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archived factsheets

The content of these Factsheets has not been reviewed recently and so may be out of date.

phenylbutazone (bute) and horsemeat

This Factsheet accompanied a Briefing with a number of food science and equine experts, who came to talk about the scientific aspects of the horsemeat scandal, including issues around food safety, traceability, toxicology and DNA testing. read more

Schmallenberg virus

Schmallenberg virus arrived in the UK in autumn 2011 and during spring and summer 2012 resulted in deformities of lambs and calves born in the south and east of England. read more

GM field trials in the UK and Europe

The first trials of transgenic crops featured herbicide resistance in tobacco in France and USA. The first field trial of GE grapes (Vitis vinifera) took place in the northern Alsace region of France in 2005. And more recently field trials of GM potatoes and wheat have begun in the UK. read more

BCG vaccine

BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is a vaccine for tuberculosis. It contains a live but attenuated form of Mycobacterium bovis. BCG was first used in humans in 1921. read more

nanoparticles in medicine

You can download this factsheet as a PDF.   Background on nanotechnology Nanotechnology deals with the study of man-made materials … read more

swine influenza

You can download this factsheet as a PDF.   What is it?   Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory … read more

energy-saving light bulbs

You can download this factsheet as a PDF.   What are compact fluorescent light bulbs? Compact fluorescent light bulbs (or … read more

carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are molecular-scale structures made from carbon graphite. They consist of a flat sheet of carbon atoms rolled into a very thin, cylindrical tube. Carbon nanotubes are very light and strong, and they also have unique electrical, thermal and optical properties which make them highly conducive to electricity and heat. read more

nuclear energy in the UK

You can download this factsheet as a PDF   The UK currently has 19 working nuclear power plants, generating around 20% … read more

blue tongue disease

Bluetongue is a viral disease affecting all ruminants, including sheep, cattle, deer and goats. Symptoms can include a high fever, excessive salivation, nasal discharges, swelling of the head and neck and sometimes discolouration of the tongue. The disease commonly leads to lameness, muscle degeneration and death in 70% of cases. The bluetongue virus is transmitted by some species of biting midge. read more

DNA vaccines

You can download this factsheet as a pdf.   What is a DNA vaccine? A DNA vaccine uses a gene … read more

avian flu

Avian flu is carried by wild birds, although they do not necessarily develop the disease, and it can cause illness and death in chickens, ducks and turkeys. The two most virulent strains are H5 and H7. Symptoms of avian flu in birds can include swelling of the head, blue discolouration of the neck and throat, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and respiratory stress. Death following infection is rapid. read more

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