Rise in vaccine hesitancy related to pursuit of purity – Prof. Heidi Larson

Europe is the most sceptical region in the world when it comes to vaccines, according to the vaccine confidence index.

The rise of alternative health practices and a quest for purity can partly explain the falling confidence in vaccines which is driving outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles, according to Heidi Larson, professor of anthropology, risk and decision medicine at the UK’s London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is working to understand … Read more

Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

We want to end the de-industrialisation of Europe – Prof. Jürgen Rüttgers

Prof. Rüttgers says that one of the great challenges in the 21st century is the transition from the industrial society to the knowledge society. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under CC0

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany. He leads the High Level Group on Industrial Technologies, which on 24 April releases a report called Re-Finding Industry – … Read more

Sticky tape and simulations help assess microplastic risk

Microplastics are considered the most common form of marine litter.

by Natalie Grover Tiny pieces of plastic, now ubiquitous in the marine environment, have long been a cause of concern for their ability to absorb toxic substances and potentially penetrate the food chain. Now scientists are beginning to understand the level of threat posed to life, by gauging the extent of marine accumulation and tracking … Read more

SKA ‘time machine’ will be able to detect formation of first stars, galaxies  

The Square Kilometre Array, which is depicted through an artist's impression, will begin construction in 2020.

The world’s largest radio telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and situated over two continents, will be able to detect the first stars and galaxies emerging from the ‘murk’ at the beginning of the universe and much more besides, according to Professor Phil Diamond, Director General of SKA. He spoke to Horizon at … Read more

Electric ferries and joined-up shipping to turn sea travel green

Digital communication between ships could help optimise shipping routes and reduce fuel consumption.

Electric ferries and digital communication between ships could help in the quest to decarbonise maritime transport, a sector which is often perceived as being the green option but could still do much to lower its environmental footprint. The global shipping industry currently emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, but according to … Read more

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