[ASC-media] Addiction - what if it's genetic

Niall Byrne niall at byc.com.au
Sat Jul 5 09:15:27 EST 2003

Press conference 1 pm Sat 5 July, Jeff’s Shed

Fruit flies on crack cocaine are unravelling the links between genetics and
human drug addiction
•	What are the implications? 
•	Will we be able to plea in court that our genes made us do it?
•	Will biotech companies offer susceptibility tests?
•	How could a better understanding of the links between genetics and
addiction actually help people addicted to cocaine and other drugs.

Jay Hirsh from the University of Virginia is using fruit flies as a model to
uncover human cocaine response pathways. His work shows links between
stress, our circadian clocks and drug addiction.

He’s presenting his research at a public forum in Melbourne at 2 pm today –
preceded by a press conference at 1 pm.

He’ll be joined by 
§	Prof Wayne Hall, University of Queensland, 
§	Les Twentyman, Open Family Australia, 
§	Prof Jayashri Kulkarni, Alfred Hospital

Press conference 1 pm Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Level 2 Auditorium,

Free public forum 2 – 4pm, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Level 2 Auditorium,

The forum is a precursor to the International Congress of Genetics. 

The event proper opens this Sunday evening with media conferences starting
from 12 noon and a preview of the opening ceremony at 4 pm. 

Key media dates and times for the opening weekend are:
§	Saturday 5 July, 1 pm Public Forum , Genetics of Addiction with Jay
Hirsh (University of Virginia) 
§	Saturday, 5 July, 7 pm Man, Beast and Zombie: what genetics can and
can’t tell us about human nature (Redback Hotel, Flemington Road)
§	Sunday 6 July, 10 am Media room opens, 1 pm opening press
conferences, 2 pm GM delegates debate, 4 pm opening ceremony preview, 7.30
pm opening ceremony (Melbourne Convention Centre
Congress details online at: www.geneticscongress2003.org 

More about Jay Hirsh at www.virginia.edu/biology/Fac/HirshHome.html 

More about Man, Beast and Zombie www.kenanmalik.com

Media contacts: Niall Byrne: 0417 131 977, Jenni Metcalfe: 0408 551 866

Niall Byrne
Media Officer
XIX International Congress of Genetics
Melbourne, 6-11 July 2003

& Science Communication Consultant
PO Box 199 Drysdale 3222 Australia
(185 Scotchmans Road Portarlington 3223)
Ph +61 3 5253 1391, fax +61 3 9923 6008, mobile 0417 131 977
niall at byc.com.au

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