Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  30 minutes
Date:  1997
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Gene Blues

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Examines the ethical issues associated with DNA testing.

Gene Blues

This outstanding video examines some of the ethical issues associated with DNA testing and sets the stage for a national debate on the ramifications of human gene technology.

As geneticists unlock the DNA code, they learn how differences in the DNA that makes up particular genes are linked to variations in physical traits - from an organism's size to its resistance or susceptibility to disease.

While this knowledge holds promise for alleviating human suffering, DNA testing has presented real problems, including

* genetic discrimination in employment and insurance
* ethical issues around testing for an incurable genetic disease
* issues of privacy and forensics surrounding DNA data banks
* prenatal genetic testing with its implications for people with disabilities
* genetic indicators being sought to explain everything from obesity to homosexuality.

Then there are the big questions. To what extent should human beings interfere in the basic workings of nature? Are some genes better than others? Who decides what is normal? This video will spark discussion.

'A brilliant look at the social implications of genetic knowledge.' Sheldon Krimsky, Ph.D., Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University

'An informative, useful teaching tool...a great basis for discussion.' Ruth Hubbard, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Harvard University

'This is a great video for high school biology, general science, or even social studies classes. It is also suitable for college-level courses...The information is accurate, current, and relevant...an excellent video and I highly recommend it.' The Science Teacher

'This well-produced overview...serves as a good discussion starter for high-school classes or public library social-issues forums.' Booklist

'The key is that genetic testing should be debated by the public, not merely by a few 'experts'.' GeneWatch

'GENE BLUES offers viewers ages 16 and older with a particularly accessible and even-handed presentation on one of the most pressing medical science issues being nationally debated today. Indeed, not only should GENE BLUES be added to school and community video collections, it should be mandatory viewing for social activists, the medical community, and governmental policy makers as well...informed and informative.' Library Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review


Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network Competition
CINE Golden Eagle
Silver Certificate of Merit, Prix Leonardo
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
SciFest, Vancouver


Main credits

Young, Melissa (film producer)
Young, Melissa (screenwriter)
Young, Melissa (film director)
Dworkin, Mark (screenwriter)
Dworkin, Mark (film director)
Dworkin, Mark (videographer)
Dworkin, Mark (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Videography/editing, Mark Dworkin.

Distributor credits

Moving Images

Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young

Moving Images
Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young

Docuseek2 subjects

Medical Anthropology
Human Rights Law
Reproductive Rights
Medical Ethics
Genetic Disorders
History of Medicine
Maternal and Child Health
Public Health
Social Psychology
History of Science

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Human Rights
Political Science
Public Health
Science, Technology, Society
Social Issues
Social Justice
Social Psychology


DNA testing, genetic tests, discrimination, insurance, ethics, disabilities; "Gene Blues"; Bullfrog Films

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