19-26 Segment 2: Genetic and Genomic Testing

When most of us think of genetic testing for health, we imagine tests to detect whether we’ve inherited genes that predispose us for cancer or other serious disease. But another kind of gene testing—genomic testing of tumor cells for their susceptibility to targeted treatments—is giving thousands of people hope of survival they’ve never had before. Experts discuss both genetic and genomic testing.

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19-20 Segment 1: Can IUDs and Other Contraceptives Trigger Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus carry a genetic predisposition, but need an environmental trigger to take hold. Triggers are poorly understood, but some women claim their disease is a result of contraceptives, including birth control pills and IUD’s. Experts and one women suffering from autoimmune disease discuss the issue.

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19-19 Segment 1: Cancer Suppression: Lessons from Pachyderms

DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system. Experts explain how they hope to tap this knowledge.

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