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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2015

The IMPRESS European Training Network will provide a new generation of researchers with the multidisciplinary skills and competences needed to oversee new stocking strategies for Europes most important and threatened freshwater fish species (Atlantic salmon, European eel and sturgeons) thus enabling conservation and growth in a sector of significant economic and societal importance. Freshwater fish populations bring many benefits to Europes citizens through leisure activities, and enhance rural employment through fishing and tourism. The species included in IMPRESS are sentinel species of clean, healthy freshwater ecosystems and of major historical, cultural and economic importance. Over-exploitation and anthropogenic activities have critically endangered wild populations of these fish groups, especially sturgeons. As the main flaw of past stock enhancement is high post-release mortality, the researcher training in IMPRESS will build upon recent scientific advances, especially in fish genomics and enriched hatchery techniques, to develop innovative production regimes resulting in increased survival rates of released fish. This paradigm shift in stock enhancement strategies will require changes at every level of the production cycle, from broodstock management and gamete quality to hatchery design. New in vitro and -omics technologies will be developed to solve current bottlenecks in the production cycle of sturgeons. IMPRESS will also verse young researchers on the social dimensions of this complex issue, including the need to foster closer dialogue with the important stakeholders responsible for national and regional stocking programmes. Further, through dissemination and public engagement, all IMPRESS fellows will work actively to increase public awareness on the importance of these key fish species to freshwater biodiversity, and on the major societal benefits of healthy fish populations, both for recreational activities and for supporting rural employment.

French National Institute for Agricultural Research and French Natural History Museum | Date: 2016-04-27

The present invention relates to a composition exhibiting a bile-salt hydrolase activity for its use for the treatment or the prevention of giardiasis, said composition comprising a bile-salt hydrolase (BSH) enzyme, a bacterium able to secrete a BSH, a recombinant host cell able to secrete a BSH, or a combination thereof. The present invention also relates to the use of a composition exhibiting a BSH activity for the treatment or the prevention of giardiasis, and to a pharmaceutical composition or a food composition comprising, as an active principle, a BSH, a lactic acid bacterium able to secrete a BSH, or a recombinant host cell able to secrete a BSH.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-08-2014 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2015

Sample return missions (SRMs) are a critical next step in our exploration of the Solar System and are identified as strategic missions by international space agencies. Europe has a very strong legacy in the curation and research of precious extraterrestrial materials. To maintain European leadership and ensure high-level involvement in future SRMs, a dedicated European Sample Curation Facility (ESCF) to receive and curate returned samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars, is of critical importance. Euro-CARES will focus on 5 key themes for developing a ESCF: o Planetary Protection- protocols and methods for future SRMs o Instrumentation and Analytical Methods- in the fields of cosmo/geochemistry and biosciences o Facilities and Infrastructures- to curate sensitive extraterrestrial or biological materials o Analogue Materials- that are most appropriate and can be used in end to end SRM planning o Portable Receiving Technologies- used to move samples whilst retaining scientific integrity and bio-containment (for Mars samples) Using the 5 key themes Euro-CARES will: 1) Evaluate and critically assess the state of the art within Europe and internationally to identify critical requirements for the ESCF 2) Determine and verify European readiness levels to identify where investment is required and opportunities for European leadership in scientific and engineering fields related to curating extraterrestrial samples 3) Engage with scientific, industrial, governmental and public stakeholders through community workshops, conferences, publications and educational opportunities 4) Deliver recommendations and roadmaps defining the steps necessary to deliver a ESCF to ensure high-level involvement in future ESA and international SRMs Euro-CARES comprises a team of scientists and engineers from across Europe with internationally recognised expertise in astrobiology, biosciences, cosmo/geochemistry, extraterrestrial sample curation, planetary protection and space exploration.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.16. | Award Amount: 10.15M | Year: 2013

SYNTHESYS3 will create an accessible, integrated European resource for researchers in the natural sciences in Europe and globally. Building on the success of the previous SYNTHESYS IA, the NA will focus on improving collections management of new physical and virtual collections. By focusing the JRA on extracting and enhancing data from digitised collections, SYNTHESYS3 will increase the accessibility of these 390 million strong collections. A wide range of services and access both physical and digital will be provided to a broad range of scientific Users (from biological and geological related disciplines) in a consistent and accessible way. The natural history collections, held within the museums and herbaria, of Europe are World-class in terms of their magnitude and taxonomic coverage. They represent a resource unique in Europe as a model of the diversity of life on earth and are a physical dataset enabling Users to research how the human activity (including climate change) is having an increasingly negative impact on the diversity and distribution of biodiversity, which is threatening the continued provision of ecosystem services essential to human well-being.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-24-2016 | Award Amount: 1.55M | Year: 2017

Creating effective ways for citizen science is immensely important. Scientists in all fields increasingly rely on active public participation for experiments and analyses of complex and/or massive data, and the outreach and education possibilities of citizen science are enormous. Yet there are three key issues for any citizen science project: (i) reach out to a sufficiently large audience, (ii) lower the threshold to participation as much as possible, and (iii) provide incentives to continue participant engagement. We created Massively Multiplayer Online Science to connect scientific research and video games as a seamless gaming experience. Research tasks completely integrated with game mechanics, narrative and visuals can open up a new channel between the gamer and the scientific community. Converting a small fraction of the billions of hours spent with playing video games will bring an enormous contribution to scientific research, and in the meantime will change how video games expertise is perceived. The goal of GAPARS project is to develop and validate the reference platform enabling the injection of scientific tasks into on-line communities, such as gamers. To do so, we gathered a unique team of prestigious participants and one major game editor, all with a track-record of excellence in management and in their respective domain of expertise. This project will put Europe on the map with a new genre of serious games.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2015

