Hydroacoustic 3D snapshots of fish habitats could help stem overfishing

Robotic eyes and ears under the water’s surface could help researchers figure out how much fish are in our oceans – and how much we can eat. Researchers are hoping fishing nets scanned by high resolution sonar, underwater cameras and unmanned aquatic vehicles can help paint one of the most accurate assessments of current fish … Read more

We can programme plants to grow biomolecules. Is farming the future of vaccines?

On the southern outskirts of the city of Owensboro in Kentucky, US, there is a square, nondescript building. Inside, rows and rows of small plants are growing under artificial lights. This is a new generation biotech venture: a molecular farm. Others are springing up across the US and elsewhere – and they farm vaccines. This … Read more

‘Earth breathing’: mountain erosion a missing piece in the climate puzzle

Better quantifying carbon emissions from mountain erosion could paint a different picture of the global carbon budget. Image credit - Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

by Sarah Wild Mountains release the same amount of carbon each year as volcanoes – about 100 megatons – and yet we know very little about the process. Understanding these emissions could tell us more about their effects on climate, both in the past and the future. Shifting tectonic plates under the Earth’s surface create volcanoes, which erupt … Read more

Smartphone, blockchain technologies to open new frontier in fight against food fraud

Food fraudsters have found myriad ways to trick shoppers – from cheap horsemeat sold as beef to conventional apples labelled as organic. But new rapid testing and tracing technologies may help turn the tables on food crime. The stakes are high for producers of expensive foods, which are particularly vulnerable to fraud. These include extra virgin olive oil, saffron, … Read more

Can the world emerge from the pandemic a better place?

The pandemic has caused disruption around the world, but it could also be an opportunity to make some much needed social and environmental changes as countries try to adapt and recover from the crisis. In the space of just a few months the world has seen drastic change. People who commuted to work and had … Read more