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Karen Steward PhD

Senior Science Writer

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After completing an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge in 2006, Karen became a research scientist at the Animal Health Trust, UK. During her time there, she completed a PhD in molecular microbiology and evolutionary genetics in partnership with the University of Cambridge and went on to hold a post-doctoral position. Her research focused on the fundamental biology of infectious diseases, outbreak analysis and the development of vaccines and diagnostic assays. In 2017 she left the lab to pursue a career in science communication. As senior science writer, Karen employs her wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to coordinate and create a range of scientific content, tools and resources for the site and provide scientific support across the teams.

Latest Content

Sensitivity vs Specificity

When developing diagnostic tests or evaluating results, it is important to understand how reliable those tests and therefore the results you are obtaining are. By using samples of known disease status, values such as sensitivity and specificity can be calculated that allow you to evaluate just that.

Antimicrobial Resistance: Drivers, Diagnostics and DNA

Combating AMR is going to take coordinated action of different approaches, such as improved public education and national action plans, greater surveillance, improved diagnostics, and the ability to harness advances in genomics and big data.
Industry Insight

Arming Brewers With Tools to Ensure Better Beers

For any brewer, ensuring your product is high quality and consistent is imperative to maintaining ongoing success and reputation. We spoke to Manas Sawant, Sr. Product Manager, UV-Vis Spectroscopy at Thermo Fisher Scientific about BeerCraft, their latest software solution aimed at assisting brewers to achieve quality and consistency in their beers.
Industry Insight

Scouting Out Microparticles in the Battle With Microplastics

There are many reasons that one might want to detect microparticles in a sample, and equally many sources from which microparticles may be generated. Of growing interest recently is the identification of microplastics, not just in the environment but also in the food chain. We spoke to Harald Fischer, Marketing Director at WITec, about ParticleScout, their latest Raman-based solution for rapid identification of microparticles, and the role it can play in assisting microplastic studies.

Genome Editing Database Helps Researchers Pull Together to Advance Agriculture

The Boyce Thompson Institute's Plant Genome Editing Database has been created by scientists to encourage sharing of data from experiments where CRISPR/Cas9 technology, along with other approaches to gene editing, have been used to study economically important traits in plants. We spoke to Zhangjun Fei and David Stern from the institute to learn more.

Taking a Closer Look at Microbial-Environmental Interactions With Cryo-EM

No microbe is an island. Understanding how they interact with each other and their surrounding environment is important to harness their beneficial properties and combat harmful behavior. We spoke to Professor Ariane Briegel about the important role of cryo-EM in these studies.

Wine Analysis – From Grape to Glass

We have been making and enjoying wine for centuries. Consumers must put their trust in all links in the production and supply chain that the product is what it claims to be, is safe and importantly pleasant to drink.To make such assurances possible there is a growing armory of tools available to analysts.

The Spectacular World of Microbial Imaging

Download this free flipbook to reveal a selection of truly stunning cell images.

UK and China Show Solidarity in Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

The UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, have announced winners of research competitions worth £20 million to address the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans and animals. The announcement coincides with publication of the UK Government’s strategy to tackle AMR.
Industry Insight

Identifying a Microbial Needle in a Sample Haystack

We spoke to Dr Jack Regan, CEO of LexaGene, a biotechnology company developing a fully automated pathogen detection platform, and inventor of their patented microfluidic system, about the foundations and evolution of the system, and the future outlook for the tool.