Arsenic and permafrost microbes help hunt for life on Mars

Bacteria survive in the harsh conditions of the Andean lakes of Argentina among high concentrations of arsenic.

Studying environments that are similar to Mars, and their microbial ecosystems, could help prepare biologists to identify traces of life in outer space. In some of the most remote areas of our planet, scientists are examining how life can persist in the form of tiny microbes that inhabit a niche that would be fatal to … Read more

Marine scientists steer trawlers away from sensitive sea floors

Newly developed trawling gear can lower the impact of fishing on the sea floor.

Bottom trawling, where fishing boats drag a heavy net along the seafloor, can devastate marine habitats and cause fish stocks to plummet, but scientists have developed new eco-friendly techniques to support the sustainability of an industry employing tens of thousands of people. Bottom (benthic) trawling indiscriminately catches bottom-feeder fish and seafood like plaice, cod, shrimp, … Read more

Eco espresso and upcycled inks set to make coffee greener

Recycling old coffee waste can help create environmentally friendly inks.

An environmentally friendly coffee machine and a way to turn used coffee grounds into a new type of ink are helping to increase the green credentials of one of the most popular beverages in the world. Globally, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. At a rate of around 2.64 cups per … Read more

Natural enzymes filter hormone-disrupting chemicals from sewage

A new filtration system to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater

A new filtration system that uses natural molecules to remove hormone-affecting chemicals from wastewater has succeeded in trapping 95 % of these substances before the water goes back into the environment. It’s part of a wave of research into new ways of protecting us against so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which also includes working on different types … Read more

Our 10 favourite science facts from 2017

by Zoé de York From rubber dandelions and toxic crustaceans to anti-vaxxers and the world’s hottest geothermal well, Horizon covered a wide variety of stories in 2017. Here are our 10 favourite science facts that we learned along the way. 1. One sugar-cube-sized chunk of a neutron star would weigh a billion tonnes, or as much … 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