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TOPIC: Celebration Series - Applauding Innovation & Research - 158 Success Stories

Celebration Series - Applauding Innovation & Research - 158 Success Stories 3 days, 8 hours ago #1

(NL) EU Commission - Horizon 2020 - Health & Life Sciences


o Allergy & asthma
o Biotechnology
o Communicable diseases
o Drugs & drug processes
o Genetic engineering
o Genomics
o Health & ageing
o Health & poverty
o Health & special needs
o Health systems & management
o Major diseases
o Medical research
o Molecular biology
o Neuroscience
o Public health
o Rare & orphan diseases
o Other

Showcase your case study www.horizon2020conference.co.uk/programme

Tiny technology to tackle Alzheimer's
Today, some 24 million people worldwide are affected by dementia with more than 4 million new cases recorded every year. This equates to a new case every eight seconds. To address these staggering figures, EU-funded researchers have engineered tiny particles to trace and treat Alzheimer's - the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease.

Tuberculosis: An injection of hope
Tuberculosis still turns some people’s lives to hell. At a pharmaceutical lab near a hospital in Spain, scientists from a European Union research project are trying to find answers to the complex and often dramatic challenges posed by the disease.

Controlling malaria in southern Africa
Malaria is still a big killer in southern Africa, and all available technologies need to be employed effectively to control the mosquitoes that spread it. Earth Observation (EO) techniques, such as remote aircraft and satellite sensing, can be employed to monitor and manage these malaria vectors.

Milk and the making of Europe
What impact did the introduction of milk to our diets have on our early society? By examining Neolithic artefacts and bones, an EU-funded project has contributed to our understanding of how Europeans began to abandon their hunter-gathering lifestyle in favour of farming.
As part of its work, the LeCHe research network found milk residues trapped in mud-made cheese-strainers dating from around 7 000 years ago. The pottery, hidden in archaeological sites in Poland, hosts the earliest prehistoric evidence for cheese-making.

Getting a grip on safer medicine for children
Many drugs prescribed for children have not been appropriately tested for use on this age group. Such drugs frequently lack adequate information about the correct dosage and how best to administer them.

The secret life of insulin-producing cells
The insulin-producing cells in the pancreas play a crucial role in the management of our blood sugar levels. If they don’t work properly, the body can no longer cope with glucose.
New imaging techniques developed through EU support are enabling researchers to take a closer look at the birth, life and death of these precious cells in their quest to improve the prevention and management of diabetes.

Reducing the environmental impact of megacities
Urbanisation is a significant and growing worldwide trend which raises increasingly important environmental issues for policymakers.
More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and the number of ‘megacities’ with populations of more than 10 million has risen from 3 in 1975 to around 20 today.

A helping hand
Gradually losing control of your body is something that patients with neurodegenerative diseases must learn to live with. Lorenzo Rossi, an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient is coming to terms with his condition. Andrea Niutta has multiple sclerosis and has been using a wheelchair for almost twenty years. He attends neuromuscular reeducation therapy at Valduce Hospital in Costa Masnaga near Milan. He has accepted to test a new kind of neuroprosthesis developed by a European research programme in Italy and was surprised by the results.

Elderly care: always aware
A home surveillance system that doesn't offend residents' privacy can be a smart safety solution for elderly persons living independently. It's a biologically inspired stereo sensor that relies on artificial intelligence. In this program, we're visiting an elderly care home in Bremen where this surveillance system is being tested in real-life situations.

Cooking up natural plastics
It’s time for a bit of cooking at a research Institute in Brindisi, Southern Italy. The recipe is simple: a splashing of natural textiles, a good dose of partially-bio resin and a pinch of bio-additives and enzymes. Stir well and place your mixture in an oven for a few hours at 60 degrees Celcius.

Crohn's disease: the inside story
Around 700,000 Europeans are diagnosed with Crohn's disease each year. Specialists at University College hospital in central London, are exploring new ways to detect the disease and help patients cope with its symptoms. Crohn's suffer Jill Fellows said: "It really is a very nasty disease, and people need to be able to realize that, and really don't have the mentality that it is just going to the bathroom all the time, because it is so much more than that.

New breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and AIDS
Cancer and AIDS have compromised the quality of life for millions of people around the globe, and, despite recent breakthroughs, they still represent major challenges for the medical and scientific community. In 2011 alone, an estimated 3.8 million Europeans developed cancer and 2.1 million of them lost their lives as a result. At the end of the same year, it was estimated that around 940,000 people in Europe were living with AIDS, while scientists observe an alarming tendency for increased transmission in several countries.

Tackling allergies through collaborative research and education
The EU-funded Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN), launched in 2004, has become a leading force in the battle against allergic diseases. The network is still expanding, with over 60 centres in more than 20 European countries.

Next EDCTP programme to continue delivering life-saving solutions for sub-Saharan Africa
Preparations are underway for a second phase of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership programme (EDCTP2, 2014-2024), which is expected to start in the course of 2014 as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 research funding programme.

Helping to unravel the mysteries of the genome
Genetics is an area of scientific research that is opening up a world of new possibilities. For example, genotyping – the process of determining differences in genetic make-up through examining DNA sequences – could lead to new treatments for hereditary diseases. Investment in the Estonian Genome Project at Tartu University should place Estonia at the cutting edge of this research.

