David J Crowley
Biology Department
Mercer University

Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Willet Science Center 101

"Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy: 
Understanding current issues in modern genetics"

Abstract:  Dr. Crowley will lead a discussion of three genetically related issues that appear frequently in the popular press. First, we will discuss the highly controversial field of human cloning, focusing on the recent reports of cloned babies, the techniques involved in human cloning, and the arguments for carrying out such procedures. Next, we will discuss human gene therapy, which centers on replacing defects in our genetic material with normal copies of disease-related genes. Strategies, successes, and the limitations of gene therapy will be discussed. Finally, we will talk briefly about genomics and the power of whole genome sequencing for understanding the biological basis of human disease and the evolutionary relationships between different organisms. Current techniques in genome sequencing and annotation will be discussed in the context of recent discoveries in this field. The ethical, legal and social implications of these three issues will also be a topic of discussion.

Please join us for light refreshments outside WSC 109 at 4:15.

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