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.
This December marks one year on from the Paris agreement, where world governments agreed to keep global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius of the average pre-industrial temperature. To mark the occasion, Horizon takes stock of the situation and examines the challenges ahead. We speak to scientists who are mapping a pathway for governments to cut back on emissions, we host a debate on steel - one of Europe’s most polluting industries, and we look the progress of carbon capture and storage. We also interview Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute in Germany, who was the first to propose that 2 degrees should be set as a limit for global warming.
Bacteria may be some of the oldest organisms in the evolutionary tree, but, as Horizon discovers this month, they are inspiring new technologies, from turning sunlight into car fuel to creating building blocks that can repair themselves when cracked. We also hear from scientists using these single-celled organisms to heat our homes, and others who are using them to help trees clean up contaminated soil.
It is very, very difficult to predict when a big earthquake will hit. And we may never be able to forecast precisely the time, magnitude and location of destructive quakes such as those that tore through central Italy in August and October. But our understanding of how they happen is improving dramatically, says Giulio Di Toro, professor of geology in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, UK.
Billions of tonnes of water are swept up and down Europe’s estuaries and coastlines each and every day. Engineers have been working hard to develop the technologies to tap into this vast store of tidal energy and are now predicting a ramp-up in production from 2020 onwards.
He says we should focus on building houses to withstand them.
Turbines capture the movement of the sea.
The Pacific region can serve as an exemplar of how science diplomacy could work, says Prof. Jean-François Marini.