Could symbiotic microbes help ecosystems survive global warming?

Symbiotic bacteria might have helped coffee plants adapt to climate change in the past.

Studies of the relationships between microbes and the organisms they live on are revealing how plants and animals could adapt to climate change. With the world facing a global warming somewhere between 1 and 5.5 degrees Celsius, organisms that have evolved to thrive in specific environments need to adapt or they could struggle to survive. Our … Read more

Mini-brains offer hope in search for new drugs for brain disorders

Cerebral organoids allow scientists to test new drugs on human brain tissue in labs.

Miniature brains grown in laboratory dishes could overcome some of the problems testing drugs on animals and help researchers identify new ways to treat very human, and incurable, conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Most new drugs are developed and tested using mice as models. However, with brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, the animals never … Read more

Chicken plastic and wine leather – giving waste new life

The production of this leather-like textile is considered to be zero impact as it is created from grape marc - a waste material from wine production.

A fashion collection made from the remains of grapes from the wine industry and plastic made from chicken feathers are two new twists on the practice of making new products from waste, and a growing demand for sustainability from consumers mean there could be a ready market for this type of innovation. Food waste isn’t just … Read more

Hydrogen-powered boat plots course for the future of ocean travel

Every year, the technologies used to power the Energy Observer in its six-year round-the-world journey are being improved.

The first day that Jérôme Delafosse stepped aboard the Energy Observer, an experimental catamaran run on hydrogen, he knew the plan of sailing around the world on clean energy was a realistic one, he says. Now, the explorer and documentary maker is one year into a six-year odyssey around the globe with his friend Victorien Erussard, an … Read more

Finding drugs that are safe to take while pregnant

Uncertainty about the effects that many medications can have on the unborn child leave a large number of pregnant women with untreated conditions.

by Frieda Klotz Expectant mothers often face a dilemma about whether to take medication when they fall ill due to fears it might harm their unborn baby, but new research is unravelling which drugs are safe to take during pregnancy. Pregnant women are excluded from trials of new medications for ethical reasons, which has led … Read more