Scientists get £4m to develop ‘designer bacteria’

As reported by Pharma Express, scientists at the University of Glasgow have received £4m from the UK Government to help them develop ‘designer bacteria’.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has distributed funds through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council with the overall aim of making the UK a world leader in research and application of synthetic biology.

The cash boost will be invested to help scientists and researchers in the Institute of Molecular, System and Cell Biology to develop tools for the production of useful strains of micro-organisms. The Glasgow scientists will use a family of enzymes called recombinases which act as molecular ‘scissors and glue’ for DNA. These will allow the researchers to cut the strands at precisely defined positions and ‘paste’ a new sequence into the gap. The researchers will also use the technology to ‘teach’ cells to count and keep a record of the number they have counted up to in their DNA.

The £4m for the project, which is being led by Prof Stark and his colleagues Dr Sean Colloms and Dr Susan Rosser, will also fund researchers at Aberdeen, York and Nottingham Universities.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said, “Synthetic biology could provide solutions to the global challenges we face and offers significant growth opportunities in a range of important sectors from health to energy. However, the commercialisation of basic science is largely untapped. This investment will help to ensure that academics and industry can realise its full potential.”


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Glasgow scientists receive £4m to develop ‘designer bacteria’   Glasgow scientists receive £4m to develop ‘designer bacteria’   Glasgow scientists receive £4m to develop ‘designer bacteria’   Glasgow scientists receive £4m to develop ‘designer bacteria’


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Microbiologist Job in Tyne and Wear, County Durham

Barney Smith at CK Science is currently recruiting for a Microbiologist to join a pharmaceutical company based in the Tyne and Wear and County Durham on a permanent basis.

Microbiologist Job Description:

As a Microbiologist you will be responsible for taking environmental swabs, plate culturing, passive and active air sampling, cell culture and microbe monitoring using catylase and oxydase tests.  You will also be responsible for maintenance and upkeep of QA procedures.


Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

As a microbiologist you will have the following skills and experience:

  • Degree qualified in microbiology or related subject or possess equivalent industrial experience
  • A proven track record working in an aseptic laboratory as a microbiologist within a GMP environment

This is an excellent opportunity to join an established and successful pharmaceutical company with ample scope for career progression and development.


How to Apply:

Barney Smith is recruiting for a Microbiologist Job in Tyne and Wear, County Durham, UK

Please contact Barney for more details.

Click here to apply online now.

For more information or to apply for this Microbiologist position please contact Barney Smith on 0191 384 8905 or email your CV to Please quote reference DH24734 in all correspondence.


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Microbiologist Jobs in UK - CK Science      Microbiologist Jobs in UK - CK Science   Microbiologist Jobs in UK - CK Science   Microbiologist Jobs in UK - CK Science

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Two Scientists Win Largest Technology Award

As reported by the BBC News, two scientists have been awarded the Millenium Technology Prize for their scientific contributions to improving the quality of human life and in encouraging sustainable development.

Two Scientists Win Largest Technology Award in the WorldAwarded once every two years, the Millenium Technology Prize is the largest technology prize in the world. This is the first time the prize has been awarded to two scientists, Dr Shinya Yamanaka and Linus Torvalds. The two winners split the 1.2m euros prize.

Dr Shinya Yamanaka

Dr Shinya Yamanaka is a stem cell scientist who discovered how to program human cells to mimic embryonic stem cells. These cells can become any cell in the body. This is called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The scientists discovery will now contribute to the development of regenerative medicine.

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds created a new open source operating system for computers.

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Scientists develop robotic fish to combat pollution

As reported by the BBC, European scientists have developed robotic fish which detects contamination and pollution in water.

The pollution-hunting fish is 1.5 metres long and cost £20,000 for the scientists to develop. It is fitted with sensors which pick up pollutants leaking from ships or undersea pipelines. In fact, the fish reduced the time it takes to detect pollutants from weeks to seconds. Scientists develop robotic fish to combat pollutionThe fish can communicate with each other, avoid obstacles, map their journey and transmit their data back to shore. Currently undertaking first trials in northern Spain, modifications will then be made to improve the large yellow fish.

Speaking of the pollution detecting project, Luke Speller, Senior Scientist as the research division of technology consultancy, the BMT Group stated, “The idea is that we want to have real-time monitoring of pollution, so that if someone is dumping chemicals or something is leaking, we can get to it straight away, find out what is causing the problem and put a stop to it.”

The project has part-funded by the EU and used expertise from scientists from the University of Essex and the University of Strathclyde. Further input came from the technology consultancy, the BMT Group and from the Tyndall National Institute and Thales Safare, which is a unit of Europe’s largest defence electronics group.

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Temporary Process Development Scientist Job

Hannah Milward at CK Science is currently recruiting for a Temporary Process Development Scientist to join a global manufacturer of pharmaceutical and veterinary products. This process development job is initially for a 6 month period and is based in the Merseyside area.

Process Development Scientist Job Description:

As Process Development Scientist, you will work within a small group of scientists on lab scale process optimisation activities for the downstream processing area in support of the biotechnology product pipeline. The role will be both office and lab based and will require the successful applicant to contribute to the success of the group through design, execution and analyses of experimental activities.

The key responsibilities of this Process Development Scientist position will include:

• Delivering key development goals through hands-on experimentation and demonstration at lab scale.

• Designing and analysing experimental regimes using sound statistical techniques.

• Regularly communicating plans and status to key stake-holders and working flexibly to overcome issues and barriers encountered.

• Delivering high quality technical reports to support proposed process improvements.

• Responsible for ensuring that safe systems of work are in place and adhered to for process development activities.

• Developing close alignment to supporting functions, including Manufacturing Operations, Project/Process Engineering and Quality Control Labs to ensure that process improvements can effectively be delivered at manufacturing scale.

