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Over 99% of the microscopic inhabitants of the world's seas have still not been scientifically studied, even though many of them might be useful to treat cancer and other human diseases. In fact, there are so many unexplored species that it is hard to even estimate how much we still do not know about them.
Published: 7 January 2015
In the hunt for sustainable solutions to problems arising when humans interact with the nature around them, having the local community on board is a must. The EU-funded COMET-LA project is studying environmental challenges in local communities in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina to understand and come up with solutions that could be applied anywhere.
Published: 23 December 2014
EU-funded researchers have assessed the impact of climate and land-use change on deforestation in the Amazon and put forward policy recommendations designed to ensure the long term sustainability of this vast ecosystem.
Published: 19 December 2014
Aquaculture holds the promise of reducing the need to catch wild fish. Global demand for fish is increasing, putting many species in danger from overfishing. Fish farming, or aquaculture, is taking some of the pressure off these stocks - half of the fish consumed globally is now produced at fish farms.
Published: 15 December 2014
Just like humans, plants have an internal 24-hour clock known as the circadian rhythm. This innate timer helps them regulate their different metabolic processes by synchronising them with the Earth's day and night cycle. It is also of the utmost importance for healthy plant growth, the European Union (EU)-funded project TiMet (or 'Linking the clock to metabolism') has now shown.
Published: 28 November 2014
Seaweed is an important but under-exploited resource for food and feed ingredients, biochemicals and the production of biofuels. But it has been difficult to harvest efficiently on a large scale. Until now. The EU-funded AT~SEA project has developed advanced textiles that give high yields from floating seaweed farms and allow easy, mechanised cultivation.
Published: 26 November 2014
How much can we really predict about the impact of climate change on groups of animals, plants, and natural habitats? The EU-funded Ecochange project turned to fossil records to investigate how species respond to even minor changes. Scientists can use this research to design ways to protect biodiversity from climate change.
Published: 14 November 2014
Forest-based industries have long been a significant part of the European economy, converting wood into pulp, paper, cardboard, energy and a range of other wood-derived products. However, the side-streams of these industries contain a potential treasure-trove of valuable materials which have not been fully exploited so far. These materials include precious compounds known to have anti-cancer properties, which have in effect been discarded as waste.
Published: 31 October 2014
Although home to 18% of the global population-around 1.15 billion people-India only has around 4% of the world's fresh water resources. With climate change and urbanisation increasing the pressure on a scarce resource, an EU-funded project's improvement of natural water treatment systems couldn't come at a better time.
Published: 29 September 2014
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.
Published: 29 July 2014