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Carbon-dioxide-removal options are multiplying

In what used to be a fish-processing plant in Akranes, a small port in Iceland, fragments of seaweed rise and fall in glass columns lit by leds. Running Tide, the Maine-based company which runs the facility, is trying to work out how best to get…


Scientists have published an atlas of the brain

Lord Rutherford, the discoverer of the atomic nucleus, divided science into physics and stamp collecting. (He was, after all, a physicist.) But he had a point.


A new TB vaccine could save 8.5m lives over the next quarter of a century

Tuberculosis (TB), which kills one person every 20 seconds, is a forgotten pandemic. About a quarter of the world’s population has been infected with the bacterium . Most will never know, as they are asymptomatic. But these latent infections go on…


Sweden wants to build an entire city from wood

There is a global race to build the tallest wooden skyscraper. The record was held by Mjostarnet, an 85-metre tower on the shore of Lake Mjosa in Norway, which hosts flats, a hotel and a swimming pool—until Ascent, an 87-metre structure, was…


A Finnish firm thinks it can cut industrial carbon emissions by a third

Just three industries—chemicals, steel and cement—account for around a fifth of all man-made carbon-dioxide emissions (see chart). Not only are those industries big polluters, they are also hard to clean up.


There is more than one way to make green steel

Steelmakers around the world hope to decarbonise by changing the way they pluck oxygen from iron-oxide ores. This is done using either carbon monoxide (CO) derived indirectly from coke in a blast furnace, or by “direct reduction” with syngas, a…


Old tyres can become a climate-friendly fuel

Getting rid of old tyres has long been a problem. Every year more than a billion reach the end of the road. Until recently, most were thrown into landfills or piled up in storage yards, which occasionally caught fire. Tougher environmental laws mean…


Western firms are becoming interested in a Soviet medicine

It was on the golf course that Barry Rud first noticed something was seriously wrong. A trim 60-year-old who played hockey as a young man, he found himself unable to take more than a few steps without gasping for breath.


How to make low-carbon concrete from old cement

The world gets a little greyer every year. According to a paper published in 2014 concrete—an aggregate material made by mixing cement, sand and gravel—is the second-most consumed substance in the world after water.


A new way to clean up the steel industry

Making steel is a dirty business. For every tonne of it some 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted into the atmosphere. As a result, steelmaking accounts for 7-9% of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions. Cleaner ways of…


Most children in poor countries are being failed by their schools

“Good job you!” shouts Pauline Bika, as a group of schoolchildren completes the hokey-cokey. “Good job me!” choruses her class. Ms Bika runs a small government primary school in Edo state, in southern Nigeria. It is reached by a mud track that…


A better way of keeping mosquitoes at bay is under development

Mosquito repellents have come a long way. For decades, the market leader was DEET, which fends the pests off successfully, but only for an hour or two. Recently, Icaridin has become available. This lasts up to eight hours and is just as effective.


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