Last week The Human Variome Project and the Open Knowledge Foundation, hosted a meetup at ThoughtWorks on Collins St in Melbourne. Professor Dr. Johan den Dunnen shook things up with his idea for a ‘DNA-bank’ - a place where account holders have full discretion over access to their genetic sequence for research or medical purposes.
Johan made an unfamiliar topic easily relatable with his presentation featuring both comedic and personal details – we even got to see Johan’s own genome! Visualised into a starfield type array of variants, each with different colours like Christmas baubles. Red signalled a variant that caused a protein to stop working – Johan had a few reds – which made us all think we have reds too, but few of us would know if we did – as at this stage, knowing your own genome is limited to only a few social circles like medical genomicists, early adopters in the direct-to-consumer market and the few people who’ve had genetic tests through primary healthcare.
There’s another joint meetup coming up on at 6pm on March 9th at ThoughtWorks featuring Professor Ingrid Winship. We are really lucky to have Professor Winship speaking – as the Chair of Adult Clinical Genetics at the University of Melbourne and the Executive Director of Research for Melbourne Health (among other important positions), Professor Winship is a very knowledgeable (and busy!) leader in Australia’s healthcare scene.
Visit http://www.meetup.com/Open-Knowledge-Melbourne/events/228798812/ for more information and to register for the free event.
Hope to see you there!...