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Discover how research from our School of Biological Sciences has created an impact.

Developing genetic therapies for DMD

Professor Dickson’s research group has pioneered the development of genetic therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Dickson’s group has, (i) cloned replacement copies of the normal DMD gene, (ii) identified a natural substitute for the defective gene, and (iii) demonstrated that synthetic DNA can be used to correct the defective gene. This has resulted in clinical trials of investigational medicinal products for this hitherto incurable disease.

Conservation of the stag beetle

Research on the population biology of the stag beetle using a ‘Citizen Science’ approach to engage large numbers of volunteers has helped to implement conservation policy decisions in the UK and EU and the production of public information guides.

It has also resulted in a radically revised Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) national Biodiversity Action Plan for the species and brought practical conservation biology into schools.

Developing foods with enhanced carotenoid contents

Carotenoids are antioxidants which are essential in the human diet and reduce the onset of chronic diseases. Research in the unit on the carotenoid pathway has provided the tools and strategies to deliver foods with increased levels of nutritional carotenoids.  

This has led to the production of novel food supplements and to Golden Rice (GR), a humanitarian product aimed at alleviating Vitamin A deficiency in the developing world.

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