GET Conference 2013

April 25 - 26, 2013


Bad Mutations: The Evolution of Lactose Intolerance

Geneticist Sarah Tishkoff describes some of her findings from DNA tests in Africa and how genetic mutations caused lactose tolerance.

Common Diseases Are Collections of Genetic Disorders

Stephen Scherer, Senior Scientist in Genetics at SickKids Hospital, reports that research shows common diseases to be related to collections of genetic disorders which could change how doctors find and treat them.

Dogs Bring Bacteria and Biodiversity Into the Home

Holly Menninger describes her project Your Wild Life and the source of the microbes inside homes, including the bacteria brought in by dogs.

Flu Near You: What Happens When the Flu Goes Viral?

Rumi Chunara explains how her project Flu Near You is helping to prevent an influenza pandemic by mapping health data.

Gene Testing Makes Sperm Donors Less Anonymous

Advances in genetic testing make it easier for people conceived via sperm donation to identify their biological fathers and also any half-siblings that would otherwise remain unknown.

Modern Alchemy: Biomedicine Looks for Answers in Genome

Stephen Friend, president of Sage Bionetworks, describes the endgame of genetics and how biomedicine is far from being able to turn genetic code into better healthcare.

Becoming Part of the Story: Genetic Testing Diagnosis

Bloomberg News Reporter John Lauerman shares his experience of having his genome sequenced for a story. Through the sequencing, he learned he carried a genetic variant that was causing symptoms that had been previously undiagnosed.

Health TV: How Soap Operas Can Raise HIV/AIDs Awareness

Sandra de Castro Buffington, director of Hollywood, Health & Society, brings awareness to health issues such as HIV/AIDs and genetic disorders by turning health campaigns into TV storylines.

HDBuzz Reports Truth for Huntington's Community

Ed Wild, Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Neurology, talks about the work at HDBuzz. HDBuzz works to correct false reports about Huntington's Disease that often get spread around the internet.

Romantic Chemistry: How Pheromones Affect Our Sex Lives

Andreas Keller, researcher at Rockefeller University, explores the study of androstadienone, a chemical described as the human pheromone. 

Should Accidental Genetic Findings Be Reported Back?

Robert Green and Heidi Rehm of the Partners Healthcare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine discuss the recommendation to report back to patients genetic variants that were found while testing for something else.

Steven Pinker: Do Genome Hackers Invade DNA Privacy?

Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, author of the New York Times Magazine article "My Genome, My Self," reflects on being part of the Personal Genome Project and whether participants should publicize their genetic information.

The Future of Science at the Design + Biology Crossroads Highlight

Rodrigo Martinez, Life Sciences Chief Strategist at IDEO, argues that while the technology behind a brand gets businesses off the ground, it's important to make a product that stands out and becomes a catalyst.

The American Gut Project: Your Own Personal Bacteria

Rob Knight shows how data about our biogeography from the American Gut Project can be used to identify idiosyncrasies in microbes.

Wally Gilbert: How Publishing Hurts Open Science

Molecular biologist Wally Gilbert remembers his days as an amateur scientist working on DNA sequencing and how peer review, scientific publishing and discourse has lost its vigor. 

Will Computational Biologists Crack the Genetic Code?

John Moult, professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at Maryland University, argues that data-driven, computational biology is still in the early stages of using genetic code to identify patients and revolutionize health.

A Needle in a Stack of Needles: Deciphering Genomic Data

Sharon Terry, president and CEO of Genetic Alliance, describes how Reg4All, a genome registry, sorts medical data to find risks of disease.

About this conference

The GET Conference is the event for people working at the frontiers of human biology. We invite leading thinkers to discuss the important ways in which new genomic technologies will affect all of our lives in the coming years and to debate their technical, commercial, and societal impacts. We bring together scientists, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, practitioners, investors, researchers, and others to discuss advances in our ability to measure and understand human biology. The GET Conference is produced by, a nonprofit organization which aims to increase biological literacy and improve human health through its support of the Personal Genome Project and other groundbreaking initiatives.

About The Personal Genome Project

In an unprecedented achievement, the Human Genome Project provided the first drafts of nearly complete human genome sequences in 2001 after more than a decade of effort by scientists worldwide. This information is now being used to advance medicine, human biology, and knowledge of human origins.

We foresee a day when many individuals will want to get their own genome sequenced so that they may use this information to understand such things as their individual risk profiles for disease, their physical and biological characteristics, and their personal ancestries. To get to this point will require a critical mass of interested users, tools for obtaining and interpreting genome information, and supportive policy, research, and service communities. To catalyze these developments, we launched the Personal Genome Project (PGP).

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