The RAE Armstrong Public Lecture Series is held in the Medical Biology Centre at Queen’s University,Belfasteach year. The 2013 lectures are presented by Professor Patrick J Morrison, Consultant in Genetic Medicine and Honorary Professor of Human Genetics at QUB.
Six Year 13 AS Biology pupils attended a lecture on Wednesday 18 September 2013, titled ‘How do you identify a gene?’ Using the example of legendary giants fromIreland, including Finn McCool and Charles Byrne, Professor Morrison explained how genes can be identified and passed on in families. Professor Morrison described his use of genetic technology to collect DNA from Charles Byrne’s skeleton, and how he identified genes for gigantism that have been inherited by four families in Ireland, all direct descendents of Byrne. This research is important in providing medical intervention to prevent disease in families where the gene is known.