Latest Briefing

Potatoes (c) James Hutton Institute

How investment in fundamental scientific research leads to practical outcomes

The societal benefits of funding applied scientific research – research which addresses a question that is immediately and directly relevant to an end user such as a farmer or policy maker – are clear. It is nearly always relatively straightforward to identify practical outcomes that emerge from such projects, making them highly attractive to funding bodies and industrial collaborations, particularly at a time of financial constraint. However, these applied outcomes frequently rely upon and develop previous fundamental research programmes for which practical outcomes were not immediately or obviously apparent at the time. This article describes how Scottish Government (SG) investment in a number of fundamental scientific areas at Main Research Providers (MRP), through the Strategic Research Programme has underpinned research which is now yielding practical outcomes that are making a difference in Scotland and beyond.

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Published on 8 March 2016 in Food, health and wellbeing

Recent Briefings

Inventory of Bryophytes in the Gaoligong Shan, Yunnan, China

The Biotic Survey of Gaoligong Shan, Yunnan is one of the biggest exploratory biological surveys ever undertaken in China, and has resulted in collection over the years 2002 to 2007 of over 25,000 fully documented plant specimens as well as countless insects and other invertebrates. Read more

Published on 6 October 2010 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Conservation Collections in Response to Global Plant Conservation Strategies

In response to Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation a project was initiated in the UK by the Botanic Garden community to encourage Botanic Gardens to grow plants from their own region to develop conservation collections. Read more

Published on 28 September 2010 in Climate, water and energy , Ecosystems and biodiversity

Plants and Plant Extracts to Replace Growth-Promoting Antibiotics in Farm Livestock Production

Antibiotics were used as growth promoters (GPA) in poultry, pig and ruminant livestock production for more than 40 years before their ban by the European Commission at the beginning of 2006. Read more

Published on 1 September 2010 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Beef Cow Management in Scotland: A Sensitive Balancing Act

Management of beef suckler cow enterprises requires a difficult but vitally important balance between the need for farm profits, animal health and welfare and sustainable food production. Read more

Published on 30 August 2010 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Welfare of animals in transit - a sound scientific basis for regulations

The welfare of animals during transportation is a matter of major public and political concern. The transport of animals for the purposes of relocation, breeding and slaughter may constitute a risk of stress, injury, altered product quality and reduced welfare status. Read more

Published on 30 August 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Introduction - Obesity in the Workplace

The University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and health have received almost 1M Euros as part of a a 6M Euro EU funded research project to look at food intake, addiction and stress. Read more

Published on 16 August 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Comparing Scottish Farm-level Efficiencies with Other UK Countries

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Published on 12 August 2010 in Sustainability and Communities

Public Views on Biodiversity Change: The Role of Invasive Non-Native Species

Worldwide there is growing concern among policymakers and conservation biologists over the impact of invasive non-native species on native biodiversity and ecosystems, reflected by an increasing number of policy documents that refer to biological invasions and numerous examples of conservation action aiming to reduce impacts of such invasions. Read more

Published on 2 August 2010 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

Molecular Epidemiology: Fingerprinting the culprit

Within even species of bacteria, parasite and virus there are can be several different strains; each are unique and capable of causing very different diseases in livestock and man. Read more

Published on 27 July 2010 in Sustainability and Communities , Ecosystems and biodiversity , Food, health and wellbeing

Orf - a Serious disease affecting livestock and man

Orf is a highly contagious viral disease that causes painful scabby lesions on the lips and nostrils of affected animals. Read more

Published on 26 July 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing