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Lactose Intolerance and the Evolution of Human Digestion

Complete video at: Dr. Katherine Pollard, biostatistics professor at UCSF, illustrates how positive selection has enabled humans to process lactose and digest starch. She traces these mutations to certain ethnic and regional groups, such as the early herders in North Africa and Europe. ----- We are in the midst of a renaissance in the biological sciences, which is spurring the growth of brand new fields like functional and comparative genomics. These new fields are revealing novel insights into evolutionary biology, medicine, developmental biology and many other areas, transforming the way scientists look at life. Join the California Academy of Sciences to learn about genomics, hear about compelling current research, and explore the future of this rapidly advancing field. - California Academy of Sciences Katherine Pollard received her Ph.D. and M.A. from UC Berkeley Division of Biostatistics under the supervision of Mark van der Laan. Her research at Berkeley included developing computationally intensive statistical methods for analysis of microarray data with applications in cancer biology. After graduating, she did a postdoc at UC Berkeley with Sandrine Dudoit. She developed Bioconductor open source software packages for clustering and multiple hypothesis testing. In 2003, she began a comparative genomics NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the labs of David Haussler and Todd Lowe in the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. She was part of the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium that published the sequence of the Chimp Genome, and she used this sequence to identify the fastest evolving regions in the human genome. In 2005, she joined the faculty at the UC Davis Genome Center and Department of Statistics. She moved to UCSF in Fall 2008.
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