DNA: Playing God (PBS Documentary)

Uploaded by Kostas Partsinevelos on Feb 18, 2012
(episode 2 of 5 – Genetic Engineering)

DNA – The Secret Of Life (episode 1 of 5 – Discovery of DNA Structure)

DNA – The Human Race (episode 3 of 5 – Human Genome Project)

DNA – Curing Cancer (episode 4 of 5 – In search of cancer treatment)

DNA – Pandora’s Box (episode 5 of 5 – Enormous possibilities and moral limits)

People & Blogs

Broadcast (2005) In 1973, two scientists, Herb Boyer and Stan Cohen, became the first genetic engineers when they transferred the DNA from one species to another. Their experiment triggered a wave of controversy about the dangers of genetic manipulation, but it also generated a multi billion dollar industry. Was altering the genetic makeup of plants and animals a threat to humanity or the key to alleviating a host of health problems? Biologists, along with lawyers and journalists from all over the world, were called to a meeting in California to decide the future of DNA research.

Biotechnology would soon transform the pharmaceutical industry and genetically modified food was to herald the biggest revolution in agriculture since the industrialization of farming. Yet the public was skeptical, and so were certain scientists. Some feared that a cancer causing gene stitched into the DNA of a bacterium might be accidentally absorbed in the human gut, enabling cancer to be passed on like an infectious disease. Biologists from all over the world were called to a meeting in to draw up a strict set of safety guidelines.

When the panic subsided the stage was set for a biotechnology bonanza. A race began to produce genetically engineered insulin. A couple of years later a young researcher called Rob Horsch, who worked for the chemical giant Monsanto, produced the first genetically engineered plant. The biotech revolutions had arrived.

A half-century ago, the two unknown scientists heralded the dawning of a new era in biology and human life as they entered an English pub! Jim Watson and Francis Crick were hardly exaggerating. Their achievements almost single handedly launched the new science of DNA. Interviews with renowned scientists and stunningly realized animations and reconstructions of experiments offer a glimpse of the molecular basis of life.

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses). The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints, like a recipe or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information.



This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder. It is a fair use under copyright law.Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


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