An Animated History of Reproduction
Part cloning experiment, part documentary, Stories from the Genome follows an unnamed CEO-geneticist whose company sequenced the Human Genome in 2003 – a genome that secretly was his own. Not satisfied with this feat, the scientist self-replicates, producing a colony of clone-scientists to save himself from Alzheimer’s. The animated video switches between misadventures in cloning, and a history of equally improbable theories of human development.
Stories from the Genome is based on the true life story of Craig Venter, who was the CEO of Celera Genomics in a race with an international consortium of scientists to decode the human genome. He did in fact use his own genetic material for the Human Genome Project, completed in 2001, despite much fanfare about the “diversity” of human populations it would represent. The video is intended to comment upon the dangers of short-sighted, self-interest in contemporary biotechnology and its appropriation for profit of human genetic information. This article, “I’m the Human Genome, says ‘Darth Venter’ of Genetics,” in the Guardian is the factual backbone of the video – which briefly sketches Craig Venter’s professional life.