Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics

Sci-Screen: "Exploiting the Genome: How Far Can We Go?"

May 2014

Doug Vernimmen introduces a special screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a short talk followed by a question and answer session after the film.  

Sci-Screen poster


Exploiting the genome: How far can we go? Curiosity is part of human nature. We learn from experience and when the knowledge is acquired, we try to exploit it, for good...or evil! In 1953, Watson and Crick revealed the structure of DNA and fifty years later the entire human genome was sequenced. Since then we have sequenced the genomes of over 10 other species and many more are on their way to being completed. Together with the power of molecular cloning technology, it is now possible to genetically modify organisms with a particular purpose, such as increasing resistance to a particular disease, or to generate new bio-products. Sci-Fi movies represent another dimension and belong to the world of fantasy, but in many cases in the years after their release it's clear that fact is not that far from fiction! The question is, what can and what should we do with this new technology?


Sci-Screen is organised by the Edinburgh branch of the British Science Association.

The British Science Association envisages a society in which people from all walks of life are able to access science, engage with it and feel a sense of ownership about its direction.

They seek to achieve that by connecting science with people: promoting openness about science in society and affirming science as a prime cultural force through engaging and inspiring adults and young people directly with science and technology, and their implications.

Established in 1831 (as the British Association for the Advancement of Science), the Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including the British Science Festival and the National Science and Engineering Week. A network of Branches delivers an extensive programme of local events.

A version of the talk is available on YouTube.