Tag: sustainability

  • Health, wellbeing and veganuary

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    Just as I was starting to notice a slight increase in day length, and daring to think ahead to spring, our weather reminded us that it is still very much winter, with possibly the largest snowfall in rural Wiltshire that I can remember.

    It is during these winter months that colds and flu cases are at their peak – I’m sure we all notice the coughs and sneezes as we go about our daily lives. While there is no cure for the common cold and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate some of the symptoms, controlling the cough reflex is one of toughest problems to solve. Noscapine is a known cough suppressant but due to its limited availability had not found widespread utility. A BBSRC-funded collaboration, between the University of York and GlaxoSmithKline, which builds on earlier fundamental research led by Professor Ian Graham, has helped to change this. Their research has led to the breeding of a new poppy variety (PDF) that produces much higher levels of noscapine, so much so that it is now responsible for 80% of the world’s noscapine supply. Because of the higher quantity of noscapine produced by this new poppy, extraction is much simpler and cheaper, opening up the possibility of noscapine being used more widely in cough medicines – and this could bring welcome relief to many of us. Interestingly, noscapine is also undergoing phase II clinical trials as a low toxicity anti-cancer agent. […]

  • Research advice and food – in Vogue

    Uncategorized | Melanie Welham

    During the past week I have attended the meetings of two groups that make important contributions to BBSRC’s scientific strategies, our Research Advisory Panel and Appointments Board (more on this next week).

    Membership of our Research Advisory Panel is drawn from across our advisory structures and includes the Chairs of our responsive mode, strategic Lola and fellowships committees, strategy advisory panels and members of Council. It helps to ensure BBSRC draws on a diversity of perspectives. We welcomed Jane Silverthorne, from the Bio Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as an observer at this meeting. We enjoy excellent relations with the NSF and have partnered with them for a range of funding calls including through a Lead Agency pilot agreement, Ideas Labs and ERA-Nets. […]