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EFB Newsletter - October 2008
October 2008 - European Federation of Biotechnology

In this Issue:
EFB News: Rare opportunity for Scientists to get involved in European policy-making! 
- Unique Opportunity: European Commission Calls On Scientific Experts For Its Risk Assessment Advisory Structure On Safety In Biotechnology
- EFB Biotechnology Days At ExpoQuimia
- EULAFF International Workshop
- Sustainable Energy & Environment Forum
Latest Biotech Patents
Biotech Headlines

Unique Opportunity: European Commission Calls On Scientific Experts For Its Risk Assessment Advisory Structure On Safety In Biotechnology

The European Commission, DG Sanco, has opened a call for interest for scientists to become members of the EU Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory structure. This is a rare opportunity for all those scientist who want to play a role in the policy-making arena. The Advisory Structure is the place where scientific excellence is required to providing advice which is taken up in the drafting of new laws and regulations.

The multidisciplinary and highly interactive atmosphere that permeates the work of the Advisory Structure allows for multiple contacts, open discussions, and collaboration between scientists including opportunities for dialogue with decision makers at the highest level. These work conditions often serve as an impetus for the generation of new policies and new scientific research ideas. Advising the European Commission gives right to a financial retribution.

Note that the deadline for expressions of interest is 31 October 2008.

To find out more, visit: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/call_expression_en.htm

If you apply, please let us know at efb@efb-central.org

Patrick Rüdelsheim 
Chairman EFB Task Group Safety in Biotechnology

EFB Biotechnology Days At ExpoQuimia 20-21 October 2008 | Barcelona, Spain

One of the consolidated applications of biotechnology is the use of enzymes and microorganisms to obtain industrial products. Known as White Biotechnology, it is becoming increasingly used because of the financial advantages it offers and its greater environment-friendliness. Two clear examples of this trend are to be found in biofuels and biopolymers.

With the participation of the European Federation of Biotechnology, Expoquimia has organised two workshops to inform about the latest scientific and technological progress, companies’ experiences and impact on society, focused on biofuels and biopolymers, respectively.

Workshop on Biofuels
Workshop on Biopolymers

Download: Program and Application form
More information at: http://expoquimiabio08.com/

EULAFF International Workshop 8-9 December 2008 | Gent, Belgium
The commercial development of a functional food sector and its corresponding supply chain has the potential to significantly contribute to the economic development of Latin American countries, which , along with the development of a European functional foods sector, is the main purpose of EULAFF.

In addition, identification of the active ingredients in these foods, and characterisation of their therapeutic and pharmacological activities would provide new opportunities in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and ingredients sectors.

Previous workshops held by EULAFF demonstrated a number of promising value chains that have been identified by Latin American research teams and that are of potential interest for European companies in the food, drinks and pharmaceutical sectors.

Objectives of the Workshop

To present and discuss research findings that are of potential commercial interest
Analyse the opportunities for commercialisation in Europe
Analyse the possible limitations for reaching the European market (supply chains, institutions, policies)
Develop an action agenda

Work programme Day 1 – Open forum – opportunities, obstacles and challenges – from farm to market

What are the most interesting opportunities: Latin American expert presentations on opportunities identified of potential interest to the food, drink and pharmaceuticals markets
What industry and the market want: European expert presentations on European consumer expectations, consumer trends, industry drivers, the regulatory environment, commercialisation strategies and public-private cooperation strategies

Day 2 – Basic principles and ideas for a Work agenda on the subject

Workgroup 1: Analysis of opportunities in the food and beverage sector
Workgroup 2: Analysis of opportunities in the healthcare and wellness sector
Plenary meeting with presentations and discussions of the workgroups proposals
Formulation of a Work Agenda

The EULAFF International Workshop will be held on December 8-9, 2008 in Gent, Belgium

Sustainable Energy & Environment Forum  21-22 October, 2008 | Roskilde, Denmark

The Sustainable Energy & Environment Forum offers a unique setting with pan-European networking for top entrepreneurs, R&D leaders, investors and experts from the energy sector. This is an opportunity to connect with the whole value chain of technology innovation, from R&D leaders via entrepreneurs and investors to international corporations with global market access.

