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Research News

24 Mar 2021

1º of global warming causes a ~50% increase in population displacement risk

A new study shows that if the population were fixed at current levels, the risk of population displacement due to river floods would rise by ~50% for each degree of global warming. However, if population increases are taken into account, the relative global flood displacement risk is significantly higher. The research, by an international team...

17 Mar 2021

Flat brain organoids grown on 3D-printed scaffolds show intrinsic gyrification

Gyrification has been observed for the first time in brain organoids grown in vitro using 3D-printed scaffolds. The research, by an international team from the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Technical University of Denmark, used 3D printing to create scaffolds for engineered flat brain organoids. The scaffolds allowed the brain organoid size to be...

16 Feb 2021

Groundwater recharge rates mapped for Africa

Effective governance and investment decisions need to be informed by reliable data, not only about where groundwater exists, but also the rate at which groundwater is replenished. For the first time using ground measurements, a recent study has quantified groundwater recharge rates across the whole of Africa – averaged over a fifty-year period – which...

23 Dec 2020

Are two phases of quarantine better than one?

New research into this question shows that the second wave of an epidemic is very different if a population has a homogenous distribution of contacts, compared to the scenario of subpopulations with diverse number of contacts. The research, by American authors from Oakland University, Novi High School, and California Polytechnic State University, used a simulation...

25 Aug 2020

Study identifies first step to beating water scarcity

New research has revealed the locations and industries in the USA where efforts to improve water consumption would have the greatest benefit for economic activity and the environment. The study, led by researchers from Virginia Tech, used a spatially detailed database of water productivity to set realistic benchmarks for more than 400 industries and products....

24 Aug 2020

Ocean hitchhiker’s sucker mechanism offers potential for underwater adhesion

A new study has revealed how remora suckerfish detach themselves from the surfaces they’ve clung to – and how the mechanism could provide inspiration for future reversible underwater adhesion devices. The research, by an international, multidisciplinary team working across robotics, comparative biology, and electrical engineering, investigated the detachment mechanism of the remora’s suction disc, and...

28 Jul 2020

Lockdown saw modest drop in China air pollution – study

Large improvements of air quality in China during the COVID-19 lockdown have been widely reported, but new research reveals that the two pollutants most harmful to human health, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, were only slightly reduced. The study, by scientists from the University of Leeds, UK and the Southern University of Science and...

14 Jul 2020

Clean energy grids and electric vehicles key to beating climate change and air pollution

Any uptake in electric vehicle use must be mirrored by the development of clean energy grids to mitigate both climate change and air pollution. That is the key finding of a new study by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, and Stanford University, California. Published in the IOP Publishing journal Environmental Research Letters,...

10 Jul 2020

Study sheds light on bushfires’ microclimate impact

A study examining the urban microclimatic impact of the 2019-20 Australian bushfires has uncovered how they affect local meteorological and air quality. Its findings could help understand the potential consequences of an increased rate and extension of bushfires, and especially regarding improving risk preparedness and coping strategies. The research was carried out by scientists from...

11 Jun 2020

Aerosol-printed graphene unveiled as low cost, faster food toxin sensor

Researchers in the USA have developed a graphene-based electrochemical sensor capable of detecting histamines (allergens) and toxins in food much faster than standard laboratory tests. The team used aerosol-jet printing to create the sensor.  The ability to change the pattern geometry on demand through software control allowed rapid prototyping and efficient optimization of the sensor...

02 Mar 2020

New ‘organ-on-a-chip’ system holds promise for drug toxicity screening

Researchers in the US have developed a new multi-organ-on-a-chip to test how new drugs affect the human body’s vital organs. Developing new drugs can come at enormous financial cost, which can be wasted if the drug must be withdrawn due to unforeseen side effects. The research team believes their new system – containing representations of...