May 29 2020


The International Rett Society organized a Chat with the eminent Scientist Prof Sir Adrian Bird at 7am NZ time. I kept waking up every few hours to ensure I did not miss hearing him.
Sir Adrian talked about his beloved, family, cooking and eating and photography. It is always fun to see into the lives of these very clever scientists.
To add to his long list of awards he has just been awarded the BRAIN PRIZE jointly with Prof Huda Zoghbi who discovered MeCP2 relationship to Rett Syndrome.
Sir Adrian talked about his early studies with methylation.
New experiments showed that Rett was not caused by defective mitochondria but by a a single gene mutation in the MeCP2 gene.
We were all interested in the Mouse model. Sir Adrian described the wonder felt when even the very sick little mice began to run around. He said the devotion of his Lab Staff was amazing and Jackie Guy's tenacity was wonderful.
He reminded us of the importance of not assuming things in Science and living things are more plastic than any one thought. He said Biology is very messy.
He explained why cures take so long to translate into human cures when he knew it was difficult for parents to be patient.
He said many of the drug therapies can make a marginal difference. You need just the right amount and this can be to make a difference even though not a cure.