Magnets are being used to extract algal molecules for the beauty, bioplastics industries

Entrepreneurs in the aquaculture sector face a problem – extracting all the valuable molecules from seaweed and algal cells is still really difficult. But marine enzymes and magnets are now making it easier to remove precious molecules and can even turn microalgae into magnetically-guided ‘vehicles’ for targeted drug delivery. Algal cells contain all kinds of … Read more

Mobile forests could help cities cope with climate change

Cities across Europe are trialling schemes such as roof gardens and ‘mobile forests’ to embed more nature into urban areas in an effort to protect their citizens from climate change events like heatwaves, floods and droughts. Cities are becoming harder places to live in as climate change brings higher temperatures, water scarcity and flooding that … Read more

Removing old structures from rivers could restore vital water flow

Removing older unused barriers brings environmental benefits, such as helping vital nutrients flow downstream, says Prof Garcia de Leaniz. Image credit - Zdeněk Chalupský, licensed under Pixabay licence

Rivers in Europe are so congested with concrete obstructions like weirs, bridges and other man-made barriers that they no longer flow freely, which harms the wider environment. Removing these blockages could restore these vital aquatic ecosystems to their former glory. Countless dams, bridges, weirs, and fords have sprung up over the centuries along Europe’s rivers … Read more

‘Reverse fridges’ and insulated walls – how to make a house carbon neutral

Retrofitting of houses on a large scale needs to start now to meet 2050 net zero energy target.Image credit - REMOURBAN

by Jonathan O’Callaghan As the world moves towards a carbon neutral future, many different areas from industry to manufacturing are working to reduce their emissions. But scientists are beginning to look at a different area – houses – to work out if it’s possible to reduce emissions from Europe’s homes to zero by retrofitting on … 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