Industry news

Drug improves epilepsy for people with partial onset seizures

A two-year study included 52 patients with partial onset (focal) seizures across 12 neurology departments in Portugal. Patients were insufficiently controlled with one anti-epileptic drug (AED) and had initiated eslicarbazepine acetate as adjunctive treatment.

Source: EPM

Metal oxide discovered on exoplanet

A team of astronomers have discovered, for the first time, titanium oxide on the exoplanet WASP-19b.

Using the FORS2 spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the scientists were able to analyse the light passing through the exoplanet’s atmosphere as it passed in front of its mother star. They discovered that it contained small amounts of titanium oxide, water and traces of sodium alongside a strongly scattering global haze.

Date: 26 September 2017

Source: Laboratory News

GE sets new standard for monoclonal antibody purification

GE Healthcare has introduced a new Protein A chromatography resin, MabSelect PrismA, which will help biopharmaceutical manufacturers improve their monoclonal antibody (mAb) purification capacity by up to 40 %1. The resin is also significantly more alkaline-stable2, meaning that MabSelect PrismA can be cleaned with a higher concentration of sodium hydroxide to better control cross-contamination and bioburden risks.

Date: 25 September 2017

Source: Manufacturing Chemist

Is hazard-based materials regulation holding beauty back?

The IFSCC 2016 Congress has dedicated a morning session to regulatory compliance and its potential to stifle innovation in 'The balancing act: regulatory compliance v innovation'. One of the more interesting topics related to regulation of ingredients and how different areas of the world take different methodological approaches to this important topic.

Source: Cosmetic Business

Preventing food waste over the festive period

Collectively, people living in Scotland could save more than £90 million by not wasting food this festive season – a saving of £38 for every household in Scotland.

Source: Food and Drink International

Long range communication barriers broken

Researchers in the US have successfully demonstrated that devices running on nearly no power can transmit data across almost three kilometres.

Flexible electronics, such as patches that can capture motion range or monitor sweat to detect fatigue levels have great potential to collect medically relevant data. However they are limited by the fact that they cannot use bulky batteries, and as such, cannot communicate with devices more than a few metres away.

Date: 27 September 2017

Source: Laboratory News

Chemists find novel method to control catalysis

Scientists in Canada have discovered a new technique that enables them to manipulate catalytic reactions.

By using a combination of experiments and a mathematical model, they discovered that the position of a molecule on a copper catalyst’s surface enabled the breaking of one chemical bond 100 times faster than the other.

Source: Laboratory News

Long range communication barriers broken

Researchers in the US have successfully demonstrated that devices running on nearly no power can transmit data across almost three kilometres.

Flexible electronics, such as patches that can capture motion range or monitor sweat to detect fatigue levels have great potential to collect medically relevant data. However they are limited by the fact that they cannot use bulky batteries, and as such, cannot communicate with devices more than a few metres away.

Date: 27 September 2017

Source: Laboratory News

NASA exploring ultrafast lasers for manufacturing spaceflight instruments

A team of optical physicists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is exploring the possibility of using femtosecond lasers to join dissimilar materials and perform micromachining in the manufacturing of spaceflight instruments.

Source: Laser System Europe

BIA and MHRA publish report following joint conference

The UK BioIndustry Association and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency brought together experts from across the sector to discuss hot topics and important developments at their recent conference — Innovation in life sciences in a changing and dynamic environment

Date: 22 September 2017

Source: Building Better Healthcare

Put your finger on it

Nanoparticles could well be the future of fingermark detection. Not only do they promise sensitivity and selectivity, says Dr Sébastien Moret but they have also furthered our understanding of the fundamentals behind fingerprint detection..

Date: 14 May 2019

Source: Laboratory News

It's not easy being green

With chemical exposure accounting for an estimated 8.3 % of all deaths worldwide, it shouldn't come as any surprise that 'green chemistry' is becoming increasingly prominent. By 2020, the global market for green chemistry has been projected to grow to nearly £76 billion.

Date: 1st August 2017

Source: Laboratory News

Researchers fight Alzheimer's disease using nanoparticles

About 29 million people around the world are affected by the disease "Alzheimer". In an international collaboration, scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz together with teams from Italy, Great Britain, Belgium and the USA are now working together on an approach for a therapy. 

Date: 10 October 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

Life as a chemistry professor

Ever wondered what life as a chemistry professor is like? 

Date: 29 August 2017

Source: Chromatography Online

Spectroscopy technique shines new light on blood glucose levels for diabetics

Non-invasive technology that monitors blood glucose levels with spectroscopy has been found to work as well as finger prick tests that require a small sample of blood, researchers claim. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently evaluated the accuracy of the MIT-developed technology.

Source: The Engineer

Miniature pipe organ could improve medical image quality

Researchers have developed a tiny version of a musical instrument that can be used to improve the quality of medical images.

Engineers and Scientists at the University of Strathclyde worked together to create a miniature version of the full sized pipe.

By broadening the the range of frequencies used to emit sound waves, the team showed how the device can improve medical images from scanners. They used a 3D printer to create the best designs of the device, combining their expertise in mathematical models and in computer simulations throughout the process.

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

Healthcare data - data silos in NHS a risk to patient care?

In this article, Dr Saif Abed, chief medical officer (EMEA) at BridgeHead Software, discusses the essential role of data in delivering patient care in the NHS, arguing that the move to digital has just shifted paper online and that multiple data silos still exist, impacting on health providers’ ability to provide care across organisations

Date: 18 September 2017

Source: Building Better Healthcare

How big can a planet be?

The recent potential discovery of an exomoon orbiting a planet around another star came another astonishing finding – a planet with 3,000 times the mass of Earth. These discoveries push the limits of how we categorise objects in space and where we stand in the scale of things.

