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15 June 2021

Farmers urgently need to diversify, but they cannot do it alone

Boosting biodiversity on farms is crucial to make them more resilient to climate change and protect future food security, but it will not happen without change across the food supply chain from seed producer to consumer, agronomists say.
14 June 2021

How carbon-intensive industries can scale up CO2 recycling

New technologies that capture and recycle carbon dioxide from industrial processes such as steel and cement making will be vital if the EU is to meet its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and down to zero by 2050. However, while solutions are emerging, more work is needed in order to roll them out at scale, experts say.
10 June 2021

Extremophiles could hold clues for climate change-tackling technologies

Microscopic organisms known as extremophiles inhabit some of the last places on Earth you might expect to find life, from the extreme pressures of the ocean floor to freezing ice caps. Understanding how these microbes survive by interacting with different metals and gases is opening up new knowledge about Earth’s elements and their potential uses.
08 June 2021

What is the bioeconomy and how could it help fight climate change?

A circular bioeconomy – which turns renewable biological resources and waste streams into new products – is at the heart of the EU’s efforts to slash its carbon emissions while also maintaining economic growth. But what does a bioeconomy look like and how do we get there?
07 June 2021

How vulnerable groups were left behind in pandemic response

Viruses like Covid-19 make no distinction between those they infect. They should in theory cause disease in the rich just as they do the poor and pay no heed to social status or cultural background. But in practice the pandemic has widened the gulf between vulnerable groups and other populations in Europe rather than helping to level out inequalities in society, researchers warn.
07 June 2021

European science: The next generation

This month we hear from the next generation of scientists and researchers in Europe about how they’re shaping the future, what they see as urgent research priorities to tackle global challenges, and the impact of the pandemic. From biodiversity to how to make industry greener, and the digital divide to the future of work, our stories reflect some of the issues that will be under discussion at the European Commission’s annual Research & Innovation Days conference at the end of June. We look at the impact of Europe’s pandemic response on vulnerable populations, ask five young bioeconomy researchers what this economy really is and how we get there, examine what new business models mean for the future of work, and more.
03 June 2021

Car parts, ski boots and boxes: How broken or used plastic is being given new life

Since the early 1950s, humans have produced more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic – the weight of around a billion elephants. About 60% of that plastic has ended up in a landfill or in the natural environment, according to the UN Environment Programme, but that pattern may start to change as repair and recycling technology gathers pace.
01 June 2021

Bird-like robots could assist in medical emergencies and hunt down drones

A bird flaps its wings, glides using air currents and then smoothly descends to perch on a pole. But this is not just any bird, it’s a robot bird. And robots like these could in the next decade be used to respond to emergencies or to hunt down drones posing a threat to safety or security.
31 May 2021

Why scientists want to turn tree bark and compost into aircraft wings and plastic bags

Trees, crops and even organic waste can be transformed into a bewildering array of plastics to use in products ranging from single-use bags to heavy-duty aeroplane wings.
27 May 2021

Recovering drugs from sewers could reduce harm to wildlife

Common medicines that have passed through patients' bodies are ending up in the environment, but the threat many of them pose to wildlife and human health still needs to be determined. It may even be possible to recover some of these life-saving compounds so they can be reused.