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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
Industry Insight

Agilent Science Futures – The Impact of Academia–Industry Relationships on the Next Generation of Scientists

There is an inherent link between academia and industry that rarely gets the acknowledgement it deserves. Hear from a roundtable of PhD students on the impact that the collaborative relationship between academia and industry has on their work and the role that technology plays in the “Science Futures” initiative.

Western Blot Procedures, Analysis and Purpose

There are many reasons you may need to determine the presence (or absence) and size of a given protein within a sample, potentially against a background of many others. The western blot is one such technique that offers these capabilities. In this article, we discuss what western blots are, how they are performed, what they show us and how they differ to related techniques.

Opinionated Science Episode 35: Mighty Microbes Battle Cancer and Protect the Environment

In this episode, the Technology Networks team review a pair of studies showing off the power of microbes. In one, they act as a conduit in an unlikely potential health benefit for a high-salt diet. In the other, they are revealed to play an important role in the breakdown of plastic in the environment.

Pesticide Screening

Pesticides have been key in enabling producers to keep up with growing global food demands, but must be used with caution. Download this infographic to learn what pesticides are, why we test for them, what we test for and the techniques used to achieve this.

Liquid Chromatography Troubleshooting

Liquid chromatography is an incredibly valuable tool when things are going well, however, like most experimental techniques, it is not always plain sailing. Download this infographic to learn about potential sources of LC analysis problems, clues that can be gained from your chromatogram and possible solutions to rectify the issues.


A great deal of research effort has been ploughed into finding green, renewable and sustainable answers to both fueling the world and disposing of our waste. One such solution has been the development of biofuels.

Dissolution Testing With Lorraine Kay

What is dissolution testing and why is important in drug development, formulation and testing? For this Teach Me in 10 episode, we're joined by Lorraine Kay from Agilent Technologies who gives us a whistle-stop tour of dissolution testing, answering all these questions and more in just 10 minutes.

Opinionated Science Episode 32: Debunking the "Hygiene Hypothesis" and Psychedelic Brain Changes

On this episode, the team take a look at a new study that suggests people's interpretation of the "Hygiene Hypothesis" - that early exposure to some microorganisms protects against allergic disease - might be in need of a cleanup. They also detail some findings on the psychedelic drug psilocybin and its effects on the connections of the mammalian brain. Not to be missed!

Petrochemical Analysis

Petrochemicals have diverse applications that touch many areas of our everyday lives. However, with many steps along the extraction and production process, it is imperative that the quality and purity of petrochemicals can be accurately monitored throughout, ensuring required standards are met.
Industry Insight

Tailoring LC Solutions for Growing Biopharma Demand

Biopharmaceutical development is currently one of the fastest growing areas in the life sciences. With this comes an increasing need for analytical solutions able to cope with the challenges offered by biopharma samples. We spoke to Dr. Tom van de Goor from Agilent about how they are addressing these issues.