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Urban noise may be a nuisance for residents, but it can also provide important information about the city and its needs. A unique experiment in the Spanish city of Santander is trying to determine how this data can be used to improve the lives of citizens. It involves engineers and scientists from a European research project.
Published: 19 February 2015
Much as we try to evade it, age catches us all. But are there ways to reverse or slow down the ageing process at a cellular level? An international project examining the biological changes that occur inside our bodies looked at the role of stem cells in organs and tissues, which could lead to a radical new understanding of ageing.
Published: 26 November 2014
In today's rapidly changing economy, workers need to upgrade their skills constantly. Such continuous lifelong learning is essential to ensure Europeans have the complex problem-solving skills needed to remain employable and for companies to remain competitive. Backed by some of Europe's top universities, an EU-funded project has launched a free online course to teach these skills. Registration for the first course, which starts on 8 October 2014, is underway.
Published: 19 November 2014
How reliable is biometric security? Computers recognize us by our faces, voices and fingerprints, but can we trick them by pretending to be someone else? In this edition of Futuris Denis Loctier finds out just how easily this can be done.
Published: 28 August 2014
Although fossil oils are dwindling, they are still our main energy source and continue to dominate the global chemical industry. However, the European Union (EU)-funded research project ICON helped breed crops to produce high-value plant oils that are expected to break the chemical sector's dependence on petroleum.
Published: 1 July 2014
In a time of climate change, when fuel resources are under pressure and lands face potential erosion risks, humble grass seems an unlikely saviour. The European research project OPTIMA is helping cultivate high-yielding perennial grasses that could address these possible challenges, offering a number of valuable environmental and economic benefits.
Published: 11 June 2014
High-profile food scares, such as the outbreaks of mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease and dioxin contamination episodes in recent years, have put a spotlight on a growing concern for food safety: the need to ensure that animal feed an expanding global trade is free from contamination. The European Union (EU)-funded project QSAFFE is working on faster and better ways of checking for contaminated feed.
Published: 27 May 2014
The Kyoto Protocol was one of the first major international treaties that focused on human caused climate change. Signed in 1997 by 192 countries, it came into effect in 2005 with a set of legal requirements for industrialised nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. One aspect of the Protocol is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which enables developed nations to reach their emissions targets by sponsoring emissions-reducing projects in the CDM countries - namely China, India, Brazil and most of Africa.
Published: 12 May 2014
The benefits of producing biofuel from perennial grasses make them a very attractive alternative source of energy. An EU-funded project is working to create improved varieties and identify the optimal environments for production of different grass species to make perennial grasses even more sought after.
Published: 22 January 2014
Urbanisation is a significant and growing worldwide trend which raises increasingly important environmental issues for policymakers.
Published: 21 January 2014