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United Kingdom, Bioeconomy
Brexit: an opportunity for local food systems?
Brexit: an opportunity for local food systems?
With the UK currently set to crash out of the European Union on 31 October, Britons are particularly worried about their food supplies .
Could the roads of the future be bio-based?
Could the roads of the future be bio-based?
Every year the EU produces around 15 million tonnes of bitumen . Most of this is mixed with aggregates such as crushed rock, sand and gravel to create asphalt – the sticky bitumen binds it all together – to build roads.
Hit the slopes with bio-based skis and snowboards
Hit the slopes with bio-based skis and snowboards
Skiing has been around for at least eight millennia. Skis from 6000 BCE have been found in northern Russia , while 5000-year-old cave paintings in China appear to show people skiing .
Bio-composites for cars
Bio-composites for cars
Bio-composites have become increasingly popular with car manufacturers because they can reduce vehicle weight, which improves performance and lowers CO 2 emissions .
Bio-based alternatives to plastic plant pots
Bio-based alternatives to plastic plant pots
In recent years, plastic pollution has hit the headlines as a major environmental issue. While gardening is an outdoor activity involving organic material and natural products, the uncomfortable truth is that gardeners use a lot of plastic .
Bio-homes to tackle the housing emergency
Bio-homes to tackle the housing emergency
Bristol is at the forefront of high-tech innovation in the UK, named European green capital in 2015. But it is also the second least affordable major British city housing-wise only after London.
Soy filters: a cheap solution for air purification
Soy filters: a cheap solution for air purification
Researchers in the US have developed bio-based air filters that they claim can capture toxic chemicals that current filters can’t.
The many faces of hemp
The many faces of hemp
A relatively recent interest in hemp as a building material responds to a global trend that encourages the development of bio-based products and the reduction of carbon emissions.
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future
Despite its splendour and beauty, nature is full of imperfections. Indeed, the process of natural selection relies upon minor errors in genetic duplication to produce new variants, better suited to a given environment.
Organic waste and insects: animal feed of the future?
Organic waste and insects: animal feed of the future?
More than the 70 percent of the protein sources required by animals bred in the European Union are imported from non-EU countries . Soybean dominates the protein supply for animal feed .
Could ‘superfoods’ stop disease?
Could ‘superfoods’ stop disease?
The importance of healthy eating for our well-being is scientifically proven and having a varied diet goes without saying.
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines
Millions of people across Europe have enjoyed soaring temperatures in the summer of 2017 , with sizzling barbeques, good food, and fine wine.
Do microbes control our mood?
Do microbes control our mood?
If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells , and there are an estimated 3.
The Social Life of Bricks
The Social Life of Bricks
Mark Miodownik will never forget the day he became obsessed with materials. He was a schoolboy in 1985 when he was stabbed in the London Underground. “ When I saw that weapon in the police station later, I was mesmerized.
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture
For the first time in its history, the Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard Islands, Norway, has authorised a withdrawal. It was requested in 2015 by Syria, a country where the war is endangering the local agricultural seed collections.
Pig plague threatens Europe
Pig plague threatens Europe
African swine fever , or ASF, is a viral disease that kills almost every pig it infects and is likened to Ebola . It gained a foothold in Georgia in 2007, when contaminated pig meat landed from a ship from South-East Africa and was fed to local pigs.
Urban agriculture is more than a hippy-style hobby
Urban agriculture is more than a hippy-style hobby
Imagine living in an inner city and buying your vegetables and fruit just moments after they’ve been harvested. Imagine waking up to the rustic sound of a cock crowing.
Free ecosystem services for better crops
Free ecosystem services for better crops
Ecosystem services are free, but often hidden. They include pollination and killing of crop pests by beneficial insects. Now, QuESSA , an EU-funded research project, due to be completed in 2017, will try and increase the visibility of such services.
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners
Speeding up nature’s oil spill cleaners
Imagine if oil spills could be completely cleaned up soon after a marine accident. And this could be made possible thanks to none other than warrior microorganisms who attacked and completely broke down the oil.
Pig farmers get smart
Pig farmers get smart
Low-cost sensors and wireless communication technologies have enabled moves towards smart homes and smart cars. Using similar technologies, scientists involved in an EU-funded project called ALL-SMART-PIGS are now developing technologies that turn pigs’ farms into smart farms .
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