The study of genetics has come a long way since Gregor Mendel’s groundbreaking work with pea plants in the mid–19th century. To see just how far we’ve come and where research into genetics is taking us, join WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer and her panel of expert guests on Friday, February 15, at 5 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, when the topic is "Genetics and New Technologies." The program is free and open to the public.
Today, entire genomes have been sequenced, including the human genome, and the resulting knowledge has led to an explosion of scientific and medical specialties, advances in the research and treatment of innumerable diseases, and genetic testing that can help parents and patients negotiate problematic diagnoses or put their minds at ease. New technologies have enabled more and more specialized research, which pushes technological developments forward as multi–disciplinary collaborations produce new inquiries and spur new thinking. At the same time that this brave new scientific world holds so much promise for so many, individuals and societies are finding themselves wrestling with previously unheard of ethical and legal dilemmas.
Our exceptional panel of guests will help us understand the research world we live in today, examining what’s been made possible by new technologies and discussing, for example, how genetic analysis of cancer is helping develop targeted treatments, treatments which can be delivered to patients based on the genetics of their particular cancer. We’ll learn about genetic screenings for newborns, the critical research roles played by the basic sciences and professional fields like engineering, and what it takes to move clinical research into patient care. We’ll also confront emerging ethical and legal issues related to both genetics and new technologies and the choices many will be forced to make for themselves or their loved ones in coming years.