A report out today is calling for the equivalent of Nice – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – for developments in crop technologies. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee also says the government should encourage more public debate around developments in crop technologies It recommends forming a ‘citizens council’ for…Read more EU’s rules on genetically improved crops a ‘threat’ to developments in agriculture, say MPs
Last Sunday, the world celebrated its musicians and film stars in flashy ceremonies. But another celebration was due at the same time. 8 February 2015 marked 150 years since the first of Mendel’s lectures where he presented his results on pea breeding for the first time. These lectures, based on his paper Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden…Read more 150 years of Mendelian genetics
More than 22 years have passed since the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed. It called for international efforts to conserve the world’s biodiversity, which had long been suffering the effects of human activities. Since then, there has been a lot of debate over what the best way of securing this biodiversity is. But really, there…Read more Conserving our crops’ genetic diversity
In the last year, a brand new technique for genome editing has appeared with the potential to revolutionise the way in which scientists engineer genomes. It provides the ability to make cuts in the genome at precisely controlled locations, resulting in the silencing of that particular region. This technique is known as CRISPR. To make…Read more Searching for a needle in a genetic haystack
In the past week there has been a lot of press coverage about genetically modified foods. The first of these was a proposal made by Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire to carry out field trials on plants engineered to produce the omega-3 oils that are usually found in fish. The second of these was a farm…Read more Genetically modified foods: would you eat a purple tomato?
On Monday 18th November my department at the John Innes Centre, Molecular Microbiology, hosted a day of talks from ten up-and-coming scientists in the field. The majority of these were in the middle of a post-doctoral grant, others starting their post-doctoral training while a few were coming to the end of their PhD projects. The…Read more Young Microbiologists Symposium 2013
It was sadly announced that Frederick Sanger, a legendary British biochemist died on 19th November 2013 at the age of 95. Frederick Sanger’s name may not be a household name but his name is a “lab-hold” name. Within the scientific community, especially in biology, he is someone every student will know the name of. (One…Read more Frederick Sanger: an inspiration to scientists everywhere
Many of us here at the John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Laboratory use the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for our research. Its small size, simple genome and rapid lifecycle make it an ideal model in many disciplines within plant science. From leaf development to interactions with pathogens, the wealth of resources available to Arabidopsis…Read more The wrong plant?
We were fortunate to have Professor Kazuki Saito, the deputy director of the RIKEN Plant Science Center, and Group director of the Metabolomic Function research group, give a seminar on his work in plant metabolomics at the John Innes Centre. Professor Saito is a leading scientist in the area of metabolomics based functional genomics. The…Read more Featured Scientist (II): Prof Kazuki Saito