Milwaukee Film Milwaukee, WI


James Verbsky

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Rheumatology) and Microbiology & Immunology, Medical College of Wisconsin; Medical Director, Clinical Immunology Research Laboratory; Medical Director, Clinical and Translational Research

Gattaca— Health, disease, your genes…and why doctors would want to cut them

CRISPR genomic editing technology has given scientists the power to permanently alter a cell's DNA—a power that might one day be used to treat genetic diseases. At this event, pediatric genetic disorder expert James Verbsky provides a brief background on genetics, explains how genetic variants may or may not cause disease, and introduces CRISPR technology and the ethical issues related to its use. Presented as part of the 2019 National Week of Science on Screen.

Milwaukee Film Milwaukee, WI

Film Synopsis

In a dystopian future that prizes ideal DNA above all, a genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to outer space. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) as a genetically inferior "in-valid," and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. He decides to fight his fate by purchasing the genes of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a perfect genetic specimen. He assumes Jerome's identity and joins the Gattaca space program, where he falls in love with Irene (Uma Thurman). Just when Vincent is finally scheduled for a space mission, a Gattaca officer (Gore Vidal) is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret.