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MRF Genome Library Discovery Day

MRF Genome Library Discovery Day Date: 11 February 2014 - 11 February 2014
Location: Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

It was a pretty wet day but after navigating the lakes around Oxford, we arrived at the Department of Zoology in time for our afternoon Discovery Day. We were joined by members from around the country who braved the weather to hear about the MRF Meningococcus Genome Library.

Initially set up in October 2011, Professor Martin Maiden and his team at Oxford have been working on the Library for 2 ½ years now, collating genome sequences from disease-causing meningococci between July 2010 and July 2013. This Discovery Day was a real opportunity to hear about how the Library is put together and its impact on meningococcal research.

We heard a range of really interesting talks, from Professor Maiden explaining why meningococcal bacteria vary so much, to Dr Jay Lucidarme showing how the Library project has changed the way scientists can monitor meningococcal disease over time. We also heard from Dorothea Hill and Dr Keith Jolley, who are both heavily involved in looking after the Library, as well as Professor Chris Tang and Dr Matthew Snape who explained their research into meningococcal disease in the lab and the hospital respectively, and how the Library is shaping their work.

It was really exciting to see how the Library project is already having a vital impact on the work of researchers both in Oxford and around the world and how this will only continue into the future. Thank you to all the members and supporters who attended to make it such a success.

To find out more about the project and donate, see the project page.

Did you know?

  • A meningococcal bacteria has around 2000 genes, while you and I will have around 26,000 genes.
  • Sequencing the genome (DNA code) of one meningococcal bacterium produces around ¼ of a DVD of data.
  • There are over 1300 genome sequences in the Library.


Janine Dunbar
Pneumococcal meningitis
Pneumococcal meningitis at Son is 5 months old

To watch his tiny frame battling such immense pain was heart-breaking.

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