The story of a new skin

Fibrin cultured epidermal sheet - © CMR Unimore_resized985

Decades of scientific research into areas including plant genetics and data science helped doctors successfully carry out an experimental therapy to create a new skin for a seven-year-old boy suffering from a rare genetic disorder. Hassan’s doctors had never seen anything like it: a seven-year-old who had lost almost all of his skin due to … Read more

Farmers bank on solar power to stave off European water crisis

Solar-powered irrigation system

Rising populations and climate change are putting pressure on the water needed for agriculture but a solar-powered irrigation system may reduce the amount that farmers use – while simultaneously slashing the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture accounts for almost 70 % of the world’s water use, but with the global population expected to increase to nine billion by … Read more

How soundscapes and vibrations are helping blind people see the world

Eyesynth glasses

Glasses that translate images of physical objects into soundscapes and a belt that turns images into vibrations are helping blind people build up a real-time 3D picture of the world around them, and the technology could hit the market as soon as next year. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 285 million visually impaired … Read more

Lifting the red mist with research on aggression

Angry tiger

For most people a bit of healthy aggression can give them a competitive edge, but in some it can spill over into violence and now scientists are hoping to unravel why. Aggression is among the most fundamental of natural behavioural responses seen in all animals. It can help predators secure their next meal and gives … Read more

Human-dog bond provides clue to treating social disorders

Border collie dog and human

The chemistry behind social behaviour in animals, including the bond between people and dogs – and the lack of one between humans and wolves – could help scientists identify new ways of treating social disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. ‘We think that the genetic foundation for social behaviour is very similar in dogs and … Read more

Forest plantations are a potent blend for coffee production

Climate change is threatening Europe’s coffee supplies, but the impacts could be diluted by planting the crops amongst trees – a technique known as agroforestry, which is also being revived in European farming. The distinctive waft of freshly brewed coffee is a familiar wake-up smell but, next time the aroma tickles your senses, take a moment … Read more

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