As our world becomes more digitalised and connected, we can actually make a virtual copy of it. And such replicas are now being used to improve real world scenarios, from making aircraft production more accurate to preventing oil spills.
Tiny vehicles up to 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair that are cloaked in biological camouflage could provide new ways of treating cancer with fewer side-effects.
Researchers across Europe have started to speed up the evolutionary process of yeast to develop new or better flavours for wine and beer. The objective is for beer and wine producers to better accommodate changing consumer tastes and trends, such as anti-GMO sentiments and demand for low-alcohol products.
Scientists need to work more closely with entrepreneurs and financiers to ensure groundbreaking research in Europe can be turned into successful business opportunities, according to the recently appointed chair of the European Innovation Council’s pilot advisory board.
Virtual reality and scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects get real-time feedback about the impact of their designs on mental health, particularly for older people.
A new, digital revolution might be about to hit us. Autonomous cars are driving our way, cities and companies are rapidly ramping up the use of sensors – also called the Internet of Things (IoT) – and virtual and augmented reality are making rapid strides.
Fake news has already fanned the flames of distrust towards media, politics and established institutions around the world. And while new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) might make things even worse, it can also be used to combat misinformation.
Space missions have long benefited from some autonomous operations being carried out aboard spacecraft, but with a sharp increase expected in the number of satellites being launched in the next few years, researchers are using automation and artificial intelligence to make them smarter and more effective.
Next-generation wheelchairs could incorporate brain-controlled robotic arms and rentable add-on motors in order to help people with disabilities more easily carry out daily tasks or get around a city.
Few technologies have the potential to disrupt old institutions as much as blockchain – a system that maintains records on huge networks of individual computers. As with any new technology, it could be used for social good – such as supporting people who are priced-out of the current bank accounts – but the big challenge is how to limit its unintended consequences.
The red planet may be our best bet for finding out whether we’re alone in the universe.
Reducing crew numbers onboard ships could overcome labour shortages and increase shipping levels.
Metagenomics can help us spot emerging diseases such as coronavirus, says virologist Marion Koopmans.