Articles on Basic research

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Scientists are using a powerful gene editing technique to understand how human embryos develop. shutterstock

Genome editing of human embryos broadens ethics discussions

A new gene editing experiment explores human development. With this comes new ethical questions: How do scientists acquire embryos and how are their projects approved?
Polysaccharide molecules such as cellulose, seen here, are long chains of sugars that are very hard to break apart. Enzymes – proteins that can degrade polysaccharides – have many industrial uses. CeresVesta/Wikipedia

Scientist at work: Bio-prospecting for better enzymes

Bio-prospecting is the search for useful materials from natural sources. A biologist explains what we can learn from bacteria about breaking down plant material, and how we can use that knowledge.
Academic researchers need funding – especially as the federal government devotes less to basic research. Check image via www.shutterstock.com

Is it time for a new model to fund science research in higher education?

With federal support for on-campus R&D dwindling as a percentage of GDP, keeping basic research afloat is a challenge. Schools and researchers are left to try to fill in the funding gaps.
Embarking on the path to a PhD is a scary business. Shutterstock

Want to do your PhD in Africa? Here’s what you need to know

Many people are left floundering when they try to get working on their PhDs. In Africa, this is often because the skills they need haven't been developed earlier in their academic careers.

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