In April, Horizon learns about devices that can print liquefied food, machines to make personalised spectacles, and the research that is paving the way for the printing of implants using live cells.
We look at the role of 3D printing in personalised healthcare, including made-to-measure spectacles and insoles that fit a patient’s feet, and technology that could one day enable doctors to 3D print implants using the body’s own cells.
Consultant Dr Phil Reeves gives his views on how Europe can build the momentum required to turn 3D printing into mass-scale personalised production, and lawyer Joren De Wachter explains why 3D printing has new implications for copyright and intellectual property laws.
Horizon has also produced an interactive timeline, based on the EU’s first 3D printing roadmap, which looks into the far future of 3D printing. To find out whether that future includes a Star Trek-style replicator, we recorded an interview with Marcel Slot, the man who coordinated the roadmap project.
3D printing is poised to transform the world as we know it. Consumer goods will be personalised and produced on demand, while manufacturers will be able to use 3D printing to come up with radical new designs for everyday objects. But how will this happen, and when?
Copyright law will struggle to be relevant for 3D-printed material, according to Joren De Wachter, an intellectual property strategist who advises companies and investors on the best way to use, understand and value the intellectual property of 3D-printed goods.
Made-to-measure glasses would be more comfortable than normal ones, look better and work more effectively, according to one of a group of research projects that are developing ways to 3D print healthcare products on demand.
Dr Phil Reeves, managing director of Econolyst, a global 3D printing consultancy, believes research needs to be coordinated across the EU to push forward 3D printing and give us mass-personalised goods made locally, on demand.
By 2050, the world's population will be an estimated 9.7bn people, up from today’s 7.7bn. To feed this growing population whilst also protecting the climate and biodiversity, our food system needs to change dramatically. In May, we look at what sort of future food system we want and how to get there. We speak to sustainability expert Prof. Peter Jackson about how lockdowns have exposed our reliance on fragile supply chains, and what needs to happen to shape a more sustainable food system. We look at the smart farming solutions that are being explored to support food producers, and urban experiments from tackling food waste to strengthening organic, local production to see how these efforts can be scaled up to make a big difference. And we investigate insects – a protein-rich food and feed source – and the efforts behind mainstreaming what is still a niche science.
With the world in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, in April Horizon takes a step back to look at some of the challenges around sudden outbreaks of emerging diseases. We speak to virologist Prof. Marion Koopmans about the likelihood of future outbreaks of new diseases, what causes them and how to spot them before they appear. We speak to scientists who are helping to develop tests for Covid-19 to understand the challenges in coming up with an accurate and detailed diagnostic test for an entirely new disease. We talk to people working on coronavirus treatments about how to shorten the normally lengthy process of drug development. And we look into why diseases suddenly jump from animals, such as bats, into humans and the particular challenges of spotting and responding to these types of outbreaks.
The iridescence of marble berries and the clever, light-bending perforations of microalgae are some lessons from nature that scientists are drawing upon to create biodegradable glitter and makeup pigments, and bionic algae to use in lasers or to clean pollutants.
Efforts to design a safe vaccine for Covid-19 are moving forward at full throttle, yet experts agree that it’s likely to be a year, at least, before an immunisation is ready. Meanwhile, scientists around Europe are exploring ingenious ways – including with the help of alpacas – to use the latest techniques in molecular manipulation to repair coronavirus-induced lung damage or to block the virus before it wreaks havoc.
Scientists are drawing on nature’s clever ways to build structures and produce iridescence.
Infection-halting therapies being explored include neutralising antibodies.
Metagenomics can help us spot emerging diseases such as coronavirus, says virologist Marion Koopmans.