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NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code

Airs Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Katie Moser undergoing IVF, PGD from NOVA's "Cracking Your Genetic Code."

What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored and available for analysis? "Cracking Your Genetic Code" reveals that we stand on the verge of such a revolution.

Close up of computer screen DNA analysis, Genesis, Detroit from "Cracking Your Genetic Code."
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Above: Close up of computer screen DNA analysis, Genesis, Detroit from "Cracking Your Genetic Code."

Meet a cancer patient who appears to have cheated death and a cystic fibrosis sufferer breathing easily because scientists have been able to pinpoint and neutralize the genetic abnormalities underlying their conditions.

But what are the moral dilemmas raised by this new technology? Will it help or hurt us to know the diseases that may lie in our future? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers or prospective mates?

One thing is for certain: the new era of personalized, gene-based medicine is relevant to everyone, and soon you will be choosing whether to join the ranks of the DNA generation.

The program was produced in association with The Hastings Center. Visit their related website Help with Hard Questions.

NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Video

Preview: NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code

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Watch Cracking Your Genetic Code Preview on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Above: What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored and available for analysis? "Cracking Your Genetic Code" reveals that we stand on the verge of such a revolution.