Brave New (Genetics) World: Into the Era of Personal Genomes, Synthetic Biology, and De-Extinction
Monday, July 28 2014
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
This event was posted by Boston University
Location: Harvard Medical School, Armenise Amphitheatre 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
Biological engineering is on the verge of remarkable achievements that will shape society in profound ways. The Human Genome Project completed the mapping of the first human genome in 2003 and in the time since, we have already made rapid strides in not only reading genomes but also engineering genomes. The ability to modify genomes has not only opened up the field of synthetic biology but has also led ambitious projects ranging from using genome engineering for human therapy to introducing new codons into the genetic code. These scientific breakthroughs, however, also raise social policy and legal questions that will need to be addressed.
Professor George Church at Harvard Medical School has been on the forefront of genetics. From being one of the first to develop direct genome sequencing to his latest work in multiplexed subcellular RNA sequencing in situ, Professor Church has opened up numerous technologies that have transformed biological research. He is also the director of the NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science and is the founder and board member of numerous biotech companies, including Gen9 Bio, EnEvolv, Warp Drive Bio, and Editas. He has been featured on The Colbert Report and in numerous articles and magazines and was recently profiled in National Geographic, where he describes a world touched by genetics. Crude oil will be produced by microbes, medicine will be customized by personal genomes, and woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons will be on display at zoos. In this event, we want to explore this future world, the implications of the changes that will be afoot, and how best regulation can drive innovation in a safe manner. How can we prepare for and adapt to the changes that will be brought about as we enter this revolution in genetic engineering?