Genetic sequencing may someday lead to miracle cures. But it is also the ultimate invasion of privacy. What can your genes tell you, who can see them, and do you really want to know? Tonight, May 30, 2013, on the Perpetual Notion Machine we explore “Promises and Perils – the brave new world of genetic sequencing.”
Sixty years ago James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the structure of DNA – the double helix. The first full genetic sequence, or genome, of a little bacteria was done in 1977. In 2000, a “rough draft” of the human genome – with its 25,000 genes – was published. Ten years ago, in 2003 the job was done. Today we can look at DNA and determine ancestry, the chances of getting a disease and who committed a crime. But these answers carry a host of ethical issues.
Producer Jim Carrier interviews:
* Dr. Jeffrey Botkin, a professor of human genetics and a medical ethics expert at the University of Utah
* Dr. Kimberly Strong, an assistant professor of bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin
* Former State Rep. Tom Seery of Milwaukee
* Nilesh Patel, an attorney and board member of the Wisconsin ACLU.
Recently a medical panel recommended that if any of 57 DNA mutations are found, patients should be told. Here is a link to that list:
At the end of the show Jim Carrier also updates the spread of chronic wasting diseases among Wisconsin’s deer herd.
You can listen to the show here: