‘Encoding the same biases’: Artificial intelligence’s limitations in coronavirus response

As the coronavirus pandemic endures, the socio-economic implications of race and gender in contracting Covid-19 and dying from it have been laid bare. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in the response, but it could also be exacerbating inequalities within our health systems – a critical concern that is dragging the technology’s limitations … Read more

New wave of medical ‘deep tech’ can help coronavirus response – but there’s resistance

The development of new medical technologies based on cutting-edge discoveries has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic and is helping us respond to the health crisis. But for these technologies to flourish, attitudes and scepticism among investors still need to change, say researchers and start-ups. ‘Deep tech’ describes companies working with technologies such as advanced material … Read more

We can programme plants to grow biomolecules. Is farming the future of vaccines?

On the southern outskirts of the city of Owensboro in Kentucky, US, there is a square, nondescript building. Inside, rows and rows of small plants are growing under artificial lights. This is a new generation biotech venture: a molecular farm. Others are springing up across the US and elsewhere – and they farm vaccines. This … Read more

‘Earth breathing’: mountain erosion a missing piece in the climate puzzle

Better quantifying carbon emissions from mountain erosion could paint a different picture of the global carbon budget. Image credit - Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

by Sarah Wild Mountains release the same amount of carbon each year as volcanoes – about 100 megatons – and yet we know very little about the process. Understanding these emissions could tell us more about their effects on climate, both in the past and the future. Shifting tectonic plates under the Earth’s surface create volcanoes, which erupt … Read more