Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF CO2 is a major greenhouse gas but until now capturing it was difficult and expensive, this new technology could help reduce global emissions by 10%.   India have made a breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet heating CO2 emissions, and...

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Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s most powerful genetic technology – one that could cure disease, and at the same time wipe out entire species in the blink of an eye – has just been green lighted by the UN, and now the genies about to come out of...

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Google hits its ambitious 100% renewable energy target

Google hits its ambitious 100% renewable energy target

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is rapidly becoming the energy of choice for many countries and companies, and as output increases and costs fall, more companies are making the switch from fossil fuels   By March this year all of Google’s datacentres and offices will be powered entirely...

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Seahorse’s genome sequenced for the first time, unlocks weird mysteries

Seahorse’s genome sequenced for the first time, unlocks weird mysteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers are using gene sequencing to unlock the mysteries of evolution and each new discovery helps us improve how we conserve the animals and plants that co-habit our planet   Male pregnancy. A long, tube shaped mouth with no teeth. A body covered with bony...

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Bright future, solar power is the cheapest form of energy in 58 countries

Bright future, solar power is the cheapest form of energy in 58 countries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We aren’t at a tipping point yet but the indicators are looking good for the future of renewable power – investment and output are up and costs are down.   According to a new report from some of the world’s leading analyst organisations solar power...

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World first as scientists sequence the genome of the Ash tree

World first as scientists sequence the genome of the Ash tree

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In recent years Ash trees have been decimated by ash dieback disease, now that scientists have sequenced their genome conservations can craft new ways to save them for future generations.   The genome of the Common Ash tree, fraxinus excelsior, has been sequenced for the first...

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France opens the worlds first solar panel road to the public

France opens the worlds first solar panel road to the public

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While there are questions about the return on investment and viability of solar panel road schemes it’s important to experiment with the technology, especially as more electronic vehicles hit the roads.   France has opened what it claims to be the world’s first solar panel...

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Huge new wireless sensor network to help scientists monitor biodiversity in the Amazon

Huge new wireless sensor network to help scientists monitor biodiversity in the Amazon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Under funded and under resourced conservationists often work thankless hours in difficult conditions to protect our planets jewels, but now new, lost cost, technologies are providing them with a whole new kit bag of capabilities.   Scientists will soon get a sustained, close-up assessment of...

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Las Vegas becomes the largest US city to run solely on renewable energy

Las Vegas becomes the largest US city to run solely on renewable energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is gradually moving from the shadows and into the limelight with major projects underway, or already completed, around the world, now Las Vegas is the latest in a string of cities to meet all of its energy needs from renewables   On Monday,...

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New nanomaterial exploits radiation to create more powerful nuclear reactors

New nanomaterial exploits radiation to create more powerful nuclear reactors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Todays nuclear reactors are limited by their operating temperatures, this new nanoceramic material could dramatically increase the temperatures they can operate at and increase both their power production and efficiency   An international team of researchers have created a nanoceramic material that not only can...

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New research shows plants learn like dogs

New research shows plants learn like dogs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Understanding how biological organisms function and respond to stimuli will help biologists find new ways to help them grow and improve yields.   Pavlov’s conditioning experiments with dogs are among some of the most well known, and highly regarded, studies in scientific history, and now...

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Tests confirm Germany’s “Star in a Jar” nuclear fusion reactor works

Tests confirm Germany’s “Star in a Jar” nuclear fusion reactor works

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nuclear fusion holds the promise of being able to help humanity harness limitless, clean energy but until now scientists have had problems containing and stabilising the plasma flows needed to fuel the final energy producing reactions.   Last year in Germany a new type of...

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The ultimate bioweapon, scientists have developed an Extinction Gene

The ultimate bioweapon, scientists have developed an Extinction Gene

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists now have the knowledge and the tools they need to create, and deliver, Doomsday genes which can selectively target and exterminate entire species.   Here’s a question that occurs only to madmen and geneticists… How do you get a gene that kills a species...

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DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

DARPA wants to use genetically modified bugs to rejuvenate dead and dying crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Global food production is already being stretched by Earths growing population with the price of staple foods increasing by over 20% in just the past few years alone, as a consequence companies, governments and institutions are looking for new ways to increase yields in a...

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The worlds largest solar power plant goes online in Morocco

The worlds largest solar power plant goes online in Morocco

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Energy produced from renewable sources is finally getting its day in the sun, as more, larger renewable energy installations come online the economics of renewables keep getting better and better and the only way is up.   Cracked fields stretch away towards the Moroccan desert...

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Scientists turn nuclear waste into diamond batteries that last forever

Scientists turn nuclear waste into diamond batteries that last forever

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nuclear waste is normally buried beneath ground and left forever, this new breakthrough gives nuclear processing companies a new option and a new revenue stream.   Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a method to turn radioactive graphite blocks, a waste product of...

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Canada will phase out all coal power production by 2030

Canada will phase out all coal power production by 2030

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Paris Climate Accord, and more accessible, feasible and affordable renewable energy technologies appear to finally spurring government to embrace new methods of power generation   Canada, who recently began trials of North America’s first Tidal power generator in Nova Scotia, will close all of...

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North Americas first Tidal energy turbine goes online in Nova Scotia

North Americas first Tidal energy turbine goes online in Nova Scotia

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tidal energy is still more complex and more costly to deploy, support and buy than other forms of renewable energy, with this installation the companies involved hope they can bring those costs down   The first tidal generator in North America has gone online this...

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SolarCity and Tesla are powering an entire island with solar

SolarCity and Tesla are powering an entire island with solar

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over 1 billion people live without electricity, and the cost of reaching them using traditional energy infrastructures is prohibitive, renewables offer an affordable, and increasingly realistic alternative.   With over 1 billion people on our planet still living without electricity, and billions more living with...

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Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

Photosynthesis breakthrough crams millions of years of plant evolution into months

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have used gene editing to turn off specific plant genes to boost plant growth by 15%, if transplanted into rice, maize and wheat this could help reduce famine and hunger in the world without the need to use extra fertilisers or chemicals.   Scientists...

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