Computational biologist Dr Ewan Birney explains the objectives of the Encode project – the biggest endeavour in human genetics since the Human Genome Project.
Plus, Dr Anna Goodman describes her research into a possible link between economic and reproductive success Presented by Ian Sample and produced by Jason Phipps with Alok Jha, Robin McKie and Geraint Jones Sunday 9 September 2012 guardian.co.uk
This week on Science Weekly we hear about the Encode project from one of its leading researchers, computational biologist Dr Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge. Encode is the largest single update of data from the Human Genome Project since its final draft was published in 2003, and the first systematic attempt to work out what the DNA outside protein-coding genes does.
Ewan spoke to Alok Jha about how computing and a greater understanding of the human genome is pointing the way to new treatments for disease. But such is the complexity of the human genome, he believes it will keep researchers busy for the rest of this century. Alok also met Dr Anna Goodman, a social epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, to discuss her research into cycling and health, and the relationship between economic and biological success. Ian Sample presents this week's show and is joined by Observer science editor Robin McKie, who reports on the launch of Professor Stephen Hawking's TV series Grand Design, which goes out on The Discovery Channel from Thursday 13 September at 9pm. We hear excerpts from a panel discussion around the programme, which included contributions from novelist Will Self and the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees.
Finally, Geraint Jones reports from this year's British Science Festival in Aberdeen. Subscribe for free via iTunes to ensure every episode gets delivered. (Here is the non-iTunes URL feed).
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