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July 19, 2007

CNN: Geniuses who will change your life
#4. Pulling a typical all-nighter in med school, Pardis Sabeti achieved a not-so-typical feat -- she confirmed the effects of genetics on the evolution of human diseases. By inputting different DNA sequences into an algorithm she created, Sabeti was able to find genes still linked to their neighbors -- suggesting that their success within the gene pool is due to natural selection, not pure chance. Sabeti now plans on using her algorithm to deconstruct the malaria parasite. By seeing how the parasite has evolved to develop drug resistances, she hopes to detect genetic vulnerabilities in malaria's makeup. If she's successful, future cures will be designed to attack those weaknesses. Meanwhile, Sabeti isn't your typical lab rat. She's the lead singer of the alt-rock band Thousand Days and sounds more than a little like Liz Phair. And did we mention that she's a Rhodes Scholar who just graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 2006? >>> Also see Nima Arkani-Hamed
-- Sent by Arash Mahmoudi


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