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Scientific Day for Genetics Concludes at Al Jawhara Centre

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Dr Mariam Fida, Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis Department Supervisor and Genetics Consultant, announced that the Princess Al Jawhara Centre is one of the few centres which will provide a special unit for the genetic profiling of embryos prior to pregnancy starting December, revealing that this unit is an important tool to limiting the spread of genetic diseases in countries of the Gulf.



This came in her speech marking the Bahraini Scientific Day for Genetics, which was recently organised by Al Jawharah Centre and Integrated Gulf Biosystems the representative of ThermoFisher Scientific, one of the world's largest providers of genetic research devices. The event aimed to present the latest research and technology in the field of genetics.



Dr  Fida explained that genetic profiling is a good solution if both parents have an autosomal recessive disease such as sickle cell or beta thalassemia, which could lead to up to 25% of an affected foetus.



“Parents are advised to carry out Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis in order to select healthy embryos,  which reduces the incidence of genetic diseases,” she said. It’s worth noting that Al Jawhara Centre will be the first in Bahrain to offer Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, given its competencies and equipment with modern technology for the examination of genetic mutations in embryos



From his part, Assistant Professor of the Life Sciences Programme at AGU, Dr Noureddine ben Khalaf, pointed out that the gene ‘Israa’, discovered by the research team at AGU and Al Jawhara Centre demonstrated that the genome is more complex than is apparent.



“There is an urgent need to update biotechnological technologies, which may contribute to the development of our understanding of the genetic code and new treatments in the future,” he explained, adding that Israa was classified as an unseen gene, discovered by a laboratory experiment.



“This prompted the team to develop the modelling used in the analysis of the genetic code, as it was found that some genes lie obscure in hidden areas of the genome. Developing modelling for genetic decoding could lead to the discovery of unknown genes in the future,” he revealed.



Furthermore, Integrated Gulf Biosystems presented the latest medical device technologies in the field of genetic and protein sciences. Participants were given the opportunity to receive practical training on their applications.

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