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#077 Rewriting genomes to eradicate disease and aging | Dr. George Church


George Church, Ph.D. is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and of health sciences and technology at both Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Church played an instrumental role in the Human Genome Project and is widely recognized as one of the premier scientists in the fields of gene editing technology and synthetic biology. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • 07:13 - History of the Human Genome Project
  • 15:20 - Manufacturing cell phones (with biology)
  • 17:34 - Genome Project-Write
  • 20:03 - Writing a human Y chromosome (from scratch)
  • 20:48 - What if you could eliminate viral disease?
  • 22:51 - De-extinction and reinstating lost traits and genes
  • 27:06 - The Vertebrate Genomes Project
  • 29:47 - AlphaFold and other AI tools
  • 41:27 - CRISPR vs. Base Editing (emerging tools of genetic engineering)
  • 49:40 - Why multiplex editing will change the world
  • 52:18 - Molecular flight recorder
  • 53:31 - Preventing viral spillover and enhancing livestock
  • 57:40 - PCSK9 gene therapy for cholesterol
  • 01:00:30 - Is aging an evolved program?
  • 01:05:21 - Treating aging with a combination gene treatment
  • 01:09:04 - Does animal research help us understand human aging?
  • 01:11:40 - Human organoids as a model and therapeutic
  • 01:13:34 - Could engineered transplant organs become better than the originals?
  • 01:16:17 - Embryo editing controversy
  • 01:28:41 - Gene editing for space travel
  • 01:30:40 - Can synthetic biology alleviate poverty?
  • 01:34:07 - Is in vitro fertilization and embryo selection practically similar to editing?
  • 01:39:12 - The occasional cost of brilliance
  • 01:45:45 - Eradicating disease with Gene Drive
  • 01:48:55 - Technologies to solve Lyme disease
  • 01:51:57 - Dr. Church's experience with narcolepsy as a bridge to creative insights
  • 02:00:42 - Why George encoded his book in DNA

Watch this episode on YouTube

Show notes are available by clicking here

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 2022-08-24  2h8m