A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Posted 3:17 PM by Luigi
Tongan bark may hold diabetes key
Source: Melbourne Herald Sun – Australia, 8 June 2006
Melbourne biotechnology company Dia-B Tech believes it has found a natural alternative to the anti-diabetes drug insulin in the bark of a plant found in Tongan rainforests. Chief executive Ken Smith is tight-lipped on details, preferring not to disclose the name of the vine until the company has a provisional patent over its use.
"But what I can tell you is that plant has been used by traditional healers in Tonga to heal type two diabetes and obesity over hundreds of years," Mr Smith said. "They mix it with a potion of various plants and tree barks which are ground, mixed with water and taken orally with great results."
The company has been testing the bark since February last year, today announcing to the Australian Stock Exchange that preliminary results were looking good.
Dr Ken Walder, a scientist with Intramed, another biotech company involved in the research, said it was already clear the natural derivative had a component with "very strong" insulin-like qualities.
When developed commercially, the component would be used by people with type two diabetes, a metabolic disorder that occurs when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin. The medical and commercial potential would be significant if further research confirmed the component effectively acts as a natural `proxy' for insulin, Mr Smith said.
More than one million Australians are estimated to have type two diabetes, with researchers predicting this figure will treble by 2051.
For full story, please see: www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,19406257%255E1702,00.html
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