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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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Norwich to be home to the Quadram Institute, a new £81.6m Food & Health research centre

The Quadram Institute is the name of the new centre for food and health research to be located at the heart of the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest single-site concentrations of research in food, health and environmental sciences.  Building of a new £81.6m facility to house the Quadram Institute begins this month, with […]

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Schematic diagram of the steps of autophagy
Figure by Meléndez, A. and Levine, B. Autophagy in C. elegans (August 24, 2009), WormBook, ed. The C. elegans Research Community, WormBook, doi/10.1895/wormbook.1.147.1, http://www.wormbook.org.[CC by 2.5]

Autophagy – A review of techniques

The third edition of “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy” was recently published in the leading journal Autophagy,featuring TGAC’s Autophagy Regulatory Network resourceand co-authored by Dr Tamas Korcsmaros, Computational Biology Fellow at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) and Institute of Food Research (IFR). In this comprehensive review with over 2,450 […]

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Claudio Nicoletti

More weapons but less ammo: benefits and drawbacks of selenium supplementation for immunity

A more thorough evaluation of selenium supplementation is needed, to better understand its benefits to our immune system, and the risks. This is the finding of a new study from the Institute of Food Research, and funded by the Food Standards Agency, which has found that selenium supplementation can have positive and negative effects on […]

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New research quantifies Clostridium botulinum spores in raw food materials

A study from the Institute of Food Research has provided new evidence on the background levels of spores of Clostridium botulinum in raw food ingredients that is helping the food industry deliver safe chilled foods more sustainably. Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning, caused by a deadly neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium […]

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Ugandan mushroom project brings hope to orphans in Africa

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, making life for its most vulnerable inhabitants even tougher. But one orphanage caring for abandoned children has been giving fresh hope as part of a larger project aimed to help Ugandans improve their livelihoods, by growing mushrooms. The Window of Life Babies Home in Masindi […]

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Dr Nathalie Juge

Study points to how gut bacteria evolved host specificity

The microbiota, the complex microbial community that we host in our gut, influences a number of different processes in our bodies, including metabolism and immunity. A change in the composition of the gut microbiota has been associated with a number of diseases. As we learn more about how these are linked, new possibilities arise for […]

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Tying up the ends of Tanzania’s meat supply chain

IFR scientist Dr Gary Barker is a partner in Livestock, Livelihoods and Health, a collaborative research programme focused on livestock diseases, and how they affect the people of Tanzania. Livestock management is vital to many in Tanzania, but is facing challenges such as urbanisation, climate change and a growing demand for more meat and milk. […]

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campylobacter genome

Rapid genome analysis enhancing analysis of epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance in microbial pathogens

A new study from the Institute of Food Research could help us trace sources of microbial infections more quickly. It uses a computer program to analyse large amounts of genome sequence data, without the need for large, powerful computer equipment, making this sort of analysis more accessible to a greater number of scientists. It could […]

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Processed meat and cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR)’s announcement that processed meat is a cause of cancer, and that red meat is a probable cause of cancer, needs to be taken in the context of what these classifications mean. Crucially, these classifications don’t indicate the size of the risk, how many cases of cancer they […]

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Find out more about broccoli

Sunday’s BBC Countryfile programme on October 25 includes a feature on a variety of broccoli bred to contain higher levels of a compound called glucoraphanin. This broccoli, called Beneforté, is now being grown commercially in the UK and around the world and is available in a number of leading supermarkets in the UK including Asda […]

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Would you like food poisoning with that?

It’s not a side order most of us would choose, yet over a million people in the UK suffer from some form of food poisoning each year. Arnoud van Vliet from IFR’s Food Safety Centre, gave the latest IFR Public Lecture last month. His talk covered the bacteria that cause food poisoning, why they are […]

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