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Science AMA Series: I’m Carl Zimmer, and I’m here to talk about my Game of Genomes.
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Greetings–My name is Carl Zimmer. I’m a contributing national correspondent for Stat, a new online publication about medicine and life sciences. (You can find out more at http://carlzimmer.com ) I’m also a columnist at the New York Times. Also, I write books about biology (and one about science tattoos). I’m in the midst of publishing a three-part series at Stat about my genome, called “Game of Genomes.” When I got the opportunity to get my genome sequenced, I found a way to get my hands on the raw data (a 70 GB hard disk, to be specific). I then enlisted two dozen scientists to guide me through its depths. Along the way, I got to see how my unique DNA alters the shape of the molecules that make up my body. I found out that 613 of my genes come from Neanderthals, and discovered how they are influencing my health. I learned my genome is littered with broken genes and overrun by ancient viruses. I even discovered my health is protected by mutations that are the basis for new blockbuster drugs. In the process, I learned how much our genomes can reveal to us, but also how many mysteries they hold back. Here is part one of the series:https://www.statnews.com/feature/game-of-genomes/season-one/ And here is part two:https://www.statnews.com/feature/game-of-genomes/season-two/ Part three will come out next Monday And here is a site where you can find all the data and analysis (including my genome): https://zimmerome.gersteinlab.org/ I’ll be back at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) to answer your questions, ask me anything! EDIT, 4 pm: Thanks for all the great questions so far! I’ll zip back in an hour to answer any new ones that arrive.