Horizon takes you to the Expo Milano 2015 world fair in Italy, where researchers show how they will feed future generations nutritiously and sustainably.
We talk to the scientists who are using genetic techniques and molecular methods to create pest-resistant feed crops, resilient fish, and plants that can produce food in hot and dry weather conditions.
We look at how traditional African foods are being improved through research, and discover how to manage forest lands to make the most of scarce rainfall.
We also speak to the next-level recyclers – the researchers who are finding ways to turn waste water into plastic bottles, and make food wrappers from lobster and shrimp shells.
Researchers may have figured out how to reduce the risk of becoming ill from eating chicken, and the answer is surprisingly simple. After trying without success to eliminate risky bacteria by vaccinating poultry or using viruses to kill bacteria, they have now launched an e-learning programme to prevent bacteria being carried into the slaughterhouse.
A strong bioeconomy, which uses technology to maximise the use of renewable resources, is the best way to ensure the sustainable production of food, materials, chemicals, and energy, according to Professor Erik Mathijs, chair of the foresight expert group for the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research, which presented its fourth foresight report at Expo Milano on 19 June.
Extreme weather and a changing climate are presenting new threats to the safety of our fish, seafood and vegetables, according to European scientists who are working out how to keep our food safe to eat.
The inability to access nutritious food due to poverty is the main reason people face food insecurity, an issue that affects people within the EU as well as in developing countries, according to Prof. Johan Swinnen, who is on the project management team of the EU-funded FOODSECURE project and sits on the EU scientific steering committee for Expo Milano.
The world’s oceans are overfished, polluted and – for something that makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface – still little understood. This month, Horizon looks at some of the science that could help us take better care of our oceans, from robots trash collectors out at sea to finding ways to track the plastic that enters our waters. Plus, we look at how climate change is affecting plans for sustainable aquaculture, tech that can help divers reduce the cost of their dives by more than 50%, and the challenges facing research in the Black Sea.
To mark the European year of cultural heritage, Horizon explores how science is helping to uncover more about our past and to preserve our art, landscapes, buildings and ways of life for the future. We discover why prehistoric humans chose to paint rock art where they did, and how farming techniques from hundreds of years ago could help fight climate change today. Plus, we learn how cultural heritage feeds into European identities and what can be done to prevent the destruction of historical sites during wartime.
The world’s largest radio telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and situated over two continents, will be able to detect the first stars and galaxies emerging from the ‘murk’ at the beginning of the universe and much more besides, according to Professor Phil Diamond, Director General of SKA. He spoke to Horizon at the opening of the Shared Sky art exhibition in Brussels, Belgium on 16 April, where indigenous artists from SKA host nations South Africa and Australia use traditional painting and folk art to explore the themes of astronomy, spirituality and a borderless sky.
Electric ferries and digital communication between ships could help in the quest to decarbonise maritime transport, a sector which is often perceived as being the green option but could still do much to lower its environmental footprint.
Astronomers could use giant radio telescope from 2025.
New tech could help shrink shipping emissions.
The EU’s research chief on his new role.