Season 12, Episode 2 The Gene Hunters

First Aired: October 23, 2001

“Gene Hunters” profiles prominent geneticists, beginning with James Watson, who helped devise the model for the molecular structure of DNA in 1953. “We finally had the molecule for heredity,” Watson says. Host Alan Alda also meets Eric Lander, a major figure in the Human Genome Project; Nancy Hopkins, who's using fish to look for the genes that make babies; Tim Tully, who's using fruit flies to understand memory; Cynthia Keegan, who's using worms to understand aging; Jeffrey Isner, who's using gene therapy to cure blocked arteries in humans.

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  • Premise: Science, technology and nature are examined with insight, humor and an eye on the practical, with smartly paced reports on such subjects as the big-bang theory, robots, the relationship between stress and illness, and whether we are alone in the universe.… (more)

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