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Fundamental bioscience news

In partnership with BBSRC, The Royal Society of Biology hosted an evening reception at the House of Commons to celebrate the biosciences in parliament. Speakers included Stephen Metcalfe MP, Professor Julia Goodfellow and Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC Executive Chair.

Scientists have determined the DNA code of the opium poppy genome, uncovering key steps in how the plant evolved to produce the pharmaceutical compounds used to make vital medicines. The discovery may pave the way for scientists to improve yields and the disease resistance of the medicinal plant, securing a reliable and cheap supply of the most effective drugs for pain relief and palliative care.

A new study led by scientists from the universities of Bristol and Bath has used a combination of genomic and fossil data to explain the history of life on Earth, from its origin to the present day. Palaeontologists have long sought to understand ancient life and the shared evolutionary history of life as a whole, but the fossil record of early life is extremely fragmented.