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News and blogs from Ethical Tissue

You can find notable news articles relating to the Ethical Tissue below.

Tales from the Tissue Bank

Read our interview with Senior Scientist Wayne Burrill as he talks about the impact of Covid19 on the workings of the biobank.

The Bradford 'tooth fairy' project update

Dr Julia Beaumont, biological anthropologist at the University of Bradford has developed a (now widely-used) method for analysing the dietary history of children using the dentine in their teeth. By using archaeological teeth, she has identified changes in diet that are characteristic of breastfeeding and weaning, and also markers for Famine. She is now working with modern teeth from across the world to confirm her findings and also to identify potential markers for nutritional stress around birth and during infancy in the only accessible tissue which retains information about life pre- and post-birth.

Over the last two years, Ethical Tissue, supported by NHS Portfolio funding, have been collecting teeth which have been extracted as part of routine NHS dental treatment. Over 200 children and their parents consented to donate their teeth, along with detailed medical and breastfeeding history, to the project. Some initial results were published in 2020 (Beaumont) which shows the differences between breast-fed and non-breast-fed children. As the data analysis nears completion, the data can be compared to the questionnaire sheets to understand diagnostic potential in the patterns recorded. Project funded by the Rank Prize Funds New Investigator Award and sponsorship from DB Orthodontics, Bradford.

The Tooth Fairy study was carried out under HRA ethical approval, IRAS project ID is 200244

Beaumont J. The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth: Or why Temporal Resolution of Bone Collagen May Be Unreliable. Archaeometry. 2020;


Woman scientist examining tooth

Dr Julia Beaumont representing the Bradford Tooth Fairy Project

December 2020

The impact of Covid19 on our services

The Covid19 pandemic has impacted the ability for Ethical Tissue to supply tissues to researchers. Most people will be aware that elective operations have been suspended in many hospitals and clinics. The area most affected is skin research which relies heavily on donor tissues from cosmetic procedures. However we are responding to this by making our frozen skin tissues available to researchers who can use frozen skin for studies, such as skin penetration studies. In addition, we are supporting researchers studying Covid19 by providing Phlebotomy services for blood samples. 

Please contact Wayne Burrill if you have tissue requirements for your research and we will work with you to help source tissues or suggest an alternative.

A tube with a biofluid sample swab