Miracle cure? A decade of the human genome.

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About this work


After a decade of knowledge about the human genome, how close are we to the kind of miracle cures for diseases that were promised ten years ago. Three people with genetically inherited diseases investigate the medical research that has been taking place into their conditons over the last ten years. Sophie suffers from cystic fibrosis, Emma has breast cancer and Tom is a recovering alcoholic. Sophie meets a boy who was successfully treated with gene therapy despite being born with a non-functioning immune system and she looks at foetal gene therapy. Emma is reassured by Mike Stratton at the Sanger Institute that knowledge about cancer genes will be so advanced over the next twenty years that she need not worry about the future of her son. She also talks to Ghulam Mufti about targeted chemotherapy which may prove invaluable for cancer patients. Alan Ashworth at Breakthrough Breast Cancer explains his research to develop a drug which attacks the genetic defects in specific cancer cells. Tom sends off a sample of his DNA in the hope that it will show him what has caused his alcoholism, he also learns that one mutated gene can make a mouse alcoholic and his genetic profile shows he has an increased tendency for alcoholism. It is clear that research is in its early stages but the outlook for the future of the three participants is promising.


London : BBC 2, 2010.

Physical description

1 DVD ( 50 min.) : sound, color, PAL.

Copyright note



Broadcast on 25 October, 2010

Creator/production credits

Written and directed by Dan Walker



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