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One of the world’s most well-known oncologists and one of the world’s most well-known documentary filmmakers are teaming up again — this time, for a deep dive into the history and future of genetics research.

“The Gene: An Intimate History,” a new four-hour documentary executive produced by Ken Burns, will premiere on PBS this month. The documentary is based on physician and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee’s best-selling book by the same name, which was published in 2016. Burns and Mukherjee previously worked together on an adaption of Mukherjee’s 2010 book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.”


The film — which will air over two nights — delves into not only the history of genetics research and how our understanding of DNA has developed over time, but also grapples with the complex ethical questions involved in editing human genes as the ability to do so has rapidly advanced.

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