Seven from Seven: Dormice and bees and Oxford Street trees

18th June 2021

Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…

  1. Westminster Council revealed plans to create a ‘pedestrian plaza’ in Oxford Circus. The 150-metre section of Oxford Street is expected to be closed to vehicles by the end of the year.
  2. Rolls Royce is trying to break the 300mph speed record for an electrically powered aircraft. It has invested £80 million in energy storage technology which will help to power both fully electric and hybrid aircraft designs.
  3. The 1,000th captive-bred dormouse has been released into the wild in a UK-wide reintroduction scheme. Once widespread, dormice have now disappeared from 17 English counties.
  4. A testing centre for sustainable rockets has opened in Buckinghamshire. The centre will work on testing more environmentally friendly propellants, including hydrogen peroxide and liquid oxygen.
  5. Scientists have found a new class of drug that kills tumour cells and leaves healthy ones unharmed. The drug is for use on people that carry a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (around one in 200), which raises the risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
  6. HSBC UK has partnered with Stonewall Housing as part of its no fixed address service, which enables people to open a basic bank account. The partnership will support LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness issues to access basic banking.
  7. A number of tech firms are exploring how the application of autonomous remote monitoring and AI analytics can create a healthier, more productive bee population.

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