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Heredity, Human
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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.
2005; 1988

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Selection in Action [electronic resource]: Natural Selection

This program provides arguments in favor of continental drift and the one-time existence of a supercontinent, shows how isolation can give rise to different species and how species develop in response to their environments, and explains clines and suggests the reason for their existence. After viewing the program, students should understand the significance of the continental drift theory, the purpose of studying inherited variation in isolated populations, and the conclusions about an isolated environment in a species' ancestry that can be drawn from the presence or absence of variation.
2005; 1981

The Demonic Ape [electronic resource]

By turns charming, alarming, and poignant, this program questions the accuracy of the human evolution theory. Chimpanzees show signs of sophisticated language, advanced social behavior, and other traits thought reserved only for humans-even empathy. No one knows this better than the legendary Jane Goodall: her pride and joy, Frodo, grew up in front of film cameras in Gombe in Tanzania for over 30 years. But Frodo's killing of a child in May 2002 prompted huge debate amongst scholars about whether the origins of aggressive male human behavior can be traced back to our shared evolutionary ancestry with chimps.
2006; 2004

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

Biomedicine and Biotechnology [electronic resource]

In the era of Big Pharma, why are researchers looking more and more to nature-and the human body itself-to provide tomorrow's medical cures? This program illustrates how scientists are growing and harvesting pharmaceuticals from common plants and farm animals, attempting to replicate organs, and transferring much-needed islet cells to patients with diabetes. The next big breakthrough in medical care is as likely to come from a rainforest or a goat as it is from a petri dish or a test tube.
2006; 2004

Genetics and Evolution [electronic resource]

What does genetic diversity mean, and what is its relationship to evolution? This video answers that intriguing question as it summarizes the theory of natural selection and describes the process of trait inheritance. Advances stemming from the Human Genome Project-an ever-deepening understanding of life on Earth, improvements in disease detection and treatment, and applications of genomics to agriculture, the environment, and forensic science-are also discussed. Correlates to National Academy of Sciences National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

Life and Times [electronic resource]: Biology of Aging

This Science Screen Report explores the genetics of aging and the different ways in which biologists study longevity. Citing various experiments with test subjects ranging from fruit flies to elderly humans, the program focuses on genetic structure and how it affects the life span of organisms. Highlighting two important scientific discoveries-the telomere, a genetic sequence determining how many times a cell can divide, and telomerase, an enzyme that extends that number-the program also suggests that the effects of aging may one day be reduced, if not eliminated.
2006; 2002

The Kindness of Strangers [electronic resource]: Altruism and Human Nature

Dissecting the phenomenon of altruism-as well as its mirror image, the instinct of self-preservation-is perhaps best accomplished with real-world case studies. This program does so as it documents the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Following four independent relief workers in the hardest-hit areas of Sri Lanka, the film captures scene after scene in which the most idealistic and pragmatic of aims are vividly juxtaposed. Meanwhile, experts in evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral science-including Dr. Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene-illuminate the genetic, psychological, and socioeconomic concepts behind human cooperation and human survival.
2010; 2006

Do I Drink Too Much? Human Biology, Genetics, and Alcohol [electronic resource]

Why does tolerance for alcohol differ so widely from person to person? Do genetic factors make alcoholism unavoidable in some people? Should we drink at all? This program searches for answers, following addiction expert Dr. John Marsden as he observes-and participates in-experiments that assess alcohol's neurological and physiological impact. After exploring basic chemical and evolutionary concepts, Marsden visits London's Institute of Psychiatry, where brain scans, genetic testing, and psychological profiling shed light on alcohol addiction. In the U.S., Marsden goes inside the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study other genetic markers, while moving toward a greater understanding of alcoholism in his own family history.
2010; 2009

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 Hidden Kingdom [electronic resource]: Early Discoveries in Cell Science

It was a businessman, not a trained scientist, who first gained entry to the cryptic world of cells. This program relates the early history of microbiology and genetics, beginning with the story of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a 17th-century Dutch textile merchant with a talent for making microscopes. Moving from van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of "animalcules" to Robert Hooke's cork studies and coinage of the term cell, the film then focuses on Joseph Jackson Lister's multi-lens microscope technology, Robert Brown's identification of cell nuclei, and the collaboration of Theodor Schwann and Matthias Schleiden. Robert Remak's groundbreaking findings about cell division form the climax of the episode.
2010; 2009

The Chemistry of Life [electronic resource]: Milestones in Genetics

Cells are, in a sense, just tiny bags of chemicals-so what "instructs" them to divide and function? This program shows how biologists addressed the question during the 19th and 20th centuries. Starting with Friedrich Miescher's discovery of nuclein, or DNA, the film examines Theodor Boveri's work with sea urchins, which clarified the role of chromosomes, as well as Thomas Hunt Morgan's study of inheritance in fruit flies and his introduction of the term gene. The contributions of Frederick Griffith, Maurice Wilkins, and the under-recognized Rosalind Franklin are held up as milestones on the path to the Watson-Crick double-helix model. Walter Gehring's mutation studies are also featured.
2010; 2009