Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Science and Art - Jacqueline Donachie

Anticipation' is a phenomenon in certain genetic disorders where symptoms occur at progressively earlier stages, and become progressively more serious, in each generation that inherits the disorder. The phenomenon appears in myotonic dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, Huntington's disease and similar syndromes.
Artist Jacqueline Donachie and geneticist Dr Darren Monckton filmed a series of interviews with the scientists whose work helped to relate the theory of genetic 'anticipation' to these inherited disorders. But 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me' is not a straightforward tale of scientific discovery. With its opening words spoken in darkness that suggest 'let's take a gamble', and its overlapping interviews with scientists and clinicians working in different fields, the film reflects in its structure the tentative and collaborative nature of scientific research itself. As the story is slowly and carefully revealed, we also get a hint of what 'anticipation' means in scientific research as well as the genes themselves.