Science and the Human Heart

This video features three recent NWABR events: Youth Ethics Summit 2011, hosted at the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, then Life Sciences Research Weekend 2010, where hundreds of biomedical researchers met thousands of students, children, and families at Pacific Science Center, and finally Student Bio Expo 2011, where high school students presented art and science projects in categories ranging from music to molecular modeling to global health.

These educational programs and more are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), our members, and contributors like you. Donate to support science outreach and education at http://nwabr.org.

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From reactive to proactive health

Our moderator is Gretchen Sorensen of Sorensen Ideas. Sorensen opens with a brief introduction: “There’s a revolution going on right now in biology and medicine, and Seattle is at the forefront of it,” citing examples not only in global health but in biomedicine generally.

The revolution is a shift from reactive to proactive in health and biomedical research. We are looking at genetics, the environment, and interactions between them and changing medicine for the future. Medicine is becoming more personal with increased understanding and accessibility of genomics. Patients and consumers are playing a key role, participating more in determining their own medical future.

Biobanks are more than libraries of flesh,” Sorensen declared, in response to some popular media descriptions of repositories. (CityClub blogger Sara Neppl clarified that Sorensen was quoting this Wired magazine article from June 2010 that referred to biobanks as “libraries of flesh.”)

Biobanks combine biological specimens of organs, blood, and so on with data about health and lifestyle. Combining all of this is very powerful but also requires that we proactively and comprehensively address issues of public trust and ethics in research. Today’s panel discussion is one more step in that effort.

Moderator Gretchen Sorensen introduces our topic:

Photo by Jeffrey Luke for CityClub Seattle