Date: 4 August 2017

Source: Discover Magazine

Shimadzu announce release of the Nexera 

Shimadzu's New Nexera UHPLC Series with AI and IoT Enhancements Sets Industry Standard for Intelligence, Efficiency and Design

Date: 19 March 2019

Source: Lab Bulletin

Bumblebees: Pesticide 'reduces queen egg development'

Use of a common pesticide in spring could have an impact on wild bumblebees by interfering with their life cycle, a UK study suggests.

The team, who looked at wild bumblebees caught in the English countryside, say the insecticide, thiamethoxam, reduces egg development in queen bees.

They say this is likely to reduce bee populations later in the year.

Source: BBC

Progress in Understanding Dementia in Footballers

Results of the largest study to date of the pathology of dementia in former footballers and rugby players have been revealed.

Date: 19 June 2019 

Source: Lab Bulletin 

Ellutia opens GC Excellence Academy in Cambridgeshire

Leading British gas chromatography supplier, Ellutia, has opened a dedicated training centre at its new state-of-the-art facility in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The GC Excellence Academy will host training courses by Royal Society of Chemistry-approved independent trainer, Anthias Consulting, as well as Ellutia-led sessions by the company’s technical experts.

Date: 12 October 2017

Source: Lab Bulletin

The predictions Tomorrow's World got right as it returns to our TV screens

Tomorrow's World is coming back to the BBC as a year-long series of science programmes.

The show, which ran from 1965 to 2003, made lots of accurate predictions about how technology would change in the future.

It introduced audiences to inventions we now take for granted, including the mobile phone and cash machines.

But it also showcased some crazy and weird creations that never caught on at all...

Source: BBC

Spectroscopy: A New Method for Patient Diagnostics. Non-Invasive Tissue Testing Improves Outcomes and Patient Comfort

Spectroscopy has been around for nearly 200 years, yielding critical measurements in a wide variety of areas of study. In the last two decades, hardware and software advances have made spectroscopy an even more versatile investigative and diagnostic tool, both inside and outside the lab.

Date: 14 October 2017

Source: Labmate

Do we need to be more negative?

As nanotech applications become more diverse, the need for reliable vibration control has become critical says Dr David Platus. Forget air tables or even bungee cords - he thinks negative stiffness is the future of controlling bad vibes...

Date: 17 October 2017

Source: Laboratory News

New printer creates color by shaping nanostructures

Carving nanostructures with a laser creates long-lasting colors.

Researchers developed the new printing technique as an alternative to ink-based printing, in which colors fade with time. Aside from eternally vibrant art, the technique could lead to new types of color displays or improve security labels, the scientists report in the May 5 Science Advances.

Source: Science News

Life sciences to have major impact on UK economy by 2025

Life sciences could have one of the biggest impacts on the UK economy by 2025, bringing in an additional £8.5 billion of growth, according to new research.

Date: 2 May 2019

Source: EPM Magazine 

Thermo Fisher Scientific collaborates with CGT Catapult to create seamless cell and gene therapy supply chain

To help address the challenges surrounding supply chain management for cell and gene therapy around the globe, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, today announced a collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) to provide developers with both the manufacturing capability and distribution, logistics, and storage capacity needed to create a seamless supply chain to accelerate cell and gene therapy development and commercialsation.

Source: News medical life sciences

Nobel Chemistry Prize winners announced

Three scientists will share this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.

Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson have all been involved in research culminating in cryo-electron microscopy (EM) since at least the mid-1970s. Cryo-EM simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules, allowing scientists to understand chemical processes and also to research pharmaceuticals.

Date: 4 October 2017

Source: Laboratory News

Sartorius and EMBL announce new partnership

Sartorius has joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Corporate Partnership Program.

The program aims to foster advancing training collaboration and activities that are designed to connect industry to academia.

Source: Laboratory News

British beet sugar industry hails deregulation of European sugar market

The British beet sugar industry has hailed the deregulation of the European sugar market as “great news for Britain”.

The 1st October sees the end of the European sugar regime, the final step that was agreed by EU Ministers in 2013 as part of a package of reforms of the European Common Agricultural Policy, with the vital backing of the British government.

Date: 2 October 2017

Source: Food and Drink International

Glowing bacteria detect buried landmines

More than 100 million landmines lay hidden in the ground around the world, but glowing bacteria may help us find them, according to a new study. The approach relies on small quantities of vapor released from the common explosive TNT. Previously, researchers engineered Escherichia coli (pictured), a bacterial species abundant in the environment and in mammalian intestines, to glow green upon detection of DNT, a byproduct of TNT.

Source: Science Mag

Synchronising brain waves

When we perform demanding mental tasks the brain often has to engage multiple different regions that are specialised at performing specific functions at the same time and then exchange information between them. The theory goes that these disparate brain areas link up by synchronising the pattern of nerve firing in both; so what would happen, Ines Violante wondered, if she artificially enhanced the degree of synchronisation - would a person’s intellect be boosted? Chris Smith found out what she learnt...

Source: The Naked Scientist

Kellogg expands clean-label footprint with RXBAR acquisition

Kellogg Company has expanded its presence in the clean-label market with the acquisition of protein bar maker Chicago Bar Company for $600 million.

Date: 10 October 2017

Source: Food and Drink International

GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

Study suggests that researchers have found a fungus that can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Date: 31 May 2019

Source: BBC News 

Self expanding clothes with Dyson Award

A student at Imperial College London has won this year’s UK Dyson Award for creating children’s clothes that grow along with their wearer.

The clothes, Petit Pli, were created by Ryan Yasin with the aim of tackling clothing waste and saving parents money. They are created using a specially engineered fabric with an auxetic structure – meaning when stretched, the fabric expands in all areas. To achieve the desired effect, the clothes were pleated.

