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 its landmark report in October, the UN's International Panel on Climate Change said that every package of measures we choose to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C must include a way of removing carbon dioxide emissions from the air and reusing or storing them. This month, Horizon looks at what's being done to advance these carbon capture, storage and utilisation technologies. We talk to one expert who is trying to trap emissions from the cement industry before they are released, and find out how International Space Station technology is inspiring the capture of ambient carbon dioxide. We also investigate how captured CO2 can be reused, and examine just how safe it is to store the gas underground.
Dumped waste, from used nappies to industrial by-products, have long wound up in landfills and can take hundreds of years to decay. In October we speak to the scientists figuring out how to keep such items in use to reduce rubbish and create a so-called circular economy. We learn about new efforts to mine industrial waste for the rare metals that go into making aircraft parts, pacemakers and bicycle gears, and find out about the culture shift needed to develop a zero-waste society. We also speak to the researchers building a biorefinery to turn soiled nappies into fertilisers and raw materials, and look at whether seaweed could become the next plastic.
A new type of use-by label for milk bottles that decomposes as the liquid inside goes sour could appear on UK supermarket shelves later this year. Labels such as these, capable of telling consumers exactly when fresh produce has gone bad, are being developed by scientists who want to stop food from being prematurely discarded. If successful, these indicators have the potential to reduce the millions of tonnes of valuable food thrown away each year.
When astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) exhale carbon dioxide (CO2), it’s removed from the air and pumped into space. Could an Earth-based version help remove greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere?
Wireless tags and indicators that mimic decomposition could replace expiry dates.
Capturing carbon dioxide from air is a vital part of limiting global warming.
Deploying this technology rests on successfully making a business case to companies, says Kristin Jordal.