Robotic arm controlled by the power of the mind
A robotic arm developed by a team of European researchers goes some way towards giving severely paralysed people some independence. The arm can be controlled intuitively, meaning the person just has to think about using their arm for it to move.

Stronger and longer-lasting tuberculosis vaccines
Perceived by the general public as a disease that largely has been tamed, tuberculosis kills about 1.5 million people worldwide each year – including an average of one person every seven hours in Europe. Faced with 9 million new infections annually, and mutating strains of the tuberculosis bacteria that confound the medical community, a high-profile European Union research project is working to coordinate the development of stronger, longer-lasting vaccines.

Silencing your inner voices
Hallucinations have been the seeds of inspiration of legendary filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel, Terry Gilliam or David Lynch. Auditory hallucinations are a major symptom of schizophrenia. These inner voices people hear in the absence of any external acoustic input can be very disruptive for health and for social life. Professor Kenneth Hugdahl, who holds an ERC Advanced grant, has developed an IPhone app to help patients to re-focus their attention. Based at the University of Bergen in Norway, he participates in the “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” conference in Vilnius on 23 and 24 September 2013 and exposes the first results of his ERC project.

Using gene therapy to tackle complex brain disease
Substantial progress has been made in the development of treatments for a particular brain disease, thanks in part to an EU-funded project. The X-ALD project focused on achieving a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms leading to 'X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy', a disorder which results in the accumulation of long chain fatty acids in tissues throughout the body but especially in the central nervous system.

Female scientist honoured for EU-funded AIDS research
The numbers of women in science, technology and innovation fields have been alarmingly low for some time. However, many initiatives across Europe are committed to addressing this imbalance, one of which is the L'Oréal Portugal Honour Medals for Women in Science, which has acknowledged an EU-funded scientist for her research on the AIDS virus and its resistance to antiretroviral drugs.

Brain project gives young scientists a flying start
Through collaborative work, an EU-funded research team aims to uncover how neural circuits are genetically encoded and how neuronal computation controls behaviour. It has also set out to give some of Europe's brightest young scientists the chance to cooperate with colleagues in other countries and push forward our understanding of the brain.

Personalising deep brain stimulation treatment for Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's. Its main symptoms are: shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty maintaining an upright posture. More than one million people suffer from the effects of this disease in Europe today, and this is forecast to double by 2030. Economically, the impact is significant: Parkinson's costs Europe an estimated € 14 billion a year.

A fine eye for detail with new breast cancer screening
Breast screening with x-ray mammography has made a vital contribution to reducing deaths from breast cancer. Dr José Maria Benlloch of CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) and his partners in the MAMMI project (Mammography with Molecular Imaging) recognised this, but they were driven to push science and engineering further to develop machines dedicated exclusively to breast scanning. Now it is possible to radically improve the quality of imaging, detect cancer cells at a much earlier stage and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment more accurately.

HIV vaccine on trial
A team of French scientists has started clinical trials on humans for a potential HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Massive study closes in on cancers risk markers
Cancer research has taken a huge leap forward with scientists now able to identify more than 80 genetic markers found to increase the risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. The COGS international research initiative is believed to be the largest of its kind.

Sponge enzymes: nature's little bio-builders
Sponges seem an unlikely source for innovation, yet they may hold the key to new nanotechnologies, innovative optical devices and new ways of regrowing human bone and preventing bone disease. Difficult to believe? Not for Werner E.G. Müller. In the BIOSILICA project, he and his team are developing ways to adapt the complex processes that natural glassy sponges use to build their wondrous biosilica structures for use in biodegradable implants that would facilitate bone healing after surgery or fractures.

When longevity rhymes with health and activity
Can we imagine old age and good health being the norm? We’re living longer than any previous generation, but how will we spend our older years? Science can help us to partly control our future health by giving us the tools to be proactive and DO-HEALTH is set to deliver practical health advice that can be easily accessed and applied by older people.

Losing sleep? Scientists evaluate why
The issue of sleep deprivation has gone beyond the counting of sheep and into the scientific domain, as European researchers set up 'sleep labs' to study the biomedical and sociological factors keeping us awake at night.

A machine which can read your mind

“We have developed so called brain-computer interfaces which allow the user to control different devices and programmes without hands, by means of the user’s thoughts.”

Fractures fixed in a fraction of time
Regenerative medicine is a new field in science that focuses on helping you heal faster. It can help a body repair broken bones in a fraction of the time it would normally take. An EU-funded research project is using gene therapy and stem cells to help damaged bones regenerate faster and open up new market opportunities for tissue-repair technology in the European medical sector.

Managing food risk information in an online world
Food scares can undermine consumer confidence, ruin business reputations and create unnecessary panic. If these scenarios are to be avoided, industry needs to develop more effective strategies for communicating to the public. Focusing on online media, an EU-funded project has made a significant contribution by helping to better understand how information on food risk is spread.

