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"Two L.A.S.E.R. talks: A new theory of genetic heredity/ Viruses and the environment"

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Description:  This evening will feature two online presentations:

- Antony Jose (Univ of Maryland) on "Heredity constrains the nature of living systems"

- Curtis Suttle (Univ of British Columbia) on "Viruses and their Role in the Environment"

Antony Jose is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland. His group used the simple nematode C. elegans to demonstrate that RNA from neurons can cause specific gene silencing that lasts for more than 25 generations. They were the first to visualize extracellular RNA crossing generational boundaries in an animal. Their current work addresses how all heritable information is encoded in a cell and passed on from one generation to the next. These findings have implications for our understanding of the origins of inherited diseases, the course of evolution, and the synthesis of new life.

Curtis Suttle is Distinguished University Scholar and Wall Scholar at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on viruses and their diversity, evolution, and function in the global system, with an emphasis on the oceans. He makes a persuasive case that viruses encompass much of the genetic diversity on Earth and are major drivers of global biogeochemical cycles. His work has helped shift the paradigm from viruses being enemies and agents of death, to the perspective that viruses are essential to life on Earth.

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(Where are the arts?  See the November 8 LASER)

The LASERs (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), chaired by cultural historian Piero Scaruffi, are an international program of evening gatherings that bring together artists, scientists, inventors and scholars in a variety of disciplines for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.

The Stanford LASERs are co-sponsored by the deans of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering and Medicine


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