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 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.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
Thanks to rapid computing developments in the last decade and the miniaturisation of electronic components, people can, for example, track their movements and monitor their health in real time by wearing tiny computers. Researchers are now looking at how best to power these devices by turning to the user’s own body heat and working with garments, polka dots and know-how from the textile industry.
Researchers are harnessing the thermoelectric effect.
Scientists are studying past conditions to understand which corals migrated to deeper waters.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.