EU-GEI - Demystifying schizophrenia
Treating schizophrenia presents huge challenges and those involved see first-hand how this diverse medical condition causes huge suffering and requires complex and costly care, often over a lifetime. In the Netherlands, Prof. Jim van Os is heading up an exciting and ambitious international research project that brings together professionals, patients and their families who depend on each other to unlock new answers and approaches to treatment. There is so much that we don't yet understand about it and current treatments are inadequate, so there is a real motivation to work together and solve more bits of a complicated puzzle.

EuroCoord – Coordinating the A-Z of HIV
In just over a year the EuroCoord project has brought together all the leading players in HIV research to create a huge study based on 250 000 individuals with the disease. As work gathers pace, the researchers involved are plugging the gaps in understanding how HIV emerges and evolves, striving towards smarter drug treatments that focus more on the individual.

Remaking life to conquer degenerative brain diseases
How is it possible to rewind life and take cells back to their embryonic state? Enter the world of stem cell generation and regenerative medicine! This field of science for medical treatment is at the forefront of technology and therapeutics, and is controversial. The potential to replace damaged cells in the brain, and even to enable recovery of lost functions, in devastating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington's disease, holds amazing hope for sufferers. The scientists involved in the NeuroStemCell project are faced with the daily challenge of big unanswered questions, together with pressing ethical issues.

Many research partners needed to progress neo-natal care
In the highly-charged environment of emergency care, the treatment of premature babies carries additional uncertainty and risk. In cases of neo-natal shock – an acute state with inadequate circulatory function and oxygen delivery in the newborn - immediate intervention is required to raise the blood pressure, but doctors may be called to act without understanding precisely what is causing the problem, or even how to accurately assess circulatory failure in such immature infants.

Boosting immunity - and vaccine research
Vaccination has achieved huge success in controlling many devastating infectious diseases. However, there are still many such diseases, or 'pathogens', against which we cannot generate life-long protective immunity. On the eve of Croatia's accession to the EU, Professor Stipan Jonjic's ERC-funded research into new vaccines to offer better protection - is already underway. Prof Jonjic is the first Croatian ERC grantee to base his project in Croatia.

Finding and treating the cause of inherited blindness
European scientists have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of inherited retinal diseases.

Hope sparked by new vaccine for Alzheimer's
Brain research has made unprecedented progress over the years, with Europe at the forefront of scientific advances. But more can be done. This comes from Alzheimer's Disease International who issued their report on the Global Economic Impact of Dementia. They estimate that if dementia care were a country, it would be the world's 18th largest economy, ranking between Turkey and Indonesia.

Solving the mystery of the off-beat heart
Modern medicine has come a long way, but the mere thought of having a heart defect can still rattle us to our very core. The heart is a human body’s engine room. Each time its beat propels blood through our bodies, it is a reassuring affirmation of our existence.

Laying down markers for future cancer treatments
Targeting existing proteins in the human body which contribute to the growth of cancerous cells can help researchers develop tailor-made treatments. A team of EU researchers is working on ways to trick the proteins which ordinarily aid cancer growth into delivering therapeutic treatments directly to the cancerous cells.

Boosting research on Morocco's medicinal plants
The use of plants in medicine is as old as medicine itself. Today, in the age of high-tech drug design, the pharmaceutical industry continues to draw on naturally occurring compounds in its search for new treatments. The fragrance and nutritional supplement industries are perhaps even more reliant on plant-sourced chemicals.

Paving the way for thought-controlled prostheses
Understanding how the brain processes new skills and actions can help to improve learning and aid research into neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. An EU-funded project has collected new data on the development of neural mechanisms of action learning and habit formation and addiction through the manipulation of the brain’s molecular networks. This could lead to breakthroughs in thought-controlled prostheses.

European gene therapy research may restore essential human senses
A world without hearing, sight or smell; without music, the light of the day or the scent of a delicious meal. This is the reality for those who suffer from congenital cilia diseases, a condition stemming from genetic defects; they go through life missing one or more senses.

Moving closer to personalised medication for complex diseases
There are some problems that are more complicated than others, and some problems that are more common than others. Unfortunately, when it comes to disease, complex diseases are also the most common ones.

Assessing the impact of indoor air pollution on Europeans
The health impact of indoor air pollution is a real environmental health issue, which is believed to have a bearing on respiratory conditions such as asthma. This has prompted a European study to take action. While outdoor pollution is often cited as the cause of many asthma related issues, indoor threats are also being addressed in the light of World Asthma Day.

Sweetening the bitter pill of cancer treatment
Despite a massive research effort, cancer is still a major killer in Europe. European researchers are working on a sugar-based drug-delivery system which they believe will boost the potency of anti-cancer drugs, helping them reach and destroy cancerous cells more effectively. The project team has developed particles tiny enough to invade cancer cells and deliver treatments to the very heart of the tumour.

Dog genes offer keys to human disease
For Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, of the University of Uppsala in Sweden, news that the European Union (EU) was to provide funding for a project aimed at using research into canine genetics as a kind of 'fast-track' to help provide cures for many important human diseases marked the achievement of a long-held ambition.

