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Cracking the Code of Life imagemap with 2 links
Explore a Stretch of Code
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Journey into DNA


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Welcome to the companion Web site to "Cracking the Code of Life," originally broadcast on April 17, 2001. This two-hour special, hosted by ABC "Nightline" correspondent Robert Krulwich, chronicles the race to capture one of the biggest prizes in scientific history: the complete letter-by-letter sequence of genetic information that defines human life -- the human genome. Here's what you'll find online:
  • Watch the Program Here
    Beginning April 18, watch the entire two-hour NOVA program "Cracking the Code of Life" online, available in both QuickTime and RealVideo, and closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.

  • Our Genetic Future (A Survey)
    Would you want to know if you had a genetic predisposition to a terminal disease, even if that disease was incurable? Should genes be patentable? Who, if anyone, should have access to your genomic information? We'd like to hear your thoughts on these and other questions.

  • Manipulating Genes: How Much is Too Much?
    Few have given more thought to the moral and ethical implications of molecular medicine than Dr. Philip Kitcher, a philosopher at Columbia University and author of The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities. Hear his thoughts on the issues.

  • Understanding Heredity
    From Pythagoras to the Human Genome Project and beyond, find out in this timeline how our understanding of heredity has changed throughout history.

  • Explore a Stretch of Code (Hot Science)
    When scientists look at the four letters that make up our DNA they can read stories in the code -- of ancient DNA, of snippets of code that has jumped around the genome, and much more. Explore an actual piece of human DNA, and see what the experts see.

  • Nature vs Nurture Revisited
    Which dictates our existence -- our genetic makeup or the environment we grow up in? Or are we beholden to both? Kevin Davies, author of Cracking the Genome, offers an update on this long-standing debate.

  • Sequence for Yourself
    How do researchers read the tiny A's, G's, T's, and C's that comprise DNA? This step-by-step explanation shows you.

  • Journey into DNA (Hot Science)
    Where and how does the famous double helix fit into chromosomes, and how do chromosomes relate to the human body? Take this animated journey into the tiny world of DNA to find out.

  • Meet the Decoders
    Listen in as Robert Krulwich, host of ABC's "Nightline," interviews three of the stars in the human-genome firmament: Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Center for Human Genome Research; Dr. Craig Venter, head of its rival, the private Celera Genomics; and the Whitehead Institute's Dr. Eric Lander, one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project.

  • Classroom
    This section offers summaries and grade-level designations for "Cracking the Code of Life" Web site features, curriculum-connected descriptions of each section of the NOVA program, which will be available online, and a list of additional resources geared specifically for teachers.
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.


Text Cracking the Code of Life Home | Watch the Program Here
Our Genetic Future (A Survey) | Manipulating Genes: How Much is Too Much?
Understanding Heredity | Explore a Stretch of Code | Nature vs Nurture Revisited
Sequence for Yourself | Journey into DNA | Meet the Decoders
Resources | Update to Program | Teacher's Guide | Transcript | Site Map

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Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, The Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, and Sprint. Additional funding for Cracking the Code of Life was provided by the National Science Foundation.
© | created April 2001
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