In the spotlight
As AI accelerates, can Europe keep up?
The complex interplay between AI and advanced computing hardware raises strategic dilemmas for Europe. While Europe has a very strong scientific base, its commercial computing base is relatively weak.
NATO allies take further steps towards responsible use of AI, data, autonomy and digital transformation
On Thursday (13 October), NATO Defence Ministers agreed to establish a Review Board to govern the responsible development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data across the NATO Enterprise.
AI language processors show bias against people with disabilities: study
A recent study has found that the algorithms that power AI based language processors frequently exhibit characteristics that might be insulting or discriminatory toward people with disabilities.
“DishBrain” is a network of nerve cells grown on a computer chip, which is capable of interacting with the outside world via that chip https://t.co/YCghA5wC32
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 14, 2022
EU offers guidelines for schools to boost digital literacy
The European Commission has this week released its guidelines for educators on promoting digital skills and tackling disinformation for use in primary and secondary schools across the EU.
BSC to team up with Japanese Centre for Computational Science RIKEN
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) and the RIKEN Centre for Computational Science (R-CCS), the leadership centre for supercomputing research in Japan, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for research collaboration.
Europe is taking the lead in bringing the rules of the analogue world to the digital.
This week, the Digital Markets Act officially became law.
A law to redress the imbalance of power in the digital sector and ensure these markets remain fair and open.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) October 14, 2022
Deep-sea mining: is it an environmental curse or could it save us?
Potato-sized clumps of metal at the bottom of the deepest oceans might aid our fight against climate change, but mining these could also damage a world we know very little about. Some 30 companies currently have permits to explore the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Destruction of the Amazon: what you need to know
Environmentalists often cite the conservation of the Amazon rainforest as a crucial way to mitigate the climate crisis. A look at the current situation and what’s at stake.
Drop in wildlife species reaches 69%, WWF report reveals
The worst drop in wildlife populations has been witnessed in Latin America and the Caribbean regions, with an average decline of 94% in a time interval of almost 50 years. During the same period, monitored populations in Africa plummeted by 66%, while populations in the Asia Pacific region fell by 55%.
“Broken Spectre” is an extraordinary portrait of environmental crime in the Brazilian Amazon, told through three unusual mediums and a soundscape that reverberates through the visitor’s body https://t.co/1V5hWnJUwG
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 16, 2022
#Fridayfacts: Based on the EEA's 'European city air quality viewer', the city with the cleanest air in Europe, during 2020 and 2021, was… ➡️
Find out more about #airpollution and its #health impacts: https://t.co/s7MBMD6Szq
— EU EnvironmentAgency (@EUEnvironment) October 14, 2022
Mobility & Energy
Robots monitor the environmental impact of the gas leak
The University of Gothenburg has deployed three underwater robots in the Baltic waters around the leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
MEPs call for ‘coherent framework’ on clean hydrogen, including nuclear
In a letter, 19 MEPs from a cross the political spectrum have urged the European Commission to include low-carbon hydrogen in the production targets for decarbonised hydrogen and to promote domestic production instead of imports.
France starts gas deliveries to Germany
France has started sending natural gas to Germany as part of its pledge to ensure EU energy solidarity as Russia reduces exports after its invasion of Ukraine. These shipments are part of a deal agreed by the French president and the German chancellor in September.
🔋🚗 The irregular movement of lithium ions in next-generation battery materials used in electric cars could be reducing their capacity and hindering their performance.
— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) October 17, 2022
Science policy & Communication
With RT still live, France’s hands are tied
More than seven months after Europe banned Moscow-backed news outlets RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and Sputnik, an investigation by public radio France Inter found that RT France was still broadcasting live on the fringe platform Odysee – a go-to website for disinformation and conspiracy theories on various topics including COVID-19.
Leading scientists gather at UCC to plan future of microbiome research
Leading figures in microbiome science gathered in Cork recently to progress the ‘Human Microbiome Action’ project. Europe is at the forefront of microbiome research and innovation, however, progress in defining a healthy microbiome is needed to advance the translation of findings to clinical use.
CERN publishes comprehensive open science policy
CERN’s core values include making research open and accessible for everyone. A new policy now brings together existing open science initiatives to ensure a bright future based on transparency and collaboration at CERN.
Early years education is crucial in accelerating children’s development for their futures. 🌟💫
Curiosity at 5 year-old is strongly link to cognitive development such as literacy skills and memory skills! 👧🧒🏽
— OECD Education (@OECDEduSkills) October 17, 2022
For more on spyware and its use against journalists, @pressfreedom compiled a special report based on interviews with reporters, tech experts, and press freedom advocates in multiple countrieshttps://t.co/cjiqd8y50h
— Reuters Institute (@risj_oxford) October 14, 2022
Agriculture & Food
Celebrating the World Food Day
Food and what we consume has shaped human history, culture, diversity and aesthetics. It is necessary for our very survival. It brings families together. It defines cultures. In recognition of the influence food has in all of our lives, in 1979 on October 16 people in over 150 countries started a movement to celebrate World Food Day to raise awareness of food security issues and strengthen solidarity in the fight against hunger.
