Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight

An artist's view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like.

Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. With nearly 1 billion passengers … Read more

Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

We want to end the de-industrialisation of Europe – Prof. Jürgen Rüttgers

Prof. Rüttgers says that one of the great challenges in the 21st century is the transition from the industrial society to the knowledge society. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under CC0

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany. He leads the High Level Group on Industrial Technologies, which on 24 April releases a report called Re-Finding Industry – … Read more

Scientists explore underwater frontiers with submersible tablet computers

Technology for underwater use could change the way professional divers and researchers work.

A team of experienced science divers has created the world’s first submersible touchscreen for a tablet computer, whose applications are already helping marine scientists, law enforcement, explorers and other professionals toil beneath the waves and could usher in a new era of underwater ICT. It’s part of a new wave of subsea technology, which also … Read more

Digital innovation can enhance cultural heritage, hears conference  

The Holy Aedicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was restored with the help of a high-resolution 3D model.

Digitalisation has a role to play in the conservation and promotion of modern-day cultural heritage but should enhance real-life experiences, rather than replace them, experts say. The Innovation and Cultural Heritage conference, held in Brussels on 20 March 2018, brought together a diverse range of researchers from the fields of science, technology, archaeology, social sciences … Read more

Sherlock Drones – automated investigators tackle toxic crime scenes

Using drones to gather information and samples from a hazardous scene can help incident commanders make critical decisions.

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail. In the … Read more