A biodegradable coating has been developed for spraying directly onto food to extend shelf-life. The coating is made from fibrous polymers obtained from yeast with only water as a solvent. It was demonstrated by spray-coating avocados.
Advances in machine learning have allowed researchers to slash electric vehicle (EV) battery testing times by around 75%. The new method gains efficiency by halting battery cycling steps that are unpromising and by generating multiple battery configurations to be tested at the same time – an approach known as ‘asynchronous parallelisation’.
Giving bees a probiotic could reduce honey bee decline by helping bees stay healthier, new research suggests. Researchers from Indiana University, US, found that the bacteria sp Bombella apis makes royal jelly more nutritious by significantly increasing its amino acid content.
Researchers have developed novel synthetic polymers to encourage microbes to form growth-promoting biofilms that could give crop seeds a head start.
In March 2022, the UK government announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) would receive £25.1bn for the three next financial years, the first time it has received a multi-year budget since it was established four years ago. Now it has confirmed how UKRI will allocate this money, see footnote. Core budgets for all the research councils, as well as Innovate UK, will rise during this period.
By using the principles of origami, researchers have produced a wirelessly propelled, mm-scale robot capable of swimming through bodily fluids, traversing organ surfaces and delivering liquid medicines. The new millibots promise to be useful for disease diagnosis, targeted drug delivery and minimally invasive surgery.
A group in the US has opened the spigots for plants to make more aromatic compounds. This could allow crops to convert more atmospheric CO2 into high-value aromatic compounds, important precursors for pharmaceuticals, dyes, plastics, and commodity chemicals.
Nanoscale ‘drills’ activated by visible light can kill bacteria, US researchers report. The molecular machines punch holes through bacterial membranes, killing them in just two minutes. The work offers a potential new strategy for fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The EU’s Green Deal requires all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030. This regulation is perceived as particularly challenging for multilayer packaging, where layers first need to be separated before entering recycling streams.
A diverse gut microbiome is now accepted as a key component of healthy living, but UK researchers add another surprising contribution. They report that a metabolite produced by a Clostridium bacterial species in the gut encouraged the repair of nerve injuries in lab mice. Read the full article.