Life Sciences News
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Producing a baked bean suitable for growing in the UK
On Thursday 13 October, Professor Eric Holub, a plant scientist at Warwick Crop Centre, was featured on Channel 5 discussing his research to produce baked bean varieties suitable for growing in the UK climate on a commercial scale.
Growing haricot beans in the UK will offer a low food miles alternative supply model to those currently imported from North America.
Watch Secrets of Your Supermarket Shop: Episode 6 (from 28 mins).
Bad bugs, no drugs: A world without antibiotics
It was announced last month that two new antibiotics may be available on the NHS. Professor Chris Dowson explains why there is an urgent need to develop new antimicrobials and protect the drugs we have.
Knowledge Centre article (12 April 2022)
BBC Gardeners' World Magazine features Crop Centre PhD student Andy Gladman
As part of a monthly series featuring the eight finalists in the 2020 BBC Gardeners World Magazine Gardens of the Year competition, Andy Gladman, a Crop Centre PhD student and his Leamington Spa ornamental allotment are the subject of March's edition.
The six page article plots his journey,' driven from a lifelong passion for plants', especially kniphofia, echinops, verbena and buddleas and the set back of living in a top floor north facing flat, in transforming an overgrown allotment plot in 2018 from 'a field of couch grass and bindweed' to an 'astonishingly vibrant and drought tolerant garden'. With his interest in plant diversity there are 'around 100 cultivars of kniphofia (red hot poker') that he has been trying to accumulate and is planning on applying for a National Collection status for these and his echinops (globe thistle).
Working on a tight budget and with using materials that otherwise would go to waste as a very important aspect to him,' seed sowing and recycling have been key'. 'The entire path is made up of pavers from a fellow allotmenteer's old driveway' and both greenhouses, furniture in the summer house and one of the greenhouses and water trough are either secondhand or from charity shops.
Many of the plants are a haven for insects and the bees are everywhere. He noted a lot of butterfly diversity when taking part in the Big Butterfly Count 2020 and believes the allotment holders are pleased with the amount of pollinators his garden attracts to the allotments.
More information - Gardeners' World Magazine, March 2021, pages 72-77.
Andy Gladman is a PhD student with Dr Dave Chandler.
Women in science, innovate in science
To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February 2021, young researchers at Warwick, including PhD student Rosanne Maguire, were asked about their hopes for their research and the importance of equality in their chosen field.
Article (11 February 2021)
Future Leader to Watch – Fabrizio Alberti
Future Leader to Watch is a series of interviews with the first authors of a selection of Reviews published in Biology Open, helping early-career researchers promote themselves alongside their papers. Dr Fabrizio Alberti is first author on ‘Recent developments of tools for genome and metabolome studies in basidiomycete fungi and their application to natural product research’, published in BiO.
Read the interview
Professor Andrew Easton comments on the Coronavirus outbreak
Professor Andrew Easton talks live to Sky News about the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak:
Seed collection conserves genetic diversity of vegetables
Listen to Dr Charlotte Allender discuss the need to conserve the genetic diversity of vegetables, and how this is being done at the University of Warwick's seed bank facility.
Radio discussion (28 Sept 2019)
The Warwick Genetic Resources Unit houses the UK Vegetable Genebank, a globally significant collection of around 14,000 seed samples of a range of vegetable crops.
A cure for the common cold?
Did you know that SLS researchers have been leading work to find cures for the common cold and influenza?
Listen as Professor Nigel Dimmock discusses his career and his new antiviral research on the BBC.
Download or listen online bbc.in/2GA7W74
When and how did we first start to domesticate wild plants?
Professor Robin Allaby talks to CrowdScience on the BBC World Service and explains all.
Listen to bbc.in/2JV7jpV (Interview starts at approx 5:28).
On Monday 18 December, Dr Guy Barker spoke on BBC Midlands Today on how Warwick Crop Centre are improving sprouts through traditional plant breeding. Watch www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09jg8fl/midlands-today-evening-news-18122017 (from 23 minutes)
Dr Barker also spoke with Phil Upton on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, describing how researchers are utilising genetic diversity from the UK Vegetable Genebank to enhance the appearance, quality and resistance of sprouts. Listen at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05nlj64 (1:41-1:45)
An interview with Virologist Prof David Evans: What do we know about Ebola?
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has rapidly become the deadliest since the discovery of the virus. But what do we really know about this deadly disease? Ahead of his Cheltenham Science Festival lecture at the Winton Crucible on Thursday 4th June, Virologist Professor David Evans explores a little of the history and biology of Ebola.
Eric Holub speaking about British Baked Beans on Radio 4's Farming Today Programme
On 1 February, Professor Eric Holub was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme about his research on haricot beans and the aim of producing British grown baked beans. Listen to the podcast (about 20:25 minutes into the programme)
Scientists on a quest to develop a British baked bean (Press Release Sept 2013)
BBC Radio 4 visits Warwick Crop Centre
On Friday 12 August, BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme visited the Warwick Crop Centre to find out about research to increase vegetable yields, and quality, in the face of increasing pressures on climate change and food security.
The programme includes:
- Dr Rosemary Collier investigating sources of resistance to lettuce pests.
- Dr Charlotte Allender discussing the use of carrot diversity sets to look for useful traits such as disease resistance and tolerance to drought.
- Dr Graham Teakle examining nitrogen-use efficiency in oil seed rape.
Listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer
Find out more about Warwick Crop Centre