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Heredity, Human
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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?

Practical Applications and Risks of Genetic Science [electronic resource]

This program discusses the Human Genome Project, gene-related medical research, and beneficial and potentially dangerous applications of genetic technology both to humans and to plants. Efforts to fight disease through gene therapy and recombinant DNA technology are addressed, as well as research into genetically controlling cancer and organ transplant rejection. The risks of agricultural over-hybridization through genetic engineering and cloning are also explored, as well as the ethical and biological issues surrounding human cloning, alteration of the human genome, and gene warfare.
2006; 1997

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

Genetic Engineering [electronic resource]

It's one of the greatest breakthroughs in scientific history, but genetic engineering has also brought disturbing new questions. Should we push genetic research to its absolute limit, exploiting every discovery? What are the consequences of intervening in nature's processes at their most fundamental level? Outlining the potential benefits of genetic engineering, such as the treatment or cure of hereditary diseases and the creation of better, more efficient crops, this program also explores the moral dilemma over cloning and the controversy that surrounds stem-cell research. Viewers encounter both secular and religious perspectives in those debates-which will only acquire greater urgency as the scientific frontier advances.

IVF [electronic resource]

Jokes about test-tube babies may have faded into pop-culture history, but today, even though in vitro fertilization has helped millions of people become parents, the technology still leads some cultural observers to question its methods, applications, and moral impact. IVF can be used to weed out hereditary diseases, but this ability to select embryos based on DNA testing also raises fears about choosing gender, hair color, eye color, and other aspects. Furthermore, what are the economic implications? Should IVF be affordable for everyone? This program shows how different countries have dealt with IVF-related controversies and looks at the often opposing stances which various religions take towards the procedure.

Tissue Engineering [electronic resource]: Custom-Made Organs on Demand

Still in its infancy, tissue engineering has already made it possible to grow human-based substitutes for basic bodily systems. In this program, experts from MIT, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Advanced Tissue Sciences, a commercial leader in tissue engineering technology, focus on synthesized skin and arteries, as well as cellular growth-inducing patches. Applications of these products for burn victims and people with diabetes are demonstrated. In addition, industry challenges including government regulation, mass production, and the forming of strategic alliances for research and distribution are addressed.
2006; 1999

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

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

The Ethics of Biotechnology [electronic resource]

The Nuclear Age-sprung upon the world with the atomic bomb-remains a bitter memory. How biotechnology, with its power to change life on Earth at the most fundamental level, will be viewed in the decades to come depends on decisions being made right now. This program confronts viewers with some of the ethical and moral implications of cloning, stem cell research, and animal testing. Commentary is provided by Jeanne Orhnberger, of Genetics Squared; Bob Forgey, of ProNAi Therapeutics; Drs. Elliott Hill, Brian Athey, and James Baker, of the University of Michigan; Len Fleck, of Michigan State University; and Susanne Kleff, of MBI International.

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

Who Gets to Know? [electronic resource]: Genetics and Privacy

When it comes to genetic testing, how much should a patient be told? If the news is bad, who else should the patient inform? And could-or should-such privileged information be made available to employers, insurance companies, and others? This Fred Friendly Seminar moderated by Harvard Law School's Arthur Miller offers a compelling discourse on the far-reaching ethical, social, legal, and economic implications of genetic testing. Panelists include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Nancy Wexler, president of the Hereditary Disease Foundation; Cynthia McFadden, ABC News senior legal correspondent; Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU; and Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), sponsor of the Genetic Non-discrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act.
2006; 2003

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

Genes on Trial [electronic resource]: Genetics, Behavior, and the Law

Could genetic research stigmatize people who carry a "bad" gene? Could their behavior actually be determined by that gene? If so, then just how free is free will? Moderated by Harvard Law School's Charles Ogletree, this Fred Friendly Seminar scrutinizes social, ethical, and legal issues involving genetic research into undesirable traits such as addiction to alcohol by exploring the relationship between the genetic basis for addiction and the limits of personal responsibility. Panelists include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; journalist Gwen Ifill, managing editor of Washington Week in Review; high-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran, Jr.; Alan McGowan, president of The Gene Media Forum; Patricia King, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at [...]
2006; 2003

Newshour Medical Ethics and Issues Anthology [electronic resource]

A respected source of balanced, first-rate journalism, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer raises urgent and challenging questions whenever it covers the healthcare field. This anthology of NewsHour segments confronts ethical dilemmas and complex issues in medicine today. Through in-depth reporting and interviews with doctors, nurses, patients, and other experts, the anthology examines case studies, scientific breakthroughs, and connections between corporate and public policy.