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BBSRC-funded scientists at the University of York and scientists at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Australia have made a key genetic discovery in poppies, paving the way for more effective painkillers. The discovery, published in the latest issue of Science, reveals the long-sought-after gene that is seen as a critical gateway step in the synthesis of the morphinan class of alkaloids, which include the painkiller drugs morphine and codeine.

The Global Alliance for Research on Avian Disease (GARAD) conference will be held between 29 June – 1 July, creating global partnerships to bring together the academic community and poultry industry. The partnership, led by the Pirbright Institute will share and exchange latest research advances, promote collaborations and maximize the use of resources and expertise to progressively control avian diseases around the world.

A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute have found that a naturally occurring modified DNA base appears to be stably incorporated in the DNA of many mammalian tissues, possibly representing an expansion of the functional DNA alphabet.