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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

Mass Spectrometry’s Important Role in Identifying Explosives in the Environment

Explosives, especially when not contained or disposed of correctly, pose a significant hazard to humans, wildlife and the ecosystem. Having the tools to be able to identify their presence and state are therefore key to combating the issue. We spoke to Stanislaw Popiel about the game-changing role that mass spectrometry is playing in the process and some of the challenges that still lie ahead.

How Advances in Mass Spectrometry Are Helping the Food and Beverage Industry

Mass spectrometry is an important tool for many industries, not least in ensuring the safety of our food and beverages. Hazards ranging from pesticides, to heavy metals and toxins can be identified using the technology, even if they are only present in minute quantities. Here Jenny Nelson tells us how advances in mass spectrometry have improved analysis potential and the important role it has played and will continue to play in ensuring the safety of the beverage industry.

Addressing Real-world Challenges With Technology: An Interview With Christie Hunter Ph.D.

Christie Hunter is the Director of Applications at SCIEX where her and her team are tasked with developing new applications for SCIEX products, from screening for pesticides in our food supply through to molding the way cancer biomarkers are found. We spoke to Christie about her career, achievements and challenges for the future.

Bioengineering and Food Labeling Requirements

In a move aimed to make the origins of food more transparent for consumers, the USDA have launched new rulings regarding the labeling requirements for bioengineered ingredients – but what does this mean for producers, retailers and consumers?

Pandemics Throughout Human History

In one form or another, disease has plagued man throughout history. When an epidemic spreads to become a global problem, then you have a pandemic on your hands. In this list we discuss some of the most notable pandemics in history and reveal some startling statistics.

What are the Ingredients of a Banana?

‘Chemicals’ in foods have become a major cause for concern amongst consumers over the last few decades. But are ‘natural’ ingredients really any better?

Influenza Virus: Structure, Strains & Infections

In the early 1900s when ‘Spanish Flu‘ ravaged the global population, the virus was a relatively novel concept. Since then, our knowledge of viruses has come a long way, as has our understanding of how they interact with our immune system.

Influenza: Pathology, Diagnosis and Prevention

A century has passed since the 1918 global flu pandemic, aka the ‘Spanish flu’. Back in the early 1900s, the virus was a relatively novel concept. Since then, our understanding of viruses has come a long way, as have our diagnostics tools, and control and preventative strategies.
Industry Insight

What’s New in the Food Analysis Toolkit?

In areas such as food analysis, where detection of contaminants may be imperative to prevent dangers to consumers, speed and reliability is key. We spoke to Tim Jenkins from Waters Corporation, about their coupling of DART to the QDa mass detector with a software solution aimed to enhance compound identification.
Industry Insight

The Changing Shape of Optofluidics R&D

Life science businesses are facing growing demand to keep pace in an era of fast-evolving technology. By recognizing the potential challenges, a growing number of companies are leveraging the resources and creativity of their suppliers. We took a look at the landscape of optofluidics R&D.