ireland was Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, who applauded the interest taken by the public, especially the young, in the event.
Published: 15 October 2012
Researchers funded in part by the EU have discovered that five genes play a key role in determining human facial shapes. Presented in the journal PLoS Genetics, the genome-wide association study on facial phenotype can help scientists identify more genes for other complex human phenotypes, including height. The research can help advance our understanding of the complex molecular interactions governing normal and pathological differences in facial shape (when combined with sophisticated three-dimensional imaging techniques).
Published: 10 October 2012
Can vitamin C and beta-carotene help protect people from dementia? New research from Germany suggests they can. University of Ulm scientists investigated the effect of antioxidants on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Presented in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the results indicate that it is possible to influence the pathogenesis of this neurological disorder through the use of dietary antioxidants or even a change in diet. The study was funded in part by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 1 October 2012
Pollination by insects, such as bees and hover flies, is what helps 66 % of the world's crops used for human production grow and is what supports most wild plant species. But as pressures continue, an international team of researchers feels the future does not bode well for this ecosystem. A case in point is how farmers in Sichuan, China are now pollinating apple flowers with pollination sticks, which are made of chicken feathers and cigarette filter. This comes after 3 000 years of sustainable agriculture in the area. But China is not alone; regions around the world including Europe are increasingly seeing the threat to the ecosystem. The study was funded in part by the STEP ('Status and trends of European pollinators') project, which has received almost EUR 3.5 million under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 28 September 2012
One third of the world's population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) and despite valiant efforts to combat it, TB continues to pose a serious threat to individuals and public health around the world. In recent years the fight got harder as new strains of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are creating a serious new threat. New research may have the answer to fighting this new strain of TB, but more research is needed to optimise the recommended treatment. The study was funded in part by the TB PAN-NET ('Pan-European network for the study and clinical management of drug resistant tuberculosis') project, which has received almost EUR 11 million under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 26 September 2012
Conservation practice, backed with strong data and recommendations, is high on the EU agenda. One of the most important ways to identify changes in the environment and in natural populations is to focus on biodiversity and environmental monitoring. The data generated from monitoring helps decision makers and researchers design and assess biodiversity policies, conservation management, land use decisions and environmental protection. The SCALES ('Securing the conservation of biodiversity across administrative levels and spatial, temporal, and ecological scales') project has performed an evaluation that focused on providing scientific and policy research required to guide scale-dependent management actions. SCALES has received almost EUR 7 million under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 25 September 2012
An international team of astronomers has found evidence that a planet was destroyed by its ageing star. Led by Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in the United States, the team showed that the missing planet was 'consumed' as the star expanded into a 'red giant', what experts refer to as the advanced age of stars. Presented in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the study was funded in part by the PLANES ('Unfolding the evolution of planetary systems') project, which has received a Marie Curie Action Reintegration grant worth EUR 100 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Published: 20 September 2012
Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom have uncovered the mystery behind the rapid sea level rise in the past by using climate and ice sheet models. Funded in part by a Marie Curie Action grant under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the results showed that the process, called 'saddle collapse', generated two rapid sea level rise events: the Meltwater pulse 1a (MWP1a), some 14 600 years ago, and the '8 200 year' events. The results were published in the journal Nature.
Published: 19 September 2012