Super-powered stem cells

Wolverine from the X-men is pretty awesome. Not only does he have a hairdo to die for and claws coated in adamantium (ask you nearest nerd), he also has the power to self-heal. As a naturally clumsy person, if I could pick a superpower then regeneration would be amongst my top choices, along with the clichéd invisibility and maybe a super-human metabolism. Excitingly, whilst many superhero powers remain just that, super, a breakthrough in stem cell technology may have brought us mere mortals a step closer to mimicking Wolverine’s healing powers*.

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There is Nothing but Chemistry here

Phew! All this hardcore science chat is tiring. Time to lighten up for a minute or two.

This week the first allinthegenes column was published in Essex newspaper the Harlow Star.  Hopefully the blog will now be a regular feature on the Harlow Star website. You can check it out if you want, although be warned; it’s not dissimilar to what you’ve already read.

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GM debate crops up again

Thirty years ago this month, scientists introduced a foreign gene into plant cells for the first time. Genetically modified (GM) plant technology was born. But, almost 20 years after the research was first used commercially, no GM crops are sold in the UK. Indeed, the use of GM plants is strictly regulated throughout the EU.  This is in stark contrast to other developed countries such as the USA, Canada and China, where the supply of staples such as maize, cotton and soya beans now comes predominantly from GM plants. So why has the UK been so slow to follow in the footsteps of other global powers?

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