Genomics Aotearoa

Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships

Genomics Aotearoa Sep 15, 2020

By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, it becomes harder to define what constitutes effective consultation, and … Read More

Containers for reproducible bioinformatics research

Genomics Aotearoa Aug 12, 2020

By Aleksandra Pawlik, Ngoni Faya, Joseph Guhlin, Megan Guidry, Tom Harrop, Dinindu Senanayake Rapid development of computational bioinformatics tools mean we can more easily push research boundaries. However, it comes at a cost. The complexity of the software chain that needs to be installed and configured to run advanced workflows results in researchers spending hours, if not days, trying … Read More

Data analysis skills are in hot demand – what should we be doing about it?

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 29, 2020

By Associate Professor Mik Black, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago The increased availability of complex biological data sets means that analysis and computation are becoming critically important skills for New Zealand’s future scientists. Because of this, we need to be doing everything we can to help our students develop these skills, to better prepare them for large-scale data analysis … Read More

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Better understanding bacterial blooms in New Zealand waterways

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 13, 2020

Dr Kim Handley, University of Auckland Just how do cyanobacteria live in their natural habitat, and how do they coexist with other bacteria and microbial life forms? And what difference will knowledge on this bacteria have on maintaining New Zealand’s water quality? One of the consequences of declining water quality is an increase in cyanobacteria – these are photosynthetic bacteria … Read More

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Genomic breakthrough in invasive species management

Genomics Aotearoa Apr 15, 2020

Nick Kachel The ship rat, or black rat, is one of the most infamous invasive species in the world. They’re intelligent, adaptable, and they multiply like… well… ship rats. A native to the Indian sub-continent, this pest has now spread to every corner of the globe and is an outstanding carrier for multiple zoonotic diseases – those which can be … Read More

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The importance of the humble blueberry

Genomics Aotearoa Feb 26, 2020

Dr David Chagné New Zealand is involved in a US$12.8 million USDA grant to improve the quality of blueberry and cranberry. The four-year project, led by North Carolina State University, is part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which funds multi-year, multi-institutional collaborative projects. Genomics Aotearoa and Plant and Food Research Ltd have … Read More

Finish what’s on your plate

Genomics Aotearoa Nov 04, 2019

Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called “bases” – that make up the DNA molecule. The sequence … Read More

Genomics, genetic persistence and the hihi

Genomics Aotearoa Aug 20, 2019

Dr Anna Santure, University of Auckland How important is genetic diversity to species persistence? This is a question we’ve been puzzling over in New Zealand, and worldwide, for some decades. It has been difficult to address using ‘traditional’ approaches to determine genetic diversity, which sample just a handful of positions in the genome. However, in recent years, with much lower … Read More

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The complexity of stick insect genomes and why it could help New Zealand conservation

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 25, 2019

Dr Ann McCartney We have recently completed the first high-quality genome of a stick insect using link read technology, but what does this mean? And why is a gold standard reference genome important to New Zealand’s conservation efforts? Stick insects are actually biologically interesting. Firstly, in times of stress, they have the ability to become parthenogenic, meaning the females lay … Read More

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