Food Standards Agency
Science report on exciting developments in whole-genome sequencing published
The FSA has yesterday published the new Science Report by its Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Guy Poppy. In this third issue of the Science Report, Professor Poppy looks at whole-genome sequencing, the science of mapping the genetic make-up of micro-organisms, and how this new technology can help the FSA’s work to ensure food is safe and authentic.
Professor Poppy says: 'This report focuses on the exciting developments in whole-genome sequencing, and how this powerful and rapidly developing technology is being increasingly utilised by the FSA.
'Whole-genome sequencing is a great example of how the FSA can use state of the art technology to ensure that we deliver food we can trust for UK citizens. It’s fast, precise and, if implemented widely, cheap. The technology is already being utilised by the FSA and PHE to aid outbreak investigations; but it has a multitude of other potential applications in relation to food.'
The report examines how the increasing speed and decreasing costs of whole-genome sequencing has transformed scientists’ ability to investigate foodborne disease outbreaks, providing faster identification and control of outbreaks. The report also looks at how whole-genome sequencing is being used in other countries for tracking certain pathogens like listeria and its potential for checking the authenticity of food.
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