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Science updates

Citizen science is the non-professional involvement of volunteers in the scientific process. It can be a powerful tool for environmental policy.
Citizen science is the non-professional involvement of volunteers in the scientific process. It can be a powerful tool for environmental policy.
Dec 18 2018

Citizen science is the non-professional involvement of volunteers in the scientific process, whether in the data collection phase or in other phases of the research.

It can be a powerful tool for environmental management that has the potential to inform an increasingly complex environmental policy landscape and to meet the growing demands from society for more participatory decision-making.

Computational methods for nanomaterials
Computational methods for nanomaterials
Dec 18 2018

JRC scientists have published a series of papers assessing the availability and applicability of computational models in the safety assessment of nanomaterials, with a view to promoting their further development and use in regulatory decision making.

Vineyards in Europe have almost triple the average soil copper concentration
Dec 18 2018

A recent JRC article that maps copper (Cu) concentration in European Union topsoils finds that vineyards, olive groves and orchards have the highest concentration levels of all land use categories.

The study concludes and land use and management are the major cause of changes in soil Cu concentrations, and highlights the need for more sustainable, environmentally aware and soil friendly land management practices in order to limit the environmental and health risk associated with high copper concentrations in vineyards.

Essential Biodiversity Variables can help assess and report on changes in biodiversity
Dec 18 2018

Global biodiversity - the variety of plant and animal life on Earth - is a hot topic lately. As we face into the sixth mass extinction in Earth's history, scientists and concerned members of the public look for ways to help preserve and enhance biodiversity, in order to maintain human well-being and a healthy planet.

To efficiently manage global biodiversity, we need some way of recording and measuring biodiversity and how it is changing.

Overview of EU National Legislation on Genomics
Dec 17 2018

JRC scientists compiled information on current legislation of EU Member States, as well as of Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, applying to genomics technologies, and draw the attention to some fragmentation and heterogeneity in addressing genomics in policy.

With the advent of fast, high efficiency and low cost DNA sequencing techniques, the ability to study the human genome by reading the sequence of its DNA is growing exponentially, with a resulting significant impact on many fields of scientific research.

In the immediate aftermath of UNFCCC COP24, JRC scientists co-authored new research that sheds light on the potential of the agricultural sector in improving global mitigation efforts.
Dec 17 2018

The Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP24), which ended last week, finalised the rules for implementing the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep the increase in global temperatures well below 2oC above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

Frost tolerance of winter cereals in Europe is weaker than usual but expected to improve in the coming days.
Dec 17 2018

According to the December issue of the JRC MARS Crop monitoring in Europe Bulletin, which was published today, thermal conditions have been much milder than usual.

As a result, the building up of frost tolerance (hardening) of winter wheat started late and seems to be weaker than usual, albeit more advanced than around this time last year, especially in eastern parts of Europe.

Dec 16 2018

Lithium-ion battery costs have the potential to rapidly decrease in the next two decades, mainly due to the mass production required to meet the demand from the expected huge increase in the number of electric vehicles. This is the main conclusion of a new JRC science-for-policy report.

Commission launches a new tool to report cancer burden statistics and trends across Europe
Dec 14 2018

Scientists from the JRC and WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released the latest 2018 estimates on the burden of cancer in Europe. Cancer incidence and mortality indicators have been computed for 40 European countries on 34 types of cancer as well as for all cancer sites combined. These estimates are the joint outcome of a collaborative exercise led by IARC, in collaboration with JRC, the European Network of Cancer Registries and the International Association of Cancer Registries.

Hydrophobicity of nanoparticles
Dec 14 2018

JRC scientists developed a quantitative method for measuring the surface energy and hydrophobicity of nanomaterials, as the knowledge about hydrophobicity is important when assessing potential risks of chemicals.

Hydrophobicity is an important parameter to determine for the risk assessment of chemicals and in particular of nanomaterials.

Why?

Because hydrophobicity plays a critical role in various biological processes such as:

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