On Thursday evening I was in Bristol for a public debate on The Future of Genomics at Expore@Bristol. It was a special event to mark the opening of the new 'Inside DNA' exhibition they have there, and since I've always been interested in genetics I thought I'd go along.
Sir John Sulston kicked-off with a half hour or so talk about the state of play in genetics research, then the floor was opened. The lovely Alice Roberts (yes, her from off the telly) handled the session. The audience was filled with several experts on genetics and the ethics behind it, and some of the questions were quite good considering that it was a public event. Given current events there was some interest in biometrics and ID cards (which are all pointless as well as scary) and databases, plus genuinely interesting tidbits.
Interesting tidbit example - they think they now know why we're seeing a rise in peanut allergies, something that concerns me as I have one. It's possibly because creams containing peanut oil were used to treat eczema in the 70's and 80's, and the proteins being absorbed through the broken skin provoked the intolerance. This explains a lot - I had eczema as a child, so it all fits. They discovered this through the 'child of the 90's' study which is taking place in Bristol. It's the most detailed study of its kind in the world and has provided a lot of information so far, so yay for Bristol.
The exhibition is well worth checking out, as it all of @Bristol, of course. It's a shame that they closed the iMax though - hopefully it will reopen one day.