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What if smartphones could help contain COVID-19?

24-03-2020

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should ...

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should be tested with urgency, avoiding the further spread of the infection.

What if hydrogen could help decarbonise transport?

22-11-2019

Cheap hydrogen produced with excess electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources such as wind could help fuel-cell technology to break into the mainstream. This could at the same time further boost the competitiveness of wind and solar energy production

Cheap hydrogen produced with excess electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources such as wind could help fuel-cell technology to break into the mainstream. This could at the same time further boost the competitiveness of wind and solar energy production

What if we let consumer electricity prices fluctuate?

10-01-2019

Electricity production from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy is expanding rapidly in Europe and around the world. However, integrating these fluctuating sources into the grid is increasingly becoming a challenge for grid operators that need to match electricity supply with demand. Switching over to a new electricity market system where the demand would better adapt to the supply could be crucial for the success of the transition towards a low-carbon society.

Electricity production from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy is expanding rapidly in Europe and around the world. However, integrating these fluctuating sources into the grid is increasingly becoming a challenge for grid operators that need to match electricity supply with demand. Switching over to a new electricity market system where the demand would better adapt to the supply could be crucial for the success of the transition towards a low-carbon society.

What if we were to travel on levitating trains?

12-04-2018

Magnetic levitation-based transport might be about to enter our lives, providing for faster, safer and more energy-efficient journeys. As it will enable longer distances to be covered more rapidly and cleanly, could it affect where we choose to live?

Magnetic levitation-based transport might be about to enter our lives, providing for faster, safer and more energy-efficient journeys. As it will enable longer distances to be covered more rapidly and cleanly, could it affect where we choose to live?

What if all our meat were grown in a lab?

17-01-2018

Laboratory meat is grown from a small number of cells taken from a live animal and placed in a growth medium in a bioreactor where they proliferate independently. If meat cultured in this way became widely available, it could significantly alleviate the environmental problems currently caused by livestock production - such as greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution of waterways - without requiring humans to alter their consumption patterns. This publication provides an overview of the potential ...

Laboratory meat is grown from a small number of cells taken from a live animal and placed in a growth medium in a bioreactor where they proliferate independently. If meat cultured in this way became widely available, it could significantly alleviate the environmental problems currently caused by livestock production - such as greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution of waterways - without requiring humans to alter their consumption patterns. This publication provides an overview of the potential impacts of laboratory meat on environment, public health and farming, and makes suggestions for anticipatory policy-making in this area.

Altre dieci tecnologie che potrebbero cambiarci la vita

14-07-2017

Nel 2015 la direzione generale del Parlamento europeo per i Servizi di ricerca parlamentare (DG EPRS) ha aperto nuove prospettive con la pubblicazione dal titolo "Ten technologies which could change our lives – potential impacts and policy implications" (Dieci tecnologie che potrebbero cambiarci la vita - potenziali impatti e implicazioni politiche), in cui ogni capitolo mette in luce una particolare tecnologia, le sue promesse e le potenziali conseguenze negative, nonché il ruolo che il Parlamento ...

Nel 2015 la direzione generale del Parlamento europeo per i Servizi di ricerca parlamentare (DG EPRS) ha aperto nuove prospettive con la pubblicazione dal titolo "Ten technologies which could change our lives – potential impacts and policy implications" (Dieci tecnologie che potrebbero cambiarci la vita - potenziali impatti e implicazioni politiche), in cui ogni capitolo mette in luce una particolare tecnologia, le sue promesse e le potenziali conseguenze negative, nonché il ruolo che il Parlamento europeo potrebbe e dovrebbe svolgere nel plasmare questi sviluppi. Il presente studio rappresenta una prosecuzione del suddetto lavoro, presentando altre dieci tecnologie che richiederanno una sempre maggiore attenzione da parte dei decisori politici. Gli argomenti di questo studio sono stati scelti in modo da rispecchiare l'ampia gamma di argomenti su cui l'Unità di valutazione delle opzioni scientifiche e tecnologiche (STOA) del Parlamento ha deciso di concentrarsi nell'ottava legislatura (2014-2019). Lo scopo della pubblicazione non è solo quello di attirare l'attenzione su queste dieci tecnologie specifiche, ma anche di promuovere la riflessione su altri sviluppi tecnologici che possono essere ancora in una fase iniziale, ma che potrebbero, analogamente, avere un considerevole impatto sulle nostre vite nel breve e nel lungo termine.

What if your personal health tracker could save your life?

09-06-2017

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

What if we were to build skyscrapers from wood?

03-04-2017

Can new technologies contribute to a revival of wood as a source for biomass and construction material, and play a leading role in the fight against climate change? Wood has been part of human civilisation for many thousands of years, playing a key role as fuel or construction material, as well as a material for the manufacture of furniture, machinery, means of transport and everyday objects.

Can new technologies contribute to a revival of wood as a source for biomass and construction material, and play a leading role in the fight against climate change? Wood has been part of human civilisation for many thousands of years, playing a key role as fuel or construction material, as well as a material for the manufacture of furniture, machinery, means of transport and everyday objects.

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel?

07-12-2016

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal ...

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal combustion engines), which burn fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, to provide the energy required to turn the cars’ wheels and perform auxiliary tasks. However, in recent years concerns about climate change and dependence on oil have led to a great deal of effort and attention being invested in developing alternative ways of providing this energy.

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