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Reading your DNA: What can it tell us?

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Main Hall, Friends' Meeting House

6 Mount Street

Manchester

M2 5NS

United Kingdom

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
How have new technologies to sequence human DNA impacted life sciences, medicine and society, and what does the future hold?

About this event

Update: This is now an in-venue only event.

DNA is a linear molecule made up of four building blocks, often abbreviated to the letters G, C, T and A. The sequence of these four letters forms a code that comprises 3.2 billion letters in a copy of the human genome. The International Human Genome Project used an approach developed by Fred Sanger to generate the first human genome reference in a global collaboration that spanned a decade.

Over 20 years ago, during the course of some basic scientific experiments, a collaboration with David Klenerman and Professor Balasubramanian’s co-workers unexpectedly led them to conceive and then pursue a different way of sequencing DNA. The initial experiments ultimately led to a rapid, low-cost sequencing approach, which was developed and commercialised through a company we co-founded, called Solexa. Today the technique is able to sequence human, and other, genomes at a cost and speed that shows over a million-fold improvement compared to when the project began in 1997.

Professor Balasubramanian will also discuss the impact of the technology on life sciences, medicine and society along with a vision of what the future holds.

About the speaker

Sir Shankar Balasubramanian is the Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and senior group leader at the Cambridge Institute.

He works on the chemistry, structure and function of nucleic acids. He is a co-inventor of the next generation DNA sequencing methodology, Solexa-Illumina sequencing that has enabled rapid, low-cost sequencing of human genomes at scale and had considerable impact on biology. His lab has invented chemistry to decode several modified (epigenetic) DNA bases and DNA secondary structures (G-quadruplexes) in the genome and made seminal contributions towards the understanding of their dynamics and function. His work on small molecule recognition of nucleic acids has revealed molecular mechanisms that can modulate the biology of cancer. His collective contributions span fundamental chemistry and its application to the biological and medical sciences.

Sir Shankar was knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2017 for his services to science and medicine and awarded the Royal Society’s Royal Medal in 2018. In 2021, he shared the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize with David Klenerman and also shared the 2022 Breakthrough Prize for life sciences with David Klenerman and Pascal Mayer, for their contributions to next generation sequencing.

Did you know that members can book for free? Find out more: manlitphil.ac.uk/membership

Event image: picture by Brano on Unsplash

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Date and time

Location

Main Hall, Friends' Meeting House

6 Mount Street

Manchester

M2 5NS

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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Organiser The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

Organiser of Reading your DNA: What can it tell us?

The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society was established in 1781, with the object of promoting the advancement of education and public interest in any form of literature, science, arts or public affairs.

 

 

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