We’ve had a great time covering Iceland Airwaves and discovering and reporting on Icelandic culture. Here’s an Icelandic cultural interview culled from our time there. Be sure to stay tuned for our final radio documentary, which will air on WCRX-FM 88.1. Visit our Iceland Airwaves blog to read/hear more from our time in Iceland.
Mutations in your DNA can impact your health in all sorts of ways. Among other things, they can increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The researchers who develop treatments for these diseases locate these mutations and figure out which diseases they’re connected to, and many of them consider the Icelandic DNA to be a goldmine for this type of research.
Arnar Palsson teaches human genetics at the University of Iceland. He says there’s a very specific reason why Icelandic DNA is more suitable for this type of genetic research…
Visiting Iceland was like visiting in alien planet. Vast, barren, and mountainous from afar, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen from up close. In some parts, the ground was just completely covered in moss and it felt like I was walking on a sponge. In others parts where the ground was littered with miles of volcanic rock, Iceland looked like the moon. Then there was the Northern Lights, the complete rainbow that loomed over Thursday, and most importantly, the Blue Lagoon. I’d never have thought I’d swim in a geothermal hot spring.
My skin feels smooth as a baby’s bottom after swimming in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, located about a half hour outside Reykjavìk. It’s a natural swimming pool filled with minerals that are really good for your skin, and it’s heated by geothermal energy below the Earth’s surface. Maybe the coolest part though is how it’s located in the middle of a lava field. As the bus got closer to the lagoon, it became rockier and rockier until, no exaggeration, it eventually looked like we had landed on Mars. Visually, Iceland’s practically an interstellar experience.
Var performed an emotional set at Gaukurinn Sunday night. Most of it was slow and ambient, but at times the band blew up, playing as hard as it could. Exploding drums really grabbed everyone by the throat in those moments, because it was such a contrast to how most of the set sounded.