Giulia Annovi

In Europa sono a rischio le leggi per l'aria pulita

Dalle prime indiscrezioni provenienti da Bruxelles sembra che sia chiara la volontà di eliminare alcune proposte di nuove direttive e regolamenti per la tutela dell'ambiente. A rischio sono anche 23 nuove iniziative per il 2015 e altre 78 leggi non ancora approvate, che con ogni probabilità verranno scartate. I provvedimenti a rischio riguardano anche il miglioramento della qualità dell'aria in Europa e la gestione più sostenibile dei rifiuti.

Waste is past: the situation in Europe

The 6th edition of the European week for waste reduction closed on November 30, but promotions and actions have still to go on, since the Commission needs to boost recycling in the Member States. During the week 22-30 November, around 12.000 initiatives across 28 countries have been proposed, aiming to foster the implementation of awareness and raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management all around Europe and beyond its borders. Why is important to reduce waste? Not recycled residues are an environment's threat.

Air pollution: a cost for health

With the beginning of 2015, some new rules for cars emissions will come forwards in Europe: vehicles will have not to emit more than an average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer and, by 2021, the target will be further reduced at 95 grams. In fact, road transport contributes to about one-fifth of the European's total emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. And transport is the only major sector in the Europe where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising.

The European fight against food frauds

“Nutrition is the principle of life”, and to defend it the Conference on Food Fraud has been opened in Rome on 23rd October. Conceived as a platform to discuss how to strengthen the communication and collaboration among all actors involved in the fight against food frauds and fraud-related crime, the conference has gathered together top experts from food law enforcement authorities, police, customers, judicial authorities, industry stakeholders and researchers.

Forest management and climate change

We can not move through time, looking at future scenarios, but we can travel in space. Climate is changing, bringing severe repercussions on ecosystems and environments. In the case of forests, causes and consequences are tied with double strings: climate changes could affect forestry equilibrium and forestry impairment could enhance climate change, since they play an important role in carbon fixation.

Vegetarian or vegan? A choice concerning not only you

With a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 15 years, in 2014 Italian vegetarians and vegans are about 4 million, according to Eurispes report. Vegetarians avoid eating meat, while vegans follow a stricter regime with the absence not only of meats, but also of products originated from animals. After centuries of omnivorous diet, may these new habits have consequences or benefits for our body?

Europe embraces the hydrogen challenge

The agriculture wealth does not lie only in food supply, but also in waste production. A European project, started in 2012 and close to its end, has faced the problem of organic waste reuse and, at the same time, the challenge of fuel production from natural and low-environmental impact sources. HyTime obtained an European contribution of 1,609,026 euros under the 7th Framework Program.

La vita oltre il ghiaccio

C’è vita anzi c’è un intero ecosistema sotto i ghiacci del Polo Sud a dimostrazione che la vita può esistere anche in luoghi estremamente freddi e bui. La conferma arriva dal progetto internazionale WISSARD che ha trovato nel lago Whillans, a circa 800 metri sotto i ghiacci del Polo Sud, un intero ecosistema composto da oltre 4mila specie di microrganismi capaci di nutrirsi di sedimenti e di elementi rilasciati dallo scioglimento dei ghiacci.

Trial clinici e paesi poveri: un equilibrio da monitorare

Sebbene proprio quest'anno cada il cinquantesimo anniversario dalla stesura della Dichiarazione di Helsinki, i principi che dovrebbe bilanciare i rischi e i benefici generati dalla ricerca clinica, quella cioè che coinvolge esseri umani, sembrano ancora muovere passi stentati. Questo almeno è quanto denuncia Rafael Dal-ré  insieme ai suoi collaboratori in un recente articolo pubblicato sul British Medical Journal.

The arms race between humans and microbes

A future without effective antibiotics for some infections is possible. Only 70 years ago, penicillin discovery have changed infectious diseases treatment, reducing deaths and illness. However, the high microbial adaptability has appeared few years later drug discovery: already in his Nobel Prize speech in 1945, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned that bacteria could become resistant to these remarkable substances. Between 1940 and 1990, 29 classes of antibiotics with different mechanisms of action have been discovered and designed.

Closing the gap between brain and computer

Our brain could resemble a circuit: 80 billion neurons and perhaps a hundred trillion synapses are interconnected within a complex organ. One of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science is brain whole structures and functions disclosure. While emerging technology are spreading in every field, Europe suggested to associate neurobiological studies to technological knowledge and future improvements.

Coastal floods: a tool for risk management

The trend of natural disasters has increased during the 20th century. In particular, hydrological disasters have acquired big dimension with the beginning of 21st century. According to the international disaster database EM-DAT, regions in European continents paid a huge cost – about 8 billion of Euro between 2010 and 2013 – for general floods. And the future could be worse than the past.

Regeneration is better than substitution

In Europe, people aged more than 50 years old are about 150 million. Prevention, care and cure regarding aged people are core concerns for European Commission. Among the chronic pathologies, osteoarthritis is the second disease in Italy. It has high prevalence in the population older than 65 years, but the prevalence in younger age groups appears to be on the increase.