What anxiety does to our breathing

The way anxiety affects our perception of changes to our body, such as breathing, could pave the way for more targeted anxiety treatments. Image credit - www.pxfuel.com/Public domain

Stressful situations can cause anxiety, our body’s natural response to stress. But feelings of apprehension can also be accompanied by physical effects such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate and nausea. How our brain perceives these physical changes – in particular, breathing – could be key to better understanding anxiety disorders and treating them.  Anxiety … Read more

How hard-to-recycle plastic is being made as good as new

The packaging of fresh foods such as meat and cheese often uses a variety of layers of different plastic types which need to be separated before recycling. Image credit - Pixabay/ photosforyou, licenced under pixabay licence

New recycling technologies currently being tested may allow plastics such as single-use food packaging, fibre-reinforced car parts and mattress foam – polymers which often wind up in landfills or are incinerated – to have more than just a second life: they can become as good as new. Plastic waste is a growing environmental concern. About … Read more

Insects could help increase Europe’s food self-sufficiency but will they catch on?

Using insect as a protein source could have big environmental advantages but it has yet to catch on in Europe. Image credit - Jonathan Hornung, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Insects in products such as pasta or bread, microalgae, and single-cell proteins derived from wood could feed and nourish humans and animals in the future. Now, those exploring alternative proteins for more sustainable eating are working out how to make the switch to bug-based food a reality. As the world population grows, it will be … Read more

The mission to build a reusable launcher for Europe

US company SpaceX is one of several who are developing reusable launchers. Image credit - Bill Jelen/Unsplash

The race is on to develop a European reusable rocket that can ensure Europe’s autonomous and cost-effective access to space while increasing the sustainability of launches. Launch vehicles – or rockets – are essential to deliver satellites and space probes into space. Once they’ve served their purpose, they’re typically disposed of. But with the annual … Read more

Electric bikes and silent trucks to green goods deliveries

Urban goods deliveries add to traffic congestion, noise and pollution. Image credit - Andrew Kambel/ Unsplash

Across Europe’s cities, the demand for delivery services is increasing. But these deliveries affect urban life as they add to traffic congestion, noise and pollution and many cities are now trying out alternative modes of transport that could help. Known as ‘last-mile’ deliveries, this system involves the transport of goods and services from a depot in the … Read more

The ‘slow earthquakes’ that we cannot feel may help protect against the devastating ones

Unlike regular earthquakes, which can cause visible damage, slow earthquakes cannot be felt at the Earth's surface. Image credit - Pixabay/ marcellomigliosi1956, licensed under pixabay license

Earthquakes are sudden and their shaking can be devastating. But about 20 years ago, a new type of earthquake was discovered. We cannot feel them, and geologists still know very little about them, such as how often they occur. Regular earthquakes occur when rock underground breaks along a fault – a crack in the Earth’s … Read more