BBC reports on the Age of the Genome. Image © Coneyl Jay / Science Photo Library.
BBC has dubbed our era the 'Age of the Genome.' Today on the BBC World Service there is the first of a four part series airing about the mapping of the human genome and its significance for medicine in our times. On this blog, I've mostly talked about how we use physics, astronomy, archaeology, legends and mythology to understand eras of history that are beyond the reach of human records and associated concepts of time. What I have not mentioned as much is the similar use of genetics and biology as tools for measuring time, and the impact of time, on the human experience. In other words, the human genome sequence is not only radically changing our current period and leaving its mark on it. It is radically reshaping our present and future by telling us about our deep past. This BBC series may address how the genome is being used as a tool for writing the unwritten Prehistoric history of our species. Program times are here. You can listen to the program here.
BBC: "Evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins explores the human genome sequence - ten years after the world's scientists compiled the genetic instruction book of human life - in Discovery. The Human Genome Project was the first momentous project for biology, but what have been the benefits and advances a decade on? The human genome sequence has led researchers to discover hundreds of genes implicated in our risk of common illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and schizophrenia. Other developments are providing clues on how to use gene therapies to treat genetic, currently incurable inherited diseases. However, despite these advances, there have been some surprises and mysteries surrounding the decoding of the genome. In the first of a four-part series, Richard speaks with scientists who led the initial effort around the genome project and with those who are now at the forefront of genetic research."
Update Episode One: Francis Collins leader of a research group of over 2,000 scientists who decoded the human genome: "I do think that when people look back in a few hundred years, this will have been one of the major milestones that humanity had accomplished."
Go fwd to blog piece on Part 2 of the series.
See my other posts on the Fountain of Youth.