The JRC has recently released a high-resolution tree occurrence dataset for Europe. The EU-Forest dataset is the most comprehensive database ever of forest resources at the EU level, comprising over half a million tree occurrences and over 200 different tree species. It improves our understanding of the rapidly changing forested areas of Europe and changes over time of the kinds of trees that make them up.
Massive coastal flooding in northern Europe that now occurs once every century could happen every year if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, according to a new study.
New projections considering changes in sea level rise, tides, waves and storm surge over the 21st century find global warming could cause extreme sea levels to increase significantly along Europe’s coasts by 2100. Extreme sea levels are the maximum levels of the sea that occur during a major storm and produce massive flooding.
Small changes in the website design of online shops could significantly reduce the risk of incompatible purchases by customers, concludes a recent JRC study published on 10 March in PLOS ONE. Warning messages appealing to the customer's emotions and information provided at check-out were the most effective methods of avoiding disappointment.
The Stairway to Excellence Project now supports regions and stakeholders from all EU member states, enabling them to use synergies and make the most of the European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.
The roll-out of the Stairway to Excellence project to the entire European Union was discussed today at a conference in Brussels. The initiative is run by the Joint Research Centre and the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy on behalf of the European Parliament.
28 February is the Rare Disease Day, meant to raise awareness about rare diseases. The JRC, together with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), is developing the European Platform on Rare Diseases Registration (EU RD Platform) to combine data on rare diseases, scattered across over 600 patients registries in the EU. The platform will facilitate data sharing for the benefits of patients and healthcare providers enabling the publication of EU-wide comparable statistics.
Between 27 and 36 million people are affected by rare diseases in the EU
JRC scientists developed and validated a cost efficient analytical method for the determination of four EU marker polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in edible oil to be used for official food control.
The JRC has developed a smartphone app that will help citizens to capture and share information about 37 invasive alien species of Union concern in Europe. The 'Invasive Alien Species Europe' app, which contains detailed information and photos of those plants and animals, makes it possible for citizens to use their phones' GPS system and camera to capture images of them.
New publication summarises the outcome of a workshop organised by the European Partnership of Alternatives to Animal Testing (EPAA) on the use of stem cell-derived in vitro test systems in toxicology.
The JRC has carried out a study of available knowledge on the replacement, reduction and refinement (the 3Rs) of animal procedures used in research and testing to understand how supply of such knowledge can better meet demand. Findings show that although much 3Rs knowledge exists, its sharing can be improved through better coordination, communication and outreach, and by more emphasis on targeted education and training initiatives.
The JRC, in the context of the European GMOval project, coordinated three inter-laboratory studies for the validation of qualitative methods suitable for screening for the presence of GMOs. The results are presented together with the acceptance parameters used during the in-house validation, the method transferability study and the inter-laboratory validation.
New standards on resources and emissions will help national authorities across the EU to lower the environmental impact of around 20 000 large poultry and pig farms. The new specifications stem from the review of the Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Document for the intensive rearing of poultry and pigs (IRPP), the so-called IRPP BREF, whose conclusions were published on 21 February 2017 in the Official Journal of the EU.
New limits for intensive farms-derived emissions
The JRC investigated how new liquid chromatography column technology has impacted the analysis of mycotoxins in food and feed. This work constitutes part of the JRC-hosted European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Mycotoxins and aims to support the work of the EU National Reference Laboratories.
JRC scientists have developed a suitable analytical method for the simultaneous determination of the process contaminants monochloropropanediol esters (MCPDEs) and glycidol esters (GEs) to be applied to a variety of food samples, including bread and rolls, fine bakery wares, smoked fish, fried and roasted meat, potato based snacks and fried potato products, cereal-based snacks and margarines.
The JRC released a new seawater reference material certified for its mercury concentration. This certified reference material (CRM) was produced in support of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) and will make the quality assessment of coastal waters more reliable.
The JRC has recently published two of a series of thematic reports that give recommendations and guidance on how to monitor and identify sources of litter that reach the seas, in order to help design measures to tackle marine litter.
Marine litter is recognised as a threat to both the marine ecosystem and human activities, and therefore is regarded by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as one of the Descriptors for measuring the "Good Environmental Status" of the Seas (D 10).
The JRC, in collaboration with 20 international laboratories, supported a Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS) study on the measurement of the shell thickness and chemistry of nanoparticle coatings X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS) and Low Energy Ion Scattering techniques.
The JRC developed a method based on field-flow fractionation for the detection of nanoparticles in a titanium dioxide material. This method has the potential to be applied for the characterisation of several non-coated and commercially available titanium dioxide materials, some of them authorised and used as feed additives in the European market.
The first ever global quantification of the impact of humanity on natural World Heritage sites (NWHS) finds that the vast majority of NWHS are under severe pressure from increasing human activities and forest loss. Led by an international team of researchers, including the JRC, the study provides crucial baseline information to help inform the ongoing preservation of NWHS.
Scientists from the JRC and US-FDA have reviewed and summarised current challenges in biotoxin monitoring and proposed strategies for improving efficiency in food control laboratories. The main focus was on the developments from prototype methods to ready-to-use methods for end-users, as well as novel ways of interpreting analytical performance data from recent studies in a simplified way.
The JRC – in co-operation with 12 other scientists from 5 EU Member States plus Canada, the United States and Brazil – summarized the recent developments in mycotoxin analysis. Mycotoxins are the top ranking contaminants listed in the European Commission's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).