Horizon: Playing God

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Philtaz | 18:00 Wed 18th Jan 2012 | TV
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Anyone watch it last night? It was fascinating, if not a little scary at times.

Scary in that it's mind boggling as to how much and quickly this type of research has advanced in the last 10-15 years and was very thought provoking.

Diesel from yeast and spider goats have to be seen to be believed!

Moral dilemma's abound in the near furture for this advance in science.


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Good review here.


I urge you to watch the programme, it's compelling viewing.
It was a good show philtaz, complimenting nicely the stargazing show just previous to it ;)

I can imagine a few people were a bit disappointed not to see some kind of mythical chimeric spider/goat creation, but the reality was amazing enough - and the idea of synthetic biology is fascinating.

As to the concept of BioHackers - it reminded me of 2 things - the cyberpunk scifi novels of William Gibson and others, and perhaps more aptly, one episode of "The Big Bang Theory" where Sheldon attempts ( and succeeds) in creating glow in the dark goldfish nightlights ;)

Adam Rutherford is a good presenter - did find him a tad gushy in parts during this documentary would be my only criticism though....
I thought that the scary thing about this is that a lot of people are doing genetic manipulation at home without any controls over who is doing what. The chances of adverse consequences, both through accident and design, seem unacceptably high.
Question Author
For me the one part of the programme that highlighted just how quickly this branch of science has advanced was when they showed the petri dish with the luminous algae in it.

As Rutherford pointed out, that research brought someone a Nobel prize some five years ago!
Annoyed I got back from shopping just to see it ending. Is it to be repeated, oh silly question, when is it next going to be repeated ?
@ OG

Link here to the shows webpage - Looks like the next repeat is on BBC HD if you have it - If not, looks like the BBC iplayer :) - or watch via philtaz original post.
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It's in the OP for viewing, Old_Geezer.
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Or here if you prefer:
Can't view that sort of thing at work, they get blocked, but I'm off now so maybe when I get back tonight. Thanks.

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