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Check your pulses

Eric HolubThe Knowledge Centre look at research by Professor Eric Holub into new haricot bean varieties which are suitable for growing in the UK climate.
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Slime Santa beard likes hot peppers

· A slime Santa beard has been made by Ian Hands-Portman at the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences

· The slime is a not a plant, animal or fungi it is a myxomycete, and feeds off oats, likes hot peppers, but doesn’t like chocolate

· Slime molds are useful to scientists and are being used to research cancer treatments as it is one cell with multiple nuclei, they also solve mazes and maps in a more efficient way than humans, so computer scientists are looking at using them for faster lower energy computers and sat-navs.

Knowledge Centre article

Tue 17 Dec 2019, 14:50 | Tags: Biotechnology Article Faculty of Science

The Vegetables of Christmas Future

If you think about a traditional Christmas dinner, there’s turkey with pigs in blankets, or maybe you prefer a nut roast. But the rest is vegetables. A large proportion of our plate should be covered in vegetables, and the standard winter varieties, like carrots and sprouts, are grown very successfully in the UK.

But will this always be the case? Climate change is bringing with it new challenges as well as making known pests and diseases more difficult to tackle. Scientists at Warwick's Crop Centre, are working to understand the pests and diseases of the some of the UK’s major crops and developing, using traditional plant breeding and genetic expertise, new resistant varieties.

Knowledge Centre article


Going viral: What are bacteriophages and how can they help us?

BacteriophageAntibiotics are going to stop working. Bacteria are developing resistance to the drugs we have to treat them and there is no doubt that without action getting an infection or having surgery is going to get a lot more risky. With a global health crisis on our hands, scientists across the world are now trying to find alternatives to the drugs which have kept us alive for the past decade.

One possible solution is the use of bacteriophages.

Dr Antonia Sagona is working on understanding how phages fight infections.

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The real Frozen: What can we do with ice?

Dr Hendrik Schafer and colleagues are looking at the microbial cycling of trace gases in sea ice as part of an international research programme called MOSAiC.
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Beer and fodder crop has been deteriorating for 6000 years

Field of sorghumThe diversity of the crop Sorghum, a cereal used to make alcoholic drinks, has been decreasing over time due to agricultural practice. To maintain the diversity of the crop and keep it growing farmers will need to revise how they manage it. According to Professor Allaby and colleagues, different groups of sorghums have ‘rescued’ each other from damage, giving insight into how such crops could be rescued in the future.

Press Release


Five things you need to know about soil

SoilAs children we learn that plants grow in it and worms live in it and that's generally as far as we go. But the mix of minerals, water, air, decaying plant and animal matter and countless microorganisms that make up the top layer of the earth's surface is hugely important, not only for plant life, but for all life on earth. In an article for Warwick Knowledge Centre, Professor Gary Bending and doctoral research student Amy Newman tell us five things we should know about soil.

Five things you need to know about soil


What to teach an aspiring scientist

Creative ThoughtsMost people perceive scientists as logical and determined people, their mission to find the answer through painstaking research. So what are two of the most important things you can teach an aspiring scientist to help them on the road to success? Critical thinking? Statistics? Not necessarily. It’s the ability to think creatively, and a capacity to deal with failure says Professor Kevin Moffat.

Knowledge Centre Article


Breakthrough in stroke detection

Nick DaleProfessor Nicholas Dale and team have developed a unique biosensor technology that has the potential to radically improve the life of stroke victims.

Read full article -The Guardian 22 January 2017

(Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Observer)

Mon 23 Jan 2017, 15:28 | Tags: Biomedical Science Article Research Faculty of Science

Exploring the final frontiers of knowledge...

Rachel Warmington, a second year PhD student at Warwick Crop Centre was featured in The Independent on Wednesday 20th February. The article by Jessica Moore entitled ‘Explore the final frontiers of knowledge’ shows how postgraduates undertaking niche research projects can affect real change:

‘My research could have a significant impact’, acknowledges Rachel Warmington, 34. Her PhD at the University of Warwick explores soil treatments to control a major crop disease that attacks around 400 different plant species – including potatoes, carrots, beans and rape. ‘Crop diseases are becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals, so we need new methods and techniques, otherwise we’re not going to have any food left to eat.’

Rachel, who is funded by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), was recently awarded the Marsh Horticultural Science Award for 2013. The Award, run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, recognizes the work of and encourages new postgraduate scientists to develop careers in horticultural science.

The Independent 20 Feb 2014

Click on image to read full article.

Fri 21 Feb 2014, 11:59 | Tags: Crop Centre, Article