Since the first human genome sequence was completed ten years ago, there has been a revolution in our understanding of how genes produce individuals and how life has evolved. Tonight, geneticist Rob Fleischer provides an overview of this fascinating and exploding field.
Fleischer begins with the basics of DNA and genomes and how scientists analyze them. He then examines recent research that shows the tremendous power these methods hold for documenting evolutionary relationships among organisms, and the development of their forms and functions. He also looks at how comparative genomics allows us to understand how organisms fight pathogens that cause disease, and even how this new field helps in conservation of endangered species.
Fleischer is head of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics.
Find out about the work the Smithsonian is doing in the emerging fields of evolutionary and conservation genetics by clicking here.