Biological Sciences

News 2022

All the news from 2022

2022: The year we built Britain and Ireland’s biggest genome

Mistletoe genome overlayed with image of mistletoe plant
The sight of mistletoe hanging in trees this winter will be especially poignant for Darwin Tree of Life scientists who spent many months finding innovative ways to generate this giant genome.

Scotland’s Covid-19 sewage data could reveal new health insights

Graphic illustration of coronavirus
Data from Scotland’s Covid-19 Wastewater Programme could offer future insights into the pandemic, its long-term health impacts and help tackle other viruses.

New Centre for Engineering Biology

A new Centre for Engineering Biology at the University of Edinburgh will build on existing strengths in Synthetic Biology, attracting new interdisciplinary collaborations and driving impact.

Annis Richardson awarded European Research Council Starting Grant

Dr Annis Richardson in the Plant Growth Facility
Dr Annis Richardson, Lecturer in Molecular Crop Science, is the recipient of a European grant which funds researchers of any nationality, to run cutting-edge research projects across Europe.

Jet lagged plants pave the way to first digital plant

Arabidopsis thaliana
Scientists have made a significant step towards building the world’s first digital plant by developing a sophisticated computational model which has also solved one of the most enduring plant science mysteries - the role of the biological clock.

FEBS Letters rewards team for outstanding paper of 2021

Head of the Institute for Stem Cell Research, Professor Ian Chambers and has been awarded the FEBS Letters Award 2022.

How biodiverse is your park? Citizen scientists to find the answer

iNaturalist biodiversity app used to photograph bluebell
A collaboration between University researchers and local organisations will encourage members of the public to discover and record biodiversity in an Edinburgh park.

Film launched on bilharzia, WASH and the impact on women and children

5 year old showing advanced liver and spleen damage from bilharzia
The new film, produced in collaboration between Professor Francisca Mutapi and Professor Agnieszka Piotrowska, acts as both an awareness-raising and advocacy tool, amplifying the stories of people affected and calling for tailored interventions.

How the Dandelion decides when to fly

Dandelion seeds
The dandelions – famous for their fluffy seed carrying parachutes, provide food for birds and pollinator insects, including bees. They are also known for their impressive capability to extend habitats.

“Fuel of evolution” more abundant than previously thought in wild animals

The raw material for evolution is much more abundant in wild animals than we previously believed, according to new research led by The Australian National University (ANU).

School of Biological Sciences Ranked in UK Top 5 for Research Quality

School of Biological Sciences Ranked in UK Top 5 for Research Quality
The School of Biological Sciences is ranked fifth in the UK, and top ranked in Scotland, for the quality and breadth of its research, known as research power, by Times Higher Education.

Joanna Sadler wins British Science Association’s Award Lecture Series

Dr Joanna Sadler, BBSRC Discovery Fellow in Biotechnology, is one of seven winners of The British Science Association’s (BSA) prestigious  Award Lecture series for 2022.

PM visits India’s first biotechnology university

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Thursday 21 April) visited Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU) in India.

Stephen Wallace awarded Biochemical Society’s Colworth Medal

Stephen Wallace
Dr Stephen Wallace, a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology is the recipient of the Colworth Medal in the annual Biochemical Society Awards.

Century-old malaria parasite puzzle solved as ape origin traced

Scientists have solved a 100-year-old mystery about the evolutionary links between malaria parasites that infect humans and chimpanzees.

Waddington Medal awarded to Val Wilson

Professor Val Wilson
Group Leader and Chair of Early Embryo Development Professor Val Wilson has been awarded the Waddington Medal for outstanding research performance as well as services to the developmental biology community.

CRISPR insight could improve technique and biotechnology applications

Algae
The discovery that the CRISPR gene editing process differs between human and algae cells could lead to improvements in the technique and boost production of useful products made from algae and plants.

Cancer breakthrough reveals old drugs with new tricks may limit spread

Lung cancer - adenocarcinoma
The treatment of cancer could be revolutionised by the discovery that existing drugs, used to treat depression and heart disease, could reverse key changes in cancer cells that are associated with their ability to spread.

Teuta Pilizota awarded UKRI Physics of Life grant

Professor Teuta Pilizota, Personal Chair of Biophysics, is the recipient of £2.1 million award from a UK government fund that harnesses physics approaches to tackle grand challenges in the life sciences.

Bringing bioinformatics to schools with the 4273pi project

4273pi project, one of the largest bioinformatics-at-schools projects in the world, has just published a paper describing the practical lessons learned from the project over the last five years.

Discovery could hold the key to alleviating metabolic disease

A newly characterized fat protein could provide the missing link to explain a rare metabolic disease while offering fresh insight into common disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.