A GeneTiC sequenCe: GeneTiCAlly disCriminATinG
The two letters for breast cancer are “A” and “G”. In the NOVA’s “Cracking the Code of Life”, part 14 examines the repercussions of being tested and diagnosed. For sisters, Lyssa Kaplast and Laura Seigle, letters “A” and “G” have altered their lives and the lives of their family. At only 34 years of age, Lyssa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since this malignancy is possibly innate, Laura and her daughter had the opportunity to test if their letters were in order. Her daughter, at 18, decided not to be tested just as I have chosen.
My grandpa died of pancreatic cancer. This is an inherited genetic disease. I am also 18 and personally have chosen not to be tested. I have chosen not to be limited and to fit into another disease statistic. Passing the potential trait onto my future children, I believe, is extremely controversial. Are we tiptoeing across the line of eugenics? Will the perfectionist developments of Brave New World’s society be integrated in ours?
Since the first gene sequence targeting Huntington’s disease was discovered in 1983, we have been aware of possible testing methods. Suppose someone was tested, found to possess the gene mutation, and decided to not reproduce. Instead, they created their children from test tubes. It is hard to say if we are mutually selecting our future generations in this manner. Essentially, we are slowly but surely eliminating disease and genetically discriminating.
NOVA “Cracking the Code of Life” Program 14