Promises and Perils
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Promise and Perils

Dear Educator

On September 25 and 26, 1992, the University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco Exploratorium presented a public symposium entitled "Winding your way through DNA." This program was designed to educate the public and to encourage a dialogue about the scientific possibilities and the social puzzles of recombinant DNA technology.

Following the symposium, a team of high school and college teachers, ethicists, historians, and scientists decided to create a series of videos that would encourage a dialog about recombinant DNA technology and the ethical, legal, and societal issues that have emerged in its wake. The third in this series is Winding your way through DNA: Promise & Perils of Biotechnology: Genetic Testing, a videotape intended for high school and college biology classes and public education programs.

This videotape provides a personal approach to ethical and societal issues that encompasses human genetics and genetic testing. The goals for this tape include:

  • Presenting up-to-date information on human genetics, genetic testing, and their applications and implications.
  • Showing dynamic real-life situations that provide opportunities for thoughtful, open-ended decision making.
  • Giving contemporary examples of how genetic information can be applied to personal, career, and societal issues.
  • Increasing student awareness and understanding of the changes brought about by DNA science and technology.

The projects and activities in this teacher's guide supplement and complement the basic concepts and decision-making processes illustrated in the videotape.

We invite you to use these materials to introduce the revolutionary field of recombinant DNA technology to your students.


We wish to thank the following individuals, corporations, and foundations for the generous funding that has made this educational videotape and curriculum project possible:

  • Anonymous Donor (three consecutive years)
  • Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences (two consecutive years)
  • Genentech, Inc.
  • Brook H. Byers of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Chiron Corporation
  • University of California Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program
  • Teacher Education in Biology Program, San Francisco State University
  • Amgen Inc. (two consecutive years)
  • Berlex Biosciences (two consecutive years)
  • Benno C. Schmidt
  • Geron Corporation
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • SyStemix, Inc.

Also Available From Pyramid Media:

Winding your way through DNA:

  • Part 1: Stories From the Scientist
  • Part 2: On Becoming a Scientist

Ordering Information:

For assistance, more information and a complete Pyramid Media Catalog, please contact us at:


Pyramid Media * P.O. Box 1048 * Santa Monica, CA 90406

800 421-2304 * 310 828-7577 * fax 310 453-9083


© 1996 by The Regents of the University of California

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