How Science Fiction is Rapidly Becoming Science Fact

DNA is central to the story lines of hundreds of movies, books and TV shows. Whilst much of the science within them is exaggerated, recent developments are suggesting that it’s quickly becoming reality.  “Genetic Engineering: How Science Fiction is Rapidly Becoming Science Fact!” is an event organised by Dr Jim Boyne from the University of Bradford’s School of Life Sciences. This family-orientated event will give participants the opportunity to extract DNA, as well as gain a further understanding of genetic engineering.

Exploring genetics in an accessible way, Dr Boyne will guide the audience through the progression of genetic engineering in the last 30 years. Combining theoretical understanding with practical experience, participants will then be able to extract DNA from bacterial cells. Using specialist equipment and techniques, the audience will extricate DNA from a cell and discover the implications of DNA extraction for medical research. The event will also include an account of Synthia, the world’s first artificial life form.

“I wanted to create an event that’s enjoyable and accessible, but still has a high impact. I want to show how far molecular genetics has progressed; not much more than 30 years ago, scientists in laboratories were extracting DNA in the same way participants at this event will be.”

Dr Boyne is a lecturer on the BSc Biomedical Sciences course, having come to the University in 2009 with a background in genetic research.