A New Way to Phenotype Life: Chris Mason Talks Spatial Biology, His New Book


Chris Mason, Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine

Bio and Contact Info

Chapters:

0:00 Chris’s new book just off the press: The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds"

8:10 Spatial biology and COVID - seeing the destructive path left by the virus

15:12 A post-COVID virology boom?

17:08 Spatial gives us a new phenotype, and it’s just getting started

21:50 What about the impact on basic biology?

Chris Mason, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and prolific genomics researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine, joins us to talk about what he’s doing with the new generation of spatial biology tools.

The first papers we dive into are his work on COVID. Chris says the spatial tools have shown us the ravages of the coronavirus on the body like nothing we’ve seen before, i.e. the tissue damage from the cytokine storms and “the long term perturbations such as seeing cells far apart that were usually hanging out together.”

Does this new resolution open up all kinds of questions for not just the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but for other viruses Chris has long studied? And does he think the pandemic will spark an “age of virology” research?

Chris says he’s using the new spatial tools in his work with NASA as well as his grander metagenomics projects and believes the companies making these new tools are "just getting started."

Speaking of space, Chris has a new book out this summer into which he has poured much of his vast knowledge of genomics and science, his hope for our species, and a personal plea. It’s called, The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds.  Go check it out.

And check out our sponsor links as well. Thanks to NanoString for underwriting this new series.



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