Date: 6 October 2017

Source: Laboratory News

Alive or Dead, Fingerprint Drug Testing Will Find You

New research published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology shows how fingerprint-based drug screening can not only screen for the presence, or absence, of four classes of drugs of abuse, but that the technology also works when used by UK coroners to detect drugs in the sweat of fingerprint samples gathered from deceased individuals.

Date: 9 October 2018

Source: Technology Networks

Complex pathways control the shape of plant cells

US researchers have mapped a series of pathways that control the shape of plant cells, in what could be an important step towards customising how plants grow to suit particular agronomic needs.

Date: 24 July 2018

Source: LabOnline

Cassini spacecraft sends back spectacular images on voyage to Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft has almost completed its one-way voyage to Saturn.  On the 15th of September, it will dive into Saturn’s atmosphere and be destroyed to prevent infecting any nearby places with life it could be carrying. However, it continues to send back stunning images of its surroundings until then.

Date: 25 July 2017

Source: Independent

OPCW to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has given itself new powers to assign blame for the attacks it investigates.

Previously the OPCW was only allowed to conclude whether a chemical attack had taken place, and not point the finger at a specific group or country, regardless of the evidence it had collected.

Date: 05 July 2018

Source: Chemistry World

The world’s largest SLM facility opens in Germany

The world’s largest selective laser melting (SLM) facility has opened in Aachen, Germany, as part of a joint research project between Aachen Centre for 3D printing, the Aachen University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT).  The three-year research project includes more than 15 project partners and hopes to optimise the entire manufacturing process chain for large-volume metal components.

Date: 16 June 2016

Source: Laser Systems Europe




The top five tweets: From recalls to orphan drugs — what made EPM readers ‘click’ this week?

Here we count down the top five tweets from @EPM_magazinethat have gained the most impressions this week, taken from Twitter analytics.

Coming in at number five is Lab Innovations message that registration is now open and keynote speakers have been revealed.

Date: 13 July 2018

Source: The European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners announced

The winners of the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have been announced for 2017. European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer gives us a run through of some of this year’s winners.

Date: 21 June 2017

Source: European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

New technology to revolutionise drug development

The search for new drugs to combat diseases more effectively could be revolutionised through a new £30 million electron microscopy project.

Date: 30 May 2019

Source: Lab Bulletin

Epigenetics and Drug Discovery

Research efforts aimed at improving our understanding of the role epigenetic factors play in disease have increased significantly in recent years, with epigenetic dysregulation linked to numerous diseases including; several cancers, autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders.

Date: 27 July 2018

Source: Technology Network

Augmented reality is a group experience

You look to the left and see an elephant holding out a glowing orb for you. Have you gone mad? No. This is Disney Research's Magic Bench, a combined augmented and mixed reality experience. Making the surroundings instrumented rather than the individual allows people to share the experience as a group instead of individually.

Date: 26 July 2017


All change in bathroom design

The Internet of Thing (IoT) is transforming the way in which we live, from remotely controlled lights to smart fridges telling us we’re out of milk. But what about bathrooms?  It’s predicted that the IoT could revolutionise commercial and domestic bathrooms design, with smart sensors switching the lights off when the room is empty, and heat maps indicating whether the work bathroom is busy before you get there.  What will the next generation of bathroom technology bring?

Date: 19 July 2017
Source: Building Talk

Producing Sensors with an Inkjet Printer

Researchers from TUM and Forschungszentrum Jülich teamed up to perform inkjet printing onto a gummy bear. This might initially sound like scientists at play, but it may in fact point the way forward to major changes in medical diagnostics. 

Date: 22 June 2018

Source: Lab Manager

Should fractography be used more in the pharmaceutical industry?

Glass is the dominant packaging material used in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of reasons – it’s chemically inert, thermally stable and cheap to name a few. However, it also has one major disadvantage: it breaks. Fractography, the study of fracture surfaces, is still relatively unknown, but should we be using it more?

Date: 17 February 2017

Source: Manufacturing Chemist



Would you like amino acids with that?

Amino acid enriched water will soon be sold in the UK.  Rejuvenation Water contains L-Glutamine, which is used in the biosynthesis of proteins and is thought to offer a wide range of health benefits. Rejuvenation Water is currently in retailers John Lewis and Costco, with Holland and Barrett soon to be included.

Source: FDi Forum

Using 'carbon peas' to make electronic devices

Engineers have developed a so-called smart stent that detects changes in blood flow through an artery, an advance that could help doctors monitor their patient’s health more easily.

Date: 22 June 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

Study Finds no Strong Evidence That Cannabis Reduces Chronic Pain

Researchers at UNSW Sydney who conducted one of the world's longest community studies of its type have found no clear role for cannabis in treating chronic non-cancer pain.

Date: 05 July 2018

Source: Technology Network

Does ‘flying ant day’ exist?

Researchers from the University of Gloucestershire teamed up with the Royal Society of Biology to investigate whether ‘flying ant day’ really exists.  By asking members of the public to record when and where they saw flying ants, they were able to assess flight coordination and solve the mystery once and for all.

Date: 18 July 2017

Source: BBC

Nuclear Medicine Approach Shows Promise for Treating Cancerous Tumors

A novel nuclear medicine approach is showing great promise for precision treatment of solid tumors in many types of cancer--including lung, breast, pancreas and ovarian in adults and glioma, neuroblastoma and sarcoma in children. The research was presented at the SNMMI 2018 Annual Meeting, June 23-26 in Philadelphia.

Date: 26 June 2018

Source: Technology Network

British Science Week 2019 

British Science Week is being celebrated from 8 – 17 March. It is a ten day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. 

