Diet, health and genes. It's all brought together in a new area of research, called nutrigenomics. In this video conference, experts Lynn Ferguson and Jim Kaput explore with Year 10 students some of the impacts that this research may have on society.
Nutrigenomics is a new science that may have a big impact on future lifestyles. New Zealand scientists are proving to be world leaders in this exciting field.
To find out more, Year 10 students from six secondary schools in the wider Thames region participated in a video conference Lynn Ferguson, programme leader of Nutrigenomics New Zealand and Jim Kaput, a visiting expert from North America. The discussion focused on the relationship between genes, diet and health.
Watch clips of Lynn and Jim talking about:
- The science of nutrigenomics
- The role of nutrigenomics in diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Type II diabetes, and obesity
- The use of cell and animal models in their research
- How nutrigenomics research may lead to changes in the ways we think about how to best manage our health
The students who prepared and asked the questions during this interview are from the following schools: Mercury Bay Area School, Thames High School, Morrinsville College, Paeroa College, Whangamata Area School, Waihi College, and Te Aroha College. Students from Coromandel Area School also helped prepare the interview questions but were unable to be part of the interview.
This video conference was organised with the help of Nutrigenomics New Zealand and the students’ e-learning science teacher, Dr Paul Lowe. More information about nutrigenomics can be found in the Hub's focus story: Nutrigenomics.
Nutrigenomics is a young science.
Disease control is not the only aim of nutrigenomics research efforts.
New Zealand's nutrigenomics research project is initially focusing on Crohn's disease.
Not knowing you have a disease. Not getting sick even though you have genetic combinations making it quite likely. It's very complicated!
What we eat and drink affects our ability to process sugar.
Genes influence weight gain and weight gain influences gene expression. It's a vicious cycle.
Nutrigenomics research investigates the interactions between the food we eat and the genetic variations we have.
Mice are used as an animal model in nutrigenomics research.
Some nutrigenomics-type products and tests are currently available, but in a piecemeal fashion.
Genetic modification versus changes in gene expression.
Nutrigenomics research is likely to lead to changes in the way society manages health issues.
It's about making connections and learning to think.