Unbuttoning Your Genes

Edi Stark unravels our genetic code to discover just what makes us who we are and for better or worse what our genetic inheritance means for our health.

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A self repair kit for the human body, or a Frankenstein science that reduces human embryos to mere commodities? Stem cell research has whipped up excitement and concern in equal measure.

But what is the state of the science at the moment? Edi Stark discovers whether all the hype is merited, and if the opportunity to make a quick buck is driving some doctors to offer treatments that are neither safe nor ethical.

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Should we control what genes we pass on to our children? When baby Struan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, his parents discovered they are both carriers of the gene without knowing.

They felt guilty and had doubts about having more children.

Edi Stark explores a scientific solution which offers hope to Struan's parents, but is criticised by some as leading towards 'designer babies'.

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While genetic information might warn us about a risk of disease, there are growing fears that insurance companies and even employers might wish to make use of the results.

With 'walk-in' paternity testing and the increasing use of forensic DNA finger-printing, more information about us is available than ever before.

Edi Stark reviews the crossroads we've reached where our genetic blueprint can be used for us, or against us.