As an interested scientific mind, Kenneth Weiss has been fascinated by biology and genetic research through his long career in science. In this podcast, the Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Penn State’s biology department discusses genetics and variations.
Dr. Weiss has spent years studying the effects of genetic variations and how they impact disease. He details how genes play a part in the development of complex traits such as blood pressure and diabetes, as well as many other health issues. He provides his thoughts on the current state of genetic prediction and explains why there are significant difficulties in precision genomic medicine that relate to a myriad of impacting factors such as where we live, climate, diet and nutrition, one’s occupation, and much more. Genomes, as he states, are different from person to person, and thus interpreting general information through the use of finite genomic data is not necessarily highly accurate.
The gene expert lays out his theories on gene repair and discusses CRISPR technology, a technology that assists scientists to alter a DNA sequence and modify gene function, which many have touted as the next great leap in medical advancement. But Dr. Weiss stresses the complexity of these issues due to variations from person to person.