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Published: 2007-05-30

Two landmark genetic projects to be presented at upcoming Umeå conference– come and listen!

NEWS The opening of the Bioinformatics 2007 Conference, held at Aula Nordica on June 4th, is open for all who are interested. The featured lectures are about “The Human Genographic Project” and a project about mapping all named species on the planet with the use of DNA sequencing.

Bioinformatics 2007 is the ninth annual, international bioinformatics conference arranged by the Society for Bioinformatics in Northern Europe. The invited speakers are in the forefront of bioinformatics. Ajay K. Royyuru from the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center will lead off with a keynote lecture about “The Human Genographic Project”, following Vice-Chancellor Göran Sandberg’s opening remarks.

IBM and the National Geographic Society have launched a collaborative research project to understand the migratory history of the human species. This will enable them to complete the mapping of the planet’s genetic atlas. The Genographic Project, a five-year study, aims to create the world’s largest collection of DNA samples ever assembled in order to map how the Earth was populated. The samples are taken from indigenous populations and the general public. The collection will be accessible to historians, anthropologists and geneticists.

- Those who would like to participate can purchase a kit in order to submit in their own DNA samples and have their origin mapped. You will then have the chance to know who your forefathers were and trace their decedents’ migratory history all the way up to yourself, explains Professor Stefan Jansson, member of the conference’s organizing committee.

Rob DeSalle, from the American Museum of Natural History, will lecture about the project “Barcoding Life on Earth”. The project focuses on genetically identifying - essentially “DNA barcoding” - all species on Earth. Less than one-fifth of the planet’s ten million plant and animal species have been recognized. The project intends to identify and catalogue all species, fish and birds, and place them in a database. The hope is that the mapping of all ten million species will be complete by the year 2010.

- Many research projects have enormous ambitions, but these are a couple of the research industry’s wildest ideas that are actually on the way to becoming reality. These two lectures are very interesting as even those outside the world of bioinformatics can benefit greatly. Therefore, we in the organizing committee welcome all who are interested to attend the opening of the conference, says Stefan Jansson.

Date: Monday, June 4th at Aula Nordica 12:00-12:20 Opening of the Conference by Vice-Chancellor Göran Sandberg12:20-13:20 Opening Keynote Lecture: "The Human Genographic Project", Ajay K. Royyuru, PhD, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
13:20-14:20 Linnaeus Lecture: "Barcoding Life on Earth" Rob DeSalle, American Museum of Natural History

For further information, please contact: Uwe Sauer, Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis (UCMP), Umeå University Tel: 090-785 67 84 Mobile: 070-635 18 03
E-mail: uwe@ucmp.umu.se

Stefan Jansson, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC), Umeå University, Tel: 090-786 53 54 Mobile: 070-677 23 31
E-mail: Stefan.Jansson@plantphys.umu.se

Editor: Carina Dahlberg