Arctic permafrost might contain ‘sleeping giant’ of world’s carbon emissions

Image credit - Prof. Igor Semiletov.

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost, or frozen ground, is thawing. As it does, greenhouse gases trapped within it are being released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, leading to previously underestimated problems with ocean acidification and potential mercury poisoning. About one quarter of the region is covered in permafrost, which … Read more

Models of dinosaur movement could help us build stronger robots and buildings

Researchers are using computer simulations to estimate how 11 different species of extinct archosaurs such as the batrachotomus might have moved.

From about 245 to 66 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Although well-preserved skeletons give us a good idea of what they looked like, the way their limbs worked remains a bigger mystery. But computer simulations may soon provide a realistic glimpse into how some species moved and inform work in fields such as … Read more

Discarded waste could be a treasure trove of rare metals

Magnetic fields are among the techniques being developed to extract metal particles from slags (stony waste matter).

Miners could soon be scouring mounds of industrial waste to extract rare metals that are needed for products such as electronics, pacemakers, aircraft parts and bicycle gears. Researchers are attempting to figure out how to recover metals that are in limited supply in Europe from material that is often dumped or used in low-grade applications. They … Read more

How do we make snap decisions?

Decision-making is part of daily life but in many situations, from deciding whether to hit the snooze button on your alarm or reacting to an intruder, choices are made very quickly. Now we’re getting new insight into how these snap decisions are made. Professor Karin Roelofs, a psychology researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, … Read more

New clues unearthed about mammals’ rapid evolution after dinosaur extinction

The extinction of the dinosaurs paved the way for today's mammalian diversity.

It was a life-altering event. Around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, an asteroid struck the Earth, triggering a mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and some 75% of all species. Somehow mammals survived, thrived, and became dominant across the planet. Now we have new clues about how that … Read more

Chicken plastic and wine leather – giving waste new life

The production of this leather-like textile is considered to be zero impact as it is created from grape marc - a waste material from wine production.

A fashion collection made from the remains of grapes from the wine industry and plastic made from chicken feathers are two new twists on the practice of making new products from waste, and a growing demand for sustainability from consumers mean there could be a ready market for this type of innovation. Food waste isn’t just … Read more