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Study estimates death toll of antibiotic-resistant bacteria - Warwick experts comment

A new Lancet study shows that over a million people died in 2019 from infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Dr Freya Harrison and Dr Antonia Sagona comment on the importance of this new evidence and the need to tackle the issue of antibiotic resistance urgently.

Expert Comment (20 January 2022)

Thu 20 Jan 2022, 12:23 | Tags: Expert comment Biomedical Science Faculty of Science

COP26 – reflections on attending as an Observer from Warwick

Hendrik SchaferProfessor Hendrik Schafer shares his reflections on attending COP26:

"When I was asked whether I’d want to be part of the delegation that the University sends to COP26 in Glasgow, I did not have to think about it for long, after all, Climate Change is the biggest challenge that we are facing as global human society. Although I only spent two days at COP, I look back at this as a positive and worthwhile activity.

Despite disappointment about the watered-down COP26 declaration, I think that COP26 has brought some progress overall. There is an increased sense of urgency and political will to start tackling the issue, and although I personally think that we need much faster and more ambitious action, any progress is welcome and significant. Annual submissions of national action plans will hopefully lead to increasing pressure on countries to accelerate action rather than delaying it, but the acid test will be whether actions will lead to a slowdown in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next few years.

Another important milestone is that protection and regeneration of natural ecosystems such as forests, mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrass meadows is finally recognised by COP as an important part of the strategy to combat climate change. Those coastal marine ecosystems, which are referred to as ‘blue carbon’ environments are incredibly effective carbon sinks, whose protection will not only ensure a contribution to carbon sequestration but enhance biodiversity and deliver a raft of positive ecosystem services. Nevertheless, there is a need to understand in more detail, how these ecosystems will respond to climate change and to monitor their actual C sequestration. These are research activities that we are in a good position to contribute to with several groups studying relevant environmental processes and trace gases. Another area that is getting more attention is the carbon footprint of agriculture, again an area where we have critical expertise and where SLS researchers can make contributions to the research agenda.

Whilst those are important areas where a more detailed scientific understanding is required, the basic science background of climate change has been clear for too long, with no sense of urgency and too little action. The key question is how we get society to make the changes that are required. I believe that creating a dialogue between citizens, scientists, business, and government at various levels will be vital for driving positive changes. There have been excellent examples at COP26 that illustrate the critical role of positive communication and citizen involvement and how these can lead to the creation of action plans at local and regional level with positive outcomes for local communities. It needs a few success stories that deliver positive change in quality of life and sustainability, which will hopefully increase the roll out of programmes for mitigation and adaptation measures, especially if there is a demand and acceptance from the public for positive action. The University is already looking at opportunities to engage with local community and governments to enhance sustainability in the region.

There is huge potential across the university to be a centre for climate action, going well beyond the research on innovation in the automotive sector, but also in the humanities, arts, economics, and of course Life Sciences."


2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Warwick scientists explain Crispr-Cas9

This week, it was reported that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on the technology of genome editing - more specifically, Crispr-Cas9. Scientists in the School of Life sciences who also research Crispr-Cas9 explain what it is, and discuss its significance in our lives.

Expert comment (8 October 2020)

Thu 08 Oct 2020, 14:28 | Tags: Expert comment Biotechnology Faculty of Science

Second wave' warning: two experts have their say

Health leaders warned that a 'second wave' of the coronavirus is likely, and that the UK should be more prepared. Two experts in the spread of disease, Dr Louise Dyson and Dr Ed Hill, commented on the story.

Expert comment (24 June 2020)

Mon 29 Jun 2020, 17:54 | Tags: Expert comment Biomedical Science Faculty of Science

Six Months of Coronavirus: What Have We Learned?

Professor Andrew Easton discusses the last six months on TRT World:


Prof David Evans: Zmapp tests 'an extremely encouraging result'

Professor David Evans comments upon the results, published by Nature, of the tests of new drug ZMapp for the treatment of Ebola.

Mon 01 Sep 2014, 14:37 | Tags: Expert comment