Technology first used by NASA to grow plants extra-terrestrially is fast tracking improvements in a range of crops. Scientists at John Innes Centre and the University of Queensland have improved the technique, known as speed breeding, adapting it to work in vast glass houses and in scaled-down desktop growth chambers.
Three-quarters of prisoners struggling to sleep have reported major improvements after receiving cognitive behavioural therapy to treat their insomnia. In the first study of its kind in the world, experts from Northumbria University have found that a single one-hour session of cognitive behavioural therapy was effective in preventing the development of chronic insomnia in 73% of prisoners. Inmates also reported that the therapy made notable improvements to their anxiety and depression.
A study using animal-attached technology to measure food consumption in four very different wild vertebrates has revealed that animals using a high-risk strategy to find rarer food are particularly susceptible to becoming extinct, as they fail to gather food for their young before they starve.
Designing safe bridges and water systems for low-income communities is not always easy for engineers coming from highly industrialized places. A new discipline called contextual engineering helps engineers think beyond personal values, expectations and definitions of project success when tackling global infrastructure problems.
The first scientific assessment of polar bears that live in the Chukchi Sea region that spans the US and Russia finds the population is healthy and does not yet appear to be suffering from declining sea ice.
MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination -- with no hardware modifications needed. With the simple, scalable system, the researchers hope to bring food-safety detection to the general public.
East Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to extreme weather and climate events. This new research improves ability to accurately assess the development and impact of climate change. An analysis of several sources in the region identified the most suitable sources of high-quality climate and hydrological data. The data can be used to identify hot spots and plan adaptation and mitigation measures at previously impossible finer spatial scale.
Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is equivalent to more than 4 times the entire forest area of the UK.
Researchers writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are warning that current research models and regulation are blocking the development of human-relevant approaches to drug discovery and are perpetuating animal-based approaches. The UK currently has world-leading research in this area but significant investment in non-animal technologies is taking place in the US and Europe.
The Atacama Desert, the driest and oldest desert on Earth, located in northern Chile, hides a hyper-arid core in which no rain has been recorded during the past 500 years. But this situation has changed in the last three years: for the first time, rainfall has been documented in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama and, contrary to what was expected, the water supply has caused a great devastation among local life.