Weekly roundup 20/01/2017

20 January 2017


In the news recently:

Brexit has remained in the news this week, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May's speech outlining her government’s plans for negotiations with the EU. She reiterated her support for UK R&D and expressed a desire for continued collaboration with European partners and also acknowledged that she had heard the concerns of the business lobby, making clear she favoured a smooth transition. Reaction from academia and business was mixed, however, and many European leaders have since made clear that they have differing priorities. You can read our roundup of the speech here.

Small wind turbines are often neglected at domestic level as they are less cost-efficient than their solar equivalent. Spanish engineering consultancy, Solute, has been working on improving the blades, which can have a significant impact on the performance, as part of the European SWIP project. ‘The project aims to lower costs and increase the power generated by the small and medium wind turbines’, says Fernando Aznar, a designer at Solute. Read more about SWIP’s work here.

Investigators from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believe that, in certain cases, an innovative off-label usage of anti-malaria drug chloroquine could aid cancer treatment in cases where patients have become desensitised. Some cancers can use a cellular process called autophagy to keep themselves safe from treatments and chloroquine inhibits that process. Read more about the details behind this treatment and its discovery here.

SpaceX celebrated a successful return this week with launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, which successfully delivered a fleet of ten advanced Iridium NEXT mobile voice and data relay satellites to orbit. The company also landed the rocket and its booster on the targeted drone barge in the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of California. SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonisation of Mars. You can read more about Falcon 9 here. You can find out more about NASA’s latest study to enable human travel to Mars here.

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