Segments in this Video

Genetics: Tay-Sachs Disease (03:47)


Genetic consultant Fran Borkwitz reports that the specific gene associated with Tay-Sachs disease has been identified. Geneticists, parents, and rabbis join forces to educate Jewish couples about Tay-Sachs.

Gene Sequencing (01:56)

The sequencing of the human genome has allowed the identification of 25,000 genes. Four percent of these genes "make all the difference." Currently the sequencing of an individual's genome is prohibitively expensive. Soon, this will change. Many diseases can now be traced to their genetic origins.

Genetic Roots of Anorexia (02:24)

Meet a mother and daughter, each of whom has anorexia. Each talks about her disorder and the genetic nature of the disease.

Eating Disorders and Genetics (02:36)

How do biology and genetics influence eating disorders? It appears that people who suffer from eating disorders are "wired differently biologically." Anorexia is a complex disorder caused by multiple genes as well as multiple environmental factors.

Primate Behavior: Nature vs. Nurture (02:06)

A behavioral genetic researcher discusses the interaction of biology, genetics, and interaction related to primate behavior and personality.

Twins Separated at Birth (06:51)

The study of twins separated at birth begins with the reunion of female twins after 45 years. Do the twins have anything in common? They begin to experience similar behaviors in each other. Where did these similarities come from? What did they discover?

Human Genome: Mental Disorders (02:42)

Psychiatrist Patrick Sullivan explains how science is able to find specific gene bases on the 3,000 km long human genome. Sullivan studies genes that are associated with three mental disorders: bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia. Other studies focus on genetics and addiction to hard drugs.

Genetics and Longevity (01:51)

Gerontologist Thomas Perls studies of longevity and genetics. What are the secrets of centenarians?

Genetics and Fidelity (02:17)

Anthropologist Helen Fisher explains that there is a genetic basis for one's propensity to be a faithful partner. Science is "getting to the bottom of pair-bonding behavior." What role does Freud's work in psychoanalysis play in light of these scientific discoveries?

Sperm Donor Baby (05:02)

Personality is partially engraved in the genes. A 22-year-old opera singer, Leandra is the product of what was called the Nobel Prize sperm bank. Journalist David Plotz explains the sperm bank designed to create baby geniuses. Leandra's mother explains her choice to be impregnated by a sperm donor.

Sperm Donor Babies: Nature vs. Nurture (03:06)

A father whose daughter is the result of a genius sperm donor discusses her extraordinary talent. Which qualities are results of nature? Of nurture?

Sperm Bank Industry and Customization of Baby Characteristics (02:30)

Sperm banks are an industry today. See a promotional video for a sperm bank. Couples can literally customize the characteristics of the child by shopping for specific sperm donors.

Choosing Embryos (03:01)

Pre-fertilization diagnosis is a process of creating a number of fertilized eggs that can be analyzed for affected genes. Only unaffected embryos will be implanted in the mother's womb. A couple describes their experience of choosing an embryo that did not carry cystic fibrosis. Gender selection is also an option.

Genetic Choices and the Perfect Child (01:56)

Techniques for creating "the perfect child" are developing quickly. People at Harvard University are asked, "Would you like a child made to measure?" Listen to responses to this question.

Credits: My Genes Speak for Me: Reconciling Nature and Nurture (00:39)

Credits: My Genes Speak for Me: Reconciling Nature and Nurture

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My Genes Speak for Me: Reconciling Nature and Nurture

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Conceived with the help of a Nobel Prize–winning sperm donor, a baby girl blossoms into a gifted, highly intelligent woman. Does her talent come solely from heredity? What about the case of female twins, separated at birth, who exhibit astonishing similarities in habit and behavior when they meet later in life? This film explores the possibility that genetics and environment are not diametrically opposed when it comes to human development—instead, the program asserts, they should be seen as complementary. Other case studies involve fatal nutritional disorders that are passed from one generation to the next, as well as Tay-Sachs disease, the genetic disorder notorious for its impact on one particular ethnic group, the Ashkenazi Jewish community. A timely analysis of lingering, problematic assumptions—those that support genetic determinism and those that focus solely on parental or societal roles in shaping human life. (46 minutes)

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL50122

ISBN: 978-1-61753-234-4

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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