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Beyond the genome

Fera scientist Richard Thwaites has recently returned from a visit to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Washington, with whom Fera is building a collaboration to use state-of-the-art genome sequencing for tracing the source of microbial contaminants that are spread through the food supply chain.

Richard and Fera bioinformatician Robert Stones were also invited to join a meeting of international experts in genomic analysis of food-borne pathogens, with the aim of establishing a global system for detection of food-borne disease outbreaks using shared genome data.

Protecting the UK's food chain is a vital part of Fera's work, but the laboratory has a truly global remit and Fera’s collaboration with the FDA continues this.  In addition the organisations share an annual symposium, alternately held at Fera in York and in Washington D.C, to further harness and share their skillsets and knowledge.

For more information on Fera’s work in this area, contact richard.thwaites@fera.gsi.gov.uk