Publication date: 2011-09-02
September is commonly the month where things begin to gather pace again, and in the world of European research news and findings, things are no different. EU scientists working on the world's largest magnetic confinement fusion device are about to start work. Scientists at the French research institute of science and technology for the environment have succeeded in developing a forecasting tool for floods. Danish researchers have estimated that by 2075 global temperatures will rise and result in more summer droughts. A new bioactive molecule standard has been given the green light. Six new genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes in South Asians have been identified by a team of researchers. A new EU-funded project will help nutrition among those at risk of poverty. In Finally and Briefly find out about how food that may help your mood.
News - Top Stories
September is commonly the month where things begin to gather pace again, and in the world of fusion energy research, things are no different. European scientists working on the Joint European Torus (JET), the world's largest magnetic confinement fusion device, are about to embark on the first round of experiments following a 22-month period where the device was out of action whilst being upgraded and commissioned. JET's researchers are investigating the potential of fusion power as a safe, clean, and virtually limitless energy source for future generations. The research is coordinated under the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA), signed by all 27 Member States as well as Switzerland. The JET project forms part of the preparatory stages leading to preparation for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) operation.
Keeping people safe from floods is an important objective for Europeans. Scientists at Cemagref, the French research institute of science and technology for the environment, have succeeded in developing and continue to develop forecasting tools that can warn authorities and the public about potential floods, giving vulnerable zones the crucial time they need to protect themselves. The Cemagref team has developed Government Resource Planning (GRP) software for SCHAPI, France's National Hydrometeorological and Flood Forecasting Centre, designed to forecast river flooding. The researchers say rain observations and forecasts provided by the Meteo-France network for the corresponding river basins are used in this software.
Notwithstanding this year's rainy summer in Denmark, a team of the country's scientists believe that by 2075, global temperature increases will in fact result in more summer droughts, and that this could have a negative effect on flora. The team of scientists from the CLIMAITE (Climate change effects on biological processes in terrestrial ecosystems) consortium, whose central aim is investigating how climatic changes will affect biological processes and natural ecosystems, published their findings in the journal Global Change Biology.
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
Representatives of pharmaceutical companies, data resource providers and academic groups have come to an agreement on a new standard for describing the effect of a compound on a biological entity, detailed in a new study published in Nature Review Drug Discovery. Although pharmaceutical, biotech and academic groups generate a huge amount of data about the biological properties of molecules such as drugs, pesticides and food additives, this useful data often goes unreported, resulting in repetition and the needless waste of time and resources. Today, crucial data are often missing from published literature or are reported in an unstructured format.
Future of Research
Six new genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes in South Asians have been identified by a team of international researchers. Writing in the journal Nature Genetics, the team explains how their findings advance the search for diagnostic markers and drug targets, and in turn the global battle to prevent and treat this major disease which often leads on to serious heart disease or stroke. Diabetes is common among people with South Asian ancestry; the risk of developing the condition is fourfold compared with the risk among people of European descent. Globally, 55 million South Asian people are affected, and this number is only set to increase, with estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) predicting a rise to 80 million by 2030.
Today in Europe many nutritional foodstuffs remain a luxury commodity and are not affordable for everyone in society. In light of this, a new EU-funded project that hopes to tackle the resulting poverty-related nutritional problems has just got underway. CHANCE ('Low cost technologies and traditional ingredients for the production of affordable, nutritionally correct foods improving health in population groups at risk of poverty'), part of the Seventh Framework Programme's (FP7) 'Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology' Theme, aims to bring researchers and industry partners together to develop appealing, affordable and healthy food products that could prevent common nutritional problems among those vulnerable to poverty.
An event entitled 'Information day on technology-enhanced learning: ICT call 8' will be held on 5 October 2011 in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The conference will focus on the technology-enhanced learning project proposals for the 8th Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Call under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Technology-enhanced learning is often used synonymously with e-learning. The main difference between the two, though, is that technology-enhanced learning focuses on the technological support of any pedagogical approach that uses technology.
A conference on sustainable consumption: towards action and impact will take place from 6 to 8 September 2011 in Hamburg, Germany. Finding paths towards 'sustainable consumption' has become a much-discussed issue in the recent past. Despite considerable research about the unsustainability of current consumption patterns and numerous initiatives in the field of consumer information, an overall trend towards sustainable consumption has yet to develop. The aim of the conference will be to examine consumer behaviour and its interdependencies with institutional, economic, physical and political frameworks. The event will also seek to promote a comprehensive academic discourse on issues concerning sustainable consumption.
Calls and Tenders
The European Commission has published a call for proposals for ERASMUS for young entrepreneurs. This call aims to help new EU entrepreneurs enrich their experiences, learning and networking by spending periods with experienced entrepreneurs in their enterprises in other EU Member States. The objectives of the preparatory action are to enhance the entrepreneurship, internationalisation and competitiveness of potential start-up entrepreneurs and newly established micro and small enterprises in the EU.
Packaging is an important element of any product marketing strategy, and the Center of Bioimmoblisation and Innovative Packaging Materials of the University of West Pomoranian University of Technology in Poland is looking for partners in this field. The research team of the centre have been working on ‘intelligent packaging’ and have extensive expertise in research and development projects financed by both national authorities and EU Framework Programmes. The centre is also in the process of creating an initiative focused on bioimmobilisation and innovative packaging materials.
The CORDIS Partners Service helps you to find research collaborators in order to benefit from EU or other funding. You can also search by profile type, programme and/or country to Find project partners for FP6 and FP7.
Phytoplankton are small plants with a big role in many food chains around the planet. They depend on specific conditions for growth, and are frequently seen as the first indicator of changes in oceanic environments. The EU-funded 'Development of global plankton data base and model system for eco-climate early warning' (GREENSEAS) project aims to advance the quantitative knowledge of how planktonic marine ecosystems, including phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and zooplankton, will respond to environmental and climate changes. To achieve this, the project will employ a combination of observation data, numerical simulations and a cross-disciplinary synthesis to develop a high quality, harmonised and standardized plankton and plankton ecology long time-series, data inventory and information service. The focus will be on capturing the latitudinal gradients, biogeographical distributions and provinces in the planktonic ecosystem from the Arctic, through the tropics and into the south Atlantic.
The CORDIS FP6 Find a Project section offers factsheets and contact details for projects funded under the Sixth Framework Programme. You can also browse the FP5 projects section (archived) to see what kinds of research proposals have been chosen for European funding in the past.
Finally and Briefly
If you're wondering about whether or not to have a favourite food for lunch, new research may be able to give you a scientifically-verified reason to go ahead and have what you like. (As long as your favourite food is yogurt.).
Researchers at the University College Cork in Ireland and McMaster University in Canada recently looked at how the contents of your stomach can affect your mind. In fact, the results suggest that there is a direct link between the two.