As Process Development Scientist you will have the following qualifications, skills and experience:

• Ability to interact with scientists, technicians, engineering, analytical support and other operations support personnel.

• Experience in the operation of lab or pilot scale chromatography and tangential flow filtration equipment, specifically GE Akta systems and Sartorius or Millipore TFF packages.

• Possess a working knowledge of analytical techniques required for protein purity assessment, including HPLC and ELISA methods.

• Ability to communicate effectively and build strong working relationships at all levels in the organisation.

• Ability to operate in a cGMP environment and produce technical documentation to high standards.

• Degree or equivalent in scientific or engineering discipline, preferably with a biotechnology focus

• Experience in the use of statistical software to design experimental approaches and analyse the data generated

How to apply:

Hannah Milward at CK Science

Contact Hannah for more details.

Click here to apply online now.

For more information regarding this Process Development Scientist position, please contact Hannah Milward at CK Science on 0114 2839956 or email Please quote reference SH24233 in all correspondence.

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Sutton scientist wins Cancer Research UK fellowship

As reported by The Sutton Guardian, a scientist from Sutton as won a fellowship with Cancer Research UK fellowship.

The scientist, Dr Gerhardt Attard works at the Institute of Cancer Research and at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He was awarded one of four Cancer Research fellowships and £615,000 to help him develop his career.

In total, Cancer Research UK awarded three million pounds to four UK cancer researchers,

Attard’s fellowship will help support his research into finding new ways to detect and treat advanced prostate cancer.

Dr Attard said: “Receiving funding from Cancer Research UK will allow me to pursue my ambition of improving the treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer through personalised medicine.

“It is a great honour to gain this award which confirms my research strategy is of the highest scientific standard.”

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£3.6m research project – effects of ageing

As reported by the Cambridge News, scientists in Cambridge are to take part in a £3.6m research project investigating the effects of ageing.

The project has received it’s funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The scientists are from the Babraham Institute, Cambridge University and MRC Laboratory.

The study will aim to discover more about a mechanism that controls cells in our immune systems. Speaking of the study, Professor Douglas Kell, CEO of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council stated,

“Maintaining and improving the health of older people so that they can live enjoyable and productive lives into their 80s and beyond is a major challenge facing society. Victories in public health and nutrition continue to increase life span around the world yet the lives of many older people are blighted by disability and disease. Combating the problems associated with old age will require an understanding at the most fundamental level of how our bodies change as we age. This team is well placed to deepen our understanding of how ageing affects our immune system and thus to provide knowledge that will be crucial for bioscience to help people live longer and healthier lives.”

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Artificial blood may be made on an industrial scale

As reported by the Daily Mail, artificial blood developed by UK scientists could soon be produced on an industrial scale.

The scientists, working from Edinburgh and Bristol University have successfully created millions of red blood cells from stem cells (these are taken from the bone marrow). Scientists know that cells taken from human embryos are most easy to multiply in large numbers. However, researchers have not yet managed to create realistic blood.

Once an effective technique has been developed, this artificial blood will be free from disease and could be given to anyone, regardless of their blood group. Scientists believe that this will improve blood transfusions by preventing hospital shortages. The artificial blood is also hoped to save many lives at road traffic accidents, during surgery and at war.

However, many do not agree with technique of extracting stem cells from human embryos in order to advance medical science. Therefore, as Mr Turner from the Wellcome Trust highlights,  ‘There is a lot of regulatory framework to ensure that the cells are being treated with the appropriate respect and being used for genuine scientific and medical reasons and not in a trivial fashion.’

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UK Scientists Develop New ‘Super Broccoli’

As reported by Yahoo!, UK scientists have developed a new ‘super’ broccoli which could help to protect against heart disease.

The scientists, from the Institute of Food Research, were lead by Richard Mithen. Mithen stated that when the broccoli is eaten, cholesterol is reduced in the blood stream, which could help protect against heart disease.

The broccoli is said to contain two to three times the normal amount of glucoraphanin – this works by breaking down fat in the body, thus stopping it from clogging the arteries.

The ‘super broccoli’ was developed by cross breeding traditional British broccoli with a wild Sicilian variety and a dose of glucoraphanin. This process took 14 years and now the broccoli has been granted patent by EU authorities. It is due to hit UK shelves this month!

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Could coffee waste be turned into drugs?

As reported by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Scientists working at the University of Iowa have recentrly discovered a new bacterium which feeds on caffeine. They are hopeful that it could be used to decaffeinate coffee waste to used as a feedstock for biofuel production.

It is hoped that the research could have many practical applications. Nick Turner, a biotechnolgist from the University of Manchester stated,  ‘The specificity of each N-demethylase for a different methyl group is a beautiful example of how enzymes are able to catalyse selective transformations on their substrates, and something that would be very difficult to emulate using traditional chemical processes. The ability to convert caffeine…into higher value products could be attractive to the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries, who are increasingly interested in new low-cost biotechnologies for the manufacture of their products.’ 

It is also thought that biodecaffeination is another potential practical application, as explained by Turner, ‘If we could decaffeinate coffee waste, millions of tons of which is produced every year, it might be useful as a fermentation feedstock to make ethanol as a biofuel. The waste could also be turned into animal feed in this way.’ 

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Robert Bunsen’s Birthday marked with a Google Doodle

It would have been scientist Robert Bunsen’s 200th birthday today and the occasion has been marked with a Google Doodle!

Bunsen was born in Germany in 1811 and was the first to discover elements caesium and rubidium and then went on to develop the Bunsen cell battery.

However, his most famous innovation was the gas burner which he developed in partnership with his laboratory assistant Peter Desaga in 1854. It was used to study the colour spectrum of different heated elements.

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