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The Gene & The Acadians: A Discussion About Genetics | Ken Burns Presents: The Gene – An Intimate History


Did you know that one of the most important populations to genetic researchers is right here in Louisiana? It’s the Acadians – and if you are one of them, there are some important health issues that may impact you that you may not even be aware of.

The Acadians are what is known as a “Founder Population.” From the National Institutes of Health: “The founder effect is the reduction in genetic variation that results when a small subset of a large population is used to establish a new colony.” That means some genetic conditions can flourish within the Acadian community.

Join Louisiana Public Broadcasting this April as we lead up to the premiere of the exciting new limited series Ken Burns Presents: The Gene – An Intimate History, with a premiere micro-series of our own – one that hits at the heart of Louisiana’s Acadiana.

LPB Produced Micro-Series, “The Gene & The Acadians”

Louisiana Public Broadcasting presents a micro-series entitled “The Gene & The Acadians.” The LPB produced series takes the science of genetics and brings it to a regional level – explaining why the study of special populations, such as the Acadians of Louisiana, are so important to geneticists. The series airs over a three-week period on our statewide news program Louisiana: The State We’re In on March 13, 20 & 27.

The segments are described as follows:

  • Part 1 – “Founder Population”A look at the importance of the Acadians to genetics, highlighting research being done by Dr. Fern Tsien on congenital hearing loss in Cajuns at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
  • Part 2 – “Friedreich’s Ataxia”- Meet Gracie Boudreaux, a high school senior living with a rare genetic condition more prevalent in Cajuns and learn more from Dr. John Doucet, Professor of Human and Environmental Genetics at Nicholls State University.
  • Part 3 – “Gene Editing” – Hear from Dr. Xiao-hong Lu, a researcher at LSU Health Shreveport who has used gene-editing to delete autism and schizophrenia-related DNA from mouse brain cells.

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LPB in the Community – Meet the Filmmaker

On April 6, LPB takes the discussion directly to those most affected – the Acadian people. Join us for a community event: The Gene & The Acadians: A Discussion About Genetics, Monday, April 6 at 7pm online.

As part of the evening, director Chris Durrance will discuss the upcoming PBS limited series, Ken Burns Presents: The Gene – An Intimate History and Dr. John Doucet will cover a wide variety of hereditary health topics important to the Acadians.

As a documentary filmmaker, Durrance has worked on numerous major series including more than a dozen films for PBS’ FRONTLINE and the six-hour series Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies.

Dr. Doucet is Dean of Sciences and Technology and McIllhenny Professor of Human and Environmental Genetics at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. He is a member and committee officer of the American Society of Human Genetics. He and his colleagues at LSU Health Sciences Center developed the informational website Genetics and Louisiana Families. He is an Acadian Geneticist who is also Acadian by ancestry.

The event is free, but we request that you RSVP. You can do that by going to www.lpb.org/thegene.

A Major New Documentary from Ken Burns and Barak Goodman

This all leads up to the premiere of Ken Burns Presents: The Gene – An Intimate History a two-part, four-hour, limited series airing on LPB Tuesday, April 7 & 14. This series uses science, social history, and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease, and behavior. From the story of the remarkable achievement of the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled ethical challenges of gene editing, the documentary is a journey through key genetics discoveries that are some of the greatest achievements in the history of science.

Thank you to our sponsors. - Funding for KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY has been provided by Genentech, 23andMe, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Gray Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) & Conquer Cancer Foundation, Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation, and the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Outreach and Education Partner is National Institutes of Health, National Human
Genome Research Institute. Outreach support is provided by Foundation Medicine.

Funding for KEN BURNS PRESENTS THE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY has been provided by Genentech, 23andMe, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Gray Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) & Conquer Cancer Foundation, Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Outreach and Education Partner is National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute. Outreach support is provided by Foundation Medicine.


The Gene & The Acadians: A Discussion About Genetics

RSVP | PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN DATE: APRIL 6TH AT 7PM.


BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT HEALTH CRISIS THERE ARE A FEW MODIFICATIONS TO THIS EVENT - BUT IT IS STILL ON!

THE EVENT IS NOW GOING TO BE HELD ONLINE - WITH THE PANEL DISCUSSION HELD IN CHAT. WE WILL STILL BE SHOWING YOU THE PREVIEW OF KEN BURNS PRESENTS: THE GENE - AN INTIMATE HISTORY AND WE ANTICIPATE THE PARTICIPATION OF DR. DOUCET AND FILMMAKER CHRISTOPHER DURRANCE.

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN DATE: APRIL 6TH AT 7PM.

RSVP IS STILL NEEDED.

YOU WILL BE EMAILED A LINK EXPLAINING HOW TO JOIN IN THIS INFORMATIVE - AND SAFE - EXPERIENCE.





Thank you for your support!