A brief introduction to genetics

Published on March 31, 2019   52 min

Other Talks in the Category: Genetics & Epigenetics

Hello, everybody. My name is Dr. Lawrence Bellamy, and I'm a senior teaching fellow at the University College London in the UK. I'm going to be giving you a brief introduction to genetics.
I would like to begin with a graph. This graph is a reason to be optimistic; it shows how life expectancies in the UK have changed over the past 150 years. Were I giving this lecture 500 years ago in say, the time of William Shakespeare, two out of three individuals will be dead by the age of 21. The reason why life expectancies were so low is that people were dying from what was called "The enemy outside." They were dying from infections such as cholera or tuberculosis; they were dying from things such as famine, the cold, or even war. But, today we've kind of controlled this enemy outside, but there is some bad news you all have to die, eventually. But, today we die from things that referred to as the enemy within. Today, we're dying from diseases such as diabetes, cancers, dementias, all of which, unquestionably, have a genetic component. That's not to say maintaining health isn't important, eating healthily and doing exercise, is important and how your genes interact with the environment that they're in is another lecture itself. But, our genes are certainly determining our health today.