Q&A: Talking about the ‘race’ for a coronavirus vaccine could reduce public confidence

People’s willingness to have a vaccine changes depending on how at risk they feel, says anthropologist Heidi Larson. Image credit - RF._.studio/Pexels, licensed under the Pexels licence

Efforts to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 with a vaccine could be hampered by low levels of confidence in immunisation programs in some European countries, warns Professor Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project and an anthropologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in the UK. Surveys conducted by the project during the … Read more

Lack of solidarity hampered Europe’s coronavirus response, research finds

Competition between European countries for equipment, test kits and medicines needed to tackle Covid-19 may have hampered the region’s ability to respond to the pandemic. Greater sharing of resources, hospital capacity and even healthcare staff are needed to cope with pandemics in the future, according to researchers examining the public health response to coronavirus across … Read more

How hybrid electric and fuel aircraft could green air travel

Making aviation sustainable is critical if the EU is to reach its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. Image credit - Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma/ Pexels, public domain

With air traffic set to increase 5% every year until 2030, scientists are looking at how to make aeroplanes more sustainable. But with current batteries making electric aircraft far too heavy, hybrid fuel and electric models could point the way forward for greener air travel – and could become airborne within 15 years. Aviation contributes … Read more

Cloud shapes and formations impact global warming – but we still don’t understand them

Tropical thunderstorm clouds are unique because they self-organise even when the conditions below and above them are uniform, and do so with 'memories' of past formations. Image credit - NASA Johnson Space Center

by Sarah Wild Above the Atlantic Ocean, puffy white clouds scud across the sky buffeted by invisible trade winds. They are not ‘particularly big, impressive or extended’, says Dr Sandrine Bony, a climatologist and research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. ‘But they are the most ubiquitous clouds on Earth.’ Clouds are one … Read more

Q&A: Why clouds are still ‘one of the biggest uncertainties’ in climate change

Clouds are important from a climate point of view for how they reflect and absorb sunlight, according to Professor Pier Siebesma, an atmospheric physicist. Image credit - Pier Siebesma

They might be beautiful at times, but clouds are still one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in understanding how the climate will change due to global warming, explains Professor Pier Siebesma, an atmospheric physicist at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. Enormous field studies of clouds and high-resolution computer simulations are … Read more

Electronic skin patches could restore lost sensation and detect disease

Researchers in Europe are working on elastic membrane patches that mimic how the skin looks and feels and can collect information related to the wearer. Image credit - Aaron Lee/Unsplash

by Vittoria D’Alessio Picture this: You’ve experienced no physical sensation beyond your wrists for years, then a doctor drapes a thin, flexible membrane over your hand and, like magic, you can feel the trickle of water through your fingers again. This may sound like an outlandish scenario, but it’s not. Researchers across Europe are making rapid … Read more

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