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  • According to a report by the World Health Organization, the four leading causes of death between 2000 and 2012 were cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases, in that order. However, a threat as invisible as it is real will worm its way into medical centres and hospitals by 2050.

    Antibiotic resistant bacteria will lead to over 10 million deaths per year according to estimates prepared by the British government. The number of deaths would be 1.8 million more than those caused by cancer. The WHO has already described this situation as “a global threat” in which antibiotics will be unable to fight infectious diseases that today are curable.

  • A few weeks ago, Manel Esteller's team published, in the journal Cell, research that discussed the discovery and functional characterisation of N6-methyladenosine (6mA), also described as the sixth DNA base.

    This discovery has brought epigenetics, a discipline that is changing the way we understand biology, back into focus. In 2011, the bioentrepreneur and researcher Nessa Carey drew a curious comparison in her book The Epigenetics Revolution:

  • Cambridge is an emblematic city in the history of science. Nestling among faculties and laboratories lies the Biochemistry Department, where illustrious researchers of the ilk of Hans Kornberg and César Milstein once worked. It was also where a young Fred Sanger completed his PhD in 1943.

    After tragically losing his parents to cancer, the British scientist decided to dedicate his life to his work. Shortly after completing his doctoral thesis, Sanger began to take an interest in protein sequencing, and his research earned him his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958, after he deciphered the complete sequence of insulin.

  • When justifying the importance of investing in science, the phrase “Knowledge is power”, attributed to Francis Bacon, very often comes up. Although the original Latin expression by the British philosopher would have read “ipsa scientia potestas est”, there can be no doubt that knowledge is not only a source of power, but more importantly of progress.

    In re-reading Bacon, it becomes clear that knowledge – and not just knowledge of a purely scientific nature – is just as powerful as it is necessary. Knowing which tools, sources and instruments are within my grasp will allow me to work more effectively. The same is true of research, where it is vital to always be aware of cutting-edge innovations and services.