According to the Charter of the European Geoparks Network adopted in Greece the 5th June of 2000, a European Geopark is a territory which includes a particular geological heritage and a sustainable territorial development strategy supported by a European programme to promote development. [].These territories have been labelled regarding their geological, cultural and ecological heritage - since the early 2000s this Label knows a growing success among European countries, particularly in the West (France, Germany, Italy, Spain). In 2013, 54 European Geoparks received the precious label. This international recognition by UNESCO attracts Southern countries to implement development strategies in line with the recommendations of good-practices management oriented by international organizations. Indeed, UNESCO takes into account a plurality of selective criteria such as a remarkable heritage (geology, archaeology, biodiversity, cultural), citizen participation, sustainable regional economic development plan, heritage and socio-economic values for local populations, etc. to proceed to the inscription process. It is based on an integrated and sustainable management & conservation strategy of natural and cultural heritage from an interdisciplinary approach (Humanities and Life & Earth Sciences) in consultation with local stakeholders (local communities, universities and civil society). Currently, there is no Geopark methodology adapted to the South. Thus, the GEOPARK project aims to study potential and compared areas (EU/Africa) with remarkable geological, ecological, social and cultural heritage. One located in Central Catalunia (Spain) and the other in the Zat Valley (Morocco) - Marrakech. Endowed with varied skills in Humanities and Life and Earth Sciences, GEOPARK project partners (public, private) propose to study biodiversity, geology, prehistory, social aspects, heritage, tourism as a geopark based on empirical surveys, field collecting data and shared experience.

Janvier P.,French Natural History Museum
Nature | Year: 2015

The interrelationships between major living vertebrate, and even chordate, groups are now reasonably well resolved thanks to a large amount of generally congruent data derived from molecular sequences, anatomy and physiology. But fossils provide unexpected combinations of characters that help us to understand how the anatomy of modern groups was progressively shaped over millions of years. The dawn of vertebrates is documented by fossils that are preserved as either soft-tissue imprints, or minute skeletal fragments, and it is sometimes difficult for palaeontologists to tell which of them are reliable vertebrate remains and which merely reflect our idea of an ancestral vertebrate. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Schliep K.P.,French Natural History Museum
Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Summary: phangorn is a package for phylogenetic reconstruction and analysis in the R language. Previously it was only possible to estimate phylogenetic trees with distance methods in R. phangorn, now offers the possibility of reconstructing phylogenies with distance based methods, maximum parsimony or maximum likelihood (ML) and performing Hadamard conjugation. Extending the general ML framework, this package provides the possibility of estimating mixture and partition models. Furthermore, phangorn offers several functions for comparing trees, phylogenetic models or splits, simulating character data and performing congruence analyses. © The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-RI | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 173.08K | Year: 2016

Human beings have been credited with unparalleled capabilities for digital prehension grasping. However, given the single evolutionary origin of humans and the unique anatomical features they possess, quantitative tests of evolutionary scenarios remain difficult. Moreover, functional inferences based on fragmentary fossil material are often problematic. However, grasping behavior is widespread among tetrapods, thus providing an excellent context for testing hypotheses concerning the origin of manipulation and grasping. The propensity to grasp, and the anatomical characteristics that underlie it, appear in all of the major groups of tetrapods. Although some features are common to all tetrapods, other features, such as opposable digits and tendon morphology, appear to have evolved independently in many lineages. Although recent papers have reviewed the state of the art on grasping, a holistic study including the whole forelimb and its behavioral context in locomotion and manipulation is currently lacking. The goal of the present project is to provide an integrative approach that examines the occurrence of grasping behavior, the anatomy and function of the forelimb, and the evolution of grasping across the three major tetrapod clades that show manual grasping abilities: mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Within each clade I will compare and contrast the use of the forelimb, its anatomy, and its function in both arboreal and terrestrial animals to test the hypothesis of an arboreal origin of grasping and manipulation capacity. I will study the use of the hand and the forelimb in the context of locomotion and object/food manipulation to understand the relations between anatomy, function and ecology. To do so, I will use state-of-the-art approaches to quantify the anatomy (CT scanning, 3D geometric morphometrics), the function (pressure and force measurements, 3D kinematics and biomechanical models), and the evolution of these traits in an explicit phylogenetic context.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-GF | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-GF | Award Amount: 256.41K | Year: 2015

Recent climate change is a major threat for conservation of amphibian diversity, the most endangered group of vertebrates. Species distribution models derived from functional traits have been proposed to provide more robust predictions of future climate-induced shifts in environmental suitability than commonly used correlative models. The proposed project aims, for the first time, to examine species vulnerability to climate change through a novel integration of two scientific disciplines, bioacoustics and biogeography, thanks to the use of new tools in acoustic monitoring, signal processing and species distribution modelling. We will first explore how a key and environment-dependent behavioural trait in amphibian anurans (i.e., reproductive calling behaviour) responds across climatic gradients and subsequently expand these findings into larger temporal and spatial scales through mechanistic approach at two levels of organisation, species and community. The MSCA is proposed as a 3-year GF. One of the most cited research groups in ecology (UFG) will host the fellow during the outgoing phase in Brazil, where data collection, first analyses, and training in biogeography will be conducted. The third year of return to the host organisation in France, with a leading group in bioacoustics and signal processing (MNHN), will be devoted to training in acoustic diversity indices, software development, and most transfer and dissemination activities. The MSCA will enable the fellow to be one of the first researchers with expertise in both bioacoustics and biogeography and hence will open up the best career possibilities for him and new collaboration opportunities for the host organisations. As the first using this novel approach, the MSCA is expected to provide advances in these two disciplines as well as to promote new scientific pathways. A series of outreach activities will also contribute to public education and awareness of amphibian decline and climate change threats.

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