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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.
Climate change: trees to the rescue
Climate change: trees to the rescue Fighting climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below 2°C, efforts should be tripled , and if we want to stay below 1.
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 .
Liverpool, a frontrunner city in re-naturing public spaces
Liverpool, a frontrunner city in re-naturing public spaces If you happen to swing by Liverpool in the future, you will probably see a tree urban drainage system in Bold Street, where people frequently shop. Surface water flooding is a problem in many cities.
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.
Making clothes from milk
Making clothes from milk A significant proportion of food waste is dairy. WRAP, a UK charity that helps individuals and organisations reduce waste, says that 20% of the estimated 1.
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules Darwin would be puzzled. He described natural selection as a slow process, selecting for the most suited organisms to a given environment.
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.
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.
Bio-based insulation materials: the construction industry's best kept secret?
Bio-based insulation materials: the construction industry's best kept secret? Good news for those planning to build a new home: novel insulation materials based on plant waste , such as straw, clay and grasses could offer 20% better insulation than traditional materials.
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.
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