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News articles released by The Roslin Institute in 2020.

Gene discovery points to new Covid-19 treatments

Genome sequencing machine
Potential drugs identified after the discovery of five genes associated with the most severe form of Covid-19.

Scotland’s second Covid wave linked to travel trends

Crowded beach
Early second wave coronavirus cases can be traced to travel from outside Scotland, genetic insights show.

Pupils learn to use science to monitor bee health

Young beekeepers understand how science can be applied to diagnose disease, with support from researchers.

Schools project honoured with animal research award

Animal Behaviour Toolkit Postcard
Teaching toolkit recognised for supporting children to learn about science through research involving animals.

Proteins use immune cells to cause brain disease

Disturbed distribution of immune cells in a Peyer’s patch during worm infection.
Controlling the number or function of immune cells could protect against deadly brain diseases, a review study concludes.

£3 million study seeks to predict spread of viruses

Research aiming to control deadly poultry viruses will develop tools that simulate their spread and evolution.

TB insights may help breed healthier African cattle

Cattle in field in Cameroon
Genetic discovery could help develop cattle with resistance to bovine tuberculosis.

Breeding for disease resilience is cost-effective

Breeding animals for disease resilience would be three times more profitable than breeding based on production traits, study finds.

DNA insights could help protect manta rays

Researchers provide evidence for a potential new ray species and suggest improvements to conservation approach.

UK campaign recognises Centre’s impact on health

 Appolinaire Djikeng Holding A Chicken
National initiative highlights scientific innovation and collaboration of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health.

Study sheds light on how food bugs infect cells

Illustration of bacterial flagella sticking to cell
Research shows how some gut bacteria with long corkscrew-like structures stick to cells and help cause disease.

Gene map to aid studies of key traits in sheep

Three examples of the Texel x Scottish Blackface sheep used in the sheep gene expression atlas project
Genetic code insights pave the way to more accurate research into traits of interest in sheep, such as health and resilience.

Sewage signals early warning of Covid-19 outbreaks

Monitoring programmes put into operation to quickly identify localised coronavirus outbreaks.

Sustainable lab scheme cuts plastic waste and costs

Plastic Tubes
Reduction and reuse approach could reduce the amount of plastic discarded in a lab by 500kg a year.

Study could help breed healthier Ethiopian poultry

Genetic insights will help develop disease-resistant, more resilient and productive sub-Saharan African chickens.

Genome explains differences in wild and farmed salmon

Atlantic Salmon
Structural differences in salmon genomes affecting brain genes may explain behavioural changes between wild and domesticated populations.

Study offers insights into common human infection

Microscope image of ZAP expression
Understanding of a widespread herpes virus is aided by genetic discoveries about its interaction with immune proteins.

Gene-editing tool to speed disease studies in fish

Rainbow trout
Fast, simple method efficiently edits the genetic makeup of cells of important aquaculture species.

Prediction tool could help control bird flu

Bird flu map
A $3 million study aims to develop computer models to forecast and control avian influenza outbreaks.

Gene findings could help treat costly poultry virus

Chicken close-up
The discovery of regions of chicken DNA linked with resistance to Marek’s disease virus could inform ways to help tackle it.

Domestication insight could aid livestock development

Water Buffalo
The genetic makeup of water buffalo and cattle responded to breeding for human use in similar ways, study shows.

Solar farm to generate green power on campus

Easter Bush Solar Farm
Five hectares of panels will generate 15 percent of required power, equivalent to that needed to fuel 500 homes.

Livestock surrogates successfully made fertile

Fertility of mammals can be restored as they produce sperm derived from donors, research shows.

African schools outreach scheme on prize shortlist

The Roslin team with the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme team.
Programme of workshops to engage African girls with science in the running for Nature Research Award

Researcher honoured for work on cattle disease

Kapiti Cattle
Roslin scientist awarded inaugural RCVS Knowledge Plowright Prize for research to combat East Coast Fever.

Stem cell study could curb need for animal tissue

Insights into pig blood cell development could help limit the use of animals for research.

Modelling tool could predict pig development

Computer models will be developed to forecast how different pigs grow in diverse conditions.

Surrogacy method to aid welfare in poultry research

Frozen reproductive cells hatched by surrogate hens will support the formation of a chicken biobank for breeds of chicken used in research.

