NTNU’s new COVID-19 test to be used in India and Denmark

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has signed agreements to deliver as many as one million COVID-19 test kits to DTU, the Technical University of Denmark, and APS LABS, an Indian biotech company. “It is very positive that this technology can now also be useful internationally,” says Bent Høie, Norway’s Minister of Health and Care Services.

New lessons from the worst oil spill disaster ever

Ten years ago, the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico killed eleven men and resulted in the largest accidental oil spill in history. Years of investigations concluded that the drilling crew missed critical warning signals that would have stopped the problem. A new analysis suggests that wasn’t the case.

WITH VIDEO

A tiny arctic shrub reveals secrets of plant growth on Svalbard

It’s not easy being a tiny willow on the wind-and snow-blasted islands of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard. It turns out that Salix polaris, the polar willow, handles these tough conditions by growing as best it can in response to July temperatures — a response that researchers recorded all over the archipelago.

From coronavirus to a greener society?

Governments across the globe are funding record-breaking crisis packages to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Is this the time to fund greener, more climate-friendly industries and investments?

NOTES

Fast-moving information on a fast-moving virus

Medical researchers worldwide are racing to find treatments and vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. A new website offers up-to-date summaries on available and emerging options against COVID-19.

Global supply chains as a way to curb carbon emissions

The coronavirus outbreak raised everyone’s awareness of the significance of global supply chains to modern economies. But global supply chains also play an important role in greenhouse gas emissions. How they are managed can either increase or decrease carbon emissions, new research shows.

Abandoned cropland helps make Europe cooler

As nations prepare to mitigate climate change, decision makers need to understand how land use fits into the climate equation. A new study looked at land use changes over two decades and found a major shift from cropland to forests.  That change made western Europe cooler.

VIEWPOINTS

Towards a sustainable term for sustainability

The concept of sustainability has long been incorporated into our collective vocabulary. The word is used in many contexts, including in the PR industry. If we are going to find a way out of the climate and environmental crisis, maybe it should be replaced?

NOTES

Are robots designed to include the queer population?

Robot technology is flourishing in multiple sectors of society, including the retail, health care, industry and education sectors. However, are the perspectives of minority groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, considered in robot and AI development?

More people and fewer wild fish lead to an omega-3 supply gap

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of healthy diets for both humans and fish. The dramatic increase in fish farming worldwide has boosted the demand for omega-3 fatty acids so much that today’s supply can’t meet demand. Reducing waste and finding new sources can help.

Your plane travel destroys polar bear habitat

A group of polar bear researchers wants you to do more than worry about the fate of these beautiful animals. They’ve calculated how much summer sea ice is melted per metric tonne of CO2 emissions. Then you can decide if the flight you’re planning to take is worth destroying polar bear habitat.

New mechanism allows the immune system to detect and respond to HIV

Nearly 40 million people were living with HIV in 2017, the UN says, with just over half taking antiretroviral therapy. These drugs have cut AIDS-related deaths by more than half since the 2004 peak, but the disease cannot be cured. A new mechanism uncovered by a Norwegian research group could improve the chances of developing one.

Gaming their way to sustainable development

Researchers wanted to involve local people living around Kenya and Tanzania’s Serengeti-Mara parks in developing a sustainable future for them and the parks. They developed a board game to get people talking to the researchers — and to each other. That game has now won an international award.

WITH PHOTO COLLECTION

Svalbard reindeer populations rebounding from centuries of hunting

As reindeer go, the animals living on Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.

Buy less, be happier and build a healthy planet

You may feel like you can’t do anything to stop climate change. But climate activists who joined in grassroots movements managed to cut their carbon footprints and were still happier than their non-activist peers, new research shows.

Turning waste heat into hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen as an energy carrier can help us move away from fossil fuels, but only if it is created efficiently. One way to improve efficiency is to use waste heat that’s left over from other industrial processes.

Cholesterol crystals play an active role in stroke, heart attacks

Cholesterol crystals form from “bad” cholesterol and are found in plaques that line blood vessels. When these plaques rupture, they can cause heart attacks or strokes. New research suggests that cholesterol crystals in plaques can actually trigger strokes and heart attacks.

Super-strong magnetic supercrystals can assemble themselves

Materials scientists who work with nano-sized components have developed ways of working with their vanishingly small materials. But what if you could get your components to assemble themselves into different structures without actually handling them at all?

NOTES

Nature’s way of keeping surfaces clean

Nature has long been an inspiration for materials engineers and designers — just think of Velcro, the ubiquitous stick-to-itself tape that was created by a Swiss engineer after he picked burs out of his dog’s coat. Now a team of NTNU researchers has looked in more detail at how tiny conical structures on a lotus leaf or insect’s wing repel water and help keep it clean.

Tracing the journey of microplastics in the Arctic

By now it’s well established that microplastics are a problem in the environment, even in the remotest parts of the planet. But where do different microplastics come from and how they get there, especially in the Arctic?