Lending an ear to age related hearing loss
Age related hearing loss (ARHL) is far too easily ignored. Its onset is insidious. Its progression gradual. People with declining hearing often mistakenly believe the problem is that their conversation partners mumble or speak too quickly – and as hearing ability diminishes further, social exchanges slowly turn from fluid repertoires to too many non sequiturs. Frustrated from no longer being able to understand others well in social settings, people may stop going to the theatre or senior centres, or even just to a restaurant with friends or family. This social isolation, in turn, is associated with depression and cognitive decline. Disturbances of gait and balance have also been linked to ARHL.

Better targeting of multiple sclerosis
European researchers have identified new biological indicators that can predict, among other things, the likely effectiveness of 'interferon-ß', a vital treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) that is only effective in 50% of patients, in the treatment of individuals with MS. The ‘UEPHA-MS’ network has also discovered that ‘natural killer cells’ can influence the effectiveness of certain drugs. These and other findings are helping to put MS treatment in sharper focus.

A breakthrough towards preventing cardiovascular diseases
The hardening of arteries – also known as 'atherosclerosis' – can cause cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. New evidence has been uncovered strengthening the link between inflammation – a defensive reaction of the body – and cardiovascular diseases. This could lead to new innovative preventive and therapeutic strategies, and perhaps ultimately to a cure for atherosclerosis.

Exploiting a new genetic model in the study of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is the second most widespread neurodegenerative disease in the world, with an estimated 1.2 million sufferers in Europe alone. One Marie Curie Fellow is carrying out innovative genetic research that could one day lead to a better prognosis for patients.

European researchers make advances in HIV and cancer detection
A multidisciplinary EU-funded research team has successfully tested a pioneering HIV-detection technique that is ten times more sensitive than any identification method used to date. The new methodology, which offers a much simpler and cheaper naked-eye-based read-out and could be commercialised in future, has also achieved positive results in similar early detection tests for different types of cancer.

Developing a new screening test for a life-threatening maternal condition
In countries with well-developed healthcare systems, dying as a direct result of a condition brought on by pregnancy is a remote and shocking possibility. Nevertheless, one such condition, pre-eclampsia, affects 2% of all first-time mothers, and, moreover, to date no viable screening test has been developed.

The visionary tools helping myopia researchers see further
Professor Frank Schaeffel has spent a quarter of a century studying myopia, the phenomenon of how the eye often grows too long and becomes short-sighted. Schaeffel, who is the Head of the Section of Neurobiology of the Eye at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tübingen, Germany, has scored some crucial breakthroughs, yet for much of his career he has felt like a lone explorer in myopia research.

Research project opens new career opportunities for French physicist
The revolutionary medical research project PHeLINet has not only created openings for doctors to better diagnose cancer, asthma, cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases, but it has expanded the professional horizons for budding scientists like Guilhem Collier.

How European researchers are building biofuels with bacteria
Most people associate bacteria with disease and contamination, leaving the microorganisms with few saving graces. Yet their reputation could be about to change over the next few years: researchers are engineering bacteria to provide alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels. And if they succeed, it will be thanks to projects like MicroGen, a European Union (EU) research project looking at new ways to generate renewable fuels from microorganisms.

The impact of chemical pollution on male reproductive health
We are encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle but this advice could in fact be damaging our health. With ever more commercial food production, research shows that traces of pesticides used on crops can make their way into our food system and into our bodies where they can disrupt hormone function.

Making the scientific link between the natural environment and good human health
For centuries, common wisdom has held that spending time in nature - walking through forests, strolling along the beach, breathing fresh air - can be good for one's body, mind and spirit. Seeking to support this belief with fact, researchers are working to better understand the science behind the medicinal and therapeutic properties of the natural environment.

Eating high quantities of common foods during pregnancy can affect babies' health, EU study shows
A groundbreaking European Union (EU)-funded research project has shown that eating high quantities of common foods such as fried potatoes - or even toast – during pregnancy can lead to significant health problems for the new-born child.

Controlling the killer
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) & cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) are parasitic diseases transmitted to humans by the bite of sand flies. In VL, the parasite migrates to the internal organs such as liver, spleen and bone marrow. Signs and symptoms include fever, weight loss, mucosal ulcers, fatigue, anaemia and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen. VL if left untreated will almost always result in the death of the host. Meanwhile, CL is the most common form of leishmaniasis. It is a skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite that is also transmitted by sand fly bites and can cause facial disfigurement.

Award-winning innovation revolutionises vaccine production
A European Union (EU)-funded research project has opened up a radical new era in the world of vaccine discovery and production. Focused on veterinary vaccines, the project's work has made possible a dramatically faster and more effective route to the creation of vaccines to combat some of the most devastating diseases affecting farm livestock. The same accelerated route can be used to uncover a vast new range of urgently-needed vaccines for humans as well.

How European research is making kidney transplants safer
For those unfortunate to suffer from kidney failure, an organ transplant may seem like the best long-term treatment. But kidney transplants are loaded with risk, the most salient being the rejection of the donor organ by the host’s body. Now, however an Irish-led research project has developed a new drug that could succeed in preventing organ rejection, offering hope to thousands of patients seeking donor kidneys.

Pinpointing cancer's origins
Cancer is one of the most pressing health matters of our time. It is a disease that attacks the very building blocks of life, leading to uncontrolled cell division and disabling programmed cell death. Almost everyone has known at least one person who has had to cope with cancer; it remains one of the leading causes of death in Europe.

