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Human Bio Students Visit Harry Perkins Institute

Perhaps some of our graduates will one day find themselves working there, developing new treatments for the diseases that impact our community the most.

Our Year 12 ATAR Human Biology students have spent this semester learning about the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, as well as the role of biotechnology in understanding and treating disorders. The Perkins Institute of Medical Research in WA is at the forefront of research into cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and rare genetic diseases. The institute provides a valuable insight into how biotechnologies can lead to the development of novel treatments.

On 20 April, the Human Biology class set out for the Perkins Institute with a clear aim; to search for genetic mutations using polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing. The opportunity to get hands on in the lab under the guidance of medical researchers not only provides vital context for the course work we are learning, but also gives our students insight into a whole range of career prospects.

For those who might be interested, the mutation in question is a change to the 247th base pair in a gene known as BRAF. This gene controls cell growth, and this mutation is linked with the development of skin cancer. If identified early enough, specific drugs are available that can be used to treat the cancer. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Perkins Institute for future excursions and perhaps some of our graduates will one day find themselves working there, developing new treatments for the diseases that impact our community the most.

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