Electronic wool to take wearable tech from the catwalk to your wardrobe

Sandwiching doped zine sulphide between graphene in textiles can create glowing clothes.

Engineers are threading circuitry into clothes to create comfortable devices that could make electronic fashion the future of the textiles industry. Smart textiles, where electronics are incorporated into fabrics, have been around for some time, from sensor-laden shirts that keep you cool, to dresses packed with LEDs. Despite these innovations, even the most determined shopper … Read more

Buzz feed – bringing renewables to the power grid

As the ways we obtain energy change power grids need to evolve to keep up with the new demands.

Renewable energy is on the rise in Europe as the economy develops away from the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but an ageing electricity grid is struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of developments. Originally designed to obtain and distribute energy from a few large sources, Europe’s power grid … Read more

Urban mining to reduce environmental footprint of consumer goods

A machine that can disassemble two mobile phones per minute could help give raw materials a second life.

Mining isn’t the only way to extract valuable metals. Soon, they could increasingly be recovered from waste, reducing the need for new raw materials and helping Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy. In the EU, many raw materials needed in industry, from car making to medical implants, are imported from abroad as they aren’t available … Read more

Early career decisions could affect when you retire

Lifelong learning opportunities can prolong your working life, according to researchers.

Policies to extend working life should not exclusively focus on older people as the decision on when to retire is influenced by the course of a person’s career, according to researchers investigating the factors affecting how long people work. Europe’s population is ageing and pension systems are now struggling to pay out. At the same … 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

Sleep-deprived brains may be asleep and awake at the same time

Sleep quality as well as duration is the key to beneficial sleep. Credit — Pixabay/ 422737 licensed under CC0

For something that can occupy such a significant chunk of time, sleep still remains a mysterious part of our lives. Although it is known to play a role in mental and physical health, such as metabolism and memory, there is much that is still not well understood. As a general rule, it’s recommended that adults … Read more