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Single cell technology – an eye for detail

New technology is helping scientists study the secrets of single cells in more detail than ever before. Dr Roy Drissen at the  MRC Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine tells Sylvie Kruiniger how single cell technology has helped them discover a previously unknown stage in blood cell development which may have implications for the future of leukaemia treatment.

Dr Roy Drissen holds a microfluidic chip. Photo: martinphelps.com

 

“Before Galileo invented the telescope, we could just see Jupiter. With the telescope, we saw that Jupiter had moons. That’s what single cell technology is doing for biology: where we used to think there was only one type of cell, we can now see several.” Read more

Testing times for antimicrobial resistance

In a diagnosis of the global superbug threat today, economist Jim O’Neill includes a recommendation that doctors test patients to find out if their infection is bacterial before prescribing them antibiotics. MRC-funded researcher Dr Tariq Sadiq at St George’s Institute of Infection and Immunity writes here about his research to develop better diagnostic tests that will help us get these results faster so we can make better use of antibiotics.  Dr Sadiq explains the need to improve diagnostics in clinics and out in hard-to-reach populations around the world to combat widespread antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Tariq Sadiq in his lab

Medical advances undermined

How have we been able to make so many advances in medicine?  What’s made us so successful at treating cancer and performing heart surgery? Our ability to manage one of their most serious consequences: infection.

Antibiotic resistance undermines those advanc­­es and could mean infections that we thought we had defeated, become untreatable. Global deaths from drug-resistant infections are likely to continue to increase over the coming years if we don’t find new ways to tackle them, perhaps reaching 10 million by 2050, if there is no effective action. It is estimated that nearly half of them will occur in Asia. Read more

MRC peer review explained

The MRC funds research across the biomedical spectrum in all major disease areas. But do you know what happens to your MRC grant application when you press ‘submit’? Familiarising yourself with MRC peer review will not only help you navigate the selection process but also learn more about what reviewers are looking for. We invite you to go behind the MRC scenes in our short animation explaining how the MRC peer review process works.

Find out more about peer review on our website