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Big city life can mean a lack of green living spaces, especially in more crowded, less affluent urban areas. TURAS, an EU-funded project, demonstrated ways to add green to the grey - transforming stressful urban areas into more liveable and sustainable spaces where local communities can thrive.
Published: 20 April 2017
Dengue fever kills around 25 000 people every year and infects 50-100 million, according to the WHO. With incidences rising, there is a new urgency to predict where it will strike (is Europe at risk?) and who is vulnerable. Doctors also need the tools to diagnose the disease quickly, while gaining the upper hand over the mosquitoes that carry the virus would limit its spread in the first place. Between them, three EU-funded projects are approaching Dengue Fever from each of these angles in the race to save lives.
Published: 13 April 2017
Within a few decades, supermarket shelves could be empty. A shortage of food is likely unless farmers can produce enough for the world's rapidly growing population. Combining higher yields with sustainability would be a step in the right direction; the EU-funded LIBERATION project has been researching the economic benefits of such an approach.
Published: 27 March 2017
Today, the shipping industry finds itself in a sea of change. New international standards require vessels to reduce air pollution, meaning fewer emissions. It's a challenge for builders as altering a ship's power can sacrifice safety. How can the industry ensure that marine vessels remain safe while cutting emissions? A shipyard in Croatia is helping scientists to improve maritime transport.
Published: 7 March 2017
Technology relies on new ideas. And in recent decades, there has been an explosion of new ideas about materials just a fraction of the size of a human hair. Nanomaterials - materials on the scale of nanometres - promise to improve and even revolutionise products from electricity cables to personal electronics to solar panels.
Published: 9 February 2017
Loud neighbours, traffic, and even trains - these are the noises of the modern urban neighbourhood. To help nullify this racket, urban planners may soon use 3D audio maps to design streets that absorb noise.
Published: 8 February 2017
Bygone Asian cotton and porcelain trade routes could have spurred the consumption of luxury goods in Europe, researchers believe, while scientific cooperation with modern Asia is still leading to new technological advances.
Published: 30 January 2017
Scientists fear that even before one of the last frontiers of exploration, the ocean deep, has been properly studied it will already have been exploited by commercial deep-sea mining looking for rare metal and minerals on the ocean floor, leaving its unique ecosystems badly damaged.
Published: 26 January 2017
Conventional industrial chemical production requires harsh conditions and environmentally unfriendly processes to transform raw materials like crude oil into useful chemicals and plastics. But imagine if nature's own chemical cell factories could turn cheap starting materials such as organic waste leftover from farming or food processing into recyclable components for the chemical industry.
Published: 23 January 2017
In northern Sweden, some 150km inside the Arctic Circle where winter temperatures can fall to -45c, it's thaw season. Futuris went to meet a group of biologists studying the basic mechanisms used by plants to survive in this challenging ecosystem.And the variety of colours of their flowers is one of those survival mechanisms as pollinating insects are attracted by their colours.
Published: 20 January 2017