A new generation of cancer researchers are being taught at the University of Essex in a new course.

The MSc Cancer Biology course will be led a team of experienced cancer researchers. Clinicians at the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust will also be involved in teaching both at the hospital and at the University’s Colchester Campus. The students will benefit from the University’s links with external cancer research organisations, including Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Institute.

New protein

A protein which will help scientists understand why nerve cells die in people with Alzheimer’s disease has been designed in a University of Sussex laboratory. In people with Alzheimer’s, Amyloid-beta (Abeta) proteins stick together to make amyloid fibrils which form clumps between neurons in the brain. It’s believed the build-up of these clumps causes brain cells to die, leading to the cognitive decline in patients suffering from the disease.

University of Sussex scientists have created a new protein which closely resembles the Abeta but contains two different amino acids. It can be used for laboratory researchers working to understand the role Abeta plays in Alzheimer’s disease.

Diversity the key

Research by University of Exeter academics shows that genetic diversity helps to reduce the spread of diseases in crops by limiting parasite evolution.

The researchers used a virus that can infect and kill bacteria. The bacteria defend themselves using an immune system, known as CRISPR-Cas, which captures random DNA fragments from the virus.