A U.S. start-up has turned to nature to help bring water to arid areas by drawing moisture from the air. NBD Nano aims to mimic the way a beetle survives in an African desert to create a protoype for a self-filling water bottle - capable of storing up to three litres every hour.
A 10-fold rise in Marine Protected Areas has been recorded over a decade. A report to a UN meeting on biodiversity in Hyderabad reports that more than 8.3 million sq km - 2.3% of the global ocean area - is now legally protected.
Crossrail's earth will help create biggest man-made nature reserve in Europe. Almost 5m tonnes scooped from the London rail tunnels will transform Wallasea Island from farmland into a 1,600-acre wetland.
The UK Government has today unveiled a new UK Guarantees scheme to dramatically accelerate infrastructure investment. Applications open today for UK Guarantees to kick start critical infrastructure projects that may have stalled because of adverse credit conditions. Up to £40 billion worth of projects could qualify and, subject to legislation, the first guarantees are expected to be awarded in the Autumn.
The number of tourists visiting the UK has a hit a new all-time record. A record 12.3m international visitors had a holiday in Britain in the 12 months to May 2012, spending £18.2bn. The forthcoming London Olympics is expected to see the figures rise even higher.
UK government departments cut spending by £6.7bn more than they had planned in the year to March, according to official data from the Treasury. Savings from capital expenditure, such as large IT projects, were the main reason for the extra £6.7bn savings. As a result of the large underspend, the government is on target to reduce its deficit twice as fast.
New job vacancies in the UK increased by more than 7% last month compared with a year ago, according to a new report. Employment firm Reed said most sectors were posting more jobs than a year ago, especially motoring, health and medicine, social care and engineering. Part-time working is on the increase, with new opportunities doubling over the past year, said Reed. The East Midlands and the West Midlands are performing especially strongly in new job creation.
The global energy map is changing in dramatic fashion, according to the International Energy Agency. IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said at the launch of the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO), considered to be the bible of the energy industry, that: “This year’s World Energy Outlook shows that by 2035, we can achieve energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of global demand in 2010."
The European Counrt has ruled that Labour's indeterminate jail sentences were illegal and that the continuing imposition of these breaches human rights. These sentences, introduced in the UK by the left-wing Labour government in 2003, kept offenders in prison indefinitely and with no hope of release. The new Conservative government announced it would scrap the ability of judges to impose such draconian sentences. But 3,500 people are still in jail under the old rules, often with no hope of release.
Invisible codes designed to tackle the issue of fake goods have been created by US researchers. The research was published in the journal Nanotechnology, and the product can be printed onto paper, glass or other materials and is invisible to the naked eye, becoming visible under infrared light.
Bill Gates is funding the re-invention of the toilet. To qualify, the prototypes must operate without running water, electricity or a septic system; must not discharge pollutants; and cost no more than five US cents a day to run. If they also provide a bonus in energy or other resources, even better. The challenge has ignited a volcano of ingenuity.
Internet retail giant Amazon is to open a new creative centre in London which will house hundreds of software developers and engineers. The centre, based near London's "Silicon Roundabout" area, will focus on producing the "next generation of TV and film services", the company said.
A replica of the world's first steam engine is being unveiled in the West Midlands to mark the 300th anniversary of the original machine. Thomas Newcomen's engine was first used to pump water from a deep coal mine shaft in Tipton, near Dudley in the English Midlands, in 1712. The invention allowed miners to extract previously inaccessible coal and, together with the Davy miners' gas lamp, it triggered the Industrial Revolution.
He's only 22 and already a billionaire - at least in Uganda where he lives. African I.T. student Abdu Sekalala has made a fortune designing nine mobile phone apps. His applications have rivalled some of the world's most popular platforms in downloads.
Has Kenya beaten the world to true mobile banking?The m-Pesa system is now used across Kenya, allowing the secure movement of cash without worries about theft or bandits, and allowing even the poorest people to start building up savings.
In a new study, two scientists from MIT have shown how to use graphene to filter salt from sea water. It works 2-3 times faster than the best commercial desalination technology. The water produced by the method is drinkable. There are still challenges, such as very evenly distributing the filter holes over the graphene surface - but other scientists are making rapid progress in this area.