Few aeroplanes land automatically but new systems could make this the norm

Almost half of fatal plane accidents happen between final approach and landing. Image credit - Pixabay/ windhaven1077, licensed under Pixabay license

by Jonathan O’Callaghan When it comes to planes cruising through the air, many of us are used to the idea of them flying on autopilot with little or no input from a human pilot as they travel from one destination to another. Landing a plane under autopilot, known as autoland, is a different matter. While … Read more

Non-antibiotic cures for cows could speed up treatments for people

Mastitis, a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of a cow's mammary glands and udders, has long been a scourge of the dairy industry. Image credit - Tomasz Jagielski, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

by Gareth Willmer As the global antibiotic resistance crisis grows, chemical-based aerosol sprays and electrical signals to wake up the immune system are being developed to treat cow infections. These non-antibiotic therapies for livestock could also help to limit the spread of antibiotic resistance through the human food chain. The animal sector, which uses drugs … Read more

Is 5G bad for your health? It’s complicated, say researchers

The radiation emitted by 5G will largely be the same as previous networks, except that it will be exposing us to something called milimetre waves for the first time. Image credit - Flickr/ Kārlis Dambrāns, licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Tom Cassauwers The fifth generation of mobile internet is fast approaching. Countries such as Switzerland, the UK and Germany are already rolling out next generation networks. 5G is projected to be 100 times faster than 4G and would allow new technologies such as connected cars and augmented reality to flourish. But despite the big … Read more

Antibiotic resistance: How did we get here?

When bacteria develop antibiotic resistance (in the dish on the right), they can grow even in the presence of antibiotics (in the white discs). Image credit - Dr Graham Beards, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Finding ways to enlist the bacteria living in our bodies to defend against infections while better understanding their role in promoting antibiotic resistance are key to fighting this growing problem, says Dr Nassos Typas, a microbiologist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Antibiotic resistance is now regarded as one of the largest … Read more

Bacteria passed from mother to baby may play a role in later health

It is believed that the composition of gut bacteria in newborn babies is a strong indicator of future health. Image credit - Pixabay/ blankita_ua, image under Pixabay license

by Vittoria d’Alessio The bacteria and viruses a baby inherit from its mother play a crucial role in determining the child’s health in later life, according to research that could lead to new interventions to tackle conditions like obesity, allergies and colic. If your mother was obese, there is a good chance you will be … Read more

Better understanding sensory perception could help people with autism and dyslexia

Investigating less-studied neural structures is revealing insights which could explain dyslexia. Image credit: Pezibear/Pixabay, licensed under Pixabay licence

by Jules Montague Deciphering how the brain processes sight and hearing could have implications for how we understand and treat conditions such as dyslexia, autism and schizophrenia. During her postdoctoral studies, neuroscientist Katharina von Kriegstein was running experiments to see how hearing and voice recognition activated the brain’s auditory areas when she got a surprising … Read more