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The heart is an amazingly adaptable organ, responding to the needs of the organism throughout life, such as through periods of increased demand by pumping harder, faster, and also growing to accommodate longer-term requirements such as that experienced in pregnancy or as a response to intense exercise. Some cardiac diseases, such as prolonged high blood pressure and heart attacks, also cause an increase in the heart’s muscle mass but dangerously this results in a reduction in cardiac output and can cause an irregular heart rhythm.


Investigations by University of Leicester microbiologists, supported by BBSRC, have revealed that just a small amount of damage to salad leaves could massively stimulate the presence of the food poisoning bug Salmonella in ready-prepared salad leaves. The scientists have discovered that juices released from damaged leaves also had the effect of enhancing the virulence of the pathogen, potentially increasing its ability to cause infection in the consumer.


A team of Cambridge researchers led by scientists at the Babraham Institute have discovered the hidden connections in our genomes that contribute to common diseases. Using a pioneering technique developed at the Babraham Institute, the results are beginning to make biological sense of the mountains of genetic data linking very small changes in our DNA sequence to our risk of disease.


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