Has nature endowed us with a capacity for altruism? Should we be allowed to determine our children’s eye color? What happens when humans can easily “play God”?

These are a few of the questions that the Spring 2015 Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum explores.

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 5/18/15

jumbled-emotionsWhy some people are more likely to cry at weddings and funerals, the difficulty of discovering where language came from, and why our community might be more important than our genetics in encouraging health — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 5/26/15

Baby SuitcaseThe first-ever conference on bioethics and cellular technology, whether infidelity has a genetic basis, and just how much of “who we are” is nature or nurture — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 6/1/15

A genetic disposition for religion leading to more prosociality, whether the wealthiest humans will evolve into “god-like cyborgs,” and ethical questions raised by ensuring survival of “micro preemie babies” — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

Our Genes, Our Selves

Orturo-Biotech-Abstract-900x425As genetic technology continues to advance, what happens when we try to create or eliminate certain characteristics for our children? What are the potential unintended consequences with fiddling with our DNA? Should humans be “playing God”? Lisa Ortuno, a Sinai and Synapses Fellow, explores those questions through a series of interviews, asking several experts, “Are we more than our genes?”

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 6/8/15

Rickety Cossack CropHow parents’ lives affect their descendants’ DNA, why some emotions are hardwired, and a new way to think about the evolutionary history of humans — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

Animals Evolve. People Evolve. Can Groups Evolve?

Water-Strider-300x200If evolution only involves discrete entities replicating themselves with high fidelity, then group-level selection probably doesn’t happen. But not everybody agrees that this is the litmus test for evolution.

Knowledge is Power…Especially When We Feel Powerless

Orturo-Evolution-900x900 CropWe are gaining more and more knowledge about the intricacies of genetic information. But if knowledge is power, how should we use this power? How much does it help us and how much might it harm us?

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 6/15/15

Morgan_Freeman_God_6_17_13Whether GMO’s are kosher, Morgan Freeman’s new documentary on God and the brain, and how toddlers learn right from wrong — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

How Our Choices Change Our DNA

PianoWith new discoveries in epigenetics — how our environment affects our DNA — how much control do we have over our own choices?

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 6/23/15

DNA StrandsUsing genes to identify children with learning disabilities, what it means for humans to be “99% chimp,” and why Caitlyn Jenner angered fundamentalists — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week

This Week in Genetics and Religion – 6/30/15

DNA FuzzyWhy DNA evidence is not so precise, the neuroscience of belief, and a thought experiment about immortal atheists — here’s what’s new in genetics and religion this week.

Knowing What, Knowing Why, Knowing How

Hand pushing buttonsScience is complex. But once we have a better understanding of the latest science, we can use that knowledge to inform public policy more effectively.

Genetic Knowledge Explains. It Doesn’t Predict.

Trees for GeneticsWhat can we really predict about human behavior in light of increasing knowledge from genetics?

A Conversation with a Mormon Biotechnician

Green DNA StrandA Mormon biotechnician asks, “Does the physical body explain everything about who we are?”