Did you hear about the man who met a woman in a bar, spent the night with her, and woke up the next morning without either her – or his kidneys? It's an urban legend, but closer to home than you think. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, why the hottest commodity around is – Us. Also, the science of you times two, why human cloning is just around the corner.
Margaret Talbot recently wrote about human cloning for the New York Times Magazine. She tells Steve Paulson about some of the people who want to be involved with it, from grieving parents to space alien cultists. She says many biologists think human cloning is inevitable, but there are huge ethical issues to be worked out. Also, biologist Martina McGloughlin tells Jim Fleming about the genetically altered goats whose bodies produce spider silk. McGloughlin is the Director of the Biotechnology Program at the University of California, Davis. And, Doug Gordon talks with "Goat Psychologist" (no, not really!) Benson Gardner about what keeps the spider-goats happy.SEGMENT 2:
Lori Andrews tells Jim Fleming some horror stories from the brave new legal world of biotechnology, such as the case of the leukemia patient who learned that he didn't own the rights to pharmaceutical products made from his own blood. Andrew is the co-author (with Dorothy Nelkin) of "Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age." Also, Joe Davis, Adam Zaretsky and Oron Catts make bioart — art objets that include living tissue or organisms. They tell Steve Paulson about their work, and say they want to prompt discussion of the questions such technology raises.SEGMENT 3:
Robin Maratz Henig is the author of "The Monk in the Garden," a biography of Gregor Mendel. She tells Anne Strainchamps why Mendel is considered the Father of Genetics, even though nobody could understand what he was talking about at the time he made his discoveries about how to transmit plant characteristics to subsequent generations.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-03-11-A.
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