Offering hope to infertile couples. Curing disease by mixing human and animal cells. Assessing risk with genetic testing. Over the past few decades, the public has become increasingly comfortable with a growing menu of medical procedures, as interventions that were once science fiction become commonplace. But as reproductive and genetic technologies move out of the laboratory and into medical practice—as they are combined into complex applications and
applied in unforeseen ways—they are forcing us to ask the question: are we creating a world that we won't want to inhabit?
A baby with five "parents" and none of them recognized by law. A patent application for a creature that would be genetically part human and part chimpanzee. A corporation secretly doing genetic tests on its workers. These scenarios are not only real, they are challenging our most fundamental beliefs and establishing legal precedents that govern our future. BLOODLINES: Technology Hits Home, a one-hour documentary that premiered in June 2003 on PBS (check local listings for rebroadcast schedule), reveals how new life technologies are raising ethical, legal and social dilemmas as cutting-edge science intersects with the law. BLOODLINES explores the dilemmas created by new biotechnologies firsthand.
Writer/Producer/Director Noel Schwerin has been making documentaries for 20 years. Her two-hour PBS special, "A Question of Genes," won numerous awards, including the first-prize CLARION Award from the Association of Women in Communications, the CINE Gold Eagle and a special citation in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's "Public Broadcasting's Services to Minorities and Other Groups." Schwerin wrote, produced and directed the PBS documentary, "Just Passing Through," and, at NOVA where she worked for six years, co-directed "Yellowstone's Burning Question," and worked on such award-winning films as "So You Want to Be a Doctor?," "The Big Spill," "Freud Under Analysis" and the series "The Secret of Life." A graduate of Yale University, Schwerin has also worked for the Carnegie Corporation, ABC and CBS News and a number of independent production companies. Schwerin has lectured about genetics and ethics at Stanford University Medical School and at programs like University of California, Berkeley's Issues in Health and Medicine Program.
Cinematographers Robert Elfstrom and Mark Rublee have been Directors of Photography for countless prize-winning programs. Elfstrom has been DP on documentaries and feature films including Emmy-winning programs (PBS' "Finding Lucy," "Race For The Superconductor," NBC's Lifeline Series), National Geographic's "Vietnam: Pictures From The Other Side," NOVA's "Building Big Series" and FRONTLINE's "Merchants of Cool." Rublee has been DP on many FRONTLINE's and NOVAs, including the Emmy-winning "Siamese Twins," "What's Up with the Weather?," "Breast Implants on Trial" and "State Lotteries." He was Cameraman for the award-winning PBS special, "A Question of Genes," and for the Emmy-winning "Don't Dance With Death."
Editor Josh Peterson has edited many documentaries, including "The Nobel: Visions of Our Century," "Baby, It's You" (a Sundance Film Festival Selection), ABC's "Teens," "Coming to Light," "The Story of Fathers and Sons" and "The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez."
Composer Todd Boekelheide has scored feature films such as "Dim Sum" and "Nina Takes a Lover" as well as many documentaries, including PBS' "Regret To Inform" and "Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution." His score for Kids of Survival won an Emmy and he won an Academy Award for the rerecording mix of "Amadeus."
BLOODLINES is a production of Backbone Media, a nonprofit independent production company founded by Noel Schwerin in 1998. Specializing in documentaries about how people make sense of science, history, technology and law, Backbone Media is committed to engaging and educating the public in new and thought-provoking ways.
Major funding for BLOODLINES was provided by the Human Genome Project at the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional funding was provided by The Estate of Richard Simches and the Pettus-Crowe Foundation.
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