Opinion: We need to stop Australia’s genetic heritage from being taken overseas October 27, 2015 Dr Steve Wylie with the Australian native plant in high demand An Australian native plant, Nicotiana benthamiana is a species from arid zones of northern WA and is our country’s most scientifically famous plant. Murdoch University researchers report this species and its close relatives have the ability to evolve new ways to survive unpredictable environmental changes. As the global race to develop tough new crops able to withstand climate change heats up, foreign scientists and plant breeders also see value in the genes of the Australian Nicotiana species, travelling to Australia to collect seeds to grow in labs around the world. In an opinion piece for The Conversation, senior research associate in plant virology at Murdoch University, Dr Steve Wylie looks at the importance of building Australia’s intellectual property (IP) with its genetic heritage, and questions whether our State and Federal Governments should continue to allow the legal export of our native seeds. “Australia’s scientists should be mining Australia’s gene bank, and all Australians should benefit from the rewards of this IP,” says Dr Wylie. “International collaboration is the lifeblood of scientific advancement, but so is competition and protecting IP. When Australia’s genetic heritage is lodged in other countries, we have lost control of our IP.” To read Dr Wylie’s article in full, click here. Print This Post Media contact: Luke McManus Tel: (08) 9360 2491 | Mobile: 0400 297 221 | Email: L.McManus@murdoch.edu.au Categories: Feature Story, General, Animal and plant studies, environment and bioinformatics Tags: Murdoch, University, australia, australian intellectual property, australian scientists, dr steve wylie, murdoch university researchers, nicotiana benthamiana, opinion piece, the conversation Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!