Ryan Lister, Professor of Genetics at University of Western Australia (UWA), is one of four recipients of the Australian Prime Minister's Science Prize for recognise excellence in science and science teaching and was awarded the Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. In the article referenced below, Ryan explains how our different body cells that all arose from identical DNA in one cell at conception, differentiate into the different cell types.
Ryan and his colleagues developed a technique that can identify the differences in the epigenome of essentially any type of cell, in any organism; powerful stuff. Completing DNA sequencing of the human genome is only the start of our discoveries that promises to usher in totally new medical procedures. We'll need tools like that developed at the UWA to build our understanding of what the tens of millions of molecular tags that define a cell's epigenome do, so that we can tackle such wide ranging problems such as reversing the effects of aging, body part regeneration and even curing cancer.
As Ryan concludes: "The ongoing DNA sequencing revolution makes this an extraordinary time to study the genome, allowing unprecedented insights into the genomic and epigenomic information that plays such a crucial role in both health and disease."
Photo: "Did I do something to offend you?" Two galahs not on the best of terms.