Genetics is currently one of the most exciting areas of scientific research and this episode, Aoibhinn meets Prof Jane Farrar and her colleagues at Trinity who are developing gene therapies to treat an inherited form of blindness called Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Aoibhinn also meets Michael Griffith, who was diagnosed with RP in the 1980s and went on to be one of the key drivers of genetic eye research in Trinity.
In the agriculture sphere, Jonathan meets Teagasc’s Noirin McHugh who is comparing genetic traits of Irish sheep with their New Zealand counterparts. Could the woolly All Blacks reveal genetic secrets that could help Irish farmers?
And with Gene Editing – the ability to change the function, remove, or make a gene more active – representing the next giant leap for molecular biology, we meet RCSI’s Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan to discuss the exciting opportunities and ethical challenges that must be considered alongside with any genetic advances.
It’s still early days, could gene editing benefit Irish farmers? Kathriona meets Teagasc researcher Ewen Mullins who reveals how genetic disease in our barley and potato crops could be targeted with this ‘biological scissor’ technology in the future.
Check it out on RTE One, 8.30pm, Monday 11th December!