Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 38

Shift Work, Sleep and Health
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0586
A POSTnote that describes how working outside of daytime hours – shift work – affects physical and mental health and performance through its impact on sleep and circadian timing. It highlights the latest research, explains the implications for policy and how research can inform the design of interventions to improve shift workers' sleep and overall health.
NHS and Healthcare Data
Published Friday, August 31, 2018 | Lords Library notes LLN-2018-0091
This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on the motion moved by Lord Freyberg (Crossbench), “that this House takes note of NHS and healthcare data and how that data could be used to improve the health of the nation”. It describes what healthcare data is, the uses to which it might be put and the challenges in doing so. It also outlines the main organisations involved in the area and recent developments in public policy.
Animal Experiment Statistics
Published Thursday, April 12, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers SN02720
In 2014 3.8 million procedures were completed on regulated living animals representing a decrease of 6% compared to 2013. This note summarises and analyses trends in data, including the growth of universities as the dominant seat of research on animals, the decline of research for toxicological purposes, and the growth in animal procedures for cancer research.
The Ageing Process and Health
Published Friday, February 9, 2018 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0571
This POST note examines the biological basis of ageing, the potential to manipulate the ageing process and to use such knowledge to promote better health later in life.
Regulating Advanced Therapies
Published Friday, November 17, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0567
A POSTnote which explains what advanced therapies are and how they can benefit patients, and gives an overview of the current regulatory framework and how this might change after Brexit.
New Plant Breeding Techniques
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0548
This note outlines some of the new plant breeding techniques developed recently and looks at their applications and the regulatory challenges they raise
Implications of the Accelerated Access Review for cystic fibrosis and other conditions
Published Monday, December 12, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0242
This Debate Pack has been prepared ahead of the debate on the Implications of the Accelerated Access Review for cystic fibrosis and other conditions, to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 13 December at 9.30am. The subject for the debate has been chosen by the Backbench Business Committee, following a representation made by Ian Austin, Ben Howlett and Kerry McCarthy.
Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
Published Monday, October 17, 2016 | Lords In Focus LIF-2016-0054
This House of Lords Library briefing provides background information in advance of the second reading of the Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill [HL] in the House of Lords on Friday 21 October 2016.
Sources of Statistics: Health
Published Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN03843
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on UK public health services.
Mitochondrial Donation
Published Thursday, January 29, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06833
This note seeks to provide a summary of the role of mitochondria, mitochondrial disease and the proposed new techniques. It will also outline the investigations into these techniques that took place prior to the Government announcement; a HFEA scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods, an ethical review of the techniques for mitochondrial replacement undertaken by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and an HFEA public consultation. The main safety and ethical considerations associated with the introduction of these techniques into clinical practice will be discussed.
GM Insects and Disease Control
Published Tuesday, November 4, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-483
Insects play a critical role in ecosystems, but can also cause economic and social harm by transmitting diseases to humans and livestock, and damaging crops. Genetically modified (GM) insects could be used alongside other approaches to mitigate harms. This POSTnote summarises possible benefits, risks and uncertainties associated with their deployment.
GM Crops and Regulation
Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-482
This note summarises the evidence on environmental and health impacts of GM crops, describes recent technological developments and examines their likely consequences for proposed reforms of GM regulation
Preventing Mitochondrial Disease
Published Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-431
This note describes new treatments designed to prevent mothers with mitochondrial disease passing their condition on to their children and looks at the issues raised by their potential use in IVF.
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-473
A POSTnote that explores the role of biobanks in health research.
Surveillance of infectious disease
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | POSTnotes POST-PN-462
This briefing describes current surveillance efforts and examines new technological developments and their likely impacts on UK and international public health.
Epigenetics and Health
Published Wednesday, December 18, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-451
This POSTnote examines how recent advances in epigenetics can be used to develop new treatments, inform public health policy, and contribute to the UK economy.
Plant-made Pharmaceuticals
Published Friday, December 21, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-424
The use of genetically modified (GM) plants to produce pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines is an emerging technology that offers a low-cost, large-scale alternative to current methods. This POSTnote looks at recent advances in, and the benefits of, the technology, and analyses the associated biosafety and regulatory issues.
Consumer Genetic Testing
Published Thursday, March 15, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-407
This POSTnote explores the scientific, regulatory, and ethical issues related to genetic tests sold to consumers.
Improving livestock
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | POSTnotes POST-PN-393
This note describes current technologies used in livestock breeding, research into future technologies and how the improvement of livestock can contribute towards future food security.
GM crops and food security
Published Thursday, September 15, 2011 | POSTnotes POST-PN-386
This POSTnote examines the potential contribution that genetic modification of crops might bring to increasing food production in Europe, in a global context.

Displaying 1-20 out of 38

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The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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