Our top 10 blog posts of 2018
by Guest Author on 20 Dec 2018
As we’re counting down the days ‘til Christmas, Petra Kiviniemi takes us on an MRC-countdown through our top 10 most-read blog posts of the year.
10. Increasing transparency in animal research numbers
In at number 10 is Dr Sara Wells, Director of the Mary Lyon Centre, MRC Harwell. For the first time, this autumn saw additional statistics published on all animals involved in research – a welcome milestone for animal research transparency. Sara helpfully explained what these additional statistics mean, and why some animals aren’t counted in the statistics on animals used in procedures.
9. Sharing rare data for a common cause
The information that gathers in our wake as we move through life and health centre or hospital waiting rooms is a powerful tool for medical research. In ninth place, Cecily Berryman told us how a health emergency brought discussions about data science to the heart of her family.
8. MRC Festival: Bringing research to life
Are you interested in coming along or taking part in next year’s MRC Festival of Medical Research? Taking the eighth spot, Deborah Barber explored some 2018 highlights and shared tips for making public engagement a success.
7. Medical research has a bright future
Before Professor Fiona Watt became our Executive Chair on 1 April, Professor Sir John Savill spent nearly eight years at the helm of the MRC. As he left, John reflected on how he’d translated his priorities into research investments, aiming to strengthen the UK research ecosystem for the future.
6. From deep-sea sponges to dragonfly wings: Superbug research from unexpected places
From the Atlantic Ocean to our own backyards, our researchers have been hunting high and low for inspiration to help better understand and tackle superbugs. For World Antibiotic Awareness Week Jonathan Pearce, MRC’s Head of Infections and Immunity, highlighted some of the remarkable interdisciplinary teams carrying out this fascinating research.
5. Meal timings: do they matter?
Could something as simple as when we eat influence our body weight and health? That’s what Professors Alexandra Johnstone and Peter Morgan, of the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, are investigating. They told us more about their Big Breakfast Study.
4.How artificial intelligence, and a cup of tea, could help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
Our winner of the 2018 Max Perutz Science Writing Award was PhD student Natasha Clarke, from St George’s, University of London. In her winning article, she described how teaching machines to detect changes in language could help with early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Working life: Dr Oluwafemi Akande
Dr Oluwafemi Akande is a Postdoc Fellow of the Africa Research Excellence Fund. In our third most popular blog post of the year, he told us his story of how a degree in architecture led him to global health research. By combining his knowledge of building design with his interest in public health, he’s hoping to realise his passion of improving people’s wellbeing.
2. 10 expert tips to help you respond to peer review comments
In second place is our expert tips to help researchers respond to comments from peer reviewers. Peer Review Programme Manager Rachel Prosser asked MRC board and panel members for guidance on how researchers can reassure the board or panel that they really can do what they propose to do.
1. GDPR: What researchers need to know
And topping the list, as our most popular blog post of 2018, is some sage advice from Sarah Dickson, Head of the MRC Regulatory Support Centre. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and new Data Protection Act came into force on 25 May, affecting research involving personal data. Sarah talked us through the changes and advised how researchers could prepare.
That’s it from us for now. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog this year and thank you for your interest in our work. Wishing you a wonderful festive season and a happy New Year!