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

Smart beehives and heat treatments could protect bees from decline

New technologies are being developed to protect beehives from theft, parasites and illnesses without the use of chemicals.

Since the mid-1980s, the number of bees in Europe has been in decline. Threatened by pesticides, insecticides and climate change, they are also being struck by infestations of mites and a crippling virus that deforms their wings. But new technology aims to take the sting out of the situation. The number of Varroa mites, a bee parasite, … Read more

Early career decisions could affect when you retire

Lifelong learning opportunities can prolong your working life, according to researchers.

Policies to extend working life should not exclusively focus on older people as the decision on when to retire is influenced by the course of a person’s career, according to researchers investigating the factors affecting how long people work. Europe’s population is ageing and pension systems are now struggling to pay out. At the same … Read more

Life scientists unite to close EU’s innovation gap

Research excellence relies not only on funding but also on the right governance and culture, according to experts.

Nepotism, a lack of transparency and poor governance are among some of the challenging conditions faced by researchers in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a consortium of life scientists who have set up a project to raise the level of research excellence in those countries. ‘The importance of institutions in providing a favourable environment … Read more

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