Posts tagged: disease

Salford researcher set to return to Edinburgh Fringe Festival stage


Gary Kerr takes part in the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

A science communication researcher at the University of Salford is set to take part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month.

Dr Gary Kerr, who works within the School of Environment and Life Sciences, will take to the stage to claim that cancer screening, on some occasions, does more harm than good.

His debate is part of the ‘Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas’ show at the Fringe Festival, which sees leading academics put forward controversial ideas to audiences over 24 days.  The cabaret is compered by Susan Morrison, one of Scotland’s leading comedians.

Gary said:  “The general consensus is that cancer screening does more good than harm. However research shows that sometimes cancer screening can be quite problematic.

“There are some harms involved, and perhaps these harms and risks are not well articulated and are kept in the small print. The medical profession don’t really talk about the risks when they invite people for screening tests. For example, there is a problem with over-diagnosis in screening programmes and that some people are diagnosed with “disease” that is never going to cause them any problems”.


Undergraduate joins heart disease researchers


Louise Foster

‘HIGH-FLYING’ biomedical undergraduate Louise Foster has won a prestigious award to join a laboratory research team looking at the causes of heart disease.

The 27-year-old from Wigan is excelling in her second year of the University of Salford BSc in Biomedical Science.

And she came a step closer to her ambition of studying for a PhD after she was selected by the Physiological Society for a prestigious ‘vacation studentship’ – basically getting paid to join a lab team for the summer!

“Louise is incredibly bright and has real potential to become a professional scientist,” comments Dr David Greensmith, of the Biomedical Research Centre.

Exceptionally able 

“She is exceptionally able as evidenced by her 85% 1st year average and 1st class grades in her second year to date, and she already works part time in a NHS laboratory giving us every confidence her lab work will be of equally high standard to her academic ability.”

Louise will join Dr Greensmith’s research project this summer investigating the cellular basis for cardiac dysfunction in sepsis. Severe sepsis is an immune response to systemic infection and results in approximately 40,000 UK deaths each year.

Much of Dr Greensmith’s work relies on the ability to quantify levels of oxidative stress in isolated heart cells. Louise will focus on optimisation of a high-throughput assay of cellular oxidative stress to make this process more efficient. She will look also at screening of a large range of cytokines to assess which are fundamentally capable of elevating intracellular oxidative stress in the heart.

Students who wish to find out more about Physiological Society vacation awards, can find out more


Humans help spread honeybee virus


Prof Stephen Martin

The spread of a disease that is decimating global bee populations is man-made, and driven by European honeybee populations, new research has concluded.

A study involving the University of Salford published in the journal Science – arguably one of the top three academic journals in the world – found that the European honeybee Apis mellifera is overwhelmingly the source of cases of the Deformed Wing Virus infecting hives worldwide. The finding suggests that the pandemic is man-made rather than naturally occurring, with human trade and transportation of bees for crop pollination driving the spread.

Although separately they are not major threats to bee populations, when the Varroa mite carries the disease, the combination is deadly, and has wiped out millions of honeybees over recent decades, adding to fears over food security, global economies and human health.