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Focus on genetics

What makes you, you? Why are some people more susceptible to diseases or infections than others? How is genomics changing the way new medicines are developed and who should own biopharmaceuticals based on these human sources? Explore, discuss and debate these issues at this year's Cambridge Science Festival.

Events include:

Monday 13 March

CHROMOS: zoom into the 3D structure of our chromosomes
Working with Max Cooper and Andy Lomas has allowed Babraham Institute researchers to explore chromosome architecture and interactions through an audio-visual experience, and now you can explore chromosome interactions too.

Your DNA, your say
DNA and medical information is being donated, accessed and shared by clinicians and researchers around the world. Join Dr Anna Middleton to explore what is happening with donation of DNA samples and access to genetic data.

Tuesday 14 March

Danaus, mythical king, meets Danaus, butterfly genus, in this musical exploration of murdered males and the intersections of science, poetry and performance. Tim Watts’s new piece of music theatre is fuelled by the collision of Simon Martin’s genetic research with two Greek myths.

Friday 17 March

Who owns us?
Explore the fascinating and knotty moral, economic, familial, legal, medical and ethical issues around medical use of patient material and patient data with a panel of experts from Industry, Government, Academia and Law. Part of Cambridge Enterprise's 10th Anniversary celebrations.

Saturday 18 March

Genes and heredity
Join scientists at the Department of Genetics for hands-on activities to understand heredity.

Personalised health
Visit the Department of Biochemistry to discover how we use information on our genome to understand how genes are turned on and off in disease, and how we use biochemical techniques to direct drug and nutritional treatments individuals who will most benefit from these interventions.

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March

In.D.N.A. Jones and the big genetic data hunt
What can your genetic data tell us about you? Explore how DNA analysis helps shed light on our past, present and maybe even our future through hands-on activities with scientists from the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Precision medicine
Join AstraZeneca and MedImmune scientists to explore, through hands-on activities, how biomarkers, genomics, targeted diagnostics and data management are changing the way in which new medicines are developed.

Tuesday 21 March

100,000 genomes: the road to personalised genomic medicine
A technology breakthrough that started in Cambridge means we are able to decode the entire DNA sequence of 100,000 genomes to determine mutations that cause rare genetic diseases and cancer. Dr David Bentley and Professor Mark Caulfield discuss how this promises to revolutionise medicine.

Thursday 23 March

What makes you, you: stories of genetics and human identity
As genomics becomes part of everyday life, questions arise as to how genetics relates to who ‘we’ are: as an individual, as a family and as a society. Jonathan Roberts explores how stories can help us think about concepts of identity as we move into the genomic age.

Parents as partners in research
IMAGINE ID is a large scale study designed to assess how genetic causes of intellectual disability affect the long term mental health of children and young adults. Professor Lucy Raymond discuses how digital technology is being used to harness parental knowledge, often far more detailed than relying on clinical observations.

Sunday 26 March

When one size doesn't fit all
One size bra won’t fit ten different women. So why should one cancer treatment? Meet Dr Jean Abraham and the Cambridge team revolutionising breast cancer research through personalised treatment.

Image copyright: Micah Baldwin