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Study Kimberley Carbonic Anhydrase Study (1977 - 1984)



In 1977 there was some interest in investigating a possible relationship between a Carbonic Anhydrase (a zinc-containing red cell enzyme) genetic variant observed at increased frequency in Aboriginals relative to Caucasians, and low levels of zinc present in the local environment. Professor Cheek of the Royal Children's Hospital Research Foundation in Victoria coordinated a project involving the collection of blood from Aboriginals in the Kimberley to test for trace levels of zinc present. Bob Kirk requested and received blood samples from several localities, however the only remaining samples originate from Mowanjum.


In 1984 samples were collected at Kalumburu and then sent to the John Curtin School of Medical Research by Randolph Spargo, from Community Health Services, Derby. There is very little documentation associated with these samples.