Research that has helped one family who lost three babies during pregnancy because of a genetic disorder to potentially pursue future successful pregnancies, is now available to all Western Australians.
Scientists will now be able to perform cutting-edge genetic research using a new piece of equipment bought with money donated by prominent Perth businessman Charles Morgan.
Mr Morgan's most recent gift of more than $200,000 is for an Ion Proton sequencer that completes the suite of high-tech sequencing and analysis equipment bought from his previous donations. All the equipment is at The University of Western Australia-affiliated Lotterywest State Biomedical Facility Genomics (LSBFG) node at Royal Perth Hospital.
Together, it provides medical and scientific staff at all the State's universities and research organisations with access to genetic information at a level not previously achievable.
The new equipment will enable identification of disease genes and disease-causing mutations at an unprecedented scale, based on DNA sequencing. It gives people greater access to diagnosis treatments and interventions that would not have been possible just a few years ago.
As well as providing health benefits, the equipment can be used in plant and animal breeding in agriculture and understanding the genetic diversity of native species in restoration ecology.
"This new equipment enhances the capabilities of the LSBFG," Mr Morgan said. "It is important that Western Australians have access to this technology, which can now become part of people's everyday health tool box. And while it will provide huge benefits to families, it will also play an important role in high science, from researching rare diseases in humans to understanding more about plants and animals."