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2018

Where does
my food come from?

Consumers want to know where their food comes from, but most of the time they still don’t know – a major problem in the event of contamination. Various solutions could make supply chains more transparent.

2017

Life-saving lessons

Linking engineering and medicine has led to better diagnostics, drugs and treatments. But it’s not always easy to collaborate successfully.

The power of nudging

Gently swaying people to act differently is a trick long known to advertisers. Several initiatives have proven its benefits for implementation of private and public policy.

It’s time to eat better

If 10 billion people are to be fed we need to drop fashionable, damaging diets that have no evidence base and get behind rational advances in food science.

Challenging innovation

A study has questioned the benefits of robotic keyhole surgery for prostate cancer, so why are some experts still championing the technique?

2016

Power to the people

Citizen science relies on the public’s curiosity and enthusiasm – not to mention computing capacity – to supplement the work of scientists.

Bikes are back

Cycling is healthy and good for the environment – so no wonder bicycle use in some European cities has doubled since the early 2000s.

2015

Year of the light

Everywhere you turn, optical engineering is at the heart of new technologies. No wonder 2015 has been named the Year of Light.

The DNA gold rush

Thousands of labs and hospitals are eagerly awaiting the portable sequencers that will make bedside genetic analysis a reality.

2014

Think yourself healthy

The vagus nerve, which connects the brain to various organs, plays an essential role in the mind-body relationship. Can you train it to make you happy?

The invisible killers

With its horrible symptoms and 80% mortality rate, Ebola fever is especially frightening. The cases in Spain and the U.S. served as a reminder that procedures for strict disinfection, while simple on paper, are less so in practise. Even the Western health system cannot entirely protect us from this virus.

Beating the Superbugs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, but the pipeline for new drugs is drying up. Researchers are developing new strategies to avoid a resurgence of illnesses that once seemed easy to cure.

Take it, use it, change it, create

You no longer need to be an electronics wizard to build sophisticated devices. “Makers” like the four profiled on these pages are unleashing their creativity thanks to Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards.