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Heredity, Human
Generative Organs
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The Secret Life of Twins [electronic resource]: Natural Similarities

How accurate is the term "identical twins"? Can a cell-for-cell likeness between two siblings really exist? And what does that say about the supposed uniqueness of each human being? This program examines the genetics, physiology, and psychology behind such questions as it presents fascinating real-world case studies of identical twin development. Viewers meet monozygotic twins raised apart and finally reunited, another pair who suffered identical illnesses at the same time, and two brothers, both doctors, setting out to discover if their shared genes mean they will be identical forever. Two decades of medical research on physical similarities in twins-recorded down to the tiniest skin markings-highlight the concept of "natural cloning." A
2010; 2009

The Secret Life of Twins [electronic resource]: Nurtured Differences

Despite their shared genetic makeup, some "identical" twins don't appear identical at all-raising important questions about the role of environment in human development. This program explores several ways in which monozygotic twins grow and change on separate paths as well as the epigenetic, anatomical, and psychological factors involved. With the help of 4D scanning and CGI graphics, viewers learn how uterine conditions impact identical twins differently and how life experiences can shape gene expression. Case studies include gay and straight twin brothers, obese and slender twin sisters, and another pair of sisters who seem to have aged at dramatically different speeds. Meanwhile, twin doctors reflect on their contrasts as well as their similarities. A
2010; 2009

The Spark of Life [electronic resource]: Tinkering With the Genetic Toolbox

From hydras to humans, every organism on Earth can trace its ancestry back to the first primitive cell. Will biotechnology one day create a cell outside of that family tree? This program looks at 21st-century genetic science and its search for the secret of life's creation. Background information highlights the Oparin-Haldane Hypothesis and its vision of a prebiotic soup as well as Stanley Miller's famous experiment, the central role of RNA in protein synthesis, and Herbert Boyer's achievement in gene-splicing. A visit with Dr. Stephen del Cardayre of biotech start-up LS9 reveals ways to remodel an existing cell-while Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School hints at building one from scratch.
2010; 2009

Unlocking the Code [electronic resource]: Genetics and Medicine

Although the impact of genetic research on human life is an ever-changing and often theoretical prospect, our current knowledge of the human genome already has direct, real-world applications. This program looks at several ways in which genetic breakthroughs have improved health care technology and enriched the study of human physiology. Case studies focus on DNA screening and its benefits-for both parents and children-in identifying hereditary problems, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, and congenital and developmental abnormalities. The film also explores implications for type-2 diabetes, the complex area of multifactorial genetic disorders, the chain termination method of DNA sequencing, and more.

Mutations [electronic resource]: Changing the Code

Some of the most fascinating research in genetics today involves mutagens-physical, chemical, and biological agents capable of altering the structure of DNA. This program looks at the characteristics and behavior of mutagens and shows how they are prevalent in the world around us-for example, in the form of UV radiation, cosmic rays, and some radioactive isotopes, as well as synthetic chemicals and natural mutagens that may arise during the metabolism of certain foods. Viewers learn how mutagens either act directly on DNA or produce chemicals that cause rearrangements of the genetic code-leading, in some cases, to cancer and inherited disease.
2010; 2009

Journey of Man [electronic resource]: The Story of the Human Species

Fossil evidence more or less proves that humanity sprang from an African cradle. But what can the science of genetics tell us about our origins? Researchers have arrived at a startling conclusion: the global family tree can be traced to one African man who lived 60,000 years ago. Eminent geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells hosts this innovative program, traveling to every continent in search of the people whose DNA holds humanity's secret history: the Namibian Bushmen, the Chukchi reindeer herders of the Russian Arctic, Native American tribal groups, and indigenous Australians. The program also features commentary by historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists.

Designer Babies [electronic resource]: Dangers of Corporate Genetics

Imagine a future in which physical strength and assertiveness are the top-selling items on "baby menus." This program explores that possibility and other frightening implications of market-driven genetic engineering. Showing how the government-funded Human Genome Project has become highly lucrative for pharmaceutical companies, the video examines cases of exploitative gene harvesting in Iceland and Peru, where isolated ethnic populations contain commercially valuable DNA. Interviews with prominent scientists and activists highlight the dangers of patenting genomic data and an absence of public discourse about artificial gene selection.

