In a series of articles to mark the 20th anniversary of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, Horizon takes a look at some of the cutting-edge science coming out of the training programme for researchers. We hear how scientists are using the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator to hunt for dark matter, working with robots to monitor changes in the atmosphere and undertaking industrial placements to make their research commercially viable. We also look at the life of Marie Skłodowska-Curie herself and how her scientific legacy lives on.
Carbon nanomaterials could carry out cancer diagnosis and therapy at the same time – and the results could be particularly effective for aggressive forms of cancer, say researchers who are developing so-called theranostic approaches.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s biggest particle smasher, stands a good chance of discovering the elusive particle or particles, known to scientists as dark matter, that make up five-sixths of the mass of the universe, researchers say.
One hundred years ago, Marie Skłodowska-Curie was using her scientific knowhow to organise fleets of radiology cars to carry portable X-ray equipment to wounded soldiers on the front line during World War I. Today, thousands of scientists working in fields as diverse as cancer treatment, archaeology and astrophysics continue to build on her work on radiation. As the European funding programme carrying her name celebrates 20 years of operation, Horizon takes a look at her scientific and personal legacy.
In November, Horizon takes a deep dive into the captivating, diverse world of clouds to understand what they mean for climate change. We speak to atmospheric physicist Prof. Pier Siebesma about why clouds are still one of the biggest sources of uncertainty when it comes to climate change and how new field studies are helping to reduce some of the unknowns. We speak to a researcher about flying through tropical clouds to collect particles at high altitudes to paint a full picture of the role of clouds and aerosols in our planet’s climate. And we also delve into research investigating how global warming is changing clouds and why this could bring about extreme weather and rain, and we look at how aerosols – crucial for cloud formation - are changing due to anthropogenic pollution.
In October, Horizon discovers a futuristic world of transparent e-books, plastic solar cells and electronic skin with a look at some of the applications of organic electronics. We speak to organic chemist Prof. Andreas Hirsch about how using carbon rather than silicon in electronics can make them flexible, lightweight and biocompatible and could lead to a new generation of human-looking robots and ‘chemical’ computing. We take a look at work to create electronic skin – self-healing, stretchable material that can mimic some of the functions of human skin – and its potential uses. We discover how thin, flexible, plastic solar cells could turn surfaces such as cars and fabric into sources of renewable energy, and we uncover some novel approaches to charging wearable electronics.
Live vaccines can give health effects beyond just protecting us from a specific disease and may even help us combat other infections such as Covid-19, according to Christine Stabell Benn, a professor in global health at the University of Southern Denmark.
Using light as an energy source, photosynthetic microalgae can be used to produce products like biofuels and cosmetics. But algae grown in a reactor block out the light on which they feed. New reactor designs could solve this problem and help the industry move forward.
Prof. Christine Stabell Benn is studying the wider effects of common vaccines.
Stephan Borrmann’s detective work required help from a high-altitude former spy plane.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.