Francis Collins Interview on Personal Genetics Testing
Yesterday, on NPR's Diane Rehm Show, Francis Collins appeared with other guests to talk about the science and ethics of personal genetic testing. The show was prompted in part by a front page feature that Rick Weiss wrote on the topic last week at The Washington Post.
Personal Genetic Testing
A growing number of people are turning to personalized genetic testing to learn about possible predisposition to some diseases, inherited behavioral traits, and clues to their family heritage. We'll talk about what these tests can tell us and some of the new questions they raise.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute
Beth Peshkin, senior genetics counselor, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center
Linda Avey, co-founder, 23andMe, a personalized genetic testing company
Dr. George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Computational Genetics
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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