Changing plant chloroplasts to improve crop performance
Chloroplasts are tiny protein-filled units within plant cells. As well as being responsible for photosynthesis, they are critical to a plant's ability to respond to its environment (for example, to the intensity of light or the threat of disease). They do this by importing the proteins they need...
Mechanobiology: the stress of life
We often think of our bodies in terms of cells and genes, but we shouldn’t forget that they’re also complex mechanical structures. From an Achilles tendon – that can carry half the weight of a Mini – to our constantly pulsing blood vessels, they’re feats of meticulous engineering. Scientists at...
Our mysterious ocean floor
Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface, yet only 15% of the ocean floor has been mapped in detail. Much remains unknown, including the location of potentially hundreds of thousands of seamounts, which can be hazardous to navigation. Scientists at the University of Oxford are working...
How do unborn babies and mothers communicate via the placenta?
The placenta is a fascinating organ, which allows communication between mother and foetus through the release of bubble-like vesicles. Could the messages within these vesicles provide an early warning of diseases such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia? Scientists at the University of...
Can we make a sensor that can match a sniffer dog?
When it comes to sensing potentially-dangerous vapours, sniffer dogs are still considered the gold standard. In this animation we learn about chemiresistive sensors, a new type of sensor that may be able to match the noses of our furry friends.
Positioning in challenging environments
From driving, to crop harvesting and timing in the financial markets, many aspects of our modern lives are reliant on GPS.
But, although they are everywhere, high frequency radio waves have a flaw. They are blocked by solid objects – like buildings – so they can’t reach everywhere.