May 2023

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…

31/05/2023 Economist

Scientists Gave People Psychedelics—and Then Erased Their Memory

Psychedelics are hot, but flawed studies mean a lot of the health claims could be hype. To get better evidence, scientists are trying unusual methods.

31/05/2023 Wired

Rock ‘flour’ from Greenland can capture significant CO2, study shows

Rock “flour” produced by the grinding under Greenland’s glaciers can trap climate-heating carbon dioxide when spread on farm fields, research has shown for the first time.

30/05/2023 The Guardian

As Farmers Face a Warmer Future, an Ancient Grain Shows Promise

The United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets, which are a type of small grain mostly grown in parts of Asia and Africa. The highly resilient and cost-friendly grains could become a useful crop for the Midwest in the midst…

30/05/2023 Undark Magazine

The Dawn of an Auto-Captioned World

Automated live captions used to be terrible. But they’re becoming transformative for people who can’t hear.

28/05/2023 The Atlantic

Local farmers in South Africa were cut out of rooibos tea cash. Now change is brewing

For generations, the Khoisan people harvested the rooibos plant to make tea. As this caffeine-free drink has grown trendy — 9,000 tons exported a year — they've been cut out of revenues. Until now.

27/05/2023 NPR

‘A gamechanger’: new meningitis vaccine hailed as major step

An effective, affordable meningitis vaccine has been successfully tested in Africa, raising hopes for the elimination of a disease that kills 250,000 people a year.

25/05/2023 The Guardian

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…

24/05/2023 Economist

France bans short-haul flights in effort to fight climate change

France has formally banned domestic flights on short routes that can be covered by train in less than two-and-a-half hours in a move aimed at reducing airline emissions.

24/05/2023 Al Jazeera

A new research effort takes aim at 8 rare diseases. It could revolutionize many more.

The new project, Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium, hopes its work on 8 rare diseases will set the standard and framework to help thousands of others.

24/05/2023 USA Today

In Brazil’s Favelas, Green Roofs Might Help Relieve the Heat

Low-income neighborhoods are more likely to face extreme heat — and its negative health effects. One nonprofit in Rio de Janeiro teamed up with researchers to adapt green roof technology for their overlooked neighborhood. Could it offer a model for…

22/05/2023 Undark Magazine

New Zealand announces its biggest emissions reduction project in history

New Zealand has announced its largest emissions reduction project in history, transitioning from coal to renewable electricity at the country’s major steel plant in a move that the government says is equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road.

22/05/2023 The Guardian

Can ‘enhanced rock weathering’ help combat climate change?

'Enhanced rock weathering' uses tiny volcanic rocks to capture the greenhouse gas carbon from the atmosphere.

21/05/2023 BBC

Solar panel efficiency to increase 50% with first production of ‘miracle’ tandem cells

World’s first commercialisation of perovskite solar cells follows years of breakthroughs with the material

19/05/2023 The Independent

Insects are thriving in England's rivers after fall in metal pollution

An analysis of 30 years of monitoring data shows an upward trend in the population of insects and other invertebrates in English rivers, which may be linked to lower levels of zinc and copper

19/05/2023 NewScientist

Can't stop scrolling? Ideas from teens for curbing your social media habit

Many parents are worried about their kids losing themselves for hours on their phones. Turns out, teens are troubled too. But they also know a lot about how to get unhooked. Here's how they do it.

17/05/2023 NPR

How a European law might get companies around the world to cut climate pollution

The European Union will tax certain imports based on the amount of carbon dioxide companies emit making them. Experts say the move could lead other major economies to do the same.

17/05/2023 NPR

How 35 kilometres of pipe helped Opera House win a 6-star green rating

Architect Jorn Utzon included plans for a state-of-the art heating and cooling system using seawater, which became crucial to the building earning the highest possible environmental certification.

17/05/2023 Sydney Morning Herald

Same-sex couples will now have full adoption rights in Taiwan

Taiwan legalized gay marriage in 2019, becoming the only place in Asia that allows it. But until now, those married couples could only adopt children related to one of the partners.

16/05/2023 NPR

EU countries adopt law banning products which fuel deforestation

The 27 European Union countries have formally endorsed a law that should help the bloc reduce its contribution to global deforestation by regulating the trade in a series of goods

16/05/2023 The Independent

Global accord could cut plastic pollution by 80%

As plastic production continues unabated, new findings say that with sufficient ambition, the world could cut plastic pollution by more than three-quarters.

16/05/2023 Deutsche Welle

Mutation Protected Man From Alzheimer’s Disease, Hinting at Treatment

A man in his early 40s showed physical signs of the illness, but didn’t develop symptoms until he was nearly 70 because of a protective gene.

