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Science updates

Earth observation data is used to monitor agriculture worldwide
©Earth observation data is used to monitor agriculture worldwide
Aug 09 2018

From 17 to 19 April 2018 the JRC hosted the GEOGLAM – CEOS Workshop on Data and Systems Requirements for Operational Agricultural Monitoring, co-organised with DG GROW, GEOGLAM1 and EOFSAC2.

The objective of the workshop was to develop a holistic characterisation of requirements for agricultural monitoring, from data needs to infrastructure and information services, in the GEOGLAM context.

Pastures in large parts of northern Europe are under serious pressure from dry and hot weather conditions.
©Countrypixel –
Aug 09 2018

The JRC has prepared an update on pasture conditions in Europe, with a particular focus on regions in central and northern EU countries that have experienced exceptionally dry conditions.

The analysis is based on satellite imagery using observations up to 31 July 2018, and compares the results for 2018 with those of the past, since 1999 (the first year of the observations).

ASAP hotspot assessment of 06.08.2018
Aug 06 2018

The July edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) global overview assessment shows evidence of a drop in cereal production in several countries in the Middle East and Central Asia due to dry conditions.

The harvest in Southern Africa was completed in July. This region also experienced a mixed crop season, with production problems mainly caused by a prolonged early season dry spell. A special alert provides full details.

The EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe.
©damedias –
Aug 03 2018

A new European Commission report shows that EU Member States have made considerable efforts to address pressures on the marine environment. Despite this, the measures reported in 2016 are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020.

In the report and its annex the Commission makes a number of general and specific recommendations to Member States, guiding them on next steps.

Young corn
©smereka -
Aug 03 2018

JRC scientists propose most suitable analytical approaches that can serve as reference in the quantification of genetically modified food and feed ingredients and will impact harmonisation in official food control.

According to European legislation, the content of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a food or feed product has to be expressed as a relative quantity linked to the DNA of the ingredient (biological species).

For instance: GM maize is quantified relative to the total maize content of a product.

Farmers in large parts of Europe are facing exceptionally warm and dry conditions this year
©Isnurnfoto –
Aug 03 2018

The European Commission is supporting European farmers in the face of the current extreme drought situations by enabling higher advanced payments and granting more flexibility for farmers to use land that would normally not be used for production, in order to feed their animals, in addition to support under the existing Common Agricultural Policy legislation.

DNA sequencing technologies in the fight against antimicrobial resistance
©Kagenmi -
Aug 01 2018

Following a brainstorming workshop organised by the JRC in 2017, experts compiled the challenges related to a benchmark strategy for bioinformatics pipelines in the identification of antimicrobial resistance determinants. A focus was placed on the implementation of next-generation sequencing technologies to monitor the rise and spread of antimicrobial resistance.

The phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to the ability of microorganisms to resist antimicrobial treatments, such as modern antibiotics.

Emission mitigation policies in the agricultural sector need to be carefully designed to ensure global food security
©C. Schüßler -
Aug 01 2018

Climate change can directly exacerbate food insecurity due to crop production-related impacts of, for example, warmer and drier conditions. Efforts to mitigate climate change through comprehensive, economy-wide greenhouse gas emission mitigation policies, however, may also negatively affect food security, due to indirect impacts on prices and supplies of key agricultural commodities.

Nanoconjugate of gold nanoparticle with single-chain anti-TIM-3 antibody used for the detection of malignant leukeamia cells.
Jul 31 2018

JRC scientists, in close collaboration with several European research organisations, have developed highly specific gold nanoparticles targeting malignant blood cancer cells. Such targeted nanocarriers enable the delivery of otherwise toxic drugs into the leukaemia cells and they can also serve a better diagnosis and treatment of leukemia.

Human iPSC-derived neuronal cells (stained for β-III-Tubulin) after 21 days of differentiation
©EU, 2018
Jul 27 2018

JRC scientists – in close collaboration with experts from international organisations - develop, evaluate and promote non-animal testing strategies based on in vitro methods to improve the regulatory assessment of chemicals which may cause developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) effects.

Currently there is only very limited information on potential developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) effects of the many thousands of chemicals that we come into contact with in our daily lives.


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