Summer is on and with the scorching heat gaining momentum, students are restricted to their homes. Cable TV, video games and movies are some of the options which most students consider for their time of leisure. Like most students, I too watch movies and my favourite are the ones related to science and technology or science fiction. In a way these movies are the harbingers of what the future might holds for us. As the film producers try to amalgamate science with fiction and myth, the complexities of science are presented in a way easily grasped by a lay-man. The genre is in existence since the days of the silent movies when in 1902, A Trip to the Moon was released. Since then, studios throughout the world have released countless sci-fi movies which received critical acclaim and box-office success. As in real world, these movies also show the positive and negative aspects of science. For example, Spider Man, the Hulk, Hollow man, Resident Evil, and other such block-busters show the real power of our DNA and genetic codes and what a mutation can do. However imaginary these movies are, they allow us to peek into the minds of humans and expand our horizon of thoughts. Being the student of science myself, I enjoy the movies which are about the science especially, genetics or biotechnology. Here I recommend some of the sci-fi movies about biotechnology.
Alien (1979) – a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship.
The Andromeda Strain (1971) – is about investigation of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism that rapidly and fatally clots human blood.
GATTACA (1997) – is about a eugenic society where potential children are selected through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents.
Hollow Man (2000) – is about the ordeal of a scientist who renders himself invisible and cannot revert back to visible world.
The Hulk (2003) – about a geneticist who experiments on himself and alter his DNA which transfers to his son which transforms him into a giant.
I am Legend (2007) – about a virologist who is immune to a vicious man-made virus originally created to cure cancer, and is feeling like the last man on earth living amongst the virus-infected community.
Jurassic Park (1993) – when a team of genetic scientists create an amusement park of cloned dinosaurs.
X-Men (2000) – about how to maintain relationship with mutants.
Resident Evil (200) – is about a genetic research facility which is contaminated by a virus and in response the system kills everybody inside the facility.
Spider Man (2002) – is about a school boy who is bitten by a genetically engineered spider while on a visit to a genetics laboratory, and becomes Spiderman.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer. Cheers.
(This article was written for NAYS (National Academy of Young Scientists Pakistan) e-Newsletter and can be found here.)