Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History

Watch Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History

  • 2020
  • 1 Season

Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History is a PBS documentary miniseries that gives an in-depth look at the history and impact of genetics on society. Narrated by award-winning actor David Costabile, this series explores the fascinating journey of genetics from the early discoveries of Gregor Mendel to the latest breakthroughs in CRISPR gene editing technology.

With a blend of personal stories and scientific research, The Gene takes us on a journey through time to understand the human genome and how it has transformed lives over the centuries. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which delves into the history of the study of genetics from the Greek philosophers to the modern-day scientists.

In this six-part series, viewers get a comprehensive overview of the complex topic of genetics. From Mendel's peas to the Human Genome Project, the first episode takes us through a historical journey that highlights the significance of genetics in shaping our modern world. We learn how the ability to map the human genome has led to major scientific discoveries, such as the identification of genetic mutations that cause diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's.

Throughout the series, we hear from people whose lives have been directly impacted by genetics. We meet a family who has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer and follow their journey as they undergo genetic testing and make decisions about their health. We learn about the impact of eugenics on minority communities and hear from a survivor of the Holocaust who was forced to undergo medical experiments based on her genetics.

The series also explores the ethical implications of genetic research, including the controversial practice of creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We learn about the pros and cons of GMOs, including the potential to address world hunger and the concerns around long-term health effects.

The Gene also examines the role of genetics in shaping our understanding of identity and race. We learn about historical attempts to categorize people based on physical characteristics and how modern research has shown that race is not a scientifically valid concept. We hear from people who have taken DNA tests to explore their genetic ancestry and learn about the controversy surrounding these tests and their accuracy.

Throughout the series, we are introduced to a range of experts in the field of genetics, including scientists, doctors, and genetic counselors. These experts explain complex ideas in an accessible way, making the series easy to understand for viewers with little to no background knowledge in genetics.

Overall, Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History is a fascinating series that explores the history, science, and societal impact of genetics. With personal stories, expert insights, and stunning visuals, this series is an intimate and informative look at one of the most complex and important scientific fields of our time.

Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (2 episodes). The series first aired on April 7, 2020.

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Episode 2
2. Episode 2
April 14, 2020
As scientists learn to read the genetic code, they grapple with the dangers inherent in increasingly sophisticated and easily available methods of intervening in the very essence of what makes us human, our DNA.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
April 7, 2020
The Gene: An Intimate History interweaves the story of the revolution in modern genetic science with stories from the frontlines of medicine, featuring patients, and researchers racing to cure the errors in their DNA that afflict them.
Where to Watch Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History
Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History is available for streaming on the PBS Documentaries website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play, Hoopla and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    April 7, 2020