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Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 9, No. 1, 1999
Bioline Code: au99003
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles), Vol. 9, No. 1, 1999



Australasian Biotechnology,
Volume 9 Number 1, March/April 1999, pp. 33-47


Code Number:AU99003

GeneCom '98: Gene Technology and the Community

29 November - 1 December 1998, Adelaide

This three day meeting was relatively little publicised in the national press, but had an impressive line-up of speakers. Dr John Saunders of the Linden Group, Sydney was Chairman. Speakers at the opening afternoon session, which set the scene were politician, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja on privacy rights, Professor Grant Sutherland on the human genome project, Professor Phillip Morris on the future of DNA diagnosis and Sir John Maddox on the new genetics. The following 8 sessions were filled with an impressive array of speakers, covering the broad areas of bioethics and genetics very comprehensively.

Australian Academy of Science Forum

Gene Technology and Food - 31 March, 1999

This was the 59th meeting of the National Science and Industry Forum, held annually by the Academy, at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney on 31 March.

The subject of the meeting is, of course, very topical at present. In particular, it followed the Consensus Conference on Gene Technology in the Food Chain, held earlier in March. The participants and audience, however, were very different, largely drawn from food companies and/or the scientific community and so well informed on gene technology and its applications. Perhaps this is why there was relatively little contention at this meeting.

What the British Think - a Government Ministerial View

Genetically-Modified Foods and Crops

There is a good deal of public interest at present in issues surrounding genetically-modified (GM) foods and crops. Some people have called for a ban on GM foods. Others have called for a moratorium on growing GM crops in this country. Colleagues may find it helpful if we set out the main facts, and the Government's position on them.

Swiss Referendum on Genetic Engineering

Briefing Paper No. 8 of the Task Group on Public Perceptions of Biotechnologyby Prof. Dr Richard Braun, BIOLINK, Switzerland -

On June 7, 1998, Switzerland voted by a 2:1 majority not to ban genetic engineering. The popular initiative, called the "Gene Protection Initiative (GPI)", had as goals the prohibition of all transgenic animals, the banning of all field releases of transgenic crops and the prevention of patenting certain inventions of biotechnology. Before the popular vote took place, Parliament committed itself to enact a strict regulatory framework, but no bans.

Meeting Report

A Roadmap for Commercialisation of Australian Biotechnology Research

Victorian members of the ABA in association with the Licensing Executive Society organised an excellent, well attended (140 people) and enthusiastic one day meeting at the Crown Towers Hotel in Melbourne on Tuesday, 27 April 1999.

This symposium was held in the sumptuous surrounds of the hotel, which forms the centrepiece of Melbourne's casino. Against a backdrop of black marble, chandeliers and the distant swirl of roulette wheels, the most telling comment heard during the lunch break was "that with the turnover of one day's gambling, we could run CSIRO for a year". If that is so, then it was an ideal site for a conference on "A Roadmap for Commercialisation of Australian Biotechnology Research". The conference was supported generously by the government's Biotechnology Task Force (ISR) and Florigene Ltd. There were 13 speakers, a concluding panel session, and a seemingly endless cocktail reception afterwards!


BresaGen - Delivering Innovative Biopharmaceuticals

The Company

BresaGen is a South Australian biotechnology company committed to the discovery and commercial development of products derived from recombinant protein technologies. BresaGen's quest for innovation is driven by an integrated network of research laboratories which trace their roots back to the University of Adelaide, where in 1982, the company was created as BRESA (Biotechnology Research Enterprises of South Australia). That strategic core has been carefully nurtured into today's team of 46 employees, 19 with post-doctoral experience. BresaGen has specialists in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, embryology, cell biology, chemical engineering and bioprocessing. Its science is supported by a management team whose years of expertise in biotechnology, manufacturing, finance and general management supports the company's mission.


The Battle for Scientific Journals

The April editorial for "Chemistry in Australia" follows. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author/editor, Dr Paul Savage, of CSIRO Molecular Science.

"Think about the journals you regularly read or scan in your library. Now choose five you could do without. Now choose another five to cross off your list. Getting difficult yet? Academic and company libraries around the world are cancelling thousands of dollars worth of journal subscriptions in an effort to stay within their budgets. Faced with spiraling journal costs, the proliferation of new journals, and electronic journal formats, most librarians have little choice but to cancel subscriptions to journals deemed dispensable in order to protect key journals.

Copyright 1999 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd.


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