245 Projects, page 1 of 49
In order to address the challenge of undernourishment we need to understand better how plants grow, how they interact with their environment, and how to increase plants’ productivity. During the past decades important progress has been made in plant biology due to the development of genetic and genomic tools. Still many questions remain unanswered highlighting the need for the development of complementary technologies to genetic methods. Plants’ growth and productivity are determined by photosynthesis and the way its products, such as sucrose, are distributed and utilized during the growth and development of the plant. The goal of Trans-Plant is the development of a complementary technology based on organic bioelectronics that will allow in-vivo sucrose monitoring in the vascular tissue of the plant from source to sink and give new insight to the transport mechanism of sucrose. This project will focus on interfacing organic bioelectronics with plants and developing the devices in-vivo where the plant’s complex structure consists of an integral part of the device. It will open up new possibilities for monitoring and controlling physiology in plants and result in the development of a state of the art device concept and technique for organic bioelectronics and plant science. During the fellowship Eleni Stavrinidou will be trained to develop a unique set of expertise, she will gain new knowledge and skills in more than one discipline, she will acquire transferable skills and she will expand her scientific and industrial network through collaborations and meetings. Therefore this fellowship will accelerate her scientific and professional development.
The new global temperature goal calls for reliable quantification of present and future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including climate feedbacks. Non-CO2 GHGs, with methane (CH4) being the most important, represent a large but highly uncertain component in global GHG budget. Lakes are among the largest natural sources of CH4 but our understanding of lake CH4 fluxes is rudimentary. Lake emissions are not yet routinely monitored, and coherent, spatially representative, long-term datasets are rare which hamper accurate flux estimates and predictions. METLAKE aims to improve our ability to quantify and predict lake CH4 emissions. Major goals include: (1) the development of robust validated predictive models suitable for use at the lake rich northern latitudes where large climate changes are anticipated in the near future, (2) the testing of the idea that appropriate consideration of spatiotemporal scaling can greatly facilitate generation of accurate yet simple predictive models, (3) to reveal and quantify detailed flux regulation patterns including spatiotemporal interactions and response times to environmental change, and (4) to pioneer novel use of sensor networks and near ground remote sensing with a new hyperspectral CH4 camera suitable for large-scale high resolution CH4 measurements. Extensive field work based on optimized state-of-the-art approaches will generate multi-scale and multi-system data, supplemented by experiments, and evaluated by data analyses and modelling approaches targeting effects of scaling on model performance. Altogether, METLAKE will advance our understanding of one of the largest natural CH4 sources, and provide us with systematic tools to predict future lake emissions. Such quantification of feedbacks on natural GHG emissions is required to move beyond state-of-the-art regarding global GHG budgets and to estimate the mitigation efforts needed to reach global climate goals.
Up to 30% of individuals with inherited cardiac arrhythmias such as Long QT syndrome are not protected from sudden cardiac death despite state-of-the-art treatment. A major hurdle for effective risk stratification and treatment of inherited cardiac arrhythmias is the poor correlation between genetic variant and clinical manifestations. Affected individuals, who harbour the same arrhythmia-causative mutation, paradoxically display a spectrum of clinical phenotypes ranging from a lifelong asymptomatic state to sudden death in infancy. Up to 40% of genotype-positive individuals, depending on type of arrhythmia, do not display clinical manifestation. Based on our unpublished observations, I propose that an important, yet unexplored, underlying cause of the diverse clinical manifestations are endogenous resilience and trigger factors, which interact with mutated cardiac ion channels to alter arrhythmia severity. MOLEC ANTI-ARRHYT utilizes front-line experimental and computational approaches and the cardiac IKs potassium channel, which is strongly linked to lethal arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, as a prototype. We aim to: (i) identify major classes of endogenous ligands with therapeutic (resilience factors) or pathological (trigger factors) effects on the IKs channel, (ii) provide proof of mechanism for how the effect of resilience and trigger factors is determined by arrhythmia-causative mutations in the IKs channel, (iii) utilize resilience mechanisms to develop a fundamentally novel concept of anti-arrhythmic drug development: Resilience-Mimetic Drug Development. The successful completion of this project will open up new avenues for personalized risk stratification and clinical management, which ultimately will improve the clinical outcome for individuals with inherited arrhythmias.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) based on organometallic halide perovskites have attracted increasing interest due to their unique properties, such as high colour purity, easily tunable optoelectronic properties, and solution processable for low-cost and large-arear manufacturing, showing great potential in displays and lighting applications. Even though the photonic and electronic properties of perovskites are very attractive, the poor stability and relatively low photoluminescent efficiency are two major problems that limit their progress in LEDs. In this project, I aim to address these challenges and develop efficient and stable perovskite LEDs. I propose a) to design and synthesize Ruddlesden-Popper perovskite (RPP) emitters with stable crystal structures and excellent optoelectronic properties, with the help of first-principles calculations, b) to deposit high-quality RPP films using new synthetic routes, and c) to fabricate efficient and stable LEDs with performance beyond the state of the art, by coupling device engineering with device physics investigations. This project will increase the fundamental knowledge concerning RPP materials and devices. The expected outcomes are new type perovskite materials with good optoelectronic properties, as well as stable and efficient LEDs. In addition, I will be trained to develop new interdisciplinary knowledge and skills and to reach professional maturity by implementing the project. In addition to individual development, successful implementation of this project will also promote the international competitiveness of the host organization on research of perovskite optoelectronics. Potential commercialization of the new perovskite materials and LEDs products will also generate economic growth and new job opportunities for the Europe society.
High embryonic mortality at the peri-implantation period (70%) is accounted after pig embryo transfer (ET), which is almost double than that of natural breeding or artificial insemination (AI). Since pregnancy is an interesting immunological paradox, our starting hypothesis is that the mechanisms regulating the maternal immune response to the embryos may be less efficient in the case of ET pregnancies, where the transferred embryos are allogeneic (e.g. contain paternal and maternal material unrelated to the recipient mother) than after natural breeding or AI, where only paternal material is unrelated to the mother (semi-allogeneic). This difference could be behind the increased embryonic death. The project will study transcriptomic and cytokine changes of porcine endometrial tissue in the presence of semi-allogeneic and allogeneic embryos during the peri-implantation period and also in the placenta of healthy and arrested fetuses. The results of the project will unveil mechanisms behind embryo-maternal dialogue. This fact is relevant in view of the necessary implementation of emergent breeding technologies, as embryo transfer (ET), for supporting sustainability and competitiveness of the European pig sector. EU is currently second biggest pig producer in the world and the largest exporter of antibiotic- and residue-free pig products derived from animals raised on highest welfare standards and with the highest genetic value. The understanding of embryo-maternal dialogue under allogeneic environments might be determinant to implement new strategies to increase the reproductive performance after ET not only in pigs but also, comparatively, in other livestock species and even in humans, where the use of donor oocytes for IVF is currently increasing. This project, with a focus on pregnancy immunological regulation, is of utmost interest for the EU goals, contributing to determine which factors still jeopardize full fertility and prolificacy when applying ET technology.