Study of DNA flags could reignite centuries-old evolution debate

Charles Darwin (left) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (right) are the faces of the earliest debate about evolutionary research.

Evolution could be partly based on environmental adaptation and not just random mutations, re-opening a centuries-old debate between Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, according to Professor Thomas Carell from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. He studies the way our genes are switched on and off over our lifetimes – a process known as epigenetics. How has … Read more

Plasma accelerators could overcome size limitations of Large Hadron Collider

A plasma cell can help sustain stronger acceleration fields than in conventional accelerators, at only a fraction of their size.

Plasma particle accelerators more powerful than existing machines could help probe some of the outstanding mysteries of our universe, as well as make leaps forward in cancer treatment and security scanning – all in a package that’s around a thousandth of the size of current accelerators. All that’s left is for scientists to build one. … Read more

Worms may hold the secret to longer life

The regenerative abilities of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano serve as a model for how humans might regenerate tissues.

by Gareth Willmer Research into the remarkable regenerative powers of worms and the insights they can give into battling diseases could help humans live longer and healthier lives. Humans have long dreamed of finding the secret to eternal youth, but despite the benefits of better living conditions and modern medicine, time still takes its unrelenting … Read more

Plasma is the ‘hidden champion’ of industrial innovation – Prof. Christian Oehr

Plasma is the most common form of matter in the universe.

Plasma technologies are everywhere — and could soon be rendering hospital wastewater harmless, scrubbing toxins out of gas in factory smokestacks and stopping dangerous ice formation on aeroplanes and electrical infrastructure, according to Professor Christian Oehr, head of the interfacial engineering and materials science department at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, Germany. Can you help us … Read more

Catching ultrafine emissions could help develop cleaner cars

Scientists are developing a device to trap and analyse ultrafine particles from car exhausts.

Modern engines – in particular those which inject fuel at high pressure – maximise efficiency and cut carbon dioxide emissions, but may also release harder-to-catch pollution associated with cancers and lung, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases. In response, European researchers are analysing exhaust particles down to one billionth of a metre, which may help in the development of … Read more

3D-printed living tissues could spell the end of arthritis

Arthritis breaks down the cartilage between joints, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.

by Ethan Bilby Bioinks containing stem cells are being used to 3D print living tissues that can be inserted into the body and provoke a damaged joint to heal itself. It’s a development that could reduce the discomfort and pain of the one in 10 people who will suffer from arthritis over their lifetime. Arthritis … Read more

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