NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code

NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 9:00pm

Close up of computer screen DNA analysis, Genesis, Detroit

Credit: Courtesy of WGBH Educational Foundation

What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored and available for analysis? Cracking Your Genetic Code, airing Wednesday, March 28 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011), reveals that we stand on the verge of such a revolution. Meet a cancer patient who appears to have cheated death and a cystic fibrosis sufferer breathing easily because scientists have been able to pinpoint and neutralize the genetic abnormalities underlying their conditions. But what are the moral dilemmas raised by this new technology? Will it help or hurt us to know the diseases that may lie in our future? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers or prospective mates? One thing is for certain: the new era of personalized, gene-based medicine is relevant to everyone, and soon you will be choosing whether to join the ranks of the DNA generation.



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