Biotech in design: Does the relationship between science & creativity need to change?

By Emilia Schmid Creative design is the foundation of science. To be a successful scientist, visionary ideas, innovative experimental designs and imaginative alternative hypotheses are all essentials: Creativity is required in order to make scientific breakthroughs. Hindering creativity through cultural norms will have a strong impact on technological and scientific progress, thereby hindering the progress…

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Big trouble for little plankton: New studies report on the oceanic effects of climate change

By Natalie Stevenson A recent study highlights the vulnerability of ocean ecosystems to the effects of climate change. Over the past few years, the impact that humans have had on the planet has been at the forefront of public attention—we have seen record-breaking wildfires, droughts, flooding, and storms globally—and we are very much aware that…

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Genomic record breaking: Largest animal genome sequenced

By Katie Jones A team of researchers collaborating across the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), and the universities of Vienna, Hamburg, Würzburg, and Konstanz, have successfully sequenced the complete genome of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri). The lungfish genome is the largest animal genome to ever be deciphered, a record-breaking feat made possible using…

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Small but smart: the fascinating world of plankton

By Albini Dania From the food we eat to the air we breathe, plankton help maintain and produce life on Earth.  What is plankton? The word ‘plankton’ derives from the Greek “planktos” (πλαγχτος), which in turn comes from the Greek verb “plazo” (πλαζω) meaning to “drift” or “wander” and is used to describe tiny plants…

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Fighting global health challenges with yeast – a talk by Professor Tom Ellis

Yeast: what is it good for? Well, quite a lot of things. In a talk recently given to the Oxford Synthetic Biology Society, Tom Ellis, professor of synthetic genome engineering at Imperial College London, explained how simple baker’s yeast can be utilised in the fight against global health challenges. Baker’s yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is…

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