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Science Alert: Experts Respond

Glaciers drove kiwi diversity – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 30th, 2016.

A new study suggests kiwi are more diverse than previously thought, thanks to ice age glaciations driving evolution into multiple lineages. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic range of the five known kiwi species. They found the five kiwi species divided […]

Obesity link significant find – Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 28th, 2016.

Writing in the Otago Daily Times, University of Otago Professors Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan discuss the significance of new researching finding the strongest genetic link with obesity to date. An excerpt (read in full here). Tony Merriman and Dave Grattan: Significant to have found gene with link to obesity If we want to solve the obesity […]

Obesity-linked gene discovered in Samoa – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 26th, 2016.

Researchers studying obesity in Samoa have found a unique genetic variant that boosts fat storage and increases obesity risk in the islands’ population. The US-based researchers published their results in Nature Genetics today. They pinpointed a single genetic variant on chromosome 5 that, according to their estimates, is associated with about 35 per cent higher […]

Mapping mutations in breast cancer – In the News

John Kerr posted in on May 3rd, 2016.

An international team of researchers have produced the most comprehensive map to date of the genetic changes leading to breast cancer, publishing their results today in the journals Nature and Nature Communications. The researchers sequenced the DNA of tumours and normal tissue from 560 breast cancer patients to identify mutations in 93 genes, moving us […]

Kakapo genomes to be sequenced in world first – In the News

John Kerr posted in on March 15th, 2016.

The Kakapo 125 Genomes Project, launched yesterday, will provide detailed genetic information necessary to minimise the loss of kakapo genetic diversity, and optimise health and productivity in the existing population. The crowdfunded project aims to sequence the genomes of all 125 members of the green parrot species – the first time genomes will be sequenced […]

DNA reveals Polynesian dog’s travels

John Kerr posted in on October 8th, 2015.

The genetic heritage of New Zealand’s first dog, the now extinct kuri, is being unravelled by University of Otago scientists using state-of-the-art ancient DNA analysis. University of Otago PhD student Karen Greig has sequenced the complete, or near complete, mitochondrial genomes of 14 kuri represented by bones recovered from Wairau Bar, one on New Zealand’s […]

The Taonga Genome Project on Radio NZ

John Kerr posted in on August 18th, 2015.

The director of genetics at Otago University, Peter Dearden, spoke on Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning show about his proposal for a taonga genome project to get New Zealand scientists discovering more about the county’s native species, including animals, plants and insects. You can read more about the proposed project in Assoc Prof Dearden’s post […]

Continue reading “The Taonga Genome Project on Radio NZ

Scotland to ban growing GM crops – Expert reaction

Peter Griffin posted in on August 10th, 2015.

Scotland plans to ban the growing of genetically modified crops with its government intending to request that the country be excluded from European consents of GM crops. Our colleagues at the UK Science Media Centre gathered reaction from UK-based experts. Scottish National Party rural secretary, Richard Lochhead, said an opt-out would protect Scotland’s “clean and green […]

Scientists sequencing DNA of endangered tuatara – Dominion Post

Laura Goodall posted in on April 22nd, 2015.

The Dominion Post‘s Olivia Wannan looks at how sequencing DNA from the tuatara could help conservationists develop a better way to bring it back from the brink of extinction. Olivia is a finalist in the Reporter Science and Technology category for this year’s Canon Media Awards. An excerpt (read the story in full here): Forget animal attraction – the perfect mate for […]

Genetic influence on Ebola in mice – experts respond

Laura Goodall posted in on October 31st, 2014.

Research published today in the journal Science shows how genetics influence the severity of symptoms in mice infected with the Ebola virus. Effects ranged from total resistance with no symptoms, to severe symptoms and death – and these depended on the genetic background of the infected mice. Our colleagues at the UK SMC collected the following […]

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