In this episode, Ella Al-Shamahi explores the fate of the Neanderthals - asking why they became extinct, and discovering how they live on inside of us today. The programme starts in the caves of Gibraltar, which may have been the last place the Neanderthals survived. Discoveries here have shown the Neanderthals lived a good life - feasting on seafood and wild game. These were a people who were supremely well adapted to their environment. But about 40,000 years ago they disappeared. Why? One of the reasons might have been that they lost out in a physical showdown with modern humans. Ella investigates one of the world's oldest murder mysteries.
TV Version: Bilingual Broadcast (Cantonese/English)
‘Bio is the New Digital’. We are capable of precisely reprogramming the genetic code of our body’s cells, embryos, bacteria, viruses and plants. With the CRISPR-technology we can alter the characteristics of every organism to our own design. In doing so we will be able to eradicate diseases, improve the condition of our bodies and alter plants to meet the specific needs of our food consumption. What makes the CRISPR-technology so special is that it is relatively simple. During the past year the number of experiments and applications has exploded. People all around the world are now tinkering with the CRISPR results: experimenting at home with ‘Do it Yourself CRISPR-kits’. Scientists are therefore calling for new ethical guidelines. The demand for the (un)desirability of so-called designer babies is on the rise. Although it is not yet possible, we will soon be able to put an end to hereditary diseases. Perhaps we can also create bacteria that can eat oil or plastic, pigs in which human organs are being grown or bring extinct species of animals back to life. It all sounds like science fiction but it is closer than ever before.