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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
Around one quarter of all prescribed pharmaceuticals in the developed world are derived from plants, including well-known drugs such as morphine and codeine. Harvesting plants to derive such medicines can be slow, wasteful and very expensive, yet often no synthetic alternative exists.
Published: 26 May 2014
It is only two centuries since the concept of selective breeding was applied scientifically to farm animals, helping produce cows, sheep and goats with traits such as lean muscles, disease resistance and efficient reproduction.
Published: 16 May 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
Published: 12 May 2014
Many children dream of becoming an astronaut, yet only a few ever see that dream realised. That may soon change, thanks to the European Union (EU)-funded project, Future High-Altitude High-Speed Transport 20XX (FAST20XX). Run by a European consortium, which was led by the European Space Agency (ESA), the project investigated and developed technologies to conquer the grey zone between aeronautics and space in Europe.
Published: 2 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
Reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is a key priority facing the world today as it attempts to mitigate the scale and effects of climate change. EUROCHAR, a European research project, is developing a technique which not only promises to help tackle this priority, but also offers additional benefits in the form of environmentally-friendly energy production and enhanced soil fertility.
Published: 4 April 2014
Peering into the very depths of the universe gives scientists a better understanding of its origins. Since the speed of light is finite, the objects we are seeing are from the distant past. A recently completed EU-funded project developed not only a new means of measuring these cosmic distances, but also discovered galaxies at the point of their creation.
Published: 2 April 2014
The phenomenon of collisions in the history of our solar system is very fundamental, having played the major role in forming the planets we observe today. Asteroids and comets may have contributed to the delivery of water and organic materials to the early Earth necessary for the development of life, but later impacts probably played a role in mass extinctions and they currently pose a small but significant threat to the future of our civilization. Collisions of objects with the Earth have taken place frequently over geological history and it is an undeniable fact that major collisions of asteroids and comets with the Earth will continue to occur at irregular, unpredictable intervals in the future.
Published: 24 February 2014