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Predictor movie

The genes are a book of information that describe how each human being will develop This remarkable journey to a world of prediction starts in the human cell and at the heart of the cell is the greatest prize of all, the 46 chromosomes which between them contain all the genes needed to build a human being. We can now read that book, and for the very first time we're going to be able to see inside of every human being. As we decipher the information contained within these genes, we are not only learning how to build a human, but also how to predict what characteristics that human might have. We have a new genetic technique that allows us to look at personality, the same way that we would look at eye color. We can actually look at the molecules that are involved in. That's really exciting. Could a gene really predict whether you would do this? There is such a thing as a natural born. Everyday, we are learning more about what can and cannot be predicted from the mysterious substance that is our DNA. It's amazing to think that this translucent slime that we have here is DNA. Nobel Prize winner, Paul Nurse, has spent much of his career studying DNA. Everything about us is determined by the structure of this DNA, whether we have blue eyes or brown hair, a big nose, whether we'll suffer from certain diseases, like cystic fibrosis. Maybe even one day in the future, perhaps it can be used to predict our behavior, all by knowing the structure of this molecule. But how can these tiny drops of DNA are used to make predictions? These new recruits are taking part in one of the first scientific studies of gene prediction, an attempt to see if a single gene, called the ACE gene, can predict how recruits will perform. The man behind this ground-breaking study is Hugh Montgomery. The idea that our destiny could lie in our genes is about to change the way we live forever. We are not in a position to really predict a life, but we can certainly say more about a person. More and more, we are finding that the unique characteristics that make us all individuals can in some way be traced back; traced back to the moment when a unique mix of genes was created: back to the moment of conception. In each one of our lives, the moment of conception marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey. A journey that saw the 23 chromosomes carried in our father's sperm combine with the 23 chromosomes inside our mother's egg, to form the distinct set of instructions that we call our genome. Our DNA is inherited from our parents, and yet we are different from them. Each one of us can look at our parents and see them reflected in ourselves. But how is this information passed on? In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, scientists began to realize that there were patterns of inheritance which could make sense of the confusing hereditary that they'd recognized up to that point. And then they could start applying these principles to human beings, particularly the freak shows at the beginning of the 20th Century. In the early 1900s, scientists realized the best way to discover how ordinary characteristics are passed on was by first studying the extraordinary. We can see where this technology is taking us, and it's taking us towards a point where we will have this individual information on people. We'd be able to predict from day one how tall they would become, what color their hair would be, what color their eyes would be, whether they would need to wear glasses or not. All of these physical characteristics can be predicted from the genes. We're going to be able to see the future before it happens. But how can a string of DNA, a string of letters, control our body's development in so many different ways? Take Ian, for example. When he was born, he was 20 inches long. 17 years later, and he has grown to over six feet. It's a remarkable transformation, and we are finally beginning to understand how our genes control this everyday miracle. Each gene is too valuable to risk leaving the nucleus of the cell, so it makes a copy of itself, and sends this in to the minefield outside. This copy makes the long journey to a distant part of the cell, called a ribosome, the production line of the cell. And here, with mind boggling precision, the genetic instructions are read, and a specific molecule is constructed. From the cells of your heart, to the blood rushing through every artery of the body, to the hair on your head, this is the way that humans are built. And now we understand the magical process of growth, we are able to manipulate it. Inside these bottles is the human hormone, made by living organisms that are not creations of nature, but of science. And this is who it's for. Edward Hewlett is four years old, and unusually small. We noticed Edward was short for his age at about three years old, and then we kept a close eye on it and the doctors had him in to the growth clinic. And he was always a fairly small baby, so we knew that, you know, he wasn't -things weren't a 100% right. Edward's body is not producing enough of a particular hormone, growth hormone, so Edward now has to rely on something artificially produced. We give Edward the growth hormone injection in the evening, before bed. So he'll have his bath and his bedtime story, and then we give him his injection. This is because the growth hormone actually works at night. It's one injection in the evenings, and he's just a very brave little boy with it. What we do, is we wipe your legs so it's all clean, don't we, and then we put it in, and we count. That's very good, isn't it? The synthetic growth hormone has exactly the same effect on Edward's body as if it was made by his own cells. But the hormone that is inside him is anything but ordinary. While Edward sleeps, 200 miles away in a laboratory, something is happening. Contained within this dish are bacteria that will be working throughout the night for Edward. Incredibly, these bacteria are part human. Their genes are no longer entirely their own. Instead, a human gene, the growth hormone gene, has been patched in to their genetic make-up, and so, throughout the night, they will be producing growth hormone for Edward. Scientists figured out how to be able to take bacteria which are so tiny that you could put twenty on the head of a pin. They figured out how to put in the gene for a growth hormone, and thereby change these bacteria in to factories. And these microscopic factories do this job incredibly well. Since he's been on growth hormone injections he's grown, in the last three months, three and a half centimeters, and two shoe sizes, and they do say that there's going to be a big catch up in the first six months, and then growth will be normal.


