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Fundamental bioscience news

A new study highlights the complexity of plant lipid metabolism, the challenges of manipulating biosynthetic pathways and the rewards of being able to predict outcomes. Metabolic engineers have moved a step closer to sourcing fish oils from fields rather than from the oceans with a trio of successful research findings that support the commercial cultivation of a transgenic variety of Camelina sativa, one of Europe’s oldest oil seed crops.

An effective vaccine protecting against all nine strains of African Horse Sickness Virus is a step closer, according to new research published in the journal Vaccine. The study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), used a type of vaccine that possesses all the benefits of a traditional vaccine with none of the associated risk factors.

A new University of Oxford collaboration called ‘Sitka Spruced’ could significantly increase the economic productivity of one of the UK’s largest crop yields, the Sitka spruce conifer tree. Using advanced genomic testing, scientists from the University of Oxford will work in partnership with The University of Edinburgh and Forest Research (an agency of the Forestry Commission) to identify rare individuals which combine fast growth-rate with good timber quality to improve the economics of Sitka spruce plantations in the UK.