15/05/2023 New York Times

When Getty began losing her vision as a girl, she was told her life was over. Wrong!

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame says she could not imagine "what the future had in store." She faced sorrow — but ultimately triumphed. She is the new chair of the U.N. committee for disability rights.

13/05/2023 NPR

Teddy Kossoko, the engineer who uses video games to do politics in Africa

For Teddy Kossoko, “video games allow people to enter into an environment and leave with the sense of having lived through things, which is hard to do, for example, with a book or even a movie.” That’s why the young entrepreneur chose them as the…

12/05/2023 El País

Despairing about climate change? These 4 charts on the unstoppable growth of solar may change your mind

Solar power is growing at 20% a year. That simple fact could change the world for the better in under a decade

11/05/2023 The Conversation

Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Small Trial

Using mRNA tailored to each patient’s tumor, the vaccine may have staved off the return of one of the deadliest forms of cancer in half of those who received it.

10/05/2023 New York Times

Long popular in Asia, floating solar catches on in US

A lesser-known form of solar power that has several advantages over the traditional kind is gaining traction

10/05/2023 The Independent

Microbes discovered that can digest plastics at low temperatures

Microbes that can digest plastics at low temperatures have been discovered by scientists in the Alps and the Arctic, which could be a valuable tool in recycling.

10/05/2023 The Guardian

First wild koalas caught and vaccinated against chlamydia

Australian scientists have begun vaccinating wild koalas against chlamydia in a pioneering field trial in New South Wales

09/05/2023 The Independent

Stem cells treat diabetes without triggering immune response in mice

The cells could potentially be used to treat range of medical conditions, from heart attacks to cancer, without having to be made from scratch for each person

08/05/2023 NewScientist

Everyone Was Wrong About Reverse Osmosis—Until Now

A new paper showing how water actually travels through a plastic membrane could make desalination more efficient. That’s good news for a thirsty world.

08/05/2023 Wired

Can enyzmes really help solve the plastic crisis?

Tiny enzymes could kickstart a new way of recycling plastic. But with no end to our plastic addiction in sight, is this a genuine solution?

08/05/2023 Deutsche Welle

To improve kids' mental health, some schools start later

The idea of later school start times, pushed by many over the years as a way to help adolescents get more sleep, is getting a new look as a way to address the mental health crisis affecting teens across the U.S. Nationally, at least nine states are…

07/05/2023 The Independent

Can brains bounce back? Recovering addicts turn to science to map the effects of meth

Every few months, Cohen “Coey” Irwin lies on his back and lets the walls close in. Lights move overhead, scanning over the tattoos covering his cheeks.

05/05/2023 The Guardian

Nature Lawyers Up

Overall, humanity has made a lot of progress, albeit uneven, over the past decades. Our environment, on the other hand, might be in worse shape than ever. So, what if we all agreed that nature had basic rights similar to human rights?

05/05/2023 New York Times

Land Ownership Makes No Sense

“There’s no such thing as a good landlord” is a rallying cry of angry renters. In the future, it might be conventional morality that it’s simply wrong to own land. In our times, owning land seems as natural as owning cars or houses. And this makes…

04/05/2023 Wired

FDA approves first-ever RSV vaccine, shots to be available for older adults

Trial data showed the new vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, reduced severe respiratory synctial virus, or RSV, by 94% in older adults.

03/05/2023 USA Today

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.

03/05/2023 Economist

Asia’s first ‘chief heat officer’ joins all-female squad tackling extreme temperatures around the world

Searing heat has forever changed Dhaka, Bangladesh’s largest city, Bushra Afreen tells senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle. Now, she’s leading an effort to tackle the crisis and save lives

03/05/2023 The Independent

New York takes big step toward renewable energy in ‘historic’ climate win

New York state has passed legislation that will scale up the state’s renewable energy production and signals a major step toward moving utilities out of private hands to become publicly owned.

03/05/2023 The Guardian

This Dutch Airport Wants to Ban Private Jets

Schiphol’s example could be a harbinger of how other countries deal with the intersection of wealth, climate politics and a growing backlash against emissions seen as particularly gratuitous.

03/05/2023 Time Magazine

Talking robots, urban bogs and free bikes: inside Europe’s ‘green capital’

In the Baltic states, one city is pioneering the clean technologies of the future – and past. Just watch out for talking robots

02/05/2023 Positive News

Utilising Waste Heat From Data Centres: How Our Browser Activity Soon Be Used to Heat Our Buildings

Data centres consume huge amounts of energy - and generate a lot of heat in the process. In Sweden, thousands of households are already heated with server heat - how does waste heat utilisation get a headwind elsewhere as well?