Latest News

December 7th 2015

SynthSys PIs Dr Alistair McCormick and Br Baojun Wang are joining forces with Scottish SME Scottish Bioenergy to develop a toolkit to boost the production of commercially valuable pigments from cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria (a simple form of microalgae) are the source of many natural pigments used for a diverse range of products from food colouring to nutritional supplements and cosmetics. Pigments such as phycobiliprotein C-phycocyanin (C-PC) are also promising candidates for drug discovery, with applications in liver repair, heart disease, immune therapy, neurodegenerative diseases and antibiotics. There is a large and growing market for cyanobacterial-based pigments, projected to reach £1 billion by 2019. However, commercial culture of cyanobacteria is fraught with the problem of controlling growth and metabolism, leading to large and unpredictable fluctuations in yield. The researchers plan to...

Agrimetrics, a big data centre for the whole agri-food industry, has been launched by George Eustice MP, Minister for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment, and George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences.

Agrimetrics has been awarded £11.8 million by the UK government through Innovate UK. Its founding partners are Rothamsted Research, the University of Reading, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). The Centre, which will work with all business and universities, will engage with partners throughout the food system to enable detailed and collective understanding of the needs of farmers, food manufacturers, food retailers, consumers and the environment through the use of big data and analytical tools. This high-value collective information, will allow the identification of opportunities for innovation projects among the partners.

At the core of Agrimetrics is a big data science...

Blog

by Lindsay Williams

A new University of Edinburgh (UoE) –funded study is set to reopen the debate about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).   The interactive project will ask members of the public and researchers to rank the acceptability of a variety of GMOs, ranging from basic foodstuffs to medicines.  The UoE PhD students behind the project hope that, in the process, participants will explore their own decision-making and assumptions about GMOs.  Here are five good reasons why we should be taking part in the GMO debate today:

1) ...

By Sarah Heath

The launch of Edinburgh Plant Science held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh was a fantastic afternoon of talks from a wide variety of collaborators. The event served as a real eye-opener into the diverse range of plant research that is being carried out here in Edinburgh, from molecular biology research to future agricultural security. I caught up with some of the speakers at the drinks reception to find out their thoughts on the launch.  

Karen Halliday, EPS Director, described the launch as “very successful!” She was pleased that everything went to plan...