Fifth World Conference on the Future of Science - The Dna Revolution
20-22 September, 2009 Venice
Fondazione Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore
The Fifth World Conference on the Future of Science has once again explored a theme that puts science at the centre of the social debate: the DNA Revolution. The discovery of the structure of DNA, more than fifty years ago, and the realization that it encoded the genetic information that determines the nature of all living organisms, created a true revolution in our understanding of biology and medicine, whose impact on essentially every aspect of life continues and expands to this day. While genome sequencing of multiple organisms, from humans to bacteria, has revealed exciting new information about our genetic make-up and the mechanisms of disease - leading to what has been called the post-genomic era - the function and purpose of much DNA remains to be discovered. The Conference has assessed the impact that the “DNA Revolution” has had and will continue to have on science, technology and the quality of human life. It has focused on the significance of the most recent genetic research to our understanding of evolution and natural selection, health and disease; on how the knowledge provided by DNA research has dramatically changed the practice of medicine, agriculture and the management of biological resources; and on the bioethical issues raised by such discoveries. Major topics to be discussed have been genes and genome evolution, the impact of recombinant DNA on biotechnology and pharmaceutics, the genetics of human diseases, gene therapy, and the molecular genetics of cancer.