Digitally created image of a double helix

Genetic Repositories Australia (GRA)

FACILITY INFORMATION

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:

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3479716.htm

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

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

The cold case of schizophrenia - broken wide open!

‘It is like they were miraculously healed!’’ Schizophrenia is diagnosed by clinical observation of behaviour and speech. This is why NeuRA researchers are working hard to understand the biological basis of the illness. Through hours of work and in collaboration with doctors and scientists here and around the world, NeuRA has made an amazing breakthrough. For the first time, researchers have discovered the presence of antibodies in the brains of people who lived with schizophrenia. Having found these antibodies, it has led NeuRA researchers to ask two questions. What are they doing there? What should we do about the antibodies– help or remove them? This is a key breakthrough. Imagine if we are treating schizophrenia all wrong! It is early days, but can you imagine the treatment implications if we’ve identified a new biological basis for the disease? It could completely change the way schizophrenia is managed, creating new treatments that will protect the brain. More than this, could we be on the verge of discovering a ‘curable’ form of schizophrenia? How you can help We are so grateful for your loyal support of schizophrenia research in Australia, and today I ask if you will consider a gift today. Or, to provide greater confidence, consider becoming a Discovery Partner by making a monthly commitment. We believe there is great potential to explore these findings. Will you help move today’s breakthrough into tomorrow’s cure? To read more about this breakthrough, click ‘read the full story’ below. You are also invited to read ‘Beth’s story’, whose sweet son Marcus lived with schizophrenia, by clicking here.
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