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About the Sainsbury Laboratory

bldg05The Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) is a new research institute funded by the Gatsby Foundation. The aim of the Laboratory is to elucidate the regulatory systems underlying plant growth and development.

Plants are the foundation for virtually every ecosystem and agricultural system on Earth. A fundamental understanding of how plants grow and develop is therefore paramount for the long term security of a sustainable supply of food and other plant products, such as fuel, fibres and building materials.

The study of plant development is being transformed by the new scientific and technical resources becoming available to biologists, including high-throughput DNA sequencing, new imaging methods, increasingly sophisticated genetic tools, and refined chemical interventions. The data derived from these approaches have opened the way for predictive computational models, which are essential for understanding the dynamic, self-organising properties of plants.

We now have an unprecedented opportunity to obtain an integrated understanding of plant development, setting the stage for a new synthesis that will draw on molecular, cellular, whole plant, and population biology to elucidate how plants are constructed. SLCU is establishing a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research environment that will capitalise on these exciting opportunities.

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Rare mineral discovered in plants for first time

Mar 05, 2018

A rare mineral that holds enticing potential as a new material for industrial and medical applications has been discovered on alpine plants through a collaboration between Sainsbury Laboratory and Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Plants feel the heat

Feb 13, 2018

Sainsbury Laboratory scientists have solved a 79-year-old mystery by discovering how plants vary their response to heat stress depending on the time of day.

Fast-talking plants increase flower production within 24-hours of soil nutrient application

Jan 24, 2018

The molecular mechanisms enabling plants to quickly adapt their rate of flower production in response to changing nutrient levels in soil have been revealed by researchers at the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Re-wiring cells by crossing kingdoms

Jan 22, 2018

Game-changing synthetic biology developments that could help address global health and agriculture challenges will be examined at a three-day international synthetic biology symposium at the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, this spring (16-18 April 2018).

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