From alternative currencies in Limburg to virus-hunters tracking down the next pandemic, there’s plenty of cutting-edge research and innovation in Belgium. For the open day of European institutions in Brussels, Horizon has gone into its archives and pulled together a list of its top articles featuring scientists in the northern European country.
European researchers have used telescopes around the world to spot a cluster of seven planets orbiting a Jupiter-sized ultra-cool star 40 light-years from earth, increasing the chances of discovering evidence of life on distant worlds.
A Bitcoin-style virtual currency could save Europe’s power grids from reaching breaking point as more and more ‘prosumers’ come on line – consumers who also put energy back into the network from domestic wind turbines and solar panels.
Much of the focus in trade talks around the world at present is on regional deals, rather than global agreements. But researchers say the goal of multilateral pacts will remain in the medium and longer term, given the pressures of globalisation.
Despite Matt Damon’s heroics in The Martian, where he overcomes the odds to survive after being left behind during a mission to the Red Planet, EU-funded researchers reveal that we don’t have the technology yet to get there alive and survive.
The stigma associated with AIDS and homophobia has made the pandemic even more destructive as in many countries it drives people away from modern treatment that could let them live a normal life, according to Prof. Nathan Clumeck, a leading member of the European AIDS treatment Network (NEAT) with St Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.
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.
Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany.
Are metal organic frameworks the hole-y grail of nanomaterials?
Tiny plastic particles could impact human health.
A new report on how to reinvigorate Europe's industrial sector recommends prioritising AI and cyber security research.