Synthetic human blood gets go-ahead in Scotland

As reported on bbc.co.uk/news.  Scottish scientists have moved one step closer to conducting clinical trials of synthetic human blood thanks to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA).BBC News story

Having been awarded a licence by the MHRA, researchers at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Edinburgh University and Roslin Cells are able to use stem cells to manufacture blood that could eventually be tested on people.

The licence means a manufacturing facility, which will be based at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) can be set up to work on human cell therapy products with the aim of producing blood that will be fit for clinical trials.

The synthetic blood would be used to help help supply shortages and prevent infections being passed on through donations.

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Dundee University receives £12 million funding for its new biomedical centre

Dundee University receives £12 million funding for its new biomedical centreThe BBC has reported that Dundee University has been awarded nearly £12m towards the completion of a centre dedicated to translating research into cures for diseases.

The new centre is the Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CITR) which aims to reduce the costs of bringing safe new drugs to market.

This extra funding will pay for the completion of a new centre and add 180 research jobs to the 1000-plus scientists, students and support staff already employed in the college of life sciences. It is estimated that the new CITR project will cost £38 million.

Professor Pete Downes, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said “It will help create world-class capability and infrastructure for interdisciplinary work bringing together basic science, drug discovery, health informatics and mathematics.  This is also, of course, a very notable boost to economic development of the life sciences sector within Scotland.”

 

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Recycle, Whisky leftovers to provide fuel for cars

The BBC has reported that Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire has teamed up with Celtic Renewables, to recycle Whisky leftovers from the Scottish distillery to provide fuel for cars.

Tullibardine Distillery will provide the leftovers, including draff and pot ales, which will then be fed on by bacteria to produce butanol, a fuel that can be used to run vehicles.

Napier University’s Biofuel Research Centre, (Celtic Renewables is a spin off company from the University) has already shown that the right bacteria can feed on those by-products to produce butanol – a direct replacement for vehicle fuel.

Now Celtic Renewables, and independent malt whisky producer Tullibardine have signed a memorandum of understanding.  Together they will apply the process to thousands of tonnes of the distillery’s leftovers.

The project is being supported by a grant from the Scottish government’s Zero Waste Scotland initiative.

Celtic Renewables said it eventually aimed to build a processing plant in Scotland, with the hope of building an industry that could be worth £60m a year.

 

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4 renewable energy firms in Scotland enter £10 Million energy Saltire challenge

The BBC has reported that two tidal energy and two wave power developers have entered into the race for Scotland’s £10 million Saltire Prize set by government ministers

The Saltire Prize is the largest renewables innovation of its kind. The aim of the competition is to encourage the development of wave and tidal energy devices in Scottish waters. The challenge is for each company to attempt to produce the most electricity over a two-year period, using only the power of the sea.

The four companies are: ScottishPower Renewables, Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power and MeyGen

Aquamarine Power chief executive, Martin McAdam, said the prize would act as a “global catalyst… bringing together the best brains and financial muscle to crack one of the great challenges of our age”.

 

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Scotland attracts renewable energy investment

Scottish Development International has reported that Scotland’s growing reputation for the development of pioneering wind, wave and tidal renewable technologies is attracting many major global companies to establish bases in Scotland.

It has been reported that over the last 12 months international companies such as Gamesa, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Samsung Heavy Industries, ABB and Alstom have all announced plans to invest in Scotland to develop renewable technologies.

Gamesa, the Spanish-based international renewables manufacturer has established an R&D facility in Strathclyde, near Glasgow.  This year it announced that Port of Leith, Edinburgh would be the location for the company’s 150 million euro UK offshore wind manufacturing base.

Also the Japanese manufacturing giant Mitsubishi Power Systems plans to invest up to £100 million in Scotland to develop renewable energy research and is also considering creating a major offshore wind turbine manufacturing site.

 

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200 life sciences jobs created

As reported by BBC News, a £12.5m upgrade of Dundee University’s College of Life Sciences could create 200 life sciences jobs.

The new scientific research jobs will be created at the University’s Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CTIR). Work on the upgrade is due to be complete in the autumn of next year.

The 200 research staff will be joining an already established scientific community at the University. The college currently has over 1,000 scientists, research students and support staff from 62 countries across the world working there.

As explained, by Professor Michael Ferguson, dean of research in the College of Life Sciences, the new facility will bring together scientists from a range of disciplines including “…mathematical biology and biophysics, bioinformatics, data analysis and software development.” It is hoped that this will inspire innovation which will then go on to develop novel drugs and medicines of the future.

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