Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Riding the data wave

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2018

Big data is revolutionising science. But as well as changing physics, chemistry and biology, it’s changing the nature of science itself. Institute researchers Wolf Reik and Stefan Schoenfelder and bioinformatics expert Simon Andrews reflect on how big data is re-shaping not only the way they work, but how they think. And we discover how bioinformatics – once considered a geeky corner of biology by some – has become central to scientific progress.

05/08/2019

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Welcome to the lipidome

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2018

Once neglected as too dull to study and too sticky to work with, lipids are at last stepping out of the shadows. Institute Director Michael Wakelam and lipidomics facility manager Andrea Lopez-Clavijo explain the challenges of working with these cellular Cinderellas and share their excitement of research in a field that’s finally giving up its secrets.

05/08/2019

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New horizons for immunology

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2018

New group leaders bring new skills, new expertise and new perspectives, and 2018 saw three new group leaders join the Institute’s Immunology programme. Professor Adrian Liston, Dr Claudia Ribeiro de Almeida and Dr Sarah Ross talk about their research, their ambitions and what makes the Institute such a special place to work.

05/08/2019

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Vaccinations: a Global Challenge

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2017

The Institute’s research is having a major impact on global public health. Although the first vaccines were developed more than two centuries ago, infectious diseases such as malaria and influenza still affect millions of people each year. By improving our understanding of the immune system and its response to modern vaccines, the Institute is paving the way for better vaccines that will protect more people from life-threatening diseases.

01/07/2018

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Making the Most of Signalling Research

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2017

Bringing together the Institute’s researchers with scientists in the 60 companies on the Babraham Research Campus is helping turn innovative ideas into new benefits for human health – fast. Over the past two years, members of the Signalling research programme have transformed a conversation over coffee into a collaboration that could deliver new ways of treating some of the most intractable human cancers.

01/07/2018

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Informing Policy on Ageing

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2017

Ensuring that the Institute’s world-leading research has a direct impact on people’s health means translating – and contextualising – our science for many audiences. For parliamentarians and policy makers, healthy ageing is among the 21st century’s most pressing problems. So as well as pioneering research on healthy ageing, we’re ensuring science is accessible to decision makers through our knowledge exchange programme.

01/07/2018

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The Sounds of the Genome

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2017

The Institute does world-leading research, and using public engagement to enthuse, excite and inspire is a key part of our mission. This year, we teamed up with two innovative artists to transform our data into a virtual reality experience. The result, CHROMOS, is allowing new audiences to discover the DNA drama that goes on inside the nucleus of a single cell.

01/07/2018

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Unlocking the secrets of early development

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2016

Every cell type in our body results from a different reading of the same genome. Over the past 30 years, scientists have learned that our genes are controlled by epigenetics – a combination of processes that switch genes on and off without altering the DNA sequence itself. But much of epigenetics remains a mystery. The Institute’s Epigenetics programme is exploring the earliest stages of life and how understanding this could help reprogramme cells for regenerative medicine applications in the future.

01/05/2017

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Checks and balances in immune system development

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2016

In 1796, a doctor in rural Gloucestershire took pus from a cowpox lesion on a milkmaid’s hand to inoculate an eight-year-old boy against smallpox. More than 230 years after Edward Jenner’s pioneering vaccination, we still don’t fully understand how our immune system works. Now, researchers in the Institute’s Immunology programme have uncovered a new layer of regulation in immune cells – a discovery that could have far-reaching implications for vaccines, cancer and healthier ageing.

01/05/2017

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The quiet pathway

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2016

For many years regarded as merely a cell biological process, autophagy is now implicated in many diseases. Thanks to progress made in the Signalling research programme this year autophagy – the mechanism cells use to recycle unwanted or damaged components to create molecules they need – is now understood in greater detail than ever before. We find out how research at the Institute could harness autophagy to help us age more healthily.

01/05/2017

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Welcome to the 3D genome

This feature was written by Becky Allen for the Annual Research Report 2016

When the first draft of the human genome was published in 2001, it was described as a treasure trove of information. But using that information to understand disease demands going far beyond the DNA code. Now, researchers at the Institute are pioneering a new method of mapping our genome’s complex regulatory interactions that could open up new ways to treat genetic diseases and understand ageing.

01/05/2017

Category Features