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Ghost in Your Genes


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Deal of the Week: 54% Off "The Universe: The Mega Collection" on Blu-ray
This educational show explores many scientific questions and topics about the universe (Big Bang, the Sun, the planets, black holes, other galaxies, astrobiology etc.) through latest CGI, data and interviews with scientists. This week only and while supplies last, you can save 54% off "The Universe: The Mega Collection" on Blu-ray in our Deal of the Week. This offer ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) Saturday, January 3, 2015. Learn more


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Ghost in Your Genes + NOVA - Cracking the Code of Life + What Darwin Never Knew
Price for all three: $73.66

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nova
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WGBH Boston
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XBPDYY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Identical twins share the same genes and are often startlingly alike. Why, then, should they often meet such different fates one twin developing a serious disease like cancer while the other remains unscathed? In a compelling scientific detective story, The Ghost in Your Genes explores the provocative idea that there may be more to inheritance than genes alone. New clues reveal that a second epigenetic chemical code sits on top of our regular DNA and controls how our genes are expressed, turning them on or off with dramatic consequences for our health.

This revolutionary finding has vital implications not only for treating disease but for how we take care of ourselves. While we inherit the epigenome much as we do DNA, it appears to respond far more to our environment and lifestyles. So our stress levels and what we eat, drink, and breathe may leave an enduring imprint, not just on our own bodies but on the generations to come. In a tour-de-force of scientific sleuthing, NOVA reveals the discoveries that have overturned the old story of inheritance and have profound relevance for how we choose to lead our lives.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
In the meantime, I will continue with my "way out" ideas, feeling at least slightly more vindicated.
Beth Stein
This really helps my students understand the myriads of factors affecting gene expression as well as the importance of environmental issues in human health.
Amazon Customer
While the subject is endlessly complex, the presentation of the complexities is so accessible and interesting almost anyone can follow it.
Donna Dean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Beth Stein on May 12, 2009
Verified Purchase
I saw some excerpts on YouTube, got super excited, and knew I had to have this. My mom is a retired biologist and I watched it with her and my brother, we all found it incredibly exciting. I have long held the belief that environment and experience can actually alter the DNA and then be passed down to future generations; but now there is actual scientific evidence to substantiate what before would have been considered my "woo woo" ideas. The implications are complex and far reaching. After seeing this my mom wistfully expressed regrets at not being 20 all over again just so that she could go into the field of genetics at this juncture in history. Epigenetics is a fairly new field, and we have just barely begun to scratch the surface. For us this DVD unfolded like a real thriller, and I was disappointed when it was over because I wanted there to be more; although in fact, it is packed with so much amazing information that it really needs multiple viewings to fully digest all the information contained therein. We can't wait until there really IS more that can be substantiated. In the meantime, I will continue with my "way out" ideas, feeling at least slightly more vindicated. If you only have an attention span of 15 seconds and your world is about the latest tweet you received on your blackberry, this program is NOT for you; on the other hand, if you are interested in the myriad possibilities that exist regarding the nature of our universe and reality, or even just have some background in either the physical or life sciences, this is an absolute MUST HAVE for your library. You won't be disappointed!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rob Z on February 25, 2008
I found this to be an excellent video. My students were fascinated that events that happened to grandparents could have medical effects on them. We have studied epigenetics in high school classes and this program explained them very clearly with new examples. Overall, a great resource.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Karima Hirani on April 27, 2008
as a physician practising cutting edge medicine, i can't tell you how pleased i am that nova did a story on this subject. i use methyl B12 shots in autism to help with defects in this biochemistry, but it is also effecting their epigenome, which explains why so many kids with autism and even chronic fatigue benefit from it. i tell all patients to avoid pesticides in foods. the study discussed in the nova segment, explains how the epigenome of rats is effected for many generations after the exposure of the pregnant rat, from tumors to prostate problems. amazing, a must watch for all who are interested in health and prevention. i made my first year medical students at usc watch it
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Donna Dean on February 8, 2009
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This is an utterly fascinating, captivating program that is so full of information it must be viewed multiple times. While the subject is endlessly complex, the presentation of the complexities is so accessible and interesting almost anyone can follow it. The ramifications for future discoveries are immense, and one can only hope NOVA will continue to produce such marvelously done programs for laymen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 21, 2008
Verified Purchase
I love this video! Many people have never heard of the epigenome and have no idea what roles it may play. The video walks the viewer through studies and evidence that point to roles the epigenome may play in disease, life span, obesity, and other interesting outcomes. Some of the interpretations of the research outcomes are speculative (e.g., what happens to us may affect the health of our grandchildren), but the video points out that this is the far edge of interpretation. Either way it gets the viewer thinking about the possibilities and ramifications of damaging our epigenomes.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Romer on April 5, 2008
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Mendel showed how genes can combine and produce Phenotypes across generations in regular and mathematically precise patterns. Welcome to the 21st century -- now things are getting incredibly complex and extremely interesting... In this video, we see how genes and environment can interact across generations -- even skipping over generations -- to produce historic effects. A sort of "culture" of the genes based on gene regulators. Combine this with the emerging science of Evolutionary Development (see Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo), and we have an incredible and exciting revolution in the works. We still know very little about the complex interactions of genes and environments. There is much still hidden and full of potential. The possibilities here are staggering in their import.

This DVD is presented in an exciting and very understandable way. It was fun to watch. This is a whole new world opening up in science. Don't miss it. This is the future taking shape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Pitluk on October 18, 2008
I bought this product because I am very interested in the sciences. I knew that scientists anticipated that after the Human Genome was fully sequenced, we could learn much more about genetic diseases and other important information germane to potentially advancing human survival. But they learned much more. The great thing about Discovery science is that once you uncover an anatomical fact about the human body, many more doors open. For example, I see my skin, under my skin is my vein, my veins contain blood pumped from the hear, the heart is comprised of four chambers, the heart is a muscle, a muscle is made of tissues, which are made of similar cells, cells, are comprised of organelles made of molecules or macromolecules, made of atoms, etc. With regard to genetics, after the uncovering of the seemingly endless sequence of As, Ts, G, and Cs we realized that this sequence isnt the only things that dictates how our bodies function, but also a phenomena (which is now being understood at an exponential rate) called epigenetics has its role as well. Epigenetics is the process of using products of biosynthesis to control which genes are turned on and off giving rise to different behaviors or phenotypes. While this is ultimately controlled by the DNA, we must understand the epigenome as well. The action is the epigenome is an unique emergent property of the genetic code. From the understanding that is already attained many beneficial consequences have emerged from assisting in cancer treatment to other understanding fat storage and production in mice. This is a captivating and educational video; it will without a doubt leave you thinking about the intense complexity of life and the importance of science.
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