Digitally created image of a double helix

Genetic Repositories Australia (GRA)


Scientists around the world will soon be embarking on a race to discover the secrets of longevity by mapping the genome of 100 people aged over 100. This global, incentivized competition known as the Archon Genomics X PRIZE offers a $10 million prize awarded to the first team to rapidly, accurately and economically sequence 100 whole human genomes to an unprecedented level of accuracy. The GRA facility has been producing cell lines for the Sydney Centenarian Study and will be providing up to 15 Australian Centenarian samples to accompany others from around the world to hopefully provide researchers valuable clues to health and longevity. The ABC 730 Report talks more:

New project additions have also seen the GRA facility supporting studies investigating the genomics of cerebral palsy, gene mutations for motor neuron disease and more recently stroke. We also continue to process samples for an international collaborative project investigating dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease (DIAN). NeuRA forms one of ten study sites in the US, UK and Australia that make up the DIAN Network. The DIAN Network utilises the GRA facility as the sole service provider for Australia. We are producing cell lines that are subsequently deposited into the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s disease (NCRAD) at the University of Illinois in the US.

Previously GRA became the first facility in Australia to acquire a fully automated high volume nucleic acid purification system (QIAGEN Autopure LS). With conventional manual DNA extraction methods both time and labour intensive, its acquisition has allowed GRA to be at the forefront in the provision of high volume DNA extraction services and has since increased GRA productivity and research efficiency resulting in consistent high quality DNA purification. DNA sample type extraction services have been expanded through the ability to fully automate processing of DNA from blood, saliva (Oragene®), cell lysates and transformed cell lines. GRA accepted delivery and installation of the unit in May 2008, over 10000 samples have already been processed.

A significant number of NHMRC and ARC funded research projects throughout Australia have already been supported by GRA’s enhanced research capacities by use of the Autopure unit being able to provide high quality, high molecular weight DNA samples suitable for archiving and excellent performance on sensitive downstream applications.

See what’s going on at NeuRA