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Breast Cancer in the Family

Part of the series Genetics and Medicine

  Screen capture from Breast Cancer in the Family


A look into how genomic research is helping scientists to understand the genetic and environmental factors affecting complex conditions, such as breast cancer in a video suitable for KS4 and above.

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Alison Griffies has a strong history of breast cancer, but no known genetic change has been found in her family to explain this pattern.

Risk of breast cancer is approximately one in ten in northern European populations, making it the most common cancer in women.

Professor Gareth Evans, a leading expert in breast cancer, describes how genome-wide association studies scan genomes to look for genes that might be associated with the condition.

The data from these studies and other research has provided a better understanding of the causes of cancer. It is hoped that this knowledge will be used in the future in prevention programmes for breast cancer and also provide answers for families such as Alisons.

Whole genome research projects including biobanks also raise ethical and social issues, which are discussed in this video by Professor Michael Reiss from the Institute of Education.

This video has been produced with Teachers TV as part of the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme. Educational resources are currently being developed to support teaching and learning using this video. They will be available here in late September 2010.



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