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“What is the basis of this thing we call the cell, and why don’t geneticists want to know the physical nature of the cellular phenotype?” This is just one question asked by Keith Baverstock, a physical chemist by training who’s currently most preoccupied by the investigation of the effects ionizing radiation on DNA and the causes of genomic instability. Throughout his career, he’s worked with the World Health Organization and authored scientific articles, one of which is titled Genes without Prominence: A Reappraisal of the Foundations of Biology. He joins the podcast today to offer his insights on a number of topics, including the link between irradiation and damage to DNA, epigenetics, a 1976 experiment which demonstrated an increased risk of intrauterine death in mice after radiation to the father, what he believes to be the causes of cancer versus other diseases, and evidence in support of the idea that environmental factors cause disease, and why in this regard, large-scale genomic sequencing is rendered largely fruitless. Tune in for the full conversation, and learn more about Baverstock’s work by visiting

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