Publication date: 2010-02-12
This week's CORDIS Express brings news of a study that takes the pulse of the European
health care system. Other highlights include an EU-funded breakthrough research on age-associated diseases, a study uncovering links between brain regions and spirituality
and how genetics can factor into obesity. Finally and Briefly, we look at a study of dogs, cats, people and intelligence.
News - Top Stories
The EU is supporting a new investigation into the performance of health care systems
across its Member States. The EUR 3.99 million study will first be carried out in seven EU countries, with more expected to follow during the project's four-year lifespan.
The EUROHOPE ('European health care outcomes, performance and efficiency') project received EUR 3 million in funding under the 'Health' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework
Programme (FP7) and is being coordinated by the Centre for Health and Social Economics at Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
The physical process of ageing is one of the greatest mysteries of life and now a
partially EU-funded research team has thrown light for the first time on the process by identifying genetic variants that are associated with biological ageing in human
beings. The breakthrough research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, may have important implications for the understanding of age-associated diseases. The research
team, from the University of Leicester and King's College London in the UK, along with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, analysed more than 500,000 genetic
variations across the entire human genome to isolate the variants which are found near a gene called TERC (telomerase RNA component).
Around 7 in every 1000 morbidly obese people are missing a section of their DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) that contains around 30 genes, say the results of an EU-funded project published in the journal Nature. The authors of the study, from Imperial
College London (ICL) in the UK and 10 other European research centres, suggest that the missing DNA may have a dramatic effect on the weight of the affected people.
Previous research studies have already shown several genetic variations, mostly single mutations in DNA, which can change the function of a gene.
These articles have been taken from CORDIS News, a daily news service updated every weekday lunchtime. For more research and innovation headlines, go to the CORDIS News homepage.
Focus on Innovation
Hunger will drive people to eat foods they have never consumed before. This seems to be the
case for our ancestors who lived more than 2 million years ago, new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows. An international
team of scientists has discovered that feeding and dietary adaptations potentially played a pivotal role in the evolution of Earth's earliest humans. The findings are part
of the EVAN ('European virtual anthropology network') project, funded under the Marie Curie Actions - Human resources and mobility programme of the EU's Sixth Framework
Programme (FP6) to the tune of EUR 3.3 million.
Future of Research
European research ministers have made a commitment to increase investments in research and
development (R&D) and create a culture of trust in scientists. The ministers were gathered in the Spanish town of San Sebastián for an informal meeting of the
Competitiveness Council. The delegates also unanimously adopted the Donostia Declaration, which Spain describes as 'a document that will launch the concept of a responsive
and responsible science, capable of providing solutions in the short term'.
New research from Italy has shed light on how changes in the brain can alter spiritual and
religious attitudes. The scientists hope that their study, published in the journal Neuron, will ultimately lead to new treatments for certain personality disorders. For a
long time, the neural basis for spirituality seemed to defy investigation. However, recent advances in imaging and neuroscience have offered researchers a glimpse of the
spiritual side of the brain. For example, studies of religious people such as Catholic nuns and Buddhist monks who are experts in different types of meditation revealed
changes in a number of brain areas.
A six-day joint life science meeting on research results in space and gravitational
biology, physiology and experimental medicine, entitled 'Life in Space for Life on Earth', will be held in Trieste, Italy from 13 to 18 June 2010. The European Space Agency
(ESA), the International Society for Gravitational Physiology (ISGP), the Italian Society for Space Biomedicine and Biotechnology (ISSBB) and the European Low Gravity
Research Association (ELGRA) are sponsoring the event.
The Weinstein Conference 2010 on Cardiovascular Development will be held from 20 to 22 May
2010 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Weinstein Conference is an annual event for scientists investigating normal and abnormal development of the heart and vascular
system. This year's edition is hosted by the HEARTREPAIR project, which was funded by the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The event aims to foster a better understanding
of cardiovascular development by facilitating information sharing, promote collaborative work and facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission is issuing a call for proposals concerning the implementation of a
programme of support for the European audiovisual sector (MEDIA 2007).The objectives of the programme are to encourage exchanges and cooperation, in supporting the
networking of European training players, in particular higher educations institutions, training organisations and partners of the audiovisual sector, and to encourage the
mobility of students and trainers in Europe.
Hidritec is a Spanish company that specialises in water treatment and is proposing novel
techniques to carry out this activity. The company is proposing water treatment based on ozone, ultraviolet radiation and copper-silver ionisation, instead of chlorination.
Partners are being sought to help develop new materials for filtration membranes and high-performance ozone application devices. Developers of devices for precise
measurement of ozone content and variable and monitored ozone production generators are also being sought.
The CORDIS Partners Service helps you publish partner profiles and find research collaborators to take part in EU-funded research, join a consortium or run a private collaboration in your area of interest. You can also search by profile type, programme and/or country to Find project partners for FP6 and FP7. To find partners
for the Sixth Framework Programme, go to our FP7 Partners Service, which also features an advanced
The SOLAR-H2 project aims to achieve renewable hydrogen (H2) production from
environmentally safe resources. By combining the expertise and skills from 12 leading European laboratories, SOLAR-H2 is currently researching artificial photosynthesis in
man-made biomimetic systems and photobiological H2 production in living organisms. SOLAR-H2 is still in the research phase, looking at how to best develop the methods by
first exploiting the knowledge gained from biochemical/biophysical studies of efficient enzymes. The studies are directly aimed at the improvement of the H2 producing
capability of the organisms using novel genetic and metabolic engineering.
Finally and Briefly
There is a seemingly eternal debate about so-called 'cat people' and 'dog people'. That is
to say dog owners and cat owners… if you can say that you actually own an animal rather than simply living with one. (This author’s cat would definitely disagree about the
owning part. At home, in fact, I'm often treated as a cat butler.)
The debate goes to lengths as to whether dog people are friendlier than cat people, cat people are more creative, dog people have more style sense, and so on.