Disco Tony has travelled over 5,000 miles. He is grey with a yellow ring around his eyes. He is a cuckoo, but not just any cuckoo. He is one of a very special group of birds whose every move is being monitored.
There’s a nationwide shortage of suitable organs for transplanting – but what if some of those organs deemed ‘unsuitable’ could be rejuvenated? Researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital have managed just that – and last year gave two patients an unexpected Christmas present.
As social beings, a sense of identity plays an important role in our relations – and in our own happiness. But identity doesn’t have to be narrowly human. In an essay looking at the groups that exist on the edge of conventional boundaries, and are often subject to prurience and ridicule, Pedro Feijó considers those who feel different, other than human.
Vital to many modern technologies yet mined in few places, the ‘rare earth elements’ are in fact not that rare – they are just difficult to find in concentrations that make them economic to mine. Researchers from Cambridge University and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are investigating whether the remarkable properties of these materials can be used to track them down from the air.
Cities exist in a state of constant flux: not always ‘smart’ and successful, they can be vulnerable, chaotic and seem on the edge of failure. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the shanty towns and slums. How can these informal settlements, and the wider city, be helped to succeed?
The cities of today are built with concrete and steel – but some Cambridge researchers think that the cities of the future need to go back to nature if they are to support an ever-expanding population, while keeping carbon emissions under control.
The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is building on advances in sensing technology to learn everything possible about a city’s infrastructure – its tunnels, roads, bridges, sewers and power supplies – in order to maintain it and optimise its use for the future.
From wind turbines and solar photovoltaics to grey water recycling and electric vehicles, technology is making it ever easier for us to be green – yet many of us are not. Now, Cambridge researchers are discovering that our personalities and communities have a major impact on our environmental decisions, opening up new ways to ‘nudge’ us into saving energy and carbon.