Genes, worms and the new genetics



Francis Crick Lecture

By Julie Ahringer University of Cambridge

A surprising finding over the past 20 years is that all animals have many of the same genes and that they use them in similar ways to grow and develop. Now that we know the complete DNA sequences of several animals, we can see for example that 60% of genes in the small worm C elegans have a human counterpart. These similarities mean that much of what is learned about what genes do in simple animals such as worms can help us understand what human genes do.

Using a remarkable new technique called RNA interference (RNAi), we can quickly test the function of individual genes. Julie will discuss how she has applied the RNAi technique to worm genes to ask for the first time what most of the genes in an animal do. Extending these approaches to other animals is speeding up the rate of biological discovery and understanding.

Genes, worms and the new genetics 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The next big thing 29 May 2015 at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales Four Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science at the Hay Festival.
  • Stuff matters 31 May 2015 at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales Join award winning author Mark Miodownik at the Hay Festival.
  • Elements, genomes and ecosystems: cascading nitrogen and phosphorus impacts across levels of biological organisation 01 June 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Theo Murphy international scientific meeting organised by Professor Andrew Leitch, Professor Maurine Neiman, Professor Dag Hessen, Professor Puni Jeyasingh, Professor Lawrence J. Weider and Dr Ilia Leitch

For more events please see the events diary.

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