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Research focussing on the Ethiopian banana could help improve food security in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, especially in areas affected by drought. In collaboration between the University of Leicester, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the University of Addis Ababa researchers will work together to better understand the banana crop species and its genetics.


Plants have been used to produce a new vaccine against poliovirus in what is hoped to be a major step towards global eradication of the disease. A team of scientists, including Dr Johanna Marsian working in Professor George Lomonossoff’s Lab at the John Innes Centre, has produced the novel vaccine with a method that uses virus-like particles (VLPs) - non-pathogenic mimics of poliovirus which are grown in plants.


Bumblebees are less able to start colonies when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide, which could lead to collapses in wild bee populations, according to new research published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Guelph have found that exposure to thiamethoxam, a common pesticide, reduced the chances of a bumblebee queen starting a new colony by more than a quarter.


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