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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 […]

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 […]

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Mapping the kiwi genome – In the News

John Kerr posted in on July 24th, 2015.

The kiwi’s unique nocturnal behaviour is linked to some altered genes that eliminate color vision and others that modify its sense of smell, according European scientists who have mapped the birds entire DNA. The research, published in the open access journal Genome Biology, has been widely covered by New Zealand media. You can read more […]

High court decision on GMOs – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on May 23rd, 2014.

What is a genetically modified organism? New Zealand’s legal system is struggling with the question in the face of emerging new technologies – as highlighted in a new High Court decision. At the heart of the decision was Crown Research Institute Scion’s plans to develop pine tree strains using new techniques based on ZFN-1 (Zinc […]

‘Designer babies’ patent – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on October 4th, 2013.

A patent on a method which allows prospective parents to pick and choose their children’s traits prior to undergoing fertility treatment has alarmed many ethicists and genetics researchers. The patent, granted to the direct-to-consumer genetics company 23andMe last week, lays claim to a broad genetic analysis tool for allowing parents to select for specific traits in their […]

Psa genome in the news

John Kerr posted in on March 1st, 2013.

The long-awaited publication of the Psa-V genome has been widely reported in the news. The research, under taken by Prof Russel Poutler and Colleagues at the University of Otago, was published this week in PLoS ONE. The new study confirms a Chinese origin for the bacteria and reveals gentic clues about why this variant of the plant […]

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Genomic data and society

John Kerr posted in on November 14th, 2012.

The Science Media Centre’s recent briefing on ‘unravelleing your genome‘ has resulted in several media stories highlighting some of the issues raised by the speakers. With the cost of sequencing your entire genome having fallen dramatically over the last decade, society is about to be confronted by a number of issues relating to the information […]

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BRIEFING: Unravelling your genome

John Kerr posted in on November 14th, 2012.

Your genome – the billions of bits of DNA code that make up the instructions needed to make you who you are – is not quite the mystery it once was. The technology required to sequence your genome is now more accessible than ever. Already companies are offering sequencing services for private citizens. But what can […]

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Psa kiwifruit disease origins probed

John Kerr posted in on May 10th, 2012.

A genetic analysis of several strains of the Psa bacterium, conducted by American and Italian scientists, suggests a Chinese origin for the bacterium that has caused millions of dollars of damage to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. However, more data from affected New Zealand kiwifruit are needed to complete the picture.  The new research, published […]

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