Biotechnology
Bio-based houses are seducing Latin America Bio-based houses are seducing Latin America

The use of natural materials is growing rapidly in Argentina and other South American countries. Technical progress and policy implementation seem to go hand in hand

May 2018
Soy filters: a cheap solution for air purification Soy filters: a cheap solution for air purification

Air pollution is a major public health issue worldwide. Filters can help improve the quality of the air we breathe, but they also contribute to landfill when they are finished with and thrown away, as they are often made of plastic. Could bio-based filters be the answer?

April 2018
Simplifying hospital waste with bio-based disposables Simplifying hospital waste with bio-based disposables

Dealing with hospital waste can be a logistical nightmare. But some believe that if medical centres switched to bio-based and biodegradable disposable products, they could simplify their waste management and see other benefits, such as a lower carbon footprint and a reduction in hospital acquired infections

March 2018
Making fabric from wood Making fabric from wood

As a material wood has many uses, but did you know that it can be used to make fibres for clothing and other textiles? Perhaps surprisingly, it is the raw material of some well known man-made fibres

February 2018
Making clothes from milk Making clothes from milk

In the EU we waste an estimated 88 million tonnes of food every year, according to the latest estimates. That is roughly 170 kilogrammes per person. But what if we could turn some of that waste into useful products?

February 2018
Making plastic toys from biomass Making plastic toys from biomass

Bioplastic is booming. The global market for these biomass derived plastics is predicted to grow by 20% over the next five years. Due to environmental and safety concerns around conventional plastics, one sector interested in bioplastics is toys. But, with some big names looking to enter the bioplastic toy arena, do parents really understand bioplastics?

December 2017
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules

A new device produces desirable molecules by modifying the environments where virus and bacteria interact

November 2017
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future

Engineering novel pathways to potentially boost plant yield nets finalist place in the EU Innovation Radar Prize

November 2017
Discovering the “third generation” of bioplastics Discovering the “third generation” of bioplastics

The ongoing revolution in packaging is the use of 100% organic materials obtained from the leftovers of agricultural production. An expert from the Italian National Research Council (CNR) says that in the early 2020s these bioplastics may become as competitive as traditional ones, even if not suitable for all uses

June 2017
Biotechnology: navigating a minefield Biotechnology: navigating a minefield

When it comes to getting biotechnology innovations to market, with commercial protection, it can be tough. Around three quarters of patent applications normally fail to cut it. Although biotechnology is recognised as being important for the economy and society, it can also be highly controversial – attracting public protests

April 2017
The Social Life of Bricks The Social Life of Bricks

A celebrity in the materials world, Mark Miodownik dreams of colour-changing walls and looks at the future of renewable buildings

April 2016
Preventing “oceans of plastic soup” Preventing “oceans of plastic soup”

Research on biodegradable plastics is a leap toward prevention

March 2016
Bio-based insulation materials: the construction industry's best kept secret? Bio-based insulation materials: the construction industry's best kept secret?

Currently a niche in construction, their high potential benefits in terms of energy saving and overall cost to the environment give them significant appeal for the future

May 2015
That’s a bioplastic wrap That’s a bioplastic wrap

Bioplastics take on traditional petrochemical plastics in food packaging, with some challenges.

December 2014
New bio packaging for food New bio packaging for food

Nowadays most of food packaging is derived from petrochemicals and not always biodegradable. Moreover, consumers often find that there is more packaging than content.

December 2014
Microbes clean up the oceans Microbes clean up the oceans

Oil spills and plastic waste are polluting our oceans – destroying marine life and contaminating beaches. Now scientists are exploring how they can get microbes to degrade these substances more effectively and thus reduce the pollution in the sea.

September 2014
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners

Bacteria in the sea slowly break up oil naturally. But artificially providing them with thriving growth conditions could accelerate oil spill mop-ups. 

September 2014
Ridding the sea and land from toxic plastics fragments Ridding the sea and land from toxic plastics fragments

New ways identified to tackle the presence of small fragments of plastics in the environment, to prevent toxic chemicals absorbed into them from entering the food chain

September 2014
Microbes – The New Bioplastic Factories Microbes – The New Bioplastic Factories

European scientists are experimenting with bacteria and algae and turn them into bioplastic factories. Their vision: these microorganisms should produce a large portion of our plastic materials without any petroleum.

July 2014
When your water is contaminated When your water is contaminated

Every year 300.000 Europeans are falling ill because of contaminated drinking water. A new high-speed test is being developed to identify the contamination of drinking water much faster than today and thus reduce the number of victims considerably.

March 2014
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