Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Human Barcode

An exploration of evolution and our genetic makeup

How much do we now know about the human genome? What can genes tell us about how we, and other species, evolved? How much of our DNA actually does something, and how much is just non-functional ‘junk’? Join Professor Chris Ponting as he discusses how evolution has shaped our genes, and what we know about our own genetic makeup.

Further Information
Professor Chris Ponting was trained in particle physics before being entranced by the analysis of DNA, genes and genomes. He was a major participant in the international project that sequenced the human genome, and then performed similar roles in projects that sequenced the genomes of the lab mouse, rat, dog, opossum, chicken, and platypus genomes. Once in a while, he has unearthed a nugget of information that tells us something new about human disease. This, in itself, will not immediately help those suffering from health problems. Instead, once this information is published, it provides someone else with a missing piece in their own research puzzle which – when complete – leads to improved diagnoses, drugs or therapy. His most recent research focuses on several human diseases, including learning disability, asthma, obesity, Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy.

This event took place on the 11th February 2010 at Science Oxford Live.

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