Mutated Code and the Amish Algorithm

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Research technicians prepare DNA to be sequenced at the New York Genome Center in lower Manhattan.

Two groups of people that shy away from many technologies — Amish and Mennonites — are actually on the cutting edge when it comes to genetics. 

In this week's New Tech City, host Manoush Zomorodi visits a testing facility that caters to the children of these families, many of whom have genetic disorders due to the relatively narrow gene pool in their communities in rural Pennsylvania.

An Amish woman who works at the Clinic for Special Children as well as a doctor tell the stories of their Amish patients — some heartbreaking, some life-affirming — who are grappling with when and how to let technology into their lives. 

Back in New York City, a visit to a place at the opposite end of the spectrum of genetic diversity: The New York Genome Center, which houses a ton of genomes from people around New York and the world.