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Applying organic fertilizers, such as those resulting from composting, to agricultural land could increase the amount of carbon stored in these soils and contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research published in a special issue of Waste Management & Research.

Carbon sequestration in soil has been recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the European Commission as one of the possible measures through which greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated.

As thousands flock to ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ events all over Britain, Free Trade Nation, a new book by Professor Frank Trentmann, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Cultures of Consumption programme, shows that ethical consumerism was already flourishing over a century ago.

Then, it was Free Trade that brought millions of Britons onto the streets, promoting peace, justice and democracy.

‘Today, Free Trade is often viewed as the new slavery,’ says Professor Trentmann. ‘Look at the anti-globalisation demonstrations at the WTO and G8 summits. People see Fairtrade as the way to peace and justice. Fairtrade is cool, even sexy, and attracts widespread support from eco-warriors to rock stars. But what people don’t know is that Free Trade was once an equally popular movement, and similarly seen as the path to democracy.’

A healthy individual loses around a hundred hairs a day. Nothing to worry about as long as they are constantly replaced and the losses occur evenly around the whole scalp. But when hair loss goes well beyond this level it can become quite a problem for those affected – not only superficially in terms of looks but also psychologically.

A breakthrough on the hair front has now been made by an international research team headed by scientists at the University of Bonn. After six years of research they have succeeded in identifying a gene that is responsible for a rare hereditary form of hair loss known as Hypotrichosis simplex.

The scientists are the first to identify a receptor that plays a role in hair growth. They now hope that their research findings will lead to new therapies that will work with various forms of hair loss.

Each year, technologies initially intended for space exploration come into our everyday lives - if you still haven't tried Tang or pens that write upside down, you are living in a cave.

One innovation, which physicians for astronauts have shared with their terrestrial brethren, is a special suit called “Penguin.” After minor modifications, the “Penguin” suit has become the “Regent” suit and turns out to be an efficient therapeutic agent for rehabilitation of patients after a stroke.

Hypokinetic motor syndrome developed with cosmonauts who stayed for long periods in the weightlessness of orbit.

Bacteria get bad press, with those found in water often linked to illness and disease. But researchers at The University of Nottingham are using these tiny organisms alongside the very latest membrane filtration techniques to improve and refine water cleaning technology.

These one-celled organisms eat the contaminants present in water — whether it is being treated prior to industrial use or even for drinking — in a process called bioremediation.

Ikerlan-IK4 (CIC microGUNE Microfluidics Unit - the Basque Micro and Nanotechnologies Research Centre) has patented a device that enables the verification of the optimum conditions for a human organ prior to its transplant.

By means of a microelectrode that measures the impedance and temperature of the tissues, the system enables the state of any organ to be monitored from the moment of its extraction, during its transport, to the moment of the surgical operation to transplant it into a patient.