Date: 8 March 2019

Source: British Science Week



Electronic Device Planted in Brain Could Stop SeizuArtificial Intelligence is greater concern than climate change or terrorism, says new head of British Science Association 

Artificial Intelligence is a greater concern than antibiotic resistance, climate change or terrorism for the future of Britain, the incoming president of the British Science Association has warned.

Date: 06 September 2018

Source: Telegraph UK

A new class of chemical reaction discovered

A new class of chemical reaction has been discovered by researchers from Columbia University and Argonne National Laboratory. The reactions involve three different molecules in the bond making and/or breaking, and are called chemically termolecular (ie. three molecule) reactions.

Date: 17 August 2017

Source: Science News

Steroids not effective in non-asthmatic adults

Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton have found that steroids aren't effective in treating acute lower respiratory tract infections in adults who don’t have asthma or other chronic lung diseases.

Date: 23 August 2017

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

Electronic Device Planted in Brain Could Stop Seizures

Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures.

Date: 30 August 2018

Source: Technologynetworks

Young scientists recognised

An Australian scientist who has developed a system which allows her to video mitochondria inside a cell has been named the winner of the In Memory of Neil Lawrence Prize at the 2018 Centenary Institute Medical Innovation Awards.

Date: 8 October 2018

Source: Lab Online

Words of inspiration

A host of science writers discuss the books that fired their imaginations, and set them on their chosen paths. What books inspired you?

Date: 10 July 2017

Source: The Guardian

Green mango goes nano to clean up oil sludge soil

Scientists from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have developed nanoparticles from the peel of green mango fruit that can be used to clean up oil sludge in contaminated soil.

Date: 2 October 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

Planning for retirement

The government recently announcing that six million men and women will now have to wait a year longer than they expected for their state pension; it’s more important than ever to plan for retirement.  What are the key issues for people working in our hospitals?

Date: 16 August 2017

Source: Hospital Matters

Lidl is now the 7th biggest supermarket in the UK

A new study of grocery market share figures by Kantar Worldpanel has found that Lidl is now the 7th largest supermarket chain in the UK, with 5.2 % of the marketing, overtaking Waitrose at 5.1 %.

Date: 22 August 2017

Source: BBC

The convergence of AI and nanotechnology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been an increasingly growing area for many years now; not just within itself, where the areas of machine learning, deep learning and artificial neural networks (ANNs) are now powerful methods in their own right, but also in the amount of areas and industries that they are now prevalent in.

Date: 22 August 2018


Polymer pill proves it can deliver medication more effectively

Selecting the right packaging to get precious cargo from point A to point B can be a daunting task at the post office. For some time, scientists have wrestled with a similar set of questions when packaging medicine for delivery in the bloodstream: How much packing will keep it safe? Is it the right packing material? Is it too big? Is it too heavy? Researchers from Drexel University have developed a new type of container that seems to be the perfect fit for making the delivery.

Date: 1 August 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

How to measure a nuclear blast

Since 1996, more than 180 countries have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which bans nuclear weapon testing, with notable exceptions being the USA and North Korea. An international monitoring system has been created to track potential violations, but how do they tell the difference between an earthquake and a nuclear test?

Date: 25 July 2017

Source: Science News


More effective chemo for lung cancer patients

A naturally occurring hormone called follistatin could help make chemotherapy much more effective for lung cancer patients, while also preventing kidney damage — a serious side effect of the treatment.

That’s according to a collaborative study between Sydney’s Garvan Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne’s Hudson Institute of Medical Research and biotechnology company Paranta Biosciences, which is developing follistatin as a potential therapy for cystic fibrosis, kidney disease and cancer. The results of the study have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Date: 31 July 2018

Source: Lab Online

More than meets the eye

When you think of sharks, do you think of deadly killers of the oceans?  If you do, then you’re not alone, but here are 20 facts you might not know about these misunderstood creatures.

1st June 2016

Source: Discovery Magazine

3D-printed implants foster real bone growth

A multidisciplinary team from NYU’s Medicine and Dentistry colleges has developed 3D-printed implants that promote bone growth.Described in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, the implants function as bioactive scaffolds. Gel-like beta tricalcium phosphate is first printed in forms resembling the bone segments doctors want to encourage. The gel, which contains similar compounds to those found in real bone, is then superheated to create a ceramic implant.   

Date: 2 August 2018

Source: The Engineer

Speed is of the essence in the diagnosis of sepsis

When it comes to diagnosing sepsis, speed is of the essence; it’s estimated that a patient’s chance of survival decreases by 7.6 % every hour that passes without effective treatment. A new treatment has been developed which could speed up the diagnosis.

Date: 15 August 2017

Source: The Analytical Scientist

The robots with ultra-sensitive skin

The University of Texas at Arlington has patented a smart skin, created by a UTA researcher, that will give robots more sensitive tactile feeling than humans. The smart skin technology allows the robots to sense temperature changes and surface variations, which would allow a person alongside the robot to be safer or react accordingly.

Date: 09 August 2018

Source: Nano Technology

Have your say on the Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy inquiry

In its bid to make the UK the best place in the world to invest in life sciences, the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee has opened a new inquiry –  Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy. The deadline for contributing to the inquiry is the 15th September, have you had your say yet?

Date: 24 August 2017

Source: Lab Bulletin

Novel Antibacterial Wound Cover Could Prevent Thousands of Infections Each Year

A new type of wound dressing could improve thousands of people's lives, by preventing them from developing infections. The dressing, a type of compression held in place by a bandage, uses an antibacterial substance formed from the shells of crustaceans like shrimps. It is described in a paper published in the May issue of Radiation Physics and Chemistry.

Source: ALN

Nestlé unveils travel retail confectionery products

Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) has unveiled a range of products and experiences across its KitKat, Smarties and Nestlé Swiss brands for 2018.

