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The Ever-Expanding Field of Genomic Research

MIKI Yoshihito / flickr

What do snakes, turtles, zebra fish, and a program called CRISPR have in common? They are all involved in genomic research happening right here in Iowa.

The new Jurassic World movie is now in theaters, and there’s also recent controversial news that for the first time, Chinese scientists have edited DNA in human embryos.

“We have the ability now to sequence genomes at unprecedented rates compared to even 10 years ago," says Jeff Essner, an associate professor in genetics, development, and cell biology at Iowa State University.

"So when we think about unintended consequences, we’re able to go into genomes and look for those, which is something that we weren’t able to do before.”

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer focuses on cutting edge genetics research with the goal of learning more about cancer treatment, delaying the aging process, and treating rare diseases. His guests include Essner, as well as Anne Bronikowski, an associate professor at Iowa State University, Dr. George Weiner, Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa, and Dana Lange, a former Iowa City resident whose daughter was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River