As part of the Faculty Lecture Series, Edward O. Keith, Ph.D., associate professor in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, will present “Each Human Being Is a Biochemically Unique Individual.” The talk will take place on Mar. 15 from 12 – 1 p.m., in the Parker Building, room 240.
Since the early 20th century studies of inborn errors of metabolism by Sir Archibald Garrod, and his 1902 book Incidence of Alkaptonuria: A Study in Chemical Individuality, it has become clear that—at the biochemical level—every person has distinct abilities and limitations that make him or her unique. Moreover, each of us carries genes for recessive metabolic diseases that may or may not cause detectable pathology, however, they may alter our abilities to catalyze certain intracellular chemical reactions that are essential for life.
At the genetic level, we all possess DNA sequences, such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms and tandem repeats (some of which also cause diseases), that are exclusive to us and that are now used in a wide variety of applications, such as paternity/maternity testing, forensics, and disease diagnosis. This lecture will examine the legal, ethical, and moral implications that arise in the medical treatment of patients—from fertilization until final breath—as a result of humans’ biochemical uniqueness.
The annual Faculty Lecture Series draws from the knowledge and expertise of more than 120 full-time faculty members within the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. The series explores the faculty’s diverse areas of interest in the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences.