The video games that improve kids’ social skills

Image credit - Pixabay/ StockSnap, licensed under CCO

Video games that are specifically designed to test and improve children’s social and emotional skills could enable parents and teachers to spot issues and help children improve their behaviour and performance at school as well as in later life. Imagine racing through a virtual labyrinth against an alien and losing. Given the chance to rerun … Read more

System to rid space station of astronaut exhalations inspires Earth-based CO2 removal

Image credit - NASA/Mark Garcia

When astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) exhale carbon dioxide (CO2), it’s removed from the air and pumped into space. Could an Earth-based version help remove greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere? In order to limit global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels and avoid some of the worse impacts of climate change, it … Read more

Nature or nurture: How do we end child obesity?

An estimated 224 million children worldwide are overweight or obese.

A smartphone app that challenges children to engage in healthy behaviour, and genetic studies that investigate risk factors for obesity, are taking a nature and nurture approach to tackling one of the biggest epidemics of our time – childhood obesity. Around 224 million children around the world are overweight, making obesity one of the biggest public health … Read more

Climate actions that lift people out of poverty are often most cost-effective

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would save hundreds of millions of vulnerable people from being exposed to the extremes of a 2°C world.

The most cost-effective climate change actions are also those that could help us achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as ending poverty and hunger, according to Dr Keywan Riahi, director of the energy program of the International Institute Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, who says the first step should be to cut our energy … Read more

Tissue engineering is no quick fix for kidney disease, but early intervention can help

Kidney disease often lacks symptoms until it is at an advanced stage.

by Frieda Klotz Recent advances in kidney research have yielded dramatic headlines touting scientists’ ability to grow kidneys in the lab. But some experts worry that hype about tissue engineering is excessively raising patients’ hopes. In 2013, US scientists announced that they had grown kidneys that could process urine in rats. The announcement was hailed as potentially … Read more

Memory-jogging robot to keep people sharp in ‘smart’ retirement homes

Sensors placed throughout a retirement home helped the ENRICHME robot to keep track of the movements and activities of residents taking part in the project’s trial.

A robot that reminds older people where they have put things and helps them exercise has been used by residents in three retirement homes in a trial to combat cognitive decline in later age. Almost a fifth of the European population are over 65 years old, but while quality of life for this age bracket is … Read more