‘Reverse fridges’ and insulated walls – how to make a house carbon neutral

Retrofitting of houses on a large scale needs to start now to meet 2050 net zero energy target.Image credit - REMOURBAN

by Jonathan O’Callaghan As the world moves towards a carbon neutral future, many different areas from industry to manufacturing are working to reduce their emissions. But scientists are beginning to look at a different area – houses – to work out if it’s possible to reduce emissions from Europe’s homes to zero by retrofitting on … Read more

Emotional response to city design could guide urban planning

Neurologists, architects, artists, and epidemiologists are collaborating to design cities that could be used to improve well-being among older people. Image credit - Senior Guidance, licensed under CCby2.0

by Fintan Burke Virtual reality and scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects get real-time feedback about the impact of their designs on mental health, particularly for older people.   Europe’s cities are getting greyer. The EU’s 2018 ageing report claims that by 2070, more than half of Europeans will be over … Read more

Coming to a farm near you: The humble microbe boosting Europe’s food industry

Analysing chicken genetics could help identify which strains are more responsive to a particular microbe. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under the pexels licence

By: Alex Whiting Farmers who want to produce bigger chickens, fewer greenhouse gas-filled cow burps or healthier animals are increasingly able to turn to one tiny source: microbes. The microbes – which include a plethora of bacteria, viruses and fungi – have existed for billions of years and live everywhere including in people’s and animals’ … Read more

Shoppers ‘can’t afford’ energy efficient cars, homes – researchers

Switching to more efficient appliances can save people money over time, although they are often more expensive to buy. Image credit - Photo Mix

by: Alex Whiting Europeans can slash their fuel bills and have a significant impact on curbing global greenhouse gas emissions by buying more energy efficient cars, homes or even fridges – but many do not because of higher initial cost of green products, mistrust in EU energy ratings, and lack of awareness of long-term savings, … Read more

‘Browning’ white fat cells opens new avenue to obesity prevention

by: Vittoria D’Alessio Scientists are getting closer to understanding how to turn the body’s energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning beige fat cells, opening up hopes that fat deposits could one day be deliberately manipulated to prevent obesity and related health conditions. Professor Mirko Trajkovski from the Laboratory of Metabolic Health at Geneva University, Switzerland, … Read more