BBSRC-funded researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit have discovered that specific mental abilities – such as problem-solving or multi-tasking – decline with age at different rates because individuals’ brains age differently. This challenges the previously held idea that, as we get older, these types of mental abilities all decline at the same rate.
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia have discovered how certain gut bacteria can protect themselves and others in the gut from antibiotics. The bacteria produce compounds, called cephalosporinases, which inactivate and destroy certain antibiotics such as penicillin derivatives and cephalosporins, protecting themselves and other beneficial bacteria that live in close proximity.
A discovery could pave the way for a new generation of crops which do not absorb high levels of the poison arsenic. Concerns about arsenic in food have grown in recent years with high concentrations found in rice, fruit juices and even baby food.