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Exposure to 'forever chemicals', air pollution, stress and many other factors depends on where a person lives and their lifestyle choices. These exposures combine over the course of a lifetime, affecting human biology and health. The 'exposome' concept offers a framework for understanding and analysing this complex reality, and ultimately for informing the shaping of evidence-based policy on chemicals, food and the workplace, as well as on pollution, public health and the environment more generally ...

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle of any university and research system or institution, and is essential for a healthy democracy. The concept can be traced back to the birth of the Humboldtian research university model in Germany in the early 1800s. Despite international declarations and constitutional and legal protections, in recent years there has been renewed interest in academic freedom around the world owing to major challenges and threats from governments, industry and civil society ...

Most of the world's cobalt, a strategic raw material for the EU, is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is then shipped to China for processing before being used, for instance, in batteries and electric vehicles (EVs). This creates inefficiencies, extra emissions and, above all, crucial critical raw material and green sector dependencies on China. The DRC wants to move up the battery supply chain. A 2021 Bloomberg study shows that building a Congolese processing plant to produce ...

Rare diseases – defined as diseases that affect no more than one person in 2 000 – currently impact between 30 and 35 million EU citizens. Limited patient volume hinders research on these diseases, to the detriment of understanding of their biology, recruitment to clinical trials and survival rates. Real-time sharing of primary health data within and between rare disease healthcare centres and across Member States is feasible but there are obstacles. This report focuses on childhood cancer as a rare ...

Air pollution is the single most significant environmental health risk in the European Union, causing chronic disease and premature mortality. Some 300 000 premature deaths are caused by fine particulate matter annually in the EU, and the annual economic cost of air pollution is at least €330 billion. Industrial plants are a significant source of air pollution, releasing a wide range of harmful pollutants that can seriously impact on human health and the environment. While previous research has examined ...

The latest report of the ESPAS network, Choosing Europe’s Future, analyses global trends in order to identify key strategic challenges for the EU as the next legislative cycle begins. It is the fruit of collaboration between nine EU institutions and bodies. Key takeaways include the importance of being able to act quickly, given that game-changing developments can happen suddenly. It notes the risk of false economies; in areas such as defence and security, for example, efforts to avoid costs now ...

Alternative proteins are of increasing interest in terms of their potential to improve food security and reduce the environmental impacts of food and feed production. This study assesses the current state and future prospects of protein production globally and in the EU to 2050, with a focus on conventional and alternative protein sources for food and feed. While projections show increased conventional protein needs up to 2050, climate change necessitates exploring non-linear scenarios and the potential ...

The European automotive industry is striving to adapt to market changes driven by the dual green and digital transition. Electrification has become the main strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, especially in urban traffic. At the same time, the average size and weight of cars have greatly increased. Big electric cars are the trend, but are they really the solution? Could better planning and optimisation of resources help?

Nuclear energy and the promise of cost-effective small modular reactors (SMRs) is high on the EU's policy agenda, against the backdrop of a difficult global geopolitical context and the Union's energy security and climate ambitions. The EU is building a comprehensive strategy for the development and deployment of SMRs, acknowledging their potential benefits and challenges. Innovative nuclear technologies are of significant strategic value, with major steps being taken to increase the supply of advanced ...

Academic freedom is widely acknowledged both as a fundamental value of present-day higher education and science, and as a prerequisite for well-functioning democratic societies. Yet in recent years, major concerns about the state of academic freedom in the European Union have been raised by various stakeholders. The European Parliament launched an annual EP Academic Freedom Monitor in 2022, aimed at helping to strengthen the protection of academic freedom in the European Union. This report presents ...