The search for alien life with next-generation telescopes, a self-healing heart capable of restarting itself, and safer roads with smarter cars are expected to feature as the some of the key scientific breakthroughs in the coming year.
Picture the humanitarian aid sector and you don’t immediately think of start-up accelerators and hackathons. But aid agencies are co-opting these tools of innovation to help solve global issues – and a new EUR 5 million prize from the EU is designed to boost this even further.
Hormonal disorders can affect people's immune systems, metabolism and even bones, and unravelling the mystery around something called ultradian rhythms could help improve diagnosis and lead to better treatments, according to Professor Eystein Sverre Husebye, who works at the Department of Clinical Science at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway.
The chemistry behind social behaviour in animals, including the bond between people and dogs – and the lack of one between humans and wolves – could help scientists identify new ways of treating social disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
We tend to take antibiotics for granted and not value them in a way that matches their lifesaving role, says Dr David Payne, head of the antibacterial discovery performance unit at pharmaceutical company GSK. He says that partnerships between governments and companies can help to accelerate the development of antibiotics but a new commercial model is needed to unblock the research pipeline.
Mummified bodies from Egypt and the Canary Islands are having their digestive tracts tested and compared to living people in order to reveal how the bacteria in our guts has changed over the centuries and how it varies between people with different diets.
The number of undernourished people rose for the first time in over a decade in 2016 due to conflict and climate change, and more research is needed into how to increase the security of people’s food supply and manage migration, according to Cristina Amaral, Director of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) liaison office with the European Union and Belgium. She is due to speak about investing in food systems and rural development to change the future of migration on 16 October at the Harnessing Research and Innovation for FOOD 2030 conference in Brussels, Belgium.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.