Sharing seeds could help farmers grow better food

A seed-sharing network would allow European farmers to manage their own seed resources rather than depend on what big agribusiness want to sell. Image credit - Pixabay/ StockSnap, licensed under pixabay license

Tapping into the genetic diversity contained within the seeds of wild relatives and forgotten crop plants could help farmers decrease their dependency on global agribusiness and grow food better suited to local conditions. Since the start of the 20th century, global demand for certain fruit and vegetables has seen farmers shift away from using local … Read more

Emotional response to city design could guide urban planning

Neurologists, architects, artists, and epidemiologists are collaborating to design cities that could be used to improve well-being among older people. Image credit - Senior Guidance, licensed under CCby2.0

by Fintan Burke Virtual reality and scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects get real-time feedback about the impact of their designs on mental health, particularly for older people.   Europe’s cities are getting greyer. The EU’s 2018 ageing report claims that by 2070, more than half of Europeans will be over … Read more

Coming to a farm near you: The humble microbe boosting Europe’s food industry

Analysing chicken genetics could help identify which strains are more responsive to a particular microbe. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under the pexels licence

By: Alex Whiting Farmers who want to produce bigger chickens, fewer greenhouse gas-filled cow burps or healthier animals are increasingly able to turn to one tiny source: microbes. The microbes – which include a plethora of bacteria, viruses and fungi – have existed for billions of years and live everywhere including in people’s and animals’ … Read more

People in cities hold the key to ensuring a sustainable future

Cities have a set of capacities to address climate change that other levels of government do not have, according to Prof. Harriet Bulkeley. Image credit - Pixabay/Leonardo Alves, licensed under Pixabay License

Cities have a critical role to play in fighting climate change but hard conversations lie ahead about the best way to achieve the transition to sustainability, according to Harriet Bulkeley, professor of geography at Durham University, UK. What makes cities so pivotal in fighting climate change? ‘It has taken the world quite a long time … Read more

Getting AI ethics wrong could ‘annihilate technical progress’

AI can be used to identify potential perpetrators of violent crimes and assess the risk of a criminal re-offending. Image credit - Max Pixel, licensed under CC0

An intelligent water gun that uses facial recognition to identify its targets is helping to highlight some of the emerging human rights issues surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) – an area of research that is on the rise as new technologies become more and more prevalent in our daily lives. ‘It’s very difficult to be an … Read more

Link between music and speech rhythm in brain could provide language insight

When a piece of music is played at the wrong tempo it is difficult to recognise because our brain uses rhythm to help make sense of sounds. Image credit - flickr/ Brian Richardson, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Neuroscientist Dr Domenica Bueti often plays an altered version of the classic aria La donna è mobile when she gives talks about the importance of time perception. Her friend’s piano rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s composition uses the same notes but is played at different speeds. Rarely does anyone ever identify the tune. ‘When I play it with … Read more

Share This