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

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

Buzz feed – bringing renewables to the power grid

As the ways we obtain energy change power grids need to evolve to keep up with the new demands.

Renewable energy is on the rise in Europe as the economy develops away from the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but an ageing electricity grid is struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of developments. Originally designed to obtain and distribute energy from a few large sources, Europe’s power grid … Read more

Lab-grown tissues to improve reliability of safety tests for drugs, chemicals

This human liver organoid gives researchers hope that animal-based studies about drug safety will be a method of the past one day.

by Natalie Grover Testing the safety of medicines and chemicals on organ-like structures developed from various types of stem cells could reduce the reliance on animal testing and streamline chemical and drug development, according to scientists in the Netherlands who are in the early stages of developing such technology.  Tissues such as the intestine and … Read more

Europe must sea food in a new way thanks to warming waters

Aquaculture and fish farms must adapt to the changing sea conditions of climate change.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the world’s fastest growing food sectors, providing about half of all the fish we eat. As it stands, climate change is altering our ocean’s environment, causing the seawater to become warmer and impacting the marine  ecosystems profoundly. How will these changes affect marine species, consumers and industries that rely … Read more