There will be a particular focus on millennial and emerging middle-class travellers, in addition to an increase in sustainably sourced ingredients, smaller portions, reduced sugar and functional ingredients which support a healthier lifestyle.

Date: 20 October 2017

Source: Food & Drink International

Oil-degrading bacterium

Hydrocarbon-eating bacteria found in the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans could help clean up made-made oil spills.

Date: 15 April 2019

Source: Laboratory News

Scientists build the world's smallest house with nanorobotics

A French nanorobotics team from the Femto-ST Institute in Besançon, France, assembled a new microrobotics system that pushes forward the frontiers of optical nanotechnologies. Combining several existing technologies, the μRobotex nanofactory builds microstructures in a large vacuum chamber and fixes components onto optical fiber tips with nanometer accuracy. 

Date: 22 May 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

3.6% Americans have a food allergy

A recently published study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that almost 4% of Americans have some type of food allergy. The review of almost 3 million medical records found that 1 in 6 Americans with a food allergy had had a documented anaphylactic event, but noted that a relatively low proportion of patients with some allergies had received follow-up allergy testing.

Source: Institute of Food Technologists

Moral morsels

Wherever you are on the carnivore – herbivore spectrum a hasty tribunal of inner angels can be prone to pipe up whenever hand reaches mouth. Where did the food come from? Is it sustainable? How many others, less fortunate, in the world don’t have the chance to do the same?

Date: 22 April 2019

Source: Laboratory News

The Bosphorus is changing colour

The recent change in the colour of the waters of the Bosphorus is not due to pollution according to scientists who have attributed the change to a surge in the growth of a particular species of plankton Emiliania huxleyi across the Black Sea.

Source: The Guardian

UK universities need more female professors, says science minister

Chris Skidmore, UK’s science minister has called for more women professors who are currently underrepresented at the highest level of academia. 

On International Women’s Day, Skidmore wrote an article in The Guardian newsletter outlining ways universities need to improve female representation and how this could lead to a more cohesive, collaborative academic community’.

Date: 12 March 2019

Source: Chemistry World

Designing the best research facilities

Scientists recently came together at the joint S-Lab/UKSPA conference in York to share the latest issues in research facility design, operation and management. Topics included ‘streamlining isolation’- moving away from static cleanroom design- and new and more efficient methods of ventilation and decontaminating air. The conference concluded with the S-Lab awards which recognise excellence in research facility design and management.

Source: Cleanroom Technology

First 3D printed human corneas produced by Newcastle team

Newcastle University have created a bio-ink using human corneal stromal cells from a donor. These were mixed with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed. Using a low-cost bio-printer, the bio-ink was extruded in concentric circles to create a shape that mimics the human cornea.

Date: 30 May 2018

Source: The Engineer

UK patient 'free' of HIV after stem cell treatment 

A UK patient has become "undetectable" following a stem cell transplant - in only the second case of its kind, doctors report in Nature. 

The patient was being treated for cancer and has been in remission from HIV for 18 months. They are no longer taking HIV drugs. Researchers say that it is too early to say if the patient is "cured" from HIV, but experts say that although the approach is not practical for treating most people with HIV, it will one day help find a cure. 

After he had chemotherapy to treat the Hodgkin's cancer, stem cells were implanted into the patient from a donor resistant to HIV. This lead to both his cancer and HIV going into remission. 

Researchers from University College London, Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford Universities were all involved in the case. 

Date: 5 March 2019

Source: BBC News Health

The Time is Now

Automation is coming to analytical labs everywhere. Find out why we should rejoice, rather then resist – the rise of the machines.

Date: 2 April 2019

Source: The Analytical Scientist

Crumb-free bread will mean ISS astronauts can now bake in space

Astronauts may now be able to broaden their diet in space, thanks to German company Bake in Space which is working with the German Aerospace Centre to create a recipe for crumb-free bread, and an oven which can work at much lower wattage. The last sandwich enjoyed in space was in 1965, after which bread was banned due to the fire hazard posed by crumbs in the microgravity environment which could get into electrical systems.

Source: Science Mag

Beetroot beats route to Alzheimer's

Purple pigment reduces oxidation caused by copper-bound beta-amyloid by 90%.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, a neurodegenerative disease linked with plaques and tangles of misfolded proteins, particularly amyloid-beta, that form in the brain. Preventing protein mis folding could slow the development of plaques and reduce the severity of the disease...

Date: 2 May 2018

Source: Chemistry World

Dundee scientists solve 3D structure of key protein involved in Intellectual Disability

Scientists at the University of Dundee have identified the effects of a mutation that gives rise to a form of Intellectual Disability.

Intellectual Disability is a type of developmental brain disorder in young patients which to date remains poorly understood and is incurable. 

Researchers in the School of Life Sciences at Dundee focussed on mutations in the OGT gene, which plays a critical role in protecting brain cells against stress. In patients harbouring OGT mutations, this protective effect is lost.

Date: 7 April 2018

Source: Drug Discovery Today

Cheap catalysts turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into fuel

Scientists in the US have successfully converted CO2 into carbon monoxide, using electricity from a solar cell and an inexpensive catalyst. The carbon monoxide can be combined with hydrogen atoms to produce hydrocarbon fuels.
The technique can't compete economically with existing fuel generation methods just yet, but it's an important step forward.

Source: Science Mag

Fishy study links seafood to prevention of Parkinson’s

A new study from Sweden suggests the link between consumption of fish and better long-term neurological health could involve the protein Parvalbumin. The protein, found in great quantities in several different fish species, has been shown to help prevent the formation of certain protein structures closely associated with Parkinson’s disease. 

