United Kingdom, Bioeconomy
The many faces of hemp A relatively recent interest in hemp as a building material responds to a global trend that encourages the development of bio-based products and the reduction of carbon emissions.
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future Despite its splendour and beauty, nature is full of imperfections. Indeed, the process of natural selection relies upon minor errors in genetic duplication to produce new variants, better suited to a given environment.
Do microbes control our mood? If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells , and there are an estimated 3.
The Social Life of Bricks Mark Miodownik will never forget the day he became obsessed with materials. He was a schoolboy in 1985 when he was stabbed in the London Underground. “ When I saw that weapon in the police station later, I was mesmerized.
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture For the first time in its history, the Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard Islands, Norway, has authorised a withdrawal. It was requested in 2015 by Syria, a country where the war is endangering the local agricultural seed collections.
Pig plague threatens Europe African swine fever , or ASF, is a viral disease that kills almost every pig it infects and is likened to Ebola . It gained a foothold in Georgia in 2007, when contaminated pig meat landed from a ship from South-East Africa and was fed to local pigs.
Free ecosystem services for better crops Ecosystem services are free, but often hidden. They include pollination and killing of crop pests by beneficial insects. Now, QuESSA , an EU-funded research project, due to be completed in 2017, will try and increase the visibility of such services.
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners Imagine if oil spills could be completely cleaned up soon after a marine accident. And this could be made possible thanks to none other than warrior microorganisms who attacked and completely broke down the oil.
Pig farmers get smart Low-cost sensors and wireless communication technologies have enabled moves towards smart homes and smart cars. Using similar technologies, scientists involved in an EU-funded project called ALL-SMART-PIGS are now developing technologies that turn pigs’ farms into smart farms .
Eating Insects - New Proteins for Farm Animals When on April 7 th World Health Day is celebrated, most experts will be blaming insects for the rising problem of vector-borne diseases. In some parts of the world, however, these little bugs are considered a healthy and tasty source of food .
When your water is contaminated Statistically, drinking water in Europe is the safest in the world. But according to the World Health Organisation every year more than 300.000 Europeans are falling ill due to contaminated tab water. ...
The case for low methane-emitting cattle You may think that climate change is being caused by burning oil, coal and gas. But not so fast! The emission of methane from cattle is a surprisingly important factor .
Grass as the new biofuel Grass could be used to produce biofuels. The advantage of using grass crops is that they can be grown in marginal lands that would otherwise not be used .
Quick ID for water pathogens Drinking water flowing from your tap can contain harmful bacteria, viruses and single-cell animals. And most countries do not routinely test for all these bugs.
Recipe for food sovereignty The main concern of food producers has always been to bring safe fruit and vegetables to European plates. But now, expectations have been stepped up one notch as pressure mounted to reduce factors, related to climate change, susceptible to affect the safety of food .