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F19A13 The Secret Life of Your DNA

How exactly does your DNA make you "you"? Given that you share 99.9% of your DNA sequence with every other human being, what are the processes DNA expresses that result in your unique appearance, physiology, health status, and personality? In The Secret Life of Your DNA, you will learn about the history of DNA, where it is in your body, and its structure. We will discuss the processes involved in "The Central Dogma" of genetics: DNA to RNA to protein. You will learn about the exciting new area called epigenetics and how your epigenome controls the expression of your DNA. We will also cover chromosome-linked diseases, ethical issues in genetics, personalized genomic medicine, and how the company 23andMe analyzes and reports your DNA results. This course will include coloring projects, videos, and online reading material.

Instructor: LLI member Anne Henriksen is Faculty Emerita at James Madison University, where she was a professor in the Integrated Science and Technology Department for 19 years. Dr. Henriksen came to JMU from The Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked as a staff scientist for ten years. She received a PhD in chemical physics from The University of Virginia and an MBA in management science from the University of New Mexico. She has spent the last seven years studying neuroscience, neuropharmacology, genomics, and bioinformatics. Her personal interest is understanding the important role of sex steroid hormones in the brain during all stages of life.

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