In the last edition, we outlined some of the work the University had been doing to design and implement new covid-secure buildings and working practices. Getting all of our laboratory-based facilities open and research moving again was a key goal for everyone. 

So, I am very pleased to let you know that as of October our re-start began and as of now, we are back-up to speed with our processing and analysis work. Because of the measures put in place, we have not been affected by the second lockdown in any way and given the welcome news about the roll out of vaccines, we do not anticipate any further restrictions moving forward. 

Clearly the timeline for all of our projects has been affected and this includes our ‘Genetic and Cytogenetic’ study. As a brief reminder, at the time of closure, we had already received over 80% of the samples for this study, and we had a small number of families who were in the process of providing us with blood samples. It is heartening to report that even in the current crisis, our volunteers and their GP practices have been supporting us by completing the process of providing us with their samples.

We expect this to continue through the early part of next year and, are very appreciative of everyone’s efforts involved. 

Indeed, our progress on all CHRCs projects is continuing in as timely a manner as possible with expectations for submissions for peer-review publications from all of the projects on the horizon. You can see more details of our projects, their progress and how they relate to each other by reading our
3rd Annual Report: https://chrc4veterans.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CHRC-3rd-Annual-Report.pdf.
Within this Report, we also outline some of our work underway with Brunel Universities STEM Centre and how we are sharing information on veterans of the nuclear testing programme and CHRCs research with school children through educational activities.  

In this edition of Exposure, we continue our series of articles which encompass ‘Radiation and Health’ with Part 1 of ‘Ionising Radiation and Cancer’. In this two-part article we begin by introducing the prevalence of cancer, the survival rates and the common causes of this medical condition. We then cover the hallmarks of cancer (the traits of a cancer cell) and the different biological mechanisms for carcinogenesis (how cancer arises) that have been proposed. 

I would also like to highlight that our ‘Basic Information’ series is now available as flip-books in addition to the interactive versions.

Both are available through our Knowledge Hub page https://chrc4veterans.uk/knowledge-hub/knowledge-hub-basic-facts/ on our website and also available to order as hard copies.

I would like to finish by wishing everyone a very safe, if quiet, Christmas and New Year. We very much hope that 2021 will bring change for the better. 

CHRC staff remain working and are contactable via email at
CHRC@brunel.ac.uk. During this period there may be a delay in replying. But please get in touch if you have any queries and please all keep well. Christmas and New Year closure dates will be from, Monday 21st December until Monday 4th January 2021.

Dr Rhona Anderson, Director, CHRC