Paper biosensors: towards eco-friendly diagnosis

Many of our daily products are made from pollutant materials, which have proven to be extremely difficult to recycle. Recently, there have been a number of high profile campaigns to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Specifically to raise awareness of single-use plastics (microbeads, packaging, bags, disposable products etc.), which make up approximately 40% of the now more than 448 million tons of plastic produced every year. In an effort to do their bit to help, some biotechnological companies within the healthcare sector have focused their efforts on the search for alternative materials to fabricate diagnostics products. Paper has emerged as a possibility, but is it actually a real option for the market?

Greek scientists part of a larger problem; economic crisis and Greek reality

Youth unemployment has been characterised a historic event by the global community. In developed countries around the world, young people experience the effects: extreme limited working opportunities, inability to economically sustain themselves, poor working conditions, low wages, internal and external migration, and mental health issues. Greece is experiencing this phenomenon since the onset of the economic crisis in the country in 2007. This article illustrates key findings from European agencies, government authority reports, and local NGO surveys.

Climate change: It’s a business matter too

In 1973, a group of scientists published a report linking rising CO2 with global warming and some of the resulting meteorological patterns. It was one of the first publications on what would later be called ‘climate change’. Surprisingly, the report’s authors worked at Munich Re, one of the big players in the global insurance business. “Our industry […] started monitoring this issue long before the public even noted that there was a problem,” says Peter Höppe, head of the company’s Geo Risks Research division based in Germany. Höppe will join the roundtable “Climate: facts, figures and future” at the 4th European Conference of Science Journalism.

Callinicus: the importance of scientists, knowledge, and innovation

The role that scientific advances and technological innovations play on the fate of civilisations is illustrated by numerous examples, including food-related developments (improved species in agriculture and livestock), health (hygiene and the discovery of antibiotics), and lifestyle (popularisation of the internet). However, none of these examples triggers immediate effects on the nation’s evolution as those innovations related to military technology.

Birju Pandya: choosing sustainable values to drive research

In this interview with EuroScientist, Birju Pandya explains gift culture, which he has helped introduce in finance. He explains how this approach can be beneficial for any field of work but also in all aspects of our own lives. The gift culture is based on a non-transactional approach to work, which is instead replaced by trust-based approach, based on pursuing higher-order values, such as connection to community and ecology. While there will be resistance against this rewiring of the mind, the result is worth the effort.

Sweet tooth: countering one of our most lethal addictions

Sugar is one of the next targets of health policy makers in Europe. It features as one of the ingredients in the latest food reformulation roadmap, just published by the European Commission. This ingredient has crept up in European diets unprecedented levels. As a result it could have serious consequences for the heath of European citizens, reflected in the increase of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Today, sugar has become very political. And the debate rages on between those concerned for public health and those in favour of preserving consumer choice, avoiding nanny states interventions and protecting the food industry’s market share.

Research funding: Science in the firing line as Europe fails to pay

As the three-week conciliation period on the EU 2015 budget started on 28th October 2014, research in Europe is facing a funding crisis. And this time, the harbingers of doom are not grumbling scientists, gloomy economists or critical journalists, but powerful voices within the European Commission (EC) itself.