Immune cells in 'love handles' could provide immunity against obesity
A Marie Curie research Fellow has uncovered a potential ally in the fight against obesity, together with a team of international researchers. The ally, found in our 'love handles', is a type of anti-tumour immune cell which protects against obesity and the metabolic syndrome that leads to diabetes.

The Crafoord Prize in Polyarthritis 2013
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Crafoord Prize in Polyarthritis 2013 to Peter K. Gregersen, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY, USA, Lars Klareskog, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden and Robert J. Winchester, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA "for their discoveries concerning the role of different genetic factors and their interactions with environmental factors in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis"

Promising future for tiny epilepsy defibrillator
Antal Berényi combined a boyhood passion for electronics and years of medical training to build a device that, once implanted under the skin, can detect and stop epileptic attacks just as a defibrillator corrects heart arrhythmia. Like its inventor, the prototype device, which is being readied for trials in the US, has all the makings of a big future.

Diamonds - A cancer patient's best friend
Diamonds have long been recognised as a girl’s best friend. But now a European Union (EU)-funded research project has demonstrated that the unique properties of diamonds extend far beyond that legendary sparkle. They also offer a radical new way to detect the onset of cancer far earlier than has previously been possible – opening up the possibility of more effective treatment and potentially saving the lives of countless cancer patients.

EPITARGENE – Tackling epilepsy by examining genetics of the brain
An EU-funded study has uncovered data that suggests a change in the behaviour of certain genes - the unit of heredity in a living organism - could be involved in precipitating epilepsy. By gaining a better understanding of exactly how the brain works, the EpiTarGene project aims to open the door to potential new therapies and novel drugs.

The big impact of smaller companies on treating blood-based diseases
Thanks to the human genome project finished 10 years ago, scientists now know the full genetic code of human DNA, but they don’t yet fully understand how this genetic information is used in creating different types of cells with distinct functions.

Targeted cancer treatment shows real promise
An EU-funded research project is working to overcome current chemotherapy-related challenges, developing a new method which directs drug delivery exclusively to tumours, increasing effectiveness while avoiding side effects. Trials of the new treatment are planned for 2013 and industrial partners are keen to commercialise the biotechnologies resulting from the project.

ASTHMA AND ORMDL3 – A breath of fresh air for young asthma sufferers
Asthma is an increasing chronic health issue in Europe, affecting the quality of life of millions and placing an unbearable strain on national health systems. Understanding how this respiratory disease may be caused could lead to new innovative treatments. An EU-funded study has uncovered strong evidence that a specific gene is involved in the development of asthma in children.

NM4TB – TB an enemy that dies hard
With tuberculosis (TB) making an unwelcome comeback in many developed countries – TB never really left the developing world – the news that EU-funded researchers are on the verge of a drug breakthrough is timely to say the least.

FEAR MEMORY TRACE – Discovering the mechanisms of memory formation
What are the mechanisms behind human learning? Achieving a better understanding of this complex question is not just an academic pursuit, given the prevalence of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Indeed, this line of research could bring significant benefits for Europe's ageing population, including treatments for conditions that lead to memory loss.

EdRox Summer School – An international research network with a focus on bio-nanotechnology
Redox reactions involve the transfer of electrons between the living cell and the inanimate world. Monitoring these reactions is both scientifically and commercially important. It would lead to detecting trace amounts of pollutants and catching diseases at an early stage. This would in turn have a positive impact on both the environment and indeed our health.

CelluCart – Industry-academia partnership for novel treatment of knee injuries
A Marie Curie Action (MCA) played a pivotal role in progressing the careers of two young medical researchers, bringing new hope of speedy recovery to millions of future sufferers of knee cartilage damage, and enabling a medical start-up company based in the Netherlands to develop a ground-breaking cartilage-repair technology and speed up its progress towards clinical trials and the eventual prospect of commercialisation.

Canceromics – New technologies in cancer profiling
Advances in microarray or lab-on-a-chip technologies have significantly improved our ability to study human cells and tissues. However, in order to develop novel therapies to combat such diseases as cancer, understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms is required and this is only made possible by developing new technologies.

BIOPTRAIN – European researchers make sense of genetic data
Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter on a molecular scale, brings together different sciences. It is not just about the physics of atomic arrangements, but also about the chemistry of each element involved. The mix becomes yet more complex when living organisms interact with the tiny structures. But by embracing this complexity - bringing together chemists, physicists, biologists and engineers - a research project has provided new insights into nanotechnology.

ADAM – Research that gives physicists vital independence and flexibility
Electrons, the particles that zip around the nucleus of an atom, are unimaginably small and unimaginably fast. Take a photo of one, and you could unlock some of the secrets of the universe. Go one better, and manipulate one with the briefest flash of light, and you can potentially revolutionise electronics and information technology.

EATRIS – Bridging the gap between medical research and approved therapy
All too often, researchers who secure medical breakthroughs in the laboratory find themselves at a loss when it comes to turning their findings into health products. This blockage is due to the slow, cumbersome and failure-prone testing and approvals mechanism, which involves lengthy inter-disciplinary dealings amongst basic scientists, clinicians, regulators and more. But a new European project is simplifying the system and speeding the journey from science to therapy.

