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<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Embargoed until </span></font><font size=2 face=Arial><span
 style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>10am</span></font><font size=2
face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'> Sunday 4 September&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><b><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial;font-weight:bold'>&nbsp;</span></font></b></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><b><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial;font-weight:bold'>Constructing the complexity of life - from
egg to adult</span></font></b></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><b><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial;font-weight:bold'>&nbsp;</span></font></b></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><b><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial;font-weight:bold'>Over 900 developmental biologists meet in </span></font></b><b><font
  size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:
  bold'>Sydney</span></font></b><b><font size=2 face=Arial><span
style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial;font-weight:bold'> today to launch an
international congress that aims to address how our bodies are shaped and how
our organs are built &#8211; how we grow from a single-celled egg into a
trillion-celled adult. </span></font></b></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>The 15<sup>th</sup> International Society of Developmental
Biologists Congress runs over the next four days and has attracted world
leaders in developmental biology, including Nobel Laureate, Professor Sydney
Brenner. </span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>This year&#8217;s Congress is organised by senior scientists
at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, led by Professor Richard
Harvey, who says that developmental biology is fundamentally the study of life,
from the fertilisation of a single-celled egg to the development of adult form
and function. However, it is also has important ramifications later in life, in
terms of the ability of our cells, tissue and organs to regenerate and in
regards to the genetic causes of disease. </span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&#8220;One of the most exciting outcomes in the study of
developmental biology over the last decade is stem cell biology; the discipline
of understanding how immature cells expand and are held in limbo, until they
are needed and can then go on to form more complex and specialised cells during
development and regeneration.&#8221;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&#8220;If we can get to a point where we understand how stem
cells are activated and renew themselves, we might be able to control the
processes of regeneration to combat degenerative diseases,&#8221; Professor
Harvey says. &#8221;But we have a long road ahead of us and first we need to do
the basic research to understand the fundamental principles that underlie
development.&#8221;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>This year&#8217;s congress has attracted over 900 delegates,
63% from the Asia-Pacific region. &#8220;The Congress gives us the chance to
bring leaders in the field together to showcase their work and discuss the
future of the discipline. It is also an opportunity to share information and
ideas and to foster collaborative work.&#8221;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&#8220;</span></font><font size=2 face=Arial><span
  style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Australia</span></font><font
size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'> is a strong
contender on the international stage of developmental biology, leading the way
with important advances in evolutionary biology, embryonic patterning, organ
development and adult stem cell research,&#8221; Prof. Harvey said.</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>During the Congress, the Asia-Pacific Developmental Biology
Network will be inaugurated, which will unite and give a voice to scientists of
the region, and provide them with a means to share their knowledge and support
the discipline within the region. &nbsp;The next Congress will be held in 2009,
the exact location will be announced during the week. A list of sessions and
topics open to media are available on request.</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>For more information, interviews or images, please contact
Samantha Lucia &#8211;VCCRI on:</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Tel: 61 02 9295 8100&nbsp; </span></font><font size=2
  face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Mobile</span></font><font
size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>: 0415 140
595&nbsp; E-mail: </span></font><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:
 11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>s.lucia@victorchang.unsw.edu.au</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Samantha Lucia</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Marketing and Communications Manager</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>------------------------------------------------------------</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Ph: 61 2 9295 8100 (reception)</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Fax: 61 2 8382 3585</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
  font-family:Arial'>Mobile</span></font><font size=2 face=Arial><span
style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>: 0415 140 595</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>email: <a href="mailto:s.lucia@victorchang.unsw.edu.au">s.lucia@victorchang.unsw.edu.au</a></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><a href="http://www.victorchang.org.au">www.victorchang.org.au</a></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Level 4, </span></font><font size=2 face=Arial><span
  style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial'>376 Victoria Street</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>Darlinghurst NSW 2010</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 face=Arial><span style='font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:Arial'>&nbsp;</span></font></p>

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