Siddhartha Mukherjee: On The Cancer Puzzle
Siddhartha Mukherjee's fascination with cancer is rooted not just in how to fight it, but in where it originated. Discovering almost nothing on the subject, the cancer physician and researcher wrote "Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer," that explores the history of the disease that causes one quarter of all American deaths.
Siddhartha Mukherjee: On The Gene
Acclaimed cancer physician and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee comes to CHF to discuss his most recent work, The Gene, a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information. Mukherjee interweaves science, social history, and the story of his own family to explain the powerful science of genetics and to grapple with the extraordinary influence of heredity on our lives, personalities, identities, and fates.
Siddhartha Mukherjee: On The Gene: Unlocking the Human Code
Genetics has revolutionised not just how we think of biology but how we think of ourselves. We are, in the words of one geneticist, the first organism that has ‘learned to read its own instructions’. Now, with the breakthrough of gene-editing technology — whose precision allows us to alter a single letter of DNA — we can now not only decipher but rewrite our genetic code. We may soon be able to treat diseases such as cancer not simply with drugs, but with genetic manipulation. Yet behind this medical revolution lies the prospect of something altogether more worrying. Already, we possess the technology to add to our genetic code at will, and thus create the world’s first generation of ‘transgenic’ humans. As we intervene genetically on ourselves with ever more accuracy, do we risk changing what it means to be human? In a potential quest for the genetically ‘normal’, will we risk annihilating the very diversity and mutations on which evolution depends? <br> These are some of the questions that the Pulitzer prize-winning author, cancer geneticist and stem-cell biologist Siddhartha Mukherjee will be exploring when he comes to the Intelligence Squared stage. Joining him will be neuroscientist and BBC broadcaster Daniel Glaser, director of the Science Gallery at King’s College London and former Head of Engaging Science at the Wellcome Trust.
Andrew Lo: On Financial Engineering and Curing Cancer at TedXCambridge
We are making breakthroughs almost weekly in our understanding of cancer and other deadly diseases, both in how to treat and – in some cases – how to cure them. So why is funding for early stage biomedical research and development declining just when we need it most? One answer is that the financial risk of drug development has increased, and investors don’t like risk. What if we could reduce the risk and increase the reward through financial engineering? By applying tools like portfolio theory, securitization, and derivative securities to construct “megafunds” that invest in many biomedical projects, we can tap into the power of global financial markets to raise billions of dollars. If structured properly, investors can earn attractive returns with tolerable levels of risk, and many more patients can get the drugs they desperately need. Finance doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game; we can do well by doing good if we have sufficient scale.