Faculty of Natural Sciences (NV)

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Bats not a threat to public health, but important for ecosystems

Bats have received a lot of negative attention, but the chances are slim that the virus that causes COVID-19 was transmitted from bats to humans. The world needs bats – in ecosystems, for pollination and for seed dispersal. On top of that, they keep harmful insects in check around our homes, on farms and in cities.

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.

NTNU establishes a factory to produce coronavirus tests

NTNU researchers recently figured out a whole new method for testing people for the coronavirus. The university is now producing tests on a continuous basis, under the auspices of the Norwegian Directorate of Health. Currently 100 000 tests a day are being manufactured, with production soon likely to be scaled up dramatically.

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.

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.

Lithium can now be recycled

Lithium from Norwegian electric car batteries isn’t recycled that often. Instead, it ends up as waste when other metals it’s mixed with are recycled. But this may change.

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.

Simulating her way to better batteries

Do you have a phone or a car that always runs out of juice? Ingeborg Treu Røe is studying batteries that can store more energy and triple the range of your EV.

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?