Welcome to the Genomics Forum blog

Based at The University of Edinburgh, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network and pioneers new ways to promote and communicate social research on the contemporary life sciences.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Bright Ideas on the HFE Act 2008

I’ve been lucky this January to have a visit here at the Forum from friend and colleague Dr Malcolm Smith, currently a Claims Manager within the Legal Services Department of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Malcolm completed his PhD last year on the issue of ‘saviour siblings’ at Queensland University of Technology, and will be returning to Brisbane in just a few months’ time (floods permitting!) to take up a lectureship in Law. In the meantime he’s taken the opportunity to visit us here in Edinburgh as part of the Forum’s Bright Ideas Programme.

One of the main activities during Malcolm’s visit has been a workshop we co-organised on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which took place at the Forum on 20 January. This followed two other events on the HFE Act which I’ve organised in my time at the Forum – the first a major ‘retrospective’ on the policymaking process leading to the Act (London, March 2009), and the second a smaller workshop at the EGN Conference in Cardiff (October 2009).

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Judging at the iGEM Jjamboree

As well spending a few weeks at Arizona State University, my State-side travels this autumn included a trip to Boston for the 2010 iGEM Jamboree. iGEM is a global undergraduate competition in synthetic biology that culminates with a ‘Jamboree’ at MIT every November. The goal for teams entering this competition is to design, build and characterize new genetic circuits that carry out specified functions. To do this, teams must use ‘BioBricks’ from MIT’s Registry of Standard Biological Parts, and must in turn contribute new, characterized biological parts to this open-source community repository.