BIOSCIENCE NEWS
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BIOSCIENCE NEWS
Highlights bioscience news stories from national and specialist media. Articles are featured to illustrate a range of coverage and to highlight news stories of strategic importance to BBSRC. Stories that mention BBSRC and the strategically funded institutes and stories that have been generated by BBSRC are also included.
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Roslin mention: Human organs for transplant grown inside sheep and pigs

Human organs are being grown in livestock for the first time in pioneering experiments that could solve the desperate global transplant shortage
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BBSRC funded: Sick fish get a visit from the doctors

BBSRC funded: Sick fish get a visit from the doctors | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Devon scientists are leading a project to make fish healthier and improve the lot of small-scale farmers in India, Bangladesh and Malawi. The University of Exeter and the Centre for the Environment,...
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This project is funded under the Global Research Partnership: BBSRC-Newton Fund Aquaculture Call.

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Roslin mention: A year of anniversaries, from World Cup triumph to slaughter in the Somme

Roslin mention: A year of anniversaries, from World Cup triumph to slaughter in the Somme | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Here's some dates for your diary if you want to mark key historic moments – from the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings to 20 years since Dolly the sheep
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On July 5, 1996, Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell.

 

Born at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh she was originally named “6LLS”. But as she was created from a mammary cell, Dolly soon acquired her nickname in honour of buxom country singer Dolly Parton

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BBSRC mention: £3.4m for research projects in support of International Wheat Yield Partnership

BBSRC mention: £3.4m for research projects in support of International Wheat Yield Partnership | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
US Government's Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of $3.4 million for research projects in support of the new International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) program, among countries included is the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom (BBSRC).
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JIC mention: How Gene Editing Could Be Agriculture's Next Big Bang - Yahoo News

JIC mention: How Gene Editing Could Be Agriculture's Next Big Bang - Yahoo News | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it

Here's the new adage parents of the future will tell their kids: "Eat your genetically edited vegetables."

 

You may have already heard of the CRISPR system, a genetic engineering technique that allows for incredibly precise gene editing. 

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Now, researchers from the Department of Crop Genetics at the John Innes Centre in Norwich used CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing to successfully modify the genomes of two main crop groups in the U.K.

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IBERS mention: Defra offers local authorities flood cash

IBERS mention: Defra offers local authorities flood cash | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Defra offers local authorities flood cash - from Horticulture Week
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The trials are being jointly-run by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, and miscanthus supply chain specialists.

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BBSRC mention: Neurobiology: what fly brains can teach us

Scientists in the UK and US are to collaborate to model a complete insect brain on a computer for the first time. While their fruitfly brain project is less ambitious and much less expensive than widely publicised efforts to simulate the human brain,
BBSRC's insight:

Funding of £1.2m for the first three years comes from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the US National Science Foundation.

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Roslin mention: Agriculture: A new breed of edits

Roslin mention: Agriculture: A new breed of edits | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Genome editing allows much smaller changes to be made to DNA compared with conventional genetic engineering. In terms of agriculture, this might win over public and regulator opinion.
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“Genome editing basically provides the variation you want, where you want it,” says Bruce Whitelaw, an animal biotechnologist at Scotland's Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh.

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IPI funded: Pesticides stop bumblebees from pollinating apple trees, research shows

IPI funded: Pesticides stop bumblebees from pollinating apple trees, research shows | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
New findings on neonicotinoids have important implications as many food crops and wildflowers rely on bee pollination to reproduce
BBSRC's insight:

The Insect Pollinators Initiative is joint-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust. It is managed under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

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IPI funded: Pesticide exposure in bumblebees 'harms pollination' - BBC News

IPI funded: Pesticide exposure in bumblebees 'harms pollination' - BBC News | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Bees exposed to widely-used nicotine-like pesticides are not as good at pollinating crops, according to a study.
BBSRC's insight:

The Insect Pollinators Initiative is joint-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust. It is managed under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

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BBSRC funded: 'Checkpoint' stops eggs with DNA damage being fertilised, say scientists

BBSRC funded: 'Checkpoint' stops eggs with DNA damage being fertilised, say scientists | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Scientists have discovered a safety guard in human eggs which stops those with DNA damage from being fertilised to prevent birth defects.
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Rothamsted mention: New national "big data" centre to boost efficiency of food and farming

Rothamsted mention: New national "big data" centre to boost efficiency of food and farming | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
New national "big data" centre to boost efficiency of food and farming - from Horticulture Week
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Rothamsted, BBSRC mentions: Centre to help food industry reduce costs and environmental footprint

Rothamsted, BBSRC mentions: Centre to help food industry reduce costs and environmental footprint | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Food and drink manufacturers could reduce costs and improve their environmental footprint by developing new sustainable technologies as a result of the UK’s first big data centre of excellence for Agrimetrics at Rothamstead, Hertfordshire.
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TGAC mention: Milestone resource in wheat research now available for download

TGAC mention: Milestone resource in wheat research now available for download | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it

