UC Davis Transgenic Animal Research Conference XI

Posted by: Bruce Whitelaw on Monday, August 28, 2017

UC Davis Transgenic Animal Research Conference XI August 13th - 17th Granlibakken Conference Centre, Tahoe City, California

Once again Jim Murray of UC Davis organised the brilliant conference on all things relating to transgenic - and now genome edited - large animals. Held high up on the edge of California we were blessed with the usual blue sky but also hail from afternoon thunderstorms. Attended by nearly 100 people there were both academic and industry present. There were 26 excellent presentations covering both technology and applications in agriculture and biomedicine. With the goal of providing more cells and possibly even organs for medicine we heard about ex vivo bioartificial livers, xenotransplantation and the challenging future goal of human-animal chimeras, the latter produced by interspecies blastocyst complementation. From the agriculture side, the star of the show was the story around editing CD163 which delivers resistance to PRRSV infection in pigs. While the presentations on gender skewing and surrogate sires stimulating much positive comment. A huge variety of species were evident - from mosquito to zebrafish to salmon to livestock and poultry. There were speakers from Australia, China, Europe, Norway, Uruguay and US. The diversity was inspiring. Along with the posters and a sufficient time to socialise and enjoy the mountain environment and great conference was had, with the take home message that between transgenic strategies and genome editing most things are now possible with regard to engineering the genome. An exciting time for those in our field of research.

Bruce Whitelaw FRSB
Professor of Animal Biotechnology
Interim Director and Head of Division of Developmental Biology The Roslin Institute


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