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.

'I've got the best job for you dad. Your shaky arm will be perfect for it!'

Children… honest and insightful. Their innocence warms the heart. But what words do you use to explain to a child that daddy has an incurable brain disease? What words tell them that in time he may not be able to play football in the park, let alone feed himself? What words help them understand that in the later stages, dementia may also strike? Aged just 36, this was the reality that faced Steve Hartley. Parkinson's disease didn't care he was a fit, healthy, a young dad and devoted husband. It also didn't seem to care his family had no history of it. The key to defeating Parkinson's disease is early intervention, and thanks to a global research team, led by NeuRA, we're pleased to announce that early intervention may be possible. Your support, alongside national and international foundations Shake it Up Australia and the Michael J Fox Foundation, researchers have discovered that a special protein, found in people with a family history of the disease increases prior to Parkinson’s symptoms developing. This is an incredible step forward, because it means that drug therapies, aimed at blocking the increase in the protein, can be administered much earlier – even before symptoms strike. The next step is to understand when to give the drug therapies and which people will most benefit from it. But we need your help. A gift today will support vital research and in time help medical professionals around the world treat Parkinson’s disease sooner, with much better health outcomes. Thank you, in advance, for your support.  
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