Review: Human Nature provides a fascinating look at gene editing

Adam Bolt’s documentary turns scientific data into an engaging narrative


HUMAN NATURE (Adam Bolt). 107 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (October 4). See listing. Rating: NNNN


Human Nature looks at the potential and nuance of genetic editing, thanks to the advent of CRISPR, which allows scientists to treat disease, correct genetic disorders and potentially alter the DNA of a fetus to remove unwanted characteristics – or add desired ones.

Adam Bolt’s documentary explains the science swiftly and clearly (clarifying what’s actually possible, and what still remains exclusively in the realm of science-fiction narratives from Huxley to Marvel Comics), then explores the potential and nuance of gene editing by talking to scientists, doctors and patients at the centre of the breakthrough.

By matching human faces to the science – most memorably David Sanchez, a kid whose debilitating sickle-cell anemia could be eradicated with CRISPR treatment – Human Nature turns data into an engaging narrative, and one that’s more hopeful than hysterical. 

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