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Neil_Alexander-TN
In remembrance of R. McNeill Alexander FRS, CBE. 1934-2016
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

His many friends in the SEB and elsewhere will have been greatly saddened to hear of the death of R. McNeill Alexander on March 21st, aged 81. Neill, as he was universally known, was born in Lisburn, near Belfast. He read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and continued to a PhD under Sir James Gray. From 1958 he lectured at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and was appointed Professor of Zoology at Leeds in 1969 where he remained for the rest of his career.

TN
Pushing the frontiers
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

Artificial life has traditionally belonged to the realm of science-fiction yet it is fast becoming a reality as synthetic biologists go boldly where no other biologists have gone before. From gene circuits to carbon capture to light-activated organisms – the pioneers of this brave new world were in full force at our Annual Meeting in Brighton.

09607412
Exposing enzymes
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

It was proposed that CSE functioned in the monolignol pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana in 2014, indicating that loss of function of CSE leads to a reduction in lignin content and a small decrease in plant growth, although the phenotypes are much less severe than in those observed with loss of function of the two preceding enzymes in the lignin pathway in Arabidopsis. Since then, the role of CSE in lignin biosynthesis has been questioned in several species, in part through the inability to demonstrate the activity of the enzyme. The pathway via CSE is certainly counter-intuitive, as it involves the cleavage of a thioester linkage and its subsequent re-formation, involving the hydrolysis of an extra molecule of ATP.

TN
Heat wave
Autumn 2016
31 October 2016

Climate change has been at the core of science for the past few decades. The predicted global increase in temperature will also be accompanied by ocean acidification. Research on the subject has largely focused on aerobic scope which is linked to whole-animal performance (including growth, reproduction and overall fitness). In addition, special attention has been given to marine ectotherms as they do not regulate their body temperature, but we still lack a unifying pattern to predict the effects that elevated temperature and high CO2 will have on these organisms.