About the talk
Science fiction giant Phillip K. Dick’s 1956 classic The Minority Report raised disturbing questions about how society might behave if we knew that the environment could alter our genetic destiny. The field of epigenetics is now very much science fact: the finding that we may carry in our DNA the legacy of our ancestors’ environmental conditions – and that we may be creating in our own living conditions a legacy for our descendants’ health, and even the future evolution of the species.
Associate Professor Cath Suter will tell us how epigenetics – literally ‘above our genes’ – works to control how our DNA instructions are interpreted. Epigentics can tell us why calico cats are usually female, and why identical twins don’t always succumb to the same diseases as one another – as well as many more intriguing questions. She’ll also look at how aberrations in this system can have dramatic consequences for future generations.
About the speaker
Associate Professor Cath Suter is an ARC Future Fellow and head of the Epigenetics Laboratory at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney. She was the first to describe germline epimutation in humans, and her major interest continues to be mammalian germline epigenetic phenomena and their inheritance. Her group focuses on the epigenetic contribution to phenotypic variation and disease risk, with a particular interest in the influence of environmental factors on epigenetic inheritance.