Yeast that tracks the stock market index, a woman who simulates giving birth to a dolphin baby and homemade human cheese are just a few projects that have emerged from collaborations between scientists and artists – and the result is to produce better science and innovation, say researchers.
Hoverboards, self-tying shoelaces, and auto-adjusting sleeves – these are just a few of the innovations predicted in the iconic 1989 film Back to the Future Part II, in which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels forward in time to 21 October 2015. To celebrate Back to the Future day, Horizon looks at which predictions came true, and which are in development by European researchers.
A new model of how light scatters when it hits a surface could help designers and animators produce realistic computer graphics more quickly, and the work has scooped its 18-year-old creator a first prize in the 2015 European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).
Open science should mean that citizens have the chance to put questions to scientists and have a say on the kind of innovations that are being funded, according to Professor Alan Irwin from the Copenhagen Business School.
Curiosity, creativity and tenacity are three vital qualities for young scientists, says 18-year-old Lithuanian Matas Navickas, who won third prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September for his work creating a flowering apple tree in a test tube.
If you haven’t had a bucket of iced water poured over your head recently, you probably know someone who has. The astonishingly successful #icebucketchallenge Facebook campaign, in which people agree to a chilled soaking to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has generated unprecedented publicity for a previously little-known disease.
‘Davenport’, ‘settee’, ‘couch’ – less common words are more likely to go out of fashion than precise terms, according to researchers who are borrowing techniques from genetics to study the evolution of language. Their results could help inform the way that computers communicate.
An explosion in research data combined with an increasing number of people who can use it is transforming science, and Europe should be at the forefront of the change, said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
Extremophile bacteria have adapted to survive inhospitable niches.
A better understanding of sleep pressure could advance therapies.
Sleep expert says that around 10 % of people are at risk of insomnia and employers should invest in therapy for those affected.