Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Manchester plays host to international genetics network

Manchester is hosting an international conference on genetic counselling, with 75 delegates from professional organizations, universities and clinics all over the world, including countries such as France, Italy, India, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Cuba and the US.

The International Genetic Counselling Education conference, from 15-17 May 2006, comes as the debate around medical genetics takes another turn with the UK fertility watchdog backing wider screening. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which licenses clinics to use the technique, has approved the extension of embryo gene screening to cover breast cancer, ovarian cancer and a type of colon cancer. Carrying the single genes associated with the diseases concerned gives an 80 per cent risk of developing them.

Disability campaigners and pro-life groups fear the possibility of pre-natal selection. However Baroness Ruth Deech, former chair of the HFEA, said controls in the UK were tight and dismissed fears that a relaxation of the regulations would lead to selection of embryos on social factors.

The Manchester Regional Genetics Service, the joint University of Manchester and Central Manchester & Manchester Children’s University Hospital Trust (CMMC) organisation which is hosting the conference, carries out scientific research in genetic testing, providing answers to our greatest health problems and a service to 5M people in the North West, and addresses the issues surrounding genetics for the benefit of patients and society.

Founded in the 1960s in response to the emerging knowledge about genetics and the demand for clinical and diagnostic services, the Centre consisted of just a laboratory and clinic and offered simple tests and limited genetic counselling. Now it has a vibrant group of over 200 academic and NHS staff who have identified more than 25 important genes linked to genetic diseases through their painstaking research. They include the genes mutated in syndromic deafness, in inherited blindness, in dental and skin disease, in birth defect syndromes and in cancer predisposing syndromes.

The Centre leads the national breast cancer trials and is by far the largest contributor to breast, ovary and bowel cancer studies and trials in the UK, entering more than twice as many patients as any other single centre. (Since the early 1990s it has been recognised that 5% of all cases of breast, ovary and bowel cancer can be due to the effect of inherited genes.)

Lauren Kerzin-Storrar, Consultant Genetic Counsellor and MSc Course Director for the Manchester Regional Genetic Service, said: “This field of medicine is much misunderstood so the advances need to be accompanied by increased access to expert genetic counselling to ensure that the human implications are dealt with appropriately. This conference will be looking at how genetic counsellors are being trained around the world.”

She added: “The Manchester Regional Genetic Service was the first centre to offer a training programme for genetic counsellors in Europe – the MSc programme established in 1992, a University of Manchester and CMMC collaboration – and has since been a leader on genetic counseling education and training.”

Conference Chair Professor Janice Edwards, of the University of South Carolina, said: “Our cooperative interchange will consider the profession in its quickly evolving international context, create sharing that will enhance our educational programs and foster the transnational development of the genetic counseling profession.”

The agenda will allow delegates to learn from each other as they consider the global evolution of genetic counseling, explore training, accreditation and certification criteria between countries and share curricular resources and teaching strategies. It will create avenues for collaboration among international programs in education, student/faculty exchange and genetic counseling research and document the international status of genetic counselor education through publication of pre-conference research and the conference proceedings.

Keynote speaker Dr Geoffrey McLennan, of the University of the Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, said: “We will also explore the concept of the public good in the transnational context and in relation to the complex web of personal, political, religious, technological, institutional and national objectives that constitute the health care paradigm.”

Mikaela Sitford | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>