The efforts to increase the number of Ireland’s female farmers
It notes that the huge role women play in agriculture, a traditionally male-dominated industry, is often invisible to the public. They rarely inherit land due to the inter-generation transfer of farms through the male line. Yet, they provide analytical skills, contribute to strategic development decisions, look after “the books” and deal with the ‘red tape’ of modern farming.
Fast food fever: how ultra-processed meals are unhealthier than you think
For a long time it has been known that diets dominated by ultra-processed food (UPF) are more likely to lead to obesity. But recent research suggests that high UPF consumption also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and, according to a recent American study involving 50,000 health professionals, of developing colon cancer.
We now take a closer look at drinks ☕️🥂
— University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) October 16, 2022
Intensified by geopolitical challenges and climatic events, 3.1 billion people around the world cannot afford a healthy diet.
Laura Rasmussen is researching how wild forest foods can contribute to #foodsecurity across Africa.
— European Research Council (ERC) (@ERC_Research) October 16, 2022
For a long time, it was thought that humanity’s stone-age ancestors majored on meat and eschewed carbs. But four decades-worth of detailed dietary data on the Hadza of Tanzania suggest that the ratio of animals to plants is about 50:50 https://t.co/vrU2uXVopu
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 16, 2022
Our mental health problems require more than just helplines
No matter how many shopping malls, fancy eateries or designer apartments this country has, it is all meaningless if they still fail to make us happy.
Electronic skin patches could restore lost sensation and detect disease
This may sound like an outlandish scenario, but it’s not. Researchers across Europe are making rapid progress towards developing elastic membrane patches that mimic the human skin either in looks, functionality, or both.
📢EMA's human medicines committee, the #CHMP, recommends🔟new #medicines for approval in the 🇪🇺, including treatments against:
☑️Several types of cancers
— EU Medicines Agency (@EMA_News) October 14, 2022
How could Big Data transform the way we prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer?
— Oxford Cancer (@OxfordCancer) October 14, 2022
Mental health issues will also likely be exacerbated. Earlier this week on World Mental Health Day we noted that almost 10M people at present time are potentially at risk of mental disorders such as acute stress, anxiety, depression, substance use & post-traumatic stress disorder
— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) October 14, 2022
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 17, 2022
Cyprus, EU launch project to link island to European electricity grid
Cyprus launched an EU-funded project Friday (14 October) to link the eastern Mediterranean island to the European electricity grid via an undersea power cable billed as the world’s longest and deepest. The European Union has approved €757 million in funding for the 1,200 kilometre cable to Greece.
Commission reassures MEPs and industry that Horizon budget for quantum research won’t be cut
EU vice president Margrethe Vestager has reassured MEPs and industry that the European Commission will try to safeguard next year’s Horizon Europe budget and that money will not be taken away from the quantum flagship to fund other initiatives, such as Chips for Europe.
Regions and cities call for a macro-regional strategy for the Mediterranean
The European Union’s regions and cities believe that developing a macro-regional strategy for the Mediterranean basin would allow to tackle jointly the necessary green and digital transitions, as well as socio-economic, migratory and security challenges.
New EU project will offer forest-based policy pathways for a climate-neutral society
The newly-funded Horizon Europe project ‘ForestPaths’ will co-design, quantify and evaluate forest-based solutions to meet the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and 2050. Forests are vital to achieving the EU’s goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050.
Pizza-making robot? Scientists on the job
Do you prefer pepperoni? Pineapple and ham? All vegetable? One day, you might be ordering your favourite pizza from a robot. Researchers at a university in Pittsburgh are working on creating a pizza-making robot. Although humans may not find it too difficult to roll out dough, slice toppings and pull it all together, it’s not as easy for a robot.
Why disconnecting from your phone is so good for you – and how to do it
Graham Dugoni was sick of seeing smartphones everywhere when he lived in San Francisco in 2014. So he decided to create device-free spaces for people like him: artists, educators, and anyone else who craved a digital break.
1️⃣ Remove notes from piece of music in proportion to number of whales killed by humans
2️⃣ Play fragmented music to festival crowd
— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) October 14, 2022
Authorities in northern Iraq have unveiled an "archaeological park" of 2,700-year-old carvings from the rule of the Assyrians, including showing kings praying to the gods. https://t.co/v1m6sTHt97
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) October 16, 2022