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Genetics Unzipped

Genetics Unzipped

Author: The Genetics Society

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From Mendel's peas to personal genome sequencing, Genetics Unzipped brings you stories from the world of genes, genomes and DNA. In association with The Genetics Society.
49 Episodes
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In this episode, supported by the Medical Research Council, we discover how researchers are letting the light shine in, literally, by bringing discoveries about the underlying genetic faults that cause eye diseases all the way through to game-changing clinical trials of gene therapy designed to save sight.With RP patient advocate and fundraiser Ken Reid, Robin Ali from Kings College London, and Roly Megaw and Chloe Stanton from the MRC Human Genetics Unit, in the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with reporting by Georgia Mills, and audio production by Hannah Varrall and transcription by Viv Andrews. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
In this episode we tell the stories of two women - one a scientist fascinated by dancing mice, the other a seamstress with a deadly family legacy - who made significant contributions to our understanding of cancer as a disease driven by genetic changes, paving the way for lifesaving screening programmes for families.Over the past year or so I’ve been writing a new book, Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution and the Science of Life, exploring what we’ve learned so far about where cancer comes from, where it’s going, and how we might finally beat it. It’s coming out in the UK on the 6th of August and in the US on the 29th September - and is available now to pre-order from rebelcellbook.com - and we’ll have some excerpts coming up in a future episode of the podcast.UK Amazon link (affiliate) https://amzn.to/2BdT5zuWhile I was researching the book, I came across the stories of two remarkable women - Maud Slye and Pauline Gross - who both made significant contributions to our fundamental understanding of cancer, but who have tended to be overlooked in many tellings of the history of cancer research. Here are their stories.Thanks to Jenny Rohn for the voice of Maud Slye. If you want to read more about Pauline and Family G, and the impact that their genetic legacy has had on the family down the generations, check out Daughter of Family G, a memoir by Ami McKay, which we’ve drawn on heavily for this episode. Ami weaves together the strands of family history and science together with her own personal story to create a really compelling and emotional story.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
We’re off on our virtual travels, finding out about the highs and lows of genetics fieldwork. From chasing butterflies up mountains to artificially inseminating kakapos with the help of drones and putting angry birds in paper bags until they poo, we talk to the researchers studying genetics and evolution in action.Every year The Genetics Society runs the Heredity Fieldwork Grant scheme, awarding up to £1,500 to cover the travel and accommodation costs for researchers wanting to carry out a fieldwork project in genetics.Our stay-at-home roving reporter Georgia Mills caught up with four intrepid explorers who’ve been off on their travels in locations as exotic as New Zealand, Lanzarote and the Lake District to hear more about their research and what they learned out in the field.If you’re a genetics researcher and you’d like to apply for a Heredity fieldwork grant, head over to The Genetics Society website, genetics.org.uk and take a look at the grants section.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with reporting by Georgia Mills and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
In this episode we’re taking a look at the life of Dame Anne McLaren - one of the leading embryologists of the 20th century, whose work underpinned the development of the in vitro fertilisation techniques responsible for bringing millions of bundles of joy into the world, and much more besides.This story was first published in the book A Passion for Science: Stories of discovery and invention, which is packed with 20 stories about amazing women in science and is available to download as an ebook for just £1.99.With thanks to Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, and Professor Azim Surani.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
In this episode we’re taking a virtual trip to Africa to explore the genetic diversity in the birthplace of humanity, discover how researchers can read the cultural and historical stories written in the genome, and discuss the implications for the lack of diversity in our current genetic databases for global health. With Sarah Tishkoff from the University of Pennsylvania and Garrett Hellenthal and Lucy van Dorp from UCL.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
The names of James Watson and Francis Crick are inextricably linked with the discovery of the DNA double helix. And if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that credit is also due to Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins and Ray Gosling too.But what about Elwyn Beighton, Fred Griffith or Rudolf Signer? In this episode we’re unwinding history to uncover some of the less well-known stories behind the discovery of the structure and function of DNA.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
Research into genetic conditions relies on information from patients and their families, whether that’s detailed health records or genomic data. As the tools and techniques for DNA and data analysis become cheaper and more organisations get in on this fast-growing field, it’s vital to make sure that the most valuable research resource - human lives - doesn’t get overlooked in the rush. In this episode, recorded at the recent Festival of Genomics in London, we find out why it’s so important to make sure that both academic and commercial research studies are done with rather than on participants. Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
35 years ago this month, a small team of scientists at the University of Leicester published a paper that changed the world. We take a look at the story of genetic fingerprinting, and some of the very first ways that this game-changing technique was put to work.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
To get involved in the Genomics Education Programme’s week of action you can follow them on Twitter, @genomicsedu, and get on the hashtag #GenomicsConversation or head over to genomicseducation.hee.nhs.ukIn this episode in partnership with the Genomics Education Programme, we’re taking a look at some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding genomics and genetics tests. Are mutations always bad? If you’re more like your mum, does that mean you’ve inherited more of her genes? And is there such a thing as a perfect genome?Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
If you know a bit of biology, you might know that the genetic code of DNA is written in just four ‘letters’ - A, C, T and G. You may even know that these letters are the initials come from the names of the molecules that make up the double helix, known as nucleotide bases: adenine, cytosine, thymine and guanine. But where did those strange-sounding names come from? In this episode of Genetics Unzipped, we go from poop to pus to atomic bonds on our journey to learn about the discovery of these vital chemicals and how they got their names.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney with additional scripting and research by Emily Nordvang and audio production by Hannah Varrall. This podcast is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics.
S3.04 Race to the Bottom