Date: 15 May 2018

Source: Laboratory News

CERN unveils its Science Gateway project

CERN has announced a new facility for scientific education and outreach called the Science Gateway. The purpose of the project is to create a hub of scientific education and culture to inspire younger generations.

Date: 8 April 2019

Source: Scientific Computing World

The future of airports?

A trial of a new biometric system in the US, could remove the need for boarding passes at airports by matching features to already stored passport, visa and immigration information.

Source: The Independent

Smoother walls healthier for lungs

Studies in Sri Lanka have found that covering walls with concrete or plaster can reduce the growth of moss and mould in tropical homes prone to dampness.

Date: 31 May 2018


Scientists can now explain why you get that annoying suitcase wobble!

In a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, researchers described the physics of the phenomenon and found that lowering the suitcase or moving faster can reduce the wobble. The research could be used to inform the design other two-wheeled carriers such as trailers.

Source: Science News

CRISPR-Chip Finds DNA Mutations in Minutes

CRISPR-Cas9 has been combined with electronic graphene transistors to create a new handheld device which can detect specific mutations in the genome within minutes.

Date: 25 March 2019

Source: Front Line Genomics

Predicting the laboratory of the future

What will the laboratory of the future look like, and what are the benefits and pitfalls that laboratories face on the road to digital convergence? 

Source: Scientific Computing World

Experience Lab Developments

With many new products to see and plenty of illuminating talks to learn from, there are many reasons to visit the UK’s only lab-dedicated exhibition showcase! Lab Innovations, returns to the NEC, Birmingham, on 31 October & 1 November 2018. Free-to-attend and supported by some of the UK’s top scientific institutions, Lab Innovations is the nation’s largest gathering of laboratory suppliers and professionals, growing year on year, with almost a third more attendees in 2017.  

Date: 18 June 2018


3M releases new resources to help scientists become better storytellers

British Science Week Major Partner 3M has released its annual State of Science Index (SOSI) which has revealed many Britons are keen to engage more with science but believe that scientists must do more to demystify their work. Read more about their findings below...

Date: 1 April 2019

Source: British Science Association

Device for safe growth of neural stem cells invented

The research team of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) invented a medical device with a specific nanotechnology layer for the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in vitro. Compared with traditional methods, the team's novel matrix can reduce the risk of carcinogenesis or inflammation in stem cell therapy - a treatment that offers hope of a cure for incurable diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, chronic systemic diseases and degenerative joint diseases.

Date: 19 June 2018

Source: Nano Magazine

Can room colour help patients to recover quicker?

A recent paper by paint specialists Dulux – Transforming the healing environment: Choosing colours and products that make a difference for patients – looks at the use of colour in healthcare facilities, and suggests that colour can actually aid the healing process.

Source: Building Better Healthcare

Smart stent feels the squeeze to alert doctors and keep patients safe

Engineers have developed a so-called smart stent that detects changes in blood flow through an artery, an advance that could help doctors monitor their patient’s health more easily.

Date: 20 June 2018

Source: The Engineer

World’s first floating windfarm to be built in Scotland

Norwegian firm Statoil is developing the world’s first floating windfarm, Hywind, in Scottish waters. The £200 million project will see turbines being built in deeper waters off the coast of Peterhead, with each turbine expected to produce 6MW of electricity.

Source: The Guardian

Gene Editing Technology May Improve Accuracy of Predicting Heart Disease Risk

Scientists may now be able to predict whether carrying a specific genetic variant increases a person’s risk for disease using gene editing and stem cell technologies, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Date: 19 June 2018

Source: Technology Networks

Study Finds More Breast Cancer Patients Can Safely Skip Chemo

A 21-gene test performed on tumors could enable most patients with the most common type of early breast cancer to safely forgo chemotherapy, according to a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Date: 4 June 2018

Source: Technology Networks

Research from a group at the University of Texas suggests that the mere presence of a smartphone can impair cognitive capacity

The researchers found that subjects whose smartphones were in another room significantly outperformed those whose smartphones were visible, even if they were turned off, perhaps because part of the brain’s activity was devoted to actively ignoring the distraction.

Source: Science Daily

Scientists develop method which could help regenerate tooth enamel 

Enamel is the hardest part of the body and can last for decades, however unlike other tissues in the body, once it has gone it cannot regrow.  Scientists say they have developed a material which could help regenerate tooth enamel - and prevent tooth decay or sensitivity in the future.

Date: 2 June 2018

Source: The Telegraph

Have astronomers discovered the first moon beyond our solar system?

Nasa's Kepler Space Telescope recently picked up a signal, which astronomers believe could be the first known moon outside our solar system. If confirmed, the ‘exomoon’ is likely to be about the size and mass of Neptune, and circles a planet the size of Jupiter but with 10 times the mass.

Source: BBC

Artificial Intelligence Senses People through Walls

Wireless smart-home system from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory could monitor diseases and help the elderly “age in place". A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have used an artificial neural network (which imitates neurons in the human brain) to analyse radio signals that bounce off people’s bodies, and then created a dynamic stick figure that walks, stops, sits and moves its limbs as the person performs those actions.

Date: 14 June 2018

Source: Lab Manager

Time, not materials, increases happiness

Research carried out by psychologists has found that individuals reported greater levels of happiness if they spent money on saving time – paying to have the house cleaned for example – rather than spending the money on material goods.

Source: BBC

Proposed plans to leave Euratom puts patients at risk

The UK’s proposed withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) could put patients at risk. The UK doesn’t currently have the reactors needed to create the specific isotopes needed for cancer treatment, so these are supplied by reactors in France, Germany and Holland. Doctors warn that our proposed withdrawal from Euratom could threaten our supply of essential medical isotopes and put cancer patients’ lives at risk.

