The New Genetics: Progress, Promises and Pitfalls

As scientists learn more about the human genome, important and challenging questions continue to arise. If you carry a gene mutation linked to cancer, can you do anything to prevent or delay the onset of the disease? Could genetic information be used against you by insurers or employers? What are the latest options for couples who have a family history of a genetic disorder like Tay-Sachs and worry that they may pass it on to their children? Is new genetic knowledge also leading to new treatments? Difficult ethical issues are also surfacing. Why do babies in some states receive screening for certain genetic disorders while infants in other states don’t? Will genetic testing and treatment be available only to those who can afford it? Will human cloning and selective reproduction become commonplace? 

Maren Scheuner, MD, ATPM fellow, CDC Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention
Steven Libutti, MD, principal investigator, National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research
Stephen Cederbaum, MD,  chief, UCLA Division of Genetics, Emeritus
Selma Schimmel, survivor of genetically-linked breast and ovarian cancer
David Swift, father of child born with a genetic disorder

• Moderator: Neal Baer, MD, executive producer, Law & Order: SVU

This event is co-sponsored by the Writers Guild of America, West; Hollywood, Health & Society, a program at the USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute; and March of Dimes.

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