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

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

AI is like having a treasure map to find disease-preventing molecules – Dr Nora Khaldi

Dr Nora Khladi hopes that by using peptide molecules we will be able to prevent future chronic diseases.

A cereal bar that keeps diabetes at bay is one example of how we could prevent disease by adding short molecules known as peptides into what we eat, says Dr Nora Khaldi, founder of Nuritas, which is using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify new peptides and create foods with health benefits. What are peptides and why are … Read more

Human-dog bond provides clue to treating social disorders

Border collie dog and human

The chemistry behind social behaviour in animals, including the bond between people and dogs – and the lack of one between humans and wolves – could help scientists identify new ways of treating social disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. ‘We think that the genetic foundation for social behaviour is very similar in dogs and … Read more