May 19, 2018
by Carol Lynn Alpert
Lawrence Klein, our QSTORM-AO filmmaking collaborator, has his most recent PBS NOVA production airing this coming Wednesday evening May 23. (NOVA typically airs at 9 pm, but check local PBS listings).
The program - Can We Make Life? - is one of six shows in a special mini-series called NOVA Wonders. The series explores important questions raised by recent scientific breakthroughs. Can We Make Life is about genetic engineering and our growing ability to change the genomes of living things. This newfound power can save animals on the brink of extinction, create useful bioengineered products, and produce cures for devastating genetic diseases. On the flip side is a growing fear that manipulating the genomes of microorganisms, plants, and people could also produce unintended consequences. Stories in the program include efforts to de-extinct Woolly Mammoths (shades of Jurassic Park), one researcher's quest to halt the spread of Lyme Disease by genetically altering the mice that carry it, and a remarkable genetic intervention that is creating hope for families whose children have a defective gene that causes the frightening disease known as ALD.
Catch it if you can.