United Kingdom

Sick woman, stomach pain and hands on abdomen

U.K. researchers identify and treat major cause of inflammatory bowel disease

For the first time, a major trigger in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and related conditions has been identified, and existing drugs can stamp it out, in what scientists call a “massive step” in successfully treating these debilitating chronic conditions. Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, in collaboration with University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London (ICL), have uncovered a problem gene enhancer that stimulates action along a specific biological pathway that causes IBD inflammation.

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Cancer Cells under microscope

Thousands in the U.K. to trial breakthrough personalized cancer vaccines

Under the new scheme from the U.K. National Health Service, the first of its kind in the world, patients who meet the eligibility criteria and agree to have a blood test and sample of their cancer tissue analyzed will gain immediate access to clinical trials for the new vaccines that experts say represent a new dawn of treatments for cancer. While research into cancer vaccines is at an early stage, trials have already shown they can be effective at killing off any remaining tumor cells after surgery and dramatically cut the risk of cancer returning.

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Plant coming out of concrete

‘Absolute miracle’ breakthrough provides recipe for zero-carbon cement

Concrete is the world’s most used building material, and making it is a particularly dirty business – concrete production alone is responsible for about 8% of total global CO2 emissions. But according to new research from the University of Cambridge, throwing old concrete into steel-processing furnaces not only purifies iron but produces “reactivated cement” as a byproduct. If done using renewable energy, the process could make for completely carbon-zero cement.

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Cargo ship at sunset

New piloting approach cuts cargo ship emissions by 17.3% in first trials

Currently, most cargo ships go as quickly as they can from port A to port B. When they get there, they sit still and wait at idle, continuing to burn fuel, until it’s time for them to dock. The Blue Visby Solution simply tells the ships to slow down, so they arrive at port right on time. Pushing all that bulk through the water at a slower speed cuts down hugely on hydrodynamic drag, so the engines burn considerably less fuel.

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Silhouette of person holding fun

Crime in England and Wales has plummeted 80% in 30 years

As of 2024, violence, burglary, and car crime have been declining for 30 years and by close to 90%, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). The drop in violence includes domestic violence and other violence against women. Anti-social behavior has similarly declined. While increased fraud and computer misuse now make up half of crime, this mainly reflects how far the rates of other crimes have fallen.

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Coal pollution

G7 agree to close all coal-fired generating stations by 2035

Energy ministers from the G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union — agreed at a meeting in Turin, Italy, to close all coal-fired generating stations in their countries by 2035 if not sooner. Putting an end date on coal — the most polluting of all fossil fuels — has been highly controversial at international climate talks. Until this point, Japan, which derived 32% of its electricity from coal in 2023 according to the climate advocate Ember, has blocked progress on the issue at past G7 meetings.

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Silhouette of wind turbines at dusk

Wind overtakes fossil fuels as U.K.’s primary source of electricity

In a historic win for the LGBTQ+ community, Aetna reached a settlement today with a group of plaintiffs alleging medical discrimination in their fertility coverage. The insurance company is paying out $2 million to the members of the class action lawsuit, as well as restructuring how they cover fertility for queer couples moving forward. This marks the a major step toward ending fertility-based medical discrimination for LGBTQ+ couples in the U.S.

Wind overtakes fossil fuels as U.K.’s primary source of electricity Read more

Solar panels reflect sparkling light from the Sun

Japan “fossil fuel dinosaur” launches massive 20GW global renewables platform

Jera, Japan’s largest power company and one of the largest thermal power producers in the world, has announced the launch of a major new global renewables business, becoming the latest fossil giant to act on the existential threat of net zero to its business model. Based out of the U.K., the new company – called Jera Nex – will be tasked with delivering on Jera’s stated ambition to develop a massive 20GW of renewable capacity by 2035, enough to power millions of homes.

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Elderly man

Thousands of people in the U.K. to receive landmark trials for dementia blood tests

Thousands of people across the U.K. who are worried about their memory will receive blood tests for dementia in two trials that doctors hope will help to revolutionize the low diagnosis rate. Teams from the University of Oxford and University College London will lead the trials to research the use of cheap and simple tests to detect proteins for people with early stages of dementia or problems with cognition, with the hope of speeding up diagnosis and reaching more people.

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Bifacial PV plate

British scientists develop new bifacial solar technology that generates more power at reduced cost

Scientists from the University of Surrey in England, working with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xidian University, and Zhengzhou University, have developed a flexible perovskite solar panel that use electrodes made of tiny carbon nanotubes. The researchers demonstrated that in addition to producing more energy than traditional solar panels, “the material cost of an all-carbon-electrode-based bifacial PSC is about 70% lower than that of a monofacial device.”

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