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A European research project, ALERT, has developed an asbestos detection device that could save thousands of lives. The project team is building the first real-time, portable detector of asbestos fibres in the air. The low-cost ALERT Rapid Asbestos Detection (ARAD) tool, which will be the size of a hand-held drill, is expected to enable construction workers and surveyors to test for the mineral's presence in building and demolition sites.
Published: 7 March 2014
The market for bio-products or bio-based goods has grown sharply over the past few years as consumers embrace foods, fuels, medicines and other products made from renewable biological resources. However, the emerging appetite for bio-products is being held back by bottlenecks in manufacturing, with many processing methods taking far too long and costing too much. A European research project is helping pinpoint the industrial jams, raising hopes that the supply of bio-products can match the soaring demand.
Published: 28 February 2014
Caves, catacombs and tunnels are becoming increasingly popular, with Europe boasting more than half of the worlds underground tourist attractions. The UnderSafe project is developing a monitoring system to deal with the safety concerns and environmental hazards as a result of the rise in below-ground destinations.
Published: 26 February 2014
It is a quiet, modest process which rarely grabs the headlines, but the pollination of plants, trees and crops is a function which is vital both for human wellbeing and for the environment. While some pollination occurs as a result of the wind, the vast majority - especially that which matters most to humans - is carried out by insects.
Published: 20 February 2014
A new method for dealing with soil pollution has been developed which promises better environmental protection, reduced remediation costs and other economic benefits such as enhancing tourism prospects. Developed through the EUs FP7 programme, the SORBENT project will also contribute to national and EU environmental policy objectives.
Published: 7 February 2014
Whether we like it or not, chemicals are a major part of life. We accept them as a necessary element of modern existence. But what are the long-term effects of chemical exposure on human health? Is there a point at which we may be exposed to more substances than we can physically tolerate?
Published: 26 November 2013
From biotechnology to digital media, from energy to cloud computing, almost every job area today is strongly affected, if not entirely reshaped, by scientific and technological advancements. Still, according to surveys, young people in developed countries do not place a high value on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Published: 4 November 2013
Genetics is an area of scientific research that is opening up a world of new possibilities. For example, genotyping the process of determining differences in genetic make-up through examining DNA sequences could lead to new treatments for hereditary diseases. Investment in the Estonian Genome Project at Tartu University should place Estonia at the cutting edge of this research.
Published: 11 October 2013
Climate model projections show that the Arctic Ocean will be completely ice-free by the summer by 2060. However, the record lows in sea ice extent of 2007 and 2012 demonstrated that these projections were too optimistic and some scientists think that we might see and ice free Arctic within this or the next decade. This momentous transformation will undoubtedly have important consequences for our climate, but opinions to the extent of the severity of this change vary.
Published: 10 September 2013
Published: 26 June 2013