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Bifidobacterium breve. Image by K.R.Hughes

New evidence of how gut microbes affect Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have uncovered a new mechanism linking bacteria in the gut to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). They have found that certain bacteria release molecules that interact with the lining of the gut to influence a process known as epithelial cell shedding. This shedding process is vital to maintaining […]

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Signalling network in colon cancer. Cancer-related proteins are green, first neighbours are orange

Finding new cancer drugs in the neighbourhood

In the search for new drugs to combat cancer, it might be worth calling on the neighbours. Computational biologists have looked at the complex networks of interacting proteins that drive cancer formation, and found that targeting the neighbours of cancer-causing proteins may be just as effective as focusing on the cancer proteins themselves. Cancer is […]

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Earlham_Institute_medium

New study unravels critical genes to understand human diseases and support drug discovery

A network analysis of proteins that are most important in responding to environmental signals highlights potential targets for drugs and provides better information on the genetic basis of diseases.  Throughout evolutionary history, there have been genetic elements that have duplicated – giving rise to genes with different functions. These are called ‘paralogs’. They are able […]

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omnipath

Omnipath sends strong signal

Combining the power of 27 data resources, Omnipath [http://omnipathdb.org] helps researchers see biological signalling pathways with unprecedented accuracy. Developed by researchers in the UK and Germany and published in Nature Methods, OmniPath offers a comprehensive, unified collection of literature-curated signalling pathways based on an analysis of 41 000 scientific papers. All the functions happening in […]

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Clostridium botulinum

Diversity in C. botulinum germination

A new study from the Institute of Food Research has filled a gap in our knowledge of germination of Clostridium botulinum, one of the most dangerous causes of food poisoning. C. botulinum bacteria produce a highly potent neurotoxin that if present in the body causes botulism, which often leads to paralysis and sometimes death. The […]

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burgers

New technique to beat the food fraudsters

Shoppers can be more confident that their burgers are the real deal following a new method of testing for meat fraud developed at the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park. Exploiting subtle differences in a key meat protein, the addition of just 1% of horse into a beef burger or of beef […]

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Naiara Beraza

SIRTainly all the craze right now; should sirtuin bioactives be part of our diet?

Scientists led by Dr Naiara Beraza at the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park are investigating the mechanisms underpinning the supposed beneficial effects of the ‘Sirtfood Diet’. Sirtfoods burst onto the health and nutrition scene earlier this year, making a splash in the media, with several high profile athletes including Olympic gold-medallist […]

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JCM

Do the Answers to ME/CFS lie within our Gut?

Researchers on the Norwich Research Park have published a review of evidence for a role of the gut microbiota and virome in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Commonly presenting with hugely diverse and debilitating symptoms including post-exertional tiredness, unrefreshing sleep, concentration problems and widespread pain, ME/CFS is very difficult to diagnose and treat. The disease affects […]

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Norihito Kawasaki

New insights into how we fight bacterial infection

A new study has found a novel way in which certain bacteria are recognised and trigger our immune system. Dr Norihito Kawasaki from the Institute of Food Research has led a group of researchers investigating the role of molecules called lipopolysaccharides. These molecules are found on the outer surface of a large group of bacteria, […]

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RobKingsley1

Microevolution key to Salmonella’s success

Research led by Dr Rob Kingsley from the Institute of Food Research has shown how Salmonella rapidly “microevolves” during an epidemic. It highlights how whole genome sequencing is important in tracking pathogenic bacteria. Salmonella are one of the most common causes of bacterial disease in humans and animals. Part of their success comes from their […]

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L reuteri mucus copy_250

How probiotic protects against pathogen infection in the gut

A collaborative study by researchers on the Norwich Research Park has indicated how certain probiotic bacteria can help reduce infection by pathogenic E. coli. Previous clinical studies have suggested that certain probiotic bacteria could prevent pathogenic bacteria from infecting the human gut. In particular, one common type of bacteria found naturally in our gut, the […]

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Clostridium botulinum and its spore (inset) 
Jason Brunt, Kathryn Cross and Mary Parker

Discovery of mechanism for transfer of botulinum neurotoxin genes

A new study has shown how Clostridium botulinum could potentially transfer their deadly neurotoxin genes to other bacteria. This highlights the need for constant vigilance in identifying new threats to food safety. The botulinum neurotoxin is the most potent known, and has been much studied because of this, helping ensure it doesn’t get into our […]

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