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

Personalised medicine 'transforms' survival chances in incurable cancer

Treating “incurable” cancer by targeting genes rather than where it is located in the body can “transform” survival chances and give years of extra life, a major new study has found.

Date: 6 June 2018

Source: The Telegraph

Immunotherapy Used to Treat Aggressive Colon Tumors

AMSBIO reports on ground breaking research by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), Barcelona that cites use of its proprietary 3D organoid technology to develop a mouse model that mimics advanced human colon cancer. This model has allowed them to study the immune system response for the first time.

Date: 28 March 2018

Source: Select Science

The top 15 generic drugmakers by 2016 revenue

Branded drugmakers weren't the only ones working through a tumultuous 2016. Generics companies faced pricing pressure, too. And while branded companies suffer pricing pain on costly cutting-edge therapies, generics outfits feel the pinch with already-thin margins, making pressure all the more agonizing.

Source: Fierce Pharma

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

Researchers have developed a biosensor that can detect diseased exosomes, important indicators of various health conditions…

Date: 14 December 2017

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

Heat on for Australia's Great Barrier Reef when global temperatures hit 1.5C

Scientists have modeled how extremes in precipitation, drought, extreme heat and ocean temperatures will change in Australia at global temperatures 1.5°C and 2°C above pre-industrial conditions. It doesn't bode well for Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Source: Science Daily

Bioprocess turns pine needles into new products

A new bioprocess could turn pine needles on abandoned Christmas trees into environmentally friendly chemical products. Biorefineries would use the sustainable process to break down the pine needles into a bio-liquid, which could have uses in paints and food sweeteners.

Pine needles take a long time to decompose and when they do so they emit large quantities of greenhouse gases.

Dr James McGregor, senior lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, said: “The use of biomass – materials derived from plants – to produce fuels and chemicals currently manufactured from fossil resources will play a key role in the future global economy.

Date: 3 January 2019

Source: Laboratory News

Tissue regeneration method created

Researchers from the University of Birmingham have found a way to successfully mimic the body’s natural healing process.

Date: 15 December 2017

Source: Laboratory News

Cranky crabs in broken shells often have the upper claw in fights

Sheer aggression rather than pure muscle strength often gives hermit crabs living in broken shells the edge during a fight. Broken shells constrain crabs' activities because they are heavy and a large portion of them unusable. Crabs living in broken shells value an intact shell and will fight more aggressively to get a better one. This is according to research conducted by Guillermina Alcaraz of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico and Gastón Ignacio Jofre of Texas A&M University in the US. Their findings are published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Source: Science Daily

Suzuki–Miyaura–hydrogenation targets 3D drugs

Researchers design a new pathway to make sp3 enriched drug molecules

Date: 19 December 2017

Source: Chemistry World

Revolutionising toxicogenomics with big data

Genestack CEO, Dr Misha Kapushesky, explains how metadata can unlock pharmaceutical assay results for deeper analysis

Date: 18 December 2017

Source: Manufacturing Chemist

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst

A tiny amount of squeezing or stretching can produce a big boost in catalytic performance, according to a new study led by scientists at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Source: Eurek Alert

3-D printed microfibers could provide structure for artificially grown body parts

Researchers believe they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue using an off-the-shelf 3-D printer…

Date: 13 December 2017

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

'Students need time to practise their science – but instead they are taught to simply regurgitate the facts'

Practical science lessons are often overshadowed by a mountain of facts and an emphasis on maths and English, writes the chief executive of the British Science Association

Source: TES

Government releases plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide pollution

Draft air quality plan aims to bring UK emissions back down to legal levels

The UK’s plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels could include zones where additional congestion charges are applied to diesel vehicles, and improved emissions information for car buyers. The draft of the UK Air Quality Plan was published last week after attempts to postpone its release until after the general election were blocked by the high court.

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry

Conducting Research on Highly Pathogenic Viruses Using Virus Pseudotypes - The Influence of Ultrapure Water on Data Quality

From 2013 to 2016, more than 11,000 people died of Ebola virus infections in West Africa. This most recent epidemic shows how dangerous so-called emerging viruses can be. Virus pseudotypes can be used to easily investigate the entry pathways of such viruses. Read how important the quality of ultrapure water is, among other factors, for the production of such virus pseudotypes.

Date: 22 November 2017

Source: Labmate

What will it take to break the 2-hour marathon?

Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto holds the world record for the marathon at 2:02:57. Two other runners, Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge, have recorded times below 2:03:10. Shaving 3 minutes off those times amounts to roughly a 2.5% performance improvement. Although that might not seems astronomical to the casual runner, Ross Tucker, a sports scientist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, points out that professional marathon runners are far from casual. “That magnitude (2.5%) of improvement in performance at the elite level is absolutely enormous.”

To get faster, the runner must either become more powerful or more efficient, or the course must become easier.

Source: Science Mag

Education specialists in science faculties keep on growing

Since the phenomenon of science faculty with education specialities (SFES) was first described in 2008, these positions have not only persisted but expanded too.

Date: 11 June 2019

Source: Chemistry World 

How Safe is Safe? Analytical Tools for Tracing Contaminants in Food

A growing world population up to 9.7 billion by 2050 will increase the demand for food. This will require higher crop production globally, by enhancing productivity through optimised methods, fertilisers, agrochemicals and pesticides. In order to comply with regulations on food safety, manufacturers of food and beverages must carefully control contaminants such as pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals. 

Date: 23 November 2017

Source: Labmate

Promising gene therapy treatment for blindness

University of Oxford scientists have shown how gene therapy could reverse blindness.

Date: 07 December 2017

Source: Laboratory News

You bet – an intellectual wager can focus our attention

Gambling and science don't seem to mesh, but a playful bet can focus attention on the detail and force us to hone our arguments

THE Plataeans were besieged: walled in by their enemies, the Spartans. They could make ladders to climb out, but how tall should they be? Citizens were asked to guess the wall’s height by counting its bricks, with the most popular estimate taken as correct. It worked: 212 duly escaped.

