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Genomic Parasites Nibbling Away at Us: Why I should win the Nobel Prize

16/05/2020 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT


This presentation has since taken place, you can view the film recording here

Aging, infertility, neural degeneration, cancer, genetic variability. What could they all have in common? An underappreciated source of their cause in little genomic parasites known as retrotransposons. Retrotransposon exist in our genomes and live a life of copying and pasting into new locations to reproduce themselves. Unfortunately, this involves making breaks in DNA to insert themselves. This DNA breaking is, well, bad for genomes to stay intact. While long thought to be dormant in most cells, they were found to actually be actively expressed. To be discussed will be the speaker’s seminal work on demonstrating the DNA breaking activity of retrotransposons in human cells and the potential impact they have on human health. The case will be made for this body of work to be in the running for Nobel Prize recognition. 


DNA damage theory of aging

Long interspersed nuclear elements



Dr. Stephen L. Gasior 

Previous work in the Library

Previous work in the Film Collection

Podcast interview



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10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT




Jes Stannard
Chantal Jager

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