Professor Robert Winston
Run time: 60 mins plus 30 mins Q&A (no interval)
History shows that humans are obsessed with their genes. Does the sequencing of the human genome really herald a new opportunity for medicine or is there a darker side? We can now treat apparently hopeless sterility, help 65 year-olds to conceive and screen embryos for serious genetic disorders before a pregnancy has even begun. And advances in gene technology mean that we can select embryos for ‘desirable’ characteristics and modify genes of animals with remarkable ease; so possibly very soon we could enhance humans by genetic modification. Will ethical considerations prevent us from the next step – manufacturing ‘designer’ children? Or will our imperfect knowledge of how our abilities are inherited mean that they there are some major surprises in store?
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