I often wonder what the next generations will consider our times’ alchemy, leeching, and humours. We think we are advanced (lasers! transcatheter aortic valves!), but history proves there’s always further to go. With gene therapy surfacing as perhaps the most imminent frontier, working inside the double helixes could render many of our medical modalities laughable. The “God” of geneticists, George Church, sits down with Medium’s Matthew Hutson to discuss his predictions for the future.
Everyone should have the ability to get sequenced. We could save hundreds of billions of dollars, because about 5 percent of all babies are born with very severe genetic disorders. They die young, and there’s a lot of pain along the way and a lot of money spent.
And the third [sequencing] I think is very exciting: wearable sequencing, where the device is so small and so fast that it can almost keep up with where you are, and it can tell you whether the environment around you has allergens or pathogens, and maybe even identify the animals and people that are near you.
If you take cells from late-onset Alzheimer’s patients and age-matched controls and use them to grow brain organoids, you can see how they develop differently.
Aging reversal is something that will buy me and many of my colleagues a lot more time to make many more contributions, so you might consider that a meta-level contribution, if we can pull that off.