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Do-it-yourself DNA testing at SCU


7 October 2004
Some of Australia’s leading food industry representatives and researchers will be donning laboratory coats and doing their own DNA testing at Southern Cross University this week.

About 50 scientists and industry representatives from around Australia are attending a two-day workshop hosted by the Grain Foods Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) at SCU’s Lismore campus.

The inaugural Genome Workshop is being held to promote the CRC’s grain foods research to science and business participants, and to help scientists and industry better understand the role of DNA technologies in developing healthy food.

SCU’s Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics – and Grain Foods CRC Genome Program Manager - Professor Robert Henry, said participants would learn first-hand how to use DNA science (genomics) within the grain foods industry.

“Participants will learn the value of analysing DNA, and get a better understanding of how genome technology can be used to benefit their industry and ultimately consumers,” he said.

“The workshop has been designed to give participants a practical understanding of the role that genomics play in developing healthy foods.

“The University is undertaking leading-edge research in grain foods and we want to share our knowledge and expertise with industry.”

Professor Henry said a key role of the Grain Foods CRC was to increase the value of
Australian grain and to develop varieties of grains that could be incorporated into new, healthy grain food.

“Our Centre has a distinct consumer focus,” he said.

“One of our aims is to use genome technology to develop grain products with therapeutic benefits for people at risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

The Genome Workshop is being attended by key representatives from major food industry organisations such as BRI Australia Limited, Curtin University, Murdoch University, University of Queensland, Griffith Hack, Puragrain and Weston Technologies.

The workshop is being held at SCU’s Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics today (Thursday 7 October) and tomorrow.

Media inquiries and photo/vision opportunities: Alison Chawner at Centre for Plant Genetics on 6620 3466 or Cathy Tobin on 6620 3039 or 0418 431 484.