Cancer Research UK scientists have found a new way to slow the growth of the most aggressive type of breast cancer.

The team from Oxford University and the University of Nottingham found that using a drug called JQ1 can alter how cancer cells respond to hypoxia – or low oxygen – found in more than 50% of breast tumours overall and most commonly in triple negative breast cancer, the form of the disease that is hardest to treat.

Breathing easier

Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a potential way of preventing asthma.

The research analysed the impact of the gene ADAM33, which is associated with the development of asthma. The studies in human tissue samples and mice, led by Hans Michel Haitchi, an MRC Clinical Scientist Fellow and Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton, suggested that if you switch off ADAM33, the features of asthma will be reduced.

Blooming marvellous

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have taken a big step towards understanding how plants initiate flowering.

They have uncovered a previously unidentified step in the process of vernalisation, which links a gene responsible for flowering time to the proteins that regulate it.

The new finding could contribute towards the development of new varieties of crops adapted to produce food in a changing climate.