Continuing Questions: What Genes Do Not Yet Explain About Human Individuality
While genes determine whether a fertilized egg will become a mouse or a man, there is a level of biological randomness that causes identical twins to differ even before birth. This levels of randomness helps understand the limited success of the human genome projects in finding gene differences that underlie most variation in cancer, heart disease, and longevity.
Caleb Finch is University Professor and ARCO/Keischnick Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science at USC. His major research interest is the study of genomic controls of mammalian development and aging. He has authored and edited numerous books and articles and held distinguished lectureships across the country. For this work, he has received most of the major awards in biomedical gerontology. In addition, he has recently co-authored a book for the general public, Aging: A Natural History.
What does being “human” really mean and can we ever plumb the depths of the complexity of our humanity? Is being “human” a social, spiritual, or biological reality –or perhaps some combination of all three? Throughout Fall 2014, we will consider what it means to be human, beginning with the personal and expanding outwards to the global implications of our “humanness.”Learn more