Perhaps the most complicated code in the universe is the one sitting inside our cells, written in DNA. More than three billion letters make up the human genome, giving geneticists plenty to explore…and explore they have. But even as gene therapy, DNA analysis, and genetically modified organisms enter the mainstream—and inspire national debate—our capacity to manipulate life continues to deepen. How far should we go? Are there hidden downsides to rewriting our DNA? Can we hijack evolution and put an end to genetic diseases, or engineer the next generation to have advantageous traits? And who gets to decide?
This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.