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Times are changing for technologists

Science and technology evolve together, each pushing the boundaries to enable new discoveries and cutting-edge research. But despite the critical contributions of technology skills specialists, their roles and careers are often overlooked. Thankfully that’s changing – helped by the Technician Commitment and recent Research Councils UK statement – as Kelly Vere, Technical Skills Development Manager at the University of Nottingham and Higher Education Engagement Manager at the Science Council, explains.

Kelly Vere. Image credit: University of Nottingham

Kelly Vere. Image credit: University of Nottingham

It’s often forgotten that science is a team sport. Everyone has a part to play, including a group of staff particularly key to the majority of research teams: the technologists.

So who are the technologists?

Technologists are a crucial part of scientific research teams. They make critical, intellectual contributions to research by providing core technical excellence and by maintaining and developing new technologies and methodologies.

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The precision medicine revolution: putting the patient first

Precision medicine is putting the patient at the centre of healthcare. But what does precision medicine actually mean? And if you’re interested in using it in your research, where do you start? We’ve created a guide to help, explained here by Professor Stephen Holgate, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology, who led the work.

Put simply, precision medicine aims to ensure that the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.

Professor Stephen Holgate

Our genetics, together with our lifestyles and our environment, determine our health. Precision medicine is an exciting approach that will help to determine our individual risk of developing disease, detect illness earlier and determine the most effective interventions to help improve our health, whether they are medicines, lifestyle choices, or changes in diet.

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Watering the strawberry fields of the mind

As a runner-up in our 2017 Max Perutz Science Writing Award, PhD student Sophie Quick, of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, explains why her research – focused on a condition called small vessel disease which can cause dementia – matters.

Strawberry picking might not seem like the place for scientific inspiration, but on a warm summers day just weeks into my PhD, I returned not just with a punnet of Scotland’s finest fruits but a new take on my research. Sheltered by a gently flapping plastic roof I bent to pluck a handful of ripe berries, spotted fine tubes running along the soil and was struck by an idea.

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