Friday, May 13, 2005

Seminar on a bacterial genomes initiated in Thailand

I just attended a local seminar on the 3 bacterial genomes, the Burkholderia, some species of which caused a lethal disease called melioidosis, that have been sequenced and published, namely B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis
and B. mallei. B. thailandensis does not cause the disease though. (Gee. I had a hard time spelling these words since most Thai fellows never pronounced them correctly.) Interesting parts of many labs are the regions called pathogenicity islands.

A sequencing project was initiated at Siriraj hospital few years ago, seeded with few million Baht, before collaborating later with many international labs, including Sanger Institute and funded in large chunk to finish it by Wellcome Trust. A paper from this effort was published in PNAS last year. The small seminar room at Biotec was packed with some 40 scientists, mostly Ph.D. and M.Sc., with some international scholars. So the seminar was switched over from Thai to English. Interesting talk and a lot more questions to answer. As ones know, a lot more to be done in wet lab even after genomes were sequenced.

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