Facebook and Twitter need a redesign to fight junk news

Image credit - Flickr/Olivier Matthys, image is in the public domain

As the use of social media to spread misinformation soars, it’s time for companies such as Facebook and Twitter to redesign their platforms, says Professor Philip Howard, head of the Oxford Internet Institute, UK. According to a recent study by the institute, organised social media manipulation has risen from being active in 28 countries to 48 in … Read more

Scientists want to use dirty nappies as a source of raw materials

The hardest part about recycling used nappies is opening them.

Thousands of soiled nappies that were destined to clog Italian landfill sites or incinerators are being redirected to a recycling plant that is turning them into streams of high quality raw materials, in a new process that it is hoped will be replicated around Europe. Every day, new parents find themselves sucked into the environmentally … Read more

Discovery of hybrid cancer cells reveals how disease spreads

Studies show that hybrid cancer cells (in yellow) combine properties of different cells which can make them more invasive.

Scientists studying skin and breast cancer in genetically modified mice have spotted hybrid cancer cells that combine the properties of different cell types, a discovery that could help understand how cancer spreads in the body and provide a new target for treatment. It is the latest insight in a fast-moving research area that is revealing … Read more

Cleaned-up data shows bigger-than-thought reduction in Europe’s NO2 pollution – Dr Folkert Boersma

New, improved algorithms show that nitrogen dioxide pollution is declining faster than thought in Europe.

An analysis of a newly cleaned-up dataset tracking Europe’s air pollution has revealed that nitrogen dioxide levels are on a steeper downward trend than previously thought, according to Dr Folkert Boersma from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, who says that ensuring the quality of Earth observation data can reveal new insights into climate change. He … Read more

War can destroy cultural heritage twice – in conflict and in clean-up

Proper documentation of cultural heritage is the key to restoration projects, says Dr Margarete van Ess.

People can inadvertently destroy cultural heritage for a second time when cleaning up conflict sites after a war ends, according to archaeologist Dr Margarete van Ess, who says that databases and education are the best basis for safeguarding sites for the future. She is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute and … Read more