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High-Tech Foods [electronic resource]: Is Genetically Engineered Food Safe?

Fast-tracked by the FDA, GMOs-genetically modified organisms-have already deeply penetrated America's food supply. Are they safe? In this program, NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman looks at both sides of the GMO controversy. Agricultural law professor Neil Hamilton, a nutrition consultant, and an independent corn farmer counsel a conservative approach, while economist Dermot Hayes, of Iowa State University, reacts to the unfairness of anti-GMO rhetoric, in which the plants are, in effect, considered guilty until proved innocent. Do the potential benefits of GMOs outweigh the possible risks?
2006; 2000

Genetically Modified Crops [electronic resource]: Hope vs. Hype

This ABC News program begins with an overview of the controversial new type of crop hybridization known as genetic modification, exploring why the technology has panicked European consumers and has left many American farmers with mixed feelings. Then, correspondent John Donvan moderates a vigorous discussion between Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman; Val Giddings, Vice President of Food and Agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization; and vociferous anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin, who debate the value of government and industry testing and the need for package labeling.
2009; 1999

Designer Plants [electronic resource]

We may not recognize the plants and animals our children eat. But the real issue is whether the power of the gene will be wisely used, or will it be diverted to the personal ends of those seeking financial profit or political power? Biotechnology is all that stands between a burgeoning world population and starvation. Already, ordinary milking cows are a disappearing species, plants are genetically matched to growing conditions, and plants are being engineered to kill the caterpillars that attack them. This program shows how this is done and explains its benefits, while warning of the dangers inherent in this and other efforts to alter natural evolution.
2007; 1988

Superanimals, Superhumans? [electronic resource]

Now that we know that genes from different species are interchangeable, biotechnology is beginning to engineer superanimals-and patenting them. Behold the geep, part goat, part sheep, engineered to take advantage of the best traits of each. What are the scientific goals? And the social controls? This program looks at how some women are selecting the genetic profiles of the children they choose to bear, and at the ethical and economic dilemmas intrinsic in the question of who owns a person's DNA.

Spare Parts [electronic resource]: Growing Human Organs

In this fascinating program, experts on the cutting edge of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine present the astounding results of their research. Academic experts from MIT, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Duke University, and the University of Toronto-plus representatives of Osiris Therapeutics and Geron, leading industry pioneers-explain how new organs, arteries, ligaments, tendons, and skin are being grown from scratch using embryonic stem cells and bone marrow cells, bio-reactors, biodegradable scaffolding, and telomerase. Ethics issues and the race for patents are discussed as well.
2005; 1999

Spares or Repairs [electronic resource]: Applications and Implications of Cloning

Beginning with Dolly, this program explores the successes of cloning animals and specialized cells, the use of cultured neurons to combat degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, and the future of tissue engineering, as well as the ethical dilemmas attending the science of genetics. Researchers from Roslin Institute, including Ian Wilmut; Robert Winston, professor of fertility studies at the University of London; and biologist/author Colin Tudge are featured. Footage of DNA extraction from an egg, stem cells growing into brain cells, and neuronal implantation offer a glimpse of the future of medicine.
2005; 2000

Scientists Under Attack [electronic resource]: When Corporate Interests Control Research

According to some estimates, 95 percent of scientists conducting research in the field of genetic engineering are funded by agribusiness or related industries. What happens when researchers decide to work independently, steering clear of corporate influences? What are the consequences when scientific findings go against the interests of deep-pocket donors? This film profiles scientists who, based on rigorous investigation, have criticized the use of genetic modification and have been ostracized-some might say punished-for their conclusions. Viewers learn about the work of Dr. Ignacio Chapela, a Mexican biologist who faced a dubious public relations campaign against him and his Nature article on genetically modified maize, as well as the case of Dr. Arpad Pusztai, a Hungarian-born bio [...]

The Ethics of Cloning [electronic resource]

The technology of cloning has raised a host of moral, ethical, and religious questions, and this program examines many of them. The "dangers" of cloning, from shrinking gene pools, to the development of a "super race," to fears that cloned DNA could introduce genetic flaws into the population, are examined. A theologian discusses how cloning changes our notion of soul. Harold Shapiro, chairman of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, comments on the recent ban on the cloning of humans, and a cloning expert discusses government regulation versus the freedom of scientific inquiry. A panel discussion in which experts debate ethical issues concludes the program.
2008; 1997

The Human Influence [electronic resource]

This program illustrates how natural selection works to enable a species to adapt to adverse environments; shows how human breeding of desirable varieties-which antedates by millennia any theories of genetics or evolution-often overrode natural selection; demonstrates how species can be changed by artificial selection and in response to human interference with the environment; and explains the desirability of preserving the gene pool. After viewing the program, students should understand how environmental changes and artificial selection alter the random variability in a population, how breeders strengthen rather than create variation, and why it is so important to preserve the gene pool.
2005; 1988

Why Not Clone a Human? [electronic resource]: Ethical Challenges of Biotechnology

One day very soon, ordinary people could have the ability to choose their children's genes and perhaps even grow themselves completely new body parts. In this program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel and correspondent Robert Krulwich examine the breakthrough science behind cloning and delve into the ethical dilemmas surrounding advances in genetic science. Interviews with Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould, Princeton University's Lee Silver, and others raise questions on topics including the sanctity of personal identity, the widespread implications of prenatal testing, and the impact of genetic engineering on parent/child bonding.
2007; 1999

Playing God [electronic resource]: Human Cloning

Will human cloning provide a panacea for ailments and diseases or usher in a nightmarish world of eugenics and designer people? This program presents an in-depth exploration of the ethical concerns regarding human cloning, a technology that has already prompted heated debate over its potential uses and abuses. A variety of perspectives are canvassed from the theological, legal, and scientific fields, including interviews with Dr. Ian Wilmut, the first scientist to successfully clone a mammal-Dolly, a sheep.
2005; 2000