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Helen Clark

Environment

Researchers develop system for on-farm biofuel and animal feed production

Building on methods used by farmers to produce silage for feeding livestock, Japanese researchers have developed a technology for simultaneous biofuel and animal feed production which doesn't require off-site processing. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) system captures ethanol produced as a result of fermentation resulting from wrapping rice plants grown to feed livestock in a plastic-covered bale containing yeast, enzymes and bacteria.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Researchers shed new light on skin-based immune system

The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Scientists sequence genetic code of dog roundworm

Roundworms, or nemotodes, can be found in practically every ecosystem on Earth and are thought to account for 80 percent of all individual animals on the planet. Making up some of these numbers is Toxocara canis, a roundworm that, although more commonly found in dogs, can infect humans. An international team of scientists has now sequenced the genetic code of T. canis, opening the door for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests applicable to a wide range of roundworms to be developed.Read More

Good Thinking

Students look to improve bitcoin transparency

The intersection between transparency and privacy can be tricky. Crypto currency bitcoin is a good example of this as its purported anonymity can present problems in transactions and potentially lead to various kinds of fraud. In an effort to make the digital currency more attractive to a wider range of legitimate businesses, students at Trinity College Dublin are looking for ways to increase transparency in transactions without ditching the anonymity altogether and believe a "credit-check" database could be one answer.Read More

Brainless but not directionless, jellyfish swim against the current

For many people, jellyfish are just an unwelcome addition to a day at the beach. But the gelatinous creatures can seriously affect commercial fishing ventures and even cause the shutdown of power stations when they form into giant "blooms" in the ocean. Researchers at Deakin University in Australia, might be on the way to a solution. Read More

Holiday Destinations

All aboard London's subterranean Mail Rail

It's now over a century (101 years, to be exact) since ground was first struck to build the London Post Office Railway, an underground tunnel system that transported the bulk of the city’s letters and parcels between sorting and delivery stations. When it opened in 1927 it was the world's first driverless, electrified railway, and operated up until 2003, when it closed due to financial reasons. There are now plans to turn it into a museum and part of the train line into a ride. Read More

Good Thinking

Putting the science into crowdfunding

How do you boost the chances of crowdfunding success for science projects? As it turns out success may not be down solely to the vagaries of its viral nature or the "sexiness" of the project. According to researchers at the University of Santa Barbara, who studied crowdfunding of science projects, more workaday things like consistent communication and simple enthusiasm are more important factors.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Researchers find different pathways responsible for sugar addiction and healthy eating

Many who have tried to kick the sweet white crystals will tell you that "sugar addiction" is very real, and there are indeed neurological underpinnings that back them up. MIT researchers have now discovered that the pathways of the brain responsible for sugar addiction may differ from those which govern drug addiction and healthy eating, which could be a boon for studies and treatment of compulsive eating and obesity. Read More

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