Participants will be able to:

Gain access to European business applications, research and investment
Build collaborations and business opportunities throughout the technology innovation value chain
Meet one2one with specific R&D leaders, entrepreneurs, experts or investors

Be a part of Europe's innovation elite in the energy sector and shape the future of the industry

Download: Sustainable Energy & Environment Forum - Brochure
More information at: http://www.e-unlimited.com/events/p200246/overview.asp/

Publication Date: 09.09.2008
Assignee: Viterra, Inc. (Regina, CA)
Patent Number: 7,423,198
Published by: United States Patent Office
Abstract: In various aspects, the invention provides Brassica juncea plants, seeds, cells, nucleic acid sequences and oils. Edible oil derived from plants of the invention may have significantly higher oleic acid content than other B. juncea plants. [Read More]

Publication Date: 07.10.2008
Assignee: Agrigenetics, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN)
Publication Number: 7,432,416
Published by:United States Patent Office
Abstract: The invention is directed to plants that display a drought tolerance phenotype due to altered expression of a DRO2 nucleic acid. [Read More]

Publication Date: 10.09.2008
Applicant: Bioecon Internat Holding N V (AN)
Patent Number: EP1968146 (A1)
Published by: European Patent Office
Abstract: A process is disclosed for converting cellulosic biomass to electric energy. Cellulosic biomass is dissolved in a suitable solvent. The solution is used as a feed for a fuel cell. [Read More]


Publication Date: 17.09.2008
Applicant: Consejo Superior Investigacion (ES)
Patent Number: EP1970380 (A1)
Published by: European Patent Office
Abstract: The invention relates to a protein which can blind to or inhibit the viral uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG) enzyme and to the use thereof as a therapeutic agent, particularly as an antiviral agent. [Read More]

Publication Date: 04.09.2008
Applicant: Korea Institute Of Industrial Technology (KR)
Patent Number: WO/2008/105618
Published by: WIPO
Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of producing biofuel, more specifically a method of producing biofuel comprising the steps of generating monosugars from marine algae, or from polysaccharides extracted from marine algae by treating the marine algae or the polysaccharides with a hydrolytic enzyme and/or a hydrolytic catalyst; and fermenting the monosugars using a microorganism to produce biofuel. [Read More]

Publication Date: 02.10.2008
Applicant: TO-BBB HOLDING B.V. (NL)
Patent Number: WO/2008/118013
Published by: WIPO
Abstract: The invention relates to methods of targeted drug delivery of antiviral compounds, including, chemical agents (like nucleoside analogs or protease inhibitors) and nucleic acid based drugs (like DNA vaccines, antisense oligonucleotides, ribozymes, catalytic DNA (DNAzymes) or RNA molecules, siRNAs or plasmids encoding thereof). [Read More]

12-14 October 2008
London, UK
12-17 October 2008
Dalian, China
18-22 October 2008
Beijing , China
20-21 October 2008
Barcelona, Spain
21-22 October 2008
Roskilde, Denmark

Industry leaders team up on science and maths education: Europe's main industry leaders have launched an initiative to develop cooperation between schools and businesses to renew interest in maths, science and technology (MST) in a bid to avoid shortages of skilled engineers in future. (Source: EurActiv)

MEPs call for ban on food from clones: As the US Food and Drug Administration sets the groundwork for allowing sales of food products from cloned animals, the European Union (EU) is preparing for another moratorium. (Source: European Biotechnology Science & Industry News)

Nobel awards revive HIV discovery row: The award of the Nobel prize for medicine reopened a 25-year-old controversy over the discovery of HIV by neglecting an American researcher who played a significant role in the early scientific work on Aids. (Source: The Guardian)

Astroparticle physics unveils its 'Magnificent Seven': Europe's astroparticle physics community has released details of its 'Magnificent Seven': major research infrastructures that will hopefully help scientists answer key questions about the nature of the universe. (Source: Cordis News)

Gene discovery may help hunt for blindness cure: British scientists said they had found six variants within the gene called Serping1 that were associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). (Source: Reuters)

Almost one in four mammal species threatened with extinction: Approximately one in four species of land mammal and one in three marine mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to a major new study. The scientists gathered detailed information on each species' taxonomy, distribution, habitats, population trends and ecology, as well as information on human use of the species and conservation measures. The assessment represents the first comprehensive investigation of the health of terrestrial and marine mammals around the world. (Source: Cordis News)

Genetic Test in Pregnant Women's Blood May Detect Down Syndrome: Scientists used a gene-sequencing method that amplified fragments of DNA found in the mother's blood, including a tiny proportion that comes from the fetus. The novel approach allowed them to detect excess genetic material from a specific chromosome, indicating a problem. (Source: Bloomberg)

Sequencing Thousand And One Genomes: Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Germany, reported the simultaneous completion of the first genomes of wild Arabidopsis thaliana strains as part of the 1001 Genomes Project. (Source: Science Daily)

Europe follows fusion twin track: An alternative fusion project has been kicked off in Europe that would seek abundant clean energy using a colossal laser. The laser would tap the energy by squeezing together atoms of hydrogen - a process very similar to the one that powers the Sun. (Source: BBC News)

Pneumonia Vaccine Lowers Chances of Heart Attack: Being vaccinated against pneumonia halves the risk of having a heart attack two years later, a new Canadian study finds. (Source: HealthDay)

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