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Sunday, April 21, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Annual Florida symposium on genetics begins today

A former UF faculty member will talk about his work with nucleotides, which make up DNA, at a symposium for the next two days.

Steven Benner, a distinguished fellow at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, is one of 12 who will give a talk at the UF’s Genetics Institute’s 12th annual Florida Genetics Symposium. The symposium, held at the Cancer and Genetics Research Complex, will begin today at noon and end Thursday at about 4:15 p.m.

During Benner’s presentation, titled “Lessons and Applications of Synthetic Genetic Systems,” he will talk about his research with two nucleotides and how they can be used to identify diseases such as the Zika virus. 

“I’m really hoping that people will see a new kind of DNA they didn’t see in high school and realize that unnatural DNA can solve problems that they have, that we may have never seen before,” Benner, 61, said.

The speakers will discuss three overall topics: genome editing, microbiomes and synthetic biology, said Ellison Langford, the marketing and communications coordinator for the UF Genetics Institute.

About 100 students will present posters showing their own research during the symposium, Langford said.

“It brings people together and inspires students and faculty,” said Nancy Denslow, a UF professor and the organizing chair for the symposium.

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