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Novelist Gandharva Raja, Atomic Books’ Benn Ray, and Dr. Jimmy Lin of the Rare Genomics Institute


Gandharva Raja discusses his novel, August 29:  How Kabir H Jain Became a Deity; Benn Ray from Atomic Books drops in with suggestions for holiday book giving; and Dr. Jimmy Lin of the Rare Genomics Institute talks about how the technology can match up funders, patients, and researchers with a common goal.

Here’s the scenario:  A massive crowd is packed into the courtyard of a mosque in New Delhi.  It’s nighttime, and excitement builds in the throng as a helicopter approaches through a moonlit sky.  The gathering awaits the mysterious arrival of a man who’s said to be a new prophet.  Hopes, fears, and questions linger in the multitude.  Who is this man?  Where has he come from?  What will his message be?  This is the scene that opens Gandharva Raja’s novel, August 29:  How Kabir H Jain Became a Deity.  The book is a riveting mystery.  It’s also a profound meditation on the pitfalls of organized religion.  Author Gandharva raja talks about the story with Aaron Henkin.


Benn Ray of Atomic Books is here once again with his distinctive suggestions for holiday giving. He joins producer Lisa Morgan in the studio with some great selections, proving once again that there really is something for everyone on your shopping list.  (You can see the complete list at our Facebook page)

Benn Ray of Atomic Books shares his holiday book recommendations.

Dr. Jimmy Lin at the WYPR studios

Internet crowd-funding can be great way to go if you’re looking to finance a music album, or an indie movie, or maybe a new craft business.  But can it help to sequence a genome and maybe cure a kid with a rare disease?  Dr. Jimmy Lin of the international nonprofit, The Rare Genomics Institute, is showing that it can.  RGI, as it’s called, is generating customized connections between rare-disease patients, their networks of families and friends, and the doctors and researchers who might be able to help find answers.  Dr. Lin visits with Aaron Henkin to explain how the project works.

Dr. Jimmy Lin of the Rare Genomics Institute is using the internet to change the way rare diseases are identified and cured.

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.