The quantum internet, which connects particles linked together by the principle of quantum entanglement, is like the early days of the classical internet – no one can yet imagine what uses it could have, according to Professor Ronald Hanson, from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, whose team was the first to prove that the phenomenon behind it was real.
Re-engineering immune cells and modifying yeast to produce drugs are just two of the tantalising applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, says Professor Toni Cathomen, director of the Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
Science diplomacy – where scientific collaboration is used to promote broader discussions between countries – enables scientists to help tackle issues such as protectionism and government control over research findings, and could even mitigate the future threat of wars over knowledge and data, according to Professor Luk Van Langenhove, research professor at the Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.
Critical infrastructures such as railway networks, power stations and telephone grids are under daily attack by cyber criminals, according to Georg Peter, who is responsible for the European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection (ERNCIP), an important part of the EU response to help countries defend their assets.
Automated vehicles have the potential to revolutionise our day-to-day lives, but these kind of cyber-physical systems are vulnerable to attack by criminals. Horizon spoke with Dr Alexander Kröller, a research manager at Dutch navigation company TomTom, to explore the risks that hacking and viruses pose to self-driving cars.
Taking part in science projects while at school plus a healthy dose of persistence is the key to making your mark in research at a young age, according to 19-year-old Modestas Gudauskas from Lithuania, winner of the first European Union Contest for Young Scientists award for projects in the bio-based industries.
Sharing data between researchers is speeding up the discovery of treatments for rare diseases but is too often an afterthought and needs to be encouraged through the way funding is structured, according to Professor Hanns Lochmüller from Newcastle University, UK. He chairs the interdisciplinary committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC), which was set up to increase collaboration in the area.
An experimental project connecting renewable energy researchers in the EU with colleagues in Morocco and Tunisia could help pave the way for a market in renewable energy and energy efficiency that spans the Mediterranean, according to Claude Ayache, senior advisor for European affairs at the EU’s public-private green energy partnership, InnoEnergy.
When radioactive materials were first introduced into society, it took a while before scientists understood the risks. The same is true of nanotechnology today, according to Dr Vladimir Baulin, from University Rovira i Virgili, in Tarragona, Spain, who together with colleagues has shown for the first time how nanoparticles can cross biological - or lipid - membranes in a paper published in the journal Science Advances.
There is unlimited kinetic energy all around us and harnessing it could change the way we interact with the world forever, according to Dr Gonzalo Murillo from the National Microelectronics Center of Spain, whose research into piezoelectric materials has earned him an award for the most novel innovator under 35 in Europe 2016 from the MIT Technology Review, US.
New measurements of carbon emissions provide better estimates of deforestation effects.
Illegal logging is a billion-euro racket but trees have traceability built into their trunks.
Better space weather forecasts will help.