3D Anatomical Human – A network of European researchers helps improve medical imaging
In French Guiana, as the distance between the expanding human habitat and the surrounding ecosystem is reduced, this has the potential to expose the population to new viruses and bacteria. European scientists are exploring how to improve research infrastructure and capacity to tackle the emerging threat of infectious disease in French Guiana and boost public health in the region.

STRONGER – Protecting populations from diseases on their doorsteps
In French Guiana, as the distance between the expanding human habitat and the surrounding ecosystem is reduced, this has the potential to expose the population to new viruses and bacteria. European scientists are exploring how to improve research infrastructure and capacity to tackle the emerging threat of infectious disease in French Guiana and boost public health in the region.

INIMIN – Boosting natural defence against the flu
EU-funded research has revealed for the first time in detail how people's immune systems react to vaccination. The discovery paves the way for more powerful vaccines to help vulnerable groups, in particular, fight annual bouts of influenza. The results could one day save thousands of lives and millions of euros in health-care costs.

EUROPRISE – Groundbreaking inter-disciplinary collaboration advances HIV prevention
When you think of a scientist at work, you may picture a solitary expert working obsessively in a lab. This image has now been dispelled by a unique group of researchers working in collaboration to block HIV transmission.

FOOD4ME – A genetic approach to personalised nutrition
Uniform public dietary advice is suitable for populations, but is simply not the most sophisticated approach for improving an individual's health. The bottom line is that people are unique, and that each of us has unique nutritional needs. For that reason, an EU-funded project is examining whether our knowledge of genetics and individual health markers could help us to design healthier, personalised diets.

ISU-DEP – Patient hygiene: a new bedside manner
The call of nature and bath time can be challenging endeavours for older people and the bedridden. A novel 'dry shower' and height-adjustable, fully automated portable hygienic toilet could help give those with restricted mobility more autonomy and dignity. Final prototypes are expected by June 2013.

COMET – Do you have the nerve?
It takes a brave person to step outside their comfort zone. Scientist Gillian Hendy is braver than most. She left a job and postponed a wedding in Ireland to do research at the world-renowned Langer Lab (USA). During her time there, she has learnt whole new biological processes, braved hurricanes, and thanks to hard work could well have found a material that can speed up nerve regeneration in damaged limbs.

EXTREMOPHIL – Secrets of an 'extreme' Andean bacteria
Every now and then scientists discover something out of this world – like a primitive strain of bacteria that lives in an extreme environment – not knowing that one day the proteins in this organism could revolutionise biotechnology, reveal the secret to life on other planets, or simply change our sunbathing habits. EU-funded researchers are exploring the potential of the unspoilt lagoons of the Andes.

LUPIN CHALLENGE – Investigating lupin grain proteins to tackle “diabesity” and food allergies
Diabetes and obesity – diabesity – is a growing global epidemic and of increasing concern because of the associated health complications. Finding a natural means of tackling and managing this disease could benefit millions of people, while making significant savings in health-care costs. This is why an EU-funded project is exploring the health-promoting potential of proteins found in a grain traditionally grown in the Mediterranean region.

EPICENTROMERE – Unlocking the secrets of cell behaviour
Understanding how our cells behave strengthens our ability to tackle genetic diseases and cancer. A major challenge however is the complexity of the molecular make-up of the cell, which is only just beginning to be fully understood. One EU-funded project has made impressive steps in furthering our knowledge of how genes are turned off, which could help explain how non-genetic material is inherited.

NUSISCO – How researchers are unlocking the science behind hunger
Over the past two decades, obesity levels in Europe have been steadily increasing, tripling between 1990 and 2006, according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics. But measuring the phenomenon is the easy bit. Understanding it is much harder, and researchers have struggled to explain the physiological effects of appetite on obesity.

LEGIOTEX – A new water filter to combat the Legionella bacterium
Legionella is a bacterium present in water that can become a potential threat to human health when appropriate conditions for its growth and proliferation are met. These conditions frequently occur in large indoor facilities such as tanks, boilers, heater pipes and even shower heads. Between 2003 and 2004, 35 European countries reported over 9000 cases of Legionnaires 'disease. Overall mortality rate was 8.2% but this figure increased to 40% in people with compromised immune systems.

FALLWATCH – New fall detection device to improve safety of elderly people
For elderly people living on their own, or even in individual rooms in residential care homes, falls are an ever-present risk. A fall can leave them incapacitated or unconscious, unable to summon emergency help. Being able to call for immediate medical help after a fall is critical. Every minute matters. In some cases, it can literally be a matter of life or death.

EUSTROKE – Giving stroke patients new reason for hope
Disturbances in the blood supply to the brain can lead to rapid loss of brain function, causing a stroke. While potentially fatal, this can have life-changing consequences for survivors. Two EU projects aim to ensure that for thousands of patients, there is life - and hope - after such a trauma.

SONODRUGS – Delivering affordable and effective new treatments
Improved access to state-of-the-art and affordable medical care - especially in oncology and cardiology - is vital to ensuring that Europe’s ageing population is capable of taking care of itself in the future. New therapeutic options, such as externally triggered local drug release, represent one promising route currently being explored by European researchers.

