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Regional Grant Scheme

Bovine TB – should we kill the badgers?

Opinion piece by Professor Nigel Brown FRSB, President of the Microbiology Society. The control of bovine TB (bTB) in farm animals is complex. We have heard a lot about the role of badgers as a reservoir of bTB, which is then transmitted to cattle. This is the argument for culling badgers and several trials have … Continue reading »

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Homeopathy – What is it and does it work?

Opinion piece by Professor Nigel Brown FRSB, President of the Microbiology Society. The principle of homeopathy is that ‘like is treated with like’. The symptoms are treated with high dilutions of a material that would cause those symptoms in large amounts. For example, treatment with magnesium carbonate, known by homeopaths as Magnesia Carbonica, can be … Continue reading »

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Is organic food better for you and for the environment?

By Professor Nigel Brown FRSB, President of the Microbiology Society. There is a considerable amount of concern about the use of pesticides and herbicides in the environment, and specifically their use on the food we eat.  There is no doubt that we need to prevent insects and microbes from damaging our food crops and different … Continue reading »

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Soapbox Science – celebrating female scientists

Dr Diane Lees Murdock CBiol MRSB, lecturer in biomedical sciences at Ulster University participated in Soapbox Science, a festival celebrating eminent women scientists from the UK and Ireland.  Glorious sunshine bathed the steps of Belfast’s Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens where 12 women scientists from across Ireland attracted an audience of over 2,000 eager participants … Continue reading »

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Genetically Modified Organisms (Part 2) – Are they safe and is there a need for them?

By Professor Nigel Brown FRSB, President of the Society for General Microbiology. Part 1 of this series described what GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are.  There has been a backlash against these in some EU countries, including the UK.  Two issues of concern are safety of individuals and safety of the environment. However, the main concern … Continue reading »

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Genetically Modified Organisms (Part 1) – What are they?

By Professor Nigel Brown FRSB, President of the Society for General Microbiology. The abbreviation GMO means Genetically-Modified Organism and these can be plants, animals or microorganisms. They are made by adding new genetic material to an organism. The genetic material is DNA, often obtained from a very different organism or chemically synthesised.  In either case … Continue reading »

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‘Forest School’ grows respect for Nature

Hannah Brett CBiol MSB, is an ecological consultant who works with the Heart of the Wildwood charity, Oxfordshire, promoting outdoor learning and a holistic educational approach. The Society of Biology’s Regional Grant Scheme is supporting their Forest School for children and parents, throughout 2015.   Activities at the Forest School include cooking stick bread on the … Continue reading »

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How can plants change the world?

Dr Joseph Buhagiar FSB is a lecturer at the University of Malta. He received the first overseas award of the Society of Biology’s Regional Grant Scheme.  It all started with an email from David Urry on 6th January pertaining to the Regional Grant Scheme for 2015. Not that I am usually idle but the title … Continue reading »

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What are ‘three-parent babies’ and is this an important medical advance?

Professor Nigel Brown FSB, President of the Society for General Microbiology, is writing an article each month for The Bridge, a local magazine delivered to every home in the villages of Corsley and Chapmanslade in Wiltshire. There have been many comments in the news over recent weeks about so-called ‘three-parent babies’. This rather alarmist description … Continue reading »

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Will antibiotics be useful in the future?

Professor Nigel Brown FSB, President of the Society for General Microbiology, is writing an article each month for The Bridge, a local magazine delivered to every home in the villages of Corsley and Chapmanslade in Wiltshire. Readers will be familiar with going to their GP and expecting a prescription for medicine – quite often an … Continue reading »

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