Press Releases

Press Release - Busting myths about stem cells and the genome during Science Week

15 August 2012

Busting myths about stem cells and the genome during Science Week

As part of National Science Week, high school students from across Australia will be able to join an on-line forum on Thursday 16 August to explore how research into DNA, and the ways genes work, is aiding stem cell discoveries.

In an event co-
hosted by Quantum Victoria and Stem Cells Australia, students will be able to learn how scientists mine and decipher our genome to reveal information about our genetic make-up and how that information can help stem cell biologists develop safer therapies.

Featuring Associate Professor Christine Wells from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland and Dr Andrew Laslett from CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, students will be able to ask questions as the scientists discuss their exciting research.

Associate Professor Wells says curiosity is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the science world – and asking questions is the method.

“I love having students who want to be part of the dialogue.”
A/Prof Wells said.

A/Prof Wells said students needed to seriously consider studying science at school, even if they did not plan to have a career in traditional flow-on areas such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry or research.

Skills needed in science, such as analysis and critical thinking, were also valuable in business, law and politics, she said.

“Lots of people are interested in science, in areas such as stem cell research. There is so much we don’t yet know about the human body, but that will change dramatically in the coming years.”

Contact Quantum Victoria to get the details about how to join the Genome Mining on-line forum:

Quantum Victoria
is a Centre of Excellence and a Specialist Science and Mathematics Centre, at Macleod West in Victoria, delivering programs to middle and senior school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Stem Cells Australia
is an Australian Government funded Special Research Initiative in stem cell science, bringing together the country’s leading experts in bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell biology, advanced molecular analysis and clinical research. Christine Wells and Andrew Laslett are researchers in the Stem Cells Australia initiative.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
is based at The University of Queensland and has research groups working at the interface of the biological, chemical and physical science to alleviate problems in human health and environmental issues.

University of Queensland and CSIRO are members of Stem Cells Australia.

Media: Megan Munsie (0417 585 621 or