Research

New research into microplastics and nanoplastics urgently needed due to ‘significant’ health threat

A new metastudy published in Cambridge Prisms: Plastics by Cambridge University Press, has identified a body of evidence demonstrating the negative impact of microplastics and nanoplastics (MPs and NPs) on human health and identifying the limitations of current research. ‘Mitochondria...

Limiting damage from an asthma attack could stop disease

Scientists at King’s College London have discovered a new cause for asthma that sparks hope for treatment that could prevent the life-threatening disease. Most current asthma treatments stem from the idea that it is an inflammatory disease. Yet, the life-threatening...

The cell that remembers allergies

Researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery: a new cell that remembers allergies. The discovery gives scientists and researchers a new target in treating allergies and could lead to new therapeutics, according to research published in Science Translational Medicine, which coins...

Calculating risk scores for Alzheimer’s

A new epigenetics collaboration has been announced between Sheffield Hallam University and PharmaKure, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing precision medicines for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. The partnership will focus on ‘gene-based environmental biomarkers’, known as epigenetic...

Concussion: 7-year study funded by US Defense Department

University of Birmingham experts will lead a major research programme involving hundreds of people across the UK which aims to transform the way concussion is identified and managed. The seven-year contract by the U.S. Department of Defense has a potential...

Technology unscrambles microbe chatter

Using a database of over 60,000 microorganisms curated by researchers from across the globe, a new search tool instantly matches microbes to the metabolites they produce. This is the claim of researchers from University of California San Diego, who collaborated...

Unravelling the DNA dilemma: A new chapter in rare disease research

‘Hope is not lost’ for the 50 per cent of people with undiagnosed rare diseases, says UK genomics expert Neil Ward, of PacBio. New technologies can provide more accurate, in-depth data on the genome, and help reveal the underlying...

Brain scan tech takes major step forward

Advanced MRI scanners being developed by University of California Berkeley will allow doctors and scientists to see the brain in greater detail than ever before, which could lead to ground-breaking treatments for brain disorders such as degenerative diseases, schizophrenia...

Major study describes brain pathology of domestic violence

A major international brain autopsy study of women who had experienced intimate partner violence reveals substantial damage in the brain, but no evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the neurodegenerative disease recognised among contact sports athletes who sustain repeated...

Growing microtumours in a dish hailed as ‘rapid way to identify tumour genes’

Researchers have identified a new way to screen genes that cause several different types of cancers to grow, identifying particularly promising targets for precision oncology in oral and esophageal squamous cancers. The study, published in Cell Reports, used 3-dimensional models...

Genomics leads fight against antimicrobial resistant typhoid

A genomic survey of typhoid fever in Zimbabwe has shown how the bacteria behind recent outbreaks evolved extra levels of antimicrobial resistance. Researchers from the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, Quadram Institute and University of East Anglia were part of the...

Forget sweet dreams – sweet genes could explain why a bad night’s sleep makes you older

Parents of newborns might feel like they have aged a few years in those early months of sleepless nights. Now, scientists at the University of Leicester are investigating whether the secret to both a long and healthy life is...

Velvet Worm slime could inspire sustainable synthetic materials

Fibers produced from the slime exhibit a strength akin to nylon, yet they can dissolve in water and be reconstituted into new fibers. n the tropical, temperate forests it calls home, the velvet worm uses a projectile “slime” to capture...

Unlocking the secret strength of marine mussels

Discovery may lead to medical advances in bio-implants, wearable sensors,  & more. How do you create strong, yet quick-release connections between living and non-living tissues? This is a question that continues to puzzle bioengineers who aim to create materials that...

Organ functions of the human yolk sac revealed

The role of the human yolk sac in supporting early embryonic development and the first wave of the prenatal immune system has been mapped in a study published in Science. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Newcastle University, Cambridge Stem...

Tackling critical health challenges in space

New research by The University of Manchester will enhance the power of bioprinting technology, opening doors to transform advances in medicine and address critical health challenges faced by astronauts during space missions. Bioprinting involves using specialised 3D printers to print...

Software untangles genetics linked to common ancestry

Aston University has worked with international partners to develop a software package which helps scientists answer key questions about genetic factors associated with shared characteristics among different species. Called CALANGO (comparative analysis with annotation-based genomic components), it has the potential...

AI disease testing platform developed for military use

Drive to improve the UK’s capability to manage and treat personnel affected by virulent infectious agents. A portable prototype of an AI-powered disease testing platform for the military is being funded by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). It is being...

New materials could lead to implantable treatments for epilepsy

A prospective cure for one type of epilepsy could be one step closer,                  using flexible brain implants. Bioengineering researchers from the University of Glasgow have investigated new dissolvable coatings which could help...

NETPark – A Jewel in the region’s business crown

NETPark is a globally significant science park where innovation is the order of every day. It is where thinkers go to think, inventors go to invent, and doers go to do. In the almost 20 years since it opened NETPark...

Revealed: the first wiring map of neurons in insect brain

Researchers have built the first ever map showing every single neuron and their wiring in the brain of the fruit fly larva. This huge step forwards in science will ultimately help us understand the basic principles by which signals travel...

New ‘gene therapy factory’ opens

A new Clinical Biotechnology Centre (CBC) has opened in Bristol to expand the UK’s ability to develop and manufacture new gene and cell therapies. The Centre will make products for the development of potentially curative therapies for currently incurable diseases,...

Oxford biotech firm secures £13.2m to develop world’s first treatment for rare, incurable and deadly disease

SynaptixBio, whose aim is to treat the genetic central nervous system disease TUBB4A-related leukodystrophy, has successfully raised £11.05m in its latest funding round to add to the £2.125m of seed funding from the last two years. Both rounds have...

Games and stimulation mitigate cognitive decline in older adults

Older people may be able to boost their working memory with a new approach that couples online therapeutic games with a non-invasive brain stimulation technique. Working memory is critical for people to function well in everyday life. This volatile form...

‘Avatar’ motion tech aids advances in disease research

AI and motion capture technology are helping track the progression of rare genetic diseases affecting movement - and could ultimately be used to monitor common medical conditions like strokes. In two ground-breaking studies, published in Nature Medicine, AI and clinical...

AI-powered simulations pair drugs with cancer patients

Finding solutions to complex diseases is top of the agenda for a collaboration between a leading UK innovation engine and a Budapest-based biotech firm. Cancer Research Horizons is part of Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest private funder of cancer...

Synthetic routes to pharmaceuticals greatly expanded’

Crystallographers provide medicinal chemists with 1,800 additional pharmaceutical building blocks, leading to new and more effective treatments. A search of the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) has found nearly 1800 conglomerate crystal structures — molecules that have spontaneously enriched chirality upon...

Do AI models and the human brain process things in the same way?

Deep Neural Networks – part of the broader family of machine learning – have become increasingly powerful in everyday real-world applications such as automated face recognition systems and self-driving cars. Researchers use Deep Neural Networks, or DNNs, to model the...

Look into my eyes – and learn!

The average octopus may be shy and retiring - but they do know how to pull a party trick! Whether swimming by jet propulsion, blasting inky chemicals at enemies, or changing skin to blend in with surroundings, this clever...

Plastic film can kill viruses using room lights

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a ground-breaking plastic film that can kill viruses on its surface with room light. The self-sterilising film is the first of its kind; it is low-cost to produce, can be readily scaled and...