UnNatural Selection Netflix Review

Aidan Boler, Writer

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UnNatural selection, a 2019 Netflix Original is an expository documentary consisting of only 4 episodes, averaging on an hour each.

The main topics of this show are biochemistry, genealogy, genetic engineering and genetic modification. It talks about the CRISPR technique, as well as the Cas-9 Enzyme used to employ it. UnNatural focuses on several stories of individuals in the field of genetic engineering as well as those who would most benefit from CRISPER: those who suffer from genetic diseases. The show is designed to persuade the watcher towards the argument that genetic engineering is not an evil mystery, but that it could be humanity’s next step in medical advancement and save thousands, even millions of lives.

One story told in UnNatural Selection was especially interesting. The story of David Ishee, a dog breeder in Mississippi. He has no advanced degree and works in a rural county breeding and raising hunting dogs. Despite humble beginnings, he strives to work with genetic engineering. He is trying to incorporate a gene found in jellyfish into his hunting dogs. He hopes to make a glowing dog. Though it isn’t just about a dog you can find with the lights out. David also wants to use CRISPR and genetic engineering to correct the mistakes that were made while originally breeding dogs, that ended with many genetic diseases. He believes CRISPR could save many dogs from premature death simply because of faults in their DNA.

UnNatural Selection was directed by Leeor Kaufman, and Joe Egender. IMDB gives it a rating of 8.4/10, which is a very high rating. Some of the people in the documentary are: David ishee, a mississippian dog breeder, Josiah Zayner, a former NASA scientist, Kevin Esvelt, A Biologist at MIT, and Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist.

Overall, the show is well thought out and researched,and an interesting watch, even for those who might be opposed to the technology.

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