Why industry is going green on the quiet

Secret sustainability is on the rise, with companies loath to talk about their ecological credentials. Why? Theres a factory in Asia that uses only a single litre of water to make a pair of jeans. Thats 346 litres less than its jeans in 2015. Wouldnt you love to buy your jeans from this amazingly innovative factory? Me too, but I dont even know what its called. The manufacturer in question does not want to tell anyone about its groundbreaking water-conserving techniques not even the companies it supplies. It is one of many practising secret sustainability, whereby innovations are silently enacted and kept from the rest of the industry. This phenomenon is not limited to the clothing industry. The UK organic …

Scientists discover way to grow tooth enamel

Experts produce clusters of enamel-like calcium phosphate to crack age-old problem Scientists say they have finally cracked the problem of repairing tooth enamel. Though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it cannot self-repair. Now scientists have discovered a method by which its complex structure can be reproduced and the enamel essentially grown back. The team behind the research say the materials are cheap and can be prepared on a large scale. After intensive discussion with dentists, we believe that this new method can be widely used in future, said Dr Zhaoming Liu, co-author of the research from Zhejiang University in China. Tooth decay is extremely common: according to journal Science Advances, say they got around this problem by …

Drug maker ‘will make $21bn from treating cystic fibrosis’

Vertex is accused of raking in vast profits while making Orkambi unaffordable to NHS A US company, which is refusing to drop its price for the life-changing cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi to make it affordable to NHS England, is set to make $21bn (17bn) in profit from that and a sister medicine, according to research. Countries around the world are struggling to pay for Orkambi, made by Vertex, which has a list price of 104,000 per patient per year and is not a cure. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in England has said effective. On Monday, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will decide whether to approve the drug for children. Parents in England have campaigned, demonstrated on …

Record heatwave ‘made much more likely’ by human impact on climate

Scientists say July at least equalled and may have beaten hottest month on record The record-breaking heatwave that roasted Europe last month was a one-in-a-thousand-year event made up to 100 times more likely by human-driven climate change, scientists have calculated. Around the globe, July at least equalled and may have surpassed the hottest month on record, devastate vast areas of Siberia, the El Nio year the phenomenon usually associated with prolonged temperature surges. Instead, scientists say it is driven to a large extent by carbon emissions from car exhausts, power plant chimneys, burning forests and other human sources. How much these factors loaded the dice in the two- to three-day heatwave during the last week of July was the subject …

What Seinfeld can teach us about science

From micro pigs to the doping dangers of a poppy seed bagel, life may be imitating the US sitcom When Jerry Seinfeld UK 1981 HBO debut, he said of weather forecasts: And then my favourite part, the satellite photo. This is really helpful. A photograph of the Earth from 10,000 miles away. Can you tell if you should take a sweater or not from that shot? His eponymous 90s sitcom is also packed with nuanced references to science, with the storylines of some of the most famous episodes centred on it: George Costanza pretends to be a scientist in The Marine Biologist, while in The Abstinence he becomes a boffin after swearing off sex. In The Non-Fat Yogurt, Kramer has …

One step ahead: how walking opens new horizons

Whether its to the North Pole or across LA, walking is the fastest way to make more time for life As a child growing up in 1970s Norway, with parents who didnt own a car and loved to hike, Erling Kagge believes one of his first full sentences was: How much further is it? By his late teens, though, hed begun to embrace his parents ethos. By then, for me, walking wasnt just getting from A to B, he says. It had a value in itself. So much so that at 27, he walked to the North Pole and, less than three years later, became the first person to walk to the South Pole alone a 50-day trek with no …

Deadly skin-eating fungal disease wipes out 90 amphibian species in 50 years

Study reveals extent of chytrid fungus and how devastating it has been for frog, toad and salamander species worldwide A deadly disease that wiped out global populations of amphibians led to the decline of 500 species in the past 50 years, including 90 extinctions, scientists say. A global research effort, led by the Australian National University, has for the first time quantified the worldwide impact of chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus, a fungal disease that eats away at the skin of amphibians. The disease was first discovered in 1998 by researchers at James Cook University in Queensland investigating the cause of mysterious, mass amphibian deaths. Chytridiomycosis is caused by two fungal species, both of which are likely to have originated in …