We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A new JRC report provides key information for policy makers and business managers on how to assess the environmental impacts of products and services through more consistent and better quality life cycle assessments.
A new map developed by the JRC provides a more accurate picture of how population is distributed in the EU. With a resolution of 100 x 100 metres, the map allows visual, quantitative and qualitative comparisons between different territories, cities and regions. This is thanks to the combination of statistical population data reported at commune level with several detailed cartographic datasets on the location of residential areas.
Examples and strategies for a successful choice and combination of agricultural measures to implement the 2000 Water Framework Directive (WFD) – which commits EU Member States to achieving good status of all water bodies by 2015 – are provided in the JRC's recently published report 'River Basin Network on Water Framework Directive and Agriculture'. Within the framework of the WFD's Common Implementation Strategy, the Pilot Rivers Basins network, coordinated by the JRC, was set up to provide feedback on practical implementation issues.
Today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago, Ekaterina Dadachova of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York gave a topical lecture on "Novel approaches to the therapy of infectious diseases", detailing the results of a joint project with scientists at the JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) on the use of alpha-immunotherapy as a new option for the treatment of HIV infections.
The JRC hosts a symposium on soil biodiversity today, 15 February, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago. The session presented an overview of current understanding in the field and attempt to explain the various pressures "life in our soils" is currently under, with an analysis of recent developments that have enhanced our understanding of this crucial, yet unknown ecosystem. The challenges faced by the research community in its support for the sustainable use of this critical, non-renewable natural resource will also be addressed.
Today, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago, JRC Director-General Roland Schenkel gave a presentation as part of a symposium entitled "Keeping the Lights on: The revival of Nuclear Energy".
Today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago, the JRC organised a scientific symposium on Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a service provided by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) clinics to parents who want to avoid passing on genetic diseases to their children.
PGD entails carrying out genetic tests on embryos in a laboratory to identify those that have a healthy version of a given gene. These embryos can then be safely implanted in a mother's womb. Not be confused with the more far-reaching and separate issue of actual genetic engineering with a view to creating 'designer babies', PGD enables fertilisation clinics to select embryos for implantation so that at-risk families can avoid passing on genetic disease to their children and to subsequent generations. Nevertheless, many questions continue to surround the technique.
The JRC-organised symposium on PDF featured Dr Tarek El Toukhy from St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, Susannah Baruch from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and the JRC's own Dolores Ibarreta from the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville. It was moderated by Karen Sermon from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.
A lively debate with the audience followed the session.
EU legislation requires that the Community establish high quality and safety standards for the use of blood, organs and other substances of human origin. A JRC report in late 2007 showed that guidelines were urgently needed on the counselling of patients that opt to screen their embryos created by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for serious genetic disorders.
Adaptation measures include the rise of flood protections, reduction of the peak flows through water retention, reduction of vulnerability and relocation to safer areas.
The European Commission presented today a White Paper outlining actions needed to strengthen the Union's resilience in coping with a changing climate. Recent findings indicate that the impacts of climate change will be swifter and more severe than indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their 2007 report. Europe will not escape these effects and must therefore prepare to cope with them.
The JRC has published an interactive European map with information on breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for 35 countries. The map provides a Europe-wide snapshot to help the EU and Member States secure equal access to high quality care across the continent.