Bacteria are useful for myriad applications. Delft University of Technology's Henk Jonkers has recently shown that water-activated bacteria, when worked into concrete, act like osteoblasts do in bones, allowing the concrete to "heal" itself and patch up small cracks, reports New Scientist's Kate McAlpine. Such adjustments to concrete could save cities and towns a lot of time and money when fixing their infrastructure.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.