Arsenic and permafrost microbes help hunt for life on Mars

Bacteria survive in the harsh conditions of the Andean lakes of Argentina among high concentrations of arsenic.

Studying environments that are similar to Mars, and their microbial ecosystems, could help prepare biologists to identify traces of life in outer space. In some of the most remote areas of our planet, scientists are examining how life can persist in the form of tiny microbes that inhabit a niche that would be fatal to … Read more

Marine scientists steer trawlers away from sensitive sea floors

Newly developed trawling gear can lower the impact of fishing on the sea floor.

Bottom trawling, where fishing boats drag a heavy net along the seafloor, can devastate marine habitats and cause fish stocks to plummet, but scientists have developed new eco-friendly techniques to support the sustainability of an industry employing tens of thousands of people. Bottom (benthic) trawling indiscriminately catches bottom-feeder fish and seafood like plaice, cod, shrimp, … Read more

Classroom to boardroom – how to turn a school science project into a business

Adam Noble, CEO of Noblegen, says that keeping grounded can help young scientists absorb advice and new experiences.

When, as a 16-year-old, Adam Noble began measuring nanosilver pollution in his local river, he could hardly have foreseen that it would make him CEO of a 40-strong company before his 24th birthday. And when 14-year-old Ciara Judge experimented with growing bacteria in a spare bedroom, she had no idea that within a few years … Read more

Eco espresso and upcycled inks set to make coffee greener

Recycling old coffee waste can help create environmentally friendly inks.

An environmentally friendly coffee machine and a way to turn used coffee grounds into a new type of ink are helping to increase the green credentials of one of the most popular beverages in the world. Globally, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. At a rate of around 2.64 cups per … Read more

Natural enzymes filter hormone-disrupting chemicals from sewage

A new filtration system to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater

A new filtration system that uses natural molecules to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater has succeeded in trapping 95 % of these substances before the water goes back into the environment. It’s part of a wave of research into new ways of protecting us against so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which also includes working on different types … Read more

Farmers bank on solar power to stave off European water crisis

Solar-powered irrigation system

Rising populations and climate change are putting pressure on the water needed for agriculture but a solar-powered irrigation system may reduce the amount that farmers use – while simultaneously slashing the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture accounts for almost 70 % of the world’s water use, but with the global population expected to increase to nine billion by … Read more