Queen meets horse 'speed gene' expert at National Stud

Queen Elizabeth II met the woman who identified the "speed gene" in thoughbred horses during her visit to Ireland.

Queen meets horse 'speed gene' expert at National Stud

Queen Elizabeth II met the woman who identified the "speed gene" in thoughbred horses during her visit to Ireland.

Dr Emmeline Hill made the scientific discovery by analysing DNA related to muscle development.

Her test can predict the optimum racing distance for a horse and may be used by breeders, racehorse owners and trainers to inform their decisions on buying animals.

The Dublin City of Science ambassador met the monarch at the Irish National Stud in Co Kildare.

She said: "She was very tuned in to what was going on. She said: 'We have only had pedigrees to go on until now', which I thought was very sharp to be able to respond immediately like that, but she has a particular interest in horses."

One of the Queen's colts, Carlton House, is running in the Derby next month and is likely to start as favourite.

Dr Hill has set up a company to capitalise on her research and bring it to the horse racing industry. The scientist has customers in the UK, France and as far away as Australia.

"It has generated international and worldwide attention. Ireland is a leader in many fields," she said.

"It is an indication of how science can be applied in industry."

Dublin will be designated a city of science next year.

The chief scientific adviser to the Government, Professor Patrick Cunningham, said there was a great history of collaboration between the UK and Ireland in science.

"I would encourage scientists and researchers from the UK and internationally to participate in Europe's largest science conference to be held in Dublin next year."

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