S3.04 Race to the Bottom

2020-02-1329:031

In this episode, we’re hunting for the ghosts in our genomes, recreating the story of the discovery of the double helix in Lego, and science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford tells us how to argue with a racist. Full show notes, transcript and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney, and produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics. Production by Hannah Varrall.
In this episode exploring great ideas in genetics, we’re discovering our inner fish - finding out whether we really do go through a fishy phase in the womb, and looking at the legacy of Tiktaalik, the first fish to walk on land.Born in 1834, Ernst Haeckel was a German zoologist with a flair for illustration - and a knack for creating incredibly detailed and widely shared scientific images. But do his infamous embryo drawings really show the true picture of early development?Haeckel thought that we went through a 'fish' stage in the womb because our embryos appear to have gills during early development. Although his theory that 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' has subsequently been shown to be incorrect, we now know there is a close connection between development and evolution, or 'evo-devo' as it's sometimes known.In short, our evolutionary history is written in our developmental genes, and it’s a history that we can trace right the way back to the very first vertebrates. The best example of this is Tiktaalik - our oldest 'fishapod' ancestor that forms the missing link between fish and land-dwelling tetrapods.Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney, and produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics. Production by Hannah Varrall.
It’s become cheaper and easier than ever to access genetic testing, and more and more people are having their genomes ‘done’ for reasons of personal interest, health or ancestry. But what happens when an innocent genetic investigation reveals dark family secrets? And how do we properly engage and inform people about genetic testing and research, so that they really know what they’re getting into? Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is written and presented by Kat Arney, and produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics. Production by Hannah Varrall.
In this episode from our centenary series exploring 100 ideas in genetics, we’re exploring a couple of iconic images in evolution - the much-parodied March of Progress, portraying the inexorable journey from monkey to man, and the famous finches of the Galapagos islands, which are supposedly the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Where did these infamous images come from, and do they really show what everyone seems to think they do?Full show notes, transcript, music credits and references online at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipGenetics Unzipped is presented by Kat Arney, with scripting and research by Emily Nordvang, and is produced by First Create the Media for the Genetics Society - one of the oldest learned societies in the world dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, teaching and application of genetics. Audio production by Hannah Varrall.
Professor Turi King from the University of Leicester reveals the secrets of the Y chromosome and how the remains of Richard III were identified. Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
The Celts are one of the most famous - and misunderstood - people who lived in ancient Britain. Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe CBE, FBA from the University of Oxford explores the myths and the reality. Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
Dr Lara Cassidy from Trinity College Dublin talks about her work exploring the genomic history of Ireland. Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
Professor Sir Walter Bodmer FRS from the Weatherall Institute, Oxford, explains what we know so far about genetic structure and origins of populations of the British Isles. Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
Dr Silvia Bello from the Natural History Museum in London is investigating how patterns of human behaviour have changed over the last million years.Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
Professor Ian Barnes and Dr Selina Brace, ancient DNA researchers at the Natural History Museum in Lopndon, discuss how their work on ancient DNA is shedding light on the British population from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age.Part of our special series from the 2019 Galton Institute Symposium - New Light on Old Britons.Presented and produced by Georgia Mills for First Create The Media.More info at GeneticsUnzipped.comFollow us on Twitter @GeneticsUnzipVisit the Galton Institute website to find out more about the society and its work. and follow them on Twitter @GaltonInstitute
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Comments (2)

Nazi Rahmani

😍😍👏👏great job

Nov 24th
Reply

Michael Pointer

Great show for all levels of knowledge - give it a listen.

Oct 25th
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