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 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.
This month, Horizon takes an in-depth look at a shared human trait – our emotions. We find out how science is seeking to better understand and regulate human emotions across a range of applications, from mental health to politics. We uncover the implications of a neuroscientist’s efforts to determine how the brain controls fear and anxiety, with possible implications for treating mental health disorders and autism. We explore how emotions shape our politics and ask whether this can help provide a different perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And we look at research examining how apps and online games can help people manage their emotional sides.
Earthworms and tiny water fleas could help deliver clean water to billions of people living in remote areas of the world by eating up sewage and other pollution.
A sister and brother who created shock-activated protective gear featuring a starch liquid for people who in-line skate, motorcycle and do other risky sports, won one of the three first prizes at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).
Biofilters offer in-situ low-maintenance ways of treating wastewater.
Winners from Germany and Canada take home top prizes.
Electric cars with liquid batteries could be charged in minutes, says Prof. Cronin.