Feedback: The importance of clarity when discussing genetics

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Offline thedoc

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Amy Moser  asked the Naked Scientists:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be more careful on how you refer to people carrying mutations in genes for example BRCA in the lead in to the story about Angelina Jolie the commentator stated that "Angelina jolie carries the BRCA1 gene..." Well she better had! In the later discussion the people were more careful and stated that it is a defective or mutant copy of the gene that confers the risk; but, as a geneticist it drives me CRAZY and is very misleading to just say "if you carry the BRCA1 gene you have an increased risk of cancer".   I think it is important to help people understand that we ALL carry the same genes (pretty much anyway) but we may have different FORMS or versions of the same genes.  
Otherwise I generally LOVE your programme and find it informative and fun; we need shows like yours in the US, but given that half of US citizens work on faith rather than science I see little hope.
Amy R Moser
6107 WIMR
Department of Human Oncology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/08/2013 04:30:01 by _system »