Skip to main content
Research and Innovation logo
Receive our editor’s picks: 

Topics

04 August 2021

Antifreeze fish inspire new cryoprotectants for human cells and tissues

The idea of cryogenically freezing a person to preserve their body until many years into the future has long been a staple of science fiction stories. However, the need to reliably store biological materials such as cells or tissue is a common concern for scientific research and, increasingly, for society too.
04 August 2021

Cooling without warming

Demand for energy-intensive cooling technologies - whether for buildings, electronics, or refrigeration of food and medicines - is on the rise as global temperatures increase. But how can we make cooling technologies available to all while reducing the environmental impact? In August, Horizon looks at how science and innovation can help 'green' the cooling sector. We speak to ‘cold economy’ expert Prof. Toby Peters about why we need to change the way we think about how to cool things down in order to create robust cold chains for food and vaccines while minimising their environmental impact. We hear how groups of buildings are sharing so-called ‘district cooling’ systems that remove the need for expensive, energy hungry air conditioners; and we find out how we can reduce the emissions footprint of data centres, which consume more electricity than some countries. We also hear from researchers who are taking inspiration from antifreeze fish to create better ways of freezing – and thawing – human cells and tissues.
30 June 2021

Saving railways from sand

In desert regions and sandy coastal areas, windblown sand can bury infrastructure such as railways, and cause problems such as train derailment, grinding down rails or wheels and wearing down coatings on the nose of high-speed locomotives. But knowing how best to protect tracks and trains from sand is tricky because there has been no reliable way of predicting how sand will behave – until now.
30 June 2021

Q&A: ‘Our society desperately needs objective, truth-based knowledge’

Basic, or ‘frontier’, research that expands the boundaries of our knowledge can help address some of the most important challenges of our time – and it’s important that more people become aware of this, according to Prof. Maria Leptin who has today been appointed president of the EU’s frontier research funding body, the European Research Council (ERC).
28 June 2021

More bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics – here's how viruses and vaccines could help

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are killing more people each year, but scientists are turning to their natural virus predators to treat infections, as well as new vaccines to prevent disease.
25 June 2021

Cities that connect people and nature are a post-pandemic priority, conference hears

Care homes that let people age with integrity, green kindergartens and community centres that bring together people of all ages were some of the visions for how to build a better Europe presented by citizens from Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland on 24 June at the European Commission’s annual flagship research conference.
24 June 2021

How we prepare for an ‘age of pandemics’

The current pandemic caught the world off guard but there are more to come, and we need to work out how to better prepare for and respond to future crises before they occur, an audience at the European Commission’s annual Research and Innovation Days conference has heard.
21 June 2021

Covid-19 hastened the digital shift with consequences for the ‘data divide’, wellbeing

Sometimes it can seem like we’ve uploaded our whole lives to the internet: bank accounts, social media posts, dating profiles, work emails – it’s all out there in that nebulous cloud of digital information that is the world wide web. The problems with this new digital way of life are well known. Social media is thought to produce echo chambers in which people aren’t exposed to healthy debates. Big tech companies make money from our personal data. Workers in the gig economy are paid a pittance to deliver groceries to the better off.
18 June 2021

Q&A: ‘You are the generation which I hope will fix our society’

Young researchers are curious, energetic, imaginative and look at the world in new ways, but their lack of job security or clear career path is a ‘major, major problem’, says Jean-Eric Paquet, the EU’s director general for research and innovation, who experienced the issue first hand when one of his sons stopped working in science for lack of long-term prospects.
16 June 2021

Why automation and flexible jobs could lead to more meaningful work

Technology is redefining jobs and styles of working. New realities such as automation and flexible schedules could lead to more meaningful work, but for that to happen, reskilling, new forms of social welfare and equality must be addressed, say experts.