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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


Here we highlight some of the key similarities and differences between high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), and consider some of their many applications.

Exploring 5 Successful Microbial Symbioses

Our environment is filled with a multitude of microbes, some harmful others not. However, some organisms have taken coexisting a step further and developed relationships, or symbioses, with microbial partners. Here we consider some of the successful symbiotic relationships found in nature.
Industry Insight

Tackling Antibiotic-resistance: Nitric Oxide-based Treatments for Respiratory Diseases

The failure of conventional antibiotics to treat numerous antibiotic-resistant infections necessitates the development of new agents – as a natural anti-microbial nitric oxide holds particular promise.

Team Work Helps Overcome Environmental Challenges

We spoke to Andrew Howley from Adventure Scientists,a pioneering not-for-profit organization that seeks to unite skilled adventurers with scientists keen to receive valuable data from remote areas, to learn more about the initiative and the impact their projects are having in the scientific community and beyond.

European Court Rules that Gene Editing is GM

The European Court of Justice has today ruled in a landmark case that living organisms, including plants, altered using newer genome editing techniques, class as genetically engineered.

What’s in a Wine Name?

There’s nothing like a nice cool glass of rosé on a balmy summers evening. Whether you’re an adventurous type who likes to try a new wine every time or you have your go-to favourites, you put your trust in producers and retailers to deliver the products that they claim to be – but are they?

Working Together Helps Phage Overcome CRISPR

Surprising results show that phage join forces to overcome bacteria’s CRISPR -based immune defenses. Improved understanding of the interactions between phage and their bacterial hosts could help advance phage-based therapies and stimulate viral research.

Strawberry’s Properties are More than Skin Deep

Everyone loves a perfectly ripe strawberry, right? They count towards your five a day and contain important nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. But what if science could help breeders make them even better?

Air Quality Monitoring

The quality of the air we breathe is of concern to many, as are the negative impacts that pollutants can have on health in the short term and the lasting effects. Many of us have the potential to come into contact with air contaminants in our day to day lives, so it is vital that efficient monitoring measures are in place to keep us from harm.

CO2 Shortage Highlights that It’s Not Always the Bad Guy

Say the words “carbon dioxide” to many people and often the first connotations that come to mind are negative things like emissions and global warming. Many governments around the globe are going to great lengths to reduce harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which remain worryingly high. However, believe it or not, a CO2 shortage is currently causing havoc in many areas of the food and beverage industry.