Highlights from the first two days of the 23rd International Congress of Genetics, Melbourne Australia For the next six days we will hear how genetics has transformed medicine, food, conservation, and almost every area of human activity.
Highlights from the first two days of the 23rd International Congress of Genetics, Melbourne Australia
For the next six days we will hear how genetics has transformed medicine, food, conservation, and almost every area of human activity.
- “Nothing about us, without us,” launch of an Australian Indigenous genomic medicine initiative
- Tree of Life update – first 1000 genomes reveal some animals throw away some of their DNA in their bodies (retaining it in their germlines).
- Catch-22: perils, promises, and profit from Indigenous peoples’ DNA: Dr Krystal Tsosie, a member of the Navajo Nation, who realised that her cancer research was unlikely to help her people. So she founded the Native BioData Consortium – to ensure that Indigenous people benefit from their DNA and data. Her research has been featured in the NYT.
- Capturing the genetic code of every species in the Tree of Life. Mark Blaxter’s UK team have sequenced their first thousand species as part of a bold project to read the genome of every species on Earth. He will report that some animals throw away some of their DNA in their bodies (retaining it in their germlines).
- Reconstructing the lives of some of the 12 million Africans forcibly transported to colonial Americas. Maria Nieves-Colón is piloting the use of tooth DNA to start to discover the history of enslaved workers at a sugar plantation in Peru.
- Prostate cancer: a blood test for circulating tumour DNA could reveal which patients are at higher risk according to Bernard Pope from the University of Melbourne
- Do jumping genes enable mosquitos to adapt to urban environments, asks Spain’s Dr Josefa Gonzalez
- New gene linked to persistent stuttering, thanks to Michael Hildebrand’s team across 18 institutions. Brain imaging shows that people with this defective gene develop anomalies in brain regions critical for speech.
- Early and personalised interventions into cerebral palsy are possible from broad genomic testing, says Clare van Eyk from Robinson Research Institute.
- Killifish suffer from the same diseases of old-aging that we do – cancer, short telomeres, and wasting muscles. Then the muscle wasting slows and may even reverse. Could that happen to people as well? Avnika Ruparelia unravels the mysteries of vertebrate aging at Australia’s only killifish research facility.
- Faster, kinder, less expensive: using genomic sequencing to diagnose mitochondrial disorders.
- Cold cases: around 70% of patients with suspected genetic disorders don’t get a diagnosis from their genomic testing. Fiona Lynch from MCRI is exploring if reanalysis years later could solve these cold cases.
- 71 per cent of Australians believe that gene testing does not necessarily contribute to effective cancer or disease treatment, according to a survey released by Illumina. At the same time lives are being transformed, for those in the know.
Full Congress program at https://www.icg2023.com.au
Media releases at https://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/genetics