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Policy Lates

Innovation: a new way to fight antimicrobial resistance

By Tamar Ghosh, Lead for the Longitude Prize, Nesta The UK members of the European Federation of Biotechnology and the Learned Society Partnership on AMR are hosting a Policy Lates event on Monday 10th October as part of Biology Week: Tackling antimicrobial resistance crisis – what roles will regulation and innovation play? Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) … Continue reading »

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Policy Lates: Dodging a Biological Bullet

The Society’s latest Policy Lates event ‘Dodging a Biological Bullet: What can we learn from the US and Europe about Biosecurity?’ saw international experts come together to discuss what should be done about dual-use research, which has the potential to be misused for harmful purposes. For an introduction to dual-use and biosecurity read ‘Dual-use for … Continue reading »

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What are we pausing?

Michael J Imperiale is professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Gain-of-function studies, as the name implies, are experiments in which a new biological behaviour is conferred upon an existing virus e.g. the ability to be transmitted between mammals in the case of the bird flu virus, H5N1. Earlier this month, the … Continue reading »

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Dual-use for Dummies

Dr Supatra Marsh, BBSRC Policy Fellow at the Society of Biology, is organising Policy Lates: Dodging a biological bullet – what can we learn from the US and Europe about Biosecurity? During my BBSRC science policy fellowship at the Society of Biology I have been organising the next Policy Lates event focussing on dual-use research. … Continue reading »

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A precautionary tale

Ahead of the Society of Biology’s next Policy Lates event on the precautionary principle, Tracey Brown of Sense About Science gives her view on some of the issues surrounding the principle and its application. What would you say if I suggested farmers start using a compound that could mess with your hormones in order to … Continue reading »

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Biofuels: a darker shade of green

Following on from The Biologist’s write up of the Society of Biology’s recent Policy Lates event on algal biofuels, Michael Walsh looks at how biofuels are moving beyond their first generation. We all know that we face increasing challenges in order to meet our energy needs. With the climate changing, global population increasing, and fossil … Continue reading »

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Sustainable energy from oil (plant oil that is)

In advance of the Society of Biology’s Policy Lates discussion on algal bioenergy, Rebecca Nesbit looks at some of the hurdles we need to overcome to produce liquid fuel from plants in a more sustainable manner. First generation biofuels are made from starch, sugars, fats and oils, but often come from food plants. This has … Continue reading »

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Bioscience to Biosecurity; the Policy Lates talks

Policy Lates is a discussion series from the Society of Biology‘s policy team, held at our HQ at Charles Darwin House. We bring a panel of experts together for an informal debate on a contemporary science policy topic, with lots of time for audience questions and convivial discussions. In July 2013, Policy Lates looked into … Continue reading »

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The H5N1 influenza controversy: information is power, sharing information is powerful

By Professor Wendy Barclay, Chair in Influenza Virology, Imperial College London. Wendy spoke at last week’s Society of Biology Policy Lates debate on dual-use bioscience. The debate is summarised in a Storify. H5N1 is a worrisome strain of bird flu that currently does not spread between us because of the ‘species barrier’ created by virus-host … Continue reading »

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Sometimes opposites attract: science and security communities can work well together

By Dr Piers Millet, Deputy Head, UN Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit. Piers will be speaking at this Thursdays’ Policy Lates debate on dual-use bioscience (#policylates). I guess I am living embodiment that the title of this article is true. I trained originally as a microbiologist and am still a Chartered member of the … Continue reading »

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