Supercomputers and space-based laser to help predict extreme weather events

Extreme weather events such as heavy storms are becoming more common.

From droughts and forest fires to floods and big freezes, extreme weather events are on the rise. But to what extent are these linked to climate change? Just months before the world’s first wind monitoring satellite enters orbit, scientists have finalised a climate model with exceptional resolution, and the new tools will help identify how … Read more

Scientists explore underwater frontiers with submersible tablet computers

Technology for underwater use could change the way professional divers and researchers work.

A team of experienced science divers has created the world’s first submersible touchscreen for a tablet computer, whose applications are already helping marine scientists, law enforcement, explorers and other professionals toil beneath the waves and could usher in a new era of underwater ICT. It’s part of a new wave of subsea technology, which also … Read more

Working from home could make you happier – especially if you’re married

Teleworking can make people happier and more productive, but can also lead to feelings of isolation and job fatigue if implemented badly.

Married people who work from home report feeling happier than they were before doing so, and the reason could be that it allows for a fairer distribution of chores, according to a scientist studying the impact of teleworking on wellbeing. For all the hype about how the internet could free us from the office, working … Read more

Cultural cross-fertilisation to rescue soils

As more food than ever is being grown, it is important to find ways to promote and maintain soil quality.

Sharing best practice farming techniques with farmers from different cultures and traditions could help increase the quality of our soils – a vital step in ensuring that we can grow enough food for people in the coming decades. At Wageningen University in the Netherlands, scientists are coding an app that will allow farmers in countries … Read more

Sea anemone sting cells could inspire new drug-delivery systems

A group of creatures known as cnidarians, which includes sea anemones, are the only animals that inject venom via sting cells.

A multi-stage genetic process for the formation of sting cells in sea anemones could inspire a new way of delivering drugs into the human body. It’s part of a field of work that looks at how venom and the way it’s produced in animals could be used to create life-saving treatments for humans. Dr Kartik … Read more

Natural enzymes filter hormone-disrupting chemicals from sewage

A new filtration system to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater

A new filtration system that uses natural molecules to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater has succeeded in trapping 95 % of these substances before the water goes back into the environment. It’s part of a wave of research into new ways of protecting us against so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which also includes working on different types … Read more