Forests have always been vulnerable to insect pests, fire and strong winds, but climate change can enhance these threats. A new study has quantified forest vulnerability to disturbances using satellite data on disturbance of forests, forest type, cover and conditions, climate and other factors (Nature Commun., doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21399-7). Read more in C&I Magazine.
Smoking cessation drug cytisine reduces the loss of a type of nerve cell in the brains of female mice. The findings provide evidence for the use of the drug to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD) or stop its progression in women, say researchers. Read more in C&I Magazine.
A compound in tree resin has been attached to a nanocellulose film and shown to kill methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus (MRSA) on contact. The combination was shown to prevent MRSA bacteria from colonising a surface mimicking the environment of chronic wounds (ACS Appl. Bio Mater., 2020, 3, 4095). Read more in C&I Magazine.
A new test that detects the magnetic properties of malaria-infected blood appears to work well in the field, producing results quickly and relatively inexpensively.
A therapy based on CRISPR gene editing technology appears to stop replication of viruses responsible for both flu and Covid-19. The therapy could be delivered directly to the lungs using a nebuliser, making it easy for patients to use at home. Read more in C&I Magazine.
A database of cancer vulnerability could one day allow physicians to look up personalised treatments best suited to patients based on their individual cancer genes. However, scientists working on the project have called for worldwide cooperation (Boehm et al, Nature, 2021, 589, 514) to accelerate progress, they reported at the virtual AAAS meeting in February 2021.
The UK chemical industry has welcomed measures to help the sector announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget statement in March 2021. In particular, Sunak outlined plans for a ‘super-deduction’ that will allow companies to offset 130% of investment spending on plant and machinery against profits for the next two years, starting in April.
Adding a component of human bone to perovskite solar cells (PSCs) improves their environmental safety while increasing power conversion efficiency (PCE) to around 21%, researchers report.
Climate change should make it possible to grow soya bean profitably in the UK, as far north as the Scottish border by 2050, according to a new study from the UK’s Rothamsted Research. Read more in C&I Magazine.
A constituent of Japanese noodles has been used as the starting point for an eco-friendly approach to cleaning oil spills.