No super-vegetables for Europe
The gene-editing tool CRISPR could help farmers overcome the challenges of malnutrition. But European legislation has closed the door to that technology.
Drones designed like bugs
Hundreds of millions of years of evolution have given insects the ability to fly efficiently and robustly. Roboticists are taking note.
Making labour less laborious
Childbirth may be the most important event in a mother’s life, but it can also be the most traumatic. Technology can help.
The debate over C-sections
The procedure has advantages as well as downsides. Science can help mothers decide what is best for them.
CRISPR scissors editing embryos
Genetic engineering is developing on human embryos, raising both hopes and ethical concerns.
Cryopreservation: a new miracle?
Women who want to delay their pregnancies can now freeze their eggs effectively and safely. But success is not guaranteed.
Europe’s shortage of children
Births are falling across the continent – although not in France. Why do women working in tech have fewer kids? And why are there more premature births?
The technology that helps women get pregnant
Swiss start-up Ava’s wristband collects data on fertility. The goal: to help couples have a baby.
A new genetic revolution
The ability to modify sequences of DNA with pinpoint precision promises new drugs, healthier livestock and better crops.
Balancing pleasure and health
Our eating habits are often based on accepted wisdom without scientific basis. Researchers are now trying to sort the facts from the myths.
Labs without borders
Designers working with biologists and engineers: not so long ago such collaboration would have been unusual. Now it is at the heart of European Science.
Medical solutions inspired by biology
Sharks are a useful model, both for their slick skin and for their antibodies that can be used to treat cancer.
Turning nature into a factory
How a salamander inspired a robot, a protein became a sensor and a molecule helped design a water purifier.
Insects in the spotlight
Beetles, butterflies and spiders are some of the bugs that inspire engineers. What makes these insects so prone to imitation?
The science of beer
Brewing is often considered an art. For the researchers at BeerDeCoded, it’s a serious scientific endeavour.
A plane’s dirty little secrets
Careful study of the waste carried by aircraft now offers valuable clues on how infectious diseases spread.
Why we don’t sleep
Bad nights are disruptive to a person’s life. Fortunately, scientists are constantly learning more about the causes.
Tick-tock goes the body clock
You can sleep when you’re dead, they say. In the meantime, though, circadian rhythms are best not tampered with.
Why we sleep one third of our time
You may think you’re resting, but your brain is fulfilling critical tasks from building memories to reinforcing learning to clearing toxins.
Extreme scientists on the cutting edge
Six researchers reveal just how far they go to discover some of nature’s deepest secrets or test novel technologies.
“Modern life is just too interesting to sleep longer”
We spend one third of our time sleeping, but scientists still don’t know why. A prominent researcher reviews the most likely explanations.
The importance of darkness
For most organisms the absence of light is vital, too.
Human: too much brightness?
One of the basic certainties that unites all life on this planet: night follows day follows night. But then we started to mess with it.
Winners and losers of biodiversity
The presence of a single species – Homo sapiens – is having a dramatic impact, allowing some to thrive and pushing others to the brink of extinction.
The shades of grey
The vision of a world in which everyone lives longer and better is attractive – but for societies the changes will be over-whelming. An ethicist and a sociologist discuss the implications.
When 80 became the new 40
Life spans in the developed world have doubled over the past two centuries — and scientists are working hard to decipher the code of aging.
How old are you really?
Age is so much more than years elapsed since your date of birth.
The sweet smell of sweat
Everyone knows that animals use odours to communicate. Now a growing body of research suggests that humans do, too.
“A Swiss Army knife for genetic engineering”
Prize-winning French biologist Emmanuelle Charpentier explains her revolutionary discovery.
The DNA gold rush
Thousands of labs and hospitals are eagerly awaiting the portable sequencers that will make bedside genetic analysis a reality.
Humans, dogs – and now e-noses
Canines still take the lead when it comes to sniffing out smells. But the latest research shows that machines are closing the gap.
The invisible killers
With its horrible symptoms and 80% mortality rate, Ebola fever is especially frightening. The cases in Spain and the U.S. served as a reminder that procedures for strict disinfection, while simple on paper, are less so in practise. Even the Western health system cannot entirely protect us from this virus.
Beating the Superbugs
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, but the pipeline for new drugs is drying up. Researchers are developing new strategies to avoid a resurgence of illnesses that once seemed easy to cure.
Bzzzz… here come the kamikaze mosquitoes
In an effort to combat dengue fever, Brazil has authorised the dissemination of a transgenic insect. Now the question is: will the critters do their job?
Microscopy: Going beyond the limits of light
Super-resolution techniques have pushed back the limits of optics, becoming an essential tool in the life sciences.
Bacteria, on your plate
Already sold in health-food stores as nutritional supplements, micro-organisms could help feed the world if prices came down.