Twyman Research Management
Specialist consultants in
scientific project development,
management and presentation
to Twyman Research Management
Twyman Research Management Ltd is a UK company that specializes in scientific project development, management and presentation, including the preparation of research proposals, project management and reporting, project dissemination and complementary activities, and expert assistance with the preparation, editing and revision of scientific manuscripts.
We have been working for more than 20 years to develop and manage research projects and improve the quality of scientific publications.
Launch of Horizon 2020 project InnCoCells
May 2021 - We are pleased to announce the launch of InnCoCells, a four-year Horizon 2020 project involving 17 partners from 11 European countries, with TRM Ltd representing the United Kingdom. The overall aim of the project is to revolutionize the way cosmetic ingredients are discovered and manufactured by developing sustainable production processes based on plants. TRM is leading work package 7, dealing with the project's dissemination and communication activities. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101000373.
For more information, see the project website here.
Article of the Month
Some of the most severe insect pests are invasive species such as Drosophila suzukii. Their invasive success is achieved in part due to their extremely robust immune system, which makes them difficult to control. In December's article of the month, Carrau et al. investigate the innate immunity of D. suzukii and reveal some of the underlying mechanisms. In the human immune system, one of the first lines of defense against invading bacteria is the activation of neutrophils, which catch bacteria in so-called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formed from the cells' own DNA as they die. Carrau et al. found that the equivalent immune cells in D. suzukii (plasmatocytes) also produce extracellular traps, in addition to deploying other strategies such as engulfing the invading bacteria (phagocytosis) and trapping them on cellular extensions (filopodia). The more we learn about the defense mechanisms of insect pests, the easier it becomes to develop strategies that overcome or circumvent those mechanisms as a means of pest control.
Article details: Carrau T et al. (2021) The cellular innate immune response of the invasive pest insect Drosophila suzukii against Pseudomonas entomophila involves the release of extracellular traps. Cells 10 (12) 3320.
Image shows a neutrophil (yellow) that has ejected a NET (green) to capture bacteria (purple), with the collateral effect of also trapping a red blood cell (orange).
Image credit: CHDENK (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Insect pests cause immense damage to crops, but traditional control methods based on chemical pesticides are becoming less effective because insect populations are evolving resistance. One way to counter this is the release of volatile compounds (odorants) that direct insect behavior, including their ability to identify food, mates, and predators, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are often unclear. In November's article of the month, Chen et al. show how the volatile compound methyl eugenol is detected by the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis). They provide direct physical evidence that methyl eugenol binds to the receptor BdorOBP56f-2, and then confirm its biological role by knocking out the corresponding gene and showing that flies no longer respond to this chemical. Uncovering the molecular basis of odorant perception in pest insects will facilitate the development of new control strategies to protect crops.
Article details: Chen X et al. (2021) CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis abolishes odorant-binding protein BdorOBP56f-2 and impairs the perception of methyl eugenol in Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). Insect Biochem Mol Biol 139, 103656.
Image shows a female oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) laying eggs under the skin of a papaya fruit.
Image credit: Scott Bauer/USDA (public domain).
Ancient DNA can provide fascinating insights into the lives of historical figures to fill gaps in written archives or support findings based on other contemporaneous sources. As DNA sequencing technology becomes more powerful, so it becomes possible to find information even when the source material is hundreds or even thousands of years old. In October's article of the month, Iadarola et al. apply a technique known as exome sequencing to home in on the coding regions of DNA extracted from the mummified remains of Cangrande della Scala. This Italian nobleman (1291–1321) was the ruler of Verona and surrounding cities until his death, and he was interred in a marble tomb that helped to preserve his body. The reconstructed DNA sequence suggests that Cangrande della Scala represents the earliest known case of the lysosomal storage disorder now known as Pompe disease, which fits well with historical accounts of his poor health. Even small amounts of preserved tissue are sufficient for this approach, which could therefore provide new information about genetic heritage to support historical research.
Article details: Iadarola B et al. (2021) Whole-exome sequencing of the mummified remains of Cangrande della Scala (1291–1329 CE) indicates the first known case of late-onset Pompe disease. Sci Rep 11 (1) 21070.