50 years after it was first proposed, gene therapy - the modification of DNA to treat disease - has gone from science fiction to clinical reality. However, as prices for gene therapies are released, widespread sticker-shock is raising questions about affordability and fair pricing.
20 July 2018
Astronauts survive in space by utilizing protective and augmentative suits. Space suits can act as self-contained and self-cleaning environments, that protect and help the astronaut from the harshness of space. Scaling analogous suits down to the nanoscale allows for simple organisms to survive and even thrive in normally toxic environments. These augmented organisms are termed “bionic lifeforms” as they combine the promise of nanomaterials with life.
6 June 2018
Show your workings! Why transparency in policymaking matters
23 April 2018
Livelihoods of rural populations, especially in developing countries, depend heavily on weather and climate. The use of climate information in economic activities may serve as a possible adaptation strategy to changing climate conditions. Climate services channel climate information to individuals or organisations in a way that supports decision-making. Here we summarise the potential of climate services as a contributor to the Sustainable Development Goals and present an overview on how their economic value is assessed. We suggest that climate services could constitute, especially in the most vulnerable settings, an important element of climate change adaptation strategies boosting ongoing poverty alleviation efforts.
28 March 2018
Can open access help scientific publishing move from a prestige economy to a shared scientific economy?
20 March 2018
The new EU27 must look beyond itself and focus on relevant global challenges, which are greater than internal difficulties.
5 March 2018
The rules no longer apply. The biggest challenge facing the new EU is the growing threat to the international economic order. From banking to free movement of people and goods to international law and trade, bilateral alliances and unilateral moves have undermined existing structures. As Brexit heats up, a new 2-part series from trade expert Eoin Gahan will explore its trade and investment prospects.
27 November 2017
Science has deeply shaped our world and allowed human beings to live the life we know, having an enormous impact on the planet. Scientists now have an important responsibility in helping societies make the decisions needed to ensure harmonious development for all of mankind.
22 November 2017
Around 700,000 lives are lost worldwide due to antimicrobial-resistant infections every year. Without viable antibiotic treatment options we are likely to return to a relative dark age of medicine – a time when common infections or injuries could kill, and common surgeries and immunosuppressive therapies may become unfeasible.
10 June 2017
Seaweeds and microalgae, containing up to 47% dry weight protein, provide a viable protein source. Could seaweed-based foods feed future generations?
15 May 2017
Universities are sitting on a vast swathe of untapped knowledge and by presenting this information in different formats to new audiences it is possible to forge more and various effective conduits to the non-academic world.
8 May 2017
For years scientists have been studying E. coli as historians would an ancient tome. Biologists, biochemists, and geneticists have dissected, poked, and prodded E. coli until it gave up its secrets: the basic principles of cellular life. Synthetic biologists, on the other hand, look at E. coli and think to themselves: “let’s make a computer”.
9 April 2017
As science and technology have come to play critical roles in addressing (and in some cases precipitating) diverse issues in contemporary society, demand for scientific advice has soared.
27 March 2017
There are more than one billion people living under $1.25 a day and almost the same number playing at least one hour of video games worldwide. So, how can the popularity of games be harnessed for positive social change?
21 March 2017
Natural biological sensors, designed, tested, and adapted via evolutionary processes, typically exhibit sensing performances that far exceed those currently achieved by human-engineered sensors. Bioinspired and biomimetic flow velocity sensors, inspired by the mechanosensory lateral-line system found in blind cavefish, can be used for a wide range of applications including underwater robots.
5 February 2017
A political drive in the UK is leading to undermining of access to primary and emergency care for many vulnerable groups despite evidence of potential harm to individual and public health. Bringing little if any economic benefit, the policy to introduce charges for primary care and A&E for visitors and migrants is progressing at pace while critics of the policy are side-lined.
11 October 2016
Despite the enforcement of the revised Tobacco Products Directive, aimed at tightening tobacco control policies throughout the EU, the orchestrated attempts of the tobacco industry to influence the outcome of the vote has raised concerns that research may have less importance in the shaping of public health policies.
3 October 2016
In the face of climate change, and dwindling, insecure access to fossil fuels, nuclear power is expected to play a key role in the UK's energy strategy over the coming decades. But does it have the skills and capabilities to sustain the development of the nuclear sector after decades of neglect from government and industry?
24 June 2016