It’s all in the genes event for the Royal Society of Biology / Darwin Centre

The Darwin Centre hosted a unique event at Pembrokeshire College recently. The ‘What’s the point of gene editing’ event in partnership with the Royal Society of Biology was the first of its kind in Pembrokeshire. The event forms part of the Dragon LNG Darwin Experience education programme in the county and saw around 100 students from across Pembrokeshire sixth forms, and Pembrokeshire College, other partners included Ataxia and, Cancer Research UK (Wales), Gene Park Wales, Swansea and Cardiff Universities.
Students enjoyed a round-robin of interactive stands and talks by International researchers; speakers covered areas around the use of gene editing, the medical advancement on gene editing, and the ethics behind the research and development.
A highlight of the day was a presentation by Alan Thomas. Alan who suffers from a genetic condition called Cerrebelar Ataxia said: “As I had always walked with a wobble and talked with a small slur, everyone (including me) just thought it was the way I was. Only when I was working, as an electrician, and as I was making sandwiches every day, I was noticing that spreading butter was beginning to be something of a task for my co-ordination, something that became a worry and something that I would need to seek medical advice.” Very little is known about Ataxia, and Alan has made it his life’s work to raise awareness of the condition, help other find out more, and to support the use of Gene Editing research to help find a cure. Ataxia UK says that progressive ataxias are rare neurological conditions, and are often poorly understood by healthcare professionals. Diagnosis has generally been a long process because of the rarity and complexity of the different ataxias. In addition, many healthcare professionals are unsure how best to manage the conditions and there is sometimes a feeling that little can be done for these patients. you can find out more by visiting
Marten Lewis, director of the Darwin Centre, added: “ I would like to thank all of the speakers and activity providers for such an enlightening day, and thank Alan for his incredible story and courage to share it with young science students in Pembrokeshire. Today’s experience with international researchers and suffers of complex genetic conditions might motivate our A-Level students to aspire to make medical breakthroughs in their future careers.
“The unique event was made possible by the Royal Society of Biology, sponsored by Dragon LNG, and supported by Pembrokeshire College, a big thank you goes to all these for their passion for Science education.”

:+1: So, you posted that Oct 16. Things seem to be hotting up​:+1: Personally I think the sooner the better​:slightly_smiling_face:xB