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Royal Society of

Biology

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF BIOLOGY

1 Naoroji Street, London WC1X 0GB

Tel: 020 3925 3440 info@rsb.org.uk; www.rsb.org.uk

EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor Tom Ireland MRSB, tom.ireland@rsb.org.uk

Editorial assistant Emma Wrake AMRSB, emma.wrake@rsb.org.uk

Chair of the Editorial Board

Professor Dan Davis FRSB,

Imperial College London

Editorial Board

Professor Matthew Cobb FRSB,

The University of Manchester Dr Anthony Flemming FRSB, Syngenta

Dr Sarah Maddocks CBiol MRSB,

Cardiff Met University Dr Esther Odenkule MRSB, GSK Professor Shaun D Pattinson FRSB,

Durham University

Dr James Poulter MRSB, University of Leeds

Professor Diane Purchase FRSB,

Middlesex University Dr Natasha de Vere, National Botanical Garden of Wales

Membership enquiries

Tel: 020 3925 3441; membership@rsb.org.uk

Subscription enquiries Tel: 020 3925 3464; info@rsb.org.uk

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Royal Society of Biology by

Think Media Group, 20 Mortimer Street,

London W1T 3JW www.thinkpublishing.co.uk;

020 3771 7200

Printed by Full Spectrum, Basildon

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Juanita Adu Production editor

Sian Campbell

Sub editor Kirsty Fortune Group account director

John Innes,

john.innes@thinkpublishing.co.uk

ISSN 0006-3347

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Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board or the Royal Society of Biology. © 2023 Royal Society of Biology

(Registered charity no. 277981)

The Society permits single copying of individual articles for private study or research, irrespective of where the copying is done. Multiple copying of individual articles for teaching purposes is also permitted without specific permission. For copying or reproduction for any other purpose, written permission must be sought from the Society. Exceptions to the above are those institutions and non-publishing organisations that have an agreement or licence with the UK Copyright Licensing Agency or the

US Copyright Clearance Center. Access to the magazine is available online; please see thebiologist.rsb.org.uk for more details.

Cover: Crocuses,

Shutterstock

TheBiologistVol 70 No 1 • Spring 2023

THE MAGAZINE OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF BIOLOGY w w w . r s b . o r g . u k

INSIDE

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KILLER CURE The power and possibilities of venom

THE THREE Rs

Innovations to lessen the use of animals in research

OPINION Encouraging neurodiversity in life science

The importance of tracking shifts in nature’s calendar Seasonal science

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VOLUME 70 NO 1 Spring 2023

ON THE COVER 18 Season creep How Biologist readers can help track the phenological impact of climate change

Contents

14 Toxic treatments The diversity of venoms in the animal world and their potential uses

24 Long-term experiments Five studies tracking how climate change is affecting our habitats

28 Northern exposure Golden jackals are heading north, but should they be classed as ‘alien’?

CONNECT WITH US Have an idea for an article or interested in writing for us?

G 0 Ci) 0

e tom.ireland@rsb.org.uk facebook.com/ RoyalSocBio thebiologist.rsb.org.uk

@RoyalSocBio www.youtube.com/ royalsocbio

UP FRONT 04 Society news Southeast Asia branch opens; latest plant health workshops

08 Policy news The UK’s plan for ‘green growth’, plus a new column on science, politics and Parliament

10 Policy analysis The RSB education team’s priorities for the next five years

12 Opinion How can we inspire more ‘neurodivergence’ in biology?

FEATURES 14 Kill or cure The unexplored value of venoms as potential therapeutics

18 Interview Tim Sparks and Kate Lewthwaite on the importance of monitoring the timing of seasonal events

24 Only time will tell What long-term field experiments tell us that other studies can’t

28 Globe trotters The redistribution of species such as the golden jackal raises difficult questions for conservationists

32 NC3Rs update Helping scientists reduce their reliance on animals for research

REGULARS 36 Members 40 Branches 42 Book reviews 47 Crossword 48 Amazing experiments The Hershey-Chase Experiment

Vol 70 No 1 / THE BIOLOGIST / 1

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