Many of us learn about genetics in school starting with Mendel and his pea plants. We learn that one gene is linked to one trait, and one gene fault causes one disease. But the recent revolution in DNA sequencing is revealing that it’s much more complicated. People are not peas – and even peas are not peas! From strange patterns of inheritance to real life genetic superheroes living amongst us, whose DNA provides them with resilience against serious illnesses, science writer and broadcaster Dr Kat Arney explains what we do and don’t know about how our genes work.
Dr Kat Arney is an award-winning science writer, broadcaster and author. As a writer, her work has featured in the Daily Mail, the Times Educational Supplement, BBC Focus Magazine, Wired, Little Atoms, BBC Online, Guardian Online, Mosaic, the New Scientist and more. She has fronted several BBC Radio 4 science documentaries, and wrote and presented the comedy factual Radio 4 series Did the Victorians Ruin the World? with her sister, science comedian Helen Arney. Kat has written two books about genetics for the public – Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding how our genes work (Bloomsbury Sigma, 2016) and How to Code a Human (Andre Deutsch, 2017).