23 and You #481

July 06, 2018

These days, all you need to do is fill a tube with spit and mail it off to find out all about your ancestors, and even about your risks for certain diseases. Loads of DNA sequencing and typing companies exist to tell you all about yourself. But how accurate are they? And how safe is that information? We'll speak with science writer Tina Hesman Saey about her big project sending off her spit to more companies than she can count. For science, of course. Then, we'll take out ethical concerns to bioethicist Kelly Hills, to talk about the potential pitfalls of the DNA revolution.

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This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.

Guests:

  • Tina Saey
  • Kelly Hills

Guest Bios

Tina Saey

Molecular biology writer Tina Hesman Saey is a geneticist-turned-science writer who covers all things microscopic and a few too big to be viewed under a microscope. She is an honors graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she did research on tobacco plants and ethanol-producing bacteria. She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, studying microbiology and traveling. Her work on how yeast turn on and off one gene earned her a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. Tina then rounded out her degree collection with a master’s in science journalism from Boston University. She interned at the Dallas Morning News and Science News before returning to St. Louis to cover biotechnology, genetics and medical science for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After a seven year stint as a newspaper reporter, she returned to Science News. Her work has been honored by the Endocrine Society and the Genetics Society of America.

Kelly Hills

A software test engineer before she returned to school for bioethics, Kelly utilizes her expertise in both fields to consult on emerging ethical issues in novel technologies, including self-driving vehicles and other forms of impending robotic doom, synthetic biology, conflicts of interest, and biosecurity.

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