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Energy: Italy, ENEA study on how to save 2.7 billion cubic metres of gas and 180 euros on household bills

Save almost 2.7 billion cubic metres of methane gas and reduce household bills by around 180 euros per year through a set of cost-saving measures in the residential sector. This in short is the objective of the study “Actions to reduce national gas demand in the residential sector” drawn up by ENEA and presented by its president Gilberto Dialuce during an online press event attended by the Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani.

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Space: the first micro vegetable garden Made in Italy launched into orbit

GREENCube is the first space vegetable garden experiment launched into orbit with the maiden flight of the European Space Agency's (ESA) new VEGA-C launcher from the Kourou base in French Guiana, together with the LARES2 scientific satellite and five other nano-satellites. The micro vegetable garden measuring 30 x 10 x 10 centimetres was designed by an all-Italian scientific team consisting of ENEA, the Federico II University of Naples and Sapienza University of Rome, in the role of coordinator and contractor with the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

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Research: Italian Air Force, ENEA and Cnr test biofuel on a military jet for the first time

First experimental flights for an Italian Air Force aircraft powered by a fuel mixture containing up to 25% biofuel. The tests were conducted on an AMX fighter by pilots and specialized personnel of the Air Force at the Aeronautical and Space Experimentation Division (DASAS) located in Pratica di Mare (Rome). The project came from a preliminary study and experimentation activity carried out in collaboration with researchers from ENEA and three institutes of the National Research Council (CNR), the Institute on Atmospheric Pollution (IIA), the National Institute of Optics (INO) and the Institute of Sciences and Technologies for Energy and Sustainable Mobility (STEMS).

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Health: Innovative video analysis system by ENEA to combat Parkinson's disease

ENEA and Tor Vergata Hospital in Rome have developed an innovative video analysis system for early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and personalisation of drug therapy. Published in the international journal Applied Sciences, the research focused on alterations in motor skills, such as changes in balance, posture and gait, which are hallmarks of the disease. The analysis of these abilities provides relevant early clues for the diagnosis and study of disease progression, facilitating the initiation and evaluation of therapy.

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Water: drought, with technological innovation, water savings and lower costs for agriculture

Use treated wastewater to irrigate and fertilise fields, meeting up to 70% of the Emilia-Romagna region's irrigation water needs, also reducing fertiliser costs by around 30%. This is the result of experiments conducted by the VALUE CE IN project coordinated by ENEA, in partnership with the Hera Group and the University of Bologna among others. As part of the project, an innovative prototype system for reusing treated water for irrigating peach trees and tomato plants was developed and successfully tested at the Hera treatment plant in Cesena.

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Water: drought, ENEA's 20 tips for saving water (and energy)

Rule number one: don’t waste water. A tip that is always valid, but even more so during a water emergency like the one we are currently experiencing, marked by the worst drought in 10 years. To combat water waste and make its management more sustainable, ENEA has drawn up a 20-point guide with suggestions and good practices, mistakes to avoid, and also solutions and technologies for saving water (and energy), especially in the residential sector. In short, when at home reduce leaks and waste and use it more rationally. In general, employ less water-intensive processes and systems, purification and reuse, improved efficiency and digitisation of the waterworks, but also good practices by families and schools.

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Energy: The design of the first fusion power plant up to 500 MW is under way

The engineering design of the first fusion demonstration power plant capable of safely and sustainably producing 300-500 MW of electrical power around mid-century has begun. Called DEMO (Demonstration Fusion Power Reactor), the plant will be able to meet the annual needs of around 1.5 million households. This was announced in Brussels by the EUROfusion Consortium – comprising 21 Italian organisations coordinated by ENEA, including the Institute for Plasma Science and Technology of the National Research Council (CNR-Istp) and the RFX Consortium – at the launch conference of Horizon EUROfusion, the new European fusion research programme co-funded by the European Commission through Euratom.

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Energy: 3°C cooler in the home in the summer with green roofs and walls

A reduction in the indoor temperature during the summer of up to 3°C thanks to “green insulation” consisting of plants on the roofs and walls of buildings, which reduces heat flow by almost 50% through the shading and transpiration of plants arranged to protect against solar radiation. These are some of the latest findings of the ENEA project entitled “Green infrastructure to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the quality of the microclimate in urban areas”, financed under the Programme Agreement for Electricity System Research 2019-2021 of the Ministry of Economic Development, now under the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

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Health: Medulloblastoma, the results of an ENEA project supported by AIRC for a new therapeutic approach

A group of ENEA researchers has tested a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of medulloblastoma, the most frequent brain tumour in paediatric age, as part of the NANOCROSS project supported by the AIRC Foundation for Cancer Research. The results obtained, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, are based on the use of engineered plant viruses as vehicles for the targeted administration of chemotherapy drugs, capable of selectively reaching the tumour, reducing drug doses and its side effects.

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Health: Radiopharmaceuticals, in Nature an innovative ENEA approach to develop national production

Developing a national supply chain of plants to produce radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis. This is the innovative approach described by ENEA researchers in the international journal Nature on the safe, sustainable production of Molybdenum (99Mo), the radioisotope precursor of technetium-99 (99mTc), the most widely used element in the world in nuclear medicine for SPECT-type diagnostics. Around 30 million are performed each year, with a global market worth around $8 billion.

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