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Life Revolution
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1.

Cutting and Splicing DNA [electronic resource]

This program presents a brief history of genetic science, from Darwin's theory of evolution through the discovery of DNA and the invention of gene splicing. Darwin hypothesized a theory, but understood nothing of the mechanism of evolution. The program follows the history of scientific understanding of the nucleus, chromosomes, and the location of hereditary information; explains the work of Gregor Mendel and Thomas Hunt Morgan; and features exclusive interviews with James Watson, who unravelled the secret of DNA's structure, and Stanley Cohen, who first spliced the gene and created contemporary cloning techniques. Spectacular computer animation displays the beautiful simplicity of the DNA molecule, and reveals how the gene was spliced.
Online
2007; 1988
2.

Evolution [electronic resource]: Man Takes a Hand

This program provides an explanation of how the twin techniques of gene splicing and cloning are helping to unravel the secrets of variation. Genetic engineering is altering the branching pattern of natural evolution-which proceeds by mutations within a species and sexual recombination within that species-into a network, in which genes are moved within the laboratory from any species to any other species. The program explains the irreversible and unforeseeable results of gene splicing and the scientific and governmental regulations under consideration-realistic scientific and moral questions, uninformed though highly imaginative hysteria. and the actual effects of cloning; it explains the sequences of DNA, how we are learning to read them, the masterminding message in the DNA of many [...]
Online
2007; 1988
3.

The Human Genome [electronic resource]

This program explores the search for the one specific disease-causing gene among a hundred thousand genes clustered on 23 pairs of chromosomes-a maze called the human genome. In the 1950s, we discovered that genes were sections of the long strand of hereditary material, DNA; in the 1970s, we learned how to cut and splice that strand; in the 1990s, we are labeling the individual genes that carry beneficial or unwanted characteristics. The program shows how individual genes are being identified, and the moral and psychological dilemma confronting doctor and patient when a disease like Huntington's chorea can be genetically identified: Is it better to live with fear or risk knowing that a lingering and horrible death awaits?
Online
2005; 1988
4.

DNA Techniques [electronic resource]

This program gives an explanation of the promises and the dangers inherent in deciphering the gene map, and a warning about the dangers of eliminating genetic variation and recessive traits. The program analyzes the potential misuse of genetic information and demonstrates the potential of genetic engineering to provide the first true preventive medicine program in medical history, as well as the possibility of eradicating single-gene defects like thalassemia; it also explains the dangers of narrowing the genetic pool, and-in a segment with extraordinary photography-shows the injection of human genes into mouse ova so that they merge with the mouse DNA. And the program proceeds to ask: Is this the first step to wiping out genetic illness-or to wiping out ourselves?
Online
2008; 1988
5.

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.
Online
2007; 1988
6.

Depleting the Gene Bank [electronic resource]

This program discusses the dangers of selecting and breeding better and better and fewer and fewer varieties. It explains the dangers of depleting the gene bank: when new diseases or predators appear, entire species may be wiped out because no naturally-resistant varieties remain; and the smaller number of varieties offered tend to omit the regionally well-adapted ones in favor of more generally adapted plants-another disaster waiting to happen. The hopeful side of agricultural experimentation is plant tissue culture, which is the model for an entirely new way to produce more and better plants, more quickly. The reality is that in agriculture, no fix is permanent-insect genetics are constantly changing, and agricultural geneticists are in a race against world starvation.
Online
2008; 1988
7.

Sowing the Seeds of Disaster [electronic resource]

Technology has poisoned our planet and biotechnology may be the way to save it. This program shows how biotechnology is finding, altering, and growing answers to chemical pollution-how PCB-eating organisms are designed, tested, and produced and how frost-resistant plant strains are produced. It also examines the dangers of introducing nonnatural substances into our ecosystems, when we are unable to forsee their potential side effects. Love Canal serves as an example.
Online
2005; 1988
8.

Growing Synthetics [electronic resource]

Biogeneticists are engineering new yeasts and fungi as well as entirely new growing methods, and in the process are giving a new definition to the word "natural." If yeasts and fungi can turn decaying wood into sugar, why should humans not be able to grow ethanol cheaply and efficiently? This program follows the course of the research into the artificial culture of natural trees, as well as new methods of accelerating plant propagation and growth. The program demonstrates how extraordinarily effective gene-spliced bacteria can be-but how, if a mistake is made somewhere or somehow, we know of no way to undo the combination and bring the menacing new creation back into the test tube.
Online
2008
9.

Cell Wars [electronic resource]

Biotechnology combines man and mouse to track and attack man's most feared diseases, using cells to kill killer cells. Exceptional computer animation demonstrates how the body's immune system works. The program explains the role of antibodies in vaccinations and allergies, and shows the uses of monoclonal antibodies in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of different types of tumors, as well as the immune system deficiency syndrome AIDS.
Online
2008
10.

Recombinant Technology [electronic resource]

The search for a magic bullet against cancer and AIDS is leading to recombinant technology-to explain the nature of the disease problem, help the body's immune system destroy the invader, and accelerate recovery from treatment. As more diseases are being nearly wiped out, more disease-resistant bacteria and viruses are turning up. Vaccine developers are using genetically-engineered vaccines to create more effective vaccines that are cheaper to grow and easier to deliver. The diseases for which vaccines are being sought range from AIDS to colon cancer; the longer-range goal is to understand the role of oncogenes in controlling growth, and therefore to solving the underlying problem of cancer itself.
Online
2008
11.

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.
Online
2008
12.

Whither Biogenetics? [electronic resource]

The prospects of benefits from biotechnology are daunting-an end to disease, and to malnutrition and starvation-but equally daunting are the destructive ends to which biotechnology can be turned. More and better vaccines. An end to cancer, AIDS, and heart attacks. Cleaning up toxic wastes. These are the up side of biotechnology. The downside is the creation of dangerous and irreversible side-effects, the political use of genetic information, the development of bioweaponry, and the perversion of scientific breakthroughs to private gain. Who can foresee the future of biogenetics?
Online
2008