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Latest Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Stories

2011-01-07 11:00:58

For the first time, researchers have developed a 3D picture of a herpes virus protein interacting with a key part of the human cellular machinery, enhancing our understanding of how it hijacks human cells to spread infection and opening up new possibilities for stepping in to prevent or treat infection. This discovery uncovers one of the many tactical manoeuvres employed by the virus. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded team, led by The University of...

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2010-12-27 07:05:00

Teams of international scientists have unlocked the genetic code of the wild strawberry and a certain type of cacao used to make fine chocolate, in a breakthrough that could lead to even more scrumptious versions of the treats. The work should help breeders develop a new generation of "Ëœsuper strawberries' and rich chocolate after identifying the chemicals responsible for their flavorful aroma and nutritional value. The wild strawberry is closely related to other crops such as...

2010-12-17 12:05:15

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) at the University of Oxford have uncovered a clue that may help to explain why the earliest evidence of complex multicellular animal life appears around 550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels on the planet rose sharply from 3% to their modern day level of 21%. The team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has found that humans share a method of sensing oxygen with the world's simplest...

2010-11-29 14:47:33

A hormone responsible for the onset of puberty can end up stuck in the wrong part of the body if the nerve pathways responsible for its transport to the brain fail to develop properly, according to research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). By tracking how nerve cells responsible for regulating sexual reproduction in mice find their way from their birth place in the foetal nose to their site of action in the adult brain, scientists from University...

2010-11-18 14:31:13

Researchers funded by the BBSRC Crop Science Initiative have made a discovery that could instigate a paradigm shift in breeding resistance to late blight - a devastating disease of potatoes and tomatoes costing the industry £5-6Bn a year worldwide. They will share this research with industry at an event in London later today (18 November). Professor Paul Birch of the University of Dundee and his team at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI), the University of Dundee, and the...

2010-11-18 14:24:12

Like gangsters running a protection racket, drongos in the Kalahari Desert act as lookouts for other birds in order to steal a cut of their food catch. The behaviour, revealed in research funded by BBSRC published in Evolution and reported in Nature's Research Highlights today (18 November), may represent a rare example of two species evolving from a parasitic to a mutualistic relationship. The team from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Cape Town showed that victimised pied babblers...

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2010-11-10 10:30:00

"How do hearts, wings or flowers get their shape?" asks Professor Enrico Coen from the John Innes Centre. " Unlike man-made things like mobile phones or cars, there is no external hand or machine guiding the formation of these biological structures; they grow into particular shapes of their own accord." "Looking at the complex, beautiful and finely tuned shapes produced by nature, people have often wondered how they came about. We are beginning to understand the basic genetic and chemical...

2010-11-08 15:11:15

Scientists have found that the fat cells and tissues of morbidly obese people and animals can reach a limit in their ability to store fat appropriately. Beyond this limit several biological processes conspire to prevent further expansion of fat tissue and in the process may trigger other health problems. Research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the European Union Sixth Framework Programme, shows that a...

2010-11-01 15:22:35

Scientists from the UK and Australia have seen the human immune system's assassin "“ a protein called perforin "“ in action for the first time. The UK team, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Wellcome Trust, is based at Birkbeck College where they used powerful electron microscopes to study the mechanism that perforin uses to punch holes in rogue cells. The research is published today (1800hrs, 31 October) in Nature. Professor...

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2010-10-12 09:40:00

Gardeners could help out the declining worldwide bee population by planting flowers that are red or have stripes along the veins, UK researchers announced on Monday. Experts from the John Innes Centre (JIC), an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), studied the foraging patterns of bumblebees on a field of snapdragon plants located near the British city of Norwich. By comparing the number of visits the insects made to each plant, they were able to...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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