Genomes, Brains, and Microbiomes: Who Are You, Anyway?

Who are you? That question has become ever more complicated over the last decade of scientific discovery. Our genomes show signs of ancestry from Neanderthals and other extinct hominins, not to mention the genetic fossils of ancient viruses. Our bodies are home to trillions of bacteria and other microbes that sculpt our organs, train our immune systems, digest our food, and influence our minds. Our brains are made up of about 80 billion neurons in 100 trillion connections. Scientists are mapping the brain in molecular detail, but their maps are raising more questions than answers. Join science writers Carl Zimmer and Ed Yong as they chat about what it even means to be an individual in the era of modern biology, while trying not to have an existential crisis on stage.

Speakers: Carl Zimmer, Ed Yong
Festival: Aspen Ideas 2017

Watch and Listen: Science

Who are you? That question has become ever more complicated over the last decade of scientific discovery. Our genomes... See more
We often take biology for granted, rarely recognizing the incredible technological feats of an organism as it grows,... See more
Whether they remain free of diagnosable disease or become afflicted by dementia, our brains inevitably change as we... See more
The Afternoon of Conversation is the Aspen Ideas Festival's signature event and hosts an audience of 2,000 in the... See more
Dozens of genetic testing companies have cropped up over the last decade, promising to help consumers decipher... See more
We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but genetic testing is also impacting urgent... See more

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