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Published on May 11, 2012
Have you ever wondered: "Why sex?" Sex is important for evolution, and humans have been tinkering with natural selection to create better plant and animal specimens for millennia. Dr. Frances Arnold is an internationally recognized American scientist and engineer who is taking things a step further, asking the provocative question: "If you could recombine genes from any type of life -- plus you could have as many parents as you wish -- what would you do?" Arnold is pioneering protein engineering methods to harness the power of evolution to create biological systems and organisms with desirable properties not found in nature. She is the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and is the only woman with the honor of being elected to all three National Academies in the US.