Science Discussion Group
Our meeting in February was to do with Cell Biology and this was the preparatory material,we will probably return her from time to time.
Rosalind Franklin co-discoverer with Watson and Crick of the “double helix” structure of DNA
About this page
Jill Jenkins introduced me to this topic.We discussed it at the December meeting and this page is the result.Neither of us has a background in Biology so it will be interesting to see if we can lay the foundation for an informed discussion.
Modifying our Genes
Of all the scientific disciplines, Cell Biology stands poised to have the greatest impact on the lives of the next generation .Things are changing rapidly and in the absence of informed public debate things might happen on the basis of “what can be done” rather than “what should be done”. It seem entirely possible that genetic diseases like Huntington’s disease could be edited out of the genomes of future generations and many might agree that this would be a good thing.But the same techniques could be used to create “designer babies ” and maybe we are not ready for that.
I was surprised to learn that recent advances in epigenetics throws light on the balance between “nature” and “nurture”
In the news.
Scientists in China claim to have created the first “Gene-Edited Humans”. The news has not been universally well received.
News that has been well received !
The cost of sequencing a human Genome has fallen from greater than £1Billion to about £1000 and a UK team has just sequenced its 100,000th genome. Genome UK .
It would seem that the UK has always been good at this sort of thing. This is someone whose is not much in the public eye but who is a Nobel Prize winner for his work back in the 1950’s .
I understand that anyone who has studied Biology at school knows all about Cells, Genes ,Chromosomes and DNA. I didn’t study biology and found the following helpful.
This video talks about the the effects of our environment on our Genes.
For anyone interested, this video describes the technique used for Gene editing
Some of you may remember my attempt to explain Emmy Noether’s contribution to modern physics. I caught this discussion on the radio and it probably does a better job ,although Melvyn does seem a bit bemused at times.
We will be discussing the risks and opportunities associated with these developments in cell biology at the next meeting of the Science Discussion Group to be held on Feb 5th,2019.If you would like to attend the discussion or if you would like to register on the site so that you can leave a comment please email me.
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The News Feed
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Playing Podcasts and Video’s
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This post is the place to suggest books or other media which have changed the way you think about things.
The first contribution is Being Mortal: Medicine & What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande 2014.
The second contribution is The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan 2015
This book, Fall down 7 times, get up 8, by Naoki Higashida who is a 24-year-old man with severe, largely non-verbal autism.
This book, Do no harm, by Henry Marsh , covers material which is important to us all. It is written in somewhat paternalistic style which often grates with this reviewer.
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