Category Archives: Genetic discrimination

A World Without Einstein

In the 1997 film, Gattaca, the directors are trying to communicate the dangers of genetic engineering and human-influenced evolution. And while the film is not subtle with its reproach of the implied eugenics movement that is inherent in genetic screening, it really hits its point home with its deleted pre-credits scene. At 8:52 of the […] Continue reading

Posted in art versus science, deleted scenes, Einstein, Ethics of science, Eugenics, evolution, Future, Gattaca, Genetic discrimination, genetic engineering, genetics, human genome project | Comments Off on A World Without Einstein

The code of life may tell us “how” we are, but not “who” we are.

In the PBS documentary Cracking the Code of Life, the viewer gets a glimpse at the science and issues surrounding the growing field of genetics.  Since actually making sense of practices like DNA sequencing is pretty complex, the feature uses comparisons pretty liberally.  Eric Lander, the geneticist that the host probably spends the most time […] Continue reading

Posted in dystopia, Gattaca, Genetic discrimination, genetics, personhood, Science and humanities, society, status | Comments Off on The code of life may tell us “how” we are, but not “who” we are.

Incorrectly Cracking the Code of Life

After watching NOVA’s 2001 special, “Cracking the Code of Life”, which not only explores the superficial characteristics of DNA but also depicts various bioethical issues, I can’t help but be frustrated with the documentary’s depiction of the Lord family. Each of the twin Lord brothers had a son with Tay Sachs, an awful diagnosis for […] Continue reading

Posted in Autism, bioethics, DNA, down's syndrome, Ethics of science, evolution, family, genetic determinism, Genetic discrimination, genetic disorder, genetics, learning disability, missed milestones, NOVA, Science and humanities, Tay Sachs, twins, work force | Comments Off on Incorrectly Cracking the Code of Life

In Fear of the Coming Dark: Genetics and Humanity

There’s a striking moment in PBS’s “Cracking the Code of Life“ which, for a moment, may seem frightening. We cut to a scene from Gattaca, a 1997 film about something involving genes and astronauts, in which two parents are screening their gametes. They’re well on their way to sacrificing their myriad aspirations on an altar of parenthood, but […] Continue reading

Posted in Brave New World, Fiction, Gattaca, Genetic discrimination, Island of Dr. Moreau, literature, science fantasy, Science Fiction, skipping ahead in the syllabus, unreliable reasoning | Comments Off on In Fear of the Coming Dark: Genetics and Humanity

Genetic Mapping – Do You Want to Know?

The PBS Nova special “Cracking the Code” brought up a number of interesting possibilities about the future of DNA research. Most interesting to me was the special’s take on testing for specific genetic diseases and predispositions. “Sometimes, there may be a test, but it might take twenty years, or fifty years. Fifty years to find […] Continue reading

Posted in breast cancer gene, ethics, Ethics of science, genetic determinism, Genetic discrimination, Genetic testing, human genome project | Comments Off on Genetic Mapping – Do You Want to Know?