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Penn State Offers Free Courses on Genes

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Pennsylvania State University is offering a series of six lectures open to the general public with the theme “Your Genes: How They Contribute to Who You Are.”

The lectures are part of the 2013 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science and will take place Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus.

The first lecture, “Races, Faces, and Human Genetic Diversity” will be given by Marc D. Shiver, a professor of anthropology and genetics at Penn State, on January 19. He will discuss how the genes that determine skin color and facial features are some of the fastest evolving, as well as his personal ancestry and how he discovered West African and Native American ancestry within his family.

Other upcoming lectures include:

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Life's Little Problem: Determinism vs. Chance in the Complex Ways of Genomes with Kenneth M. Weiss, Evan Pugh Professor of Biological Anthropology and Genetics at Penn State University, on January 26.

Bringing Genomic Medicine into Focus with Eric Green, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, on February 2.

Personalized Medicine: Are We There Yet? with Marylyn Ritchie, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and the director of the Center for Systems Genomics at Penn State University, on February 9.

Genetics of Obesity and Weight Loss with Glenn S. Gerhard, a member of the Penn State Hershey Institute for Personalized Medicine and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine, on February 16.

Genome Instability —The Crucible of Behavioral Disorders in Children? with Scott B. Selleck, professor and pead, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, on February 23.