The European Commission has today released IUCLID 5 as part of its preparation for REACH and the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is a key software application essential for chemical industry to comply with the new legislation, which entered into force on 1 June 2007. The freely downloadable tool will assist chemical companies globally in fulfilling their obligation to submit data to the Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation from 1 June 2008.
Complementing traditional approaches to medical intelligence, the Joint Research Centre has developed a new web-based disease surveillance system called MediSys that can provide health authorities with earlier identification of potential health threats, their verification, assessment and investigation in order to recommend public health control measures.
The allocation of €1.4 billion to projects in nanosciences and -technology makes the EU the world's biggest contributor in this field. The JRC, member of the Commission's interservice group on nanosciences, is currently carrying out a study on the present and future potential of nanotechnology, thus helping to identify opportunities and risks for future developments in the EU.
Today, November 5th, the third conference of the European Partnership for Alternatives Approaches to animal testing (EPAA) takes place in Brussels. The conference, opened by Commissioner Poto nik and bringing together representatives from the European Commission and several companies taking part in the EPAA partnership, presents the progress in the action programme achieved in 2007 and represents an important forum to discuss the main drivers for regulatory acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing, the uptake of accepted methods, the global dimension of regulatory acceptance as well as to exchange views and way forward.
European and American researchers think that radioactive antibodies could be used to treat HIV patients. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, USA, and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, in Karlsruhe, Germany, have combined antibodies with radioactive payloads that selectively target and destroy HIV infected cells. The test results are encouraging. They support the hypothesis that radioactive antibodies (Bi-213) can eliminate the immunodeficiency virus HIV from a patient's body. The new HIV treatment will soon be tested in a clinical study conducted on HIV infected patients.
A new report by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) shows that urgent guidelines are needed for the counselling of patients that opt to screen their embryos created by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for serious genetic disorders, and there is a need for specific quality assurance schemes.
The use of a chemical marker that had been proposed by the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) for the reliable identification of animal by-products has become a compulsory standard in Europe. According to a Commission regulation published in December, glyceroltriheptanoate (GTH) has to be used as marker for those animal by-products that must not be used in animal nutrition.
On 13 February, the European Commission decided to require compulsory certification for the imports of Chinese rice products that could contain the unauthorised GMO Bt63. The decision has been taken after rice products -originating in, or consigned from, China and containing the unauthorised genetically modified rice “Bt 63”- were discovered in the EU market between 2006 and 2007.