Brain study uncovers key to seasonal timing

Sheep in winter
A binary switch in the brain regulates the biological changes needed for seasonal living, research has found.

Genetic insight holds promise of Covid-19 vaccine

Detailed knowledge of the genetic code of the novel coronavirus could support efforts to develop a vaccine.

Immune cell ageing reversed by young microbes

M cells in intestines of young and aged mice
Microbial stimulation can overturn age-related decline in cells that are key to fighting infection, a study in mice shows.

Experts are upbeat about quest for Covid treatment

Scientists join a multi-million euro consortium seeking treatments for Covid-19 and are optimistic.

Masks can block 99.9% of Covid-linked droplets

Face Covering
Wearing a face mask significantly lowers the risk of spreading Covid-19 to others through speaking and coughing, study suggests.

Low risk of contracting Covid from human waste

Bathroom sign
Coronavirus not easily spread through contact with faeces or urine, studies show.

Mandela award recognises livestock work

Appolinaire Djikeng holding chicks
Professor Appolinaire Djikeng receives the Nelson Mandela Justice award by the UNESCO Center for Peace.

Scientists seek test for cattle parasite infection

Cattle in Kenya
Backing from biotech company Roslin Technologies supports work towards tool to detect trypanosomiasis.

Adaptability of bird flu poses threat to poultry

Mute Swan
Insight into avian virus highlights its potential to infect commercial flocks.

Stem cell approach to aid vaccine development

four pigs in a stall
Method of producing blood cells will provide platform to aid development of vaccines against deadly infections in pigs.

Experts warn of second Covid-19 peak in winter

Two men walking and wearing face masks
A combination of environmental factors plus pressure on healthcare provision could lead to a further spike in cases.

Cattle health resource supports livestock research

Cattle Africa
A free database and biobank on cattle health developed from research in Western Kenya will support further studies.

Monitoring wildlife could limit risk of pandemics

Monkies Zoo 68
Surveillance of potentially infectious organisms in wild animals and wildlife products could help limit the likelihood of emerging diseases.

DNA insights could help breed healthier pigs

The most accurate map of the genetic code of pigs ever produced paves the way to more precise agriculture and biomedical research.

Testing system to trace Covid-19 via wastewater

Aerial photograph of Sewage Works
Scientists join UK project developing methods to track local outbreaks of coronavirus via sewage.

Studies highlight role of skin in fly-borne disease

Research underlines the importance of the route of infection for sleeping sickness parasites.

Home DNA test data sought for Covid-19 study

Saliva test
People who have used genetic tests at home are being asked to join research to boost coronavirus fight.

DNA insights could aid small-scale poultry farmers

boy with chicken
New findings about viral regions in the DNA of chickens could aid productivity for smallholder farms in developing countries.

Fight against common flu aided by gene discovery

New treatments for flu could emerge from find of human genes targeted by flu viruses.

Face coverings can cut risk of coronavirus spread

Face Covering
A range of face masks could all potentially help reduce Covid-19 transmission, a study shows.

Atlas of cattle genes sheds light on key traits

A revised catalogue of cattle DNA highlights genes linked to important livestock characteristics.

Campus volunteers support Covid-19 research

Sample transport boxes
Staff volunteers provide essential administrative support to research involving all UK coronavirus patients in intensive care.

Genetics of Covid-19 patients is focus of study

Genome sequencing machine
Research into the genetic code of Covid-19 patients could help predict severity of the disease.

Data method seeks weak spots in coronavirus genome

Virus and DNA
Machine learning algorithms can identify areas of coronavirus genetic makeup that could be the focus of potential treatments.

Scottish funding supports Roslin Covid-19 work

Research on the transmission of the coronavirus, critical aspects of the disease and 3D printing of bespoke PPE receive Scottish Government funding.

Roslin broadens research tackling Covid-19

Roslin scientists are contributing to meeting the challenge of the current coronavirus outbreak.

Venture platform aims to build agritech start-ups

Charnock Bradley building interior
Partnership seeks to create ambitious companies in animal health, agritech and aquaculture.

Obesity impacts on Covid-19 recovery prospects

Large-scale study finds obesity is linked to increased risk of immune over-reaction.

