Man pointing at DNA interface on digital tablet
Man pointing at DNA interface on digital tablet

The Promise and Peril of the Genomic Revolution

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About This Episode

Just how much can we actually learn from testing our DNA by spitting into a tube? What does CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology allow us to do inside an embryo? And can genetic testing lead to new forms of discrimination in the workplace and in our wallets? These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer when Neil deGrasse Tyson gets an update from the front lines of the genomic revolution from Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of the genetic testing company 23andMe. Anne talks about empowering individuals to take more control of their own healthcare and to benefit from increased understanding of their own genome. Meanwhile, in studio, Columbia University bioethicist Prof. Robert Klitzman, MD offers his own perspectives on gene bullies, personalized medicine, gene splicing and more. You’ll learn about the four nucleotides that make up everyone’s DNA: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine. Discover the difference between a full assay of the 3 billion nucleotides we each carry inside us and the SNPs, or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, that 23andMe uses in their tests. Explore the dangers of false positives, false negatives and the limitations of what we do and don’t know at this very early stage in what is proving to be a much more complicated process than we used to believe. You’ll also hear about the trouble 23andMe had with the FDA, now resolved, and about revolutionary new approaches to treating breast cancer, including the BRCA mutation that Angelina Jolie carries. Chuck Nice co-hosts.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: The Promise and Peril of the Genomic Revolution.

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