Who's Afraid of Designer Babies? [electronic resource]: The Ethics of Genetic Screening

PGD, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, allows doctors and parents to screen brand-new embryos for genetic diseases. This program illustrates the PGD process and what it implies-from lifesaving medical solutions to what many see as the Nazi-esque disposal of life. The experiences of couples considering or undergoing PGD are featured-including the story of Leanne and Stephen, who ignited controversy in Australia by screening for a son who could donate blood to his ailing older brother. Interviews with bioethics experts, including Oxford professor Julian Savulescu and Dr. Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University, elucidate both sides of the debate.
2006; 2004

Genetics, Stem Cells, and Society [electronic resource]: Interview With AlTrounson

One of Australia's most distinguished scientists, Dr. Alan Trounson administered early IVF fertility treatments and is now an internationally recognized leader in stem cell research. In this extended interview, he reflects on a range of research techniques and genetics issues-including gene expression and epigenetics; real-world applications for genetics and epigenetics; triggering differentiation; the use of adult rather than embryonic stem cells; developmental abnormalities and childhood cancers; genomics and cell biology; and the challenges and opportunities the field of genetics presents for young researchers. Dr. Trounson also describes his Cambridge education and how his career developed.
2009; 2007

Stem Cells [electronic resource]: Ethical Issues

Providing a balanced look at a highly contentious issue, this program takes viewers inside the scientific, religious, and philosophical debate over embryonic stem cell research. Divergent opinions and perspectives are presented by respected researchers, thinkers, and stakeholders-including renowned Australian geneticist Dr. Alan Trounson; Father Norman Ford, a prominent ethics commentator and opponent of embryonic stem cell research; and patients with life-threatening medical conditions that stem cell innovations could potentially treat or cure. Each speaker identifies core principles and calmly articulates the reasons for his or her views.
2009; 2006

Epigenetics [electronic resource]: How Food Upsets Our Genes

Why are girls entering puberty at progressively younger ages? Why are the rates of heart attack, cancer, and adult-onset diabetes rising? This program examines growing indications that food affects our genes-a concept vitally important to the science of epigenetics. Viewers encounter a wide range of experiments, case studies, and historical evidence, including Dutch birth records and testimonials from WWII that point to the epigenetic effects of starvation. Findings from animal and human nutritional studies, as well as evidence involving diet habits and environmental threats around the globe, are also presented. DNA methylation, the "on-and-off switch" of the epigenome, and other important concepts are featured.
2009; 2008

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: James Watson, the Double Helix and Today's DNA Mysteries

James Watson and Francis Crick's 1953 discovery of DNA's double-helix structure paved the way for the astounding breakthroughs in genetics and medicine that marked the second half of the 20th century. How did they do it? Watson - a Nobel Laureate and former head of the Human Genome Project - opens TED2005 with the frank and funny story of how he and Crick hit upon the structure of DNA and then goes on to talk about "what makes me tick now."

Genetic Engineering [electronic resource]

This program offers an overview of genetics and cloning as they occur both in nature and in the laboratory while addressing the ethical and social implications of genetic engineering. Genes, chromosomes, and DNA are identified, and the process of cell fertilization is demonstrated. Identical human twins are presented as an example of naturally occurring clones. The synthesis of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology, the production of alpha-1 antitrypsin using the milk of transgenic sheep, and the reproductive cloning of animals illustrate applications of genetic engineering. And a case study involving spinal muscular atrophy acts as a platform for discussing therapeutic cloning.
2007; 2001

Making Better Babies [electronic resource]: Genetics and Reproduction

How far should people be allowed to go in trying to have better babies? And whose definition of "better" should prevail? This Fred Friendly Seminar moderated by Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry considers the ethical dilemmas facing individuals and society that grow out of prenatal testing and genetic options that may be available in the future - such as cloning. Panelists include Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; ABC journalist Meredith Vieira; Princeton University's Lee Silver, author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family; Commissioner Paul Miller of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Adrienne Asch, Henry R. Luce Professor in Biology, Ethics, and the Politics of Huma [...]
2006; 2003