Nova: Cracking Your Genetic Code

What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information contained in our DNA read, stored and available for analysis?  Think of never having to worry about getting a disease because it’s not  in your DNA.  On the flip side what if you knew cancer was in your future.

On “NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code”  scientists say we are on the verge of a revolution in medicine.  Apparently the first effects of this revolution are already upon us.  The program will introduce us to cancer patients returned to health and a cystic fibrosis sufferer breathing easily. All this because scientists have now been able to pinpoint and neutralize the genetic abnormalities underlying their conditions.

As with all new technologies, we also need to deal with the moral questions this new medicine raises.  Will it help or hurt us to know that we are likely to come down with a serious disease? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers, prospective mates? Should parents be allowed to select embryos with specific characteristics?

One thing is for certain, this era of personalized, gene-based medicine is relevant to everyone. How do you feel about this?

“Nova: Cracking Your Genetic Code” airs Wednesday, March 28 at 9pm on WOSU TV, with an encore presentation Thursday, March 29 at 9pm on WOSU PLUS.