St Albans scientist publishes research which could save farmers £100m each year

PUBLISHED: 09:24 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:38 25 July 2018

Pascoe Harvey

Pascoe Harvey

Archant

A scientist from St Albans is about to publish ground breaking research which could save farmers millions of pounds.

Pascoe HarveyPascoe Harvey

Former Verulam pupil Pascoe Harvey has been working in collaboration with Dr Henrik Stotz at the University of Hertfordshire to curb the prevalence of a crop disease called stem canker.

In the UK alone, the destructive infection costs farmers £100 million per year.

The 26-year-old used computers to analyse the genetic code of rapeseed, pinpointing what makes the plants resistant to stem canker - therefore aiding farmers to produce a healthy harvest and use less fungicide.

The research will be published in scientific journal PLOS One.

Pascoe said: “I love it when you can use a computational approach to pick apart a difficult biological problem, particularly when what you discover is something that’s really useful for people.”

He is studying for a PhD in synthetic biology at Edinburgh University.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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