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Life Sciences

Is there a biology gender divide?

Addressing the persistent gender gap in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects has proven to be one of the most pressing academic concerns in recent years. Biology has been seen as an area which is not affected by gender inequality, as it is the one STEM subject in which female candidates have traditionally outnumbered male ones. More than 60 per cent are female and about half of biosciences graduate …Read More

Science skills gap ‘a result of confusion’

A significant amount of confusion exists among science graduates in the UK in relation to the careers that are open to them. A panel of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) leaders and academics have spoken at the Business in the Community Responsible Business Week event in London about the issue and how it is contributing to the country's skills shortage in this area. The panel, chaired by HR magazine …Read More

Chancellor announces science investment

Chancellor George Osborne used his 2014 Budget to help promote British science, announcing extra investment in stem cell research and postdoctoral training. Some £55 million is to be provided to fund research into stem cells, establishing a Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre to help treat a wide range of degenerative diseases. The government said that while the UK has a leading position in stem cell therapy research, its manufacturing capability is …Read More

Genome sequence breakthrough could hold key to new drugs

Scientists in the US have potentially developed a new way to use genome sequence in the design of medicinal drugs. Experts from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have released details of their discovery – using an example of a compound they have already established to tackle cancer cells. This potent amalgam effectively manipulates the poisonous cells, so they attack themselves and die. It is hoped the …Read More

New material could help treat heart defects

Researchers have developed a new adhesive that could be used to treat patients suffering from congenital heart defects. Conventional treatments for such conditions are highly invasive and problems are posed by the need to secure the devices quickly and safely. Sutures take a long time to stitch and can put pressure on the developing heart muscle, while current adhesives are either too toxic or prone to lose their grip in …Read More

Research reveals effect of vitamin D on child development

A new study has revealed links between vitamin D levels in pregnant mothers and muscle strength in children. According to research conducted at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton, children are more likely to have stronger muscles if vitamin D levels in their mothers' bodies are high during pregnancy. A link has previously been made between low levels of vitamin D and …Read More

Genetic study could help treat rheumatoid arthritis

A new study into rheumatoid arthritis may prove useful in identifying new treatments for the disease. The largest worldwide study of the genetic basis of rheumatoid arthritis demonstrates that integrating information of genome-wide studies with existing data can help scientists to discover drugs that may help cure diseases. A genome-wide association study meta-analysis was conducted on over 100,000 subjects of European and Asian descent. Approximately ten million genetic variants known …Read More

Scientists find a way to replace injections with tablets

Scientists in the US may have found a way to administer nanoparticle therapeutics orally, rather than through injections. At the moment, these treatments can only be given to a patient via a needle, as the nanoparticles have trouble penetrating the intestinal lining when consumed in tablet form.  However, researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new kind of treatment that can …Read More

Investment will help nurture next generation of scientists

The UK government has announced plans to invest £350 million into the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers. Much has been made about skills shortages in these sectors and the authorities are keen to encourage more youngsters to take vocational courses at university.  The money – which is being provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – will be shared across 24 universities around the …Read More

New research may explain malaria drug resistance

Scientific studies carried out in the US may help to explain why some people build up resistance to antimalarial drugs. Findings published in the online journal PLOS ONE showed that autophagy – the process of cells removing damaged parts of themselves to restore normal function – can be linked to the ineffectiveness of malaria treatments.  Paul Roepe – a Georgetown University professor who authored the study – said these tests …Read More