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Current Commentary: Roman concrete for durable, eco-friendly construction – applications for tidal power generation, and protection against sea level rise

Posted on 9. May, 2018.

A recent study has provided further insight into the cause of the remarkable durability of Roman concrete. As is stressed in the paper, the Ancient Romans were well aware of the robustness of their concrete, which they named opus caementicium.


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Current Commentary: Doing away with variables

Posted on 3. May, 2018.

In primary school we do our sums, and these involve much more than just addition: there is also subtraction, ultiplication, and long division to be reckoned with. But it is always a numbers game, until a friendly teenager shows us their homework, in which the sums involve letters. 


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Global restriction of using antibiotic growth promoters and alternative strategies in poultry production

Posted on 24. April, 2018.

The use of antibiotics in animal and poultry feed has been a global practice since the middle of the last century. Antibiotics are used both at therapeutic and subtherapeutic levels to promote growth and feed efficiency. However, judicial use of antibiotics in food animals for growth promotion and disease prevention has been controversial for a long time due to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in animals and humans, resulting in treatment failure when needed.


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Darwin endures, despite disparagement

Posted on 12. April, 2018.

Evolution lies at the heart of the life sciences, and Charles Darwin is a towering historical figure within evolutionary science. One testimony to his lasting influence is that declaring Darwin to have been wrong all along remains a provocative way to command attention. 


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From fundamental science to product: a bottom-up approach to sunscreen development

Posted on 5. April, 2018.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun is categorised as UVC (100–280 nm), UVB (280–315 nm) and UVA (315–400 nm). Stratospheric ozone prevents any significant amount of highly destructive UVC radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface, as well as absorbing a significant portion of UVB radiation.


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Free for 24 hours - Problems and resolutions in dealing with waste disposable paper cups

Posted on 21. March, 2018.

Disposable paper cups used for serving coffee, tea and other drinks contain high quality virgin cellulose fibre board (95 wt%) combined with a thin internal polyethylene (PE) coating (5 wt%). They are typically employed where washing and sanitising of reusable cups is awkward, such as in hospitals, in the entertainment and transportation sectors, and for occasional use by large numbers of people in short time intervals which makes reusable cup service practically impossible.


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Free Current Commentary - US withdrawal from the COP21 Paris Climate Change Agreement, and its possible implications

Posted on 15. March, 2018.

The global media have reacted with a combination of disappointment and dumbfoundedness, in the wake of the decision by the USA to abrogate its curbing of carbon emissions, as set forth in the Paris Agreement, at the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015. 


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The scientific dating of standing buildings

Posted on 12. March, 2018.

Over recent years, our understanding of building history has been transformed by the use of scientific dating techniques. This has been particularly significant for the innumerable modest buildings of Britain – houses, barns, mills, etc., that are described as ‘vernacular’.


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Mathematical models of microbial growth and metabolism: a whole-organism perspective

Posted on 7. March, 2018.

Life on Earth can be divided into several kingdoms, with the prokaryote domains of the Archaea and the Bacteria standing out by dint of their vast metabolic diversity and versatility which is belied by the paltry morphological variation encountered in these domains.


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