Cheaper silicon means cheaper solar cells

A new method of producing solar cells could reduce the amount of silicon per unit area by 90 per cent compared to the current standard. With the high prices of pure silicon, this will help cut the cost of solar power.

Nasal spray treats heroin overdose

There is a much greater risk of dying from a heroin overdose in Norway than in a car accident. A new nasal spray aims to help save lives and prevent paramedics from being injured by needles used on drug addicts.

From bomb shelter beginnings to the Nobel Prize

Nearly all innovations have founder myths, like the apocryphal garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are said to have developed the Apple Computer. But two innovative neuroscientists in Trondheim really did start their research in the university equivalent of a garage – a bomb shelter – and then went on to build a world-class laboratory and win the Nobel Prize.

The Black Death bacteria continues to kill

It took almost six months for Egil Lien to get permission from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US to study the plague bacteria that, in its time, killed half of Norway’s population. Now, an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacteria has been found.

Improving migraine treatment – with an app

Migraine patients can toss away their headache diaries and pull out their smartphones to start tracking headaches. The app offers physicians an important tool in prescribing the correct medications.

Low-carbon electricity future is clean and feasible

A future where electricity comes mostly from low-carbon sources is not only feasible in terms of material demand, but will significantly reduce air pollution, a study published in the 6 October Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says.

Turning humble seaweed to biofuel

A Norwegian research group has been able to achieve bio-oil yields of 79% from a common kelp. Other researchers working with the same species have yields closer to 20%. The secret is to heat the kelp very quickly and bring it to the right temperature within seconds.

Practicing nursing care in a virtual world

While Facebook wants to make the world’s best online games using the Oculus Rift headset, NTNU researchers are using the same set-up to help teach nurses how to communicate better.

Hope for the climate, hope for clean air

Climate talks in New York this week have offered a glimmer of hope that the world’s political leaders finally understand the need to act to curb global warming. An NTNU researcher says that these actions will have a beneficial side effect: cleaner air in some of the most polluted places on the planet.