Co-studies

18 Oct Predictive Genetic Diagnostics as an Instrument for the Prevention of Illnesses

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2010
The early diagnosis of treatable illnesses plays an ever greater role in modern medicine. Predictive genetic diagnostics in conjunction with rapidly developing analytical methods and the sequencing of entire genomes presents uncharted territory in this respect. A key task of the National Academy of Sciences is to take up such topics and problems in particular, which constitute uncharted territory for society, and present scientific recommendations for responding to them. With the statement on hand, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech, which is the German Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (representing the Association of German Academies of Sciences) take up a topic of both extraordinary social relevance and one that is under controversial public discussion. The statement comprehensively illuminates the broad topic of predictive genetic diagnostics from various sides. Against the backdrop of the current state of knowledge, the chances and limits of predictive genetic diagnostics are examined as well as its medical, ethical, economic and legal dimensions explored.
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18 Oct Pre-Implantation Diagnostics (PID) – the Impact of a Limited Approval in Germany

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2011
Pre-implantation diagnostics (PID) is a diagnosis procedure that makes it possible for parents, who have a high risk of giving birth to a child with a serious hereditary disease, to give birth to a child who is not affected by the respective disease. In Germany, PID was considered to be prohibited pursuant to the Embryo Protection Law of 1990. The German Federal Supreme Court has argued in a ruling of July 6, 2010, that a prohibition of PID cannot be inferred with the requisite certainty from the Embryo Protection Law. Hence the lawmaker is called upon to take a clear-cut stand as to the question of the permissibility of PID. With the publication on hand, Leopoldina, which is the National Academy of Sciences, acatech, which is the German Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (representative for the Association of German Academies of Sciences) take on this current question and take an ad-hoc stand as to the question of pre-implantation diagnostics.
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18 Oct Statement: Synthetic Biology

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2009
Based on the disciplines of biology, molecular biology, chemistry, biotechnology as well as information technology and engineering sciences, a new field of research is evolving, called synthetic biology. It has attracted special attention recently, also on an international basis. Synthetic biology can make an essential contribution to the gaining of knowledge in basic research. Beyond that, it opens up options for biotechnological applications in the medium term, i.e. in the area of new and improved diagnostic agents, vaccines and drugs as well as the development of new biosensors and biomaterials or even biofuels. Concurrently, the research area opens up new questions, e.g. about legal aspects in the context of biological safety or the protection from abuse; likewise, questions about the economic use and ethical aspects. Against this backdrop, the German Research Foundation (DFG), acatech, which is the German Academy for Science and Engineering, and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have pooled their strengths and crafted a joint statement on possible opportunities and risks of synthetic biology.
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18 Oct White biotechnology and synthetic biology

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2012
Biotechnology is the application of S&T to living organisms. White biotechnology (Bio-Based Industries - BBl) uses renewable carbon sources  in fermentation processes to produce food compounds, fuels, specialties and chemical commodities, and plastics.  Synthetic biology (SB) introduces engineering principles into biotechnology, promoting the emergence of a true bio-economy.  Although endowed with a well-developed agriculture and BBI-related research, there are only about a dozen companies engaged in applications of SB to BBl in France, including start-ups, intermediate enterprises, and Total, resulting in few industrial realisations. The sector is considered risky by investors.  A consistent effort to train  engineers and PhD-students in these areas is essential.  Regarding risks, traditional BBI-products must be distinguished from SB-products in specific sectors. Upstream from industrial SB-applications on a large scale, research on the security, safety, ethics, toxicology and ecotoxicology is vital.  The academic SB community self-regulates its conduct in an effort of openness, transparency, anticipation and prevention of potential risks. Working-group leader: Pierre Monsan, director “Toulouse White Biotechnology” and NATF Fellow.
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18 Oct Bio energies development: Instruments for the feasibility analysis of energy conversion facilities.

Engineering Academy of Slovenia (IAS)
2009
The aim of the European Parliament’s “climate-energy pack”, whose target is to increase up to 20% renewable energy consumptions within the 2020, attributes to biomass a basic role in the future energy scenarios. Therefore, the use of bio energies represents, currently, an interesting opportunity not only for environmental and economic benefits, but also for a local development. The seminar illustrates the present opportunities to develop the three energy chains of wood biomass, biogas and liquid biofuels, as well as to illustrate some of the most interesting experiences realised in Regione Veneto. During the seminar, much time is devoted to the presentation of two software, realised by Itabia and CRPA, for the feasibility evaluation and the technical-economic analysis concerning the realisation of energy conversion plants, with particular attention to biogas production.
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18 Oct Concept for an Integrated Energy Research Program for Germany

National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
2009
The Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, has commissioned acatech and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina with the crafting of the concept for an integrated energy research program in autumn of 2008. The two academies were requested to identify the most important research questions between the apparently contradictory priorities of secure and affordable energy supply and the federal government’s climate protection goals. In so doing, the social, legal and economic aspects as well as questions of acceptance with regard to energy supply were to be addressed as well. Hence the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities as a representative of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities was integrated for the crafting of an initial concept draft in which around 100 scientists from universities, non-university research institutes, industry as well as civil society participated.
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18 Oct Nuclear Lessons Learned

Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng)
2010
This report constitutes the first phase of a larger project that will investigate the lessons to be learned from recent and current nuclear build projects that are relevant to new power station projects in the UK. In this context, the current report represents the academic summary of literature and information available to date.  This review identifies the following lessons: 1. Follow-on replica stations are cheaper than first-of-a-kind. 2. The design must be mature and licensing issues resolved prior to start of construction. 3. Establish a highly-qualified team to develop the design, secure the safety case, plan the procurement and build schedule in detail in collaboration with main contractors. 4. Ensure that sub-contractors are of high quality and experienced in nuclear construction or are taught the necessary special skills and requirements for quality, traceability and documentation. 5. Establish and maintain good communications with the community local to the site.
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18 Oct Infrastructure, Engineering and Climate Change Adaptation – ensuring services in an uncertain future

Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng)
2011
This study was an activity of the Engineering the Future partnership, carried out on behalf of Defra by The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Chemical Engineers.  The report examines vulnerabilities in different sectors of the national infrastructure to the effects of climate change and the modifications that would be needed to increase resilience. It also considers vulnerabilities that affect the infrastructure system as a whole and which arise as a result of Interdependencies between different sectors.
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17 Oct Nuclear Construction Lessons Learned Guidance on best practice: nuclear safety culture

Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng)
2012
Engineering the Future, following a request from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Office for Nuclear Development, set up a steering group to examine the lessons that could be learned from recent civil nuclear power plant construction projects.  The project steering group was formed by representatives from relevant engineering institutions and bodies and considered both the lessons that could be learned and how they should be incorporated into the proposed UK new build programme. In October 2010 the project steering group delivered a report to Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change, on the construction lessons learned from six international nuclear new build projects
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17 Oct Nuclear Construction Lessons Learned Guidance on best practice : Concrete

Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng)
2012
Engineering the Future, following a request from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Office for Nuclear Development, set up a steering group to examine the lessons that could be learned from recent civil nuclear power plant construction projects.  The project steering group was formed by representatives from relevant engineering institutions and bodies and considered both the lessons that could be learned and how they should be incorporated into the proposed UK new build programme. In October 2010 the project steering group delivered a report to Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change, on the construction lessons learned from six international nuclear new build projects.
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