We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Image of Karen Steward PhD

Karen Steward PhD

Senior Science Writer

Contact Us

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
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.

Forensic DNA Analysis

The dawn of forensic DNA analysis has had a large part to play in the evolution of criminal and private investigations. Even the smallest residues can be used to place someone at a crime scene or determine how people are related to one another. Forensic DNA analysis doesn’t stop with people either, law enforcers are using the techniques to combat smuggling of animals and exotic woods too.

Stunning Images From Microscopy

Download this image gallery to see how a variety of techniques have been used to capture stunning images of the world beyond the naked eye.

Antigenic Drift vs Antigenic Shift

As part of the host-pathogen arms race, viruses are continually evolving to evade the host immune response, be it from previous infection or immunity acquired through vaccination. Here we take a look at the processes of antigenic drift and antigenic shift.

Food Microbiology

This infographic focuses on the harmful microorganisms that contaminate and spoil our food.

Understanding the Lytic Cycle – What Are the Steps?

Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses that specifically infect bacteria. They have a two-phase lifecycle, residing in a dormant state within the host genome (lysogenic cycle) or hijacking the host cellular machinery for their own replication (lytic cycle). Here we will explore the important steps of the lytic cycle.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic

The global flu pandemic of 1918, dubbed “Spanish flu”, killed 50 million people worldwide including the young, fit and healthy. Here we highlight some of the key events of the pandemic.

Industry Insight

Sustainability Through Innovation

With growing pressure on labs to reduce waste and improve sustainability, we spoke to the Sustainability Forum at Agilent to learn more about what the company are doing to help their customers achieve their sustainability goals.
Industry Insight

Students Get Hands-on with Mass Spectrometry

We spoke to Dr Jonathan Jones from Waters Corporation, to learn more about the new initiative that they and Swansea University are leading to give students hands-on experience of mass spectrometry.

Lytic vs Lysogenic – Understanding Bacteriophage Life Cycles

Bacteriophage (phage) are obligate intracellular viruses that specifically infect bacteria. Here we take an overview of their structure, life-cycle and the role they have played in advancing science and medicine.