Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DNA: Can it predict your future health? - Kate Dack

At the Manchester Science Festival, we're offering a discussion chaired by Dr Bella Starling called: 'DNA: Can it predict your future health?' There's also a chance to watch GATTACA in MOSI's 1830 warehouse.  Organiser Kate Dack will be there to give a short introduction and offering a taste bud test to see whether attendees have the gene that allows them to taste the bitter chemical in sprouts. We've asked her to write a guest blog to give us the inside scoop.

DNA intrigues and inspires many of us. A day rarely passes when DNA isn't in the headlines, with some new discovery or technology being launched. It’s amazing how rapidly the research is developing, but that does leave some people concerned about its impact on society. One of the main areas that we hear about is the power of DNA to revolutionise medicine – changing the way we understand ill health and creating new personalised treatments based on our genetic profile. But what’s the truth behind the headlines? Is it all hype?

There are a number of opportunities for people to explore the medical applications of genetics at the Manchester Science Festival in 2012. Nowgen is running an event entitled:  ‘DNA:Can it predict your future health? on November 3rd and people will hear from Dr Bill Newman, an experienced consultant and researcher in genetic medicine. He will describe how DNA testing is currently used and how valuable it can be. We will discuss how much a DNA test can reveal about your future health and ask people how much they would want to know. Get ready to grapple with some tough ethical questions – what would you tell your relatives or your employer about your results?

Alongside that event, some musicians will be performing a fascinating musical and visual representation of DNA. You will be able to see this exciting and unique performance on 3rd November at 3:30pm in Manchester Museum. It has been developed by CellSonics, which is a collaboration between Manchester-based musicians Rob Turner and Chris Illingworth, working alongside experimental electronic musician Paul Jones and visual artist Blain Norvun. Their long-term aim is to develop an installation exploring DNA, working up from the subatomic level to the final complex biological structure of the double helix. Whilst following the science and maths accurately and closely, they will be presented in an interactive and accessible way, appealing to anyone of any age or level of scientific understanding.

You also have a chance to see one of most interesting films exploring genetics - GATTACA – which will be shown on 29 October at the pop-up cinema at MOSI. Before the show David A. Kirby will highlight why this film is so powerful and how the science is reflected in this fiction. It’s a film that gets everyone thinking and wondering about how the world will change if everyone embraces DNA testing without question. If you would like to attend the DNA event, you may like to come along to watch GATTACA beforehand to familiarise yourself with the potential wider implications.

DNA: Can it predict your future health? and GATTACA are available as part of our Join the Conversation and Science After Dark programmes. Visit our website for a full list of events. Get the latest news of Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our e-newsletter.


Harshal Shah said...

I read this article for few times and i m very impressed. According to me DNA is important for predict future health. keep sharing this type of article.
Harshal Shah

vishnu a said...

just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all...

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