Leading on from The Genome Analysis Centre's (TGAC) previous announcement of their new bread wheat genome assembly, the landmark resource is now publically available to download at the European Bioinformatics Institute's (EMBL-EBI) Ensembl database

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BBSRC funded: Crows' tool time captured on camera

BBSRC funded: Crows' tool time captured on camera | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Ecologists observe wild New Caledonian crows making and using hook-shaped tools, thanks to tiny tail-mounted cameras.
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BBSRC mention: Baby birds with a difficult start in life grow up tough according to a Newcastle study

BBSRC mention: Baby birds with a difficult start in life grow up tough according to a Newcastle study | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
The Newcastle University research showed that baby birds who face hardship grow up to be fatter and greedier
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The study, led by Professor Melissa Bateson and Dr Clare Andrews, was published in the journal Animal Behaviour and funded by the BBSRC.

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Farming UK News - 14M funding for major long term agri science studies

Farming UK News - 14M funding for major long term agri science studies | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it

Three high-value, long-term research projects totalling £13.9M have been awarded funding by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

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From: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2015/151211-pr-14m-funding-major-long-term-science-studies/ ;

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BBSRC mention: Scientists create first map of the wheat epigenome

BBSRC mention: Scientists create first map of the wheat epigenome | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
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The project was funded as part of the ERA-CAPS programme, with support from BBSRC.

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BBSRC mention: A palm oil alternative could avert the devastation caused by plantations

BBSRC mention: A palm oil alternative could avert the devastation caused by plantations | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Engineers and scientists are working to produce the first yeast-based alternative to palm oil on an industrial scale, which could help avoid the environmental devastation often caused by the expansion of plantations. Teams from the University of Bath and University of York are developing the palm-oil substitute from a yeast grown using sustainably sourced waste feedstocks. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil, high in saturated fats  with a high melting point, and is derived from the fruit of  oi
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BBSRC mention: Pioneering sleep-health study spearheaded by University of Surrey

BBSRC mention: Pioneering sleep-health study spearheaded by University of Surrey | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Volunteers will undergo 60 days of continuous bed rest, with beds tilted backwards to simulate micro gravity
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Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The University of Surrey will work alongside the European Space Agency.

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IPI funded: First direct evidence of impact of pesticide on bee pollination

IPI funded: First direct evidence of impact of pesticide on bee pollination | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
Bumblebees exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides visited flowers less and collected less pollen – and that resulted in fewer seeds in the fruit
BBSRC's insight:

The Insect Pollinators Initiative is joint-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust. It is managed under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

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IPI funded: Neonics pesticide 'affects ability of bees to pollinate fruit trees'

IPI funded: Neonics pesticide 'affects ability of bees to pollinate fruit trees' | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
A controversial pesticide that was temporarily banned by the EU but supported by the UK Government has been found for the first time to affect the ability of bumblebees to pollinate fruit trees – with a warning that it could have even greater impacts on wild flowers. University scientists have found unequivocal evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides affect the pollinating efficiency of bumblebees exposed to “field realistic” concentrations of the chemicals, which are designed to poison the nervo
BBSRC's insight:

The Insect Pollinators Initiative is joint-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust. It is managed under the auspices of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership.

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JIC mentions: The Quest To Design A Healthier Tomato

JIC mentions: The Quest To Design A Healthier Tomato | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
A new type of tomato has high levels of resveratrol, which some research has linked to fighting cancer.
BBSRC's insight:

Cathie Martin, who led the study at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, hopes these tomatoes will help persuade a skeptical public that some genetically modified crops are, in fact, not only safe to consume, but actually good for you. 

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IFR mention: WHO meat report: UK reaction to cancer link - BBC News

IFR mention: WHO meat report: UK reaction to cancer link - BBC News | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
The UK meat industry and scientists react to a World Health Organization report, which says red and processed meat increases the risk of getting cancer.
BBSRC's insight:

Dr Ian Johnson, from the Institute of Food Research, a publicly funded UK research institute that focuses on the science of food and health

He reacted cautiously to the WHO's report, saying: "It is important to emphasise that this classification reflects the strength of the evidence for an effect, not the actual size of the risk.

"Meat consumption is probably one of many factors contributing to the high rates of bowel cancer seen in America, Western Europe and Australia, but the mechanism is poorly understood, and the effect is much smaller than, for example, that of cigarette smoking on the risk of lung cancer.

"It is also worth noting that there is little or no evidence that vegetarians in the UK have a lower risk of bowel cancer than meat-eaters."

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BBSRC mention: Teesside science firm explores 'pollution cancer treatment'

BBSRC mention: Teesside science firm explores 'pollution cancer treatment' | BIOSCIENCE NEWS | Scoop.it
CHEMICALS found in greenery on roadside verges could provide the source for cancer treatments, it has been claimed.
BBSRC's insight:

"It was given an innovation grant by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and received backing from the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant to carry out the tests."

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