This issue of Horizon looks at EU research which is holding out the promise of radical new treatments for cancer.
Around 1.8 million Europeans died of cancer last year, making it the second-biggest killer after cardiovascular disease. In November, Horizon looks at powerful new techniques that could improve cancer survival rates.
We look at technology that allows doctors to stay ahead of mutations in tumour cells by adapting treatments in real time, and we examine techniques that can turn a patient’s immune system against cancer.
For our Views section, Professor Martine Piccart, a former president of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, explains what is required to individualise cancer therapy, so that it matches the specific needs of each patient.
Professor Martine Piccart is a past president of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Chair of the Breast International Group (BIG) and head of medicine at the Jules Bordet cancer hospital in Brussels. She explains that cancer research needs to change so that cancer treatment can become truly personalised.
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.
The model of our universe as expanding at an accelerated rate has given rise to theoretical constructs such as dark energy and dark matter, which scientists believe could make up 95% of the universe. In September, Horizon takes a deeper look at what we really know about the expanding universe. We speak to Prof. Subir Sarkar, who believes that the Nobel-winning discovery that universe expansion acceleration could be a fluke, and the scientists who are trying to answer the question by allowing us to better measure the expansion rate. We also look at the significance of accurately measuring gravity in deep space, and what dark matter haloes can tell us about the existence of dark energy.
In a year when Arctic warming rose to global prominence after temperatures hit a sweltering 32˚C inside the Arctic Circle, what are some of the specific issues that keep Arctic scientists awake at night?
To avoid climate breakdown, eliminating fossil fuels is the easy part, according to Professor Johan Rockström, co-director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. He says that safeguarding biological resources such as water, soil and biodiversity will be the ultimate test of whether global warming targets can be reached.
Horizon asked 8 experts working on the frontline of climate change about their biggest concerns.
Climate expert says real challenge is safeguarding biological resources.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.