08.06 / Lecture

DNA Storytelling: A Genetic Odyssey

Anthropologist, geneticist and entrepreneur Spencer Wells will discuss current demographic trends and how to study the past or to forecast the future through DNA tests

Since the beginning of the 21st century the scope of international migration has increased greatly, and the trend is constantly growing. People move around the world looking for better conditions or new opportunities, and modern megacities turn into conglomerates of different nationalities and cultures.

Anthropologist, geneticist and entrepreneur Spencer Wells will tell about current migration trends, and how DNA tests can be used to study history. Spencer collected and analyzed the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to find out what demographic processes took place in the distant past. He will also talk about ‘consumer genomics’ – a new growing industry, which gives people an opportunity to learn not only about the origin of their ancestors, but also about the peculiarities of one’s way of life, habits and preferences, using data on their DNA. Wells will explain how genomics has changed from niche science to mass use in the most diverse spheres of life in North America.

Spencer Wells is an adjunct Professor at the University of Texas and founder of the startup Insitome, which popularizes the widespread use of genomics in healthcare, demographic research and other areas of life. Wells conducted researches at Stanford and Oxford universities and at the National Demographic Society. Now he works on the Insitome application, which stores information about the user's DNA and allows to read it independently and use in everyday life.

The lecture will be held in partnership with travel metasearch engine momondo, within ‘The DNA Journey’ campaign. The goal is to show that there are more things uniting us than dividing us, and traveling helps to fight prejudices against other countries and cultures.

English (with translation)
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