First of all, Oh My God! I think I just found my favourite series in a long time.
Biohackers is a German Sci-fi/Thriller series about gene modifications, gene therapy, and genetic disorders. Also, friendship, loyalty, love, trust, and betrayal. It highlights the legal and moral consequences of performing scientific experiments that pose threats to humanity. It is a fast-paced series with the implications of Gene Editing as its core theme, and the center of its intrigue.
Released in August 2020 with six episodes per season, Biohackers is about a first-year medical student, Mia Akerlud, on a mission to uncover a secret scientific experiment carried out by her prestigious biology professor when she was very young, which led to the death of her twin brother. From the opening scene, we see Mia with her boyfriend’s roommate, Niklas, on a train where a sudden outbreak had occurred causing all the passengers to pass out. As the story peeled open, I got to lean in a bit towards Mia’s motive whilst maintaining stances with Lorenz as well. I was caught in-between, really. I love seeing scientists carry out remarkable experiments.
Lorenz’s research reminded me of He Jiankui’s Experiment which produced twin girls born with edited genomes. Jiankui and his team had successfully mutated both copies of the gene for CCR5, a protein on immune cells that HIV exploits to establish an infection. Lulu and Nana’s DNAs were edited so that their CCR5 gene would not produce a functional protein. Jiankui, in a conference, told a crowd of scientists that his reason for choosing to edit that gene was because the girls’ father is HIV-positive. This editing could mean the kids would never contact HIV infection but He didn’t create the same variation as seen in the resistant humans. This cost Jiankui his career and reputation.
Nessa Carey briefly mentioned Jiankui’s experiment in her book, Hacking the Code of Life: How gene Editing will Rewrite our Futures, which I am currently reading. So many scientific breakthroughs have been made possible through gene editing. On Mia’s first day at school, Lorenz made an intro speech on the benefits of Synthetic Biology/Gene Therapy, claiming it to be the future of mankind.
Lorenz, however, reminds me of a character in my short story, Morpho-X, who used gene cloning to reproduce a half-human. Lorenz’s mission, despite being illegal, has the potential to eradicate the problem of birthing sick children, with its downside being the disruption of life’s balances leading to high mortality rate and overpopulation which are quite dangerous to the ecosystem. However, the thought of that breakthrough alone had me happy in a weird way.
Mia’s roommate, Chen Lu, was a very loveable person amongst all three of them. I liked how enthusiastic she was about her experiments. She was into Genetic modifications in plants. There was also Ole, the one with crazy innovations, who was so immersed in impressing his followers…a total turnoff for me.
The first season had a lot of science stuff going on and the second one defiled what I thought was the actual theme of the series. There was so much going on in season two that I had a little trouble catching up. The whole experiment stuff became sidelined and was only spoken about in muffled tones. The suspense in this series is epic. However, I didn’t find it fulfilling enough, because how do you explain to me why you would hold my suspense to the very edge only for an 11th-hour rescue to happen? Guy, as in, allow the characters get into trouble without saving them last minute. Mia and her guts, sef. I felt like breaking into the movie and giving her a hot memorable slap, one that experiment Oblivion cannot even erase.
Would I recommend this series? Absolutely yes!
I cannot wait for season 3 to get released, they left quite a cliffhanger there.
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