Covid-19 tracker helps visualise cases in Scotland

An online platform developed by Roslin scientists tracks the progress of Covid-19 across Scotland.

Genetics expertise could transform fish production

A recent review of research highlights how genetics can support development of sustainable aquaculture for global food security.

Chicken study probes resistance to food bug

Receiving gut microbes from resistant chickens does not lessen chickens’ susceptibility to bacterium that causes food poisoning.

Low-cost method helps tackle sea lice in salmon

A salmon underwater.
Breeding salmon with improved genetic resistance to a common pest is possible by using a cost-efficient technique.

Roslin scientist discusses career in immunology

Cow postcard
The video of Professor Jayne Hope’s inaugural lecture on ‘TB or not TB? The fight for immunity’ is now live.

£5m Covid-19 study seeks to understand virus impact

Kenneth Baillie in the lab
Roslin researcher leads study to examine the effect of coronavirus infection.

Roslin science for World Poetry Day

World Poetry Day image
Poems written by our scientists about their research on viruses, wildlife conservation and dogs

Gut infection can speed development of brain diseases

Scirep Worm Pic
Infections in the gut can accelerate the onset of degenerative conditions.

Facility to boost research into animal and human health

LARIF Opening
Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility builds on animal science expertise at Easter Bush campus.

Survey could help improve cattle disease tests

Feeding Cattle
Effective use of existing farm diagnostic tools and more accurate tests could help identify early stage disease, a survey found.

New conference to focus on agricultural genomics

Cows in a field
The global conference will explore opportunities for innovation in agriculture.

Imperfect vaccines limit spread of poultry disease

Leaky vaccines can help prevent transmission of Marek’s disease, chicken study finds.

Gene linked to bone strength in egg-laying hens

Bone strength in chickens that produce eggs could be improved thanks to discovery of a key gene.

Comic book teaches livestock genetics to children

Zuri Book Cover
A comic book inspires young people about the role of genetics research in improving milk production in sub-Saharan Africa.

Director steps down as head of Roslin Institute

Roslin - New Build
Professor Bruce Whitelaw will serve as Interim Director of the Roslin Institute.

Fish resistance to lethal virus linked to genetics

Resistance to a deadly disease in Tilapia fish is mainly caused by genetic differences between families of the same fish.

Roslin scientists support work to tackle coronavirus

Roslin scientists are contributing to meeting the challenge of the current coronavirus outbreak.

Test offers fast insight into chicken immunity

Gene activity in blood samples can be used to show individual birds’ response against common diseases.

Immune cell insights could aid flu vaccine design

Flu Virus
Understanding the role played by a key immune cell could inform the development of vaccines.

Future of livestock production in the spotlight

Feeding Cattle
Scientists and industry experts examined the need and scope for change in the livestock sector in response to increasing societal and environmental challenges.

New method aids study of poultry infections

Fluorescent green immune cells
A method of sampling tissue could aid research into therapies for chicken lung diseases.

Resilience to bovine TB traced to key genes

Scientists have identified regions in the cow genetic makeup linked with resilience to tuberculosis disease.

Antibiotic resistance surprisingly stable in pigs

Four Pigs
Antimicrobial resistance gene counts did not change in response to antibiotic treatment.

Gene networks lend insight into cancer virus

The Epstein-Barr Virus causes cell changes linked to cancer.
Computer modelling of gene interactions has shed new light on how human genes respond to a virus that causes cancer.

Farm data capture tool will benefit Ugandan pig farmers

Roslin scientist Dr Adrian Muwonge at an Ugandan pig farm.
PigBoost tool will enable sustainable data-driven decisions to improve Uganda’s pig production, health, and welfare.

£7m award aids farming in challenging landscapes

Sheep on hillside
Scientists are collaborating to develop improved breeding selection of small ruminants in tough conditions.

Cow gut study could help tackle disease

A common, chronic gut disease in ruminants will be the focus of a £1 million study.

Roslin scientist appointed Order of the British Empire

Scientist Prof Helen Sang
Professor Helen Sang has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Livestock farms could benefit from genome editing

Animal breeding could become more efficient with an approach that combines DNA-editing techniques with new reproductive technologies.