Could the Higgs boson help shed light on dark matter, or will a ghostly X-ray signal recorded by Dutch researchers turn out to be a first sign of the mysterious substance?
In July, we hear how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider will be used to look for elusive dark matter particles, and how a surge of dark matter researchers are helping keep Europe at the forefront of experimental cosmology.
During an interview with Horizon magazine, Dr Seth Shostak, the senior astronomer at the US-based Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, explains his belief that we are likely to discover an alien civilisation within our lifetimes.
We also look at EU-funded projects developing a 400-square-kilometre solar sail which could power a spacecraft across the solar system, and making magnetic shields that might be the best way to protect astronauts from deadly cosmic radiation.
The planned Square Kilometre Array telescope, a radio telescope to span two continents, could be instrumental in finding intelligent alien civilisations within our lifetimes, according to Dr Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the US-based Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. Dr Shostak was a speaker at the EU's Innovation Convention in March 2014.
In August, Horizon looks at one of the features that makes Earth unique and habitable: plate tectonics. We explore what we know – and still don’t know – about how the shifting plates beneath our feet shape our planet. We speak to researcher Dr Kate Rychert, who wants to understand what makes a plate plate-like, and delve into one of the outstanding mysteries in the subject – how and why plate tectonics began. We find out about the link between mountain formation, erosion and climate change, and we look at what moonquakes and marsquakes can reveal about tectonic activity elsewhere.
As commutes dropped during coronavirus lockdowns, many of Europe’s city-dwellers breathed cleaner air. In July, Horizon takes a look closer look at our air pollution problem, what it is, how it affects human health and whether now is the time to make the move to greener transport. We spoke to social epidemiologist Dr Basile Chaix about what it will take to capitalise on the post-coronavirus calls for greener cities to really change our urban spaces – and transport habits. We dissect the properties of particulate matter to understand how characteristics such as particle size or number relate to toxicity, and what they do to human cells. With wildfires known to strike particularly in the summer, we look at how scientists are tracking this lesser-known source of air pollution to better understand the impact on human health. And we find out how a soybean-related asthma outbreak in 1980s Spain is influencing air pollution research today.
Eavesdropping on the shudders and groans echoing deep inside alien worlds like Mars and the moon is revealing what lies far beneath their surfaces and could teach us more about how our own planet formed.
More than six months into the coronavirus crisis, data show that not just age, but also biological sex plays a pivotal role in the manifestation and response to Covid-19, with more men dying from acute infections versus women in the short term. This discrepancy has shined a spotlight on a key theme that has gained traction in recent years: is enough being done to account for sex and gender in disease and medicine? Not enough, says Dr Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, the chair of sex and gender-sensitive medicine at Radboud University in the Netherlands and a member of the European Commission’s expert group on gendered innovations.
Earth is not the only place in our solar system that shakes with seismic activity.
Dr Sabine Oertelt-Prigione on a ‘moment of awakening’ for medical research.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.