Life Sciences News
BBSRC award £601,861 to study Footrot in sheep
Professor Laura Green and Dr Kevin Purdy from the School of Life Sciences and Professor Matthew Keeling from the School of Life Sciences and the Mathematics Institute, at the University of Warwick have been awarded £601,861 to study the issue of Footrot in sheep.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Animal Health Research Club (ARC) announced the award on Friday 27th March 2015 as part of a range of new research projects to improve the health of livestock.
Professor Laura Green, Head of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick said:
“Footrot is very common in sheep in the UK, affecting more than 95% of sheep flocks. Footrot is caused by Dichelobacter nodosus, a bacterium that causes inflammation of the skin of the foot which leads to lameness. Using swab samples collected from the feet of sheep kept under different managements, the study will determine which molecular factors in Dichelobacter nodosus and which managements in sheep are most important in disease progression and how these lead to disease spread and persistence, informing on potential approaches to improve flock resilience to the disease."
Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Executive Director, Innovation and Skills, said:
"By targeting these livestock diseases the Animal Health Research Club projects have the potential to protect farmed animals and food supplies and save UK farmers and the wider economy millions of pounds a year.”
“The Club shows that the public sector and private industry can work together to fund and support excellent research tackling important research challenges.”
Nick Dale, Professor of Neuroscience awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award
Nick Dale, Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Life Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, which recognises experienced researchers with a track record of outstanding achievements and the potential to make further significant contributions to their field of research.
The funding will support Nick’s research on the role of CO2 sensing mediated by connexin-26 in health and disease. Connexin-26 is a protein that forms a channel between neighbouring cells, allowing them to communicate with one another via the movement of signalling molecules; it is found in specialised nerve cells in the brain and has been implicated in the regulation of breathing.
This pioneering study has the potential to make very significant advances in the understanding of CO2-mediated signalling in the brain by linking the structural biology of connexin-26 channels and cell signalling to neurophysiological function, offering the prospect of major impacts on human health through the advanced understanding of the regulation of cerebral blood flow and the roles of this novel CO2-signalling mechanism.
A research team led by Dr Robin Allaby of the School of Life Sciences has found evidence of wheat reaching Britain 2000 years before the arrival of farming in the UK.
Evidence for a variety of wheat known as Einkorn was found from sedimentary DNA at a submerged archaeological site off the south coast of England (picture above by Roland Brookes, The Maritime Archaeology Trust).
The research work was completed in collaboration with co-leads Professor Vincent Gaffney of the University of Bradford and Professor Mark Pallen of Warwick Medical School, the Maritime Archaeology Trust, the University of Birmingham and the University of St. Andrews.
School of Life Sciences contributes expertise to Government review on antimicrobial resistance
Chris Dowson, Professor of Microbiology in the School of Life Sciences, was one of a panel of experts who gave extensive input and advice during the preparation of a Government review on antimicrobial resistance.
It is estimated that antimicrobial resistance will cost the world an additional 10 million lives a year by 2050, more than the number of people currently dying from cancer annually. The paper identifies several key areas where immediate action should be taken, including an increase in funding for early-stage research into antimicrobials and greater investment in skilled people who can help to solve the problem.
Warwick has been awarded over £5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be a part of the global effort to reduce the burden of infectious diseases amongst the poorest billion in the world.The focus of the grant will be neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a diverse group of infections which thrive mainly among the poorest populations of the world.
New £12 million Synthetic Biology Centre to help drive advances in biotechnology, medicine and food security
Researchers at the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB), University of Warwick, that brings together disciplines including Life Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Education, and Law, have won a £12 Million award to create a new Centre to develop advanced technologies in synthetic biology.