Materials science: Graphene takes on the fight against rust

Light, strong and thin, graphene can be used to build anything from airplanes to computer chips. Graphene is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick. It is remarkably strong for its very low weight (100 times stronger than steel and it conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency

A thin coating could provide protection against corrosion for large metal structures

With its 0.01mm diameter strands, ‘hair ice’ appears to defy physics
©Gisela Preuss

Glaciology: Solving the mystery of ‘hair ice’

This ‘ice wool’ manifests as silky strands in Europe’s forests due to a wood fungus

An artist’s impression of the four-legged snake 'Tetrapodophis amplectus'
©James Brown/University of Portsmouth

Evolutionary biology: how snakes lost their legs

Fossil suggests snakes ‘evolved from burrowing lizards’

Rice paddies
©Feng Wang

Crop engineering: green rice

Scientists develop the new SUSIBA2 strain which results in less methane

©Charlie Bibby

Celgene hesitation costs it almost $7bn

Receptos deal could have been made for much less two years ago

US dollar pushes Sanofi profit higher

Sales rise 16%, buoyed by exchange rates and Genzyme biotech unit

Illustration by Martin O’Neill for Boldness in Business 2015 special report
©Martin O’Neill

FireChat to launch as messaging service

Service popularised by Hong Kong protesters to be broadened

Papaver somniferum. Seed pod of Opium Poppy.

Pharmaceuticals: Prescribing pain

Increasing abuse of painkillers in the US is putting the industry under pressure to make the drugs tamper-proof

Wanted: Recreational drug users — will pay

Race is on to develop new ‘abuse-deterrent’ opioid painkillers

Renewables pose challenge for Tokyo

Japan struggles to find places to install new technology

Experts warn of killer robot arms race

Musk, Hawking and others call for autonomous weapons ban

Bioven seeks IPO to market Cuban drug

Improved relations with US set to open up Cuban life sciences

Pluto reveals more ‘thrilling’ secrets

Nasa analyses pictures of ice, mountains and 130km-high haze

WTO deal to cut tariffs on IT products

Consumers expected to benefit from lower prices

Pandora hits right note for investors

Biogen slide after lower full-year forecast weighs on biotechs

First malaria vaccine gets a green light

But critics question whether Mosquirix is effective enough

FBI blames China for 53% spy case surge

Beijing the ‘most dominant threat’ to US companies, says bureau

Earth’s ‘big brother’ 1,400 light years away

Kepler project finds closest match yet to our planet

Retiring Chambers stays connected to Cisco

After 20 years at Cisco helm, outgoing chief will act as wingman

China tech expansion in a new phase

Tsinghua’s interest in Micron evokes memories of Japanese chip onslaught

Eli Lilly raises Alzheimer’s drug hopes

Positive findings reinforce signs solanezumab can slow the course of mental decline

Record fundraisings boost UK life science

Money from equity markets and venture capital hit the highest levels for 10 years in 2014

Search for alien life gets $100m boost

Silicon Valley entrepreneur donates funds to ET hunt

Sophos confident of momentum after IPO

Cyber security group says growth not a flash in the pan

Pharmaceuticals: Brain power

It is seen as a ‘black hole’ for drugs spending, but there is fresh hope of a treatment for Alzheimer’s

Pfizer ranked UK’s top foreign research partner

US drugmaker has more collaborations with British universities that any other foreign company

Probe reveals more of Pluto’s secrets

Vast icy plain is made up of irregular polygons

Discoveries show Pluto merits planethood

Demotion to minor status was a mistake that should be rectified

Britons advised to halve sugar intake

New government guidance says it should be no more than 5% of daily calories

Celgene aims to deal itself a blockbuster drug

US group has made a series of bold, some would say risky, bets

Immunocore gets record biotech backing

Eli Lilly, Neil Woodford fund UK cancer drug firm

Trial hints at Alzheimer’s approach

Professor spends 40 years researching treatment for amyloidosis

Nasa releases first close-up of Pluto

Pictures of dwarf planet’s surface astonish scientists

Group behind Pluto images set for growth

e2V technologies to expand space unit after planet pictures

Probe phones home after Pluto encounter

US New Horizons spacecraft survives flight past planet

Cyber insecurity: US losing the battle

US agencies are revealed to lack basic IT defences

Spacecraft reaches Pluto after 9 years

$700m Nasa mission set to transmit first ever detailed images of dwarf planet

8m saved by efforts to combat Aids

Policymakers meet to set new targets to end epidemic by 2030

Biomedical centre teams up with industry

Francis Crick Institute to join GSK in hunt for new medicines

Rabbit gut reaction turns waste to fuel

ArcelorMittal invests €87m in new process that cuts emissions