EPOSBED – Automatic hospital beds to make life easier for hampered patients

For patients with reduced mobility, one of their greatest frustrations can include spending long amounts of time in bed without the ability to change their positions or even make basic movements. Additionally, nurses and other medical staff can be injured because such patients have to be moved, in order to prevent their health condition from worsening and to make them more comfortable.

LANIR – Huge potential in nanoscopic progress
An ambitious EU-funded project is working on new tools to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease much earlier, and to help researchers develop new treatments for cancer. The project aims to rewrite the rules when it comes to how accurate infra-red nanoscopes can be.

LIFEVALVE – Grow your own - the "living" heart valve replacement
It is high on the list of every expectant parent's anxieties. Of every 100 newborn babies, one is born with a congenital heart defect. Of these, half will need open-heart surgery to replace a heart valve. It is a traumatic and life-threatening operation.

SFERA – New technology combats fake medicines and saves lives
For the global pharmaceuticals industry, the fight against counterfeit drugs is one of the greatest challenges of modern times.
According to the World Health Organisation, some fake medicines are so cleverly manufactured that thay fool even health professionals. And the results, of course, can be fatal for patients.

NUTRIMENTHE – From instinctive feeling to science-based fact: revealing how early diet impacts mental development
Fish, especially oily fish, has long been seen as good 'brain food'.
Recent studies have taken that one stage further – indicating that consuming fish while still in the womb is even better.

EUSANH-ISA – Improving science advice to governments on health issues
Governments across Europe face many complex issues relating to health and healthcare which they have traditionally analysed and tackled on a national basis, often ignoring the parallel efforts being made by other health authorities across Europe.

TOBI – Targeting obesity-driven inflammation
50 % of Europeans are now overweight, 20 % are obese, and as these figures grow, the link with the epidemic growth of diabetes is becoming obvious. Health professionals are well aware of the relationship between a poor diet and lifestyle and the increasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes (where the body does not use insulin efficiently and sugar builds up in the blood).

AEROPATH – Developing a response to superbugs
Despite advances in modern medicine and science, the population of Europe is becoming increasingly susceptible to the potential dangers of bacterial infection. Once easily dealt with by antibiotics, severe bacterial infections are again increasing sharply in Europe due to their growing resistance to available antibiotics. These range from respiratory infections to gastrointestinal infections, dermatitis and a variety of systemic infections.

ACTINOGEN – Uncovering a hidden source of new antibiotics
With the world in urgent need of new antibiotics to fight a growing range of potentially life-threatening illnesses, a ground-breaking European research project has uncovered a hidden source of antibiotics which could provide the answer.

EUROHYP-1 – A breakthrough treatment for stroke
Stroke is the second biggest cause of death worldwide. Among those who survive, it is a major cause of permanent disability. The vast majority of strokes, more than 80%, are 'ischaemic' – the result of blood clots preventing blood flow to the brain. Yet treatment options for these strokes are very limited.

ARISE – Research to combat the effects of stroke disability
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off and brain cells are damaged or die. Such an attack on the brain can occur in young and old though it is predominantly an age-related ailment which has an immense impact on the quality of life of older people and, with the continued growth in Europe's ageing population, is becoming a major societal problem.

NAIMIT – Science of the future can cure disease with bacteria
Bacteria are normally perceived as a threat to health, to be eradicated with antibiotics and bleach. But one common strain of bacteria used to make buttermilk and cheese may one day eliminate the need for insulin therapy for people with diabetes.

PLASTICISE – New treatments for stroke, Alzheimer's disease and brain injury
Have you ever noticed (and felt a little bit jealous about) how much easier it is for children to learn a new skill – like skiing, for example - than it is for adults? The human brain has the amazing ability to make new connections between nerve cells and repair or replace other connections. In this way the brain can absorb new experiences, gain skills and retain memories.

NA-NOSE – The simple breath test that can detect cancer
No-one wants to be told that they have cancer. But the earliest possible diagnosis is often the key to ensuring survival. So a new technique developed by scientists wich can instantly detect cancer even in its very earliest stages, using just a simple breath-test, offers the clear hope of a major breakthrough in improving cancer survival rates.

PHARMA-PLANTA – Harnessing plant biotechnology to revolutionise pharmaceutical production
In June 2011, medical regulators gave the go-ahead for trials in humans of a potential new anti-HIV drug. The drug was produced in genetically modified tobacco leaves.
It was the first ever clinical trial of a drug of this type that had been derived from GM plants.

Picture my body
Four people recall their personal dramas dealing with serious diseases.

Draw and play keep Parkinson's at bay
Researchers developed tailor made video games on existing commercial platforms which allow Parkinson's patients to improve balance and overall mobility.

Microwaves blast dangers of asbestos

Ryszard Parosa, Supervising Board President at ATON-HT SA explained: "We have developed a new technology for the treatment of materials that contain asbestos".

Researchers shed light on hearing loss and touch sensitivity connection
A European team of researchers has discovered that people with a specific form of inherited hearing loss are more sensitive to low frequency vibration. Presented in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings provide insight on the association between hearing loss and touch sensitivity. Specialised skin cells must be tuned to enable a person to 'feel'.

