Studies into bilingual cognition could help improve language learning

Bilingual people can effortlessly switch between languages during everyday interactions. But beyond its usefulness in communication, being bilingual could affect how the brain works and enhance certain abilities. Studies into this could inform techniques for learning languages and other skills.  More than half of people in Europe speak more than one language while the same is … Read more

Carrot cement: How root vegetables and ash could make concrete more sustainable

Concrete has become our building material of choice for countless structures such as bridges, towers and dams. But it also has a huge environmental footprint mostly due to carbon dioxide emissions from the production of cement – one of its main constituents. Researchers are now experimenting with root vegetables and recycled plastic in concrete to … Read more

In a picture: The quest to map all the cell types in a human lung

Professor Martijn Nawijn, an immunologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, tells Horizon about his quest to map every cell in a healthy human lung.  He says this work should help to understand more about the causes of lung disease – which is comparatively understudied – and should lead to new therapies in the next 15 to 20 years. The lung is the largest … Read more

Q&A: ‘We need to reduce the ‘embodied energy’ of buildings

Retrofitting Europe’s buildings for energy efficiency is not enough to slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector and cut emissions in time to meet the Paris climate agreement goals, according to Dr Catherine De Wolf, assistant professor of design and construction management at TU Delft in the Netherlands. She says that we need to … Read more

2021: Beyond coronavirus – what’s in store for science in the year ahead?

There was one science story that dominated 2020 and coronavirus is likely to remain a dominant theme in 2021. But from vaccine rollout to lessons for future pandemics and – that other big challenge that we’re facing – climate change, how will the year in science play out? We asked a selection of our interviewees … Read more