Fixing the food system

Fixing the food system

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Coronavirus and beyond: emerging disease outbreaks

With the world in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, in April Horizon takes a step back to look at some of the challenges around sudden outbreaks of emerging diseases. We speak to virologist Prof. Marion Koopmans about the likelihood of future outbreaks of new diseases, what causes them and how to spot them before they appear. We speak to scientists who are helping to develop tests for Covid-19 to understand the challenges in coming up with an accurate and detailed diagnostic test for an entirely new disease. We talk to people working on coronavirus treatments about how to shorten the normally lengthy process of drug development. And we look into why diseases suddenly jump from animals, such as bats, into humans and the particular challenges of spotting and responding to these types of outbreaks.

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The rise of private companies in the space industry is creating both opportunities and challenges. Image credit - Flickr/SpaceX, licenced under CC BY-NC 2.0

The business of space

Private companies are increasingly active in the space sector – from high-profile businesses such as SpaceX or Virgin Galactic to the nearly 3,000 small businesses that provide elements for the European Space Agency’s space programme. In March, Horizon explores the impact of this on research and innovation. We speak to a space law researcher about how to avoid the problems emerging from an increasingly crowded orbit, such as collisions. We look at how to minimise the environmental impact of satellites and delve into efforts to build a reusable European launcher for small payloads. We also look at the challenge of assembling, maintaining and repairing objects in space and the developments in space robotics that could help.

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As speech and seismic signals have properties in common, speech recognition techniques are being used to understand what volcanoes are saying and when they might erupt. Image credit - milito10/ Pixabay, licenced under CC0

How speech recognition techniques are helping to predict volcanoes’ behaviour

Dr Luciano Zuccarello grew up in the shadow of Mount Etna, an active volcano on the Italian island of Sicily. Farms and orchards ring the lower slopes of the volcano, where the fertile soil is ideal for agriculture. But the volcano looms large in the life of locals because it is also one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

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Anterior Mobilização na Cultura do Milho. Subsolador + Rototerra, seus Custos e Emissões
Próximo Conferência Digital "Transição para a Agricultura Sustentável" - 6 de maio

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