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DNA is the genetic blueprint which maps out our entire lives, from eye colour to the risk of inherited disease. What if we had the power to correct mistakes in our DNA? Discover the incredible potential of cutting edge genetic tools which bring us one step closer to a future of personalised medicine. Join us in the ground floor room for the chance to win amazing Pint of Science goodies!
Cilia: Restoring the beat
Millions of tiny hair-like structures called cilia move vital fluids in the body at over a thousand beats per minute. Along with related sperm motility, cilia of the airways, brain, fallopian tubes and developing embryo govern essential fluid-flow processes. When these processes go wrong, destructive respiratory disease, deafness, infertility, defects of left-right symmetry of the organs and heart defects arise. We will explore the challenges and hopes for future effective therapies to restore cilia movement, focusing on current genetic tools.
Genetically augmented humans
For millennia, we have been stricken, powerless, by inherited genetic diseases. Over the past year, we have shown emphatically that we can cure them. We have achieved this using gene therapy, by genetically modifying our bodies. Dozens of people now walk around, free of these terrible diseases. Some of them would not be walking around at all; they would be dead. In this talk, I’d like to tell you about these incredible clinical advances, and to ask you these questions: Could we become “superhuman”? Is it ok to change the genetic code of the human species?