Science & Technology Issue 5

In issue 5 of Science and Technology we see articles on a diverse range of issues, experiments, studies and achievements from across the European Union and beyond.

In the Research & Development section, there are articles from Professor Anne Glover, the Chief Scientific Officer to the President of the European Commission. In the Health section we cover healthy ageing and longevity, oncology, and mental health, and the Environment & Sustainability section includes articles from European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard on ETS III, and European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki, discussing marine environments.

How much is Europe prioritising missions to mars?

  • Dr Joy Crisp, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, details to Science and Technology the challenges inherent in sending a one-tonne rover to Mars, what she hopes the mission will uncover, and the importance of international co-operation for a project designed to develop human understanding of the Solar System;
  • Dr Alan Bond, co-founder and managing director of Reaction Engines Ltd – which develops engine technologies to enable aircraft to operate easily at Mach 5 or fly directly into Earth orbit – discusses Project Troy, a concept of a future manned mission to Mars, and the elements of such missions that will ensure both success and astronaut safety; and
  • The importance of future manned missions to Mars is the focus for Dr Robert Zubrin, president of The Mars Society, as Science and Technology discovers.

How is innovation aiding the development of new vaccines?

  • The development of new vaccines can be a long and expensive process, and, what is more, public perceptions of inherent risks sometimes mean that they do not become widely accepted. The Innovative Medicines Initiative is fighting to overcome both of these problems, as the organisation’s executive director Professor Michel Goldman explains;
  • Amidst a mounting challenge presented by antibiotic resistant bacteria, Professor Anthony Coates discusses how individual European countries can take the lead in countering this threat to public health; and
  • Dr Rino Rappuoli and Professor Donata Medaglini discuss the ADITEC project and the need for novel and powerful immunisation technologies for the next generation of human vaccines.

What measurements is Europe taking to improve the marine environment?

  • It is a long-held belief that the coastal and marine environment can help provide the much sought for economic growth Europe needs today. Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, explains how a raft of new measures being developed by the Commission can help develop ‘the blue economy’;
  • As overfishing persists across Europe, nef’s Rupert Crilly outlines a ‘no catch approach’ towards preserving fish stocks;
  • Espen Groetan, a biologist and project leader at Marine Harvest Labrus – which produces some 20% of the world’s farmed salmon – tells Science and Technology about the problems that must be overcome when farming ballan wrasse used to delouse salmon, and how an increase in industry collaboration has helped to provide part of the solution.
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