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12 May 2021

Plant-based, probiotics and vitamins: what new diets mean for farmed fish health

Farmed fish are increasingly becoming vegetarian, with plant-based feed now widely used in Europe. Researchers now want to optimise feed to promote fish growth and nutrition. To do this, they are studying fish gut bacteria and the impact of probiotic additives as well as testing nutrient supplements.
11 May 2021

Why climate change could make Mediterranean atmospheric ‘meteotsunamis’ more common

Rogue waves that strike without warning across the Mediterranean and elsewhere may become more frequent as the climate changes, early-stage research suggests.
10 May 2021

Foldable, organic and easily broken down: Why DNA is the material of choice for nanorobots

Only in cancer medicine do we aim to attack and kill legions of our own cells. But healthy bystander cells often get caught in deadly crossfire, which is why cancer treatments can cause severe side effects in patients.
06 May 2021

Q&A: Why unconventional resources are key to expanding geothermal energy use

The smouldering heat generated during the formation of our planet and the continuous decay of radioactive material lies trapped within the Earth’s crust, just waiting to be tapped to satisfy humanity’s insatiable demand for heat and electricity.
05 May 2021

Five things to know about: Mixing and matching coronavirus vaccines

Amid global vaccine rollouts, with nearly 1.2 billion doses currently administered, some countries have recommended a mixed-dose approach where a first prime shot is followed by a booster of a second type. 
03 May 2021

Q&A: Nanobots could explore human cells – but their size is an engineering challenge

Scientists are developing virus-sized robots that could defuse blood clots, explore human cells or even scrub water of impurities.
03 May 2021

Nanorobots

How do you design and build a robot that you can’t even see? And what would you use it for? In May, Horizon explores the developing field of nanorobotics and its potential applications. We speak to Prof. Brad Nelson at ETH Zurich in Switzerland whose team found that the nanobots they were working on destroyed the drugs they were meant to be delivering, so are now repurposing them to purify water. We speak to researchers who are using the origami-like properties of DNA to make tools such as nanorobotic boxes with lids that open, and others that have created a molecular robotic arm that can pick up, reposition and release molecules. And because tasks like going into a blood vessel to dissolve a dangerous clot would be ideal for a nanorobot, we find out how scientists are devising ways to enable nanorobots to travel through the bloodstream.
29 April 2021

‘The line is getting fuzzier’: asteroids and comets may be more similar than we think

As anyone who has ever tried to clean a home knows, ridding yourself of dust is a Sisyphean effort. No surface stays free of it for long. It turns out that space is somewhat similar. Space is filled with interplanetary dust, which the Earth constantly collects as it plods around the sun – in orbit, in the atmosphere, and if it’s large enough, on the ground as micrometeorites.
27 April 2021

‘Impossible to adapt’: Surprisingly fast ice-melts in past raise fears about sea level rise

Studies of ancient beaches and fossilised coral reefs suggest sea levels have the potential to rise far more quickly than models currently predict, according to geologists who have been studying past periods of warming.
26 April 2021

What happens below Earth’s surface when the most powerful earthquakes occur

At 03:34 local time on 27 February 2010, Chile was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in a century. The shock triggered a tsunami, which devastated coastal communities. The combined events killed more than 500 people. So powerful was the shaking that, by one NASA estimate, it shifted Earth’s axis of spin by a full 8 cm.