St Albans MP Kerry Pollard tried his hand at molecular biology when he visited the laboratory of Dr Lin Field at Rothamsted Research on Friday 7th January. He conducted a chemical assay to determine whether aphids have high levels of an enzyme that makes them resistant to insecticides. The assay, developed at Rothamsted, is an important tool for scientists in diagnosing problems with insect resistance to pesticides.
Rothamsted Director's PA Sue McCartney has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List
Sue received the award for services to agriculture. She retired in December, after working at Rothamsted for 25 years and has worked with two heads of Department and four directors. "I'm honoured and absolutely delighted. It's a nice way to end a career of 25 years at Rothamsted, which has been a wonderful place to work," she says.
The results of the BRIGHT project, a four year study of GM herbicide tolerant crops, are published today. The project studied the effects of rotating GM crops tolerant to glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides and non-GM crops at five research centres in England and Scotland. The full report can be found at the link below.
Professor McCartney was presented with a medal in the Great Hall Of the People, Beijing. The award was one of 84 "National Friendship Awards" presented this year to foreign experts from 22 different countries. The award winners attended a state banquet hosted by Chinese Premier, Mr Wen Jiabao. Professor McCartney is an authority on the spread of crop diseases and the award, which is the highest the Chinese Government makes to non-Chinese experts, is in recognition of his services to Chinese agriculture.
Notes to Editors
On Friday the Centenary Laboratory, at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, received three awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects at a special ceremony in Cambridge (the East Spirit of Ingenuity Architecture Awards for 2004) . R.H. Partnership Architects, won the "Architecture for Business" award and were runners-up in the "Landscaping" award, whilst Rothamsted received the Client award.
The Laboratory was opened in September last year and provides a purpose-built environment for 200 scientists. It can be viewed from a public footpath through the Rothamsted estate.
Data from a nationwide network of light traps has revealed that two thirds of British moth species have declined over the past 35 years. Worst affected are species, such as the Dusky Thorn and Hedge Rustic, which have decreased by more than 90%. It may be that they are suffering from the effects of global warming. "These species overwinter as eggs," explains Rothamsted scientist Dr Kelvin Conrad, "and they don't appear to be surviving the warmer, wetter winters of recent years".
Rothamsted scientist Professor John Pickett, FRS, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to Biological Chemistry.