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

Improving phosphorous supply in organic agriculture

Supply and availability of phosphorous (P) is one of the major limiting factors in organic production systems. Read more

Published on 23 November 2010 in Sustainability and Communities

Berries may improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics

Diabetes presents a serious health challenge for Scotland. The genus Vaccinium (e.g. blueberry, blaeberry), has been used traditionally as a source of folk remedies for established diabetic symptoms. Read more

Published on 23 November 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Probiotics and Prebiotics: effects on the gut microbiota

There has been a significant increase in the number of food products containing either probiotics or prebiotics reaching the supermarket shelf in recent years and the myriad of health claims associated with these products is very confusing. Read more

Published on 11 November 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Potato Nutritional and Sensory Quality

In the UK the potato supply chain is of major economic importance. In Scotland the seed potato industry is particularly important and there is a strong demand for new improved cultivars that can compete internationally. Read more

Published on 28 October 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

The use of Vaccination and diagnostics to support the sustainable control of Ectoparasites

Sheep scab (caused by the sheep scab mite Psorptes ovis) is endemic in the UK and is one of the most important diseases for the sheep industry. Read more

Published on 25 October 2010 in Sustainability and Communities , Food, health and wellbeing

Diet and Deprivation

Social disadvantage in the UK persists throughout life and across the generations and is proving increasingly difficult to overcome. Read more

Published on 21 October 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Dietary Selenium and Cardiovascular Health

Selenium is a dietary micronutrient essential for maintaining optimal health in both animals and humans. Read more

Published on 20 October 2010 in Food, health and wellbeing

Future disease threats to food crops - are we prepared?

Monitoring crops for new threats provides an early warning of emerging problems affecting food production & quality. Read more

Published on 18 October 2010 in Sustainability and Communities , Climate, water and energy , Ecosystems and biodiversity

Understanding public preferences for water management strategies in the context of climate change

Climate change is expected to cause major changes in precipitation patterns all over the world. Over the coming decades, this will heavily influence riverine water flows and availability of water resources. Read more

Published on 13 October 2010 in Climate, water and energy

Taxonomy as a Science for Scotland

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Published on 8 October 2010 in Ecosystems and biodiversity

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