United Kingdom
Learning from new very low energy buildings
Learning from new very low energy buildings To tackle climate change, new buildings are required to consume as little energy as possible . That’s because, in Europe, buildings are responsible for about 40% of our energy consumption.
Urban agriculture is more than a hippy-style hobby
Urban agriculture is more than a hippy-style hobby Imagine living in an inner city and buying your vegetables and fruit just moments after they’ve been harvested. Imagine waking up to the rustic sound of a cock crowing.
Free ecosystem services for better crops
Free ecosystem services for better crops Ecosystem services are free, but often hidden. They include pollination and killing of crop pests by beneficial insects. Now, QuESSA , an EU-funded research project, due to be completed in 2017, will try and increase the visibility of such services.
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners Imagine if oil spills could be completely cleaned up soon after a marine accident. And this could be made possible thanks to none other than warrior microorganisms who attacked and completely broke down the oil.
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease Between 30 and 40 million people in Europe suffer from rare diseases —many of them children. As most of these diseases have genetic origins, gene therapy is a major hope for their future cure .
Secrets of youth, based on prevention
Secrets of youth, based on prevention We age in two ways. There is the ageing we count by clock and calendar. And then there is biological ageing. The latter is written into our genes. But, it is also influenced by our lifestyle and history.
Ana Valdes – Twins studies to identify the molecular cause of ageing
Ana Valdes – Twins studies to identify the molecular cause of ageing What makes us age biologically? We have always been intrigued by this question. Yet, it remains a fundamental research challenge.  Now, the EU-funded project, EurHEALTHAgeing , aims to draw together studies of early development with those on longevity and ageing.
Airbags for ships save lives, environment and cargo
Airbags for ships save lives, environment and cargo When a ship runs aground, or two vessels crash into each other, the damaged one may lose its stability, or worse, sink. But imagine if after a ship accident, balloons popped up like car airbags to keep the disabled vessel upright and afloat .
Picking the right virus candidate for gene therapy
Picking the right virus candidate for gene therapy Viruses often get bad press. Likened to Trojan horses they are often associated with disease. But, i t is precisely because of their infectious nature that they can potentially be used as gene vectors - which are vehicles loaded with good copies of malfunctioning genes - and delivered to cells.
Healing bone defects using regenerative medicine
Healing bone defects using regenerative medicine Bone is one of the most frequently transplanted tissues. And the demand is rising. Transplants treat large defects like those caused by trauma, complicated fractures, tumour resection or osteoporosis. ...
Fighting resistance to antimalarial drug
Fighting resistance to antimalarial drug When it comes to the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance, it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.
Back Pain: New Tools for Prevention
Back Pain: New Tools for Prevention European researchers and clinicians are working hand in hand to unveil the mechanisms leading to back pain, likely the most widespread chronic pathology among humans .
Physical work, not the main cause of intervertebral disc degeneration
Physical work, not the main cause of intervertebral disc degeneration Even if you do not suffer from pain in the intervertebral discs in your lower back, it is a sure bet that you know someone who does. Yet, surprisingly little is known about what causes this disc degeneration .
Jill Urban – Genetic factors play a role in lower back pain
Jill Urban – Genetic factors play a role in lower back pain Lower back pain is a broad yet subtle subject. It has widely been associated with early degeneration of the discs of the human spine.
Mapping proteins in space and time within cells
Mapping proteins in space and time within cells The human genome and those of several other organisms have been mapped. But it is proteins that perform the majority of biological functions within every organism .
Johannes Kaiser - Estimating the impact of fires on the atmosphere
Johannes Kaiser - Estimating the impact of fires on the atmosphere Wherever fires occur, they strongly affect the air we breathe. They even affect the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale.
Peering down protein-DNA interactions to better understand how genes work
Peering down protein-DNA interactions to better understand how genes work Almost every one of our cells has an entire copy of our genome. But only differing subsets of genes are active and expressed in any given cell. Epigenetics is the study of how the activity of our genes is controlled and regulated .
The art of enrolling preterm babies in clinical trials
The art of enrolling preterm babies in clinical trials Around the world more and more babies are born preterm, according to a WHO report from 2012. Despite medical advances, very small preterm infants may suffer from various complications and diseases, or even die .
Parasite surveillance to support policy against drug resistance
Parasite surveillance to support policy against drug resistance Leishmaniasis is a tropical disease known in Europe because it affects dogs. It is caused by the Leishmania parasite carried by sandflies . However, several types of the parasite also affect humans in several regions in the world.
Pig farmers get smart
Pig farmers get smart Low-cost sensors and wireless communication technologies have enabled moves towards smart homes and smart cars. Using similar technologies, scientists involved in an EU-funded project called ALL-SMART-PIGS are now developing technologies that turn pigs’ farms into smart farms .
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