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Houra Merrikh is an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Washington with a focus on DNA replication, mutagenesis and evolution. Her research into the mutagenic nature of co-directional gene collisions were revolutionary in the field and won her the 2016 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. Basically professor Merrikh discovered how to control the evolution of specific genes. It took all of my restraint to not ask her how far away we were from scientifically creating X-Men. We also discuss the many complications including race, gender, and existing power structures that impede scientific exploration.  

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