Our intelligent ancestor, the Neanderthal

While the jury is still out as to why the Neanderthal, an ancient ancestor of modern humans, became extinct about 40,000 years ago, it has long been assumed that it was because they possessed a low level of intelligence. Pioneering research is challenging this idea, uncovering evidence to suggest that our ancient cousins were in … Read more

New digital tools to track illegal wildlife trade online

As governments around the world turned to lockdowns and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, smugglers used social media to find new ways to connect with potential customers. Criminals can be resourceful and unrelenting in their efforts to find a way around obstacles. Wildlife traffickers are no exception. Today’s trade in … Read more

Out with air conditioners, in with chilled water – how Europe could slash its cooling footprint

As climate change warms the world, we increasingly need to find ways to efficiently cool our buildings – whilst also lowering our emissions to attempt to halt the temperature rise as much as possible. Traditional air conditioners are a poor method of achieving either goal, but what if there was another way? Step forward district … Read more

Cooler data centres help take the heat off electric bills

From streaming movies or games and sharing photos on Instagram to the growing use of ‘smart’ devices and growth in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, the amount of data being processed is escalating. As a result, energy consumption of data centres in the European Union (EU) is expected to rise from 2.7% of electricity demand in … Read more

‘Connection with the past’: AI to find and preserve Europe’s historical smells

There’s no sense quite like smell to trigger an emotional response. One whiff of a damp basement, a dusty blanket, a ripe strawberry, or a steaming bowl of pasta can instantly evoke feelings and memories that have their roots in the distant past. Yet when it comes to learning about bygone times, we barely give … Read more

Orphan crop status rises to ‘super grain’

Cereal grains have been the main component of human diets for thousands of years, with rice, wheat and maize being the most consumed grains worldwide. However, as the global population continues to increase, underutilised cereal crops could help meet dietary needs. Researchers are now investigating how African cereal crops could be cultivated more effectively and adopted … Read more