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The liveliest of our feathered garden visitors, the little acrobatic blue tit, and her close cousin the great tit, can tell us a lot about how birds adapt to climate change, urbanisation and other changes in their environment. To mark this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Anne Charmantier who studies how these songbirds are adapting to their fast-changing habitat and what that could mean for their long-term survival.
Illegal fishing destroys marine habitats and threatens species living at sea. The work of ERC grantee Henri Weimerskirch is helping authorities to crack down on these operations by developing the world’s first seabird ocean-surveillance system.
Cancelled flights, and less commercial and industrial activity during lockdown are reducing air and light pollution around the world, leading to spectacular views of the night sky. To mark this year’s International Dark Sky Week, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Minna Palmroth who, together with a group of Finnish amateur stargazers, has discovered a new kind of northern lights.
What if damaged brain cells could be replaced? ERC grantee Malin Parmar has developed innovative genetic reprogramming techniques that can produce new brain cells from other types of cells in the body, opening up new therapeutic pathways to combat disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Because lifespans have been steadily increasing, age-related diseases are also on the rise. ERC grantee Linda Partridge is researching ways to help prevent illness in later years and pave the way to a happier and healthier old age.
Historically, due to a difference in lifestyles, men were at a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke than women. While this is no longer the case, obsolete stereotypes and misconceptions mean these conditions in women are often misdiagnosed. ERC grantee Nabila Bouatia-Naji aims to decipher the genetic and molecular causes of two devastating cardiovascular diseases which commonly affect women under 60. Her work could lead to a better understanding of these diseases and to improvements in treatment.
A study published in Science by ERC grantee Dr Fernando T. Maestre shows how increases in aridity such as those forecasted under climate change lead to abrupt shifts in dryland ecosystems worldwide, limiting their capacity to sustain life and provide essential ecosystem services to more than 2 billion people.
Une bourse du Conseil européen de la recherche (ERC) a permis au professeur Guust Nolet de retourner en Europe pour développer de petits robots sous-marins qui pourraient aider à comprendre la structure de notre planète. Dix ans plus tard, grâce à un partenariat industriel financé par une subvention supplémentaire, ces robots sont aussi utilisés pour surveiller la santé de nos océans.
An ERC grant motivated Prof. Guust Nolet to move back to Europe to develop small underwater robots that could help us understand our planet’s structure. Ten years later, thanks to an industrial partnership funded by an additional ERC grant, these robots are also employed to monitor the health of our oceans.
Finding ways to enlist the bacteria living in our bodies to defend against infections while better understanding their role in promoting antibiotic resistance are key to fighting this growing problem, says Dr Nassos Typas, a microbiologist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.