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Latest Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Stories

2010-09-22 20:15:13

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have established in mice the mechanism that detects and responds to the presence of bacteria in the womb - a discovery that opens up the possibility of new preventative treatments for diseases like pelvic inflammatory disease and Chlamydia. The work, led by Professor Martin Sheldon from Swansea University's School of Medicine, is published today (22 September) in PLoS ONE. Professor Sheldon said:...

2010-09-14 01:12:24

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have discovered key plant enzymes that normally make the energy stored in wood, straw, and other non-edible parts of plants difficult to extract. The findings, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can be used to improve the viability of sustainable biofuels that do not adversely affect the food chain. The team based at the University of Cambridge, and now part of the BBSRC...

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2010-08-27 09:50:00

In what could be a major step forward in the battle to stop global food shortages, a team of UK scientists have successfully decoded the wheat genome and plan to make the DNA data of this vital crop available to farmers so that they, in turn, can improve their annual yield. Professor Neil Hall and Dr. Anthony Hall at the University of Liverpool, Professor Keith Edwards and Dr. Gary Barker at the University of Bristol, and Professor Mike Bevan at the John Innes Centre were able to gain access...

2010-07-16 13:25:24

New research being presented this week is giving scientists new insight into why a restricted diet can lead to a longer lifespan and reduced incidence of age-related diseases for a wide variety of animals. Scientists have known for some time that a restricted diet can extend the lifespan of certain animals but this work shows how it affects ageing mechanisms "“ and significantly has also shown that the effects occur even if the restricted diet is adopted later in life. The work could...

2010-06-18 02:01:38

Findings could help inform new malaria control strategies New research published today (17 June) by scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) shows that malaria is tens of thousands of years older than previously thought. An international team, led by researchers at Imperial College London, have found that the potentially deadly tropical disease evolved alongside anatomically modern humans and moved with our ancestors as they migrated out of...

2010-06-07 14:05:44

Researchers have discovered components of the bovine mastitis-causing bacterium, Streptococcus uberis that play a key role in the disease. This discovery could lead the way to finally developing a vaccine for this endemic disease, which costs UK farmers alone nearly £200M per year, requires the large scale use of antibiotics, causes pain to cows and dramatically reduces milk yield. A solution to this problem will be an important contribution to the future security of our food supply in...

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2010-04-02 08:42:58

Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) at the University of Birmingham have discovered that a gene called DAF-16 is strongly involved in determining the rate of ageing and average lifespan of the laboratory worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and its close evolutionary cousins. DAF-16 is found in many other animals, including humans. It is possible that this knowledge could open up new avenues for altering ageing, immunity and resistance...

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2010-03-11 07:38:43

A puzzle that has baffled scientists for centuries "“ why some birds appear to be male on one side of the body and female on the other "“ has been solved by researchers. The research, which involved studying rare naturally occurring chickens with white (male) plumage on one side and brown (female) plumage on the other, sheds new light on the sexual development of birds. It was previously thought that sex chromosomes in birds control whether a testis or ovary forms, with sexual...

2010-02-24 14:35:00

Scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognize others by their smell Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that the hormone vasopressin helps the brain differentiate between familiar and new scents. The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that when the hormone fails to function, animals are unable to recognise other individuals from their scent. The ability to recognise others by smell is crucial in helping animals to establish strong...

2010-02-15 07:47:43

Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the British Heart Foundation at the University of Oxford have developed a revolutionary way of capturing a high-resolution still image alongside very high-speed video - a new technology that is attractive for science, industry and consumer sectors alike. By combining off-the-shelf technologies found in standard cameras and digital movie projectors they have successfully created a tool that will transform many...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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