Big Picture Science – DNA is Not Destiny

by Gary Niederhoff on July 8, 2019


Big Picture Science – DNA is Not Destiny

Heredity was once thought to be straightforward. Genes were passed in an immutable path from parents to you, and you were stuck – or blessed – with what you got. DNA didn’t change.

But now we know that’s not true. Epigenetic factors, such as your environment and your lifestyle, control how your genes are expressed. Meanwhile, the powerful tool CRISPR allows us to tinker with the genes themselves. DNA is no longer destiny.

Hear the results from the NASA twin study and what happened to astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA after a year on the International Space Station. Plus, whether there’s evidence that epigenetic changes can be passed down. And, if we can wipe out deadly malaria by engineering the mosquito genome for sterility, should we do it?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Mark Kelly and Christopher Mason / DNA in Space
Part 2: Carl Zimmer / Space Epigenetics
Part 3: Nicole Gladish / DNA Methylation
Part 4: Michael Snyder / Epigenetic Influence
Part 5: Carl Zimmer / Altering DNA

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