Program of scientific congresses and events

The scientific program
Italian Pavilion in collaboration with the National Research Council (CNR) and the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities (CRUI) proposed during the Universal Exposition 47 international conferences and events with 694 speakers, 5,610 participants and 309 entities involved. The program is a further variation of the theme nursery, the concept that 'Italy has chosen to respond to the great challenge of Expo Milano 2015 "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". A place where projects and talents can sprout, a workshop for young ideas, proposals and innovative solutions for the entire country made disposal of the international community. And for these reasons the Italian Pavilion has decided to dedicate a major role to research and scientific debate and the development of human capital, key engines of progress, development and innovation. 
Partnership with National Research Council of Italy
The 24 CNR events have been organized as executive projects to be implemented with innovative features, in terms of content and communication modalities. Each event is committed to communicate a clear message about research and development in the three areas that have been identified by CNR as the pillars of its research activities at EXPO 2015: Food and men; Food and productivity; Food and transformation technologies. The next slides are dedicated to explore these themes.                 <b>Global drought, land degradation and desertification</b> Combating desertification is becoming one of the major questions facing society today. Isolated interventions are often ineffective and sometimes dangerous, because the combination of natural and anthropogenic factors causing desertification vary over space and time, and may be amplified by global warming. To restore the sustainability of degraded dryland ecosystem services, a systemic approach is  required at both the local and global levels.
Wheat for the Future - Advancing wheat research for global food security
In the 1985-2005 period we have seen a 28% increase in agricultural production. The increase in cultivate land areas has contributed marginally (less than 3%), while more intense use of land (7%) and yield increase (more than 18%) have given the most important contribution. It is therefore clear that a major role has been played by genetic improvements of major crops. However, yields are increasing too slowly (1-1.5% per year) to match increasing demand of agricultural products for food, feed and industrial uses.  We will need to nearly double agricultural production by 2050, which means that we will have to increase the production by 2.4% every year. We expect genomics to play an important role. A series of scientific articles published last July describe the genomic sequence of bread wheat. The data obtained during the development of this project, and the functional characterization of the genes, will allow to speed up the genetic improvement of this crop.The availability of the genomic sequence also paves the way to the exploitation of wheat biodiversity.
The Lake Chad case: a source of food and water standing between environmental disaster and international cooperation. What role for Italy?
Lake Chad, located at the heart of the Sahel region, is one of the Africa's largest water reservoirs. Today, however, the lake is dying. Its drying-up is causing a severe ecological and economic crisis and threatens to lead to hunger tens of millions of people, whose survival is closely linked to the life of the lake. But there is more: the drying-up of Lake Chad poses a threat to the security and the geopolitical balance of the whole region. 
Scientific program
Italy Pavilion, with the coordination of Dr Enzo Grossi, realized another cycle of congresses and events in partnership with prestigious entities, facing relevant themes connected with the crucial topics of nutrition and health.  The next slides are dedicated to the main conferences.                                           <b>Nutrition related pregnancy outcomes' around the world</b> Our children are our future. More and more studies prove how the parents’ nutrition and life styles deeply affect their children’s health and life quality.In fact, there is actual proof – aside from genetics– that food factors affect the gene expression through so-called “epigenetic” changes, which last for a lifespan. All throughout pregnancy and the first 2 years of the child – their first 1,000 days – genes are particularly malleable and thus more sensitive to the consequence of bad or good nutrition.Therefore, improving the new generations’ life quality means also educating future parents. Despite such evidence, malnutrition is more and more widespread and it might compromise our children’s future. The theme of worldwide spread maternal-neonatal malnutrition has been the central focus of the campaign “Ama nutri cresci” (“Love, feed, raise”), by Giorgio Pardi Foundation, with Professor Irene Cetin as scientific manager, and of an international scientific conference.                                        
Proteomics: back to the future
The latest findings of the Human Proteome Project (HPP) were presented at the c-HPP workshop organised by the Italian Proteomic Association (ItPA) and hosted at Expo 2015. Protein plays a key role in our body: while DNA remains unaltered in every stage of our life, protein distributes differently, changing shape, function and role in the host body. Proteome mapping plays a key role in food science. Key sections of proteomic studies concentrate on human milk proteins and microbioma, both these studies are strictly related to food security and quality. Proteomic studies on microbioma help explain how food traits don't derive only from its constituting elements but also from the micro-organisms living in the environment where food is produced. Proteomics is also advancing medical studies that revolutionise molecular diagnostics, especially in clinical microbiology. Andrea Urbani, President of ItPA and EuPA, the European Proteome Association, said: 'We assume that these studies will reduce hospital stays by approximately 2.6 days and will thus result in big economic saving.'The aim is to explore the most recent developments of proteomics in the field of human health in relationship to nutrition, thus touching both clinical proteomics investigations and non-human proteome studies''. 
Microbiota, nutrition and wellness: a system based approach
The workshop is sponsored by Invernizzi Foundation with the aim of providing theoretical and empirical evidences about the function of microbiota in plants, animal and human being subsistence. It is fundamental to comprehend the complexity of the interaction between nutrition and the micro flora of an individual, in order to establish efficient primary prevention strategies. The modulation of the gut’s bacterial flora is a new resource concerning the fight against diseases, not only in the animal world but also in the plant one, where the rhizobacteria, symbionts with plant roots, ensure beneficial growth and development.
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