From a universal flu vaccine that could save us from a pandemic, to vaccines that target ticks and mosquitoes, Horizon looks at the science of vaccines during the month of February.
The bacteria that causes TB infects over a quarter of the world’s population, and we speak to the European scientists who are closing in on a vaccine for the disease that could save millions of lives.
We also look at the rise of measles and mumps as a result of fears over the MMR vaccination – and interview researchers who are collecting information to try to prevent unnecessary future vaccine scares.
The days when measles was a killer disease affecting thousands are firmly in the past thanks to mass immunisations. However, a fall in vaccination rates means the disease is starting to make an unwelcome comeback in Europe – and European scientists have found a way to help.
The fight against poverty-related diseases is gaining ground as scientists prepare trials of vaccines for hookworm, leishmaniasis and other parasitic diseases common in the developing world, thanks to the support of public research funding.
This month, Horizon looks at the growing field of bio-inspired robotics to find out how nature is inspiring machine design. We investigate the surgical tools that mimic how octopus arms become flexible or stiff on demand, sensors based on the orientation ability of maggots, and marine robots inspired by lilypads, fish and mussels.
Robotic arms inspired by the octopus could help doctors to perform new operations using keyhole surgery. By mimicking the octopus arm to transform from soft and flexible to stiff and rigid, these soft robotic tools could increase the scope for operations through small incisions.
Every pet owner knows that their dog, cat or guinea pig has its own individual and distinct personality and now research has backed this up, showing that even insects have clear character traits.
What happens in the Arctic will affect the whole of Europe, and the EU’s integrated Arctic strategy published on 27 April helps us understand the direction in which the global climate is moving, according to Professor Karin Lochte, director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for polar research in Germany.
The bigger the society, the greater the variety.
Soft robotic tools could increase the scope of operations.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, and the EU's new Arctic strategy will help us hear this ‘canary in the coal mine’.