Source: New Scientist

Signature biomarkers in pancreatic cancer

A new test for pancreatic cancer utilising nanotechnology can detect five proteins shed by pancreatic tumours into the bloodstream. The combination of the five biomarkers may help to diagnose the disease at an earlier stage of development.

Source: Science News

EMA accepts marketing authorisation application for avacopan

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted the conditional marketing authorisation application for avacopan in the treatment of patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody associated vasculitis (ANCA-associated vasculitis or ANCA vasculitis).

Date: 4 January 2018

Source: EPM Magazine

Rolling stock

German rail is using 3D printing of rolling stock to streamline its maintenance processes. So far more than 1000 spare parts have been produced- it is expected that over 15,000 will be produced by the end of next year.

Source: International Rail Journal

Cambridge and Oxford's fast-growing S&T sectors will need 40 football fields worth of lab space by 2023 in spire of Brexit 

Analysis based on market data and interviews with 50 leading S&T companies estimates growth in demand for lab and research space of around 2.5m sq ft over the next five years. This is equivalent to about 40 football pitches.

Employment would need to grow by a fifth - 22 percent - to support growth. This could boost the UK economy by £2.8bn by 2023.

Date: 14 February 2019

Source: Lab Bulletin

Melanoma Cell Growth Inhibited by Novel Compound

Through a collaborative effort, researchers have developed a novel compound with the ability to inhibit melanoma cell growth.

Date: 4 January 2018

Source: Technology Networks

3D vascularized human heart

In an attempt to overcome the donor shortage, researchers from Tel Aviv University (Israel) have printed a 3D human heart, creating a vascularized organ from the patient’s own cells and biological materials. The study was recently published in Advanced Science.

Date: 30 April 2019

Source: BioTechniques

Scalding hot gas giant breaks heat records

With surface temperatures reaching a sweltering 4300oC, the recently discovered KELT9b is a gas giant record-breaker. The planet-star hybrid orbits a star some 650 light years away, and has intrigued scientists with its unusual orbit.

Source: Science News

Consider yourself mathematically modelled: Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have mathematically modelled the very act of ‘innovation’.

The study, published in Physical Review Letters, introduces a new mathematical framework that correctly reproduces the rate at which novelties emerge in real systems, known as Heaps’ law, and can explain why discoveries are strongly correlated and often come in clusters.

Date: 12 February 2018

Source: Laboratory News

BioCity Group listed in Financial Times FT 1000 report as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies

The life science business incubator supports biotech and healthcare start-up companies with office/laboratory space, access to specialist laboratory equipment along with business support services. The company, with sites in Nottingham, Scotland and Cheshire, was listed 175th in the UK and 837th in Europe in terms of growth.

Source: Tomorrow's Laboratories

Pharma patent challenges for 2018

Christof Hohne, partner at patent law firm EIP, discusses second medical use claims and compulsory licences.

Date: 2 January 2018

Source: European Pharmaceutical Review

Topping the tables for robots

How many robots per head does your country have? Top of the table is South Korea, with over 500 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry.

Source: Mashable

Breast Cancer Relapse could be Found Two Years Earlier

Research has revealed that a new blood test is able to detect disease relapse up to two years earlier than imaging in patients with early-stage breast cancer. The research, carried out by the University of Leicester and Imperial College London and funded by Cancer Research UK, showed that the blood test was able to detect 89 per cent of all relapses, on average 8.9 months quicker than imaging.

Date: 23 May 2019

Find out more: Lab Bulletin 

Surgical Spectroscopy

A UK study is set to examine whether new Raman technology can be used to assist surgeons during brain tumor removal.

Date: 21 December 2017

Source: The Analytical Scientist

Fasting could make you sharper as well as leaner

New research from a team at Swansea University has shown that the hunger hormone ghrelin can stimulate division of brain cells.

Source: New Scientist

Progress in Understanding Dementia in Footballers

Results of the largest study to date of the pathology of dementia in former footballers and rugby players have been revealed.

Date: 19 June 2019 

Source: Lab Bulletin 

Procurement and GMP: A conflict in objectives?

A deeper understanding of the unique requirements and the underlying GMP guidelines is essential for purchasing in the pharmaceutical industry. Axel H. Schroeder of Concept Heidelberg, explains

Date: 21 June 2019

Source: Cleanroom Technology 

Disease-fighting microrobots

Tiny ingestible robots have been developed to deliver drugs directly to diseased tissue. The devices are made of hydrogel nanocomposites containing magnetic nanoparticles, allowing them to be controlled via an electromagnetic field. Researchers used an origami-based folding method to design the microrobots, which can modify their shape to maintain their speed and manoeuvrability. They can also adapt to the type of fluid it is moving through, such as those that are dense, viscous or moving at rapid speeds. The developers, from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and ETH Zurich, described their method in Science Advances.

Date: 8 February 2019

Source: Laboratory News

Could biofuels soon be flying high?

New approaches to production may see biofuels approved by aviation standards authorities. Could the airline industry catch up with the automotive, energy and manufacturing industries by getting greener?

Source: SEI biofuels

Salters’ Institute Launches Drive to Inspire the Next Generation of Scientists

Institute’s 100-year celebrations kickstart new focus on the future

Date: 2 January 2018

Source: Lab Bulletin

Shiseido encouraging more women into science

Shiseido has announced the winners of its tenth annual Female Researcher Science Grant, which was set up to encourage more women into the sciences, regardless of age. Winners of the grant can use the funds for support and progressing their career development.

Source: Cosmetic Business