ILSYM Ep. 23: Spencer Wells on what your genetics say about you

6:00 a.m. Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 Austin360 Home
Henry Reed / Contributed
Spencer Wells (left), the creator of "The Journey of Man" and founder of the genetics company Insitome, discusses what our DNA says about us on this week's "I Love You So Much" podcast with co-hosts Addie Broyles (center) and Tolly Moseley (right).

When geneticist and UT graduate Spencer Wells wrote “The Journey of Man” in 2002 and then became the Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic’s Genographic Project, he couldn’t have predicted the booming consumer genetics industry that would follow.

Now, of course, we can send off a DNA sample and receive medical and ancestral information unheard of when Wells was a student in Austin, but now that he’s lived and worked all over the world, the co-owner of Antone’s is back in Texas and working on his latest project, Insitome, a consumer genomics company. After sending in a saliva sample, customers can learn about the specifics aspects of their genetic makeup, such as how their skin recovers from sun damage or how they process alcohol or caffeine.

For this week’s episode of “I Love You So Much,” Wells joined us in the studio to talk about his latest entrepreneurial effort, why Americans are so fascinated by their ancestral past and how innovations in the field are changing how humans tell their own stories.

Statesman film critic Joe Gross tells us which holiday movies he’s looking forward to seeing, and Raising Austin columnist Nicole Villalpando shares ideas for keeping families and kids busy on a snow day or any day over the winter break.

In A Toast, Addie Broyles shares her love of the latest season of “The Crown,” Tolly Moseley explains why she’s over the moon for two restaurants on Burnet Road and Omar Gallaga talks about a new “Wander” art project downtown that starts at the newly opened public library.

Find our episode archive and other podcast info at our home page or on Twitter @LoveAustin360.

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