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Epigenetics - like genetics, but more epic! DNA research is accelerating at a frightening pace and has given rise to a new discipline; Genomics. Join three of the world’s leading geneticists to discuss how deciphering the genetic code allows us to explain the extraordinary diversity of life. The evening will cover jumping genes, carnivorous plants and one of the most complicated genomes…wheat.
How To Evolve A 3D Carnivorous Structure
Dr Christopher Whitewoods (Research Scientist at the John Innes Centre)
Watch out, it’s a trap! Dr. Christopher Whitewoods studies carnivorous plants, specifically the bladder traps of Utricularia gibba. Aside from being deadly underwater, they have one of the most efficient genomes; only 3% of its DNA is non-coding as opposed to 98.5% in humans. The bladder traps are modified leaves, and Chris has been discovering how these flesh-eating plants have evolved an intricate 3-dimensional shape in order to incarcerate their prey
Jumping Genes! How The Environment Influences Our Genomes
Did you feel that? I think one of your genes just jumped! Dr. Rebecca Mosher studies those jumping genes and how our cells try to keep them still. Although jumping genes can be dangerous because they cause mutations, sometimes a lucky jump can create something new and useful.
Senescence In Wheat: A Matter Of Life And Death
Dr Philippa Borrill (Research Fellow)
One of the few certainties of life is that it will come to an end. But you might not think of death as being a choice. Well plants do! Dr. Philippa Borrill is uncovering the complex molecular network in wheat which governs this important decision. Wheat is probably the most important crop in the world, yet it has one of the most challenging genomes. Philippa is on the leading edge of wheat genomics and her research will have a big impact on crop yields in the future.