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A new age of sail begins

In 1926 an unusual vessel arrived in New York after crossing the Atlantic. This was a converted sailing ship renamed Baden-Baden. Its two masts had been torn down and a pair of 15-metre-high revolving cylinders were mounted on its deck instead.


Today’s AI models are impressive. Teams of them will be formidable

Ask ChatGPT to recommend the must-do activities on a holiday to Berlin, and OpenAI’s chatbot will do a great job of proposing restaurants, bars, museums and parks that it reckons you might like.


New crop-spraying technologies are more efficient than ever

The world is awash in pesticides. Fully 3m tonnes are thought to be sprayed onto crops worldwide every year, of which only a small fraction are needed.


A variety of new batteries are coming to power EVs

The tall grey buildings covering an industrial complex at Nysa, in south-west Poland, look like a modern car factory has been teleported into the surrounding farmland. The plant, though, does not make cars, but it is a new and vital part of the…


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.


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