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

Pinning down consciousness could improve mental health, brain disorder treatments

Studies into consciousness could help explain why patients in vegetative states have varying levels of awareness. Image credit - Dr. Leon Kaufman. University Of California, San Francisco, licensed under CC0

Consciousness – the awareness we have of our self and surroundings – is often referred to as ‘the hard problem’. It’s not easy to scientifically explain how a subjective experience, which is something intangible, can be created by the brain – a physical object. But understanding more about how consciousness works could help us find … Read more

Concerns linger over workplace robots, even as they deliver benefits

Robots can already take over some repetitive tasks from human workers, now research focuses on more interaction between the two. Image credit - KUKA Roboter GmbH, Bachmann, the image is in the public domain

People harbour lingering fears about the impact of robots on their jobs and welfare, but machines in the workplace have produced benefits that researchers believe are likely to continue. But for that to happen, challenges such as earning workers’ trust and improving safety and human-robot interaction must be overcome. In the EU, 72% of people are … Read more