DNA Dreams

DNA Dreams

What would happen if we found the genetic basis for intelligence? And if people and animals could be cloned without much effort? Would the world be filled with perfect humans? Do we want such a world? In China's Pearl River Delta such a world is the big goal. On the outskirts of Shenzhen you can find BGI, now the biggest institute for genetic research in the world. About 4000 young people work here, night and day, to decode the DNA of plants, animals and people. Knowledge of this code of life opens a plethora of possibilities. Highschool drop out Zhao Bowen, only 18 years old, leads an international team that tries to find the genes for intelligence. He collaborates with Yang Rui, a young and brilliant psychologist who subjects highly intelligent young children to IQ tests and collects their DNA. In a lab nearby, 24-year old Lin Lin heads a cloning project. Forty young researchers are, among other things, busy cloning fluorescent pygmy pigs. There may be ethical differences between cloning animals and cloning humans, but technically they are almost the same. If this kind of knowledge becomes widespread, how will it be applied? Chinese law hardly limits the possibilities and money isn't a problem either. These young scientists can pursue their fascination as they wish. They are optimistic and want to make the world a better place. But there is more to reality than bits, bytes and algorithms.