Marine scientists steer trawlers away from sensitive sea floors

Newly developed trawling gear can lower the impact of fishing on the sea floor.

Bottom trawling, where fishing boats drag a heavy net along the seafloor, can devastate marine habitats and cause fish stocks to plummet, but scientists have developed new eco-friendly techniques to support the sustainability of an industry employing tens of thousands of people. Bottom (benthic) trawling indiscriminately catches bottom-feeder fish and seafood like plaice, cod, shrimp, … Read more

Classroom to boardroom – how to turn a school science project into a business

Adam Noble, CEO of Noblegen, says that keeping grounded can help young scientists absorb advice and new experiences.

When, as a 16-year-old, Adam Noble began measuring nanosilver pollution in his local river, he could hardly have foreseen that it would make him CEO of a 40-strong company before his 24th birthday. And when 14-year-old Ciara Judge experimented with growing bacteria in a spare bedroom, she had no idea that within a few years … Read more

Skeleton teeth and historical photography are retelling the story of the plague

Scientists have unearthed photographs taken in countries including China during third plague pandemic, which killed 12 million people between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries.

New portraits of the evolution of some of history’s deadliest pandemics have been created through analysis of thousands of skeletons and new collections of historical photographs – and the results could indicate how similar diseases may evolve in the future. Genetic material from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and the plague leave fossil traces of … Read more

Insomnia may stem from hyperalert brains shaped by genes and childhood – Prof. Eus Van Someren

While the overall causes are unclear, early childhood adversities can have an impact on the prevalence of insomnia in later life.

Genes and adverse childhood experiences could result in a hyperalert brain that is good at being ready for action but gives rise to insomnia in later life, according to Professor Eus Van Someren, a sleep expert at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. He is investigating the link between insomnia and depression and has discovered a … Read more

‘Earworm melodies with strange aspects’ – what happens when AI makes music

A new AI machine creates new music from songs it’s fed, mimicking their style.

The first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) was released on 12 January and experts believe that the science behind it could lead to a whole new style of music composition. Popular music has always been fertile ground for technological innovation. From the electric guitar to the studio desk, laptops … Read more

Eco espresso and upcycled inks set to make coffee greener

Recycling old coffee waste can help create environmentally friendly inks.

An environmentally friendly coffee machine and a way to turn used coffee grounds into a new type of ink are helping to increase the green credentials of one of the most popular beverages in the world. Globally, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. At a rate of around 2.64 cups per … Read more

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