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English, Cutting-edge science

Super cold meets super hot

By Phil Dooley and Morten Lennholm


To keep refuelling its reactor, the EFDA-JET facility fires frozen hydrogen pellets into 150 million°C plasma. But these pellets have an added benefit as well.

Up, up and away: using aircraft for atmospheric monitoring

By Kimberley Leather, Carl Percival, Tim Harrison and Laura Howes


When measuring the chemistry of the atmosphere, it helps to fly up in specially modified laboratories

Glaciers on Mars: looking for the ice

By Miguel A. de Pablo and Juan D. Centeno


One of the scientists’ main interests in Mars research is water. Is there water on Mars?

From model organism to medical advances

By Louise Weston


A simple fungus used to brew beer is now used around the world to advance cancer research.

The secret life of volcanoes: using muon radiography

By Paolo Strolin


How do we find out what’s going on inside a volcano? Using cosmic rays!

Evolving threats: investigating new zoonotic infections

By Julia Heymann


In the African forest, Fabian Leendertz and his team look for new infectious agents that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Could one of them cause the next pandemic?

Laying bare our genetic blueprint

By Louisa Wood, European Bioinformatics Institute


What does the majority of our DNA do? Hundreds of scientists have spent years examining these ‘junk’ sequences, which may hold the key to serious diseases – and much more.

Cracking the mystery of how our planet formed

By Jérôme Ganne and Vincent de Andrade


Studying the chemical composition of some of the planet’s oldest rocks has revolutionised our understanding of how our continents formed.

Magnetic science: developing a new surfactant

By Julian Eastoe, Paul Brown, Isabelle Grillo and Tim Harrison


With the use of detergents and other surfactants on the rise, the resulting pollution is worrying. One answer: surfactants that can be collected and re-used simply by switching a magnetic field on and off.

The numbers game: extending the periodic table

By Oli Usher


Until a few centuries ago, people believed that the world was made only of earth, air, water and fire. Since then, scientists have discovered 118 elements and the search is on for element 119.

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