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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

An Introduction to the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay – ELISA Test

The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has proven invaluable as both a research and diagnostic tool. In this article, we will consider what an ELISA is, how it works, variations of the technique and what it can tell you.

6 Innovative Applications of Microbes

Microbes have many beneficial properties and for many years, humans, animals and plants have exploited them for their own benefit. We discuss some of the many and varied uses to which microbes are being applied.

PFAS Detection

Download this infographic to learn what per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are, why, despite their useful properties, they have become a concern for human health and the environment and the techniques used to detect them.

Techniques in Wine Analysis

Download this listicle to learn about the wine analysis techniques used in the vineyard, after harvest, for contaminant detection and to determine authenticity.

Gas Chromatography

In this article, we bring together resources from the across the site on gas chromatography, how it works, its pairing with downstream techniques and what its applications are.
Industry Insight

Microplastic Analysis and the Future Detection Landscape

The full impact that microplastics have on health and the environment is still not well understood, however, mounting evidence regarding their negative effects has made microplastics a topic of interest for scientists, governments and regulatory bodies. We spoke to Kathleen A. Young about microplastics detection techniques and technologies, the importance of standards and how regulations may come to fruition in the years to come.
Industry Insight

The Evolving Problem of Microplastics in a PPE Era

Microplastics are now ubiquitous in our lives and environment. To compound the problem, the advent of COVID-19 has seen uptake of single-use plastics in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE) skyrocket. We spoke to Kathleen A. Young about how the microplastics issue has evolved in light of COVID-19, particularly around PPE waste and what gains are being made in the areas of testing and analysis standards.
Industry Insight

A Step in the Right Direction for Dioxin Detection

To detect, quantify and ultimately instigate remedial action in relation to dioxin contamination, scientists require suitable analytical tools and techniques. The USEPA recently approved a new dioxin testing method which could assist these efforts. We spoke to Frank L. Dorman, PhD, FRSC, about the hazards posed by dioxins, challenges in their identification and the future detection landscape.

Leveraging Pseudoviruses in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The incredible efforts of scientists and public health agencies worldwide in response to SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in the emergency use authorization and rapid deployment of antibody-based countermeasures, including therapies and vaccines. Their effectiveness is typically measured in a neutralization assay, however, biosafety restrictions make working with SARS-CoV-2 challenging. We take a look at how pseudovirus may offer an alternative tool.
Industry Insight

An Automated Age for Western Blotting

Western blotting has been a core technique in molecular biology for many years, however, optimization and reproducibility can be problematic. We spoke to Dr Alexandre Lucas about the automation of western blotting and the difference this advance is making to research.