politics


George Church on What Comes After CRISPR

George Church joins us today. He’s the Robert Winthrop Professor of . . . . well, he’s George Church. And he confirms that, yes, a movie called “Woolly" is being made about his lab. In the next breath, he reminds us (and himself?) that less than 1% of his press is about the woolly mammoth.

George was honored this year as one of Time Magazine's "Time 100 List", and we’re curious about what topics of conversation come up when he’s with non-scientists. What does he think of Trump (or what he calls “the new politics”)? Is he tempted to join the wave of scientists running for office?

“In China, about 80% of their top government officials have a degree in science or engineering, while in the United States it's closer to 1%,” he deadpans.

We cover some scientific ground today as well. George says CRISPR has been overhyped as the step between Zinc Fingers/Talens and the next gene editing tool. So what is the next CRISPR? And what ever came of his 3-D sequencing?

Enjoy.

Five Reasons Why Scientists Should Not March . . . And Five Reasons Why They Might Just Should

Gene and Tonic

1.  There’s no good and elegant way for a scientist to march.  For one thing, there are no slide projectors.  In fact, there are really no tools for marching, except the bull horn.  And that takes someone who wants to talk loudly.   Duh!  Scientists don’t actually do things.  They get tools to do them.  

2.  Scientists marching in America would look too French.  Guillotines are for frogs and mice, not people.  

Scientists vs Trump: January 2017 with Nathan and Laura

As we look back at January’s headlines with our two regular commentators, Nathan and Laura, the question becomes: How much should we ignore the fire raging across America to focus on the science?

Speaking of Trump's new immigration order and the very real threat of a "brain drain," Nathan tells of his own personal time doing research in Iran, commending scientists there and the many Iranian scientists here. But he says Iran has already announced they're going to retaliate.

“We might think more about field work scientists who will be worried about retaliation, about being a target of anti-American violence in the field,” says Nathan. "This gets real for people.”

Laura says “the United States has always been the place to come. If we don’t choose to be that place, someone else will. Someone else will be the leader of the scientific world which has been as important to the development of this nation as being leader of the free world.”

We do get to some science, the first human-pig chimera.

And to some cool new sequencing tools. Or just how cool are they? Illumina announced a new line of instruments this month, but what they didn’t say might be the loudest announcement of all. They didn’t mention anything about nanopore sequencing.



New to Mendelspod?

We advance life science research, connecting people and ideas.
Register here to receive our newsletter.

or skip signup