This three-part series of documentary shorts, produced by Retro Report in partnership with STAT, looks back at the roots of three of today’s most promising genetic technologies: genetic testing to predict which diseases someone might develop, precision medicine to match people’s genes to the treatments most likely to work for them, and genome-editing via CRISPR to repair disease-causing genes. Watch and listen to experts explain how the 1980s and 1990s version of each was going to change medicine and save lives. It puts today’s promises in a whole new light.

The race to sequence the human genome was also billed as a race to end disease. So what happened?


Does the ability to more easily change the blueprint of life mean we’re on the path to repairing the broken bits in our genetic inheritance? Or have we tried this before and failed?

It’s now easier than ever to peer into your own genetic code. But are all of the new companies out there offering you information about yourself that you can believe?

[Genetic testing has] moved out of the labs into the masses. New companies and new quackery are popping up everywhere, equating your personal genome to all manner of things beyond disease, from your wine tastes to even your dating preferences. The question that must be answered now is: Even with your genome in hand, what can you believe?

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