From a universal flu vaccine that could save us from a pandemic, to vaccines that target ticks and mosquitoes, Horizon looks at the science of vaccines during the month of February.
The bacteria that causes TB infects over a quarter of the world’s population, and we speak to the European scientists who are closing in on a vaccine for the disease that could save millions of lives.
We also look at the rise of measles and mumps as a result of fears over the MMR vaccination – and interview researchers who are collecting information to try to prevent unnecessary future vaccine scares.
The fight against poverty-related diseases is gaining ground as scientists prepare trials of vaccines for hookworm, leishmaniasis and other parasitic diseases common in the developing world, thanks to the support of public research funding.
The days when measles was a killer disease affecting thousands are firmly in the past thanks to mass immunisations. However, a fall in vaccination rates means the disease is starting to make an unwelcome comeback in Europe – and European scientists have found a way to help.
Re-engineering immune cells and modifying yeast to produce drugs are just two of the tantalising applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, says Professor Toni Cathomen, director of the Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
The deepest parts of the ocean were once assumed to be pristine, but recent discoveries of chemicals and radioactive products at the bottom of underwater trenches has shown that humanity’s footprint extends to the furthest reaches of the earth – and it could affect the balance of oxygen in the oceans and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Smartphones are changing the game for entrepreneurs and innovators, cutting out the need for expensive equipment and enabling them to place technologies such as virtual reality how-to manuals and broadband service for aircraft passengers directly into our pockets.
Toxins have been found in creatures living more than 6 km down.
Smartphones are changing the way we innovate.
Re-engineering immune cells and modifying yeast to produce drugs are just two potential applications, says Prof. Toni Cathomen.