Life Sciences News
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Professor Murray Grant has been re-elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellows have made contributions to knowledge at the highest levels in their different fields and across disciplinary boundaries. Find out more
Can super-speedy plant cells feed a growing population?
Dr Joe Mckenna has been awarded a BBSRC Discovery Fellowship of £535,000 to investigate actin – a natural molecule contained in plant cells – to see whether it can be engineered to move faster and so grow bigger plants with more biomass.
Press release (21 March 2023)
Job opportunity - Assistant Professor in Environmental Biology (Teaching Focussed)
We are recruiting a Teaching Focussed Assistant Professor in Environmental Biology to join our team to deliver a comprehensive package of teaching, with a particular focus on delivery of lecture and seminar teaching, tutorials, project supervision and practical teaching. You will particularly support the course management, curriculum development and delivery of the MSc Global Decarbonisation, a newly approved interdisciplinary course forming part of the University of Warwick’s STEM Grand Challenge.
Increase homegrown fruit and veg and add £0.5bn to the economy say scientists – as we reel from supermarket shortages
As the UK reels from recent fruit and vegetable shortages, scientists are advising how to increase homegrown produce – benefitting the economy and the environment.
Press release (9 March 2023)
Two domestications for grapes
Professor Robin Allaby gives his perspective in Science, on the evolutionary events that led to grape domestication. The article made the front cover.
Read the paper (3 March 2023)
Growing British - Professor Napier on Radio 4
On Thursday 2 March, Professor Richard Napier was featured on the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme talking about a new green paper “Growing British” he helped to create. It’s a strategy highlighting how to increase fruit and veg production in the UK. Listen (from 1:14).
A “zinc” in the armour: could metal help combat common superbug?
A new study has shown that zinc plays a key role in a hospital superbug, that doctors struggle to treat due to its resistance to antibiotics.
Press Release (15 February 2023)
Bacteria communicate like us – and we could use this to help address antibiotic resistance
Like the neurons firing in human brains, bacteria use electricity to communicate and respond to environmental cues. Now, researchers have discovered a way to control this electrical signalling in bacteria, to better understand resistance to antibiotics.
In the study published in Advanced Science, Dr Munehiro and colleagues, report a major step forward in regulating bacterial electric signals with light.
Press Release (13 February 2023)
Earthquakes in Turkey & Syria
Our thoughts are with staff and students affected by the devastating earthquake that has hit Turkey and Syria. People have asked about how they can respond to this; various charitable organisations are coordinating humanitarian efforts that you can contribute to e.g. The Red Cross
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support, or if you have any concerns about someone else. Students can contact the Wellbeing & Student Support Services team via the wellbeing portal or by calling 024 7657 5570, access bereavement support from the Chaplaincy, or speak to their personal tutor. Staff can access support through the Staff Wellbeing Hub, by contacting the Employee Assistance Programme, or accessing bereavement support from the Chaplaincy.
New study into Tuberculosis membrane molecules will aid drug delivery
Chelsea Brown, a PhD student with Professor Phill Stansfeld and Dr Liz Fullam, has published a first author paper on tackling Tuberculosis (TB) by modelling mycobacterial membranes.
TB rivals covid-19 as the biggest infectious disease killer of humans, claiming millions of lives each year. Now, ground-breaking research from the Universities of Warwick and Toulouse has identified a new method to help tackle this global issue.
Press Release (30 January 2023)
Meet our researchers: John Walsh
Professor John Walsh talks about his research into how viruses interact with agricultural crop plants, and how to improve vegetable crops’ resistance to viruses without using pesticides.
His food and agricultural research has helped to improve natural resistance to the viruses that infect plants, reduce the use of pesticides and improve health and welfare.
Scientists reveal why sprouts taste better as you get older… and why your grandparents were right all along
Researchers from Warwick Crop Centre are sharing food for thought about the humble sprout this Christmas and tell us:
• Why having a gene mutation makes sprouts taste horrid
• Why sprouts taste better after frost
• Why they make us gassy
Press release (15 December 2022)
Four new academic positions available in the School of Life Sciences
We wish to appoint four excellent and ambitious early to mid-career principal investigators who are capable of developing innovative and original research programmes:
- 2 x Permanent positions focused on Host-virus Interactions
- 1 x Permanent position focused on Plant Virology
- 1 x Permanent position focused on Host Responses to Microbes
£1.7m containment facility will help tackle globally important diseases and prepare for future pandemics
A £1.7m laboratory building which will investigate infectious diseases has opened at the University of Warwick – helping to tackle some of the most globally important human diseases and prepare for pandemics of the future. The new containment suite will enable scientists to conduct cutting-edge research into infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), influenza and COVID-19.
Press release (8 December)
Weldon Prize for SPI-M-O and Zeeman modellers
Professor Matt Keeling and Dr Louise Dyson were part of the Warwick Zeeman team invited to attend the Weldon Prize giving in Oxford.
This prize is awarded annually for ‘noteworthy contributions to the development of mathematical or statistical methods applied to problems in Biology’. This year it was given to the SPI-M-O group (part of SAGE) in recognition for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
£1.5m Crop Research Centre opens at University of Warwick
A facility using gene-editing technology to improve quality, resilience and sustainability of vegetable crops has opened at the University of Warwick.
The Elizabeth Creak Horticultural Technology Centre (ECHTC), which also contains The Jim Brewster Laboratory, is a £1.5 million facility which will use cutting edge techniques such as gene-editing to improve vegetable crops.
Addressing issues relating to disease resistance, crop yield, adaptability to climate change and nutritional value in horticultural plants, the research will help with the key global challenges of climate change and feeding the world’s growing population.
Press Release (10 November 2022)
Blog: Research culture from a technical point of view
Our Research Facility Manager, Dr Sarah Bennett, gives her thoughts on research culture from a technician's perspective.
Read the blog (9 November 2022)
International collaboration identifies new molecular targets in crop resistance
Professor Murray Grant is part of a team of international researchers who have identified and classified new isomers that could help develop more robust and resistant crops – via synthetic biology approaches.
Press Release (4 November 2022)
Warwick iGEM success
iGEM is a global synthetic biology competition aimed at University and High School students.This year, 360 teams from across the world took part in iGEM, including a team from Warwick - team PyRe. The team attended the Grand Jamboree in Paris, on 26-28 October.
After delivering their presentation and attending the judging session, the team were awarded a gold medal for their project. They were also nominated for the Best Environment Project for their excellent work on the detection and degradation of pyrethroid pesticides. Read about the project.
Team PyRe members:
- Aayush Patel (2nd Year Biochemistry)
- Mujie Chen (2nd Year Neuroscience)
- Ashmitha Srirasan (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
- Yvette Lo (3rd Year Biomedical Science)
- Jerry Yu (4th Year MBio Biochemistry)
- Prem Ravichandran (2nd Year Computer Systems Engineering)
- Zak Fulk (3rd Year Biomedical Systems Engineering)
- Ng Yi Fan (2nd Year Economics)
The team were supported by Dr Fabrizio Alberti and Dr Alexander Darlington (Engineering), and postgraduate advisors Sandie Lai, Daniel Richmond (Chemistry), Michaël Dagne Tadesse and Nathan Burton.
Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture - 10 November 2022
The School of Life Sciences is delighted to host Professor Cathie Martin MBE FRS for the Elizabeth Creak Distinguished Guest Lecture on Food Security on Thursday 10 November 2022.
Title: Engineering nutritional traits conferring the benefits of a plant-rich diet.