Tag: genomics

  • Transforming our future: synthetic biology

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    In recent weeks, synthetic biology’s potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries has really come to the fore. As part of their breakthrough science and technologies conference series, a Royal Society meeting entitled ‘Synthetic Biology – does industry get it?’ brought together researchers from academia and industry to reflect on recent progress and the potential transformative impact of synthetic biology. […]

  • Reflections from Japan

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    At the time of writing I am heading back from the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum meeting, held in Kyoto, Japan. The STS forum was established 13 years ago and attracts leaders from academia, industry, funding agencies and governments from around the world. The forum is very much focused on discussion and I was delighted to present as part of the plenary session on ‘Delivering healthcare to the world’. The focus of my talk was the potential of microbiome research and I was pleased at the level of interest and positive feedback I received – a Canadian delegate commented with surprise on the 2kg of microorganisms in his gut! […]

  • Basic research investment produces impact

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    It is always pleasing to see our investments in the research base bearing fruit whether it be in excellent publications or social and economic impact. So the announcement by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute of the creation of a new Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation (CTTV) at Hinxton was very welcome. The new CTTV will aim to address a wide range of human diseases and will share its data openly in the interests of accelerating drug discovery. This new centre will employ up to 50 people from the partner organisations but longer term will involve other organisations and companies who are interested in this area. It was particularly good to receive confirmation from Patrick Vallance, President of R&D at GSK, that their decision to base the CTTV in the UK was influenced by their recognition of the UK’s world class capabilities and skills in the areas of genomic, data mining and translational research. Much of this capability has been built using BBSRC funding for basic research in bioinformatics and genomics, along with other funders such as the Wellcome Trust and MRC. The CTTV will itself be based in the EBI South Building, home of the ELIXIR Hub and built with Research Council funding led by BBSRC. […]

  • Audit Board, CaSE, AAAS, roadshows and strategy

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    One major meeting of last week was our latest Audit Board meeting, that covered a variety of areas of importance to ensuring the orderly running of BBSRC, including scrutiny of our financial audits and of potential risks of various kinds.

    We also had the last of our community ‘conversations’ at a well-attended venue in London, constituting the last of our ‘roadshows’ for this season. One topic which we trailed involved some plans for rolling out funding in Industrial Biotechnology, where we plan further open meetings in the new year; these were also one discussion topic of an extended internal strategy meeting that took place last week. […]

  • Glasgow, model organisms, manufacturing and the Sanger

    Uncategorized | Douglas Kell

    Last week saw the penultimate of our ‘roadshow’ conversations, held in Glasgow and attracting participants from both Scotland and elsewhere. As ever we had a very useful exchange of thoughts on a wide range of topics, not least about how to streamline the peer review process, where some very helpful suggestions were made. In line with an interesting recent editorial, one question elicited discussion on the extent to which funding should be concentrated on (the typically more tractable)  model organisms, a question brought into focus by the comparatively little study devoted to Chalara fraxinea (the cause of ash die-back – here is a link on how to spot it) nor to thousands of other organisms. I won’t claim to have any answers here, but clearly folk may wish to give special thought to justifying the choice of organism in proposals.

    I have blogged before about 3D printing, and a recent piece gives a nice example of how it can be used to save thousands on certain laboratory supplies. […]