The inability to access nutritious food due to poverty is the main reason people face food insecurity, an issue that affects people within the EU as well as in developing countries, according to Prof. Johan Swinnen, who is on the project management team of the EU-funded FOODSECURE project and sits on the EU scientific steering committee for Expo Milano.
Land-use information at the level of individual fields and forests is often scarce in developing countries and remote areas, but that could be changing thanks to the explosion of mobile phone ownership.
Female role models are an important way to promote gender equality among senior scientists, according to Professor Caroline Dean, a plant biologist at the John Innes Centre, in Norwich, UK. Prof. Dean is the winner of the 2015 European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Women in Science Award for her work in plant biology and working to promote women in science.
Cryopreservation, in which organic material is stored at extremely low temperatures, may not yet have reached the science fiction dream of placing people in suspended animation, but technology inspired by hard-to-freeze fish is helping make it an effective way of preserving genetic plant material for future use.
European scientists are applying hi-tech breeding to develop vegetables that can grow through blight and drought – a GMO-free way to help Europe cut down on animal feed imports and help the environment.
Europe’s agricultural by-products could be increasingly used to give people greener everyday commodities, such as oil-free vehicle fuel and bio-plastics, thanks to a planned multi-billion-euro partnership between the EU and industry.
New measurements of carbon emissions provide better estimates of deforestation effects.
Illegal logging is a billion-euro racket but trees have traceability built into their trunks.
Better space weather forecasts will help.