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From genome to epigenome – scientists identify gene expression in reptiles

Epigenomes “turn on” or “turn off” certain gene expressions without changing DNA sequence, and play a significant role in health and inheritance of traits in mammals. Now scientists from the Institute for Applied Ecology and Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions have found this process also occurs in reptiles.

To date little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms in any amniotes (reptiles, birds and mammals) beyond placental mammals. Scientists at the Institute for Applied Ecology and Centre for Research


Foxes in Tasmania: a closer look at DNA analyses of predator scats

What is the DNA test for foxes?

The test for fox DNA as applied at the University of Canberra is a sequential two phase approach aimed at determining, with high probability, whether a scat contains fox DNA or not. The first phase of the test comprises an initial screening of amplified DNA (PCR product) which identifies samples that are likely to contain fox DNA. The second phase of the test comprises DNA sequencing of scats that appear to contain DNA


Ladies Celebrating Science – three PhDs awarded through the IAE

It has been a big week for women in science, with three talented ladies being awarded their PhDs through the Institute for Applied Ecology. Maria Boyle, Larissa Schneider, and Veronika Vysna celebrated their graduation in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Their research has contributed to a range of fields. Maria studied the impact of climate change on reptiles whose reproduction (sex determination) and juvenile survival is dependent on ambient temperature. “Little is known about population dynamics in vulnerable reptiles