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7th June 2016
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Batteries from fungi

Jasmin Fox Skelly, 07/06/2016

Fungi found in bread mould could lead to a new generation of environmentally friendly batteries. Scientists from the University of Dundee, Scotland, used the fungi Neurospora crassa

Chemical companies now valuing natural capital

Elisabeth Jeffries, 07/06/2016

As C&I went to press, the Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) was set to launch its first protocol, a management tool to help guide decisions and assess environmental risk by considering the activities and value of land, water and plants, and their ecosystems.

Coal revival

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

Coal contains a wealth of carbon chemistry that could find its way into solar panels, batteries and electronic devices. This is the proposition of material scientist Jeffrey Grossman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US.

Fresher strawberries

Kathryn Roberts, 01/06/2016

Among perishable foods, strawberries are possibly the most difficult to keep fresh. But researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts, US, think they have found a solution – in the form of an ultra-thin edible, silk coat.

Glyphosate review request

Maria Burke, 07/06/2016

The European Parliament has voted to extend authorisation of glyphosate, widely used in herbicides, for a further seven years – rather than the 15 years recommended by the European Commission (EC).

Ion channel drug targets

Maria Burke, 07/06/2016

Ion channels are pores on the cell membrane that respond to changes in voltage to allow specific charged ions, such as sodium or potassium, to pass through, generating tiny amounts of electrical current in neurons, muscles and other cells.

Light switch for cellulose

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

Scientists in Denmark say that photosynthesis machinery can be put into reverse gear to break down tough polymers such as cellulose.

Nigerian anti-counterfeiting success

Cath O'Driscoll, 07/06/2016

Amid the fall-out following David Cameron’s on-camera remarks about Nigerian corruption in May 2016, a new study has found that Nigeria is something of a model country when it comes to tackling counterfeit drugs

Palm oil problem

Cath O'Driscoll, 07/06/2016

Process contaminants found in palm oil, vegetable oils and margarines could be harmful to human health, particularly when eaten in large amounts, and by infants, a new study has found.

Plant resistance genes

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

Isolating the genes that make plants resistant to disease is usually a long and expensive process. As part of a large international effort, plant scientists have now developed a new technology to find these important genes much more rapidly.

Pondering polymers

Maria Burke, 07/06/2016

An Italian biotechnology company is hoping that its bioplastic will be the next generation packaging material for food and drink.

Priobiotics to prevent bone loss

Cath O'Driscoll, 07/06/2016

Probiotic supplements could have potential as a low cost treatment to prevent bone loss after female menopause, a new study has shown. Commercially available probiotics were found to completely protect female mice against a loss of bone mass after ovary removal

Remember prions...

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

The first prion-like protein has been discovered in plants. Its discoverers say plants could be using such prions in molecular memory

Rocket science

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

In the 2015, Hollywood movie The Martian, the thruster used to power the Hermes spacecraft on its journey to Mars is a xenon-powered accelerator relying on an electric field for propulsion.

Shot in the arm for HIV

Anthony King, 07/06/2016

An antibody to reduce the spread of HIV infection could be made available in areas where HIV-1 is endemic, say the authors of a new US study. It would not be a vaccine, but could drive down transmission to new patients.

Sustainable silicones

Pierre Germain, 07/06/2016

In 2015, 90% of the world’s new electricity generation came from renewables, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).