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.
The coronavirus pandemic rattled our supply chains, putting them under intense pressure and forcing many to become aware of these complex systems that bring us food, medicine and other goods. Was 2020 a wake-up call to rethink supply chains? Or have they proved more robust than we feared and should continue as business as usual? In February, we ask whether today’s supply chains are due for reconfiguration. We speak to Dr Tessa Avermaete, a bioeconomist at KU Leuven in Belgium, about why short and local is not always better – or more sustainable – when it comes to food supply. We look at how medical supply chains can be maintained or even set up during a crisis situation, and at the environmental and social impacts of Europe’s supply chains on the rest of the world. And we look at how, in the future, goods from food to furniture could be transported according to new concept called the ‘physical internet’, where logistics mimics how information travels through the internet.
The construction industry has a heavy carbon footprint, accounting for some 40% of global emissions, and yet, as the world’s population grows, demand for housing and building is only soaring. We kick off 2021 by looking at how the construction sector can become greener and some of the radical solutions required. We speak to sustainable architecture expert Dr Catherine De Wolf about the need to design recyclable buildings and how that will require a fundamental restructure of the way the construction industry works. We look at nearly zero energy wooden homes and investigate whether this material can help us kick our concrete habit – concrete being the most used substance on Earth. We home in on techniques to make cement greener and piezoelectric to light up spaces with the addition of vegetable waste, and at how self-healing building materials can prolong the life of civil infrastructures. And we explore the promise of fungal architecture to see whether structures grown from fungus can green the way we build.
From the possible demise of Merlot grapes in Bordeaux to loss of olive trees in north Africa, the impacts of climate change will be felt by farmers across the Mediterranean region, say climatologists.
Medical suppliers must change how they manage their supply chains, and factories need to be able to rapidly pivot to manufacturing different products, in order to respond quickly to the next major crisis and avoid shortages of vital medical goods, experts say.
Producers must act now to ensure survival, say experts.
In-depth knowledge of supply chains and pre-certification scheme could reduce medical supply disruption.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.