Healthier ageing is just a click away
Europe is ageing and as people live longer they are fighting diseases while maintaining a quality of life. The latest technological tools are helping them sustain their health while staying at home. That is because a helping hand is now just a few clicks away.

Playing for health
Consider the following health problems, related by three different people:

Virtual heart may hold key to better treatment
Jack and his parents live on the east coast of England. Every now and then they come to London, trying to make the most of their day out. But the reason for their regular visits beats inside Jack’s little chest.

SHARE: a major multi-national research databank
on population ageing in Europe
SHARE provides open and free of charge access to data, and aims to help researchers understand the impact of population ageing on European societies and thus to help policy makers make decisions on health, social and economic policy. SHARE helps policymakers to understand for example: the implications of ageing for public finances, the labour market, income distribution and family life. The analysis of SHARE data will help European countries to more effectively prepare for the continuing challenges to their welfare systems in an ageing society.

In order to reduce development time for new effective drugs, and thus improve the quality of life and reduce the social costs of disease, it is necessary to identify markers of disease or biological parameters that allow accurate and early diagnosis of the disease and its progression. According to the latest estimates of EU, the cost of brain diseases in Europe in 2004 was of €386 billion and the global prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is predicted to quadruple to 106 million by 2050. The neuGRID e-Infrastructure can process the world's largest Alzheimer's disease imaging database in ten days, instead of five years. That equates to approximately 6,500 brain MRI scans consisting of over 1.6 million images related to more than 700 patients with Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive impairment. This is tremendously effective because the analysis that can be done today in neuGRID would require more than five years to be run on a single computer.

Running without heels

Keen athlete Adri Hartveld has invented a new type of running shoe with no heel. Innovation magazine shows his radical-looking design as it is put through its paces by Adri’s EU project partners at Staffordshire University in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. The shoe has a unique, patented reinforcement that transfers the power of the runner's stride more evenly across the foot, in theory reducing the risk of injury.

Baby's new heart valve

The thousands of babies born with congenital heart defects could soon be treated with heart valves that grow with them into adulthood.

Animal to human: hidden diseases
Several decades ago there were very few emerging diseases compared to today. The EU research project EDEN is investigating the increase in emerging diseases in a changing European environment. In the Konnevesi forest in Finland researchers are trying to understand the increase in diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

Technology for people living with dementia
Alzheimer Europe reports that at least 5.7 million Europeans, aged between 40 and 80, have ParkinsonÂ’s disease or dementia. With an aging population, an estimated 10 million new cases of ParkinsonÂ’s and dementia is expected within the next 40 years. Care is provided by nursing homes and specialised centres to 70% of advanced dementia patients. So today, European researchers are tackling the problem of how people with these diseases can keep their independence and quality of life longer, while safely living in their own homes.

Exercise: the way to a healthier European society?
It is known that regular exercise is beneficial for sufferers of type-2 diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, some types of cancer, dementia and possibly depression. The European Union project EXGENESIS is investigating how regular exercise can be used in the prevention and treatment of various diseases.

Scientists tackle and trace infection prevention and control
An international team of scientists has developed an innovative way to track the transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a single hospital setting. Presented in the journal Science, the findings demonstrate how this unique method can 'zoom' from large-scale inter-continental transmission events to the much finer detail of person-to-person infection of MRSA in just one hospital.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Flu vaccine: A race against time
Millions of people become infected by influenza every year, causing thousands of deaths, which in turn costs billions for the economy. The production of vaccines is inefficient and they cannot be well supplied on a mass scale. Scientists in Vienna involved in the European Research Project FLUVACC are investigating a new approach - a vaccine in the form of a nasal spray.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Making shipbreaking a safer craft
Each year between 200 and 600 large vessels are dismantled across the globe. For some, the ship breaking industry is their only chance of an income. There is, however, a lack of human and environmental safety and in some regions appropriate guidelines are practically non-existent. A European project has set out to change this.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

New frontiers of imaging the human body
Particularly when dealing with a rare disease, a lack of specific experience and detailed data can hinder the decision making of any paediatrician. A new tool is being constructed to minimise this problem - a European biomedical database capable of sophisticated searching and patient case matching.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Malaria: tracking a serial-killer
There are up to 500 million cases of malaria each year. According to the World Health Organisation, severe malaria kills one child every minute in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a desperate situation that has lead to cooperative research between Africa and Europe, which may yield a more efficient and effective treatment against malaria in small children.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

A hi-tech future for ageing Europe
The Western world is experiencing a rapid growth in the elderly population, which is particularly evident in Europe. This puts a huge strain on our welfare states. One method to ease the situation is to improve the quality of life for older people at home.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

Robots: man's new best friend?
The 29 year old Erica, living near Budapest, has been in a wheelchair since a road accident at the age of 2. Erica and her guide dog, Borka, are helping scientists from a European Union research project, LIREC, understand how robotic assistants can best interact with humans.
NB: This article is more than 4 years old so the information may not be up to date.

(Nusrat Latif)
Last Edit: 2 days, 18 hours ago by Kauser Aslam.
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