  BBC How To Build A Human Predictor movie - This remarkable journey to a world of prediction starts in the human cell
 
Bacteria engineered to contain human genes are just the beginning. In the past few years, scientists have begun mixing genes from different species to enhance disease resistance or add extra abilities. These animals are part mice, part jellyfish. The gene that makes jellyfish glow has been inserted in to their DNA, and they now glow in the dark. Genes that confer similar unusual abilities have been put in to monkeys, and could be put in to us. Once we understand that DNA is the genetic material in all living things, there really is no limit to what genes you can put in to any living thing. There is no reason why we couldn't put genes in to human beings that didn't exist there previously. Adding genes to us from all over the animal kingdom is fraught with dangers and practical difficulties, but it could happen. People are very much afraid of this, and yet, I'm as convinced as ever that within 100 years it's going to happen. But how many of us will be around in a 100 years time? The answer may lie in our genes. Here, at the Bassingbourn base, the recruits taking part in the genetic experiment are in to the fifth week of training. But while some of the recruits are pulling ahead, Ian is struggling to keep up. Could the thing that is holding him back be his genes? I knew I was going to hit the wall sometime, and it happened about two miles, two and a half miles round, and then it just got really hard. I was in a lot of pain, yeah, because my chest was hurting and I just I found it hard to breathe. Gene hunter, Hugh Montgomery, continues to monitor the recruits. He believes the thing that may be holding Ian back lies deep inside his DNA: on chromosome 17. This is the so-called ACE gene. It comes in two forms, and our athletic ability seems to depend on which form we inherit. One version seems to be particularly associated with endurance capability and fatigue resistance of muscle, and the other version seems to be particularly associated with strength capacity. But how does the ACE gene make some recruits good at distance running, while others excel in strength? Cur best guess at the moment is that one version is making the muscle cells grow bigger and thicker, and hence a great deal stronger. The other version, however, is making the cells burn lean; it's allowing these cells to use less oxygen to get more work out. And that's what seems to be predisposing them to be good at endurance. Although it is good to be strong, in the long run, it is better to have high levels of endurance. What Hugh Montgomery is finding is that people with the endurance form of the gene, tend to live longer. And there is a reason for this. Cells that can endure a lack of oxygen when running can also cope with lack of oxygen in more life threatening situations; like when the blood supply is temporarily cut off during a heart attack. By using these recruits in this way, we can explore how cells regulate their efficiency, and then perhaps start treating these sorts of diseases. But it's not just our physical destiny that may be shaped by our genes. Genetic research is now being taken in to far more controversial territory. Could DNA ever be used to predict what goes on in the mind? Some scientists believe it could. After all, they argue our personality is formed in our brains, and our brains are made by our genes. The search for so-called personality genes remains one of the most contentious areas of science. And leading that search is Professor Dean Hammer. Everybody's interested in human personality. I mean, that's what makes each person unique is their personality. But until recently, this was the realm of the soft sciences, of psychology, hard core molecular biologists, real scientists like myself, couldn't study much about personality, it's all changing. Professor Hammer is convinced that DNA can make a difference between a life on the sidelines and a life on the edge. We had new genetic techniques, new brain science techniques that allow us to look at personality, the same way that we would look at eye color. Putting his reputation on the line, Hammer is now claiming to have found a gene that may drive the desire for thrills. And this is possibly the most extreme thrill seeker on the planet. Adrian has spent his whole life going where most of us would fear to follow. As you step off, if you don't do anything, you have 14 seconds to live. I can't remember not wanting to go faster. I can't remember not wanting to fly, I can't remember not wanting to rush off and have adventures. But how could a gene predispose anyone to do this? Back in Washington, Dean Hammer's laboratory began the search. The way that we discover genes, like the so-called thrill seeking gene, is simply by taking a bunch of people, a 1,000 or so, and then taking a bit of their DNA. The team then compares the genes of the thrill seekers, like Adrian, with the genes of less adventurous types. The main difference between the two groups was a gene hidden away on chromosome 17, called D4DR.
 
Dr. Dean Hammer, National Institutes of Health
Dr. Dean Hammer, National Institutes of Health
  Our DNA is inherited from our parents and we are different from them
Our DNA is inherited from our parents and we are different from them
  The genetic instructions are read and a specific molecule is constructed
The genetic instructions are read and a specific molecule is constructed
  Adrian has spent his whole life going where most of us would fear to follow
Adrian has spent his whole life going where most of us would fear to follow
  Some tests say more about us than we would ever want to know
Some tests say more about us than we would ever want to know
This was a really incredible finding, because it was the first time that it was possible to directly link the molecular nature of the gene with the person's fundamental personality. The so-called thrill seeking gene comes in two forms, long and short. Those with the long version tend to be more adventurous. The key effect of this particular gene is on a brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is the brain's pleasure chemical. It's what makes your brain feel good. Dopamine is the most pleasurable thing that your brain will ever experience. It's literally like a moment set out of time, because even if you can experience that sense of elation for one moment in your life, you'll never ever forget. Most people's brains are very sensitive to dopamine. Just walking to the edge of a cliff would be enough to get a buzz. But people with the long form of the thrill seeking gene tend to have brains which are more resistant to dopamine. They need to take that extra step to get their buzz. it would be very reassuring to think that it's not my fault, I'm not as daft as a brush because of me, but there's something in my genetics, there's something in my family tree that's made me how I am. Although genes may shape some aspects of personality, education and training can over-ride natural inclinations. Ian and his fellow army recruits are being trained to do something society normally forbids: they are learning to k. Nothing can ever prepare you for shooting someone. Apparently, you just see their eyes. Everything goes blank, and you just like immediately get head wrecked, because you just think. Imagine a world where you could look in to your child's eyes and know their genetic destiny. Imagine a world where every facet of your child's medical history, its strengths, and its vulnerabilities could be uncovered by tapping in to a computer. We will not be the same again, because there's so much information which was hidden away, which is now open for everybody to see. Today, we know more about how to build a human than ever before. And one thing is certain, in the years to come; we will be able to predict even more about our lives; because this world of prediction has already begun. We know more about how to build a human than ever before. One thing is certain, in the years to come; we will be able to predict even more about our lives; because this world of prediction has already begun.