BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science II
Jessica Jones and X-Men
What’s the secret to genetic superpowers? Join host Barry Fitzgerald to find out!
Have you ever broken a bone and wished it could heal in a few moments? Or have you suffered from a cold and wanted to be gone in the blink of an eye? Unlike superhero characters such as Jessica Jones, Wolverine, and Deadpool, we do not yet have accelerated healing powers. Although Wolverine was born with the ability to self heal, Jessica Jones’ accelerated healing works a little differently. Following an accident, Jessica is treated with an experimental genetic technique that saves her life but, as a side effect, the treatment gives her superpowers such as superhuman strength and pseudo-flight.
In recent years, CRISPR/Cas, an advanced genetic editing technology, has been the subject of considerable scientific and media attention. But could such a technology actually create a “Jessica Jones” or replicate the powers of the X-Men? How would this benefit society and should we use the technology for this purpose in the first place?
In BingeWatch Academy: Superhero Science Episode II, the marvels of CRISPR/Cas, and its current and future applications are explored. First, Charlotte Koster of TU Delft introduces how CRISPR/Cas works and how she is using the technology in her research. Thereafter, Britte Bouchaut of TU Delft considers bioethics and how this applies to the potential use of CRISPR/Cas on human DNA and in the modern biotechnology industry. Next, Lucas Evers of Waag Amsterdam presents an artistic view on CRISPR/Cas. Finally, Leiden University students Florence Warren and Lara van Meurs look at how CRISPR/Cas could affect food labelling in the future and the human rights issues associated with the technology.
Jessica Jones gained super strength after an experimental genetic editing treatment. In the real world, if used responsibly, genetic editing could lead to tangible and positive change.
“You wanna be a hero? I’ll show you how to be a hero.”
– Jessica Jones